January Citrus Lane Box!

Citrus Lane kicked off 2013 with a new design for their subscription box inserts that include a fun, collectible game piece in a card like presentation.  Another new feature for 2013 is less of a strict theme each month, allowing for even more customization for the different age groups.  Are you intrigued to see what January’s box brought us?  Well then, let’s dive in!

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That is a box full of awesome right there!

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Included with this month’s box was a 25% off voucher for Skip Hop’s website, the maker of the crazy cute Zoo Plate Set that was included in this month’s box.  Their site is full of all kinds of other awesome finds, so this was a great addition!

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Episencial Soothing Cream and Playful Wash Packet

We love Episencial in our house, so we were very excited to get this in our January box!  Their product line is perfect for babies and children with sensitive skin, and came at a perfect time for fighting the dry, itchy winter skin blues!

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To-Go Disinfectant Spray from CleanWell

This is a wonderfully lemon scented spray that easily fits in the purse or diaper bag for quick disinfecting of shopping cart handles, restaurant high chairs, you name it.  I use this in addition to my disinfectant wipes, and I love the clean, fresh scent.

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Zoo Plate & Bowl Set from Skip*Hop

Love.  It was a happy coincidence that I happened to get the set that matches the owl lunchie we got in our box a few months ago, but my goodness, what a happy surprise!  This mama is obsessed with owls, and this bright and cheery owl set is no exception!  It is made of melamine and is very sturdy and durable on top of being super precious!  This was a very welcome addition to our dish cabinet!

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Animal Boogie from Barefoot Books

We are huge bookworms in our house, so a book is always a very exciting box addition for us!  This book was no exception!  It includes a fun cd that not only has music, but is interactive with a fun animated video for the kids to enjoy!  The illustrations are so bright and happy, this book is guaranteed to bring joy for years to come!

So what did you think of January’s Citrus Lane box?  Are you intrigued and wishing you had your very own box?

Click HERE to sign up and you will get $10 off your new subscription! Or click HERE and enter code BREAK10 for 10% off any new subscription!  You can get as little as 3 months, or as much as a full year!

I have said it before, I will say it again.  I think Citrus Lane is an awesome value and it definitely costs less than a quick trip to Target (or any store) for this mama.  They have exciting things planned for the coming year, so now is a great time to join the Citrus Lane community!

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First Step?

mortgage

After making a huge mortgage payment a few weeks ago, leaving a pleasantly small balance on our current home, we have been discussing how to move forward in our quest for our new house.  We decided to take a plunge yesterday and actually met with a realtor.  I think it was a good step, because after speaking to him, he is awesome by the way, we feel more ready to further plan the next few steps to new home ownership!

But change is scary!  As exciting as this all is, I can’t help but feel equally, if not more, terrified!

We have precious few months to tie some loose ends and then plunge into the deep unknown.  We have never made a big move with children before.  Our last move was when Matthew was only a few weeks old, so schools and routines were a non issue.  We have four children now, two in school and scouts and dance.  We have three pets to worry about adjusting to a new home, not to mention packing and unpacking all our belongings, which is admittedly far too much!

I guess right now, I need to release some of my fears and trust that there is a plan.  We will be okay, a little stressed, sure, but it is all for a great reward in the end.

*deep breath*

Yes, this is going to be good.  I believe that.  🙂

Hear No Evil

Hear No Evil Monkey

Or any other sounds for that matter.

I am suffering from painfully clogged ears, a lovely byproduct of this insane cold we’ve all been blessed with.  My goodness, it makes me feel just awful when I think of how annoyed I might have gotten with the children when they were whiny these last few days, possibly suffering from the very same discomfort!

It’s so hard to know when the littlest ones are in pain, or even sometimes what may be bothering them at all.  Thankfully, everyone seems to be doing so much better, and I am hoping that this ear pain will soon be a distant, albeit painful, memory!

I am trying decongestants to drain any fluid that may be built up, and some ibuprofen to help with the terrible pain and swelling.  Really, what it bothering me the most, is not being able to hear clearly.  It’s one of my best tools for detecting baby mischief!

The Neverending Sick Day

"Coughs and Sneezes Spread Diseases - As ...

Blah!

Since my last update, every single person in this family has come down with the cooties.  I’m not sure if it is a really bad cold, or a mild flu, but what a miserable week and a half this has been!

I currently have an ear that is completely clogged, driving me insane.  I had no voice at all for about four to five days, sore, swollen throat, congestion, nasty cough.  Just feeling really awful.  And so has everyone else in the house.

I try to avoid medication whenever possible, so there has been a lot of vapor rub and humidifier action going on.  We have been using Mucinex though, which is amazingly awesome at helping to make coughing more productive.

I *think* for the most part, everyone is on the mend.  Matthew never really was very sick, just the carrier to this lovely super bug.  Noah and Sara are leaking a lot less snot, and if my ear wasn’t so dang clogged, I dare say this is the most alive I have felt in over a week.

I don’t remember the last time every single person was sick at the same time in this house.  Matthew gets the monster cootie award for managing that one.  Him and his mighty super immunity.

Looooong weekend

"Cover Coughs, Cover Sneezes" - NARA...

As I posted in the wee early hours on Friday morning, my poor babies have been miserably ill the last several days.  I believe it all started with Matt about a week and a half ago.  He has an amazing immune system and very rarely gets very sick at all.  I am pretty sure he had a cold, but his only symptoms were a few sniffles here and there.  No coughing, no congestion, no biggie.

The problem is, he and Noah are buddies.  Noah loves Matt to pieces and is constantly attached to his hip.  That means any germs that Matt may have are very easily shared with Noah.  Now, if Noah would get a cold like a normal kid and not instantly just come down with moderate to severe cases of croup, well then, that would be fabulous!  But, that’s not how he rolls.

Noah came down with a nasty case of croup and a pretty nasty cold.  Coughing so much he was gagging and just miserable.  He couldn’t eat or drink or even smile.  If you know Noey, you know he is a goofy little boy who is always smiling and happy.  (Well, unless he is crying and miserable, but generally, he is a very happy little boy.  🙂  It was so bad we were considering an Urgent Care visit.  It was a Saturday, of course, and he was just so ill, I felt utterly helpless.

The miracle in a bottle that helped him was Delsym.  Oh my goodness!!!  Within 10 short minutes, the coughing had subsided and he was smiling.  SMILING!!!  Now, this is not an official review of Delsym, and I have not been compensated in any way, whatsoever, but I am telling you, our medicine cabinet will NEVER be without it again!

I should mention that we only decided to use it because of the severity of the cough and because it was not a productive cough.  If the kiddos are coughing up goobers, it is best to let them cough because they are clearing their lungs of mucus, etc.  I usually only treat coughs in my house with honey and Vicks Vaporub, but this cough was just too tough for my home remedies.

Somewhere in the middle of the croup and cold, Bella added to the party with a stomach bug.  Not sure where it came from, but it was a nasty little speed bump in our week.  Now, I know I frequently mention grape juice to prevent stomach bugs,  but I need to tell you all about another amazing preventative measure.  Apple Cider Vinegar.  We were out of grape juice when she fell ill, but I had remembered the ACV tip I read online that is said to work as well if not better than the grape juice.  You simply add about a teaspoon to 8 oz of water and drink it three times a day.  You can add some honey if you like, or even add the ACV to juice to mask the taste.  I honestly don’t mind it, but then, I would drink just about anything if you told me it was a proven way to prevent worshipping the porcelain god.  🙂

Now, Abe and I both came down with a little intestinal discomfort, but never more than that.  He drank grape juice, I took ACV.  He was still pretty miserable yesterday, whereas I felt 100% awesome again.  I am an ACV convert!  There are loads of other benefits to taking ACV, which I am eager to see if they will apply, but for now, I think I will be keeping this as part of my daily routine.

So we escaped a mass infection of the stomach bug, but Noah and now Sara still have nasty colds.  Stuffy/runny noses and coughs, low fevers, just generally miserable.  Does anyone know a magical cure/prevention for the cold?  I’m on board if you do, hit me up!  🙂

I am grateful the long weekend is over and I am eager for all my babies to be 100% healthy again.  Especially Noah and Sara, there is just something so sad and heartbreaking when the littlest ones get sick and can’t really tell you what’s wrong.

Stay healthy!

Cooties

Cootie

Ugh.

It’s that time of year.  The cold weather means staying indoors, easily transmitting all the nasty little cootie bugs that the kids like to bring home from school with them.  And believe me, my kids are germ magnets, so there is lots of happy germ breeding in the winter months.

Colds are common, but not a huge deal to me.  A sniffle or two here and there, usually nothing too serious.  Except that Noah, my little Stridor Prince, likes to turn cold viruses into scary, bouts of croup.  Every.  Single.  Time.

Do you see where this post is going?

Poor Noah has croup.  Again.  Only this time, he decided to show symptoms in the day time, during regular business hours for the pediatrician and the pharmacy.  The kids is losing his touch, what can I say?

We called the doctor’s office and they were even able to prescribe him oral steroids without an office visit.  Awesome.

I should mention that our regular doctor is on maternity leave, so covering her is a doctor I not so lovingly dubbed Dr Dumbass, several years ago when we had the first displeasure of meeting him.

To make a long story short, we took Bella in for a wellness check when she was about four months old and was being exclusively breastfed.  He decided that she wasn’t growing fast and chubby enough, so instead of suggesting ways to try and increase my milk supply or just be generally helpful, he informed me that breast milk isn’t always enough and some babies just need to be on formula.

Really?  Breast milk isn’t enough?  Instead, I need artificial milk…….?  I won’t turn this post into a crazy breastfeeding rant, but when a pediatrician is too lazy and/or ignorant to encourage and support breastfeeding, they are doing a great disservice to both the parents and the children that they have taken an oath to protect.

Okay.  Rant over.

Anyway, Dr Dumbass prescribed Noah’s oral steroids so we could nip the croup before it got serious.  His directions were one lump dose of the medication, whereas when we go to urgent care or the ER for croup, they always have us split the dose, half in the morning and half at night.  After Noah’s lump dose yesterday morning, he ended up getting sick.  Now, it could have had nothing to do with the lump dose of the steroids, but since we’re talking about Dr Dumbass and since he was seemingly completely fine beforehand, I blame the doctor.  The side effects did mention upset stomach, and Noah’s stomach was certainly not happy.

Happily, Noah seemed to recover pretty quickly, acting like his normal self within an hour or two.  He has a slight cough and a little bit of a runny nose, but the bark is gone, so I am hoping that the croup has left the building.

Not long after going to bed last night, Bella was at our door.

I hate it when the kids come to the door in the middle of the night, it’s never good.

Sure enough, she had thrown up.

Now, I know I have mentioned before how freaked out and anxious I get when anyone even says they have a tummy ache.  We have had great success with using 100% grape juice as a stomach bug preventative, especially for Bella who seems prone to the nasty virus.  I hate to admit it, but we have been lax with it for the last week or so, and lo and behold, now she is sick.  Coincidence?  Maybe.  I like to believe it works though.  Now that we are out of it and I am scared to death of it spreading to other members of the family.  o.O

I have read that apple cider vinegar can be used in place of grape juice, about a tsp-tbsp with 8oz of water.  In my panic mode, you can bet I was choking down some good old ACV within an hour of her leaving our room.  After liberally spraying everything I could imagine she may have touched or breathed on with her cooties.

Winter is kind of a sucky time for a germaphobe mama.