Friday, December 30, 2011

The Stomach Virus That Stole Christmas

This Christmas had a few bumps in the road for us.  It was a difficult time for us since it was our first Christmas without Allen's Dad, Scottie.  Holidays are never quite the same once you lose someone who means so much.  But we were determined to make it a happy time and to count our blessings. 

Unfortunately, we were struck with a nasty stomach virus the week before Christmas.  It hit Garrett first, then Sydney, then me and then poor Allen on Christmas morning.  So it made it very hard to do all our traditions.  We managed to squeeze in sugar cookies and looking at Christmas lights in between someone being sick.  I'm not gonna lie, I had a full blown pitty party at 5:30 am Christmas morning when it was obvious the stomach bug had hit Allen.  I let it all out and then pulled myself together before the kids woke up. 

Allen somehow managed to open presents with us and then went back to bed, not to be seen again until the next day.  In spite of what I'm calling "Funkmaster 3000" {stomach virus}, the kids had a great Christmas morning.  They woke at 6:00 am ready to go and we were finished opening presents before the sun came up.  I will never complain about our kids being early risers though, because they go to bed early and sleep through the night!

We decided to take the plunge into the video game world and got the kids a Wii.  Sydney was beyond excited and Garrett had no idea what it was!  I was reluctant, but I must say, the Wii is a blast!  And we play it as a family so it's kinda the new game night.  I figure, as long as the kids still play the old fashioned way, what's wrong with a little Wii in our lives.

I bought the kids their favorite junk food breakfast for Christmas morning. 

We went to my Aunt's house the day after Christmas and look who showed up!

Santa made a special visit and brought all the kids a present.  This was too cool!

When did Sydney start looking so grown up??? And when did I, for that matter?!?!

With every bump in the road, I eventually learn, more and more, to appreciate what I have been blessed with.  Loving parents, loving in-laws, a husband who shares the same path as me, and my sweet babies.   

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Scott Avett ~ "The New Love Song"

I love the simplicity of Scott Avett's Crackerfarm videos.   His music is always just perfect and lovely.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Grouplove ~ "Tongue Tied"

This song is just fun!  

I like this stripped down version just as well.  They look so happy singing this song.  This is exactly how music should make you feel!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros ~ "Fiya Wata" {River of Love}

Momma's Boy

This lil guy is changing so fast lately.  He seems to have gotten taller overnight.  The little boy who has always tried to keep up with his sister is rapidly catching up to her in size & speed.  I'm afraid he is no longer a baby. :(  The good news is that the terrible twos {& threes} seem to be mostly a thing of the past.  Whew.  Those were some tough times.  He went from the happiest baby on earth to the most stubborn two year old on earth, seemingly overnight. 

And just like that, he has now moved on to silly prankster.  He cracks me up daily with his ornery antics.  When he doesn't know I'm looking, and I catch him hiding something from his sister.  He can't keep a straight face and neither can I while watching him.  He loves to hide from me and giggles the whole time I "look" for him. 

He has the funniest vocabulary, saying things like "that sure sounds like a good idea to me".  Or saying the prayer at dinner, "thank you for this lovely dinner".  Where does he come up with this stuff?

I may start making him wear a helmet.  He seems to bump his head, fall down or run into a wall daily.  He recently hit his head and had to get staples.  According to my mother in law, he gets this from his Daddy & this probably won't be our last visit to the after hours emergency clinic.  He did think the bright green bandage looked cool.  Here's a picture of Rambo.

And here he's making it clear that the photo shoot is over.

I'm afraid he's going to have a potty mouth when he grows up.  When I force him to do something dreadful {like wash his hands}, he storms off mumbling a three year olds version of curse words.  His favorite dirty word is stinky buttercups.  Say it in a ticked off three year old boy voice & you have a glimpse into my world.  I may just start yelling stinky buttercups at people who irritate me.

His favorite thing to do at home {since it's too cold to go outside & play in the dirt now} is sit in his room and play cars.  We used to play friendly, happy cars but these days the cars are always attacking each other.  Raising a little boy is a learning process. My toys never beat each other up as a kid, so I'm new to this.  He loves to pretend he's a robot monster attacking the cars.  Then I pretend to be a robot Mommy, attacking him with kisses.  He giggles, then says "okay, that's enough".  :)

Being a mom to a little boy is such a blessing.  He teaches me to think outside the box and say the alphabet in a monster voice to hold his interest.  He forces me to be thick skinned and not panic at every bump and bruise.  And Garrett is my little reminder not to take life too seriously and have some fun.

Friday, December 16, 2011

I Swear By These Methods

We try to take a natural approach to wellness in our house.  This means trying to avoid the doctor and medications, if possible.  Allen and I have been using these techniques for a while now and we are definitely believers in natural remedies.  However, you can't exactly get a kid to drink apple cider vinegar or use a neti pot, so when it comes to the kids, we preach hand washing, an organic healthy diet and plenty of sleep.  {our kids get 9-10 hours of sleep every night}  Getting sick is a part of life, but here's how we try our best to stay healthy, naturally.

Apple Cider Vinegar
This has been my medicine for a year now.  And for a year now I have not been to the doctor. {except for that pesky flu last January} and have not taken any medicine, other than Tylenol. 

I mix 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar with 8 oz cold water.  It has a unique {nice way of saying disgusting} taste to it.  Allen is a chugger, I am a slow sipper.  After every chug or every sip, we both make the same sour face.  BUT, it works! 

I try to drink it a few times a week to maintain good health.  It is said that apple cider vinegar helps with allergies, sinus infections, acne, flu, blood pressure, cholesterol, gout, fatigue and weight loss.  I can definitely vouch for it curing my sinus and allergy issues.  When I start to feel sick, I drink it 2 to 3 times a day and it does the trick.

Gargle Salt Water
I remember watching my Grandma gargle salt water at night.  I recently read that in addition to relieving a sore throat, it also prevents bacteria from growing.  So now I use it as a daily preventative. 

I'm a huge believer in humidifiers.  I pretty much use mine year round.  But it's definitely a good idea to use one when you have cold or sinus issues.  Using a humidifier every night also keeps my skin from getting dry and irritated.

Neti Pot
Ah, the neti pot.  It will probably freak you out the first time you use one.  But once you get the hang of it, it is a lifesaver.  I have definitely dodged sinus infections by using my neti pot at the first sign of an issue.  It provides instant relief. 

{Note: I wrote this post earlier in the day and since then, this article was released.  Whoa!  That's a little scary, although I'm sure it's rare.  Just to be safe, I may start using distilled or boiled water.}

{I am not a doctor.  Just a girl sharing what works for me.}

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Happy Holidays

Yesterday I dressed the kids up in their Christmas outfits, grabbed props from the house and forced them out into the cold.  All in the name of getting a good Christmas picture.  I think it turned out pretty darn cute.  Although, trying to do it really fast and moving the kids to four different locations in the yard before they started complaining about how cold it was {sorry kids}, I now realize I didn't loop the Merry Christmas sign over the 3rd rung on the sled.  This is driving me crazy, but I'll just have to get over it.  I'm not putting us through that again.  I also waited too late in the day and there wasn't enough sunlight.

Here are some of the other pictures that turned out cute.

Sydney is so photogenic & waits patiently for her little brother to look at the camera and smile.  I may have to frame this one because it makes me laugh.

I'm trying very hard to keep this holiday season simple, fun and easy.  I will have my shopping finished tomorrow.  And hopefully will have all the presents wrapped and under the tree this weekend.  I want the next few weeks to be filled with meaningful family time.  Time spent watching our favorite Christmas movies over and over. {The Grinch Who Stole Christmas, A Christmas Story & Christmas Vacation}.  Lots of outings looking at Christmas lights and listening to Christmas songs. Our tradition of making a gingerbread house and sugar cookies.  Doing Christmas crafts with the kids and drinking lots of hot chocolate. {my diet starts in January}  And of course, remembering and teaching our kids what this holiday is truly about. 

In my efforts to keep things simple, I've decided not to send out Christmas cards this year.  It is time consuming and can be costly.  All for something people throw away at the end of December.  So let this blog post be my virtual Christmas card to everyone.