Boy, oh, boy, has this week been busy! The kids have been sick all week, (promptin me to cancel all appointments) and poor Charles has been especially bad. :( I got to run out at 10 p.m. with the hopes of finding the little disposable Vick's vaporizers (the little things that plug straight into the wall like Glade plug-ins) but came home with a full size model. Sigh... I didn't want to spend that much money but he needed help. The good thing is that now we have a vaporizer for both of the kids' rooms so no more trying to share between the rooms when all the kids are sick. I had no idea where our other one wass, which prompted this whole thing. I have since found it on the top of a shelf I rearranged last night. Grrr...

The kids don't really sound any better, but they've been getting a bit more sleep at night, which is good. I also picked up some elderberries among some other herbs to make the kids cough syrup since it's no longer recommended for children under six to take commercial cough syrup. That stuff is full of crap anyhow, so I've always preferred to make my own.

Cough Syrup

  • 2 tbsp elderberry berries
  • 2 chamomile tea bags
  • 1 tbsp thyme
  • 2 c honey
  • 1 tbsp slipper elm
  • 1 tbsp mullein
I combined all the herbs in 3 c of water and simmered it for a concentrated decoction. I reduced it to one cup although I had only meant to reduce it to two. I added a cup of water to take it back up to two cups, added the honey and simmered it for 10 more minutes until the honey was well melted and incorporated. I strained it and decanted it it into two bottles. I ended with 3 1/4 c of the syrup. I recycled two 15 oz bottles that recently held Snapple's Green Apple flavored white tea so it filled1 and about 1/3 of the other bottle, which I gave to a neighbor for her kids. I've been giving it to the kids 1 tsp at a time, 2-3 times a day. They really like it and I've had no problems getting them to take although, IMO, it's too sweet so I think I'll decrease the honey by half next time. I think I'll also add some fenugreek, and perhaps a small piece of candied ginger next time to see how that works.

I also came home with a bottle of Village Naturals Therapy Cold & Sinus and I've absolutely fallen in love. It smells great and it really heps with the congestion. Of course, the first time I used it, I had a bath with the girls, I forgot to warn Deedee what the menthol would do to sensitive areas and after a while she said she felt funny and wanted out. It didn't burn, but I could certainly understand why a 2 yo would complain of it feeling funny. LOL We also have to be careful what kind of soap we use on the girls now. They developed a reaction to Irish Springs and other similar soaps. Recently Deedee washed herself and didn't rinse properly. I didn't realize just how much soap she had caked on her until she started complaining of her crotch burning when I was putting her pj's on. The poor little thing. It took a few minutes wiping her down with a cool cloth and then getting an aloe leaf to sooth it before she stopped crying. And then it happened a few days later with Kitty although, not to the same extent. Carey gave her a bath and didn't rinse her properly. Every since then every time we used the soap on them, didn't matter where, within a few minutes they'd start crying. I pulled a different brand that was a different color and scent and it still happened. So I wound up buying a bar of pure castile soap with no fragrance and no color; we haven't had a problem since and the boys enjoy it too.

James has learned that a shelf is not to be used as a boost to get you to a shelf full of toys you aren't supposed to be into. He was using it as a bridge to get him to the shelf with their blocks and Lincoln Logs. It wasn't meant to bear his weight in the first place, and it also didn't have any anchors so it spit him off very quickly. He fell almost 6' and landed on his butt. He's just lucky he didn't land on his bad wrist and hurt it again. That would have broken it for sure. Of course, he isn't even supposed to have his Lincoln Logs yet. I had bought them for him for Christmas but then failed to properly hide them. (I forgot them on the table) So, of course, he found them and he's had a blast with them ever since. He made a snazzy little house and as soon as I get new batteries for the camera, I'll get a pic posted. He was very proud of himself. It's not a very big set, but it was inexpensive so perhaps I'll get a couple more to supplement it with. Also, I wasn't happy that there was really one way to build it. You had to do it a certain way to be able to use the roof slats so it's rather limiting in that respect. Other than that, I'm very happy with it. So now, I have to think of something else to get him for Christmas. Carey and I decided one toy, one book, and maybe an article of clothing is all they're getting from us. And perhaps one item for them all to share, such as a game. We're getting them all poetry books this year. I got Charles one about dragons, I immediately thought of Shel Silverstein for James and I'm still looking for appropriate ones for the girls but I've got time.

Last night the kids made "hats" out of the their napkins at dinner and had great fun. Tonight, they had a tongue contest. Even Kitty got in on it and was pushing it out just as far as she could go. Of course, Deedee and her Gene Simmons monstrosity won. :D

We've heard back from the U of I parking committe. We wound up with a parking ticket and Carey appealed it. We didn't get it totally wiped like we were hoping, but they did reduce the price. On Tuesday I felt extremely stupid. I had gone shopping and parked the van out front to unload it. I came in with the last load, leaving the side door open. I asked Carey to put it away since I was exhausted and my shoulder was really bugging me. He dissapeared for a while so I assumed he did it. It turned out that he actually only went to the bathroom. So the van got left there all night, with the door open and my purse on the front seat. Argh... He woke me up at 7 calling the cell phone to make sure no one had stolen it. I'm shocked we didn't get a ticket. But perhaps since the door had been left open, it was assumed that it would be taken care of directly. I mean, what sane person leaves their rig wide open like that all night? Bleh

Last night Kitty got her finger mashed by Deedee in a kitchen drawer. Deedee really got her. When I pulled her hand out, the blood was just welling out of the finger and I felt for sure that the nail had been ripped off. I got it cleaned up (that wasn't fun) and realized the blood was just coming out from around the nail and the skin had broken a bit at the tip. It was pretty swollen and bruised looking so as soon as Carey got home I hauled her to the emergency room. I was pretty sure that it wasn't broken but I just wanted to be sure nothing was seriously messed up. Of course, I had to go through three people to finally get to the doc and by the time he saw her the swelling had gone down, there was no sign of the bruising that I'd see later, and all of the blood had been cleaned off. So it didn't look that bad and I felt kind of silly for taking her in. :( I felt better about it today because it looks really bruised now. The doc also checked her ears since I was concerned about an ear infection even though I think she'd gotten over it by this time if she'd even had one in the first place. Last week she'd been a little butt to sleep with, and would only rest after we'd given her some tylenol and propped her up with pillows. Poor little bug. The good news is that she was reported as weight 19.5 lbs. Yay, she's gaining weight!

Today, I took Charles to the doc to ask about his cough. It had gotten bad enough that he was puking. :( The doc took a look at him and pronounced him ok. He said if he starts having a lot of trouble breathing, to bring him back. There's a virus going around and there wasn't much he could do. Charles has had this about a week, so he should starting working his way out soon. I wouldn't have taken him in at all if he hadn't started that puking crap. He got the floor really bad in his room tonight after he'd been sent to bed. He'd only been up there a few minutes (Carey had just come down after getting James unstuck from between the slats on the side of his bunk bed. Don't even ask. You don't want to know.) when Charles came down crying saying he'd puked. Carey went up expecting a little pile or something by the door and was just amazed at the amount Charles had spit up. It was everywhere (except his bed, thank Goddess) so Carey hauled out our little carpet cleaner to scrub the mess. :( Poor little guy. I think he lost all of his dinner and unfortunately also the chamomile tea that I'd just given him to help him relax and sleep. Sigh... Oh, he weighs 35 lbs now.

Since I had him out and about anyway, we ran some errands together. He was very well behaved, even for the doc, and we had a lot of fun together. We mailed off a package to cousin Jordy and then made our way to the library which he really liked. He picked out a Spongebob dvd. We came home with a plethora of books, including one about wizard parties! It's totally awesome. I had actually just ordered this book but I couldn't wait for it to come in and when I found out our library had a copy I just had to snag it. It has a ton of awesome stuff in it. So that along with the other two wizard party books I got just give me all the stuff I need. We also went to Jo Ann's to get the fabric to make his little goodie bags. I saw no reason to buy something when I could make it for the same price and it would be something that the child could actually use instead of throwing away when they got home. Charles chose a black fabric with gold lame stars. Very wizardy I thought. He helped me choose some little wooden tops, polished stones, crystals, and a chocolate wizard sucker to go in the bags.

We also stopped at the grocery store for a couple of quick items. Carey has asked for a ham for Thanksgiving that I wanted to get while there was still a good selection. I had originally bought a small chicken, but he didn't care for that. Charles had been doing so well, and he was also a bit hungry so I let him pick out a little packet of Sun Drops and a little vanilla milk box. It was so cute. He gave me his little stash of "monies" for his candy. It was only about $0.08 so nowhere near enough, but he insisted. I tried to find some penny candy but couldn't. Doesn't it exist anymore? :(

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