Family · Health & Wellness

Can One Survive Flu Season?

Ah yes- the crisp fall air is fading into the background, giving way to the beautiful, snow-covered trees and, just like that, winter has arrived. As a long-time seasonal allergy sufferer, I cannot wait until the cold weather settles in to allow me a break from my daily Zyrtec. That was until the flu bug graced us with its presence in our home… Ugh!!

The flu bug hit our extended family about two weeks ago like a tornado which left my brother, sister-in-law, niece and dad in its path before it landed on our front porch last week. The first victim was my toddler son who started violently vomiting in his sleep last Monday. Hearing him waking up while getting sick was by far one of the scariest sounds and moments of our lives since he was born. After four days of throwing up, hunger strike, near dehydration, fevers and numerous doctor’s calls and one visit, our son was on the mend (that was until he starting cutting a few molars the very next day, but we’ll save that topic for another post).

As you can imagine, I’ve upped my cleaning game to disinfect everything and anything I can in the house to remove whatever bug was here. Just when I thought we were out of the woods, I came home from work today to a very sick hubby on the couch who is right now giving praise to the “Porcelain God”.  Grrrr! Just when I though it was gone, the damn flu bug strikes again. Once my husband finally got to bed, out came the cleaning products and disfencting started all over again. And to think, my son threw up all over me and I’m the only one still standing!

So we’re upping the vitamin c, increasing our beverage intake, continuing to make homemade chicken soup and washing everything I possibly can to make sure the last solider standing doesn’t fall right before Thanksgiving.

So, does anyone have any tricks for beating the flu bug before it hits you? Or more importantly, once it arrives how to fumigate your home to remove this pest? All ideas and suggestions are welcome!

Family · Product Review

Be Thankful for the Little Things

While social media posts blow up over the “red cup” controversy or the latest jackass comment from a US presidential candidate, I’ve decided to try to look at the positive things in life and actually count my little blessing this month of what I’m truly thankful for this year. Some of my “blessings” may seem silly to you, but I think we all need a little more silliness and a few more smiles in this world.

10. My iPhone Headest- while this materialistic item may seem mundane to some, when I see my iPhone earbuds it reminds me that I finally have an amazing work/family balance in my life. I’m able to take late night and early morning conference calls from my home, allowing me to make more time for my toddler, when I would have had to spend that time in the office earlier in my career. Being physically present during these tender years of my son’s life mean the world to our little family.

9. Infantino Squeeze Station- When my son started eating solid foods I was thrilled to be able to make his baby food at home. I love cooking and I truly enjoyed being able to make home a home-cooked meal everyday. When he started feeding himself, we easily switched to the graduate organic pouches for him to still feel empowered while feeding himself. Recently I noticed that many of the pouches have 10+ grams of sugar in each, which was extremely shocking to me. I’m so happy I found the Infantino Squeeze Station where I can make my own pouches and control the content of his daily meals.

8. Quiet Car- When I am able to take the train into work I’m extremely blessed to sit in the Metra Quiet Car. Don’t worry – I’m not one of the “shushers” who yells at individuals for talking in the quiet car.  For me, the quiet car is my 30 minutes of me time. This little slice of quiet time allows me to read, catch up on Facbook posts that I’ve saved from months ago, pay bills or make my shopping list.  I know – not total zen/yoga me time, but it’s my time to catch up on all the little things I want to do.

7. Amazon Prime- Being a busy Mom I don’t always have time to run to the store to grab whatever we need.  When this mostly comes into play is when we have a birthday party early on a Saturday morning and I have to work late on a Friday night.  Amazon Prime allows me to order a gift and, within two days, the gift has been delivered to my house and I’m ready to wrap it on Saturday morning just in time for the party.  It feels like my Amazon Prime membership has already paid for itself many times over.  Running low on diapers?  Ordered! Cannot find the only organic snack my son loves?  Ordered! Left my iphone charger in a hotel?  Ordered! It’s been a lifesaver for my family.

6. Kureg- Okay, okay – I know there are lots of nay-sayers regarding the waste or “toxic mold” that lives in this coffee pot, but for me I LOVE my Kureg! My husband and I are coffee drinkers, but only one cup at a time.  If we had a pot of coffee made, we would drink it all day long.  And now that we have a child and watching what we are eating/drinking, having the portion control of one single cup keep us on task.

5. Olay products- When I have long nights and early mornings, my godsends are Olay products.  I have about 3-5 products in my arsenal at all times. My favorites are the cleansing cloths which wash away the day’s make-up and leave my skin feeling soft, clean, fresh and ready for bed.  My daily ritual is citrus scrub in the morning, lotion during the day, and the cleaning cloth at night.

4. Nivea In-Shower Lotion- I absolutely HATE putting on lotion when I get out of the shower.  I hate having to wait for my skin to dry from the lotion before putting on my clothes to get ready for work.  Especially in the summer, I’m beyond too sweaty after getting out the shower to even think about turning my body into a slippery mess! Thank God for this new Nivea In-Shower Lotion.  I love the way my skin feels after using this product, but PLEASE read the instructions – if you don’t, the next person using the shower after you my slip and fall!

Grandma and Papa

3. My Parents- I am very blessed to have both my parents still alive today and to have a close relationship with them.  My husband’s parents passed away even before we met and well before we had kids.  While I’m lucky to still have my parents around in my life, I am extremely lucky that my son is allowed to have two of his grandparents around.  His love and affection for my parents is truly a wonderful experience to watch.


2. My Toddler- I know each person who becomes a parent says that their kid is the best, but mine really is! My son has brought more joy into my life than I could have ever imagined.  My son is cute, mischievous, sweet, caring and the most loving kid in the world! He is a true little boy, rough and tumble, but strong and sweet.  He is the most perfect blend of all the good attributes me and my husband have combined.  We are so lucky to be his parents.

John and I

1. My Husband- this man is my ROCK! His never-ending love and support for me in everything I do is absolutely remarkable. I’m completely spoiled! My husband cooks dinner most nights, takes care of our son when he’s not at the firehouse and really listens to me and supports me in everything I do! I really don’t know where I would be without him in my life! We both had long journeys to find each other, so in the end we are very aware of how lucky we are to be together and we never take that thought for granted.


Celebrate the “Hallmark” Holidays

Today is my favorite “hallmark” holiday of the year: Sweetest Day! “Seriously, Sweetest Day, Col?  That’s not event a real holiday!”  I know, I know – just listen…

Sweetest Day happened to be one of those “hallmark” holidays that many people pooh-pooh because they think it’s just a way for businesses to make money and capitalize on consumers. I have never looked at it that way.  I love to re-market all the “hallmark” holidays and use them as a catalyst to say, thank you for all that you do, I appreciate you and I love you.

I grew up in a very loving household where we said “I love you” on a daily basis.  My parents are teenage sweethearts and have been happily married for over 40 years.  The love my parents have shown each other over the years has been an excellent example to my brother and me.  Even today, when I hang up the phone after speaking with my family, I love you is always communicated.  My Mom always remembers Sweetest Day by giving us a little card or treat like Halloween socks or Swedish Fish. These small gifts don’t break the bank, but let someone know that you care about them.

This loving family culture has been extended to my little growing family. My husband and I say I love you multiple times a day and we share this love with our young, toddler son. He knows how to give hugs and kisses, we say prayers with him each night for his loved ones and he is learning how to show love to his extended family.  My son’s best asset right now is his smile – which can light up any room and help to show everyone the loving household he is growing up in.

The reason I love “hallmark” holidays is because it allows us time to step away from all the negative energy that is glamorized in society and celebrate the little things that make life so wonderful.