Friday, March 23, 2012

Boys, Gak, and Fart-y Noises

I have always loved science and science experiments and I love that N has inherited that trait. For weeks now he has been begging to make Gak but then we all came down with an awful flu and for 3+ weeks we were just too sick to do anything. THEN the weather was so nice we spent our free play time outside. Today is day 4 of straight rain and cooler temps so I decided it was a perfect Gak day. For the price of a cheap off brand bottle of school glue, food coloring, Borax (that I already had) and water my son is now super entertained by the squishiness and "fart-y" noises the Gak is making. With every fart as if its ingrained in his boyish DNA he is giggling. Well worth the 30-ish mins of making time. So if you have a few extra mins and a few bucks for the materials its super fun. I felt so excited when we added the borax solution to the glue mixture and instantly the molecules changed and the gak started to form. N was sitting next to me with his voice almost shrill with excitement as well. It was so fun!
Here's the recipe:


  • Elmer’s Glue® (4 oz bottle of Elmer’s Glue-All for 2 small batches, I would suggest 8 oz for 4 small batches of different colors)
  • Borax (a powdered soap found in the grocery store)
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Plastic cup (8 oz size works well)
  • Spoon
  • Measuring cup
  • Food coloring (the spice of life)
  • Water
  • Paper towel (hey, you’ve got to clean up!)
  • Zipper-lock bag (don’t you want to keep it when you’re done?)
  • Water

1. This recipe is based on using a brand new 4 oz bottle of Elmer’s Glue. Empty the entire bottle of glue into a mixing bowl. Add 1/2 cup warm water to the empty bottle and shake (okay, put the lid on first and then shake). Pour the glue-water mixture into the mixing bowl and use the spoon to mix well.

2. Go ahead… add a drop or two of food coloring.

3. Measure 1/2 cup of warm water into the plastic cup and add a teaspoon of Borax powder to the water. Stir the solution – don’t worry if all of the powder dissolves. This Borax solution is the secret linking agent that causes the Elmer’s Glue molecules to turn into slime.

4. While stirring the glue in the mixing bowl, slowly add a little of the Borax solution. Immediately you’ll feel the long strands of molecules starting to connect. It’s time to abandon the spoon and use your hands to do the serious mixing. Keep adding the Borax solution to the glue mixture (don’t stop mixing) until you get a perfect batch of Elmer’s slime. You might like your slime more stringy while others like firm slime. Hey, you’re the head slime mixologist – do it your way!

5.When you’re finished playing with your Elmer’s slime, seal it up in a zipper-lock bag for safe keeping.


Here is the link to the site I used for the recipe:

Saturday, March 17, 2012

My Miracle

You would think I was talking about one of my boys or even this pregnancy that I wasn't sure would make it past 6 weeks and I'm now half way through my 31st week with a very active little boy, but I'm not. We had an awful scare Thursday night, J called me with a terrible headache, tunnel vision, numbness, dizziness etc. I had to drop the boys off and head to Urgent Care while talking to our doctor on the phone. She reassured me it was probably just a massive far gone migraine and to take him in for a shot and a neurological work up. UC checks him in and transfers him to the ER for a CT Scan. Then the doctor comes in and says we also need a spinal tap done. Um excuse me? You want to take fluid from where?? But we agree. CT Scan comes back clear, no clots, tumors, stroke etc. *Whew* Its now 10:30pm and we have been there since 6:15pm. All that is left is the tap. 11pm rolls around and they do the tap. I can feel the pain and discomfort coming from J and I'm trying not to cry or throw up and to overall be strong for him. The doctor reassures us the tap looks good, no blood or signs of infection. 2nd relief. We should have official results in an hour and a half and released shorty after. I start thinking about food because I haven't eaten since 2pm and my stomach is finally relaxing a little. Midnight comes and goes, 1am...1:30am..What the hell? Where's there results? Now I worry again. This is taking too long, somethings wrong. A little after 2 am the doctor comes back and sits down. "The tap was clear and clean.. I was so excited because that's what you want to see, but then the results come back and.. you have meningitis." I burst into tears. He says he had bacterial spinal meningitis and immediately they escort me from the room and quarantine him. I'm standing, exhausted in the ER crying hysterically while they take blood and urine samples from him but all the nurses are in masks and covers. The doctor wont tell me much else except he's concerned for me and the baby and my boys. The nurse comes out and I ask her what I'm dealing with, she removes her mask and says "I don't want to scare you but its bad and its serious. I'm concerned for you and your baby." "What about my husband?" "Well we caught it really early so his chances are better than most but I don't want to give you false hope." She tells me he has to be hospitalized for a week and they are starting antibiotics ASAP. A week? The boys will go nuts without seeing him for that long.. The alternative is worse, a week or forever. I'll take a week. Then they tell me I can't go back in. I can stand briefly at the door with a mask and say bye to him before going home to grab a few things in case the main hospital nurse lets me sit in his room. A friend comes and takes me home while so many thoughts run through my head. What will happen? Will he be ok? Will he make it? Will he be paralyzed or even survive? What will I tell my kids? A hundred scenarios run through my head. None of which are good. I get home and look up what he has trying to give myself a less scary thought. Nope. It doesn't help. 25% of cases, even in early treatment, end in death, not including the ones that cause memory loss, seizures, coma or paralysis. I can't breathe. I cannot loose him! I've been worried about him through other health issues but I have never really faced a thought I might loose him. Prayers go out on Facebook like crazy. At least a hundred people from the Christian, Wiccan, Neo-Pagan, Jewish, and Buddhist communities are all lighting candles, praying, chanting, sending Reiki and energy to him. Then I get a call that at 3:30am I need to wake my children and bring them into the ER to be given preventative high dose antibiotic shots to make sure we don't get it. The same ER doctor shoots me straight and says "His case is mild and I'm probably over attacking it but I would rather put you through a night of hell than a funeral for your husband" I ask him if he thinks he will make it and he says "Probably because we caught it so early. But this is a nasty disease... you never can tell" Awesome. I do feel better but not great. Then he leaves for the shots to be administered. Don't know if you have ever gotten one of these shots but they suck! They burn 3x more that a tetanus/pertussis shot. Worse was trying to give it to our already scared for his daddy 4 year old. They had to hold him down (2 full grown men) and I am trying not to cry at his screams, comfort him and watch the obviously shaken nurse who was physically shaking, stick my baby with this stuff. After we calmed him we trekked up to the 3rd floor where its now 5am and N gets to wear a mask and see daddy is ok. The bad thing about being N's mommy is that he's so intuitive and he kept asking me "Mommy, my daddy is going to be ok, right?" "Yes baby" But he can feel I'm 100% sure when I say that. N leaves J's room and I stand there and just cry some more. He tells me he's fine and to go home and sleep. I still haven't eaten and I've been awake for 22 hours at this point. I reluctantly leave with my kids thinking to myself I will never forgive myself if I take a nap and wake up to find him in a coma or having a seizure and I wasn't there for him. But I have baby J to think of too. So I leave, grab breakfast then finally crawl in bed at 7am. I've been up for 24 hours. I sob for 10 mins feeling the empty spot in the bed. I pray and beg that he's ok. That he makes it. And I fall asleep. I wake up to my phone buzzing and it's J calling. It's 10am. "Hello? Are you ok?" "Yeah, the morning doc came in, we talked and she's actually not sure I even have meningitis." "What??" "Yeah get dressed and come on back up here, I think they're letting me go." WHAT? I hang up and try to unfog my head then he calls back about 15 mins later "Yeah come get me I should be out by noon. They reviewed my tests since my headache is almost gone and I'm not showing anymore symptoms. They took another look at my spinal results and fount the bacteria was a single strand of staph and it turned out to not be from my fluid and it was a lab mistake! I just had a sudden onset of a horrible migraine and need to look out for them coming again in the future. I'm coming home." Besides the sound of your baby's first cry those are the best things I have ever heard in my life. He's ok and he's coming home. I rush around and go pick him up. They apologize for the mistake and I don't even care at this point. I'm glad they over attacked. I would also rather a stressful night vs a funeral and a lifetime without my soul mate. People can say he was never really sick and maybe even be upset at the microbiologist for messing up the results. I look at it as answered prayers. He's my miracle. I have spent the last 24 hours staring at my husband and feeling even more love than I did before. I couldn't imagine my life without him. Not for what he does but just him just being here, the strength he gives me. He is most definitely my other half. I don't know how many other times I've been this grateful in my life. Today I am still tired from the long night, J went back to work and I have been doing my normal daily things. Normal life. But it seems better now.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Natural Cold/Flu Remedy

    Every time I feel a cold coming on, usually signaled by the extra stuffy nose and sore throat with me, I make this tea for myself. It works like a charm! I hoping with the added eucalyptus oil on my feet, a humidifier, alkaline water, and extra probiotics I will kick this especially nasty cold within a day or 2 vs 3-4 days. I also made a brew for my 17 month old who is currently fighting an earache, fever, and the tail end of a croup cough.
Cold Tea Recipe:
2-3 slices of lemon
3-4 cloves of fresh garlic
Honey to taste or at least 1 tbs ( Please do not give honey to infants under 12 months)
4 slices of fresh ginger root

Boil a cup of water

Add the ingredients

Let steep for 5 mins and Enjoy!

Garlic is best known for it antibiotic properties and fending off respiratory infections/viruses
Lemon is high in  vitamin C, B, B2, calcium and iron and protects your body against illness
Honey also has antibiotic and antiseptic properties, soothes sore throats and calms coughing
Ginger is an anti-inflammatory and can kill viruses

I know most people probably won't love the taste but I don't mind it. I find it a bit soothing and better than Thera-Flu (yuck)
Sit back, enjoy it and feel yourself getting better.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Babies Don't Keep

Song for a Fifth Child.

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She's up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I've grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping's not done and there's nothing for stew
And out in the yard there's a hullabaloo
But I'm playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren't his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I've learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep.

Poem Song for a Fifth Child by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton, written in 1958 and first published in the Ladies Home Journal.

I read and re-read this poem. I have an obsession with wanting to be the perfect wife and mother with an amazingly clean home, dinner perfectly cooked, but also having time and energy to do all of the little things with my boys. I'm a fan of kids learning to self soothe to sleep but before naps M and I have this recent routine where I rock him for just a few mins, sing a song and talk, then I lay him in his bed where he promptly gets up and plays quietly until he's ready to sleep. (He likes his own playtime before naps) Sometimes when I'm sitting there starting into his gorgeous blue eyes and my mind wanders to the housework needing to be done I say to myself "I'm rocking my baby and babies don't keep" N likes his one on one cuddle time with me too but it's not the same as when they're babies/toddlers. N is a big boy and rocking with mommy isn't quite as fun and cuddling on the couch watching a movie or playing together, although the message is the same. I'm coloring with my baby and babies don't keep. I love that I found this. I want my boys to look back and say "My mom payed with me, sang silly songs with me, painted the sidewalk blue because it was my favorite color, and made me my favorite food just to see me smile" not how clean our house was or how perfect our crafts came out. This reminds me to let them be them and enjoy them at each stage because I can always go back to the To Do list but I can never get back small moments.