Thursday, March 26, 2009

School in the great (springtime) outdoors...

We've been reading about Abraham Lincoln lately. The kids like these little chapter books I have found in our library and I try and read two chapters each day. I say, "try" because they often say, "Read one more, PLEEASE?!"

Yesterday we did our reading under the apple tree in our front yard with petals floating down around us. AAAHHH.....spring!

And, on that note: today it is pouring. Ah, spring.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Guess who's four?!!

It's Ivy Mae!
Four fingers!

Hannah left for a trip with her Aunt Laurie and
Grandma Eimers so she missed the party but not the birthday hugs!

The party was at Grandma and Grandpa Falk's house.
Annie and Max wanted to sit by the birthday girl.

And the birthday girl wanted to sit at the counter. You can see the party table behind them. Notice all the pink? It was definitely the theme! Ivy LOVES pink!

My baby. :-)

Saturday, March 21, 2009

What plastic playground equipment does to long hair...

And on Monday (only two days away!) my baby is going to turn four!

This is our
birthday month. It is also the month where, for six days, we will have two 9-year-olds, two 7-year-olds, and two 4-year-olds! That is, until Vitali turns 5 on the 29th. :-)

Thursday, March 12, 2009

wishful thinking...

Today is cold after some beautiful springtime weather!
I decided to forget about today and dwell on yesterday.

Ahhh...that's better!

And, for my sister who doesn't read my other blog:

Meet Indiana Jones.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Ear ache remedy

(Ivy Mae modeling her cotton ball in her ear while she eats a snack in the backyard)

Sickness and subsequent earaches have made their rounds at our house this past week. Some glad-winter's-over-better-squeeze-in-one-more kind of cold. Brief sore throats that turned to phlegmmy coughs--the usual. Except that this cold seems to guarantee an earache at the end of it.

And, just a note here: Why, oh why, do those always seem to show up in the middle of the night?

Anyway, my friend Ginger and I share an anti-antibiotics viewpoint. I asked her once what she would recommend as a natural you-can-find-this-in-your-kitchen cure for earaches. At the time it worked so well that now it has become a standard in our house.

Crush fresh (yes, it matters) garlic in olive oil (not sure if the kind of oil matters or not) enough so the juices mix with the oil. I use about one garlic clove to two tablespoons of oil. Ideally, this should steep a little while but I have used it right away too. Really, plain oil is very soothing to an earache anyway. The garlic adds anti-bacterial benefits.

It is best to warm the oil some but not to make it hot. Be very cautious about this because you don't want to cook either the oil or the garlic but you especially want to be careful to test the temperature first to make sure you don't burn your child!

Put a few drips of the oil (leave the garlic, it doesn't go in the ear) into the ear and top it off with a cotton ball to prevent drafts and leaks. Next, get ready to feel a little hungry from the warm garlic and oil smell!

I have found that a rice bag (in our case, a tube sock filled half-way with rice and then knotted at the top) heated in the microwave for 30 seconds or less gives much comfort as well.

Now, how fast this works varies but I have found that it works in about half a day or less usually. In Ivy's case, she went to sleep, woke up at 11:30pm crying with an earache and she and I were up until about 3 or 4 in the morning watching videos. Well, she watched, I dozed. :-)
The next morning she was fine and stayed that way. Two days later, the other ear did the same and I repeated the process. Same story except I got to bed again earlier.

Ibuprofen works best in my opinion for the pain but it is really not good for their little livers. I gave her one dose each time.

One thing I like about this trick (the oil and garlic) is that it actually seems to cure the earache so that there is not a three day wait of giving Motrin and Tylenol all the time. In fact, for daytime earaches it is rarely necessary that I give them the drugs at all.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Annette, still my little six-year-old.

What a cutie...if I do say so myself. (Which I do!)
And she'll be turning seven in only ten days.
Oh! Where does the time go?