Thursday, March 20, 2014

Still Here...

Sorry to have disappeared for so long!  We have been hit here with virus after virus.  One of the worst, which many in our area seem to be fighting, is a bad respiratory bug which comes with any nasty combination of fever, aches, chills, headache, congestion, and rattly cough.  The misery lasts the better part of a week, then wanes, leaving the nasty cough, but then hits again the 3rd week, sometimes nastier than Round 1!  Some we know have had 3 rounds.  I have avoided it, but all of the kids, including Prince Grandbaby, haven't been so lucky.

For our kids, Round 2 brought renewed fever, sore throats, and more congestion, which led to intense ear aches and/or sinus infections.  It is odd for older kids to get ear infections, but our pediatricians' office has been inundated with similar cases.  Prince CuddleBunny has had such full ears, he can barely hear, but didn't suffer too much pain.  Princesses Eager and Sassy weren't as fortunate when it came to the pain, but haven't been as deaf.  The nurse practitioner said the prince may not notice improvement in his hearing for 2 to 3 weeks after starting antibiotics.  It's been 10 days now, and one ear temporarily cleared this morning --he was so excited!  A little light at the end of the tunnel.

Add to all of that, spring sports started this week, and simultaneously, a new bug showed itself.  So far, thankfully, the stomach flu has only attacked Prince Go-for-It.  It was especially sad for him...  For years, he's looked forward to playing on the high school baseball team. He's worked so hard, daily, for months, to make sure he was in top shape and had his skills honed.  Then BAM.  Day of all days for it to happen, he ended up in the nurse's office at school with fever, nausea, stomach and other other body aches on the first day of team tryouts.  When I picked him up, we drove through the mob of excited and eager baseball players headed to an unexpectedly sunny field... but the prince could only go home to crawl into bed.  He persevered through the next 2 days of tryouts, though, and made the team roster.  Whew!  Far from 100%, though, he's back in bed now, resting up between school and a later practice.

I hope you're all staying warm and healthy!  This has been a new meaning of "March roaring in like a lion" for us.  I'm ready for the lambish part!


I wrote the part of this post you've read above on March 6th! That gives you an idea of how my month is going.  I was going to post it then, but I thought, "Why is this helpful to anyone?" and decided to add a picture of something that really helped the kids get through some of their misery.  Now, on March 20th, I finally have a photo of that item and am determined to finish this post!

This, believe it or not, is IT.

A beauty, eh?  Well, to kids with sore muscles and earaches, it was.  We have, somewhere, a long, cylindrically-shaped, bean-bag-type pad, for lack of a better description, that can be heated in the microwave to use to soothe muscle cramps, etc.  It is often used by the girls for monthly discomfort.  Well, as many things go around here, it is often missing when most needed.  Prince Go-for-It was miserable with body aches, and was asking for that AWOL pad.  This time I eschewed the possibly fruitless search and decided to make one.  If we find the other, I'm sure we'll appreciate having 2.

I went to the sewing area and searched for some tightly woven, sturdy, but flexible and comfortable fabric.  I spied the lower leg of a former pair of jeans that had been cut off below a hole in the knee.  Perfect fabric for this use, and already sewn into an open-ended tube. 

1) I turned it inside-out and sewed across one open end... a couple of times, for strength.  

2) I turned it right-side-out again, and went to the pantry, where I filled it with barley and, because I didn't want to use all the barley, some spelt grain, until it was shaped like a pillow.  

3) I made sure to stop filling with enough fabric free to enable me to sew the top firmly closed... Which is what I did next.  (If I'd had some dried lavender, it would've made a great addition to the filling for a pleasant and soothing odor, too.)  

So in less than 5 minutes, followed by a minute or two in the microwave, we had a new heating pad, soothing Prince Go-for-it's aching lower back and neck.  Later in the week, it was appreciated by Princess Sassy for help with her aching ears.  

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