Posted in Family Life, Personal

One by One

It started on the 7th.  My husband came home from work saying he feared he was coming down with something.  This scared us.  Earlier in the year, beginning of June, to be exact, he came down with a severe case of bronchitis and his coughing didn’t let up for a good 6 weeks, with continued bouts for 6 more.  With the way his company has been cutting back on sick days, this was not good.   We tried to be hopeful – maybe it’s not sickness but just allergies.

Friday the 8th he emailed me from work, stating that he was in fact, sick again.

After he came home that night, he spent the entire weekend feverish and coughing but managed to make it in to work on Monday.

Sunday night my son told me he didn’t feel well and he spent Monday-Wednesday in bed with a fever.

Monday night, I practically coughed up a lung and spent Tuesday-Thursday in bed with a fever.

My poor husband, sick himself, doing his best to take care of the rest of us – and really that’s a first.  He was just trying to hold out until his vacation started on Thursday.   I can’t think of a time when he was the well one and the rest of us were not. He’s asthmatic, so he always bears the brunt of sicknesses. 

Thursday, my daughter went down.  She put up a good fight, bless her warrior heart, but this cough and fever had her near tears.  She doesn’t do sickness well – I like to think because it’s so foreign to her.   We did our best to keep it from her, to stay away from her, no hugs or kisses, etc.  I guess short of a haz-mat suit, there was nothing we could do.

This thing hits hard and it hits fast.  You practically don’t even have time to wonder what’s going on before you’re curled up in bed, in a shiver then a sweat.  You don’t want to eat.  (I ended up not eating for over 2 days, pretty much the same with my kids.)  At one point, I could feel myself starting to freak out because I let my imagination run away with me.  I could hear this sound in my lungs, and in my fever, I imagined it sounded like an army of tiny clicky spiders spinning crinkly webs.  Shut UP, Brain!

Pain relief pills help a lot.  Menthol cough drops help a lot.  Vaporub is a beautiful thing, don’t knock that gem! 

Hot showers, lots of water, and even more sleep help a lot. 

Heating pads help a lot – those ribs get sore.

I think we’re on the upswing now though.  If what I’ve read is any indication, this thing has an average shelf life of 10-14 days.  If that holds true, we should be all clear between this coming weekend, and the weekend after. 

It’s no fun being sick on Christmas vacation.  But I guess in some ways, best to be sick then when you don’t have work or school obligations.

If you’re the praying type, prayers would be greatly appreciated. 

And I’ll be praying like crazy that YOU don’t get this thing.

Acute bronchitis | National Institutes of Health

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Posted in Birthday, Family Life

Rainbow Cake

She asked for a rainbow cake when she turned six.  Those “tie-dye” rainbow cakes were pretty popular back then so that’s what I made her.  She seemed happy enough.

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But this year when I asked her what kind of cake she wanted, she said, “A rainbow cake, but not the messy kind like you did last time.  Can you do each color in its own layer?”

Messy kind?  I see!  lol 

The princess requested, the mom complied.  🙂

She was happy, I was relieved! 

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Posted in Family Life, Holiday, Kids, Parenting

Merry Christmas!

What?  You don’t celebrate Christmas in August?

Normally, we don’t either, although one year we did celebrate it in January. 

This year, it seems, we’ve shaken things up a bit.  Okay, a lot.  Touché!

You see, we wanted to do something special for the kids again this year.  We had two ideas, Plan A, or Plan B, but my husband and I weren’t sure which one the kids would prefer.  After kicking it around between the two of us, we figured we should probably bring the kids into the discussion too, since it most affected them.

They were all excited, and after a bit of discussion, made their choice.  And I mean, they really didn’t hesitate in the least.  Once presented with the options, they knew exactly what they wanted.

I apologized to them for spoiling Christmas, but at least they had something to look forward to. 

So I thought.

They couldn’t wait for December.  They approached us and asked if it were possible to get it now, instead of waiting. 

Honestly, I couldn’t think of a good reason.  Neither could their dad.

So, we made the decision and went shopping.  All the Christmas fund has been spent.

On the bright side, no wrapping presents!

On the down side, no presents to unwrap.

On the bright side, I had a Christmas fund to spend!

As usual, our first purchase was a disaster, and I spent I don’t know how many hours online trying to search for solutions.  This doesn’t work that doesn’t work and how the heck are we supposed to get it to be how we want it?  Much swearing ensued.

So that necessitated another round to the store to return purchase A, and spend time hemming and hawing over what purchase B should be … So far so good on purchase B.

I feel like I need to set my mailbox in front of Best Buy.  I have been there so many times in the last few days, sheesh! 

I am something like nearly a week behind in my email and WordPress, my house is an even bigger disaster than it was before (Please tell me I’m not the only one who hates vacuuming!), but my kids had Christmas in August and it’s pretty doggone amazing when I stop to think that things were so bad a few years ago that I tried to make them Christmas presents out of socks so it wouldn’t be empty under the tree. 

My kids are over the moon happy, which of course makes dad and I over the moon happy.  We’ll still put up the Christmas tree in December and decorate and eat all the bad food that we’re not supposed to eat.  We’ll still listen to Christmas music until our ears explode, and we’ll absolutely remember the whole Reason for the season in the first place. 

We just won’t open presents.  And not because we can’t like other years, but because we were blessed to be able to choose to do it a little differently this year.

Besides, Christmas should be like an every-day kind of thing, right?  When Christmas lives in your heart, it doesn’t matter what month it is. 

Merry Christmas!

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Posted in Family Life

Birthday Eve

She’s a gamer girl, and quite taken with the game her brother actually picked out for his birthday last year, Destiny.  She’s even made up a lot of fan fiction around one of the characters in the game. 

Sometimes, she likes to do her own version of “cosplay”:

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She even got silly one night while waiting for a turn at the game:

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So it seemed only fitting to try to incorporate that into her birthday somehow. 

This is the logo of the add-on my little Hunter Guardian loves most:

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This is what I’m doing to her cake. 

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I didn’t want to make it deep red because then it wouldn’t have shown up as well against the chocolate frosting, but I’ll add some red sprinkles over it tomorrow before we cut it. 

She still seems pleased though, so, whew!

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Posted in Family Life, Parenting

A Whirlwind of Deceit

I’ve been on “the Internets” for a long time now.  I’ve interacted with a lot of people and seen a lot of things.  So it was with a bit of trepidation when my husband and I decided to allow our son to play an online game on the system we got the kids for Christmas. 

Yes, we’ve talked to both the kids about online safety, we’ve laid down the rules, and they’ve honored them without hesitation.  They know, and trust, that we’re looking out for their safety.  Plus, the console sits right in the middle of the living room in full view of everyone.

The Xbox, however, has this really cool app that you can add to your Android and you can do all kinds of things from the app (even use it as a console remote when the console’s on!) when you’re not on the console … like use the messaging service. 

My son’s met a number of people while playing his favorite game.  Some of them have been kids, clearly, and he’s used the “chat hat” to talk to a couple. 

Lately though, (like the last few weeks) this one character has popped up that I’m about 90% certain is not anything like who they’re claiming to be, and am pretty certain is a predator of some sort.  There’ve been a lot of red flags.

First, they don’t have a mic to talk, but want my son to use his so they can hear him.  They text, he chats in response.  Not fair in my book and I’m about to call a halt to that tactic.  He doesn’t even know if this person is male or female, adult, kid, or Martian.  Flag.

Second, they supposedly share the screen name with a sibling, so “sometimes it’s my brother, sometimes it’s me.”  Seriously?  Microsoft allows you to have multiple people in your online family, so why would you have to share a screen name?  Flag.

Next, it was, “What’s your real name?”  Some people elect to allow their real names to be seen online.  My kids are not allowed to do that.  She (They claim to be a 17 y/o girl) made up a name for my son, then kept asking him for his real name, so he made one up.  Flag.

After that it was, “Do you have a girlfriend?”  Flag. 

Then it was, “I know we haven’t known each other very long but I think I love you.”  FLAG. 

Last night, it became, “I think I’m bi.”  FLAG FLAG! 

My son asked why they thought that and this person responded, “Because I was watching something bad and then I started touching myself.”  Oh hell to the FLAGFLAGFLAG! 

I am aboutthisclose to telling him he has to unfriend this person – at which point I know they’ll come back under a different screen name and try to start the process all over again, and my son will resent me.  My son wants me to trust him, and know that he’ll not do anything stupid, like get emotionally attached in any way or reveal anything personal.  My son’s a good kid and he’s pretty mature for his age.  I do trust him on a lot of levels.  But this is a new arena for him, one I’m familiar with, and he needs to trust me, too.  I’ve given him all kinds of suggestions on how he can respond to this person’s messages, things like, “You should talk to your parents or a pastor or school counselor,” “I’m not looking for an online romance kind of thing, I just want a gamer friend,” and “I’m not comfortable talking about these things, let talk about something else.” 

The online community can be a wonderful thing – I should know, I met my husband there!  But it is also full of a lot of dark elements – I’ve met them, too – that I don’t want to touch my kids in any way, shape, or form.  I want my kids to learn to interact with people, and also to know how to be wary, and savvy.  Those things only come from experience.  So I have to guide them, help them navigate this world.  People get suckered all the time – even grown-ups!  We simply HAVE to be careful and distrustful, as much as we’d like to give the benefit of the doubt. 

In the meantime, my son knows I’m shining a flashlight on this character and keeping my eye on how things develop.  He knows what to look for, and he knows he can come talk to me and his dad about anything that happens. 

Whoever said “the Internets” would make life easier didn’t have teens, lol!

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Posted in Daily Life, Family Life

Need a Tissue?

My husband came home Thursday with a cold, just in time for his 4-day weekend.  He was not a happy camper, let me tell you, and who could blame him?  The kids’ last day of school was Friday, and he was hoping to be able to hang out with them. 

Then Sunday night, my son and daughter both started to feel the onset symptoms, too.  If I’m going to get it, we figure it’ll hit me tonight, based on past experience.  This thing seems to have like a 3-4 day incubation period. 

Whatever it is, (and thankfully it doesn’t seem to be a flu) it involves a lot of sneezing and runny noses; lots of congestion.  So far, collectively, my family has gone through about a half dozen boxes of tissue in as many days. 

That’s a lot of tissue.  And no one, and I mean no one anywhere, likes to get up to throw a tissue away when they’re feeling sick.  No one likes to move the garbage can around the house, either, and no one who’s healthy wants to be the one to take the used tissues to the garbage so the sick person doesn’t have to get up.

1209151559bA couple years ago, I saw this idea – pretty sure I saw it on Pinterest but I couldn’t swear to that.  It has been one of the best ideas.  I took an empty standard or family sized tissue box, and covered it.  You can use whatever floats your boat.  I used Con-tact paper because it’s easy to wipe but you could use fabric to color co-ordinate with your room, too.  Then you put in a full box of the boutique sized box, and an empty one.  The empty box becomes your tissue tosser.  When it’s full, all you have to do is throw away the box of yucky tissues and exchange it for a new empty box.  I keep a stash of empty tissue boxes on hand now for just this reason. 

I’ve made one for every member of our family, and I’ve learned to keep tissues as close to “nearby” as possible. 

While having a cold is never fun, this, at least, has made tissue disposal a lot more convenient.

Do you have any tips or tricks for when someone in the family is sick?

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