Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Power Chewers

Are you the parent of a "power chewer"?

According to the "Lana Rush Dictionary", a power chewer is a child who gnaws on items, especially their clothes, to the point of utter destruction.  A child who comes home from school with clothes that look like this:

Most chewable items available for power chewers can't withstand this type of aggressive chomping.

I've shared a couple times about Lily's tearing of clothes with her teeth and most of you know this is a behavior she engages in off and on from time to time.  Click here and here in case you missed it.

Thankfully, at this current time, I'm beyond happy to report that Lily isn't chewing her clothes.  

But since the last time went on for so long, I wracked my brains to try and come up with something that might satisfy her need to chew, stand up to her powerful bite, and not break our budget.  And when I heard from a sweet friend that her son, a power chewer himself, told her that nothing else was quite as satisfying as fabric, I knew without a doubt that Lily felt the same way.  She just couldn't tell me.

So, the fabric necklace was born.

Modeled after the popular Phiten necklaces you see so many athletes wearing these days, these fabric necklaces are much less expensive, are safe and washable, and give new life to all those hole-y t-shirts our power chewers have so many of.

I pitched the idea to the same sweet friend I mentioned above and she made a couple for her son to try out.  

The verdict?  He loves them!

Check out our handsome model:

super serious

super smiley

It's been about 6 or so weeks now and the necklaces still satisfy his need to chew on fabric.  He even requested a certain favorite shirt he could no longer wear be turned into a necklace.  And his sister thinks they are super cool and asked that some be made for her as well.

Want to try making some yourself?

It's really very simple.  

Take an old, clean t-shirt that your power chewer has destroyed.  Cut 3 strips of material from the bottom of the shirt.  Braid the strips together.  The tighter the braid, the less chance of the fabric tearing.  Secure in a small, tight knot.  Tuck ends of the knot back into the braid.  Put it around your kiddo's neck and let them chew away whenever the need arises.

If the necklace tears or comes unbraided or generally starts to look gross, just pitch it and make a new one.

How easy is that?

One more thing... if your son is a little leery of wearing "jewelry", just google "athletes wearing phiten necklaces" and show him some images.  I bet he'll change his mind.

If you've got a power chewer, give the fabric necklace a try.  And let me know how it goes.  Good or bad,  I'd love to hear about it.

Update - My sweet friend had an additional tip for making the necklaces that I wanted to pass along:

Just thought I'd share one suggestion that I found helpful while making them: I found that after cutting the strips, it was helpful to pull on each strip to stretch them out. That made the edges of the material sort of fold back on each other which was helpful. Plus, it seemed to make them just the right length to go over his head comfortably.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Do You Flu? ....Vaccine, I Mean.

Before I get on with today's post, let me just say a couple things first:

1.  I'm preparing for, not one, but two speaking sessions next week.  And this from a person who doesn't ordinarily do much public speaking - I tend to leave that to the preacher in the family.  The first one is on nutrition and feeding kids on special diets, which will take place this coming Wednesday.  And the second will be for a Ladies Conference on the second of March and is on Ann Voskamp's One Thousand Gifts.   My head is spinning with Paleo and blessings and gluten-free and grace and trust and no dairy and joy and auto-immunity and...  well, I could go on and on but I think you get the picture. 

2.  With all this stuff dominating my brain, there was no way I could get a blog post done this past Tuesday.  I'm just not that good.  Anytime I do this kind of thing, I gain a whole new respect for my husband, who has a "weekly speaking gig" as just one part of his job.  I would get nothing else done in life if I spoke on a weekly basis like he does.  It would be like, "sorry kids, mom is speaking Sunday morning - she can't possibly feed you or clean the toilets."

3.  Since no one in the family went for the no cooking/no cleaning thing, the blog was put on the back burner. 

4.  But I've got something for today.  I mean, it's short and sweet and mostly asking for help from you, my faithful followers, but hey, it's up here, posted on a Friday just like it's supposed to be, right?  And I really do need some advice from all of you.  So let's get on with it, shall we?

Most of you know that I got the flu this year.

And while I felt like it was touch and go there for a while, I did pull through.

OK.  Maybe that's a slight exaggeration but it was the sickest I have been since... oh.... EVER.

And I really don't want to have the flu ever again.  Or anyone in my family to have it.

But...... I am not a fan of the flu shot.

Well, actually, truth be told, I am not a fan of any vaccines, but that's a story for another time.

Now, I know for a fact that I have the smartest, most intelligent, and well-read followers of the entire interwebs.

So here's where I need some help from you.  

And mostly, I'm asking the following questions in regard to the Bird.  She is the main reason I do not like vaccines.  I also know it's too late for this year but I'm gathering information for next year's flu season.

What does a person do who does not want to get the flu but does not want to take the flu shot?  

Are there are alternatives to the flu vaccine that appear to be just as effective?

I know there are things we can do to boost our immune systems during flu season (and please tell me your ideas!), but I'm wondering about actual all-natural and safe treatments geared specifically toward flu prevention, like the flu shot is purported to be.

So maybe this is not even a real post after all.  Maybe it's a total cheat post.  

But I'd be so grateful for your help, suggestions, advice, links, or words of wisdom.  I really do want to keep my family healthy but in the safest way possible.

I look forward to hearing from you so fire away!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Ideas for a Long Weekend

Sorry, Have a good weekend...
photo courtesy www.aimeesawyer.blogspot.com

Not only is it a holiday weekend, Austin is going to be blessed with a cold front.  Meaning us ladies have to take advantage of what will probably be our last good chance to wear those cute boots and sweaters before we pack them away for the coming heat.

Looking for a few things to do with that extra free day?

Well, you could...

Make a quick and yummy paleo dessert.

Organize your jewelry.

Get in some fun speech practice.

Make a Groovebook with all your iPhone photos - for free!

Start a journal - and here's a cute one to inspire you, for a good cause.

Listen to this song and get happy, happy, happy.

Treat yourself to a little something special from Erin Condren - and save $20.

Mix up some non-toxic craft supplies and get messy with the kids.

Read a good book.

Have a cozy weekend, sweet ones!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

What I Learned While I Was Sick

So I got the flu.

And I thought I was going to die.

I've never had the flu.  Like, in my whole life.

I rarely even get sick.

In fact, I'm so healthy, that sometimes, I secretly wish that a doctor would tell me I need bed rest for a couple days, you know, just for a little cold or something.  Just enough bed rest so I can maybe read a book or two, browse Pinterest, and catch up on some naps. 

Well, I got my bed rest.

And here's a few things I discovered during those sporadic lucid moments I had over the course of about five days in bed:

1.  My husband is awesome.  Lily even got sick (thankfully, not with flu) for a portion of that time and I could do nothing to help.  All by himself, he took her to doctor appointments, kept laundry going, loaded and unloaded the dishwasher, kept Lily hydrated and medicated around the clock, served me ice cream and hot tea, and was just generally an all-around incredible guy.

Dad Doing Chores 287x300 Jezebel Tells Moms that Stay at Home Dads Are...Okay?

2.  My teenager can do more than I think she can.  I need to give her more opportunities to demonstrate just how capable she is.  Of course, she will think this just means more work for her around the house and it probably does, but by golly, she's pretty dog-gone good at it.

3.  Be careful what you wish for.  That bed rest I secretly day dreamed about?  The one with books and naps and Pinterest?  My eyes were so swollen, I could barely see my feet at the end of the bed, let alone read a book or use my computer for any length of time.  I totally lost my voice.  So no chatting on the phone.  You know what I got?  Bed. Rest.  As in, lay in the bed and rest.  And that is all.

4.  Snuggling up with Lily, getting some good hugs and kisses, listening to those same Backyardigans songs in every language known to man over and over again... I miss those things.  That girl is something else and I don't like being separated from her.

5.  No matter how old you are, it's still good to have your Mom when you're sick.  Mine just happened to be in town a few days after the germs invaded our home.  She made soup and cornbread and did laundry and dishes.  She went to the grocery store twice.  She vacuumed my bedroom.  Yes, it's good to have your Mom around.  I mean, I don't want to share my germs with just anyone.

6.  Mothers-in-law aren't too shabby, either.  Mine came over bearing soup.  And a bracelet. Not a bad deal.

7.  A good home remedy for soothing a sore throat?  1 cup hot water, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 1/2 tbsp honey.  Feels really good on the way down the hatch.  Of course, this is not enough to conquer the raging sore throat that most people will have for 2 or 3 days of the actual flu. Those days? Codeine is your throat's best friend. 

8.  Whoever invented kleenex with lotion should be a gazillionaire.  A deserving gazillionaire.

Stay healthy out there, my friends!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Five Favorites - Plus One for the Bird

I don't know about you but I love sharing my favorite things with friends, introducing them to fun stuff I've recently discovered and fallen in love with.

Here are five things I'm loving right now:

1.  The Chief Inspector Armand Gamache series by Louise Penny.  
Good clean mysteries.  I am totally and completely captivated by these books.
Click here to see them for yourself.

2.  My Erin Condren Life Planner.
Seeing this happy little spiral in my purse just makes me smile.  And Ryan is happy because I'm actually using a calendar!
Click here to see all kinds of fun products.

3.  These free printable to-do lists. 
Tsh Oxenreider over at Simple Mom calls them Pocket Dockets.
Click here to print your own.

4.  Ball Plastic Freezer Jars.
Perfect for smoothies.  Just fill and freeze.  Set out to thaw and in the morning, just grab and go.
Want some? Click here.

5.  Vanilla Bean Soy Candles from Target.
This picture shows a jar candle but I buy mine in a big lidded tin.  Inexpensive, smells good, and burns clean.

Vanilla Bean Lidded Soy Jar Candle

Wouldn't it be fun to pack up a few of your favorite things like this....

and bless a friend for no reason at all?  I know I wouldn't say no to a bag of goodies.

Got some favorites of your own?  Some goodies that make you happy?  Well, by all means, tell me about them.  I want to know!

At the moment, one of the Bird's favorite things to do is play outside.  She comes in from school and goes straight to the backyard.  Right now, that kid is all over a good playground.  And with this beautiful Austin weather, I'm sure we'll be able to indulge her new favorite activity a time or two this weekend.

Hope you get a chance to enjoy some of your favorite things, too.

See you Tuesday!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Tuesday Confessional

Today, let's just relax around here and get a few things off our chests, ok?  I'll tell you a few of my secrets and you tell me a few of yours.  Sound good?

1.  I cheated on Paleo.  Sunday night.  I was craving carbs so hard.  I'm going to blame it on the allergies that just won't quit.  And also, I cooked supper for friends who just had a baby and like a fool, I made them pasta.  With bread.  So really, it's all their fault.  

After we dropped off their meal, I looked at Ryan and said, "I want a huge plate of spaghetti and meatballs.  Or a big ol' Chuy's burrito."  

He looked at me like I had grown another head.  This from the man who has cheated not once, but twice the past two weekends!  On donuts!  So judgy, that guy.  At least I wanted something vaguely healthy. 

I did not succumb to the siren call of the spaghetti or the burrito.  I settled for a nice homemade, white flour biscuit and grits.

It was yummy.

And now I am back on the wagon.

2.  A few days ago, I put on skinny jeans and rolled up the cuffs.  Only to realize I should've shaved my legs when I was in the shower.  Instead, I just grabbed my razor and shaved the tiny little part around my ankles that was showing.  I'll shave another day....

3.  The Killers are finally coming in concert to the US.  Even better?  They're coming to Austin.  I almost ran off the road when I heard it on the radio.  Reagan (my middle daughter) and I bought tickets the day they went on sale.  Official mother-daughter night on the calendar.

4.  I recently heard that New Kids on the Block are on tour, along with 98 Degrees and Boyz to Men.  While this is not a concert we'll attend, I did take that to mean that I needed to introduce Reagan to one of the greatest boy bands of all time, NKOTB.  We've been jamming in the kitchen to Step by Step and The Right Stuff, in which I busted out with the dance moves during the chorus and totally impressed my daughter.  Well, maybe not impressed her, but she did look rather surprised that I still knew it from "back in the day".  OK, maybe she asked me to never do that again but really... deep down, she was proud.  I really think so.

5.  I have an extra bedroom in my house that we use like an attic.  For storage, I mean.  It really needs to be re-organized.  Which I wanted to do before I put the boxes of Christmas decorations back in the room.  Which means, the boxes of Christmas decorations are sitting in two, nice, tall towers right outside the door of said storage room.  

6.  When Ryley flew back to school after the Christmas break, she had to be at the airport at 5 AM.    Like the incredibly nice mom I am, I excused her from making her bed that morning, saying I would do it later.  That bed is still unmade.  I mean, I did say I would do it later, right?  I wasn't thinking it would be February but....    

7.  Do you now think we live in a pig sty?  Because we totally don't.  We just live in a little world called reality, people.  No pretending, no faking, and no misleading.  Come join us.  It's pretty awesome here.    

And you can start by sharing a few little secrets of your own, ok?  Don't let me be the only one baring my soul here.....

Friday, February 1, 2013

That's My Bird!

When I saw this come across Pinterest a few days ago, I couldn't help but think of Lily Bird:

I think most special needs parents can relate to this.  Our kiddos tend to look at the world just a little bit differently.

In fact, here's more proof of that thought.

While most children would look at this as a simple climbing structure, not so with the Bird.

I mean, anyone can just climb.

But it takes a true "outside the box" thinker to know that there is more than one way to play.

Truth be told, sometimes it can be frustrating to me that typical toys don't appeal to Lily.  But if I've learned anything from the Bird,  it's that there is more to a toy than its one intended purpose.  And many things I would not consider "toys" can actually be used for all kinds of fun.

The blog, Snagglebox, just posted a great article on the topic of play and it's worth a read.  It's a wonderful reminder that while Lily might need a little more guidance than neurotypical children, oftentimes, it's my definition of play that needs to be broadened.  And the post has lots of good tips to help me do just that.

Now get out there and play with your kiddos!

Have a great weekend.

Dog Update - For those of you wondering how the dog experiment is going... Lily is still not paying a lick of attention to Prada.  And on Tuesday, I'm being tested to find out if I'm allergic to dogs. It's always an (outside the box) adventure with the Rushes!

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