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Lifehacks and Survival Mode Prep

Lucy’s faucet nose finally turned off. Hooray! She’s so much happier. And thus, so are we. Then I got sick last Thursday with a pretty hellish head cold. A few life/health hacks later though, and I think we are both going to make it, totally sans any over the counter meds and definitely no antibiotics.

First Miracle Worker: Homemade Vicks

This stuff, it’s really miraculous. Even Tom, skeptical and wary, tried it a few months ago when we were all congested. He was forever converted. You rub it all over your feet, put socks on, and wait just a few minutes before you feel your nose and sinuses un-blocking. It took me about 5 minutes to make, it smells heavenly, has no chemicals or menthol (so safe for babies!), and it WORKS. I used this recipe, but also added lavender essential oil which is mostly what makes it smell so amazing. So go order some beeswax on Amazon, because you’ll want this the next time you can’t sleep due to severe congestion.

Second Helpful Recovery Aid: Elderberry Syrup Gummies

The doctor told me Lucy could take elderberry syrup, and not to bother with the children’s version (elderberry helps cold/flu recovery as it boosts the immune system). She took the syrup willingly a few times, but I think the thick texture eventually turned her off. So, knowing her love for the vitamin D gummy bears, I thought I could make the elderberry into a gummy too. And guess what? Instant success. 100% rate of smiling and scrunching nose in excitement upon the proffering of said gummies. Here’s the recipe I used, except I just used the store-bought bottle of Sambucus, not a homemade elderberry syrup. I also have no cute little molds, so I just let it set in a tupperware container, and then cut into little squares when it had solidified. They’re delicious, and not just the toddler thinks so. (Also, for anyone that cares, it’s best to use gelatin from a good source, because normal gelatins from the grocery can have all sorts of nasty ground up animal parts and chemicals. I use this kind.)

And of course…chicken soup.

Bone broth is super healing due to the minerals and gelatin from the chicken bones. It also makes your nose run like crazy, so it helps with the congestion issue. A huge pot of soup or broth is one of the best home remedies. I also put some sliced shitaake mushrooms for extra minerals, some green onions, and a TON of raw garlic in my broth to make it even more effective.

So that’s that. Extra vitamins C and D, and cod liver oil if you can stand it can help too. Oh and sleep, they say. But I wouldn’t know about that…

Anyway, as the due date approacheth, and I stare down the -6 weeks left, I’m starting to gather up an arsenal of tricks to ensure that we all stay alive each day between the hours that Daddy leaves and returns. I’ve long been wondering how I’ll fit in a shower. I could barely manage it with Lucy as a newborn (and 4 month old, and 7 month old, and…), so I just figured I would do it throw-back style, and bathe once a week like our forefathers did. But then Jenny posted this guide to showering with multiple babies/toddlers, and I think I can do it.

I’ve also planned out about 4 weeks worth of meals for when we move out and I am required to plan and execute a dinner every night. For me, it’s just thinking ahead about what to make that is the hardest, but once I do, I just make a quick grocery list, and we only have to grocery shop once a week. On Saturday, when there’s a husband around, of course. So that makes me feel like I have at least one thing under (theoretical) control. No one can say how the plans will pan out, since there’s this highly intriguing phenomenon called “The Witching Hour” which involves crying and whining and clinging of small persons and babies, and often derails the best-laid dinner plans. But the plans are there, so we’re more than halfway done. I’m also hoping to make a lot of ready made things (breakfast muffins/omelette muffins, etc.) to have at the ready with no prep. I’ve pinned some cool ideas here. 

Lucy’s constant need for stimulation and entertainment is my biggest concern when I’m going to have a consta-nurser around. I’ve been pinning a million pins on activities for toddlers to do, especially ones that require little supervision. She’s very into fine motor activities these days, and I’m a huge fan of all the “natural materials” (ahem, junk from around the house) that she can use to fulfill that need. Por ejemplo, the yogurt container with a slit cut into the top, and some oversized checkers pieces:

Keeps her busy for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Miraculous.

Keeps her busy for about 10-15 minutes at a time. Miraculous.

IMG_0836

Also, putting straws into the top of an empty water bottle is a huge hit, stuffing her fridge magnets into any and every small cranny (so far, they’ve been found in the watering can, the crack of the oven door, the paper waste basket, various cabinets, and the metal slot that holds the trash can inside its drawer).

Here’s my Pinterest Board with oodles of other ideas we will try to set up for her so that she doesn’t go stir crazy with the sleepy newborn! I think between Pinterest, advice from veterans, and Divine Providence, we will survive!

Happy Thursday, and have a great Memorial Day Weekend!!

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5 thoughts on “Lifehacks and Survival Mode Prep

    • Thanks for posting it! It was so genius. Hopefully this fall I can get around to actually making my own syrup too!

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