Monday, October 10, 2011

a lesson in humidifiers

So I don't know how many other people really care about humidifiers except other moms and since that is about ½ of my blog I thought I would share J
I learned a couple of things and I found them useful, it’s new info for me but perhaps you already knew some of this.

Our humidifier hasn’t been making the baby’s room very humid. I decided to go online and do some research because our humidifier blows cool air and I grew up with warm mist. Do they still make warm air? Why don’t I really hear about them anymore? Which is better?
Here awesome answers in a nutshell:
Warm mist fell out of use for the most part when the cool mist was developed because it has to boil the water and has a potential to scald kids. In order to keep up with the safer cool mist though, the warm mist guys amped up their safety features so while there is still a risk it is not what it used to be. There’s automatic shut off and the boiling water and heating elements are more contained so that if it does get tipped over the hot water will not be as likely to reach your child and the cooler water will at least temper it down.
Cool mist has no risk of burns.
Both will have the same air temp by the time they get where they need to be in your lungs.

The hot water does get disinfected when it boils but because it creates a warmer environment bacteria can grow so keep an eye on that. The cool mist has antimicrobial properties but will not kill any germs that happen to be in it.
** Here was the big one for me**
The cool mist will require ongoing maintenance which I didn’t know about. Because it doesn’t evaporate the water it uses a wick. The wicks have to be replaced on average about once a year. So since our humidifier doesn’t work it is likely that the wick needs to be replaced. Since I got ours on clearance and I don’t even know where the wick is, I highly doubt that if I could find the right replacement I would know what to even do with it.  Upon further research, I discovered that our filter is also thw wick so that's easy. But!!!! Yuck! I had to replace the filter so often because it kept growing funky stuff an dI haven't been able to find the right filter for it in a while. My instruction manual didn’t say anything about any of this. Not all filters are the wick that the humidifier needs, it depends on the brand. The cool mist has a higher long term cost even though the initial investment is often lower.
The warm mist doesn’t have a wick so it’s pretty much good to go as long as you keep the mineral build up down. Warm air has a longer life span than the cool air if you have hard water. Again, not in the manual! Warm air has a medicine cup and you can add things like Vicks solutions that clear your chest. I’ve never used those types of additives but I think I might like to.
In the end I ordered a new WARM air humidifier because I don’t want to mess with our cool air one and I need it NOW, not in 3-6 weeks from some website that MIGHT carry the part I need.
I’m not going to throw out our cool mist unit though, I will look for a new wick and then I will eventually have a backup.
So there you have it, an FYI on humidifiers J

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Birthdays at Pizza Hut?

Ok so this is specific to OUR pizza hut on the blvd here in Nampa but other pizza Huts may consider doing this I guess if you asked.When Aaron and my Dad came home one day after picking up dinner talking about how Pizza Hut does birthday parties and they only charge for the food and will put on the whole party for pretty much nothing. I thought it was WAY too good to be true and didn't think much of it. We got to talking about it a few weeks later and I decided to give them a call and the manager atthe Pizza Hut even remember the conversation. Sure enough he said he would supply the decorations, and a clown and put on a party for no extra charge. I booked the party right away. I have never considered anything except at home parties for the kids so this is a step outside my comfort zone.
I preordered our pizzas the week before so they could be sure to have enough (thanks seriously for all those timely RSVPs). I talked to the manager the day before the party and we were essentially assigned a waitress. She did the shopping for the party, gave me her cell number, asked for specifics, she thought of everything!
When we got there it was all set up minus a few last minute touches. They seriously HAD thought of EVERYthing!!!! The theme was cookie monster and everything was blue and white. They had a kid's table set up with sesame themed plates and napkins, there were balloons, games were set up, they had cookies sitting out and had even gone and bought milk to go with the cookies. They even had coloring pages and had ripped out all of the Cookie Monster sheets out of several coloring books.

All I brought and had to worry about was the cupcakes, people, and money. True enough; it was all free except for the cost of food and with the any size any topping for $10 deal they have going, it was truely a good deal.
They were more than prepared for us and very flexable and accomodating. 

We asked if Davin could blow out candles on his favorite pizza (chicken pizza) and they came up with a way to do it inspite of the pizza being hot. I forgot our candles and they had thought to even get back ups. Seriously, I have never had sucha  stress free party. The clown entertained the kids (who weren't scared of him)

I have nothing but good things to say about our experiance and I would totally recommend if you ever get the chance to do something like this to go ahead and try it.

4 dozen cupcakes

I had the brilliant idea to do these cute cookie moster cupcakes for Davin's birthday. I stole the idea from another blog called Everyday Celebrating. I wanted to share these because they turned out really cute and I think you could probably do a whole lot of other characters if you thought it through.

 The directions are on the link I included and I will give that gal all the credit. My review of this idea is that it is very EASY! It goes pretty fast and turns out super cute. I did a couple of thing differently though; I used black frosting for the eyes and I used a little squeezy thing instead of a pastry bag. I like the squeezy thing because when I use a pastry bag I usually wear more frosting than the cake cuz that's how I roll. I used a big star tip instead of the small star tip and I honestly like mine better because I think he looks furrier.

Also, for the best cookie monster cupcakes it's best to put the eyes right next to each other and make the pupils look cross eyed a little bit. No one specifically said that anywhere else, and I found that my crosseyed ones look way better that the others I made before I figured that out.
So I made about 42 cupcakes in our house that equals out to about 3 dozen decorated party ready cupcakes.

Friday, October 7, 2011

hair cut

Armed with some borrowed clippers, a 20 minute YouTube video, and my shaky confidence I decided my son needed a haircut.

I set out to keep the top long and trim up the sides and make the cutest little boy cut ever!

I even let Davin watch the YouTube video with me so he wouldn't be scared because he HATES getting his hair cut and I thought if I did it then maybe he wouldn't freak out. I will say this; he was a good sport for most of it.

I was supposed to start with the top and work my way down but I decided since I was leaving the top longer that I should start at the bottom. The first swipe of the clippers told me that was a horrible idea. Here I was with my son's beautiful blond hair and a GIANT short chunk missing. I watched all my glorious ideal picture perfect hair cutting plans fall to the floor. So what did I do? I did what anyone would do, I kept going. I decided before I started that my fall back was a Caesar cut and here we were one stroke in giving Davin a Caesar cut. I'm not totally hair illiterate, I used to cut Drew's hair once in a while and I never heard him complain J  

Davin started freaking out because I wasn’t using scissors about ¾ of the way through and it was a combination of hugs, promises of getting a bath that got us through the rest of our ordeal.

I learned a couple of valuable insights to pass on for the rest of you.

1- when you're given a list of things you need, it's a good idea to actually have those things on hand
2- "winging it" and "haircut" should not be used in the same context
3- always cut hair BEFORE bedtime- not 2 hours past bedtime

I will try again and I will be prepared next time. Davin's hair dared to challenge me and now I need to defeat it. 
On the plus side, I think I could probably pull off a fairly decent hair cut for Aaron if he ever got desperate.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

If I hear that one more time...

Ok people, thank you so much for the support in this last week and a half. I need to just say thank you so much for your tolerance and your love while I lost my head and tried to figure out life with a chunk of myself missing. I know I haven't been myself and I wish I could tell you that I'm back to normal. But I'm not. I was listening to one of my favorite songs yesterday and I just wasn't feeling it. In fact I didn't even relate to it anymore and it seriously was one of my favorite songs. No, it wasn't Dolly; I'm not THAT far gone. Anyway it got me to thinking about how I was different. Like it or not I am different. I think half of grieving is trying to accept the fact that you will never be the same and the sooner you figure out that you're different the better off you will be and the sooner you can figure other stuff out. It's like when someone you love dies you get shattered into a million pieces. Grieving is how you pick up the pieces and when you realize that you don't have all the pieces you realize that you are different and you have to figure out how to put all the pieces together and you don't know how you will turn out but you won't be the same.

Anyway, all that said I need to say something else. I know that people are trying to help when they say things like "Drew can be normal now" and "he's running with Jesus" and "he can finally talk and walk". Thank you for your kind intentions but I need to tell you the truth. You are not helping and in fact, your words hurt. It is only a small comfort knowing that he's in heaven. As time goes on I'm sure it will be a bigger comfort but you need to understand that a huge piece of me is dead. Drew was always there and I thought he would always be there. He helped to shape me into the person I am today and now he's gone. With the help of my wonderful husband I am just beginning to wrap my mind around the fact that life is going to go on but it is so hard to hear the phrases I mentioned.
Here's why:
Because the one thing in the world that Drew wanted was acceptance and just to love and be loved. He was happy! He was not tortured, he was not unhappy, he didn't mind who he was. I asked him, we talked. And before you dismiss me let me share something with you. Drew and I had an understanding, we communicated in a way. He was happy just the way he was and I saw his will to live a few times when he shouldn't have pulled through. Now, obviously Drew was ready to move on. He prepared me in ways that I didn't realize until after he was gone and he slipped away peacefully. People never did give that boy enough credit....
Anyway when people say things like "now he can be normal" it tells me that you still just don't get it. You still view him as the poor kid who was trapped inside a body that didn't work. Like I said, I appreciate the intention behind your remarks but to me it says that even in death Drew isn't getting acceptance for who he was. The beautiful thing in all of this that I am reminded of is that Drew didn't even care. He loved whoever he was with and lived in the moment. Sure, people hurt his feelings and I saw it in his eyes when he understood that he was being excluded but in the next breath he was just happy to be with you in that moment. He forgave so easily and whether you saw him yesterday or a year ago he was so happy just to see you and be with you. Does that sound like someone who was tortured and trapped in their body? Or... does it sound like someone who loved life and made the very best out of what he had?
Do you believe he really was in there? It's not really my problem if you don't because I know that he was and I know it's the truth. Did you know in the last year he showed marked improvement in his communication? He was able to continue going to developmental therapy because medicaid could prove that he had shown charted improvement. I'm so proud of that for him. So please realize before you speak (even with good will) that your remarks are not always comforting and in fact can be frustrating because I see that he still is not accepted for who he was the way he way. Yes, I know and believe that in heaven he is fully functional but I don't think it matters whether he has a heavenly body or an earthly body; he has and always will be a WHOLE, pure, beautiful, happy soul.

I heard from a counselor to take to heart people's intentions rather than their words and for your good intentions no matter who you are or what you have said I am truly grateful.