Little Ills Need a Little Nurse

About every 3 months or so, I can usually guarantee that my son will get some sort of upper respiratory yuckiness.  It usually begins with a runny nose, then progresses to an ear infection, then follow that up with a cough that seems to last forever.

He has terrible nasal allergies, but we have been fortunate to find a Rx nasal spray that has relieved most of those symptoms.  But a week or so ago, the nasal drip started and it wouldn’t go away.  A trip to the doctor was our next step once the cough started.  We found out he had an ear infection. So, they sent us home with an antibiotic to battle the ear infection.  But since he is only 2, he cannot have any cough medicine…sigh.

That night was absolutely terrible!  He didn’t sleep hardly at all, because of the coughing fits.  We, as parents, feel so helpless when our little ones aren’t feeling well.

I did some research the next day about how to help a little ones cough.  I kept coming across this little tip about putting menthol rub on the bottom of your feet.  There is absolutely no shred of research to back up that this works, but if you’re a parent, you will try anything to help your children feel better.  So, being the whimsy woman who I am, I decided to give it a try.

That evening I broke out my cold fighting arsenal: saline spray for his nose, the infamous blue booger sucker, the humidifier, and the Mentholatum in the green jar.

We did our typical routine–bath, books and songs.  Then I began the cold remedies…

  • I plugged in the Vicks humidifier with the Vicks Vapo Steam added to the water.
  • Saline and suctioned his little nose.
  • Gently massaged his little chest with the Mentholatum rub
  • Finally, I slathered the bottom of his feet with the Mentholatum Rub.  Then put a pair of socks on him.

After he was asleep, he coughed for about 5-10 minutes.  Then….silence.  Ahhhh, sweet silence!

Around 3 in the morning, I heard him cough again.  I went in to check on him.  He had taken off one of his socks.  I put more of the Mentholatum on that foot and put the sock back on.  No more coughing the rest of the night!!

Now, I don’t know if it was the foot trick, or the humidifier, or a combination of everything, but all I know is something helped him sleep better.  He was a much happier kid the next day, and that’s good enough for this momma!

Usually his coughs will last about a week before getting better.  But after using this routine for 3 nights, the cough was gone!  That’s proof enough for me.  I am keeping this in my medicine cabinet and will have to try it on the next cold that darkens our door.

An added bonus with the Mentholatum Rub is that you can use it on mosquito bites!  It’s suppose to reduce the swelling and take away the itchiness.  Plus, it soothes minor skin irritations like sunburns, scrapes and scratches.  You can also use it for muscle aches.  Who knew?!  I wonder what other “miracle” products I have in my cabinet?

Vicks Vapo Rub & Mentholatum both recommend using their products on people ages 2 and up.  I am in no way a Dr. and these are my opinions.  Please consult your Dr. before giving this a try.


Knowing When to Throw in the Towel…& Use It as Rags

Grease stains…

My laundry is full of them. Unfortunately, I don’t notice them until after they have been washed and dried.  Now, they are set-in grease stains.

I had one set-in stain in particular that I really wanted to remove.  It was a uniform shirt of mine and I needed to get the stain OUT.  It wasn’t HUGE, but it was annoyingly noticeable.

Attempt #1

  • Wash again (cold water)…hoping the detergent would notice the stain this time.
  • RESULT: no change

Attempt #2

  • Treat stain directly with liquid detergent
  • Wash again (hot water)
  • RESULT: no change

Attempt #3

  • Treat stain with stain remover (Spray n’ Wash)
  • Let stain remover sit over night
  • Wash again (cold water)
  • RESULT: no change…AGHHHHH!!!

Attempt #4

  • Time for a little research…thank you google.
  • I found a few sites that recommended spraying the stain with WD-40.  Crazy, right?!  The “science” behind this theory is that the WD-40 (which is a petroleum product) “reactivates” the set-in grease stain.  You will then treat the old stain as a fresh new stain.  Okay…I guess that makes sense.  I’ve tried crazier things before.
  • Sprayed stain with WD-40.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  • Then applied Dawn Dish Soap (blue kind) to the “fresh” stain.  I then took a scrub brush to work the soap into the stain.  Let that sit for a while (maybe another 30 minutes.)
  • Wash as usual (cold water)
  • RESULT: An even BIGGER stain than before!!!  Plus, a huge stain on the back of the shirt where the WD-40 soaked through!  Are you kidding me?!?!

Attempt #5

  • Time to break-out the BIG GUNS!
  • Soak entire shirt overnight in full-strength degreaser (Simple Green Cleaner)
  • Treat stain with Dawn AGAIN & Wash AGAIN (cold water)
  • RESULT:  Absolutely NO CHANGE.  There is still a HUGE stain on the front, and now the back.

That’s it…I give up.  I’m throwing in the towel.

Please… this Whimsy Housewife!  Comment with your suggestions on removing set-in grease stains, before this T-shirt becomes rags.

Tiresome Status Updates…it’s the reason I unfriended you

Scrolling through my news feed multiple times a day, can sometimes put me in a foul mood.  Here’s a few of my least favorite status updates.

1.  “Shared” pictures from some stupid page you “liked”.

(If I wanted to constantly see pictures of kitties typing on a keyboard, baby orangutans having a bad hair day, or tons of pictures of camels on Wednesdays, all with kitschy slogans…I would have “liked” that page.  So please quit “sharing”!)



2.  The constant complainer.

“i hate my job, i hate my car, i hate my house, i hate my life…fml”

“The flu sucks…”

“I’m crying again.  Why can’t things get better?”

“Another flat tire.  I can’t deal!”

(I really wish there was a “I don’t give a %*&^” button, because all your negativity brings me down.)

3.  The perplexing cryptic updater.

If only it was that easy”

“T-minus 36 hours, 24 minutes & 18 seconds…”

“If you were a real friend, I wouldn’t be in this situation”

(You took the time and effort to post this crazy stuff, now all of us want to know the rest of the story.  Don’t make us sit here in suspense, scrolling through the comments to see if you’ve elaborated on your post.)

4.  The “Um…is this really the best time?”

“Just waiting on the anesthesiologist to get here.  Bye, Bye gallbladder!”

“If this guy in front of me doesn’t go faster, I’m going to scream!  Why even have a Porsche if you can’t drive fast?!”

“I can’t seem to stay awake!  School is sooooo boring!!  MUST. HAVE. CAFFEINE.”

5.  The “Aren’t I the S*$@?!” updater.

“All 3 cars are washed, main house & guest house are clean, dinner is cooked, 126 loads of laundry are done & put away, hair is colored, dog is walked, bills are paid, ran 25 miles, plus a P90X workout! & I did it all in just under 20 minutes!!”

(Thank you very much!  Now I feel like a complete and total failure as a wife, mother, & woman.)

6.  Song Lyrics

(Yes, I know the words.  If I don’t, I probably don’t want to.  It may be exactly how you are feeling in this very moment, but just listen to the song, don’t share it.  And while you’re at it, don’t share the YouTube video of it, either.)

7.  Friends who constantly “check-in”.

“Eating waffles” at IHOP

“People watching” at Outlet Mall

“w/ my BFF” at home

8.  Updates about their children’s EVERY SINGLE milestone.

(I’m so guilty of this.  I think everyone should see just how cute my baby is…all the time!  This one really doesn’t annoy me, because I like to see just how cute your little one is too.  I just threw it in because I know it annoys some people.)

Comment below and tell me your status update pet peeves.  I know you have some!!

My Nemesis: Saran Wrap

I am plastic wrap impaired.

Each time I use plastic wrap, a battle ensues in my brain that sounds something like this…”Please, work for me today!”  “Why do you want to stick to only yourself?”  “Why is it so difficult to get a tight seal?”  “Am I doing something wrong?!”  “Do other people have a hard time with this?”  “AGHH!  I give up!  I’ll use the foil.”  Then I take the piece I painstakingly managed to cut it from the roll (after a few cuts to my fingers), spend 10 minutes unsticking it from itself, and eventually end up wadding it up in a ball and throwing it away.  It never fails…this happens every.single.time.

I see beautifully wrapped dishes at pot-luck dinners; their seals are tight and it’s actually sticking to the bowl.  How do they do that?!  So, I have been researching this dilemma, and have found a few tips.

  • Saran wrap is best used for sandwiches, cut produce (i.e. cut watermelon, apples, etc…), and any food that doesn’t need a bowl.  Think bread, cookies, fruits and veggies, not that left over soup.  Tupperware is better for those.
  • It prefers to stick to glass and itself.  So, I guess if your bowl is plastic or metal, you’ll have to wrap the entire bowl like a present…
  • Wrap your container first to create a tight seal before tearing the plastic from the roll. (This one takes practice…food service kitchens do this.  Set the dish on the counter, unroll a large portion of wrap, wrap dish tightly, then cut from the roll.)
  • Wrap an open container of ice cream before returning it to the freezer, to prevent those yucky ice crystals.
  • Use it as a shelf liner.  Love this one!  Cover the shelves in your fridge for an easy clean-up later.  (I recommend cleaning the fridge first…I know, I know, no fun.)
  • Store your roll in the freezer to prevent it from sticking to itself.
  • Just ditch the wrap all together and opt for shower caps!

I suppose I will keep the roll in my drawer, but will use it for things other than the occasional food storage.  Help me out on this one!  Leave me a comment about how you manage to beautifully wrap everything with this evil stuff!!  I’ve heard good reviews about Glad’s Press and Seal, and may try it, but I will probably always consider plastic wrap to be the spawn of Satan.

Tips to Keep Your Home and Family Safe

A couple of years ago, our safe and happy home was disrupted early one morning by a break-in.  It was about 4 am, when we were startled awake by our 2 little terriers barking like mad dogs!  I have never heard them be that fierce, so I knew something was not right.

I walked down the hallway to the kitchen and saw that the door to the garage was wide open.  I asked my groggy husband (who sleeps like the dead), if he might have left it open.  He said it was possible.  Then I walked into the living room to find the TV was askew in the entertainment center and the back patio door was open.  It hit me then…someone had been in our house! That is the scariest feeling, not knowing if they are still in the house or waiting just outside.  Fortunately, they had fled quickly.

At first glance, it seemed that the dogs had run them off before anything was taken.  But upon closer inspection, some items were gone.  My purse and keys, which were always on the kitchen counter, were taken, along with my husband’s keys.

Long story short, we spent that entire day on the phone with banks, credit card companies, towing services and dealerships.  To get new electronic keys cut without a spare key is very expensive and time-consuming!  Plus, you have the fear of the burglar returning to grab your car!!

Our comfortable life was knocked sideways that day, but luckily we were safe and no major damage was done.

Here are a few things that we have learned from that experience.

1.  Keep your purse, keys, and wallet in a drawer and out of sight.

My purse and keys were an easy grab, sitting right on the kitchen counter.  A lot of my friends hang their purse by the front door and their keys hanging on a hook by the garage.  Big no-no, in my opinion.  I now keep my purse in our bedroom at night, right next to my hand gun.

2. Invest in motion-sensor outdoor lights at all points of entry.

The intruder entered in through a door on the side of our house that comes into the garage.  That door is now lit-up like daylight even when a bug flies by the motion detectors.  We also installed some on the back of the house, and brighter ones on the front.

3.  Buy patio door security bars.

We now have a safety bar, plus a piece of 2×4 cut to size that we wedge at the bottom of the door.

4.  Keep blinds and curtains closed when not at home.

Not only does this save on energy costs, but it keeps curious eyes from knowing what kind of goodies you have.

5.  Take photos of the contents of your wallet or purse.

Weeks after the break-in, items that were in my purse kept coming to mind that I had forgotten to include in the police report.  Like a pair of diamond earrings I put in the side pocket one day, after the back fell off.

6.  After purchasing a big-ticket item, cut down the box for trash pick-up.

I always see big TV boxes or new computer boxes out by the curb, and I think “Someone got a new toy!”  If it catches my attention, you better believe you’ve caught the attention of a thief.  We usually cut the big box down with a box knife into smaller pieces that will fit in a regular trash bag.

7.  Keep windows and doors locked at all times, even when you are home.

This one is for all my SAHM friends!  I have a bad habit of leaving the back door unlocked when I am home.  Last summer, my son and I were at my parent’s house enjoying the pool in their back yard.  All of a sudden, a man jumped their fence, ran half way through the yard, and then jumped back across the fence.  We found out later that he had stolen a car, and was running from police.  It was a little scary, but over in less than 20 seconds.  I realize now that if he had seen us, it would have taken him no time to hurt us or get inside the house.  So, when you are at home and not outside, keep those doors locked!

8.  Signs say so much.

Whether it’s “Beware of Dog”, “Beware of Owner”, or a simple sign from an alarm company…you may not own a dog, gun or an alarm, but a sign in your front yard deters thieves anyway.

9.  Opt for some form of self-defense, and know how to use it.

We chose guns.  I wasn’t too keen on the idea at first, but once I learned how to use them I became more comfortable with them.  Whatever your choice, be it guns, a taser or pepper spray, make sure you know how to properly use it.

10.  Get to know your neighbors.

After hearing my stories, you probably think I live in a terrible part of town.  Just the opposite actually…our neighborhood is mostly retirees and is very quiet.  Typical suburbs.  Crime knows no boundaries, and if you have nice things, other people want them.  So get to know that nosy neighbor, she just might save your life!

We still have no idea who they were or why they chose our house that night, but it has taught us some valuable life lessons.  Do you have any tips for keeping your family safe?  I would love to hear from you!

Stay safe!!