Archive for tag: kids

Family doctor vs. urgent care vs. emergency room. How do you decide where to take your child when sick or injured?- Kristi

I know when my daughter is well, and I know when she is unwell. She is nine, and I have seen her truly unwell only a few times. The telltale sign is when the spark goes out of her eyes. It is a scary look (usually a fever) and requires serious attention. Until last fall, I had only used my pediatrician for minor illnesses and urgent care once.

It was a morning last September. I got home from work in the morning (I work very early in the morning), and my daughter was coughing until she couldn't breathe. There was no doubt in my mind we needed to go to the ER. I scooped her up, and in her jammies and my bare feet, we rushed to the emergency room. As it turned out, she had a severe respiratory infection that lasted about a month.

To make these quick medical decisions, I follow my mother's instinct and err on the side of caution. I would rather go to urgent care on a Saturday night for a suspected ear infection than wait until it's full blown on Monday. For a cold or slight fever, I'll keep her at home and watch her closely.

But when it comes right down to it, it's always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to our precious children.

Homemade Play Doh

It's a rainy, homemade play doh kind of day.

Homemade Play Doh:

2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 tsp. cream of tartar

2 tbls. oil

2 cups of water

food coloring of choice

Combine ingredients in a saucepan and mix over medium heat. Stir constantly - it takes a bit - until the dough leaves the side of the pan. Let it cool completely and then knead it out to get rid of the bubbles. Store it in plastic bags. Use cookie cutters and rolling pins and have fun!

Rainy day hike

Winter weather in the Pacific Northwest can get you down for sure. We spent all day yesterday with the kids cooped up in the house, trying to figure out what to do. They were bored and let their energy out by fighting with each other. This made us realize once again that our kids really need a good amount of daily exercise, and we decided that no matter what the weather, we were going to go on a hike today.

It was pouring when we woke up, but we were determined to go on our hike. We prepared with rain jackets and hiking shoes and hit the trails. The rain was really warm and refreshing, and the kids loved having permission to get soaked and muddy. It felt so nice to get some fresh air and exercise, and the pace that the kids kept reminded us again how much it was needed.

We hiked one of our favorite trails in Corvallis - the Homestead Trail loop from the Oak Creek parking lot of the McDonald Forest. It's about 1.5 miles of relatively flat terrain (I truly believe my kids end up doing an extra mile with all the zig-zagging and back tracking they do, though), and ends with a bridge perfect for throwing Pooh sticks.

Here they are, soaking wet and having a blast:

rainy day hike

If the winter weather has you and your kids down, make the extra effort to get out and get some exercise. What is your family's favorite way to get exercise in the winter?

 

What's for dinner?

Sick of hearing the groans when dinner was served, I recently told the kids that they were responsible for making dinner the following night. I told them that I'd take them to the grocery store and they can pick out what they want (meeting certain nutritional requirements) and prepare it themselves. They completely loved the idea, and decided on pizza and fruit cocktail, with caramel apples for dessert. They had a lot of fun and were quite proud. When dinner was finally served, we had a little talk about how hard they worked, and how bad they would feel if I groaned and complained. Alex replied, "Anytime you guys are tired, we can just make dinner!" I think I might just take him up on that offer!








Homemade bath crayons

My kids are a little under the weather today, so we decided to do a low-key project indoors and make bath crayons.

There are tons of tutorials online on how to do this, but I primarily used this one from Helium.

Here are the supplies you need: White ivory soap, cookie cutters, a cheese grater and some food coloring. I received the box of cookie cutters from my good friend Casey as a bridal shower gift - they are awesome. Not only are there endless cookie possibilities, but they are perfect for play doh and, well, bath crayons.

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You shred the ivory soap with a cheese grater. We ended up using 3 bars of soap.

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Then you take a cup of the soap and mix some warm water (about a 1/4 cup) with it. Stir in food coloring of your choice. You are supposed to stir until it is stiff. I can't say that these every got stiff. I also read you are supposed to stir until the soap dissolves, but my kids were a little too excited to wait that long. IMG_4002

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Then press them into cookie cutter molds or ice cube trays. I set these on a piece of wax paper over a cookie sheet. We made about 12 crayons out of 3 bars of soap in 6 different colors.

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We put them in the freezer for about 20 minutes, then popped them out of the cookie cutters. You are supposed to let them harden for a day or two before using them in the bath. I'll be interested to see if they really work - I've read that people have had varying degrees of success. Either way, the kids had a blast making them, and it was a very inexpensive project. Let us know if you try it, and if so, how it works!