Family · Health · Parenting · Perspective


I swear… literally… if one more person says anything about “this oil would have prevented the flu” or “flu shot vs non-flu shot” superiority…


Let’s have a bit more tact than that while we are in the throes of the influenza underworld, shall we???

My daughter’s class was missing HALF its students the last two days. That includes my child. My son’s class was down by 1/3. One of our local pharmacies had to close due to them all being ill!

Essential oils, fancy foods, vitamins and choice to get or not the flu shot- all great preventative things. However, when a sick child goes to school and coughs, breathes and shares the virus, I’m not convinced anything will protect your student or you. I can tell you that a cough-driven saliva shot straight to the eye has 100% chance of blooming into an ugly illness.

The moral of this story is: parents please keep your sick child home. Please. If you send them to school sick, they perpetuate the illness and will be sent home via the nurse shortly anyway. For the love and health of your babies and mine, please keep them home!


With love from the trenches with my new best flu-induced friend- an inhaler– Jen

**hopefully we are close to healthy and I’ll be able to write about other happier things soon!**


Family · Health · Parenting · Perspective


Horoscopes are like fortune cookies. Rarely are they actually applicable. Even more rare are the moments I read them.


Today, in my bed-ridden state, I decided to check mine out. Influenza A took down all four members of my family this weekend. Patient T, age 7, brought it home from school. Over the next 36 hours, we dropped in 12 hour increments to the fever, cough, body aches, and extreme fatigue.

I’m praising God that 2/4 of us are now past the fever. Boys rule. Girls drool. In other words, the males are fever free.

Back to the horoscope. “This is a rich time to meet diverse people. You could experience a wonderful trip to a museum or university that brings an opportunity to learn and expand your thinking.”

That’s pretty specific don’t you think? I was hoping for “you won’t die wearing 4 layers of pajamas with Kleenex stuck in your nose reeking of cough drops.” But hey! Bring on the new diverse people and trips to a museum or university!

Well thank you horoscope for the giggle and eye-roll! You hit the nail on the head today.

Much love and Lysol- Jen

Family · Health · Parenting

Everything Hurts

Aaaaaannnnndddd……. it’s official. Thru a Lysol and Thieves mixed haze….

Confirmed Influenza A in our house. That wasn’t stomach flu in my little boy early this morning. It was the onset of Influenza.


My precious little guy is currently sleeping. Tylenol is keeping the fever to a manageable, but not gone, level. He’s drinking fluids.

When we asked him what hurt after his swab was finished at the clinic, he said “everything hurts.”

I type this between scrubbing down surfaces with Clorox and Lysol in a hopefully not-in-vain bid of prevention. The tricky thing about influenza is that it’s contagious 24 hours before symptoms appear. So when we snuggled, read his ocean book, and fell asleep together the virus was already flying.

The sickest state in the United States just got another confirmed case. Please say a prayer for us.

Faith · Family · Health · Parenting

Friday Tidbits

Four short tidbits for Friday

  1. Pink cowboy boots. It’s not a PE day, so little miss is excited to wear her boots to school today. Physical Edu stifles fashion in Kindergarten.
  2. What is up with stomach flu and Friday’s lately?! Pitter patter of feet to the bedroom at 2:18am. “Mom- my stomach hurts really bad!” Little man down…
  3. Usborne books- This is one of my daughter’s favorite Christmas presents. Washable ink. You stamp your finger or thumbprints then let it dry. Each page has a different theme. We spent an hour drawing faces on the prints we made previously.
  4. Morning reading: Jeremiah 27-29 and Sacred Marriage. Two interesting reads! The repeating theme in Jeremiah: warning after warning- second chance after third chance after infinite chances to turn back to God. Whew! What patience! More on Sacred Marriage in another post.


Family · Health · Parenting · Perspective

A Dose of Unhealthy Perspective

Well now… hasn’t this been quite the week?

Last Sunday my husband and I sat down to discuss the upcoming week’s schedule. We usually do this in passing or in the car- not a designated moment. I think it was foreshadowing.

Monday my 5yr old and I took a “girl’s road trip” to see the Ear Nose Throat specialist. The roads after that morning’s winter storm were less than stellar for our 130mile drive there but we made it safely. We were graced with the vocals of Kelsea Ballerini ON REPEAT for the duration of our drive. She received the CD for Christmas.

Long story short, baby girl will lose those nasty tonsils and adenoids at the beginning of February. No more tonsillitis, strep, sleep apnea or chainsaw snoring. Pray for us. Anxious Mom.

Tuesday was a fantastic normal day. Kids at school. Full day of work.


Wednesday my mother finally decided to visit the clinic. Influenza knocked my dad down for 12 days after the New Year. Then my mother caught it. Both have previously had pneumonia and tend to stretch it out a little too long at home without medical care- honest opinion of their three daughters.

I was already in town running errands for work so I strategically placed myself at the grocery store at the same time I knew she’d be there before her dr appointment down the street. “Strategically” meaning that my younger sister and I discussed who was going to drag her to the hospital if she was- in fact- at that point again. Fortunately, no pneumonia but yes she did need medical support- steroids, codeine, and antibiotics for the secondary developments that can come following influenza.

Thursday it was my turn for the ENT then to rush back for work. My sisters call me a unicorn because similarly with my MS diagnosis, my body is strange. If it is a normal side effect, I won’t have it. What risk factors? Never have any of them. Strap on that horn because the specialist confirmed a small amount of hearing loss- likely nerve damage- and very unusual in an otherwise completely healthy stable 35yr old. Neigh….


Apparently on Thursday I must have touched something unsavory because Friday was one of those absolutely horrid days- yes, stomach flu. The kind where you are sure your intestines are trying to expose themselves. Exorcist style. The most comfortable places in the world are all on the floor- cold bathroom floor or shower floor- always fetal position.

Meanwhile, work was nuts and my husband was a solo act in the office. My father-in-law took the kids because there was no school. He was flipping out because my 7 yr old was sick and coughing, also making him projectile multiple times. Bless him- he had just read about all the people going septic and dying from the flu- cue the freaking out. And all I could do was lay flat on my back and point towards where we keep the cough medicine for him.


Excuse the language, but it was a literal sh*t show.

The beauty of Saturday was proof that after the storm comes the rainbow. Warm temperatures, sunny skies and no wind. I kept fluids down. My son is improving. Windows were open to air the funk out.

I’m not sure I’m ready to be thankful for days like Friday even though it definitely helped put the joy of every single day that isn’t like that into perspective. I’m also not sure I’ll ever eat fried pickles again…

Happy Sunday! Hoping you and your’s enjoy health today!


Family · Health · Parenting · Perspective

Candy Cane Confession

I have a confession. If you follow my blog, my last post was about not wanting my child to eat junk food regularly when we have healthier options.

People – we have an extra day of break from school for a teacher inservice today… My crew was moving slower than molasses, peanut butter, ketchup in a glass bottle, water flowing uphill, YOU NAME IT this morning. SLOW. M-O-T-I-O-N.


So when my children came at me as I’m trying to exit the house smiling with candy canes and politely asked for them for breakfast —- whatever. It’s the last day of a 14 day break from school. A solid two weeks.

Let’s celebrate. Enjoy those candy canes!!! Tomorrow you go back to school and a schedule and the school bus being a solid deadline to make in the morning.


I’m not even kicking myself about this. In the grand scheme, I don’t think I’ll look back and point saying “THIS. THIS was the moment my children’s lives were ruined. I should have fought the candy canes.” SMH

**In reference to my previous post “Corn Dogs”, my daughter ate all her (non-hot dog) dinner last night without complaining. She picked a few things off that she didn’t want, but overall did a wonderful job! She agreed for the month of January to eat whatever her father or I served. She has a sticker chart to track her compliance. We are her parents. We will not let a 5yr old run the house.** #parenting


Family · Health

Corn Dogs

From the mouth of my five year old at a restaurant this weekend and pretty much every day for the last month…

“Mom, I don’t like meat. I won’t eat that.”

Me reading the kids menu: “chicken tenders, mac’n’cheese, pulled pork sliders, apple slices, mini corn dogs….”

“Corn dogs!!!!”


Ugh. What she means is she’ll turn down every quality type of meat or non-meat option (steak, fish, chicken breast, pork chops, veggie w/ protein-filled option, pork or beef roast) for a mechanically separated hot dog.

*sigh* This is just a phase… Until it passes, do you:

a) keep offering the good stuff but let her eat whatever she chooses?

b) put the food on her plate and make her try it but relent after a few bites?

c) hold firm that she will only eat what everyone else is eating (in the case of me cooking at home)?

I’m all ears. She’s a stubborn one, but I’m also not a short-order cook.


My husband is of the opinion that “you get what you get and you don’t throw a fit.” He didn’t grow up with any options. It was a lot of beans, tortillas and bologna at his house.

I grew up with solid meals but we did the intensive labor behind them in the summer. My mom canned from our garden, so we had fresh veggies in the summer and preserved ones in the winter. Picking and processing cherries and apples from the orchard was one of our summer jobs. We raised cattle and pigs, so meat wasn’t a problem. The grocery store also supplemented our meals.


She’d choose to eat junk mixed with a few oranges all day if we’d let her.

Basically, we are both opposed to regular consumption of corn dogs and the like because we do have healthier options available. So…. how do we navigate this phase?