Monday, February 24, 2014

February: bad and good news

The bad news: 
February has been a hard month for us.   After our fantastic trip to Florida we returned to get very sick. The kids had a horrible unknown sickness that could not be treated simply because we couldn't figure out what was wrong with them.  An awful cough kept us away from everyone for over two weeks.  I ended up with a sinus infection (Thankful to a diagnose and speedy recovery after antibiotics).  The kids eventually got better after finally putting them on the nebulizer to control the cough, and making them sleep on a chair... Thanks for the advice.  It worked.
My son is a pro at holding the mask.  He insists on wearing safety goggles to be able to also watch T.V. . 

My daughter sleeping on a recliner.  Can you see the air purifier, the nebulizer mask, and the humidifier? They did wonders! By the way, I absolutely love the personal humidifier.  So easy to clean and move around the house.  It uses any type of water bottle.  It helps loosen the congestion, and at the same time it doesn't damage the house.  We tried to use the house humidifier on high but with the weather being so cold, we ended up with condensation inside the house! Once we reduced the setting, the condensation vanished but the dry air made everyone stuffy. Only the personal humidifier was able to do it right.  

Once we started getting better we received news that our condo was still vacant. We joined the many who worry about paying double mortgages. We loved our condo when we moved there soon after getting married.  We bought it in the financial bubble and are suffering from the real estate crash. We can't sell it without loosing a huge amount of money.  We need to rent it, and fast. 

I also was chosen to be left out the transition to the new payroll system at work. Although I still got pay, it was just a bit annoying not having my direct deposit.  I had to be waiting for my check on the mail (after already having lost one), and needing to stick out for myself to let everyone know that it just can't continue to happen to me. I am glad to say that I made my point clear.  It is something I am very proud of since I am not a confrontational type of person.  

On top of all the above, the weather is still awful. I can't believe how cold it still is!  We are expecting a few more negative degree days and more snow.  I am so done.  This tropical girl needs some warmth.  I am cold as I am typing this post... burrrrrr! 

The good news:
Still February brought some little good times: 

We hosted a playdate based on the Winter Olympics.  We attempted to go sledding in my back yard. Well, the snow was way to deep!  The kids still had a good time playing outside for a little bit and then inside the rest of the time.  I made them hot chocolate and the little treats from the picture above (eatable "gold" medals, cookie rings, and cheeto's torches)

Here are my new weapons of mass cleaning. O.K to be honest they are not new, but I wasn't using them as much as I wanted to.  I mentioned before that I follow the FlyLady online (check her out:  One of her monthly habits is "getting dress to lace up shoes."  I was very hesitant because I love to be barefoot! Then a bit ago, I stepped on a thumbtack.  What can I say? I learned my lesson the hard way.
A very dear friend of mine gave me these gorgeous new balance shoes (my favorite brand of sport shoes) last year.  At the time my old pair was in very bad shape with a few holes and generally old looking.  I wanted to buy new ones, but they were price-prohibited.  When my friend heard me complain about my shoes, she bought me new ones.   I loved them so very much that I decided to use them only indoors.  They are my allies when it comes to playing with the kids indoors, and generally cleaning the house.  They have helped me work with this month's habit of de-cluttering 15 minutes at a time. I have already taken three car loads to goodwill!  I am still working on it.  My minivan's back seats are down waiting for more to leave this house and make my cleaning a little bit easier. 

Pictures from the kitchen:
Before                                  After      

My only obstacle when it comes to de-clutering is my kids' love for castoffs.... Here they are in action:
I finally decided to let go of my "collection" of hotel bottles (shampoos, creams... and what not).  But they found it before it left the house.  

My daughter decided to organize them into bottle mini families. 

My son decided to smell them all!

It turned out to be a lot of fun.  My daughter looked for the word lotion in each bottle, and learned that it was just another word for cream.  She applied too many on her skin =).  My son decided he preferred the smell of the conditioners the most. The mouthwash's smell was too strong for him.  At the end the bottles are still here.  I was about to toss them out and I found a way to use them.  The same happened when I accidentally found a bunch of my skirts from my teaching years.  I was about to give them away, when I decided to give them a second chance.  I am happily looking more feminine even though I am also wearing boots to endure this awful weather.

How is your February going? Are you also just waiting for the spring to finally come?

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Thank you for sharing!