Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings

Adventures in the land of SuperBugs (AKA: Nifty Home Remedies) October 25, 2013


I know it has been FOREVER since any of us have posted but life, as usual, gets in the way.  Lately, life has revolved around school and dealing with a child who has been incredibly ill. For those of you who do not know, let me catch you up to speed.  (There is a fair amount of rambling to start this post. If you would like to jump ahead and head straight for the Homemade Pedia electroLyte drink recipe or the homemade cough syrup recipe go right ahead…scroll away)

Last Saturday, the boy and I suited up the grandparents and great grandmother and headed off to the state fair. We had a GREAT time while we were there and my three year old was better behaved than most adults that we saw. He rode his first ride, saw his first tractor pull and even tried his first cotton candy. Life was good.

Around 4pm we decided it was time to end our adventure and we started the 2.5 hour drive back home. The decision was made that we would stop at Olive Garden for dinner about half way back. By the time we got there, the little one had been asleep for almost an hour. We woke him, waited for our seat and were pleased to see that we were put all the way in the back of the restaurant. It gave the boy a bench to sprawl out on and rest until dinner got there. We placed our orders and he was still as lifeless as they come. Our salad and breadsticks came and he was STILL lifeless. He normally jumps at the prospect of a breadstick. By the time I had finished my salad, I got a feeling that something was seriously not normal with the little fella, so I picked him up and snuggled him and started the head to toe checklist.

“Does your head hurt?”

“Do your ears hurt?”

“Does your belly hurt?”

I got a “no” in response to all of these questions. Then he started mumbling and next thing I knew, he did it….

He tossed his cookies right there in the middle of Olive Garden. And not just a minor “oops”.  It was a horrifying site and it took a stroke of genius on my mother’s part to contain the catastrophe. When he finally slowed down, we made a break for it. The whole time, we chalked it up to “Oh…he had too much junk at the fair”. Then we realized that he had had a slice of pizza and a little bit of cotton candy…for the entire 6 hours we were there. Then I felt his head and my poor baby was burning up! We made nice with the restaurant staff, left a hefty tip and busted outta there after cleaning him up for the trip home.

I finally got him in the door and settled in for the night…and that was supposed to be it.

Fast forward 1 week and this is the situation:

After 6 days without any real food in his system, sleeping for 90 minutes at a time (with multiple hours in between), night terrors, a fever that could not be broken, countless “Get the boy outside, he’s gonna be sick” moments, two trips to the pediatricians, some fluids and a blood test, we have established that he has a super bug. This is the sickest he has ever been…and he has had chicken pox 3 times.  He has lost 2 pounds in a week and is hurtin’ in the iron department.

Thankfully, we have an awesome pediatrician who helped us find a heavy duty anti-nausea medication which has allowed him to finally eat a little something and has restored my hope that one day, my child will once again be the child that I know and love and not a little male version of Linda Blair and a bowl of split pea soup.

I spent a lot of time, in the early morning hours, searching for something….ANYTHING…I could try that would help my poor baby feel better. I found some things that helped him maintain. Knowing now what we are facing, that was the best anything was going to do so long as he was unable to keep food in his system.

First, let’s go for the:

Homemade PEDIA electroLYTE drink…

This is SUPER easy to make and so much cheaper than the stuff you buy at the store.

You will need:

1/2 cup of boiling water

1/2 teaspoon of salt

2 tablespoons of sugar (or honey…or raw sugar….or agave)

3 tablespoons dry jello powder (any flavor your little one likes)

3 1/2 cups of cold water

In a bowl, combine the boiling water and dry ingredients.  Stir until everything is completely dissolved. Add cold water and serve at room temperature, by the spoonful every 5-10 minutes for an upset belly. If it is to lower a fever, you can serve over a little ice.  Pour in a container and store in the fridge for up to one week.

Maybe you are a bit like me and think that a sick child needs variety and therefore you make three different flavors of this stuff and at the end of the week you still have it coming out of your eyeballs! Have no fear…it shall not go to waste! Pour it into ice cube trays and freeze it so that you always have it on hand should the little buggers need it again. I found that these work really well.

Now comes the really fun stuff.

HomeMade Cough Syrups

We lucked into some local, raw honey this week at a steal so I went a little crazy and made a variety of cough syrups.

You will need to get some glass jars with lids…I like the Walmart version of a Mason Jar the best (a pint size will be fine)


1 Lemon

1 piece of raw ginger 2-3″ long

Thinly slice one whole lemon and put 1/4 of the slices in the bottom.

Peel your ginger and gently crush it.  Cut it in quarters and place 1 piece in on top of the lemons.

Add approx 1/3 of a cup of honey.

Repeat the process until all ingredients are used OR you run out of room in your jar.

Let jar sit in the fridge for a minimum of 8 hours, over night is best.

During the first day or two your honey will be thick, but as time goes on it will thin out. You can take by the tablespoon full, directly out of the jar or add it to a cup of tea.  GOOD STUFF and the lemon will provide you with Vitamin C, the ginger will help with any nausea that you may have.


Fill your honey jar approximately 3/4 full and add 1-2 tsp of cayenne pepper (dried) to it. The cayenne will provide you with capsaicin, which is a natural pain reliever. Add this to a cup of homemade cocoa (Not instant cocoa…the honey would make it WAY too sweet) and have yourself a little Mexican Hot Chocolate to help soothe those aches and pains! OLE!


Swap out your lemons for oranges or grapefruit.

Add a sprig of rosemary to your lemon or orange honey for improved circulation, additional iron, Vitamin B6, and calcium. It will also help with muscle pain. You can use fresh or dried.

Mint Leaves (fresh) will help with digestion and will help soothe the effects of IBS and clear skin issues such as eczema and acne.

The longer you let them sit, the stronger they will be. The honey will help preserve the fruit to prevent it from spoiling. You will be able to hold on to these for several weeks in the refrigerator. However, if you are like me, you will find various reasons to use them…reasons like “OH! That one tastes good, let’s have a scoop!”

So there you have it…a couple of the nifty things I learned through the last week. I also learned how to make my own Vapo-Rub and I will post the instructions soon. For now, however, I must get some sleep because 90 minutes have come and gone and the little monster shows no signs of waking up any time soon! YAY!!


Easy Peasy Cleaning Cloths July 24, 2013


It seems that I am always running out of dish cloths because I am CONSTANTLY cleaning up random messes made by the resident 3 year old.  This means that I always have multiple wet rags that never really dry because it is so stinking humid here in the summer.  This oogs me out. Too many bugs…too much blech icky grossness in a dish rag…just too much gross for me to have scattered about my kitchen.  It was because of this that I set out for a solution. I hit my favorite DIY/Homemade goodies website

Jill always seems to have an answer to what I am looking for.  This day held true to that statement. I found her recipe for Homemade REUSABLE Repurposed Cleaning Cloths.  Since I had all of these items on hand, I set to making them right away. I AM IN LOVE!

If you use a plain scented castile soap, you can add any essential oil that you like. I had lavender soap so I added a few drops of peppermint and a few drops of rosemary essential oil to the soap and water mixture. I know it sounds like an odd combination, but it smells heavenly.  I use the cloths all day every day. When they get gross I just throw them in the washer and then back in my jar of solution. I don’t even throw them through the dryer. What’s the sense of drying something that you are just going to throw immediately into a jar of liquid, right?

These things save so much time and money and you don’t have to worry about chemicals being smeared all over your counters and skin. If you try them please let me know what you think.

** I, personally, would cut back on the soap a bit or beef up the amount of water. It is a little soapy for me, but I just rinsed the cloths a little before I used them. Live and learn J



Why is the male species so wimpy when they are sick? June 6, 2013

Filed under: Uncategorized — threefunnyvoices @ 10:44 pm
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It’s no secret that we have been sick in this house as of late. In the last month there has been a shingles outbreak, an encounter with poison ivy, an ear infection and now my son is on his third bout of chicken pox. Yes, that’s right….his THIRD bout. I am less than excited about this for many reasons. I do not appreciate that my child has to go through all of this yet again, but I have to say that he is a trooper. He doesn’t scratch a lot and while he has his whiny moments, overall, he is in good spirits and super duper lovey. (It makes me sad that he has to be sick to give me my snuggle fill, but I will take it where I can get it)

This got me to thinking….when is it that men become such huge babies when they are sick? I mean, seriously? We all have that one (probably more) man in our lives who is so incredibly pathetic about having to deal with an illness. The first one I can recall in my life was my father. HUGE BABY! He would lay on the couch and groan and pout. I learned early on that it was ridiculous.

Later, I got married and that man took it to a whole new level. He used to ask me to sit and rub his head until he fell asleep. He would cry…yes…cry…because his nose was stuffed up. We went to the ER one night because of a UTI, which while painful is manageable, especially when we went to the ER at midnight and his Dr.’s office opened at 8am.

We also had a cat who (because “it would suck if someone chopped off MY manhood”…wise words of the ex-husband) got very territorial one night. I had friends that came over and they brought their new baby. I was holding the baby and I could see the fire in the cat’s eyes. I asked my husband to pick him up and chill him out. So, instead of moving slowly, he swooped in to pick him up and the cat went INSANE and bit and scratched the ever living crap out of hubster’s arm. I clearly remember seeing the cat hanging from his wrist, using only it’s teeth. After the insanity had stopped and I had a chance to tend to my husband’s arm, I got him cleaned up and cleaned the wounds. We wrapped it and kept a close eye on it. (Please do not think I am making light of the situation. It was scary and had the husband cried, I would have totally understood…but he took it like a man and I was impressed)

Life was good until one day he was listening to the radio and Sweaty Teddy started belting out his biggest hit…”Cat Scratch Fever”. After that, it was on. For YEARS the ex swore that he had Cat Scratch Fever because of the run in with the cat and if he thought about it too long he would start with fake symptoms.

Then, one day, he got chicken pox (Apparently caring for those with the pox is my calling in life) and OH MY GOD!!! Just shoot me! He whined and cried and whimpered about every little thing. At the time, we had no TV in our bedroom and he found this to be unacceptable so one night during his epic pox battle, he sniffled and pouted about not being able to see tv in bed. It was insanely late at night…like 2 or 3am…and I asked him what he wanted me to do about (HUGE! MISTAKE!!). His response was “Well, will you move the bed into the family room?”


I don’t know what is more ridiculous…the fact that he had the balls to ask me to do it or the fact that I DID IT!

Fast forward 10 years, 1 divorce and a rekindling of a romance with my high school sweetheart.

He had a chronic illness that made him feel like he had the flue 24/7. He took it in stride and I was impressed. I thought that maybe, just maybe I had found a man…a real man…the kind that doesn’t cry because of a paper cut. Then, allergy season hit. Lord have mercy! You would think he was John Travolta in the Boy in the Plastic Bubble.

I get it. Allergies suck….chicken pox are evil…UTI’s are hellish and Cat Scratch Fever?? Well, there are just no words. But ya know what…women (for the most part) don’t become ridiculous piles of gelatinous self pity. So, I ask you…when do men go from being Super Duper Party Troopers when they are sick to being previously mentioned blobs of whine?

I think I know the answer. I think that every man starts out as a tough guy. I think that they all learn, throughout childhood, that they can handle most any illness that comes their way. Life is good and while they still want a mom hug and some of her sickness expertise, they do not cling like day old boogers on the wall.

Years pass and suddenly they meet “that” girl. The one that is bound to be their first long term relationship. The one who accepts their oddities and even embraces them. The one that makes their world a much better place…THE ONE THAT CODDLES THEM WHEN THEY ARE SICK! Most of us women have been there. We are nurturers. The majority of us show our love by caring for others in some fashion and when we are teenagers, we seize the day and throw all of our tendencies at our man when he is sick.

THIS, ladies, is when it happens. They realize that their illness evokes pity from their lady and once they realize how good they have it with that first one, they expect the rest of us to do it…every. single. time!

So, can we change the evolution of womankind? Probably not…so here is my hope. I hope that one day, after I am no longer cool enough, that my son finds that perfect woman. I hope that she is everything he ever wanted…and I hope that when he is sick, she tells him to suck it up and make his own damn soup! This is the girl that I will approve of him marrying!



How 2 Cups of Flour and 2 Cups of Water Saved My Sanity April 22, 2013

By the time the milk paintings were complete, I thought that B was ready to calmly face the world. HOLY MOSES WAS I WRONG!!

What to do? What to do?

Then I remembered reading a post a while back about “Magic Playdough” The woman who wrote the post makes astronomical amounts of plain play dough every year for the first day of school. She separated the dough into individual balls (saving two balls to use later), pushed a well into the top and added 7-10 drops of food coloring into the well. Then, she took took the two balls she had held back, and used little pieces to plug the hole in the others. The goal is to have a collection of plain colored balls that look like there is nothing special about them. She then wrapped them up, added a little note about “mix and mash and if color should appear, it will be a great school year”. I thought this was adorable and wanted to try it at home…sort of.

We obviously did not need 50 balls of play dough so I scaled the recipe WAY back and added a little extra something to it. Here is what I came up with.

Magic Play Dough

2 cups of flour

2 cups of water

Lavender Essential Oil

place all ingredients in a pan on the stove and cook slowly (while stirring regularly) until it comes together and looks like dough. When it is done, place it on a piece of wax paper and knead it until it is nice and smooth. Divide into 6 balls and put two back. With the remaining 4, use your thumb to push a well into the balls. Add 7-10 drops of food coloring per ball. Fill hole with pieces of dough from extra 2 balls and GENTLY form them so that they look like a plain white ball of dough.


As the dough was cooling, I lined the table with some wax paper and taped it down and got some plastic silverware and other small things that would make fun imprints in the dough.


Then I unleashed the wild child on his first real encounter with play dough…

We mushed, and folded, and mushed and folded and mushed and folded and mushed and folded…


And ended up with these (I would add more red food coloring next time)


It took no time for him to discover that it smelled good (and all that lavender helped calm him down…like, whoa)


And it felt good


And because I made it, I knew exactly what was in it and I didn’t freak out when he did this…


Let the games begin…





And THAT is how 2 cups of flour and 2 cups of water (and a little Lavender Oil)  saved my sanity!

The dough will store nicely in ziploc bags and keep for quite some time. Best use of flour and water I have seen in weeks!


PS: As I sat, enjoying the quiet stillness that this activity blessed me with, I couldn’t help but think that this would make for a GREAT party favor for your little ones birthday party…especially if it is a Magic theme!


This is just plain helpful! February 25, 2013

I am an avid reader of the blog at I LOVE her suggestions and how to’s.

These are two of my favorites:

How To Clean Your Washing Machine

Top Loader


Front Loader:


How To Clean Your Dryer:


These are the best things I have done in my house….period! I was given a hand-me, hand-me, hand-me down washer and dryer. They work fine but needed some SERIOUS love and affection. I knew that Jill would have the answer so I looked and low and behold, I got the answer I was looking for. They take some time, but they are SO worth it. These few steps restored my machines to an almost new condition. I am a believer! If you try them, let me know what you think!






Pantry Staples February 20, 2013

There are a few things that I think anyone who is going to give this whole “homemade cleaning” thing a go, should have in their pantry. Some of the ingredients also double as ingredients for kid projects. (Kid projects are tomorrows topic)

Baking Soda (the biggest you can find. In my opinion it’s not worth buying the little boxes. You will go through them entirely too fast)

White Vinegar (I buy by the gallon…sometimes 2 depending on what I need to do with it)

Dr Bronner’s Castile Soap (I prefer Dr Bronner’s. You can get it in a wide variety of scents…Lavender being my favorite)

Tea Tree Oil (also known as Melaleuca oil. I prefer JASON brand the best, but that’s just personal choice)

Washing Soda


Fels Naptha Bar Soap

Spray Bottles (plastic, not metallic. I like to raid the Walmart garden dept and get the ones they have for about $1.00 and they come in fun colors)

Stock Pot

Wooden Spoon (s)

Grater/Food Processor

Hand Blender

All of these things will come in so very handy…trust me. Check your local thrift store for the stock pot other kitchen related goodies. No sense going out to buy new ones when we are just going to use them for cleaning products.

I think that’s a pretty comprehensive list. If you have other suggestions, or questions, feel free to contribute/ask.

Til the Next Time!


I’m sorry…you tossed your cookies on my wha??

Filed under: Cleaning — threefunnyvoices @ 8:05 pm
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My son has an uncanny knack for throwing up anywhere but somewhere that is easy to clean up. One day we were on our way home from Country Cupboard. We were about 5 minutes from our house and I heard it. I knew, without checking my little baby finder mirror, what had just happened. He just ralphed chocolate milk all over my new car’s leather interior and carpeting. (Please join in the collective gasp and groan of everyone reading this who has ever experienced such a thing) Now I am faced with trying to clean up a toddler, his car seat and cleaning the interior of my car. (WHY did I not date a nurse or doctor or some guy down at the local car detailing shop??)

I got B out of the car and cleaned up and decided to take on the car seat because I was running out of daylight. I wasn’t about to take it into my house, so with the sun setting I was standing at our well’s pump with a cell phone to my ear, tapping the knowledge of one of my more experienced mommy friends. Between her hysterical laughter and gasping for breath she informed me she wasn’t sure what to do. *sigh*

I finally took it apart and dumped boiling water over the car seat ( I don’t advise this). I got to the car and was praising Jesus that he had not succeeded at throwing up on my seats, but my floor, on the other hand was not so lucky. Another friend of mine suggested scrubbing, blotting and applying a liberal amount of baking soda to the spot over night and then vacuuming it up. So that’s what I did.

After the chaos died down and I was able to get B into bed, I decided to research how to remove the smell and such, just in case the previous attempt had not worked. I found all kinds of hints and none of them really seemed logical to me, but some of them had logical parts so I took bits and pieces of this suggestion and that hint and came up with my own idea. My son, being ever so helpful and willing to offer me new opportunities, crawled into my bed that night around 3am and proceeded to barf all over my freshly changed sheets, new pillows and mattress. (YAY!!!!! )

Time to put my concoction to the test.

Here’s what I did.

Obviously, you have to clean up the mess first… a rag, hot water to dampen the rag. Once you have the mess cleared scrub the spot with the following mixture.

In a bucket (yes, ironic, I know) combine,

Hot Water (about 1/2 of the bucket full)

White Vinegar ( a nice hefty amount…3-4 cups)

Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap (1/2 cup or so)

It will look milky and smell kinda gross, but you are just gonna have to trust me on this one. Scrub the spot thoroughly and then, if you are neurotic like me, scrub it again, just to be safe.

Now, sprinkle a nice thick layer of baking soda on the spot and let the baking soda absorb the remaining moisture. I let my bed sit until mid afternoon just to make sure. (If you have it you can add a mixture of baking soda and a little carpet fresh to the area. The carpet fresh is nice, but not necessary) Once it is dry, vacuum up the baking soda and pat yourself on the back for conquering the mess!

I am sure this sounds slightly odd, but trust me…it is the greatest solution I have found. Try it…I promise you will not be disappointed!




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Life, How To's, and Other Various Ramblings