My 8 Year Old’s Hospital Stay Last Week

This past week was one of those whirlwind experiences.  Totally unexpected, but very slow moving whirlwind.  When I say slow moving, I’m talking 9 nights in the hospital slow.  Yes, nine!  Seven of those were in the PICU.  I don’t know if you follow me on Facebook or not.  If you don’t, you don’t know much of my story of this past week.  If you do, you’ve probably heard bits and pieces.

Savannah in Hospital 2

Last Friday night, my husband and I came home from a quick evening shopping trip in a nearby town to find our 8 year old daughter, Savannah, in respiratory distress. Our teens were babysitting and have been trained what to do when she is having asthma issues.  She was originally diagnosed with asthma almost 2 years ago, after a collapsed lung and a life flight and we have been using the inhaler or nebulizer as needed since that time.  On this particular night, our teens had been keeping us abreast of the situation and we were told that she had needed a couple of breathing treatments while we were gone and had used her inhaler.  Nobody realized she was still having trouble breathing as she was just laying on the recliner resting, looking tired and no longer complaining. When I got home (shortly after her treatment), I asked her to meet me in my bedroom so I could fully assess her without any noise. Just walking to my room had her so completely out of breath that I was worried. I called my husband into our room to help me evaluate her and we did a couple more breathing treatments to see if that would help.  It didn’t help, so  we decided we needed to head to the ER.

 

 

Her oxygen saturation levels were low, so they put her on oxygen and began more breathing treatments and steroids.  Since she wasn’t improving fast enough, the doctors decided to admit her into the hospital.  They had taken X-Rays and had seen a small spot of pneumonia on her lungs, too.  After staying a night there, they decided to move her to a larger hospital that was better equipped to deal with children in respiratory distress.  Specifically, they wanted her in a PICU unit.  She had been working for too hard, for too long at breathing.  

 

They transferred us by ambulance to a hospital about 2 hours away.  We were met by a myriad of hospital staff getting her checked in and ready for the new treatment plan.  My husband and I had felt apprehensive about going back to this hospital (the same place she had been life flighted to a couple years prior), but once we were there, we felt a sigh of relief, knowing that these people really knew what they were doing and would not take anything we said lightly.  Just being in a place that specializes in children can make all the difference in the world!

 

The first part of the plan was to place her on albuterol breathing treatments continuously.  This was equivalent to getting 20 breathing treatments an hour.  Something that literally makes your hands tremble because you have so much in your system.  Because her respirations were still so high, she was at risk of aspirating, so the first rules were to go in effect.

 

No Eating or Drinking

 

Now that sounds mean, doesn’t it?  Apparently the need for food isn’t as great as the need for breathing.  Go figure, right?  :D  If she were to aspirate any food, that could have made her recovery that much harder, if not impossible.  It was already hard.  We didn’t need it even harder!  But, it was so hard to tell her, “I know you’re hungry honey, but you have to listen to the doctors”.  All she could think of was food, food and more food!  Her mouth was getting so dry, too!

 

We arrived at this hospital on Saturday evening, late.  Her last meal had been at supper time.  Apparently the other hospital didn’t have any trouble with her eating, as they fed her multiple times.  It wasn’t until Tuesday when they decided to let her have clear liquids.  None of her options tasted very good to her, so she held out as well as she could until the next day when they finally let her order yogurt.  She gobbled up 2 containers of it, almost immediately.

 

As she progressed, they allowed to her to eat more and more.

Savannah at Hospital 2

 

She stayed on the continuous breathing treatment from Saturday night through Thursday afternoon.  She then slowly moved from every 2 hours to every 4 hours and finally on Saturday (a week later), they moved us out of PICU to the regular Pediatric floor.

 

After a partial family sleepover (me and 4 of my girls) in our room that night, they sent us home on Sunday.  We left with an upgraded asthma status (mild/persistent from intermittent/as needed).  9 days in the hospital was a long and boring way to spend that week of our life, but we’re so very thankful that modern medicine can help us so efficiently!

 

Savannah is now home and feeling pretty good.  We are still giving her a breathing treatment every 4 hours and she is now on a maintenance steroid inhaler, until further notice.  She had had a mild cold at the onset of this, and we believe that the cold, coupled with allergies and chlorine are what caused this to get bad so quickly.  We are now taking beginning steps to make her bedroom as allergy free as possible.  A total room clean out and vacuum session, mattress and pillow covers and even new paint on the walls.  We will be doing everything in our power to keep this from happening again!

 

Savannah & Quinnly

 

If you’d like to read more about how we entertained her during that time, please click here.


5 Ways to Fend Off Funsuckers

Tracking PixelThis is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cutter® Insect Repellents.

 

We love summer!  Don’t you?  There’s so many fun things to do in the summer time, that you can’t do the rest of the year.  Things like riding tricycles…

2 on Trikes

Boy on Trike

 

and blowing bubbles!

Bubble Blowing

But sometimes, there’s some things in summer that suck the fun right out of it.  (Hint:  That’s why we call them Funsuckers!)

You know what I’m talking about, right?  Funsuckers, like extremely hot temperatures; blood sucking insects like mosquitos and ticks; sweat; and dirt.  They can take the fun right out of our summer if we let it.  We can hull up inside, avoiding every uncomfortable thing out there, OR we can put together a game plan and fend off those funsuckers.

 

5 Ways to Fend Off the Funsuckers:  Don’t Let Them Steal Your Summer

  1.  Cool off in the water. - Because playing in the water not only cools you off, but it’s so much fun, too.  My kids love to play in the hose in the front yard.  Sometimes they fill up their small pool or make a water slide.  Other times, they play with water guns or water balloons.  Regardless of how they play in the water, it’s always a great time for them!
  2. Get in the shade. - Sometimes you can’t or don’t want to get wet.  If you’re stuck outside and can’t get cooled off with water, at least find a shady spot.  I’m always amazed at how much cooler the shady spots are, especially if there’s any breeze at all.  Ahhh, I love a breezy summer day in the shade.
  3. Shower regularly! - Because we tend to sweat a lot in the summer time, showering regularly is a necessity.  Sometimes we find ourselves taking 2 or 3 showers a day, depending on how active we are.  (3 sounds crazy to me, lol, but I’ve known people who do it!).  Try taking a cool shower instead of a warm shower for a nice refreshing twist.  You won’t want to do that in the winter, I can just about guarantee it!
  4. Don’t forget the sunscreen.  Nothing ruins a night more than lying down in bed and realizing that you forgot the sunscreen.   Now, you’ve got large, painful blisters.  Use sunscreen any time you’re going to have prolonged exposure to the sun.  Little bits of time are fine, but if you’re going to be out there for an hour or more, get that sunscreen on!
  5. Use Cutter® Insect Repellent - Mosquitos are such a pain.  We’ll be enjoying a nice, cool summer evening and you look down and see your arms and legs covered in those little funsuckers!  ICK.  I hate them.  That’s why when they’re at their worst, I use Cutter® Insect Repellent.

 

In fact, I was able to try 3 different kinds of Cutter® products.

 

We tried:

  • Cutter® All Family® Mosquito Wipes
  • Cutter® Dry &
  • Cutter® SKINSATIONS®

 

#CutterRepellents

 

The last time we were outside playing, we had forgotten to put on any insect repellent.  This was the wrong day to do that!  We had so many little bites.  In fact, my daughter has scratched hers open so many times.  I just can’t get her to stop scratching them!

 

#CutterRepellents

We loved all of the products, but with kids, I’m especially fond of the wipes!  It’s so easy to grab a wipe and wipe down all your kids real fast.  Or you can hand them one and let them do it themselves!  What’s better is that these products don’t smell like your typical stinky insect repellents!  They have a nice smell and they’re not oily either.

Using Cutter Wipes

 

Now that we’re remembering to use something to get rid of the mosquitos, we can go back to all that summer fun we’ve been having.  Check out our fun times in the video below……

 

Have you tried Cutter® Insect Repellent before?  What’s your favorite way to Fend off Funsuckers?

 

 

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of Cutter® Insect Repellents.


10 Ways to Save Money on Children’s Clothing

How to Save Money on Children's Clothing

 

I’m a mom of 7 children, and I realize just how much money it costs to clothe them!  We don’t have to buy used, but we choose to on many occasions, just because I prefer the styles of clothes I can afford to get when they’re preowned.  We’ve spent the past 18 years being frugal, especially in the clothing department and have learned that the best way to keep our budget under control is to use these 10 tactics.

I know many of you are starting to think about back to school clothing.  It can get pricey if you don’t plan ahead.  Because we homeschool, we don’t have to buy specifically in this season, but we’ve learned lots of tips and tricks to save money and still have decently dressed children.  Here’s a few of the things I do.

1.  Buy at Garage Sales

When I’m in the garage sale groove, I like to keep a list of the clothing my children currently need or will be needing in the near future.  I also keep a list of their current sizes for reference, because there’s so many of them, sometimes i forget.

2.  Go to Consignment Stores or Sales

You can find good condition, name brand clothes at consignment stores for a small portion of the retail price.  Yes, once again, they’re used, but if they’re cute, who cares?  Our town has one consignment store that is open year round.  We also have 2 consignment sales (like a garage sale, but it’s all children’s clothes) each year at the time of switching seasons.

You can also pay for a good portion of that year’s clothing by selling your items at these sales.  Some of the stores in larger towns will pay you up front for your clothing, while others will ask you to wait until the items sell.  Either way, it’s a great way to get a clothing slush fund.

3.  Use Facebook Swap Groups

Chances are, by now, you’ve already got your own Facebook Swap group in  your area.  If for some reason you don’t, you should start one.  These Facebook groups are typically based in a city or county that you live in.  Many of them are broken into smaller groups, where you can look just at kids things or just at household items, etc.  You’ll want to find a group that allows clothing.  Start watching the ads or do a search to see if there’s anything being offered that you want or need.  If you’re not finding what you need, consider putting an ISO (in search of) post out there, if your swap allows it.

4.  Try Discount stores that sell new name brand items.

Our family loves these stores.  Our 3 favorites are:

  • Name Brand Clothing- be careful here, they have great sales, but sometimes the items are damaged.  You’ll want to inspect each garment for damage before purchasing.  Many, many items are just fine, so just be aware.  They call themselves the 1/2 of 1/2 store.  I often find shirts for $2-$4 and pants for $5-$10 and they are brand new quality.
  • Ross – Dress for Less - This doesn’t have near the variety that Name Brand Clothing has, but you will not find damaged goods.  If you’re in Texas, these stores are EVERYWHERE!  (I think we hit a dozen of them on our last vacation, lol).  There are some great deals to be had here!
  • T.J. Maxx - This store is a little pricier yet, than the above two, but they offer a different selection and they’re still cheaper than retail.  You’ll want to check it out if you’re used to paying retail all the time!

 

5.   Buy Out of Season

You’re going to want to keep that list handy again for this one.  Take inventory at the end of the current season.  What sizes and items will your child need when this season comes up again?  Often, stores will be clearancing the out of season items at 75% to 90% off.  You won’t want to miss out on these mega deals, but you have to know what you’ll be needing.  Otherwise, you’ll just end up with clutter.

6.  Let Your Friends Know You’ll Be Happy to Take Hand Me Downs

We have many friends who periodically drop clothing off to us.  We go through them and then we donate the rest.  We’ve saved lots of money by gathering only the items we will use.

7.  Try Thrift stores

Do you frequent thrift stores?  Let me tell you, not every thrift store is created equally.  Some are way overpriced on their clothes.  Some are junkier than others.  But, when you find the perfect thrift store, you are so happy!  You can find, barely used, school quality clothing for pennies on the dollar!  Yes, you have to search sometimes, but if you love a good deal, you’ll have some fun in thrift stores.

Here’s an unrelated tidbit from my past.  I used to buy thrift store clothes and sell them on Ebay.  We made a decent side income by doing this!

8.  Know when the sales are

Many stores have sales at the same time every year.  If you learn when these are, you’ll be sure to save money.  These stores will also have coupons and cash offers if you spend a certain dollar amount.  Gymboree has been known to have a sales where if you spend $50 one week, they’ll give you $25 to spend another week.  Almost every store out there will have great sales around the holidays.  Easter, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are the best holidays to shop around, off the top of my head.

9.  Outlet Malls are Fun!

When my 3rd child was born, we lived about an hour from Branson, Missouri, who had 3 outlet malls at the time.  (Now, they’re down to 2, but they still have some amazing deals!)  If you can get to an outlet mall regularly, you can find some steals.  My 3rd born was my best dressed baby, because I kept finding the most adorable baby clothes at The Children’s Place on sale for a dollar or two.

Keep in mind with outlet malls:

  • They will often have a coupon book available in the managing office, which you may have to pay a small amount to obtain.
  • Their sales are always better around holidays.
  • Sometimes, they’re no cheaper than retail, so be aware and don’t get sucked in, unless you just want to be of course!

10.  Store Your Older Children’s Clothes for Hand Me Downs

I keep a stock pile of children’s clothes in my basement.  Honestly, I don’t have to buy clothes very much.  I have to buy them more for my boys, because I don’t save them between the two of them.  There’s just too many years between them to make it worth my while.  But, if you have children who are close in age to one another (like my girls are), you can save loads of money by saving their old clothes and letting your younger children grow into them.

I hope this gave you some good ideas of where to get started.  Do you have some ideas that I haven’t shared here?  Please share them below.  My readers are eager to learn of even more ways to save money on children’s clothing!

 

10 Ways to Save Money on Children's Clothing