Category Archives: The good life

Boy flu

Yesterday I got a call from Julian’s school requesting to pick him up because he is running high fever.

I rushed from the farm and as I entered the nurse’s office my poor boy looked miserable. I could tell he was hurting. As we drove home I suggested we get comfy, make a cup of tea and watch some StarWars. He said ‘no thanks’. Clearly he was very sick!

Once home he started crying and whining and feeling really sorry for himself. I could see the man flu coming! It was now or never, it was my duty as a woman to stop the circle of self pity over a germ attack. I sat down and explained to my sweet 7 year old son that when one is unwell he must find ways to beat the sickness. To fight it, to listen to the people who can help him and to listen to his body. I told him that fever is good and means that his body is working overtime. We talked about the army of blood cells fighting against the bad virus inside of him right now and that it is his duty as a leader to give them all the support by resting and drinking fluids. He calmed down and fell asleep.

Over the afternoon Julian threw up often, battled high fever and caught loads. But through it all he was kind and polite, thanking me for everything I did, asking if he can help me clean up after him, offering to go back to bed so I can finish making dinner for the rest of us. He continues to be beyond wonderful this morning and is feeling much better.

I cannot believe that I managed to nip the man flu symptoms in a bud. Researchers have found that a positive attitude with a general attitude of vigor is associated with less severe symptoms of flu and cold*. I just wish other men would follow suit. In the mean time all girls 10 and bellow who one day might be my son’s chosen one: YOU ARE WELCOME!


* Turner, R.B. The common cold. In: Mandell, G.L., Bennett, J.E., Dolin, R., eds. Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases. 7th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Churchill Livingstone; 2009: Chap 53.

The art of hoarding

My kid is a hoarderer.

We have known this for awhile. He cried for two days this summer when we suggested to buy new furniture for his room and replace his bookshelf which is not actually meant to hold books but is the changing table I used to wipe his butt on when he was a baby. Thanks to IKEA suggesting it can be a useful piece of furniture once your children are potty trained my son has big plans for it. Apparently he will keep it forever and let his wife display her Barbie doll collection when they are retired and living in Boca Raton in 2089. When we asked him to please pass on his scooter to our neighbor’s two year old he fell apart and we have given up begging to donate the red car which he cannot fit into at all. I have resulted to throwing things away while he is not watching which usually works except on occasion when he comes screaming: ‘MOM where is my fantastic Mr. Fox figurine that I got in the Happy meal in 2009 and have never played with before ever? I put in a safe place in box number 19 under the stairs cause I knew I would turn out to be a huge Wes Anderson fan and I really, really need it. Can you help me look for it?’ So I must keep up with the charade and spend two hours looking for it although you and I both know I gashed it in 2011.

It baffles us how this could be since my husband and I are not really sentimentally attached to things. Sure I have a few pairs of jeans in size 26 stashed on the top shelf of my closet but that’s just being prepared. You see in case of a huge epidemic and general famine I would most likely loose the extra 40 pounds and since all the shops would probably be looted by then I could just wear my old skinny jeans. My husband has been known to house a large collection of books, mixed tapes and a 80’s yellow Walkman to play them on but I think that’s just to keep himself busy while we are stranded in the house during the epidemic outbreak, because there is only so many hours you can stare at your wife’s perfect size 26 behind. But how useful the vintage IKEA changing table will be in this situation? Not much since we probably want be allowed to cut it up for firewood. Is it even made out of wood?

Anyways I think I know where Julian gets his hoarding gene from. My grandma invented hoarding. He only ever met her when he was a baby but she must have taught him everything she knew about how to never ever let go on her death bed. I grew up in the house full of stuff. Not vintage shabby chic stuff, more like a newspaper collection from the 60’s that grandma never got the chance to read and kept for when a spot on her calendar opened up in 1989. She once kept a kiwi that went a little too soft and grandpa and I refused to eat just in case we changed our mind. Six months later special forces came in hasmet suits and sealed our apartment for bio hazard materials. She was so glad to have visitors she immediately offered them some kiwi.

Clearly scientific research is right when they say genes skip a generation. Or in Julian’s case two. Never has this been more evident then few weeks ago during the ordeal that was the tooth fairy. But that’s a whole other story…

Cool Sleep: 7 Ways to Make your Kid’s Bedroom Fun and Fit for a Good Night’s Sleep

You can really let your imagination run wild when you’re creating your child’s bedroom. With a few simple touches, you can transform the space and ensure it’s both fun and a great place to get a good night’s sleep. Here are some top tips to help you along the way.

1) Create a play area

All children’s bedrooms need a play area. Don’t worry if you’re lacking in square footage. There’s always a way to fit a play space into these rooms, even if where they sleep takes up a lot of room. For instance, it’s now easy to buy raised children’s beds, and these items free up more floor space.

2) Be savvy with storage

Because your tot’s likely to have tons of toys, it’s important to include plenty of storage in the room. If your child goes to bed with items strewn across the floor, they may find it hard to relax and switch off, and this can stop them from getting all-important shuteye. Full height shelving is great if you’ve got a mountain of toys to store.

3) Play around with color and theme

Be bold with color too. While good old magnolia may be OK in other parts of your house, you can afford to play around with different hues in your kid’s bedroom. If your child’s old enough, get them to choose their favorite colors.

Bear in mind that bedrooms are also crying out for a theme. All youngsters are obsessed with something. Whether your tot’s into dinosaurs, princesses, cars, animals or anything else, make sure you reflect this in their bedroom.

4) Make it pet-friendly

Kids love dogs and cats and if you have one of these pets in your home, make sure it feels welcome in your child’s room. The simple addition of a basket will encourage your family’s four-legged friend to spend time in the space.

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5) Get creative with lighting

Good lighting is a must in children’s bedrooms. As well as lamps and wall or ceiling lights, it’s helpful to include a skylight. These comforting illuminations could help your little one to nod off at night.

6) Channel your child’s inner artist

To add a personal touch to the room, encourage your youngster to get stuck into some art. By displaying their creations on the walls, you’ll give your child a sense of pride and satisfaction.

7) Understand that comfort is key

As well as making sure your kid’s room looks the part, you’ve got to think about comfort. We all know how difficult it is to deal with tired and grumpy tots, and bedroom design can play an important role in helping children to get sufficient sleep. Make sure you choose warm and comfy bedding and opt for window dressings that block out enough light.

By following these basic design principles, you should find it easy to create the perfect bedroom for your youngster.

Images by Alicia Nijdam-Jones and crimfants, used under Creative Commons license.