Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Medication Organization TAKE 2

Since we have triple ear infections this week, I thought I would take pictures of the colored bands and measuring spoons I was talking about in my previous post.

Here is the make-shift dry erase board we are using currently. I have designed a print out for a clipboard that will be a little bit easier and less likely that my children will erase the information on a WHIM.

Three out of my four have ear infections so the color coded rubber bands are working great. now, I just reach in the fridge and grab the right color. Is this a perfect system? NO! Lack of sleep, mental fatigue and the emotional roller coaster that comes with sick kids cannot be a good combo for flawless perfection. But, the more I "over" organize the least likely I am to REALLY mess things up.

Here, I have taken my daughters hair bands and put them at the dosage levels. Since I didn't find green and blue bands to go with the bottles, purple is close to blue and green and yellow make great color buddies. Hey, the theory works in my crazy sleep deprived brain, so I am just going to go with it!

Monday, April 26, 2010

The NEW Spring Organization

There is nothing like the sun coming out and the weather warming up to make you want to gut your entire house, sort what’s left and put it in a bin (I guess that is just me!). Though, for us this month, we are finding new daily challenges that seem to make that organization job move to the back burner. With spring also come spring sports. We are in our first season of sports for our kids and we are trying to figure out how to live a normal life without living it on the field or in the bleachers.

We need to make some changes to my son’s diet, which is a lot more difficult than I thought it would be. I am having to rework ALL of my recipes, and of course, my groceries. This is also changing my grocery budget – so I guess the question remains – WHY is it so expensive to get food that is nitrate, sugar & dye free? Growing your own veggies can be SUCH an inexpensive hobby. Why would adding MORE junk to your food make it cost less? Standing in the aisle of the store, reading all of the labels makes me feel like I am completely ignorant. Why do you have to be a rocket scientist to know what is ACTUALLY in your food? Apparently I need to spend weeks studying it all but, lets be honest, and WHO has the time for that? I know I don’t! What this also means is that I will not be able to do the: run to the store with four kids after school thing anymore. They barely hang in there for a three-item dinner pick up – if I have to stop and read every time they won’t make it.

Happily, this thought brought me back to organization! How can I get the groceries that I need without making the two-hour trip to Wal-Mart at midnight once a month?Research seemed to be the answer. Knowing WHAT foods is on our “can eat” list. So I am setting a personal goal – every time I go to the store, find 5 things to put on the list of the foods that we can eat. My husband has started to do the same.

Part of that research also means what stores to shop at. Trader Joe's has a GREAT selection of organic and preservative free foods at reasonable prices. It is no ALDI (though, i have found several things to put on my list) however; it is a good alternative to grocery stores. Other places to hit with a wide variety (at least in our area of the US) are Whole Foods and Giant Eagle Marketplace.

Even if you do not have these stores near you, MOST grocery stores will have an organic section within the store. Some store brands even have an organic line of foods like Safeway. The organic section of our Kroger store always intimidated me. I thought that it was WAY too pricey for us and it didn't matter if we had a few extra things in our food. BOY was I wrong! I found cereals that were cheaper than the regular aisle and if you just scan it every time you are there, you will find some great alternatives and reasonable prices.

This change in the way my family eats cannot happen overnight but at least we are learning A LOT along the way. In the mean time, I am going to get cracking on my veggie garden – it is MUCH MORE budget friendly and a fun hobby to get into.

Happy Eating!!

Here are just a couple sites I have found interesting or helpful. If you have any other helpful info, please share!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

The Quest for Medication Organization

OH, what a week this has been!

Growing up, I was allergic to SO many different kinds of medication that I really had to be careful what I was taking. Even over the counter things were dangerous! Makes me think, with all of the medication given out so often throughout ones lifetime, whether medical/drug allergies are going to be a continuing trend.

Here seems to be the dilemma in our home currently, kids with different medication allergies. What is the best way to keep them all organized so everyone in our home (who is administering medication) knows whom gets what? AND . . . how BEST to keep track of different medications taken at different times for different children.

Well, simplicity seems to be the answer here at our house! I have just come up with a florescent list hanging in the medication cabinet AND in the hall closet where we keep our extra medication. As if that isn’t enough, I have added a note behind my ID in my wallet (in case of an emergency) and in my “mama” planner. Short of stapling it to their heads, I think they MAY be safe. When it comes to REALLY dangerous allergies however, I came across these fantastic bracelets with a usb plug to store all of your medical information. A VERY smart idea indeed!

Then, to answer the administration of medication issue . . . I was just using a simple dry erase board, which I drew check boxes on. I have since; come up with an easy chart with I can print and keep on a clipboard. Also, to save time, I have put thick rubber bands on the bottles with each Childs name on them so I don’t have to read through them all to find the right kids medication. (A friend of mine gave me this great idea for kid’s cups and it has been working for medication as well.) You can also get different colored bands for the measuring cups or spoons so you can adjust it to the dosage. This made it a little easier, just be sure to double check before you give it just in case the band shifts or use small bands that will not move (like little girls hair bands). You can even MATCH the colors on the bottles with the measuring spoon so you can do it all quickly with little mistakes. This is good because with more than one sick child, you tend to have VERY little sleep and a LOT of coffee in your system.

I also have FANTASTIC spring-cleaning goals in regards to the disastrous hall closet that we now “lovingly” refer to as the BLACK HOLE! I am going to get different bins (surprise, surprise!) for each family member and then keep their regular medication and a brief medical history in each one. Just simple notes like, allergies or surgeries, nothing crazy long or unnecessary. I used to keep this information in a binder separated for each family member but, it was growing quite large due to all of the people in our family and i like the idea that it can all be in ONE place.

HOPEFULLY, it will solve the hour-long search for everyone’s medication and it will save my toes from getting hit with falling objects every time I open that closet door.

**Now, I know that by posting this, I am making sure that I do this job, so you are all going to help keep me accountable. Sorry for the added responsibility!