Posts Tagged ‘coronavirus’

Favorite Things: Coronavirus Edition

My asthma has been flaring up, likely from anxiety about spread of COVID-19. There are moments I have to remind myself that I have no fever or other symptoms, and the people in my direct contact are indeed safe.

The pandemic has caused many of us return to the things we tried to give up for lent: nail biting, screen time or alcohol. (My finger nails are a hot mess!) Our house has had a few tensions like any one else’s, but we haven’t gotten it all wrong.

Wes and I have been practicing gratitude by sharing each night for the last year or so one thing in which we’re grateful. Recently his answers have brought me to tears and laughter, and it occurred to me that I haven’t shared a “favorite things” post in a while.

Here’s a few random things that we enjoy and use, and perhaps one of them may bring a needed smile to your face, too.


<<Newest Discoveries>>

We discovered this funny app a few weeks ago. You post on an imaginary social platform, and thousands of bots “like” and comment with ridiculous replies. It has made us giggle and scratch our heads! (Fair warning, though, I haven’t yet found a language filter.)

UNICEF Kids Power Band
Wes mentioned that he misses going to his specials during the school closure – particularly Dance & Drama, where his classmates complete group exercises to “unlock” opportunities to send high-protein food packets to malnourished children through UNICEF. It sounded cool to me, too, and I researched their family fitness program, snagged a couple activity trackers on eBay, and now we’re competing against each other for highest number of daily steps. In a week, we’ve been active enough to “earn” a dozen therapeutic food packets sent to kids who need it most.

Loog Guitar
Wes received a 3-string acoustic guitar by Loog for Christmas, but he’s been intimidated to try it until now. It helps kids learn fingering and strumming in a simpler way than with a standard 6-string guitar, and the company makes chord flash cards and a cool app to keep players engaged. For at-home “Music Class,” he is slowly learning how to play, though he says it hurts his fingers. (I remember those days!) It’s been fun to have an excuse to dust off my old guitar and play with him, too.

Practicing A minor

There are hundreds of homeschooling resources available and many lists of suggested activities floating around. We’re excited about Wesley’s upcoming virtual classes on Outschool – Pok√©Plants: An Introduction to Plants (and Fungi) using Pok√©mon! and Zelda and World Mythology. Depending on how these go, we may sign up for a few more during the next six weeks.


<<Baby Favorites>>

Cloth Diapers
We’re a part-time cloth diapering family, but now that we’re at home for the foreseeable future, the diapers are getting even more use. I used a variety of cloth diapers for Wesley’s first year and wrote a blog post on the experience, and this time around, we opted for cheaper ones. I’ve been really pleased with Best Bottom Diapers (similar to the more expensive GroVia) for their simple button inserts and reusable cover. We also have a handful of Alva Baby pocket diapers (bought on Amazon), and they’re just as good as the more expensive brands.

One more suggestion: invest in some Rockin Green detergent, and add Bac Out for eliminating the ammonia stinkies! I pour in about 1/4 cup in the pre-wash cycle.

Baby Signing Time
Still love this series a second time around, and nearly 10 years later! Maisie appreciates that we know what she’s referring to and can communicate effectively with us. While she does babble and “talk” quite often around us, she only says between 10-20 words. However, she can sign more than 50.

The songs are generally catchy and minimally annoying, and even Wes likes to watch one of the four 20-minute episodes with Maisie. We never did get much further than Rachel and the TreeSchoolers, which is another quality educational program from this company, though I know Signing Time is well-known and popular.

Signing “water” while in the bathtub

When Wes was a toddler, we didn’t worry about him falling down the stairs, because the only steps were to the basement, blocked by a door. He also wasn’t interested in moving from Point A to Point B, unlike Maisie, who has already boinked her head more times than we can count.

In this house, we have a prominent staircase with a bannister on one side and a wall with crown molding at railing height on the other. It has made for a challenge in finding the right baby gate to keep Maisie downstairs. I finally found it, though: a removable, retractable gate that can attach at an angle. It’s pricey at $120 – and accessories may be required to attach like on our stairwell. But with all the perks included, so far it’s worth the cost.

OneKid Road Coat
During Maisie’s first winter, my mom got her a unique snow suit with an inner zipper that accommodates a seat belt harness in a much safer way than a regular snow suit or coat. This winter she used a second-hand coat found at a consignment sale, and once washed, the stuffing from the arms gathered in the shoulders and made her look truly beefy. It’s been such a pain to strap her in the car, and I’m sure it’s not safe.

I recently purchased a “transition coat” for less chilly weather from OneKid, the same company as the cool snow suit with the same inner zipper. Granted, we haven’t been traveling in the car too much lately, but getting her in and out has been a huge improvement over her bulky winter coat. I like it so well that she now has a down-filled version for next winter!

Notice the rad unicorn design!


<<Current Necessities>>

Moodstruck Lip Exfoliator
Cold weather may be heading out, but my skin is still so very dry, including my poor chapped lips. This Younique purchase was a splurge, but it’s one of the best things I’ve tried. You don’t know how much you needed a lip exfoliator, seriously.

AYR Saline Nasal Gel
Ugh, crusty noses are the worst. My mom introduced me to this stuff a few seasons ago, and it’s great for the kids as well as my own allergies. If you have dry skin around the nose, or it’s stuffy or runny, try it and be impressed.

Cetaphil DailyAdvance Lotion
Speaking of dry skin, I’ve been washing my hands so often throughout the day that they’re in bad shape. One of my friends asked for lotion suggestions on a Twitter feed, and I mentioned Cetaphil’s line of products. I figure it’s good enough to mention here, too, because it’s become a necessity around our house.

DIY Lysol Imitators
I’ve made my own floor cleaner since my weird MRSA infection last summer because I had trouble finding products that could kill the bacteria. Given the current demand for cleaning products, I’ve been making additional batches of disinfectants. Here are my recipes for floor cleaner and household spray.

Disinfectant Floor Cleaner:
– 1-2 gallon(s) hot water
– 1 cup white vinegar
– 1 cup rubbing alcohol (optional)
– 1 tsp blue dish soap (optional)
– 10 drops tea tree oil
– 10 drops sweet orange oil

Disinfectant Household Spray:
In a 16 oz glass spray bottle, combine (and shake):
– 12 oz rubbing alcohol (or nearly to the top of the bottle)
– 1/2 tsp hydrogen peroxide
– 30 drops tea tree oil
– 15 drops each of oils: eucalyptus, lavender, lemon


We’ve found that spending at least 15 minutes outside each day, regardless of the weather, has also brightened our moods. Today was nice enough to take a family bike ride around the neighborhood – and we were far from the only ones with the idea.

I simply remember my favorite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Stay safe, healthy and smart out there!

Posted: March 25th, 2020
Categories: Leah
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