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Kristen is a home­maker, home­schooler, and a home­keeper. Her experience includes nineteen years of practice, raising three kids, a husband, and a dog. Writing about her life helps her stay sane. She believes that sharing stories helps others by providing opportunities to share advice (and helpful hints) about homeschooling, and raising kids on the autism spectrum, while supporting marriages and families that are striving to thrive.

We're All a Little Mad Here

Well, this weather in Virginia is just crazy this year. I’m writing this while it is still February, the sun is out, and it’s going to be seventy or so degrees today. I love it- trust me, I am not complaining- but... Almost always, a mild February means a mean March. I am trying to prepare myself for the proverbial other shoe to drop. In the meantime, I’ve been outside soaking up some vitamin D (really, just the sunshine that helps the body use vitamin D), and I’ve been walking, walking, walking. I’m all about endorphins releasing this time of year. Also, the cherry-blossoms are blossoming. Meh. Poor things.

So, with this lovely weather, I have discovered that allergy season has started (a little early) and it has arrived with some sort of vengence. My whole family has itchy eyes, including the dogs. My youngest sounds like a pug with a sinus infection, and my husband is constantly rubbing his eyes, nose, face. These two do not believe in medication, so I feel like I’m on the psych ward from nursing school administering medications.

“Did you swallow?” and “Let me see under your tongue.”



Good times...

Besides Zyrtec, Clairitin, (or both on some days, though I can’t recommend that) there are some other ways to help your body and sanity get through this allergy season. This is not authoritative medical advice, as I’m not a doctor; these are just some mad-ninja-mom tricks I’ve learned over the years. They are opinions. They are suggestions. These might work for you. Like I said, we all have allergies, and these are some things that work for us, because we can't move to the desert, and I don't tolerate the cold.

Repeat after me: DO NOT OPEN YOUR WINDOWS. The lure of an open window, with draperies softly flapping in the crossbreeze, is strong. You must resist it. The pollen will be all over everything in your house, and on the pillows that you sleep on. Just say no.

Use fans. I find that the continual movement of air helps us. I think it is great background noise, too; I can’t sleep without a fan on. Ceiling fans actually can be used year-round, and they keep things like dust mites from settling in your bedding. Dust mites, alone, kind of creep me out, so the bedroom fan is on all the time in the bedrooms. I’m sure I drive my family crazy with my fan habit, but I really feel like it’s healthier to keep the air moving. In the winter, you can make it reverse direction so it doesn’t feel like a blizzard is happening in your abode.



Nasal spray up the nose after being outside is imperative. Plain and simple saline nose spray works wonders to clean out the nose. If the kids have been outside, they get a squirt up each nostril when they come back in. I also insist that they wash their hands, because that nastiness sticks to everything, and it only takes one rub to cause an inflammation response in the eyes and nose.

We have recently purchased some air-purifier plants, as well. The husband is dubious, while saying I’m cute, but I am telling you that I am hopeful this will help. We have real air purifiers, too. Each bedroom has one, and the kitchen and living room have them. We have an air-scrubber on our vent system as well. I’m dabbling into essential oils, too. It seems, though, that most of the oils purify the air. We’ll see. If you aren’t into essential oils, Febreze and Melaleuca make allergy reducing fabric and room sprays that I swear by.

Hydrate!! One would think I am trying to poison my children when I tell them to drink water. Water, though, is so important! Most of us (human people) do not drink the water amount that we should. Make it tastier by adding fruit, or mix a little juice into a lot of water. Be prepared to use the bathroom a little more at first, but after a while, the body adapts... or your bladder stretches... or you’ve developed super powers. It’s a win-win. Water does a body good!



Finally, as hard as it is, enjoy spring. Don’t hole up in your house like a recluse. Now is not the time for hibernation! Pray for regular rainfall (that helps lower the pollen count), but on the nice days, get out and enjoy the area. All too soon, we will be in the throes of one-hundred percent humidity and hundred degree temperatures, and the only pleasant place to be will be a in a pool. Take your allergy medicine, employ some ninja skills, and explore this great creation that God gave us. It’s better than wifi, truly. Plus, there are so many beautiful places to get outside in our sprawling corner of Virginia, and just a few hours drive can take you to the mountains or to Washington, D.C. for even more adventures.

Therefore, keep calm, fight allergies, and parent on. Go outside, too, for some vitamin D, and remember to wash your hands!

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Pouches' Community Corner

Trains, Planes and Automobiles Kids' Race Series


From a small beginning, Cathy Weise of the Ron Rosner YMCA has developed an ambitious three-race series for kids for this summer, with the help of The Great Train Race, Shannon Airport, Dominion Raceway & Entertainment, the Fredericksburg Area Service League and Race Timing Unlimited.

Great Train Race Director Jennifer Taylor was one of the first on board.