Thursday, March 8, 2018

First Aid Kit Organization

{I debated titling this post as "Everything But The Kitchen Sink".}

You guys. I have been waiting on the edge of my seat (proverbially speaking, because I do have 101 other things going on at all times) to show this to you!!! I just had 2 key pieces on which I was waiting. When they arrived this evening, as soon as everyone was bedded down I put them in place and started taking pictures. 
Warning: picture heavy post!

Please meet our NEW medical/first aid kit!!
Isn't she purty??

I had been waiting for eons, probably about a year, to figure out the perfect solution to our overflowing, everything must be packed JUST SO to fit and we still ended up with other bags of stuff, plastic shoebox of a first aid kit that I put together the first time we went camping after we got married.  (If I learned anything from my growing up years, it was to never go on a trip without The Medical Bag.)

Then I stumbled over this thing. I pretty much swooned on the spot, both at how it was exactly what I wanted but also at the price tag. I held off. I searched the internet and stores for something else. Daniel even bought parts organizer trays from Lowe's to see if they would work.

I couldn't find anything else. I kept holding off because I didn't want to spend money on a whim, I wanted to be SURE. I combed every store I could think of, including Amazon, trying to find a fabulous deal. One store ran a great sale... but the medium bin was only available online and the sale was for in-store only. The store didn't carry the size I needed. 

I finally took the plunge, buying this medium-sized Creative Options Grab'n'Go bin from Hobby Lobby, using their 40% off non-sale item coupon. I was tickled to find the medium size in a physical store so that I could actually look at it before buying it. 

I looked at both the small size and the large size. I liked the large but it rivals a full sized suitcase and I knew that would be overkill, not to mention hard to store amd heavy to carry! I went with the medium size. (It is also available in a teal-blue color.)

One thing I like about the medium size is the varying tray depths: 1 shallow and 2 deep. You can also adjust the individual compartment sizes within each tray, which was another requirement of mine.

The 3 trays pull out like drawers. 

The top is also very spacious, so I knew it would be perfect for holding my bulky items and anything extra I might want to throw in before a trip (children's Tylenol, essential oils, vitamins, etc.).

Here is the grand tour. The OCD part of me could stare at this for a long time. 😍

In the top I have the bulky things. I even ordered some Thirty-One pouches to hold a few items so they are neatly contained and easy to grab. 

In the Rubie mini zipper pouch, I have our thermometer and odoscope. Yes, I'm that kind of mom!! This pouch still has room in it if I decide to keep something else in there, but I wanted these two items contained so they weren't jostling around. This also makes them easy for anyone to find and grab. 

The polka-dot liner adds a fun pop!

In the larger zipper pouch is the stethoscope and blood pressure cuff. When all my crazy heart stuff started going on, I bought a cheap set so I could hear my heart rate instead of trying to feel it (it was too fast to count by touch sometimes). I've used it several times listening to our kids' lungs, too, so I feel this is a good medical kit accessory (if you know what to listen for). I also figured out that with some ninja-like skills, I can take my own blood pressure. #nerd

The Thirty-One pouches, monogrammed to boot!, are so much neater and prettier than the wrinkly old ziploc baggies we had before.

This is the top compartment empty. It can hold a lot since the lid is domed!

The first tray is my OCD Band-Aid tray. Daniel picks on me about it. ;) I luuuurrrve not having to shuffle through 75 bajillion packages to find the right bandaid. 

This was another set of items that was previously stored in snack size ziplocs. It worked, but I like this so much better.

Back 2 left: large fabric bandaids
Back right: giant bandaids and fingertip/knuckle bandaids
Middle L-R: Water-block, tiny square, novelty
Front L-R: tiny fabric, med. fabric, novelty

The center tray continues with first aid items that are a little bulkier. 

I like to be prepared for anything, y'all!!

Back L-R: gauze pads, q-tips & alcohol pads, butterfly closure bandages (and directions!)
Middle: creams, paper and water-proof bandage tapes
Front: anti-itch gel, cotton balls, latex gloves

And finally the bottom tray.  It holds a lot of odds and ends. Some are not really first aid, but things that we might really want to have in a pinch. Did I say I like to be prepared? ;)

{Please do your research and make wise and safe decisions regarding keeping prescription medications.}

The bottom tray really has a variety of stuff. 😂 
Ace bandages thanks to breaking my leg on vacation! Do they make travel-size, compact crutches? I would put a pair in here if they did!
A nightlight. We have kids, being in a strange place at night without a nightlight could be interesting. #prepared
Poison soap and lotion. I got these when we tent camped. Now we cabin camp but... #prepared

And the oddest and endest stuff:
-A pocket sewing kit I chopped down to hold a bobby pin, safety pin and a few stick pins.
-Advil, saline drops, 2 kinds of ear drops, Tums (these lifesavers were NOT in our old box, thus NOT along on vacation when my pregnancy-caused heartburn decided to rear it's flaming head for the first time ev-er. Cue emergency trip to WalMart!).
-razor, pen light, ziploc with flossers and a few hairbands, bandage scissors, regular and fine tweezers.

And it all fits in this box!! It isn't too bulky or too heavy. I can now tell Daniel or Susannah (or anyone else) exactly where to find something. It will also be easy-peasy for someone else (grandparents, babysitters) to find anything. No longer does finding one thing require unpacking and careful repacking so every item fits. 

We have been using this for about 2 months now and I am still 100% satisfied and happy with it. I am a careful spender, but when I know something will serve us well, I don't mind [wisely] plunking down some moolah. This was one of those cases (ha, pun!) for sure.

What about you? Are you a neat and organized first aid kit kind of person or a hodge podge, throw it all in 1 box personality? What have I missed putting in our kit besides the kitchen sink? 

*This post contains links, none of which are affiliate, but if you are looking for Thirty-One items my friend is an excellent representative!!

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

High Ambitions Check-In: Day 3

Somewhere, somehow, back in January or early February I stumbled over a blog. Occasionally I come across a blog and scan a few posts and move on. It is rare that I identify and connect with, admire, feel inspired by, feel encouraged in all three areas of my life (relationship with Christ, and roles of wife and mama), and feel a kindred-spirit connection with a total blogger-stranger. But this lady's blog drew me in like walking into that place that is so familiar feeling you just KNOW you are going to feel at home even though it's not your own home. Anyway... to avoid further rabbit trailing, Abby at M is for Mama has a wonderful blog through which I have been reading post-by-post back through her archives. 

At some point she had a series going on, while deeeeep in the motherhood trenches (shoot, she still IS with 7 littles now!), and she called it "Project Elephant". Basically the whole list of projects she wanted/needed to work on was much too big, but one bite at a time she worked on it. 
Sound familiar much?? Hmm. Maybe there's a reason I identify with her so!

I feel like this mini-series could easily be called "Project Elephant". I didn't accomplish anywhere near everything on my list, but!! I'm not giving up! I worked as best I could, when I could, and bit by bit forward progress WAS made.

So, back to Thursday, my last day of last week to do anything on the list. Throw in some real curveballs and well, we all survived!

The day started off with Charity waking up not feeling well. It was piano lesson morning and I was thinking Charity was just extra hungry since our dinner the day before had been considerably earlier than usual. I zoomed around barking orders giving instructions for the girls to be getting ready for the day so we could eat breakfast and leave. I got breakfast made and coaxed Charity to eat a few bites. She ate 2 bites of egg and a nibble or toast. She had zero appetite. Zilch. Nada. Hunger wasn't the issue. I felt her forehead and thought she was maybe running a fever. I pulled out my handy dandy thermometer and sure enough, 101.ish read on the screen.  A quick text off to the piano teacher alerting her of our highly-likely cancellation and began to quiz Charity on her stomach. {Pleasepleasepleaseplease don't have a stomach virus! Or the dreadful flu that has been going around like vultures swarming over roadkill.}

All she wanted to do was sleep. She wanted her pillow, her ducky quilt, her blankie, and my rocking chair. I slathered her up well with oils that would support her body's immune system as it worked, and let her sleep. 

Essential oils and rest,
 excellent wellness support!

So now suddenly my morning was free. I got the bigger 2 started on school (after a lesson on Plans Change And We Must Be Flexible, geared mostly towards my firstborn who wanted to know every single how, when, where, why, what ifs and buts about the cancelled piano lesson) and ... I don't knpw what I did next. I think I started the Day of Laundry That Never Ended. 

Silas is a bundle of mischief that never ends! One of the things he did Thursday was find his way into the office, where he managed to swipe the wireless mouse and Daniel's pocketknife from Daniel's desk! He was meandering the hallway clicking the mouse (which was still speaking to the computer; all kinds of things were happening on the screen!) and quite pleased to have a knife. #lifeisnotdull

As I alluded to in my previous posts, we had a busy weekend ahead. Daniel and I were going on a weekend getaway for our 14th anniversary, and all 4 littles were staying with Daniel's parents. That meant two things had to happen: the house needed cleaned (I so dislike coming home to a not clean house) and everyone needed clean clothes. I was beyond scraping the bottom oc the barrel for some of my clothes so I started with mine. 

Between load after load after load of laundry  (skipping 2 days earlier in the week did not help!!), keeping Silas properly entertained instead of trying to poke Charity's eyeballs or pester her, keeping people fed, wiped, changed, oiled, checking temps, encouraging juice and crackers, passing out drinks, making meals, loading and unloading the dishwasher, and so on, we also did school. With the whole day turned on end, it wasn't the most motivated school day but it happened and was accomplished. #pushingtotheend
At one point I found Sylvia doing spelling on her bed with Elizabeth. She said she was teaching Elizabeth how to spell. :)

During afternoon naptime I finally got to one of the elephant projects. It helped that I was working on the girls' laundry and this heap was the hide-out for many socks that had abandoned their mates over time. There were also random odds and ends of things that just needed put away. I started with those and eventually whittled through the whole pile. Some were clothes waiting for the thrift store so those went into a bag. Others were out of season clothes that needed put away until later. I even *gasp* threw some things into the trash!! 

By the time I had been through the entire pile, this was what was left. A definite improvement but the pile was still not annihilated. I suspected this would be the case as the missing sock club has an always revolving door at our house.

So, by the end of all my laundering, in which I tried to gather up allll the random bits and pieces from the girls' rooms, the sock pile had diminished even more. There is one more place we have missing socks, so another day I will pull out all the socks from every crack and cranny and basket and do a real matching and purging. 

In all, I didn't make that much grand headway on my initial list, but progress is progress no matter how small! I certainly don't plan to give up on the list. I plan to keep it around and keep whittling away at it. I might just keep posting updates about it now and then too!

Do you ever feel like you could tackle a huge project when reality seems to laugh in your face and say "no way"? Don't give up!!