Saturday, December 05, 2009

Random Bits

Seems things always get busier as the holidays close in upon us, doesn't it? At work EQII is getting ready for Game Update 54 and the release of Sentinel's Fate and Free Realms has a big update coming mid-month, so things are busy there. At home we're trying new ADHD meds for Kiddo and getting ready for the holidays. Hubby is finishing his first semester of college, and Junior is making progress on potty training. Just a really busy time.

So here's some tidbits that aren't really enough to make a whole blog by themselves.

Caffeinating Your Kid

I never ever thought that giving my kid caffeine would be a good thing. Kiddo has hyperactive ADHD, and sometimes he just needs a little extra help keeping control. With ADHD kids stimulants suppress their symptoms (it's like they work backwards and slow them down). Caffeine is easy and readily available. Since we've been ramping him up to a target dose on his new meds we've needed a little help.

Problem is, Kiddo doesn't like hot drinks. Coffee tastes foul no matter how I hide it and he doesn't like hot chocolate. Tea was rejected, iced tea tolerated only with insane amounts of sugar added. We ended up giving him diet soda, which just makes me cringe and caused jealously issues with his little brother. I was at a loss, having rejected giving him NoDoz (it just seemed wrong, the kid has to take enough pills).

A couple weeks ago I had a burst of inspiration: tea-infused juice. Sure, juice still has sugars, but they're natural sugars and there's at least vitamin benefits. Black tea has too strong of a taste so I went with green tea. Bring a couple cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat (if you boil the tea bags it gets bitter) and steep four bags of green tea for about 20 minutes. This gives you a green tea concentrate. Use this to reconstitute juice concentrate according to the juice instructions, making up any shortage with water. If you use a strong flavored juice (I like the Dole blends) you just about can't tell the difference.

Reading Instructions

I do a lot of laundry. Lots. Lots and lots and... good gods, I'm going to make everyone go nekkid. How can one kid under three feet tall generate four full loads of laundry a week?

Anyway, I felt like I was going through laundry soap terribly fast, even given the vast quantities of laundry in my house. I use All Free and Clear. I tried a lot of detergents because of Kiddo's dry, sensitive skin and I've been very pleased with results I get from the All. This time I bought the really big container because I felt like I was running to the store for more all the time. Here's what I discovered as I threw out the empty bottle of 2x:

The larger containers of All laundry detergent all have the same measuring cup. But read the instructions: there are four measure lines on that cup and the different concentrations of All use different measures.

Doh. The 3x uses line 1 for a regular load. The 2x uses line 2. Using line 2 with the 3x I was literally using twice the soap I needed to. Talk about a money-waster!

Flat-Rate Boxes

I've mentioned these before. If you're mailing a lot of Christmas presents you really need to look into the USPS Priority Mail flat-rate boxes. These now come in three sizes at different rates. I find them awful handy because a fruitcake and jar of jam together weigh over two pounds. You get fast service (parcel post no longer has any kind of guaranteed delivery time and get shoved to the back of the plane) and you can save a lot of money. They determine the price by which zone you're mailing to and from. An additional bonus: the boxes are free, and you can have them sent to your home from the USPS website. If you're very organized you can estimate and pay the postage online and they'll come pick them up.

I'm not quite that organized, but today I took seven medium-sized flat-rate boxes to be mailed. They cost me $10 and a bit each. For fun I took the last one and had the machine calculate it as though it weren't in a flat-rate box, and determined I saved $7 per box. That's almost $50!

I'm off to do laundry (grumble), go to the post office, and take Kiddo to Barnes & Noble to choose a book for being sheerly awesome with his little brother all week (we're liking these new meds!). Remember in your holiday dash to stop, breathe, and remember that it's not about presents and doing, it's about loving and sharing.

1 comment:

Lisa S said...

I just happened upon your blog....cute...have you tried mountain dew for the caffeine boost?...or any one of the energy drinks? Good luck....and happy new year

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