Author Archives: sarahtar

10 Amazing Products for Feeding Tubes

New to Feeding Tube life? One thing the doctors never tell you is how many products are out there to make your life easier. Here are ten amazing products made just for tubies – often made by other tubies or parents of tubies.

A Good Backpack
A good backpack. You can usually get a backpack for your feeding pump from your DME supplier, but if you want something cuter, there are many options available online. The one pictured here is from retrofied on Etsy.


Insulated Cover for the Feeding Set. Yes, this is one of my products, but I have to say, it’s genius. After waking up in the middle of the night to refill Teddy’s feeding pump bag for several months, I decided there must be a better option. Four prototypes later…. voila. Holds an ice pack and keeps the feed cold all night or all day. aaaahhhhh….sleep.


Connector Cover (one of my products). The Connector Cover is genius – it covers up the connection between the feeding set and the extension to keep all those ports closed and fastened together. Help stop bedtime leaks! Also fantastic for stopping those curious little fingers from pulling apart the connection.

AMT Clamp
An alternative to the fabric options available, this clamp made by AMT also aims to hold the delivery set to the extension.


Cord Keeper (another one of my awesome products). The Cord Keeper covers up and helps manage the tubing associated with feeding tubes. Some families find that these help reduce nighttime tangles. Some tubies prefer to keep their tubes covered up. And some tubies have several tubes to keep from tangling. Cord Keepers help with all of that!


Button Cushions, Gtube Pads. These go by a lot of names, and there are a LOT of options out there online. These pads cushion the skin underneath the Gtube, they can help reduce granulation tissue, and they absorb any leaking from the stoma. Plus, they’re cute. ๐Ÿ™‚


Caribiners. We use caribiners to clip the feeding pump backpack to my backpack, to hang the delivery sets from anything handy, to clip the insulated bag that holds his pre-drawn bolus syringes to my backpack.


Cord Clip. (One of my own products) These handy clips help manage medical cords. We’ve used ours to hold excess tubing between feeds, as well as to manage cords in bed. They can be used to hold syringes for gravity feeding, and have countless other uses as well.


Squeazy Gear. We haven’t used these soft bottles ourselves, but I’ve heard such rave reviews from other tubies and tubie parents. Particularly suited for those following a blenderized diet, these bottles hold your feed and connect to your tube. Easy Squeazy.


Waterproof bed pads. If you can get the ones from the hospital, go for it. If you can’t, these are a nice alternative. Absorbent and waterproof, these protect your mattress from overnight leaking – whether that leaking comes from overfull diapers or from inadvertent tube disconnections or from vomiting. Save your mattress!


Velcro Straps. Oh, so many uses. I still carry five of these in my “tube emergency” kit in my backpack.

And an Exra Bonus:

Syringe Holster. Many tubies have several meds they take through their tubes. Sure, you can carry those syringes in a ziplock bag, but the Syringe Holster keeps them organized and protected.

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Family Movie Night: Brother Bear

I will admit, Brother Bear is NOT my favorite Disney movie. By a long shot. But I was planning out movie nights at Gymnastics one day, and I had to go by memory of what movies we own. So… Brother Bear it was.

On the menu:

Genna’s been playing with the neighbor boy most afternoons, so we didn’t make a craft today. ๐Ÿ™‚

In exciting news, Teddy has started eating chicken nuggets. It’s his first/only meat so far. So he got chicken for dinner. ๐Ÿ™‚

Yeah, Genna was expected to eat one bite of broccoli. This single bite of broccoli was preceded by 30 minutes of crying.

The mousse wasn’t very smooth. I’m not sure why. Probably because I’m not skilled.

Family Movie Night: A Bug’s Life

A Bug’s Life is an underappreciated Disney movie. Wally went through a period where he REALLY loved this movie when he was a preschooler, but we haven’t watched it since then.

 


On the menu:
– Grasshopper Juice (lime sherbet + 7up)
– Nuts and Seeds
– Caterpillars (grapes speared with toothpicks)
– Ants on a Log (raisins and peanut butter on celery)
– Fried Beetles (we ended up with popcorn chicken)
– Flik’s Grains (corn)
-Bug Cookies for dessert (which we didn’t make because it was 18 million degrees that day and I couldn’t turn on the oven)

Family Movie Night: Frozen and Mulan

FROZEN

 

OF COURSE we’ve seen Frozen. 18 billion times. But I’ve wanted to serve Soup, Roast, and Ice Cram for a long time, lol. (Like Anna says will be at her wedding.)

 

So, on our menu:

– Soup (Yep, I did good old Campbell’s)
– Roast (just regular Roast in a crock pot)
– Sven’s Carrots (but I cooked them, because that’s how Genna asked for them)
– We finish each other’s Sandwiches
– Ice Cubes in water
– Ice Cream
– Chocolates

OF COURSE, right? I can’t think of a movie besides Beauty and the Beast that has more obvious food choices. (Ok, Ratatouille…)

 

Our activity was going to be making Frozen sparkly gloop, but guess what? If you make gloop using sparkly glue because you think it’ll be a nice shortcut… yeah, no. Doesn’t work. And that was all the glue we had, because my husband bought us the wrong glue at the store… so we moved to Plan B: Assemble your own Olaf.

 

 


MULAN

OK, well, we did Mulan on a hot day when I was really tired. We ordered Chinese take out from the grocery store and took zero pictures. Yay us.

Family Movie Night: Finding Nemo and Up

FINDING NEMO

I’m a little behind in blogging these, but that’s ok. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  Our next movie night was Finding Nemo! I think we’ve all seen it several times, but I was in the mood for fish, so Nemo it was!

The menu included:

  • Fish sticks – though I got lazy and we ended up with fillets.
  • Octopus – hot dogs sliced up to look like octopus
  • Sea Shells – macaroni and cheese made with shell macaroni
  • Goldfish crackers
  • Watermelon cut to look like a shark
  • Ocean Water (ok, really, just water.)
  • Fish-shaped Cookies

 

You can see that I could have done a better job with the watermelon, lol.

 

Goldfish crackers are one of the foods Teddy eats, so that was his dinner.

 

And our craft for the afternoon was making a fish from a TP tube. Generally speaking, the eye goes on the flat side there, but whatever!

 


UP

Up is one of those movies we don’t watch much. It’s just never been anyone’s favorite. We chose Up for our movie night on vacation, since the menu was easy to make away from home.

Of course we decorated with lots of balloons. Teddy, however, has a thing with balloons. They’re not allowed to stay inflated.

On the Menu:

  • Hot Dogs
  • Watermelon
  • Corn on the Cob
  • French Fries
  • Grape Soda
  • Helium Balloon Bunches

The Helium Balloon Bunches were Rice Krispie Bars made with Trix instead of Rice Krispies and shaped into balls on straws. Tip: wear gloves and butter them well.

 

Onbuhimos to the Rescue!

Looking for a great, fast, easy-up carrier for your older baby or toddler? Look no further than a traditional onbuhimo from Wallypop.

We have many customers who prefer an onbu over a mei tai or ssc for back carries with their older babies and toddlers (generally, babies with good head control on up). Onbus can also be worn on the front for nursing or for snuggles. ๐Ÿ™‚

We just finished up these lovely Onbus, which are now available for purchase – babywearing.wallypop.netย  Many come with hoods and suck pads. ๐Ÿ™‚

Family Movie Night: Beauty and the Beast

After discovering that I was the only person in our family to have ever seen Beauty and the Beast, we decided it needed to be our next movie night. (PS, what’s up with the Human Again song? They added that after the original release, I’m assuming? Lame.)

We decorated the table with candles and my teapot. We’re keeping it classy with shot glasses as candle holders, lol. I own fancy candle holders, but I evidently don’t know where they are. Gee, haven’t used them much in the last 12 years. And my fancy teapots are all in storage, so we settled for my everyday workhorse teapot.

Also note that we spent the better part of dinnertime relighting the candles and blowing them out again, followed by demands to make a cake to go along with the candles (Teddy thought it might be his birthday).


Dinner was:

Soup Du Jour (chicken noodle)

Hotย Hors D’Oeuvres (we just bought some frozen ones because me = lazy)

Cheese Souffle (ok, it was on the menu… but then I did a reality check mid-afternoon and realized that there was just no way I was actually making that. I’m a very inattentive cook, and souffle requires some level of focus.)

Beef Ragout (recipe here)

The Grey Stuff (it really is delicious) (recipe here)

Wine for the grownups and Grape Juice for the kids plus me

For our activity, we read a few stories in the afternoon, but honestly… that’s not entirely unusual for our house, and I don’t think anyone really linked the two.


We tied our napkins ’round our necks, Cherie.


The Grey Stuff

Family Movie Night: Planes: Fire and Rescue

I decided it was time to watch one of Teddy’s movies for Family Movie Night. Usually, I’ve tried to pick movies we don’t watch very frequently, but I thought Teddy would appreciate watching one of his favorites. And by “favorites,” I mean, we’ve watched it at least 1000 times, and that’s not an exaggeration.

 

So the menu for the night was:

Airplane Smokies

Corn Festival Corn on the Cob

Dottie’s Favorite Vegetable, Green Beans (betcha didn’t know that, didja?)

Fire Extinguishing Fluid to drink (water)

Fire Jello (layered red and orange jello topped with fire retardant, aka Whipped Cream)

Red Warning Lights (so… we had strawberries that needed to be eaten…)

and for a snack during the movie, we had Fire. Fire was supposed to be Cheetos, but we had a last-minute inspiration with red, yellow, and orange sweet peppers instead!

The airplanes were super fun. Little Smokies wrapped with Crescent roll dough (yeah, from a can) and baked, and then small popsicle sticks stuck through them.

For decorations, I asked Teddy to get out all of his Planes toys and put them on the table. This lasted for a while, but ultimately, all the planes ended up at Teddy’s spot, of course.

We did zero activities. Teddy fell asleep mid-afternoon and Genna played with the neighbor boy and it was actually quiet and I had orders waiting for me, so we just didn’t worry about it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m not sure what we’d have done, anyway.

 

Family Movie Night: Peter Pan

Peter Pan’s a movie with a little bit for everyone. Good music. Sword fighting. Tinkerbell. Seriously racist depictions of native populations. It’d been a while since we’d watched it, so I chose it for our next movie night. I delegated dinner prep to Randy while the kids and I made Peter Pan hats from green construction paper.

The menu:

Pirate Ship Hot Dogs

Tinkerbell’s Favorite Dip

Lost Boys Swords

Mermaid Lagoon

Sea Water

 

The pirate ships were just hot dogs in toasted buns with pirate sails. I had intended for the pirate sail making to be a family activity and everyone could decorate their own sail, but we had another afternoon of peaceful sibling play and it seemed a shame to break that up. Yeah, I’m a firm believer in leaving well enough alone.

Tinkerbell’s favorite dip turns out to be ranch dip – who knew? And the Lost Boys swords were carrot and celery sticks.

Mermaid Lagoon was just blue Jello, and the Sea Water was just blue water.

 

Teddy mostly ate cheese, but he did lick a hot dog – one of only a handfuls of interactions with meat that he’s tolerated. So that was happy.

I didn’t have a chance to take pictures, but we did some Walking the Plank before the movie – we have a small balance beam (it’s a 2×4, lol) and we draped it across various sturdy and not so sturdy household objects and took turns walking across it.

 

Genna put on her Tinkerbell dress and shoes and got her plush Tinkerbell from Teddy’s Wish trip to DisneyWorld before we settled down to watch the movie.

Family Movie Night: Meet the Robinsons

Meet the Robinsons is one of my favorite undervalued Disney movies. It just doesn’t get the lovin’ that other Disney flicks do, and I don’t know why. The story is awesome. The music is fun and catchy and I love basically every song. Features a smart kid. Unconditional love. “Keep Moving Forward!” What more could you want from a movie?!? Our next trip to Disney, I fully intend to DisneyBound (like casual cosplay) as Franny.

meettherobinsonspic9

 

Anyway.

Our planned activity was making a robot head at least sort of like Carl to use as our centerpiece, but then… First, the kids had trouble getting their chores done, and then they were all three playing together and getting along and there was no yelling or anything and I just couldn’t interrupt that, so we had no craft or activity today. Related, we also had no centerpiece. We survived.

Our menu for the evening:

  • Cheese Pizza from Art’s Intergalactic Pizza.
  • Fruit Hat Salad
  • Juice Boxes
  • Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches
  • Bowler Hat Cookies

For the pizza, we just used a take and bake from our grocery store and put it in an old PapaJohn’s box that I’d saved. The artwork on the top of the box came from here.

 

The fruit salad is inspired by the silly fruit hat worn by Lewis to cover up his hair in the future. The juice boxes are obviously because Goob drinks juice boxes. The peanut butter and jelly sandwich from Lewis’s disastrous meeting with the potential adoptive parents.

 

Bowler Hat Cookies – the idea came from this website. Hot Tip: Krispy Kreme doughnut holes are too crumbly and irregularly shaped. Learned that one the hard way.

Someone was sampling the frosting when she was decorating…