Monday, January 31, 2011

(Un)Health(y) Department

I finally took Jacob in to get his next round of the immunizations we're doing.... Two months late. (I tried earlier.) It was a gorgeous day (another one - we actually had about 3 last week!), and there was no one in there, and we pretty much got right in and out, so I didn't mind the trip, even though Jacob screamed, and I got the usual lecture over our choice of how we do immunizations.
However, while we were there, we let the boys play with the toys. Jacob played on this thing that's like a bunch of big blocks hooked together into a big square with a slide, and Nathan played with a big wire/bead maze.
Apparently both toys were infected, with different diseases. Saturday night, Nathan came down with a stomach bug (he puked all over his own face while in bed). Since he was running a fever, Paul stayed home from church with both boys, even though Jacob wasn't sick.
By the time I came home from church, Jacob was running a fever. He wasn't throwing up, but was acting "off". By evening, his breathing was rasping in and out and he was coughing. The fever wouldn't really go away, even though we kept him dosed with tylenol/ibuprofin.
I guess I don't think of the health department as a place where the toys are dangerous.... I try not to let them play with things at the doctors office, but I guess I was thinking that when kids go to the health department, they have to be healthy to get their shots. But I guess there are other services they offer, and moms bring their kids with them, sick or not.
Thankfully, Nathan's seemed to be a 24-hour bug. He woke up chipper and hungry this morning. But Jacob was still running a fever, and we made the decision to go ahead and take him to the doctor. Generally, I would wait another day or two, but we are supposed to be getting a major winter storm starting today with freezing rain, and ending tomorrow with 40-mph winds and up to a foot of snow. I didn't want to not take him in, and then have him need to see a doctor when we couldn't get out. (Our road drifts shut if there's any substantial amount of snow and wind.)
His fever had subsided by the time we got there, but he was obviously not feeling well - content to sit and let me snuggle him, and not pull stuff off of every shelf and drawer his norm). Thankfully, his ears were clear, but she said he had major drainage in the back of his throat. She went ahead and prescribed an antibiotic to help him get on top of it.
And didn't I just say a few posts ago: this happens every time??? I had a couple of very productive days last week where I was pretty much on top of the house. You should see it now. We were almost completely out of plates (all sizes - big ones, saucers, and salad-sized), and running dangerously low on silverware. Even though the dishwasher was unloaded, we'd just been stacking them on any available surface.
I did load and run the dishwasher, but sad to say, that's about as productive as I'm going to get today. Being up almost all night with Nathan Saturday, then the same routine last night with Jacob, I'm pretty much shot. If I nap today, I can be more productive tomorrow......right?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jenius Award

And the Jenius Award goes to.....
Yesterday, I burned 6 of my fingers in two cooking mis-haps. I should get some type of award.
The first, I burned one finger taking muffins out of the oven. This was an honest mistake... I was using a crocheted hot pad, and even though I had it folded over to avoid it, I ended up sticking my finger through the weave and burning one finger on my right hand. It blistered, but I've had worse.
The second, I was taking a tray of home-made tortilla chips out of the oven. I made a smarter choice in hot pads this time, picked up the tray out of the 450-degree oven with my right hand, then grabbed it with my bare left hand to set it on top of the stove. I have no idea what I was thinking - apparently I wasn't. I burned all 5 fingers on my left hand, with my thumb, index finger and pinkie all having substantial blisters.
I'm a jenius.
And note to self: don't use warm/hot water to wash your hands, even hours after you've gotten a burn. PAIN.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A Date! A REAL Date!

Paul and I went on a date Thursday afternoon, and it wasn't 'til we were out that I realized how long it's been since we had what I would call a "real" date. Yes, we've went out recently, but the dates have been kind of, "Go, go, go! Hurry! Gotta get back!" Because of something - kids' bedtimes, Paul's bedtime (if going to days), or other plans (band practice, etc).
Paul's dad came and picked the boys up just before lunchtime. The plan was to go see a movie at 2:50, and then go out to Outback Steakhouse (we had gift certificates for both). Since the boys were gone so early, that gave us two hours with no agenda - what to do, what to do? We ended up going on up to the city and wandering around three stores (Best Buy, Pier 1, and Borders). It's been forever since we've been able to wander like that, maybe even since before we had kids. I like to browse, but I find it generally leads to wanting to buy something, so I generally avoid it. (Not to mention, going with kids really take away the ability to browse.) But it was nice.
We went to see True Grit at AMC, and did their Fork & Screen experience. We really liked it. The food that we got (appetizers) was pretty good - nothing spectacular, but still not bad, and fairly decently priced - about the same prices as Applebees food. (Now, I did think that $3.79 for an iced tea was a bit outrageous.) I loved the movie! I am somewhat familiar with the original John Wayne one, but not so much that I was constantly comparing the two. I thought all of the cast nailed their characters. JC gave me the gift certificate last Christmas (2009) so we could try out Fork & Screen, and whereas I feel bad that it took us over a year to use it, I have to say, it was worth the wait.
Outback was fantastic, as usual. Paul's work handed out gift cards as a surprise for supervisors last week. I've had a major craving for steak. (I blame Pastor, for using that visual of the steak on Sunday - although this seems to happen every winter... I think I am actually craving warm-weather barbeques.)
Even though the iced tea kept me up 'til an ungodly hour, I had a blast, and I told Paul we need to do this much more often - like once a month, at least. Although, the biggest deterrent is money (or lack thereof), though thankfully that was taken care of this time.
But I think it's worth putting into the budget.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CSI Mentality

I read somewhere that local police departments and detectives get frustrated because people see these high-tech labs on TV shows like CSI that can get things like DNA results pretty much instantly, when in reality, most departments have to send them off to a regional lab where there is a back-up of specimens. (Or something like that.)
But sometimes it would be nice if they even pretended they were capable of investigating clues.
When I went out to get the mail today, I noticed an exploded Gatorade bottle sitting in our yard. I just figured someone had thrown it in the road, and then another vehicle had hit it.
Then I got out to our mailbox, and I noticed bits of aluminum foil inside it with liquid residue all over the inside and around the seams on the outside. I don't know how many of you are familiar with teenage pranks, but I recognized it instantly as leftovers from a pop-bottle bomb that uses a reaction of aluminum foil and Draino to cause a pop bottle to explode. (I never vandalized anything with this, but it was popular with friends at Independence Day celebrations.)
Our mailbox wasn't damaged, other than the fact that the door won't latch shut, which just requires pliers to fix (I'm pretty sure, at least), and gross liquid all over. Had it just been this, I would have said, "Stupid punk teenagers," and went on with my day. But we had a Netflix DVD in there when they put this contraption in there. I had noticed the door hanging open yesterday (no mail due to the holiday), but didn't see the red envelope inside. (I didn't actually go check, as it is hard to escape the house without Munchkins following, and I didn't know what had happened until I went out to get today's mail.) I figured that the punks either stole the DVD (federal offense), or at the very least damaged it (which I'm pretty sure is an offense as well), so I called the Sherriff.
The Sherriff's officer came out, asked me a few questions, and then left, without so much as looking at the mailbox any more than a drive-by in his vehicle. He did call me later and said he intercepted our mail lady, and she said that our DVD was inside the mailbox and she got it. (How she remembered our mailbox out of 300 or so on her route, I don't know; we'll see if Netflix recieves it.)
What bugs me, I guess, is that the officer didn't even look for clues. He didn't go out to the mailbox or even look at the bottle laying in the yard. I know that teenage punks probably wouldn't be "on the books," but why not take the bottle in and finger print it anyways? Maybe they would happen to catch the kids on something else - other vandalism or underage drinking. And say they have prints from 20 mailbox bombs that they can pin to the kid. Maybe a bit of community service would put him on the straight and narrow?
I don't know; it just kind of bugged me.


Nathan: "Mom, I'm going to the big city of Ninevah! Did you know that?"
Me: "Really? What are you going to do there?"
Nathan: "I'm going to look at some fish."

(Apparently we've had a bit too much Jonah around here. He asks to read that story from his Bible several times a week, and loves the Veggietales movie.)

Monday, January 17, 2011

I'm a Gossip.

I've been reading through Proverbs. (Not to sound all self-religious.... I'm on chapter 17, and I've been reading them for probably 3 months, if that tells you how sporadic I am.)
One thing that jumps out at me in every chapter are the verses about gossip, and "the words of a fool." I know God is convicting me. And I don't know how to deal with it.
How do you respond when someone says, "Well, you need to be praying for so-and-so." Then proceeds to tell you about a co-worker whose husband has left her, but she probably deserved it, because she was having an emotional affair, and the prayer-request-sharer knows about it because of this, that, and the other. I mean, what do you do? Say, "No, I don't want to hear about it"? Say, "I'll pray, but you're gossiping"?
Don't get me wrong. I love the juicy details. I know I shouldn't, but don't we all feel just a little bit better on the inside when we hear how someone else has screwed up? Like we're just a little better than them?
So I'm convicted. I just don't know what to do about it. I guess that despite what comes into my ears, I can control what I pass on.
And I will say.... I don't believe talking about things with your husband is gossip. If someone tells me something that starts with, "Don't tell anyone, but...." I do interrupt and say, "I tell my husband everything." But I guess even within your own home, it can become malicious, and that is wrong however you look at it.

Home Remedy That Worked!

(And it's disgusting!)
I mentioned in the last post I'd tried a bunch of home remedies that hadn't done anything for my cold. When I mentioned to Nicki, the other leader at Cubbies, that nothing was kicking my cough, she told me she had found a recipe with honey and ginger that her husband had taken the night before, and it worked for him. So when I got home, I Google-d it, and found this recipe:
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground ginger
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp. water
I mixed them up, using boiling water to help dissolve everything. The web page said to take it by the teaspoon, so of course, I took a tablespoon. (I figured, with these ingredients, the worst that would happen would be that I would puke.) Then after a peaceful, hacking-free movie, I took another tablespoon and went to bed.
I'm not saying I didn't cough at all. I still coughed a bit. But not the hacking and gasping episodes like before, and the coughs actually started to be "productive."
Don't get me wrong. This stuff is NASTY. Don't smell it. Don't sip it. Toss it like a shot. (Not that I've ever taken shots before.) But I will keep the recipe on hand for the future.... I'm not sure that I'd take it at the first hint of a cough, but when I get these coughs that won't go away, you'd better believe I'll use it again.
The web page I got it from tells why all the ingredients work. Also, if you do try it, you'll need to shake it before each dosing, as obviously the cayenne and ginger will settle.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Killer Cold

It's been a long time since I've had a cold kick me this hard. In fact, it's been a long time since I've even had a full-blown cold - the last one was the week Jacob was born.
I started coming down with this one on Sunday, a week and a half ago. The hacking started last Tuesday, and it's still going full-force. I hack ALL. NIGHT. LONG. And this isn't just cough, cough - it wakes me up 3 or 4 times a night. This is coughing so hard I pee my pants, tears streaming down my face, until my head feels like it is going to implode - for an hour at a time. (And do I need to mention what coughing with a hernia is like?)
Nothing seems to be working on this one.... I've tried medicine, prescriptions (left from last round), home remedies, supplements, herbal teas, hot showers, sleeping in the recliner or propped up on pillows..... Generally, a combination of a few of the above would make it so I can sleep at night, but this round, they work just about long enough for me to actually get in to bed, and then it starts.
I guess the upside is that during the day, I don't feel too bad. Wiped from not sleeping, but I don't cough much.... That sets in about supper time. So there is an upside. Although just about anything can set me off - getting too hot, dust, flour or spices while cooking, strong scents, and air blowing on my face, like from a vent (which probably has dust in it). Not to mention the wood stove, which I would tell Paul to let go out, if it weren't 2 DEGREES outside (and that's at noon with bright sunshine!).
But I'm still taking a nap today.... if I can without coughing!

Friday, January 7, 2011

This Happens Every Time!

Why does it always happen this way? The week started off great - it was going to be a productive week. Paul washed dishes and cleaned the kitchen for me Sunday night, so the house was in great shape already. I exercised Monday and Tuesday, and was well on my way to getting back in the P90X routine.
Then I got sick.
Not just the "this is an annoying cough, but I'll muscle through it," but the "I can't do anything but sit on the couch and hope the kids don't touch me because I ache all over, I can barely swallow, and my chest feels like someone's sitting on it." I had to skip AWANA, and completely forgot about a ladies committee meeting because I was still in bed when I should have been leaving (not that I felt like going anyways).
It seems like every time I finally am going to get on top of things around here, something happens. Usually someone gets sick. And it's the worst when I'm sick. Not because I don't feel good, but because if I don't feel good, nothing gets done when Paul's working. I just loaded the dishwasher for the first time since Monday. I have 3 laundry days worth of clothes to fold. And yet, I can't motivate myself to do anything other than sit and watch the boys while sipping something to scald my throat. I try to nap when they nap (if I can actually get Nathan to take a nap), but I have just been coughing the whole time, so I get up more exhausted than when I lay down.
Maybe it's God telling me I don't really need to exercise. (I wish.) I did really good exercising every day last fall, until we went on vacation. I did kind of hit and miss until December, and then things just got out of control - schedule- and food-wise. My sister started P90X again this week, so we were going to challenge each other at it, and I know she's winning (she had a head start on the exercise in general to begin with).
In other news....
Paul and I got the book The Love Dare by Sephen and Alex Kendrick for Christmas. We were going to go through it together, but then realized that it will take away some of it if we each knew what the other was doing every day. So Paul told me to give him a week or so head start. That may be the reason for him doing the dishes, and probably also for the gorgeous flowers I got on Monday, but even though I know he is being "told" to do these things, it still makes me feel loved. I am going to start sometime next week.
I read the book Fireproof (based on the movie, which is where the book The Love Dare came from) this week. I read it in two sittings. It was pretty much the movie, in book form, but I still couldn't put it down, and still cried. The story reminds me of a Karen Kingsbury book. I highly recommend - all of them! The book, the movie, and the Dare.
After a couple gorgeous days, winter is heading back. I heard the wind shift directions this morning (our old house started popping). It's been howling from the northwest, and our draft on the back porch is back in business (apparently our under-house excursions didn't fix it after all).
Well, this post talked a lot without really saying anything. It's lunchtime now.... I think I may be motivated to serve something other than hot dogs today. Grilled cheese it is!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Dangerous Alfredo

I have wanted to try making homemade alfredo sauce for a while, but I always have just bought the jar of sauce, because we don't have "true" alfredo dishes (another of Paul's dislikes). Well, I ended up with a half package of cream cheese, and some leftover angel hair pasta, so I figured - why not try it out? I call it dangerous, because it was WAY too easy to make, and it just took leftover ingredients from other things that I already had floating around the fridge. I always thought alfredo took a few weird things, that you had to blender-ize it to get it smooth, use a double-boiler and watch it tediously while stirring constantly. Well, it took me all of the sophisticated technology of a glass measuring cup and a wire whisk. And the microwave.
2 tbsp butter
1/2 pkg cream cheese
1/2 c half and half (whole milk would work)
3 tbsp parmesan cheese
1 tsp garlic powder
Melt the butter in the glass measuring dish. Drop the cream cheese in chunks into the melted butter and blast again, stirring every 30 seconds or so, until melted. Measure and pour in the half and half, parmesan, and garlic powder. Nuke again, stirring every 30 seconds until Parmesan begins to melt. (It may have a slightly grainy texture, but you won't notice it once you pour it over your pasta.) Season to taste with salt, peppper, or garlic salt (or all three!).
Oh. My. Gosh.
And this recipe only makes enough for about 2 servings of pasta (which I may or may not have eaten entirely on my own).
I am the only one who likes alfredo at this point. I don't consider my own cravings worth cracking open an entire jar of sauce. But I'm definitely going to make it again when I have cream cheese in the house again.... And this time I'll be adding chicken and broccoli.
(I found the original recipe on, but I halved it and adjusted some things.)

Monday, January 3, 2011


"Holy, holy, holy
Is the King
You are the King
I adore You."

-a 3-year-old's version of "Revelation Song", which we sang at church yesterday. Nathan was singing it to himself all evening yesterday. I can't tell you how happy it makes me to hear my child singing worship songs!