Friday, October 30, 2009

Sickness Update

This is Aaron posting (I hope this works) in the wee hours of the morning. I've not done this before but need to post an update for those not on Facebook. While Haley did recover from her swine flu and finally had a normal temperature for a full 24 hours, she's not able to go to school Friday due to the closure from the snow. (This is the second full day of closure after an early dismissal district-wide on Wednesday though she's not been there for any of it.) Preston was not started on Tamiflu after his Monday appointment because he lungs, ears and nose all looked good, and the side effects for his age outweigh the potential benefits. Since I'd stayed home with kids on Monday, Tara stayed home on Tuesday. Preston wasn't too interested in eating but was still drinking somewhat.

On Wednesday we had a snow day due to the massive storm hitting the area (most of Colorado, 2/3 of Wyoming, western South Dakota, the Nebraska panhandle and now into western Kansas also; currently I-76 is closed from our exit to the Nebraska border.) My work was closed and Tara's boss had already let her work from home. Her office ended up closing early later in the day. Preston's coughing began to sound more labored and he was drinking less and less. We decided to call the doctor to find out their answering service was in effect because they'd closed due to electrical problems undoubtedly related to the storm. We spoke to Dr. Bledsoe who'd diagnosed Haley last Friday and had been consulted on Preston's diagnosis on Monday. She was concerned about the posibility of pneumonia, so she recommended we go to the Children's Hospital North Campus (just over 15 miles west of us in Broomfield) rather than our local hospital--where their offices are located in the adjoining medical building. We'd been there with Preston when he broke his finger in May, so we figured we'd at least not need to update any insurance records or anything like that. Tara's visiting teacher from church was kind enough to come over in the brutal weather and stay with the other two so we could take Preston to Children's.

We were lucky enough to catch a break in the weather heading over there. We were the only ones in the waiting area when we walked in, and seemingly the only ones there period, but things still seem to take longer than needed. They checked his ears really good and found no signs of infection. His chest x-rays came back clear, so they sent us home mentioning that the most important thing was to push the fluids. They also told us if he went more than 8 hours without a wet diaper that we should come back. Brekken also got his first high fever that day and is likely coming down with swine flu now too.

On Thursday (which is still "today" to me since I've not gone to bed) Preston was extremely lethargic and alternated between sleeping and crying. There was almost nothing intelligible coming from him, and he refused to drink about anything. The cough still sounded horrible. We called the office to get the answering service again, and Dr. Campbell called us back. She recommended we return to Children's for IV fluids because he was quickly getting dehydrated. We were able to reach our friends the Hoopes who live in Thornton right on the way to the hospital, so we were able to drop Haley off there since she's better and no longer contagious. Brekken had to go with us, but he did amazingly well for being in a small room with little to entertain him and little to eat. They did the same things as yesterday getting the pulse-oxygen and more chest x-rays. This time though they needed to give him fluids and also decided to do some blood work. They had me take Brekken out of the room for the needles so he wouldn't get scared. I could hear Preston crying the entire time. He really had it rough. Our nurse warned us they'd likely want him there overnight. It wasn't long after the first IV was going in that they confirmed they wanted to keep him there. I'm not sure what the results of the blood work were, but the x-rays were a little cloudy today; and they'd put him on oxygen because his pulse-oxygen rate kept dropping when he'd fall asleep. We weren't about to try and have all of us stay there, so after a while of waiting for us to be moved to a room I finally had to take Brekken and go get Haley. We picked her up from the Hoopes house, where she'd fallen asleep, around 10:15 p.m. and headed home. Poor Brekken really didn't get dinner, but since he'd fallen asleep on the way home he was too cranky and tired to drink any milk. I hope he'll sleep OK. (I just returned from consoling him back to sleep moments ago.) Eventually I need to try and sleep.

We need all your thoughts and prayers for Preston to start recovering and Brekken to not get worse. I have to admit I'm seriously lacking in the faith department lately, so I'm really having a hard time with it. I usually try and be the strong one outwardly and then cry privately when I'm driving or alone. I had to do that when our cat George died back in July, and I'm trying to hold it together to be strong for my family, but I'm really scared right now. This is the first time I've ever had a child in the hospital overnight, and to not be there with him is really difficult. The only bright spot is that they're not allowed to admit anyone at the North Campus if they believe they will need to be hospitalized for more than 72 hours, and the doctor really hopes he'll be coming home later on Friday. Our friend Melissa Sherman has been kind enough to watch Haley and Brekken in the morning so I can go back to the hospital. I will need to possibly figure something else out for the afternoon and evening if need be. Tara will be updating from her phone on Facebook and there's a link to her status page from this blog down near the bottom-right of the page that I think anyone can access. I don't do Facebook so you'll have to figure out how to "friend her" if that's necessary. I'm sure she'll update the blog herself over the weekend. Thanks for all those who are sending us their love and support and especially to those locally who are watching our other kids.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Halloween Treat

If you need to provide a treat for an upcoming Halloween Party, here's a fun (and easy!) idea.

  • Vanilla wafer cookies
  • White candy melts (you can buy these at craft stores... it's the little candy pieces that you can melt to make custom candies. I like the Wilton Candy Melts.)
  • M & Ms
  • Red icing (you can either buy it in a little tube for easy application, or use a pastry piping bag.)
Melt the candy in a small bowl. Dip the rounded top of the vanilla wafer into the candy until the cookie is coated with the white candy. Place it on a wire rack or parchment paper (so it won't stick). While the candy is still soft, put an M & M on the center of the cookie. (The candy cools and hardens fast, so you'll need to work quickly.) Then put a dot of red icing in the center of the M&M and draw some red lines around the M&M. Voila! Eyeball cookies!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Hooray for Tamiflu!

Haley has been taking Tamiflu for her Swine Flu since Friday, and it really made a difference pretty quickly. She seemed to feel a LOT better yesterday. She still had a bit of a fever yesterday afternoon, but only around 100 - a big improvement from the 104-105 we'd been seeing. Assuming her temperature stays normal today, she'll be able to go back to school tomorrow. Not bad at all, really.

Preston has come down with the virus now. He's the one with the crazy-high temperatures. But he will get started on Tamiflu once the pharmacy opens today. I'm assuming it will work just as well for Preston as for Haley.

The rest of us are still healthy. And according to the kids' doctor, anyone in our family who was going to come down with the flu would have been sick by Sunday night. So Aaron and Brekken and I may have been lucky enough to miss this one. We were told that as long as we didn't feel ill and weren't running a temperature, we were fine to go about our daily lives. So I'm at the office today. Where I expect I will be shunned and asked to stay in my office so that worried co-workers will not be exposed to any germs I may have brought from home. ;)

By the way, if you are a worried co-worker... I washed my hands after saying goodbye to the children this morning and have a good supply of hand sanitizer at my desk!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

It's Official... Swine Flu Is In the Building!

Well we started out with the Piglet Flu. It was nasty, but we had hopes that it would at least offer us a little immunity to the full-on Swine Flu. Turns out, that's not the case.

Yep, we now have Swine Flu at our house. Haley was a little grumpy and tired and complaining of a headache after school on Thursday, but nothing outside of her usual behavior when she's short on sleep (she had not gone to bed on time the night before). So we didn't think much of it. Then she woke up complaining that she was so hot that everything hurt. When we took her temperature... 103.8. So the high temperature along with her complaints about a headache, sore throat and everything hurting (which I interpreted as being muscle aches) and the nasty cough that had suddenly developed were enough to make us wonder about Swine Flu.

Aaron was home with the kids yesterday when all this was developing, so he took them all to the pediatrician. There Haley endured an uncomfortable test for Swine Flu - they take a long Q-Tip and jam it all the way up your nose to swab the back of your throat that way. Ouch! They said it usually takes 15 minutes or so for the test to show results. Haley's came back positive in less than 5 minutes.

So, she's on Tamiflu to try and get the virus under control. We're alternating ibuprofen and Tylenol to try and keep the fever controlled. Poor kid is just laying in bed with cool cloths on her head because she's so hot and miserable. Every time the meds start to wear off, the fever zooms back up to between 103 and 105. We've got her set up with my laptop so she can watch movies in bed.

The rest of us are kind of on standby waiting to see if we come down with it, too. We're taking everyone's temperatures a lot and evaluating every little sniffle. {My chest feels a little tight... Was that a cough?... Okay, who sneezed?... Is it warm in here or is it just me?} The good news for the boys is that if they start in with the symptoms, the doc will just call in the Tamiflu without making them endure the Q-Tip test. Unfortunately, if Aaron or I comes down with it, we'll have to get the nasal swab before we can get meds.

If you've been in contact with us the last few days... I'm really sorry! We didn't know. And I really hope it didn't get passed to you.

Friday, October 23, 2009

I Love Fall

Days like this are just perfect. Weather that's just cool enough for sweaters and sweatshirts. But not so cold that you have to bundle up. Warmer in the afternoon so you can spend some time outside. But cold enough at night to have the heat turned on.

I love to walk down the sidewalk and find the crunchy leaves to step on. For some reason that hearty crunch is such a satisfying sound.

I love to lay in bed at night and hear the heat kick on. Hearing the rush of air from the vents makes me feel warm and cozy all over. It brings back memories of when I was a kid and laying in bed listening to the warm air of the heater. I was a fearful kid at night - always worried about monsters and vampires. For some reason, I convinced myself that as long as that heater was blowing, everything was safe. So I would wake up scared at night and then just listen for the heat to turn on. As soon as I heard it start to blow, everything felt safe again and I could go back to sleep. I don't (usually) worry about monsters in the night anymore, but I do still feel safe and secure when I hear the heat come on.

Here's hoping for a nice long fall!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Halloween Pumpkins

We decided not to hollow out the pumpkins this year. It was just too messy - plus Aaron and the kids are all grossed out by pumpkin guts, so I end up having to do all the pumpkin cleaning myself. So instead, we grabbed a magic marker, some pipe cleaners and glue and let the kids design their own pumpkins.

(Haley set up the lovely tableau of the Pumpkin Princess and the Mustache Pumpkin being chased across the floor by Spider Pumpkin.)

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Easy Halloween Craft

I did a simple Halloween craft project with my kids the other day. I had a collection of empty toilet paper rolls that I've been saving. I didn't really have anything specific in mind for them, but I've made a lot of crafts with toilet paper rolls, and I knew something would come up. So at my house, no one is allowed to throw away the empty roll!

I had a brainstorm and on Saturday, we put the empty rolls to use. Along with some orange paint, string, markers, pipe cleaners and googly eyes.

First, I let the kids use finger paint to paint all the rolls bright orange.

After the rolls dried, it was time to put faces on them. I suggested the standard jack 'o' lantern faces - you know, three triangles and a jaggy mouth. We did a few like that, but then the kids got bored with that method. They decided to make faces using googly eyes and mouths made of pipe cleaner. They enjoyed it, but even they agreed that the result didn't really look like a jack 'o' lantern. Actually, they decided that it looked like the Muffin Man of "Do You Know the Muffin Man?" fame. I don't know how they decided this, but they sang the song a LOT while finishing the faces. I don't even know where they learned that song.

Eventually, they decided we should put regular jack 'o' lantern faces on the back of all the Muffin Man rolls. Then we punched holes at the top of each roll, strung the rolls onto a string, and had a fun Halloween decoration for the kitchen island!
And if at any point we need a Muffin Man string, we are prepared! We just have to hang the string the other direction and we're all set. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

It's Quiet... Too Quiet

A reminder last night that a quiet child is usually up to something!

I was helping Preston with something at the computer, and Brekken was playing at the toy kitchen in my kitchen. Since there was nothing cooking for him to get into, I didn't think anything of him being there on his own. After I finished with Preston, I realized that it was awfully quiet in the kitchen and knew I'd better go check on Brekken.

When I found him, I saw that he had pushed a toy up to the counter so he could reach the countertops. We had finished the birthday cake earlier and the empty cake plate was still sitting on the counter. Brekken had taken the cake plate from the counter and was sitting on the kitchen floor with it. He was very happily pulling all the little leftover bits of frosting from the plate and eating them.

He was very pleased with himself! When I asked him what he was doing, he grinned (a sticky, chocolatey grin) and shouted "cake!" (Or "cay" if you want to be picky about it, but I knew what he meant.) I didn't have the heart to scold him. He was just too cute and pleased with himself. (Besides, I'm the one who hadn't yet cleaned up the cake plate!)

Monday, October 19, 2009

Still so irritated...

I started to blog about this on Friday after work, then decided I should hold off until I was not so irritated. I didn't want to say anything I might regret, after all. So over the weekend, I mostly tried not to dwell on work and not be so annoyed. But as soon as I started the walk up the hill to the office, all my bad feelings came rushing back.

I've been working on this project at work for months and months. It's a series of patient education handouts for our new moms. And every handout has an accompanying nurse education handout. It has been a HUGE amount of work. And on Friday, I was finally at the end of the project. I had finished every last handout. I had done all the final fact-checking and proofreading. I had assembled everything into compiled PDF files. I had created the proof binders for the printer. I had only a few last things to finish up. I was literally an hour or so from being completely done and out from under this huge project (for a week or two, until I start on phase 3 of the project).

Then... out of nowhere, a battle popped up over the copyright notice. This happened at 6:00 on Friday night. Just as I was finishing everything up. And the CEO came to my office door and told me to stop the printing. Nothing could go to the printer until the copyright battle was resolved.

Basically the problem is thatwe have two branches of our organization - the research people, and the national office. I work for the national office, and we are the ones who put all of this together. We did all the work. The research group didn't so much as touch it. But apparently they have decided that they deserve the copyright on the materials because they created the first version of these materials 10 years ago. Never mind that nothing is close to what they developed. And that more than half of it is completely new that they never even touched. Not to mention, this is hardly the first time they've seen any of these materials. They had to wait until now to decide they had a problem with the copyright (which is the standard copyright notice found on everything developed by the national office)?

But it sounds like they will probably win this battle. Which means that the copyright notice has to be changed. Which means I have to go into every one of over 1,500 documents and adjust the copyright notice. And then do all the PDF, printing, and other things that have to be finalized for the printer all over again. So a couple of weeks of work. On a project that I was so thrilled to be done with. Plus, phase one of this project was published about 6 months ago. With the national office copyright. So that has to be changed, too. Another 900+ files.

Yep, I'm still very irritated. I don't see it going away anytime soon.

Friday, October 16, 2009

The Produce Section

Haley had a homework assignment this week that was about fruits and vegetables. She had to draw 2 yellow vegetables, 3 red fruits, etc. Part of the homework instructions suggested that it might be a good idea to go to the produce section and let her check out various fruits and vegetables. Haley was very excited by this, so Aaron promised to take her on Thursday when he was off work (since homework is due on Friday).

All week long she looked forward to this trip. She mentioned it a couple of times a day. When I got home last night, I learned that they hadn't been able to get to the store yet, so we all went together. We headed out and Haley was bouncing in her seat in excitement. She kept asking Aaron if he knew how to get there. He assured her he did. After several times, he finally informed her that we were just going to Target and he knew exactly how to get there. Oh the devastation!

"But I thought we were going to the Produce Section." Things were alright again once we explained that the produce section was not a separate store, just a part of the regular grocery store.

We went inside and Aaron and Haley spent quite a lot of time checking out all the different fruits and vegetables and deciding which ones she would be best able to draw. They also picked out one new thing for her to try (part of the homework assignment). She chose to try kiwi. She was a little apprehensive about it at first. The fuzzy brown skin was not appealing to her. But Aaron and I convinced her that they were good.

The moment we got home Haley wanted to have the kiwi. Aaron sliced it up for her (I couldn't do it since I'm allergic) and she tried it. She loved it. I snagged half a slice myself. It was wonderful - though the blisters on my tongue quickly reminded me why I shouldn't eat it. Haley finished her homework by drawing all her fruits and vegetables... many were even recognizable! Then she was off to bed. A happy girl from her trip to the produce section and the promise of more kiwi tomorrow. :)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Not my perky self today...

I was just talking with a co-worker who commented: "Is something wrong? You're not your perky self today."

I have to say, I've never thought of myself as perky. In my minds-eye, perky is Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde. You know, all cute, full of energy, bouncing all over the place, and just a bit ditzy - and a little bit annoying. That doesn't fit my image of myself at all. I do tend to be fairly positive - because being a pessimist is just depressing. But please, not perky.

That being said, I am not really my usual self today. I'm still fighting a rotten cold and I'm sick to death of coughing and sneezing. I just found out that a friend of mine from high school died yesterday after a long, arduous battle with cancer. I have a major deadline at work tomorrow and I'm frantically trying to get everything done for that. I have a headache that just won't go away. And I feel old. I know 35 really isn't old, but it's feeling old to me. I think it's because I've still kind of been thinking about talking to Aaron about another baby. I don't know how he would feel about it. I don't even know for sure how I feel about it. But now I've hit 35 and that's advanced maternal age. And that makes me feel old.

BUT, to look on the positive side of things (since I just said I prefer to be positive)... hopefully the cold medicine will kick in soon. Marshel is in a better place now and not in pain anymore. I have a lot of work to do to hit my deadline, but I should be able to get it all done - and it's a book I can be really proud of. I finished off most of my Christmas shopping last night. Done nice and early AND I didn't go overboard on the spending. And give me a few days to get over my cold and my deadline stress and get a little more sleep and I probably won't feel quite so old anymore.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Birthday Surprise

I had a good birthday yesterday. Even though I had to work (and work hard, I still have a looming deadline) when I usually try to take the day off and relax for my birthday, I enjoyed the day. My co-worker took me out for a yummy lunch (thanks, Suzie!).

When I got home, the kids gave me their present. It was a book off my Amazon wishlist. So I suspect Aaron provided some assistance with this present. My kids are pretty computer savvy and Haley could probably figure out how to place an order - but I don't think they have our credit card number yet. :)

Then Aaron brought over his present. I could tell from the smile on his face that this was his surprise present that I'd been so curious about. He handed over an envelope... I opened it and found... tickets to Wicked! I am SO excited! I love love love the music from this show. I can sing every word of every song when I listen to the soundtrack. I have wanted to see it for so long.

We actually had tickets to Wicked a couple of years ago. We bought them a few months in advance and I looked forward to it for ages. Sadly, on the day we were supposed to go to the show I had a miscarriage. Obviously attending the musical was out of the question. We didn't want the tickets to go to waste, so we called our babysitter for the evening (Shalyn Larsen) to tell her we wouldn't need her after all, but did she want to grab her mom and go to a show? I hear that they really enjoyed it.

So after all this time, I'm thrilled to finally see it. And thrilled that my sweet husband remembered that I wanted to see it and made the effort to get the tickets for us. Thank you, Aaron!

And now... anyone available to babysit on November 11? ; ) We're actually going November 12th.


I found a new tool that's helpful for those of us who don't know a lot about car repair. lets you enter a few details about your car, the area you're in, and the repairs you need, then gives you an estimate for what that repair should cost from the dealership or an independent repair shop in your area. It will even recommend specific shops to try if you don't have a usual mechanic.

Maybe if we'd known about this before, we wouldn't have gone so long with broken windshield wipers during the rainiest summer we could remember! (That turned out to be a pretty cheap repair - if we'd known what it would cost, we'd have taken the car in much earlier than we did.)
Check out the Works for Me Wednesday blog carnival at We Are That Family to see what's working for others!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Mean Mom Moments

Sometimes, I am a mean mom. It's generally at bedtime. I can manage all day long, but once it is bedtime, it is supposed to be grown-up time. And when the kids mess with that by refusing to stay in bed, the mean mom makes an appearance.

The kids get a bedtime snack, a bedtime drink, usually a story, and then hugs and kisses before they leave the room. Then the gate goes up so they can't get out. Haley and Brekken are usually asleep within minutes of going to bed. Unless Preston keeps them up. The gate is for Preston. Otherwise, he would be out every 2 minutes. As it is, he is usually standing at the gate shouting for more snacks, more drinks, more hugs, whatever he can think of. That's the Mean Mom Moment. I respond that he's had a snack, drink, and a hug and he's not getting any more. He'd better quiet down and go to bed. Don't make me come back there! (Isn't that the traditional threat?) Drives me nuts every night.

Once they're all sound asleep and I go in to check on them, they're all so sweet. Mean Mom goes away for another night.

What triggers your Mean Mom moments? (Come on, surely I'm not the only one who has them?)

Monday, October 12, 2009

First Snow

We had our first snow of the season late last week and over the weekend. It started snowing on Thursday. This first required us to make a trip to Payless for new shoes. All the kids wore sandals/crocs all summer long and didn't have any shoes suitable for colder weather. And both of Aaron's shoes had a nice whole along one side that would let in any snow. So new shoes all around - well, except for me. Aaron very correctly pointed out that I have lots of perfectly good shoes already.

On Saturday it was snowing again. We actually had an inch or snow on the ground. The kids were VERY excited about this and begged to go out and play in it. So we hunted up the snow gear. Haley still fit into her size 3T snowpants... the upside of having kids who grow slowly is that you don't have to buy new stuff every year! All the kids are wearing the same winter coats for the 2nd year in a row - yay! Preston can actually still fit into his snowpants, too. But since they're size 12 months, I'm passing them on to Brekken and getting a new set for Preston to last him a couple more years. So once everyone was all bundled up, they headed out the door for fun in the snow.

As they left, Haley asked me if they could stay out for 3 hours. I told her she was free to stay out as long as she wanted. Knowing my children as I do, I knew that wouldn't come close to 3 hours. Sure enough 5 minutes later Brekken was ready to come in. Haley and Preston lasted another 10 minutes and they were back inside begging for hot chocolate. They snuggled together in the recliner bundled up in a blanket and sipping their hot chocolate. You'd think they'd been out for the whole 3 hours, the way they milked it! :)

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Ask a Child

I asked my kids some questions about me. Some of the things they had to say were pretty amusing.

Haley - 5 years old
1. What is something mom always says to you? Do it!
2. What makes mom happy? Doing things that you say
3. What makes mom sad? not doing things that you say
4. How does your mom make you laugh? when we do funny tricks
5. What was your mom like as a child? you did crafts
6. How old is your mom? 16
7. How tall is your mom? almost as tall as the wall
8. What is her favorite thing to do? sit
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? clean up the house (occasionally true)
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? for a performance
11. What is your mom really good at? cleaning the house (Ha! So not true.)
12. What is your mom not very good at? sweeping (I wouldn't say I'm not GOOD at it, I just don't do it often enough.)
13. What does your mom do for a job? fashion designer (I don't know where she got that idea!)
14.What is your mom's favorite food? pizza (true, along with ice cream)
15.What makes you proud of your mom? cleaning the house (there's a lot of mention of cleaning the house... not sure why, it's not like it happens that often!)
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? Daphne from Scooby Doo (I'll take that - she was always the pretty one)
17. What do you and your mom do together? crafts
18. How are you and your mom the same? we both have curly hair
19. How are you and your mom different? we're not the same size
20. How do you know your mom loves you? because you hug me
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? when he cleans (again with the cleaning... but I DO like it when he cleans)
22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? a restaurant

Preston - 3 years old
1. What is something mom always says to you? Don't be naughty! (He does hear this a lot)
2. What makes mom happy? hugs
3. What makes mom sad? If I eat all the things that you got and take them away (I'm not sure if he's remembering something or planning something for later...)
4. How does your mom make you laugh? tickle me
5. What was your mom like as a child? shaking a rattle
6. How old is your mom? big
7. How tall is your mom? 20
8. What is her favorite thing to do? do the computer
9. What does your mom do when you're not around? play with my toys
10. If your mom becomes famous, what will it be for? exercise (yeah, right!)
11. What is your mom really good at? being on the computer
12. What is your mom not very good at? picking up pillows (I'll have to get right on that... no more pillows laying around at our house ;) )
13. What does your mom do for a job? tell people not to get into cups that are breakable (I don't understand that one, either.)
14.What is your mom's favorite food? soup (I do make a lot of soups. More because they're easy than anything else!)
15.What makes you proud of your mom? play with the toys
16. If your mom were a cartoon character, who would she be? a gorilla (Apparently I should shave more often...)
17. What do you and your mom do together? build a puzzle
18. How are you and your mom the same? I'm a boy, and you're a boy - that's how we're the same. (I need to have a little talk with him, I guess.)
19. How are you and your mom different? we have different shirts
20. How do you know your mom loves you? you love me with $50. Can I have $50? (Already hitting me up for money - I thought he would be older before that started.)
21. What does your mom like most about your dad? to play with him
22. Where is your mom's favorite place to go? a restaurant (2nd child in a row to say that; I guess it must be true!)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Mmmm... Chili!

I tried out a new chili recipe a couple of days ago and it was mmm... mmm good! I'd had a different recipe for this style of chili, but it was only okay, not great. This one was so good that I think I may just stop on the way home tonight and get a couple of ingredients so I can make it again. It's supposed to be cold and snowy again tomorrow, so perfect chili weather!

I'll make it at least another time before Halloween so I can perfect it before the ward chili cookoff at the Trunk or Treat... maybe this will be my year! Sadly, at the last two cook-offs I came away with not so much as an honorable mention. Aaron pointed out that this could be due to my tendancy to never make a "normal" chili. My previous entries were a taco chili and a white chicken chili, neither of which is a traditional chili that you find around here. Well, the chili this year is not a traditional one either! The problem I have with most chilis is that they tend to just be a competition to see whose is the hottest. I'm not a fan of having my mouth burned with the spiciness, so I don't go for the hottest chili. I like some heat, but not scorching heat.

So, I'll keep working on my non-traditional chili for the cook-off this year. If that doesn't work, I may have to break down and do something a little less unusual next year. But probably not. :)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Piglet Flu

I learned that the nasty cold + stomach bug that my family had last week is going around. Since it's related to Swine Flu, but milder, they're calling it the Piglet Flu. Tee-hee, made me laugh.

I also had a revelation about why it's called Swine/Piglet Flu... because after your family has gone through a bout with this flu, your house looks like a pig pen! Hopefully now that everyone has recovered I can whip things back into shape this weekend. But I'm not making any promises...

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The curiosity is killing me...

A couple of weeks ago I went to bed and Aaron stayed up. A while later, he comes in to wake me out of a dead sleep to ask if the bank account could take it if he spent a bit over $100. I was still mostly out of it and trying to remember in that state how healthy our bank account was and what upcoming bills were still to be paid. I finally managed to figure out that yes, we had that much but I was still trying to process why he needed it. He told me he was buying a birthday present.

Since we've been economizing a lot lately, I had figured on more like $40-50 for any birthday gifts. When I reminded him of that (it was very articulate... I think it came out something like: "We... You... Should you spend... You don't need to spend that much?") He told me that he REALLY wanted to get this. Still mostly asleep, I just mumbled okay and went back to sleep.

Since then, though, I've been very curious. What is it? Why did it cost that much? Most of all, why was he shopping in advance? That's not at all like Aaron. Much more like Aaron is to shop via Amazon with the 1-day or 2-day shipping just in time to arrive before birthday or Christmas. Hmmm... I'm looking forward to finding out.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Getting Back to Normal

I feel like I've been so far out of my routine for the last month. The first week or so in September I ended up spending at my parents' house. When I got back, I had a good couple of weeks where I couldn't ride the bus, take care of my kids, clean the house, etc. because my back was hurting so badly. Last week I spent attending/helping with/teaching an education session (50 nurses from across the country), so I wasn't in the office all week. And again, driving to work every day because my starting and ending times were very erratic and not bus-friendly, plus by the end of the week I needed the flexibility of heading home at a random time in case the kids were sick enough that Aaron needed another hand.

So this morning, I finally feel like I'm back to normal. Everyone is healthy again. My back is still giving me some troubles, but very manageable right now. My schedule for the next month should be just going to the office as usual (aside from any overtime I need to work, because I am way behind for my deadline hitting in 2 weeks!).

Getting ready to catch the bus this morning felt so strange. I haven't ridden the bus in over a month. It was kind of nice to see all the regulars again. Not that I know anybody's names, but we all know each other by sight. Several of them commented on my long absence from the bus and welcomed me back. It was nice to see Bus Driver Dave, the 2 Old Men Who Ride Bikes, the Indian Girls, the Front-Row Ladies, the Grumpy Woman (who is very nice in the afternoon, so she just must not be a morning person), and Judy (Judy Meyer is in my ward, and she's the only person I actually know by name. :) ) and the others.

So, for this month, back to normal. November looks like it's starting off with a week in Philadelphia followed by a week-long conference for work - so all bets are off for next month!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

No, It's Not a Bomb Threat

There were an unusually large number of guns in downtown Denver today. At least, I assume that it was unusual to have that many. I guess there might be that many on any given day and I just don't know about it...

But today, I did know about it. When we walked to the hot dog cart across the street for lunch, we ended up watching some sort of sensitive delivery to a nearby building. I don't know what was in the truck - money? weapons grade plutonium? - but apparently delivery required them to block off a downtown street to back the truck into the building with the whole process guarded by several men with machine guns. I haven't seen men toting around machine guns since my days working for the Marine Corps. There's a much different feel to men with machine guns on a city street rather than on a military base!

Back at the hotel (where I've been involved with an education session all week) there were several men in uniform who seemed to be armed. That seemed a little unusual to me. But I knew the Milwaukee Brewers baseball team was staying there, I figured they were extra security for the team. And apparently the men in uniform who were armed were security for the team. All the other men in uniform - who were probably not armed, but who knows, really - were there for a conference on law enforcement.

All the uniforms were very much in evidence at lunchtime, and we had more than a few nurses come up and ask us if there was a problem at the hotel. Was it a bomb threat? Had someone been hurt? What's the story? The actual story of a baseball team and a law enforcement conference was much less exciting than the theories they were coming up with. :)

Speaking of the Brewers (and wandering completely away from my original topic, by the way), they are some very large men. I never pictured pro baseball players as being much different from the guys playing baseball for the local rec-center league. You know, appearance-wise. You know that pro basketball players are going to be a lot bigger and taller than some guys playing pick-up ball on the playground court, but I didn't realize the same thing applied to baseball. But as I was leaving the hotel today, the Brewers were just returning from their afternoon game against the Rockies. I had to weave my way through quite a large crowd of them to get to the escalator. (The security guys waved me on through. Apparently I didn't look like a threat or potential stalker.) Walking through the crowd of baseball players was a new experience for me... as it would be for most people I think. That's when I realized that they were all quite tall. Definitely head and shoulders above me.

So, nothing profound to say about that, I guess. Just that they were tall. (And seemed a little sad. The Rockies won the game.)

I'm grateful...

  • For a husband who hears the ominous sound of a child puking even faster than I do.
  • That he can go from dead asleep to a dead run to move that child from bed to bathroom.
  • That he is willing to clean up the child while I strip and change the bed and throw everything in the washing machine. I'd be just as grateful if it was the other way around - I'm just glad there is someone to help with it all!
  • That my other two children can sleep through all the lights and noise that accompany all this activity with barely a twitch.
  • That we have cable so we can find Sesame Street at 3 in the morning for a cranky child.
  • That this happened heading into a day when Aaron is off work, so neither of us has to call in sick.