Wednesday, January 26, 2011

When words fail me, my poignant daughter steps in.

That last title Blame it on the cold medicine, you guys were reading it like Jamie Foxx's Blame It, right?  Because you were supposed to.  Or I don't guess you have to, but it is a lot more humorous in my head if you do.

So as we were leaving to go grab dinner, Gwendolyn came out of the kitchen and said "It smells like a horse came in our house and pooped in our pantry."  That made for quite the mental image and was concerning.  Not so concerning that I went and checked it out immediately- I was hungry and was fairly certain a horse did not, in fact, break into our house and poop in our kitchen.  I figured maybe some dog food got wet and went bad, that has happened before and is pretty gross.  Keary confirmed that there was a definite odor, but didn't check it out further.  Our priorities were dinner.

When we got home, I decided to investigate and found the stench.  Part of a 10-lb bag of potatoes, that has been in our pantry less than a week by the way, started liquefying.  I took the offending potatoes out to the trash, washed the good potatoes, and cleaned the pantry where they had leaked out.  Between the memory of the odor and the way Gwendolyn described it, I may not be able to eat potatoes for a very long time though.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Blame it on the cold medicine

Happy Monday folks.  Maggie, Gwendolyn, and I spent the weekend in our pajamas nursing our colds.  It was nothing too serious, but we just didn't feel well.  The girls seem to have passed the germs on to me now because they are generous souls.  It is okay, I'd rather be sick than they be in discomfort.  Still though. I would be happy to start feeling more like a human any time now.

Does cold medicine start to affect you more as you get older or did I get a weird batch of dayquil?   I've never had issue with it before, but soon after each dose this weekend, I started feeling all jittery.

Hopefully I can wrangle my brain cells into letting me make a post with more substance tomorrow or later this week.  I have general ideas what I want to say (write) but can't focus enough to make it coherent.  We can blame it on the cold medicine too.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Snow Days

Woke up this morning to learn Gwendolyn's school was closed for a snow day.  There was no snow outside, but I think the entire area was being extra cautious since we were under a winter weather advisory.  Living in the South, we tend to freak out over any amount of ice or snow: people forget how to drive, we are compelled to stock up on bread, milk, and eggs whether we eat such things or not, all schools and most businesses close down.  Here is something I learned today:  Four year olds do not appreciate it when school is closed and they have to stay home with their mom and sister.  That is a lie; I don't know that all four year olds are like that, but Gwendolyn was.

I took the girls to the library to story time, and it started snowing while we were there.  Visibility was awful on the way home.  It wouldn't have been so bad if, as mentioned above, people would remember how to drive and TURN ON THEIR LIGHTS SO OTHER DRIVERS SEE THEM.  The roads weren't bad though.  They weren't bad even when Keary came home around 5p, but I imagine overnight things will melt and refreeze making roads bad tomorrow. And tomorrow our high is only 32 so I doubt things will melt away.

I tried to take some pictures with my dslr of the snow falling.  The pictures never looked the way I wanted, though they did look better when I bumped my shutter speed way up.  My hands were freezing cold and in pain so I didn't stay out there too long.

I don't handle cold weather well.  I can never get warm, and I am constantly afraid we are going to lose power if it ices.  I don't like having to take the girls out in the weather.  I am currently campaigning to let us move to Florida.  Keary does sales and merchandising so theoretically he can do that anywhere.  I have a degree in social work that I could use anywhere.  It is warm in Florida, there are beaches, there is Disney World, aka The Happiest Place on Earth.  Sounds good to me.  I'm not entirely sure how to go about picking where to live: do I pick it by where the best school are to send the girls? Keary and I ought to be able to find jobs anywhere.  Do I decide whether to live near the Mouse or water and then pick from there?  I'm working on figuring it out but will happily entertain tips and advice.

I really dislike the cold.  Currently

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Infinite Days

I never had much of a problem with not being able to sleep before I had kids.  Very occasionally I might have trouble falling asleep if I had watched a scary movie that night or overindulged in caffeine.  But generally, I could wake up a few minutes before time to go to work, work 8 hours, come home and nap, and still be in bed asleep by 11pm.  And then I had kids and they forever changed my body chemistry, making me an insomniac more nights than I care to be.

There are lots of things that change when you have kids.  People just do not share all the details about all the changes that occur when you become a parent.  I don't know entirely why, but I expect I'll get a reprimanded for even sharing that tiny bit.

Lately I regularly have nights of insomnia.  A breastfeeding toddler who wakes up with teething pains and anxiety about things going on in our family add to it greatly.  There is not much I can do when I can't sleep either because I need to let the rest of the family sleep, so I can't do anything useful like clean, craft, or work out.  That pretty much leaves me with a) watching tv or b) reading.  I do my fair share of watching television.  I am probably one of the few who likes infomercials, but watching infomercials leads to buying, ie spending money I shouldn't so I try not to do that too much.  (I am going to order this someday though.  Unless you have recommendations for a different steamer/ know a vac won't work on a house with a dog.)

The other night I read Infinite Days by Rebecca Maizel.  It was another book my sister-in-law got me, and I'll be honest, I did not have high hopes of it.  I was pleasantly surprised by it though and enjoyed reading it.  It is yet another young adult, vampire-centric book, but unlike the many books before it, it didn't rave on the glories of being a vampire and no werewolves made any debuts.  (Another surprise, I totally expected the love interest to end up being a werewolf or supernatural being of some sort.  The main character went on and on about how beautiful and Adonis-like he was, so I figured he'd transform sooner or later.)  And **SPOILER*** I didn't get from the ending of the book, that the main character lived and would have thought she died had the beginning of the sequel not spelled out that she had lived.  In the end though, I still enjoyed the book and will check out it's sequel from the library when it is released in June-ish.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Grandy's improvement

I haven't updated about Grandy recently.  She moved out of the rehab hospital right after Christmas and into a rehab/ nursing center.  Honestly it appears to be some sort of a glorified nursing home.  But she has a private room, isn't in constant pelvic restraints like she was in the hospital (she made a habit of trying to stand up and wasn't strong enough because of the stroke, so she fell (and broke her ankle/foot but that is an entire other rant) so the powers that be ordered her to be an pelvic restraint) and is actually walking on her own, and carries on reasonable conversations sometimes.  She continues to get agitated and upset somewhat easily, particularly if family isn't sitting with her.  She gets riled up to the point they have to give her medicine and they have called Mom multiple times to try to calm her over the phone.  Sometimes that hasn't worked and I have gone and sat with her until she has calmed down.  I know how scary it must be to be so confused but realize she is confused at the same time. Watching her makes me terrified to grow old.  

She had a CT scan done last week, and she has had no more bleeding since the bleed after Thanksgiving.  And it appears that the bleed is being absorbed.  The doctors say this may be as good as it gets though.  She may never get back to being the Grandy she was: vibrant, independent, pulled together.  

There is talk of maybe bringing her home and getting a home health aid to help her.  I think that would probably be as therapeutic as anything: being in familiar surroundings with all her "stuff" she is so worried about.  The nursing center she is in now did some sort of a risk assessment the other day and have deemed her an elopement risk.  Apparently when you are an elopement risk, they take a bad black and white photo of you and putting contact information on a page and filing it away for when they have to report her missing to the police.  So yeah, I think everyone would feel better about her being home.

I have been thinking about how I want to help Gwendolyn and Maggie get to know and remember her.  Gwendolyn knew the real her and has thought she hung the moon since she was a baby.  Maggie just turned 17-months old though, so unless there is dramatic improvement, she may always remember Grandy this way.  *Tangent- Maggie saw me unlock Grandy's wheelchair once and has made it her mission to unlock all wheelchairs around her since.*  Any ideas how to help her?  I am considering making a photo album and then captioning it is tidbits about Grandy, but that doesn't feel like quite enough.   

Monday, January 10, 2011


I'm a reader. I have been an avid reader since first grade when everything clicked and I figured out how.  I don't get to read quite as much now because the girls seem to see my sitting down with a book as time to a) need something only I can get them, b) try to steal said book, c) time to tell me a story.  And really it isn't just the girls who do it, Keary and Waylon are guilty too.  But I read as often as I can.

My sister-in-law is a reader too and has taken to getting me books for Christmas and my birthday.  I think she generally gets a book that she has heard good things about and would like to read.  She got me The Time Traveler's Wife, which I absolutely loved and boo-hooed through.  I borrowed the Twilight Series from her and enjoyed reading and snarking them.  (Except for Breaking Dawn, that... was not good.  And I will forever be irked by the whole Bella-birth scene.)  We both loved Harry Potter.  This year she got me Matched.

Matched is the first book is a series or trilogy.  It is set around a teenage girl in a post-modern society where very little is left up for a person to decide.  She is given a card with the information regarding who her mate is going to be and it is her best friend or it seems maybe she would have been matched with someone else she knows if he had been supposed to match.  I wanted to like this book.  It had an okay premise, but it just felt like the ideas weren't fully developed or explained well.  I did appreciate that at least Cassia (the main character) wasn't a weakling and letting things happen around her.  In that respect, she reminded me some of Katniss from the Hunger Games trilogy (I'm still reading this series, I'm about halfway through Catching Fire right now. Please don't spoil me.) It just felt like I knew were the story was going from the beginning.  Since it is a series though, things may be better explained and developed in the coming book.

The breakdown- Matched isn't awful, but feels like there is a lot of wasted potential in the story.  I probably would not recommend it to a friend, but I also wouldn't warn them to not read it either (a la Breaking Dawn).

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cheddar Ham Soup

I don't know where I got this recipe.  It was in my computer recipe book without a source listed.  I tried it out for us last night because I had some potatoes that seriously needed to be used.  It turned out to be the perfect comfort food.  And if that doesn't sell it, then consider also that my 16 month old and 4 year old ate it without complaint and seemed to like it.

Cheddar Ham Soup
4ish cups diced peeled potatoes
4ish cups water (enough to cover the potatoes, carrots, and onion)
1/2 Cup sliced carrot
1/4 Cup chopped onion (I never use actual onion because I don't like the texture, instead I use dried minced onion.)
1/4 Cup butter
1/4 Cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
1/4 to 1/2 Teaspoon salt
1/4 Teaspoon pepper
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
1 1/2 cups cubed fully cooked ham
1 cup peas

In a large pot, combine the potatoes, water, carrot and onion. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Meanwhile, in another saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour until smooth. Gradually add the milk, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Stir in cheese until melted. Stir into undrained potato mixture. Add ham and peas; heat through.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Driving down the road the other day

Keary, Gwendolyn, Maggie and I were on our way across town the other day, listening to the radio.  Or really the radio was on, Gwendolyn was the only one really listening to it.  We rarely get any quiet time in the car because of a certain four year old who barks from the backseat to turn on music.  Please tell me all four year olds are like that, or if they aren't, then just don't.  I don't want to know.

So Ryan Seacrest was talking because he is everywhere and you cannot escape him.  Right before a commercial break he said "Next up, Bret Michaels. We'll talk to him about the stroke he had this summer."

Gwendolyn piped up from the backseat "Grandy has a stroke."

Keary affirmed that "Yes, your Grandy had a stroke."

I mumbled to Keary "Just something else Grandy and Bret Michaels have in common."

Keary looked at me like I was crazy "What else do they have in common?!"

"Rock of Love Bus, of course."

Keary just looked at me.

I stared back at him.

Traffic swished by us.

Keary continued to stare at me.

I looked back at him, satisfied, if for no other reason, then I had made his brain explode a little and rendered him speechless.

Keary shook his head, trying to make mental images fall out of his head and finally said, "We just shouldn't talk anymore."

Then I cackled in victory.

*And no, I can't think of anything Bret Michaels and my grandmother actually have in common.  Sometimes I just enjoy making Keary spazz out.

Monday, January 3, 2011

A new year, pretty much the same me

Happy New Year! *flings confetti in your general direction while noisemakers sound*

Are you one of those that comes up with resolutions every January 1st?  I didn't ask whether the resolutions are actually kept.  I tend to not wait around for the new year for resolutions; when I decide I am going to do something, I just do it.  Oh, that is not to say that when I come up with an idea I start right away.  Oh no, I will mull it over this way and that way, then sometimes I shelve the idea and come back to it.  I just don't tend to wait around for an arbitrary date to start something: January 1st, Sunday, Monday, after the holidays.  In September after thinking and wanting to for a couple years, I started back to church.  There wasn't anything special about that Sunday, just happened to be when I finally worked up the courage and did it.

I don't know that I have any resolutions for the new year, but I do have plans.  This year I am finally going to complete the couch to 5k program.  I have been talking about doing it since Gwendolyn was a baby and she is now four and a half years old.  That is way too long to be talking and thinking about doing something without anything to show for it.  I have started it a couple times, but never seriously and never made it past the first week.  This year I am doing though.  I want to be able to run with my girls.  Plus I hear all sort of good things about "runner's highs" and endorphins and I want that.

I intend to participate in the project365.  I figure this will make me figure out how to use my dslr* that I got for my birthday last August.  Plus it will be nice to look back and see my entire year rather than just the spurts of pictures I take and all the special occassion/ holiday pictures.  I'm thinking maybe weekly I will post my shots here.  *And it isn't that I haven't worked with my camera and started figuring it out: I have read books, tutorials, and my manual meaning I know just enough that I get confused trying to make the camera do what I want.  I'm determined though.

Those are the only to things I want to do, but I think I will devote time this year to finding my peace.  I tend to get internally riled up and then I can't get my mind to calm down which amplifies everything.  So this year I will find my peace.  I will give myself time that I need, I will give my children and husband time and attention they deserve, I will make conscious efforts to have improved quality of social interactions (no matter how socially awkward I feel and how strong my impulse is to be a hermit), I will better manage household chores and cooking that way I don't have the frazzled late afternoon hours and conversations of "What do you want for dinner tonight? What are we eating?  When is dinner?" and so hopefully, I don't become so anxious when people come over, and I will let go of people and things that interfere with finding and keeping my peace.  These are big things, but I think with little steps I can achieve my goals.