Thursday, August 30, 2012

Pedialite and Mickey Mouse

Every time I get in a posting groove, I feel like something derails me and I'm back to my procrastination-posting square one.

This time it was a sick baby and a sick mama.

Baby Wonder woke up at the beginning of the week with a sky high temperature and a thin layer of vomit all over his sheets. Since this happened at 5 AM, and I wasn't all there yet, I didn't register these things immediately. I had no idea what was on his sheets, since there was nothing on his PJs. Way too early for brain teasers.

He has been teething molars forever so restless nights and early mornings aren't out of the ordinary. Neither is a snot-covered pillow case, since his nose runs more than a leaky faucet.

I put him on the couch with a sippy cup and a blanket, but before I can get upstairs to check the sheets again, he vomits all over himself. I scoop him up to put him in the bath and that's when I realize he's burning up. How I missed it in the first place, I have no idea.

So the bath is multipurpose: clean him up and cool him down. He throws up the Motrin I give him while he's still in the bath, so I do the only thing I can think to do before 6 AM. I call my Mother In Law. It is decided, that since his fever is at 103.3 and he isn't keeping medicine down (and the cold bath did nothing but make him furious) that we were bound for the ER.

I have made brief references to my loathing of our local ER before, but here is my full on declaration. I HATE the ER staff of Licking Memorial Hospital. If this gives away the somewhat anonymity of my family in this blog, then so be it, but I hope someone of importance reads this and does a nice, clean sweep of every disrespectful, rude, and downright careless employee of that department. I have dealt with other LMH employees who have been wonderful, so I am left to ponder the specifics of this department. What is it about helping people at their most desperate that inspires such disregard in doctors and nurses? I understand that it is busy and stressful, but if your way of handling that stress level is rudeness, then find a new job.

After 3 hours, some nausea medicine, and ONE temperature check in TRIAGE, we are sent home. I spent 3 hours in the ER with my occasionally crying, occasionally sleeping toddler watching Mickey Mouse and seeing if he'd throw up again. They didn't check his temp or give him anything to lower it. By the time I got him home, it was at 102.7

On a side note, I have some seriously fabulous friends, one of whom actually brought me Tim Horton's and a Gatorade to the hospital so my preggo self wouldn't wither away and die from lack of food, since it appeared we would be there until the Second Coming. 

Back in the bath he went. We spent the day between the bathtub and our sheet-covered couch, though thankfully he kept everything down for the rest of the day. My wonderful Mother In Law came by after work with what looked to be half of the Walgreen's stock of Pedialite products. Baby Wonder likes some flavors better than others, but I'm telling you, that stuff is gross. I'm glad he doesn't realize it.

As a mom, it can be so frustrating when direct answers are elusive. I don't like hearing "We don't know why he's sick" or "it could be anything from a 24 hour bug to Meningitis" (BTW who actually says that?!?! A LMH ER doctor, that's who)

Every parent wants direct action when it comes to their child, so when it doesn't happen it is bound to be frustrating. It's hard to figure out when you should just deal with something on your own at home, or when it's time to go see a doctor. It's especially hard when everything that happens is the first time it's happening. Who wants to keep the feverish baby at home when, 2 days later, he has some horrific disease that could have been caught early (unless you go to LMH, of course. No catching anything but a bad attitude there).

In the end, it's just instincts and good guesses. But I guess that's everything about parenting, huh?

The next day, Baby Wonder woke up with no fever, and kept the fever off all day. Guess it wasn't Meningitis, eh, Doc? He was still a little out of it, but acted like he was feeling much better.

Unfortunately, this Mama wasn't too far behind on the sick train. Whatever Baby Wonder had, it caught up with me, kicked me in the shins, and left me crippled on the couch for a day and a half. I'm on the upside today, and Baby Wonder went on an errand run with Daddy all morning so I could rest. It's just me and my dog, who seems to think she rates more of the couch than I do. Brat.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

football wreath

It has happened.

Football season is upon us.

In celebration, my husband decided (with some encouragement from me) that we need... cable.

So, after an hour on the phone with Time Warner, and some tricky small print to wade through, the bundle package of internet and cable/DVR is ours... all for the low, low price of my arm, leg, and firstborn.

Now I can beat myself up in the attempt to remember to record the games Hubby wants to watch, all while navigating through the strange world that is multiple channels. Hey, at least I have more than 2 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse to entertain Baby Wonder. If I see Goofy turn into a baby one more time, I may put my foot through my TV.

Not going to lie, I'm pretty excited that we can watch football now, too. I grew up in a home where my dad and bother wore matching Notre Dame T-shirts and sat on the couch for an entire fall afternoon, my Dad cradling a worn football and my brother learning how to yell at the TV from the best. Mom always made "football food" (my favorite part, for sure), we had a fire in the fireplace, it was nice and chilly out, and the leaves were changing... ahhh, fall.

So in honor of football season and the chilly weather (hopefully) right around the corner, what else was I supposed to do? I made a wreath!

Football Season!

Since The Ohio State is really the only football team that matters, that is obviously what I went with.


I used a grapevine wreath, Hobby Lobby Letters (1/2 off!) that I painted and polka dotted, and mini wooden footballs to make the wreath. Add a scarlet bow and silver and white Christmas balls (also 1/2 off) to complete!

This was super easy, and can really be adapted for any team.

Except Michigan. Because Michigan sucks.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

sofa not-table

Since I've been on vacation and failed to announce that, I must apologize for the lack of posts this week! I was in New Jersey for a family wedding. While the drivers still suck, I am happy to report that if New Jersey does anything right, it is still food... which I ate enough of to last me until the next time I journey to the land of antipasto and Anna Krause, away from my comfortable home of traffic jams caused by tractors. I may never eat again. Ok, that's a lie. I have a turkey and sundried tomato meatloaf in the oven right now.

So I will make my comeback this week with a project my mom and I did today, the day after a 10 hour drive home back to Ohio. I wanted to do this immediately, and my Mama joked that I'd have us stop at Home Depot on our way home yesterday. I wasn't that bad, but we did get started pretty early today :)

While in Jersey, we did some shopping. And by some, I mean way more than some. I had this idea that I saw on Pintrest (woah, shock right?) and for this idea I needed some accessories. And when I need fabulous accessories, I shop with my grandmother. A stroll through Pier One and Home Goods lent itself to a couple great mirrors and a lamp. Fabulous.

Not going to lie, I can't remember if I simply saw this idea and didn't pin it, or if I have so many pins that I am overlooking this particular one, because I cannot find the picture anywhere! I do remember that it didn't link to a particular blog, as in there were no instructions or before and after photos, so I can't even try to find the original blog. So, whoever you are with the cute living room shelf, I thank you. And I tried to find you!

This is a great way to add something behind a couch without spending a ton of money on a sofa table, or trying to fit one in where it really won't fit at all.  It's easier to look at a picture than to try and explain it in words:



So, grab a helper of your choosing and get started!

Puki. We're puppy sitting. She did a fabulous job supervising the project.
Or Baby Wonder. He was more "hands on" than "supervisor".

You will need:

  • A plank of lumber the length of your couch and 10-12 inches wide. I did 10 inches, and that was perfect. 12 would have been too wide for my space. My couch is 6 feet 3 inches (75") long. So when I went to Lowes to get my lumber, I had the super helpful Lumber Guy cut the original 10'X10"X1" board down to 75". I paid less than $17 for that cut of lumber, so make sure you don't pick up the high quality cedar planks. You don't need anything fancier than regular pine, especially since you're going to stain it. 
  • A small can of stain in the color of your choice. I use MinWax in the Dark Walnut color. We used this same color, in various levels of richness, on all of the refurbished wood projects in our living room: our ladder-turned-blanket-rack, our chest-turned-coffee-table, and the shelves I made for the wall above the couch. It's my favorite shade for wood.   
  • 3-5 L Brackets, depending on the length of your shelf and the weight of the items you want to display. I knew I'd be putting a very heavy lamp on one end, so I decided to go with 4 brackets. They don't have to be fancy, since you won't be seeing them. Mine were $1.28 a piece.
  • Anchors & accompanying screws (most anchors will come in a pack WITH the screws that fit that anchor, so there isn't any guess work), 3/4 inch screws (to connect the brackets to the wood), drill, level, and a screwdriver. 

 To build:
  1. Begin by sanding any rough edges of your plank.  Apply as many coats of stain you'd like. Let dry. 

2. Turn your dried wood upside down (I started to stain one side, then decided I wanted to use to other side). Space your L brackets evenly-ish (I'm a fan of "ish") along the length of your plank.

 Everything is always "even-ish" at my house. Maybe it's because of this guy doing all the measuring?

3. It's optional, but you can take a level and make sure the brackets are flush with the side of the plank. If they aren't, it can cause weird gaping to the wall when you go to screw the shelf in.

4. Screw in your brackets.

5. It's best to do this part with someone. My someone was my Mama. Super helpful someone, by the way. Establish where behind your couch you'd like your shelf. Make sure it sits just below the top of your couch, since this isn't designed to be seen, like a decorative shelf would be. Use a level to make sure it's straight, mark where you're putting your anchors, and drill into the wall.

6. Accessorize! 

A close up of my awesome new lamp and our adorable vintage police car. And those mirrors were only $15 each at Home Goods. AH!!

Monday, August 6, 2012

recipe: black bean salad

This dish is fabulous, and so pretty.

However, I don't have pictures to show you how pretty because I didn't plan on making this a separate post. I ended up having multiple requests for the recipe, so that's when I decided to post it. Sorry! Head over to the original recipe and look at her pictures; she does a great job. Or just take my word for it.

This is an adaptation of a recipe I found on Pintrest. The added things are in italics if you want to use them. I made the original for my husband's backyard birthday party, but I'm going to see what I can add next time I make it!

You'll want to make this one the day before, or at least a few hours before, you plan on serving it as the flavors need to marry before they mellow.

I trust you can get through this one without a step-by-step picture tutorial.

You will need:
  • 2 cans (15oz) of black beans
  • 3 FRESH ears of corn (it's crunchier and really MAKES the salad. If you live in the midwest, there is no excuse not to use fresh corn. I'm pretty sure this stuff grows in January around here)
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 2 minced cloves of garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced shallots
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 9 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lime zest
  • 6 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/2 cup FRESH cilantro, diced (Fresh herbs and dried herbs have different strength qualities. If you can't, for some reason, use fresh herbs when they are called for, always use LESS dried herbs. Dried herbs have a more concentrated strength, so you will end up overpowering a dish if you apply a  fresh quantity requirement to dried herbs)
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 2 mangos
  • 1 beefsteak tomato, diced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, cleaned and diced 

Drain and rise your black beans well, cut the kernels off your ears of corn, and dice your red bell peppers. Add these ingredients, along with everything else EXCEPT the avocados and mangoes, to a bowl and mix well. Right before you serve, dice and add the avos and mangoes. Gently toss and serve!

Ok, one picture. Our pretty (and ripe!) jalapenos.

Backyard Birthday

 We celebrated Husband's birthday this weekend with a fair amount of food and friends. To be honest, I didn't initially think that he wanted to do a birthday "party" so I didn't really plan one. I know, Wife Of The Year over here. But the more I talked about what he would like to do, the more people he mentioned in a "maybe we should see if they want to come over" way.  Ok, 15 people and 2 days of cooking later, a PAR-TAY it is.

It was a great night, though nothing of note happened that I can poke fun at. So unless you were there, reminiscing about past bachelorette parties or making fun of my hulk-like collar bones, this won't be too funny. Enjoy the pictures :)

I got a great free printable here for my not-wreath. I am a firm believer in birthday weeks, so this was up all week. Oh, I made the bow. CHEE :)

I made this butter cream icing  for the Red Velvet cupcakes. The icing turned out great ( I even had a couple helpers finish off the bowl for me) but my decorating job was a little "modern art".

Pitchers came from Wal Mart at $20 a piece. I use them for everything, and I love having something pretty to put drinks in because (say it with me) everything deserves to be beautiful. The lemonade concoction was good, though I think I'll add a little more lemonade to balance out the pineapple juice. Either way, pretty tasty. 

I've had this glass jug forever, and it was perfect for my sangria. I found a bunch of sangria recipes online, though in the end I ended up making my own without following any recipe I found. Did you get to try any? Probably not, since the gallon I made was gone in 35 minutes. It was a hit, should have made more.

We've been munching on leftover fruit all weekend. This, along with corn on the cob, salsaqueso blanco dip,  and black bean salad, were our sides. (Check out my post about the black bean recipe here or, for the original blog, here. I had people take it home, it was so good!)

I found enough white Christmas lights to string up, so I didn't have to look like we were decorating early for the holidays with colored lights.

 Most of my favorite people :)

Baby Wonder thought he was being sneaky, eating Uncle Michael's chips. These are SPICY, too. He kept going back for more!

We're missing one, but it's still a fabulous picture!

My birthday boy. Gah, we're so cute.

And as it was a weekend for birthdays, we went to my now seven  (SEVEN!!!!) year old niece's party on Sunday. I don't have any pictures with her, as seven year olds are rather busy, but I did manage to get a couple good ones: 

I should tell you that the big wet spot on the otherwise pretty green shirt was caused by Baby Wonder. At least I'm not the only one he terrorizes.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

we're all all right

The third, and final part of my Monday (read all about our swimming lessons and cleaning my dishwasher if you'd like). As I've said before, sometimes I have better things to do than to write about what has already happened, so forgive me for the time delay.

This is a further view into my maternal personality. Grab a cookie.

Baby Wonder fell down the stairs. And I don't mean a little tumble resulting in snuggles and all-better kisses. I mean he was scooting down on his butt like a good, obedient baby, and then he decided that he wanted to walk like a 10 year old. He stood up and took a step, resulting not in reaching the next stair, as he obviously planned on, but in a head-over-heals plummet of doom down the long, albeit carpeted, stairs to the landing below. I screamed for my husband like a maniac as he was falling, because he can fix everything and I was sure that he would catch him in time, even though he was all the way in the living room. A ridiculous assumption, I understand, but as my frantic attempts to catch him failed, my brain went straight to the next alternative: robocop.

Why is it that though everything happens in slow motion, you are never actually able to do something about it? If it was happening so stinkin' slow, why couldn't I catch him??

I reached the landing no more than a second after Baby Wonder. I had him in my arms and grabbed the car keys in 2 seconds flat; I was convinced he was rapidly dying of brain hemorrhaging, so I was taking him to the hospital now. That's when Mr. Rub-Some-Dirt-On-It stepped in. To his credit, he was very gentle with me.

I know Baby Wonder is the one who fell down the stairs, but I required just as much calming as the baby.

I continued to insist that you didn't see him land! Why isn't he bleeeeeedddiiinnnggg?? It was horrible, he hit his head. Why wasn't I walking in front of him? Are his eyes crossed? Why aren't we in the car, we have to GO.

Husband insisted we calm down and look him over, checking him to make sure the hysterical cries weren't more of fright than pain. We checked him and poked his little body while wrestling with a surprisingly strong resistance to an ice pack. Then Daddy Mode kicked in and he... no, didn't take him to the hospital. He got him an ice pop. To which Baby Wonder reacted exactly how Daddy thought he would: a happy squeal and a smile. Well, darn.

 I was still worried, and hadn't cried yet so I was brimming, so we compromised and called my wonderful mother-in-law at 7:45 at night. She works early, so this is pretty late for her. No questions asked, she and my father-in-law come rolling in, CVS bag and baby medicine in hand (because OF COURSE we ran out and I don't have any more).

Baby Wonder jumps off my lap and runs happily to the pair of them, clearly excited at this wonderful surprise. He's obviously ok, and I'm feeling grateful that we aren't sitting in the Emergency Room of the slowest hospital in Ohio. My MIL does whatever magic nurse check she did, assuring us that he is alright, though we should keep him up for about 2 hours just to make sure. Feed him a snack, make sure he doesn't throw up, you know, keep him up waaay past his bedtime and see if he does anything more than freak out because he's exhausted. No problem.

I feel like I should mention that my mother-in-law is a nurse, and has worked with both children and the elderly for many years, so I go to her with every bump and bruise the three of us get. I don't know what I would do if I had to figure everything out on my own. She nags me to drink water and tells me not to worry. My Mom away from Mom <3

Baby Wonder is alive and well, and the little goon woke up the next morning without even have a bump on his head or a bruise on his body.

see? one piece.

Now that you're caught up on my Monday, I can't wait to show you my Friday, and all the wonderful things I have planned for Husband's birthday!

But what to make tonight?? Shepard's pie?
Or, shoot, some pizza pull apart bread, because that stuff looks amazing.