Friday, December 31, 2010

Sick mom

Okay okay. The tummy bug has gone around the house now (well except for the cats, if they start horking all over the house I'm gonna be pissed). Liam was puking all Christmas Day. He's totally fine now and his cough has even gone away except for a few times when he's totally verclemt from dairy.

Jon was feeling better on Wednesday. He was surprised at how quickly he rebounded. I was too. I think it was letting him sleep all alone in the bed. Oh yeah, we ate Carls Jr. on our way back from YC and I had the Superstar (double burger) nom nom nom. But I guess there goes another of our make-ahead meals from the week.

I woke up yesterday full of the blechs. I felt like I had morning sickness all day. Or like I was totally full. I spent a good portion of the day miserable in the recliner; this is awful when you have to turn every few minutes to your side because the back is ailing. I could feel my stomach contents just rumbling over to the other side, gurgling and rolling. I also spent a couple hours in bed, hoping to nap, but just read my book (which isn't bad) A Dirty Job by Christopher Moore. I wished I could belch or barf since I knew either would make me feel immensely better. With one burp, I realized it tasted like chocolate which would have been my protein shake breakfast. Okay, so this meant that non of my food was digesting - not like I ate very much at all yesterday - because I had breakfast at 8:30 and that burp was sometime around 3:30. Blarf!

The evening was a bit frustrating. I spent most of my time moaning and groaning and dozing in the recliner. Liam spent the hours vacillating between being the most charming little devil; like when he pulled the camera out and was was saying "CHEESE!" to encourage me take his pic (or when he was singing a song from Yo Gabba Gabba and gibberished the words "babies, babies, ikeruhvaleiurfhaelivufa, babies!"
He did a lot of refusing to stand still.And then we had instant tantrum pouts too. This was a day for toddler frustrations.

Mostly I was totally bummed because I had to cancel out on my friend from work who invited me to a Girls' Night Out celebration. I had been looking forward to this get together for about 2 weeks (even though I couldn't drink, I was certainly gonna participate in dancing, chit-chat, making new friends, and karaoke). Boo for the blarfs!

Around Liam's bedtime, I managed to feel the need for a popsicle. After Jon put the Yam down, he was a dutiful hubby of a pregnant wife and ran to the grocery store. I made sure he didn't get the sugarfree kind since I'd had no calories since breakfast (I sipped sf ginger ale all day). After my first, I felt well enough for a second. I can't decide if it was truly beginning to feel better or if I was rallying. Maybe the sugar was something I desperately needed. Then I felt blarfy again... just wish I could have puked!!! Finally went to bed; this time I got the bed to myself and Jon slept on the couch. Woke up feeling exhausted but my tummy was miraculously better. Took the hottest shower I could stand - it's amazing how icky you get in one day of being sick and still doing nothing.

Liam has been even worse all day when it comes to attitude. He woke up and did nothing but bitch at Jon for 30 minutes. He's been up/down in his emotions all day. Oh well. At least we're ringing out the old year with tantrums and maybe tomorrow and the new year will bring much more happiness.

Good bye 2010!!!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Sick man

The last two days have been rough. Monday Jon and I got into a huge cooking, make-ahead dinner thing and topped the week's worth of cooking with a beautiful garlicky/rosemary roast beef with sage and browned butter noodles. Oh it was heavenly. We went to bed and I slept poorly; my back and hips are beginning to give in to this pregnancy.

Woke up with Liam around 8:30 on Tuesday. Immediately got a test from my friend saying she was coming over around 10-ish since she was shopping just down the block. She needed her Yam-time. No prob-bob; that gave me plenty of time to pick up the living room a bit (or actually a lot). I heard Jon wake up and head to the bathroom; he was accompanied by the unmistakable sound of vomiting into the toilet. He came out and told me he wasn't feeling well and was going back to bed. Still no problem since I could handle the mess. Instead, I ended up falling back asleep on the recliner for another hour. Woke up with 30 minutes left and hustled to get dressed and started throwing the obviously gross messes away and picking up toys.

She came over (thankfully late so I had some extra time). Liam had a blast showing off his new trains and his drum for her. Jon tried to be social but ended up back in bed. I finally got coffee. We got some chit chat time in. When she left, Liam was obviously hungry and tired and fell into a full pout fueled by attention-withdrawals. Jon got up, tried to take some clear liquids, that failed and he ran off to the toilet. Liam went down for a nap so easily after lunch; he actually fell asleep in my arms while rocking which is a major rarity.

I didn't bother to heat our second pre-made dinner (stuffed eggplants) since I didn't think Jon should even try. Basically he slept all day long. He only drank half of a protein shake before running off again. After calling in my glucose readings for the week, I went in to check on the hubster. My bathroom looked like he was reliving the Chico State days!!! Ugh. Seriously, how do you manage to vomit on three walls, the floor, inside and out of the toilet?! I ended up cleaning up the bathroom while Liam played in the bubbles of his bath. I love love love that he can self-manage in the tub most of the time now; this allows me to read, clean up the bathroom, get laundry started, etc.

Getting Liam down was major drama. I had to read 3 books to him, rock him, go back in to tuck him in again about 15 minutes later. 15 minutes after that I was back in his room rocking him again. He basically wasn't asleep until maybe 9:45. I had to do Jon's yucky chores - cat box and garbage night. It was pouring down rain. That was miserable. I decided to sleep on the couch and let Jon have the bed to himself.

What a mistake!!! First off, I had trouble getting to sleep and read several chapters of my book (usually I'll get 3-5 pages in before I'm out). Then Liam woke up again at 2:30 and needed major rocking before he was fully asleep again. I was falling asleep with him in my arms. I ended up waking up around 8:45 which would have been heavenly except my back and hips were almost too sore to get off the couch. OUCH! Pregnant ladies should NOT sleep on the couch.

Things were so slow today that all three of us napped. Jon, by the way, is feeling much better today and by evening was able to get dinner down. But yeah, slept in, napped for 2 hours, did nothing of importance. I insisted that we take a family outing into Yuba City just so we could go shopping and get out. I was hoping to find some nice fabric to start our new decor for the boys' room (knights/castles theme) and get some things at Target. Found nothing I liked but Liam had a BLAST running around our tiny Jo-Ann's store. At Target we did manage to find a waterproof mattress pad for our next big step with the boy . . . he's getting a big-boy bed some time at the end of the week. I just hope he's able to sleep in this bed instead of jumping and hopping out of it all the time. Oh my, my back hurts today and I'm oh so very tired.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

update - Welcome to Tri 3

Today I'm into trimester 3. Wow, this makes baby "viable" in the outside world (and by that, Baby B would be barely able to have working lungs and would spend at least 3 months in the hospital NICU before going home) so we want him to cook for 13+ more weeks.

I've been measuring a little small based on fundal height but not enough to change my due date. Basically, at about midway through a pregnancy, you can measure the height of your belly from pubic bone to highest point (usually the belly button) and the measurement in centimeters = the number of weeks you are.

Finally got a maternity sweater from my friend at work (and it's in argyle - for the win!!!). I was hoping to get a maternity coat from Hubster or Santa, but I'll check the stores right after Christmas. Luckily I got a nice sized check from my Granny to be spent on things "just for me" and they'll go a large part to maternity tops so I stop looking slobby at work.

27 weeks - 3rd trimester
weight: 201.6 as of yesterday (gain of 1.6lbs)
fundal height: 10 1/8" (or 25 3/4 cm)
waist: 46 1/8" - belly button holding
Baby B: approx 2lbs and 14 1/2" long; kicking like crazy!!! Especially into my diaphragm and kidneys - woohoo!
Possible names: still haven't put much thought into it - I know we're being lazy.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Pregnancy update: 25/26 weeks

Yesterday was a loooooong long day. I had trouble sleeping. Then while I was completely awake at 3-something, Liam woke up screaming so I got up with him instead of making Jon do it. He only took 2o minutes to get back to full sleep but I was still totally awake and chose to read. I didn't turn off the light until 4:45 (the alarm goes off at 5:15 ugh). Luckily everything I'm teaching this week is for next quarter when we return in January, so I think "If I screw up teaching about the Norman Invasion of England in 1066, well at least I have time to reteach it." Surprise!!! Get to work at 7:45 and had an IEP (special ed) meeting I'd completely forgotten about.

After school, it's off to the doctor's office. I actually got a coworker to cover 10 minutes of the end of the day so I could leave early. My doc works in Roseville which is about 75 minutes from school if I speed. This time I got to my appt with a few minutes to spare which meant my blood pressure was way down (in November, I sprinted up the two flights of stairs while suffering from a head cold and congestion so I was very winded). No proteins in my pee so pre-eclampsia is still not a worry (not that I was concerned, look at my ankles, they're shapely and Michelangelo would beg to sculpt them in marble). Only 1.5lbs gained from my pre-pregnancy weight. Don't freak out about that now - A) my doctor has never been concerned with my weight gain in either pregnancy because I've never had any major problems (like too much or too fast), B) I started off 20lbs heavier with this one than with Liam and officially in the "overweight BMI category, C) I've been on my diabetic diet the whole pregnancy and have been losing weight all over whilst baby/body/uterus gains.

She chose to increase my anti-depressants a little. (I think they're the cause of my sleep trouble so I'm switching to morning doses). I explained that I understand that they don't work like valium to take my world away on a cloud; they have been taking the immediate edge off of my reaction to things. Unfortunately, I am not seeking out the stressors in my life and I can't avoid the ones that are happening to me - namely things like angry parents or lack of money. But, besides being a union negotiator in the midst of compromising on $250k in stimulus money we got, I'm not choosing stress. Social obligations of the holidays have been especially difficult to (if you read my last whiny post, you understand my feelings). There was no more talk about going on disability, but only because I've only been on the zoloft for 4 weeks. I'll see how things are going when I meet with her/psychologist during break. Speaking of psyche . . . still can't get in to see one; they're so booked (probably the holidays).

Made my doc swear there was only one baby in my belly since I feel huge and ugly and none of my clothes fit. She said, only one - I've had 3 ultrasounds, and I'm measuring about a week behind by fundal height. Baby B's heartbeat was super strong though and very loud. She joked this one might be our athlete.

Got home around 7. Ended up not feeling tired until about almost 11pm. Wha?!!! Didn't I wake up at 3 am?! Wow, who knows why I had that much energy still. Hope to get a belly pic sometime this week.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

It's the thought that counts, right?

Warning: this is a pity party. - Do not read on if you're not open to being sympathetic because I don't need criticism right now.

Money's tight this Christmas. It's been tight all school year. In order to save my job (and 2 other teachers and a couple of classified staff) we all took a 2.73% paycut in the form of 5 furlough days. Honestly it's not that much. But over the summer we all took a devastating blow to our paychecks in the form of health insurance increases. My plan went up almost $200/month and no, there was no way in Hell I was changing my plan because I'm lying to the insurance company about where I live just to keep my HMO; my Ob/Gyn has been my primary care physician since I was 12 and lost my ovary to a 30lb cyst. So what was only gonna be about $110 cut from my monthly check (there went my thoughts of joining a gym) is now $300+. Ouch.

We already had to skip out on a Thanksgiving party we were invited to because we just couldn't afford to drive to Sacramento twice in one weekend (it's a 90minute one-way drive now) and bring a dish to share with a whole housefull of people. We're sorry, was our excuse, but money's tight. No problem, don't worry about food, was the response. But then the follow up reminder emails (mass mail) reminded people that not enough people had offered to bring main dishes and sides. Obviously it was about the food. We skipped it and felt like jerks.

Next Sunday we are supposed to go to a friends' house for a Christmas get-together. This time, the hosts are feeding all (different couple and much closer friends) and we've all been asked to only bring something if we want/can. But the emails went out that we should only bring gifts for the children attending. I sent a text to our friend saying that, although we'd love to bring gifts for the kids, we just can't; and that Liam really doesn't need anything because our families will be giving him enough. We are bringing 1 gift for the hosts' son because it's his 1st birthday (she had him 2 weeks early last year on Christmas Eve, the day after we all gathered at their home for a holiday get-together). She replied that they understood, but since she'd already mentioned it in the email, would it be okay if people still brought gifts for Liam. Well, how should I respond to that? . . .

I broke down into tears over this conundrum. I don't want people bringing us gifts for Liam. I know it's the thought that counts, but our group of friends is not exactly honest about their financial struggles. We are honest with them. But we don't know if the others are struggling; I know one couple certainly isn't struggling, but they're also the type to hold grudges. I feel awful getting gifts for our son and not bringing anything for the other children. But I feel obligated since it already went out in an email (like it was expected that we'd all bring gifts). That's what I was trying to say in my text to the hostess; we just can't afford it. I know I'm being selfish, but I can't even justify going out and buying maternity shirts for myself so that I have tops that fit and I can wear to work without looking like a total slob (all my clothes from my previous pregnancy are summer weather). When I can't justify spending that kind of money on myself and my job, how can people expect us to buy their children gifts?! I'll feel like a total asshole if we go, eat other peoples' food and get gifts for our child without bringing anything with us. But I CAN'T afford it!!! Sure I'm sure we can economize somewhere else in our lives, but not soon enough to buy gifts. Basically I feel like a complete and utter asshole!

Jon sent another text to our hostess to find out exactly how many children would be there and said maybe we could figure out something small for each child. There will be 4 + our Liam. That's like a minimum of $40 - a maternity sweater, a tank of gas, milk and meat for my diabetic diet. I was seriously sobbing over this and I know that my feelings are a combo of pregnancy hormones + depression. I guess my zoloft hasn't quite taken the edge/sting off of things yet. But I feel guilty and selfish and disappointed in myself for not being able to provide enough for my family. I also feel really upset at my friends for being so inconsiderate and making something like gifts for the kids be a social obligation and not just a nice thing to do.

If it's the thought that counts, then my counts are mired in low self-esteem, frustration, stress, and friendlessness.

a pregnancy update

Before I start off on my woe-is-me sadsack tale, let me at least post this little tidbit. Today, I'm 25weeks pregnant and I realized on Friday that I'll only be pregnant for 4 months maximum (well less than now) because it was December 10th and April 10th will be my 2week overdue date. So I can't believe it; I'm almost into the 3rd trimester and now have less than 4 months of pregnancy left. Wow. We also finally got the battery replaced in the scale so I'm glad stepping on the scale at the doc's tomorrow won't be a surprise.

I also found a stray one of Liam's teeny-tiny infant socks that never fit his mega big feet. I hung it up with the other stockings right next to mine from when I was a girl. So now Baby B has a little stocking. Still no name though. The moose decoration is Liam's shoe outline with his handprints attached to make antlers. I covered them with scrapbooking paper to make it pretty. I plan on doing this every year now for both the boys to see how much they've grown.

My stocking is the ballet slipper obviously. I've had it since childhood. I also found my 1st Christmas stocking in the boxes this year. Awww.

Monday, December 6, 2010

long day at work

It's my fault it was a long day. I left on Friday telling myself that I would get into work one day over the weekend to check on my exam and make sure it was congruent with what I taught. Well, of course I didn't do that.

There's was no way I could have done so on Saturday because the power went out all over the county. That also threw my plan of doing skads of laundry out the window too. We ended up going to my Granny's and visiting with her and my mom while we did about 3 loads (my poor widdle guy had no more clean warm jammers left and of course he was filthy when we went down). Best part of the day . . . my son ate a whole chicken soft taco from Taco Bell (picked at it of course) and then he ate chow-mein at dinner! This is the kid who only eats protein! He NEVER EVER EVAH eats noodles (seriously, whose kid won't eat buttered noodles or mac-n-cheese?) but he had his fill of my Granny's dinner. :)

Yesterday we ended up getting a babysitter while Jon and I looked at some real estate available in town. It was a bit of a let down considering there's nothing decent in the price point we're still stuck at. Everything is tiny, 2 bedroom 1 bath less than 1,000 sq. feet kinds of places. Then you add that they all are suffering some kind of major structural malfunction like mold, or non-permit extensions. Ugh. We apologized to the new realtor for wasting her time on us. Then we hit WalMart and got the little things we've been needing. It was nice to go without the boy since it was so crowded, being Sunday afternoon and just weeks before Christmas. Forgot to get a battery for the scale; I still have no idea what my current weight gain is, but I am 24 weeks today :)

So I got up early and went in and got my test all ready. Then I found myself staying until 4:30. Somewhere along the drive home I realized I forgot to eat lunch today and have been surviving the last 5 hours on a diet coke, 100 cal pack of pretzels, and a big handful of almonds. Oops, bad me - not good for either diabetics or pregnant ladies to go that long without eating. Had to bring home work too since I'm trying to get their work graded as quickly as possible (new notebook thing I'm trying) as the quarter ends in 7 school days!!! Ack! So a lot of them turned in their notebooks today and the rest are due tomorrow. Plus the tests have essay questions that need to be graded before I can run the test through the scanner. I posted on my facebook today that if teachers got paid for all the overtime hours and work we take home, then we'd make as much as physicians. Ain't that the truth.

Jon dashed off to pay the rent (oops - it's the 6th) and get us some hamburger at the carniceria. I had to change my very stinky boy's diaper and he gabbed the whole time at me. Let me tell you, this blue kool-aid (berry blast?) has made for interesting diapers in the turquoise spectrum. I fed the cats and came back out to find my boy had done a fabulous job stacking his cars/trucks in a fine balancing act. What's more amazing is that I got him to leave it alone long enough to let me photo it before he tossed them all to the floor in his Godzilla-like glee.
Now I'm super excited because my Hubster is making burgers with onion, garlic, and crumbled bacon mixed IN THE MEAT!!! Should be SOOOO tasty.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

singing foo'

In all the high stress and chaos of the previous week, I completely forgot to mention that my big boy has started singing on his own. Last week, during my holiday, he busted out "Twinkle Twinkle" and can get through the whole first stanza without any help. He can do the whole things if we prompt him. The best part is he'll grab sheet music for the piano and pretend to read it while singing "twinkle Twinkle." Oh so freakin' cute!!!

Liam also sings the "ABC Song" if we help him. Yes, I know it's the same tune as the star song.

This morning I got up when he woke up and, while I was changing his diaper, he started singing "I'm So Sorry" from Yo Gabba Gabba. It was totally unprompted and he was totally in key. "I'm so, I'm so sorry." It's so cute.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

morton salt (when it rains . . .)

Today my day began at 4:15. . .

Liam woke up in a crazy mood and Jon went in to calm him but didn't stay in there long. Consequently, Liam woke up shouting for us. This time Jon was angry so he went in and scolded our son who then screamed for 20 minutes. So at 4:45 I got up with him. After rocking and going out to the living room couch, he finally calmed down enough and I was frankly shocked that he went to sleep again. I actually heard the alarm in my room when I put Liam down, so I just stayed up and made sure to have an extra cup of coffee.

I look like crap. I felt so unattractive today (not that I'm trying to impress the 12 year old boys). My belly really popped last week and it's getting so much colder. But none of my sweaters are long enough to cover my belly. My work maternity shirts are all hotter weather shirts. I felt too casual and frankly I thought I looked worn out and frumpish. If I hadn't been taking my zoloft regularly, I might have dissolved into a puddle of tears when I had to change my pants last minute because I wasn't wearing a belly-panel pair and my naked belly kept peaking out. Alas, there is no money for buying maternity sweaters or blouses or slacks. And Christmas is too far away (in my whirlpool of sorrow). I actually had to wear a dress shirt of Jon's and looked like I was wearing a white tent.

I planned to take my popcorn popper because I had 4 classes who had earned some free time for scoring well on the 100 Facts Quiz. I took the whole she-bang. Popper, oil, salt, mortar & pestle. When I got to school, I realized I forgot the actual popcorn!!! MF! I also rode in the carpool today so I didn't have a car to run to the grocery before school started.

My students are so lucky they didn't try my patience because some heads would have rolled. As it was, they were pretty good today.

I got home and my hubby made some comfort food for me, but Liam (who had not napped all day) chose 10 minutes after I got home to throw his first tantrum of the whole damn day. Bless Jon's heart, he made tollhouse cookies and even made me a half-dozen without chocolate chips.

I took Liam into the shower which was a great chance to try to wash this awful day away. Liam threw a fit getting out.

When I was reading a book to Liam tonight, he was yawning so much we only got through one book (he chose Cinderella and said "pwincess" when I asked him who she was). But rocking wasn't getting him to sleep; Jon came in to ask him if it was time for going to bed. One second he was playing with his blanket, I hugged him closer and got a kiss, he said "nye nye" to me. I tried to get an "Ifuffyou" [i love you] out of him but that next moment he was passed out. Seriously, we were both shocked. Jon put him in the crib, we snuck out, and

. . . that (+ a cookie) made my day better.
:)

Friday, November 26, 2010

our Thanksgiving - aka we burned our turkey

So we're celebrating our big family dinner today. We're going to my Granny's house; she's 85 and this year has not been kind to her in the health department (I think she's been in the hospital 3x since New Year's). My mom has been staying with her and pretty much has abandoned her home in Pioneer to a friend that she is letting live there rent free because she has 2 boys still living at home and is going back to school and there is no income. I know this is financially strapping my mom too; she's still paying a mortgage on a house she isn't even living in. We're also having Jon's dad join us today; things have been rough for him since my mother in-law died two years ago. The house they owned is grossly over mortgaged and the government just realized they've been paying more in his annuity than he should have gotten . . . hence, they want almost $13k back. I haven't talked to my dad yet, but he works on the holidays and he's probably out shopping this Black Friday.

Yesterday we had a scary moment. Liam has done very well staying away from the pellet stove. He ignored it almost all day yesterday and our house was delightfully cozy (for a heck of a lot cheaper than running the heater). But last night, while I was cooking dinner and on the phone with my mom, and Jon was doing something who-knows-what at his computer, Liam took an old baby ring toy over to the glass of the stove. I just happened to catch him and I yelled to get his attention; Jon swooped in to yank him away. He was in tears but we thought it was because we had scared him and that he got caught doing something naughty. But he kept being whiney and miserable (also earmarks of a little boy who only took a 45 minute nap) and then he threw such a monster tantrum that we left him in his room.

Well he screamed so loud that he threw up (joy) and when we went back in that's when Jon noticed his little burned fingers on his left hand!!! We couldn't see them an hour earlier, but he had developed a couple blisters on his pointer and middle knuckles. OMG I let my baby burn himself! We got him into the tub to wash him for today, but he immediately put his hand in the warm water and that made him wail. So instead I got in the shower with him and had to hold his hand up because every time he tried to use them it he cried. But by bedtime, the Tylenol kicked in and we had some bacitracin on his fingers (can't use bandaids because he pulls them off). He woke up once in the middle of the night and it was more of a whimper than his nightmare cry. I rocked him back to sleep very quickly. Today his fingers look so much better! The red inflamed color is back to skin color and the blisters are still there but we'll keep putting bacitracin on them. This morning he's in high chipper spirits too.

Oh also, my ringworm is also gone and Liam's is looking much better but will still need a couple weeks before being totally gone.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thoughts on Thanksgiving food

This is my 100th post on Blogger. *throws confetti* One of these days I'll find a way to move all my old Livejournal posts over and you can see what fun college was for me ;)

While reading my facebook posts this morning, a comment on an old friend's post was intriguing. Her post yesterday was about brining turkeys. I got pulled into a little mini-discussion on the comments about which brine is best to use. (We use Alton's brine recipe btw) Her mother commented that my friend is so much more adventurous in the kitchen that she had been. Then another older relative of hers commented that she herself had never brined and that [my friend] was truly more adventurous. But I don't see her as adventurous because, well, that's the same way I cook. Which got me thinking . . .

Has our generation really taken leaps and bounds away from our grandmas' cooking?
So here's some things my husband and I couldn't be caught dead without:
  • smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce in my green bean casserole
  • brine for my turkey
  • a roasting bag for the turkey (or most long term roasting operations)
  • bourbon in my pecan pie
  • Chinese 5 spice in my apple pie
  • bacon for lardon
  • ponzu (citrus soy sauce)
  • beef stock
  • roux
  • shallots
  • savory sweet potato dishes (instead of candied casseroles)
So, my Granny has always been a wonderful cook and did far more things from scratch than my mother. But you must also remember that she was a housewife in the days the TV dinner and the casserole too. She would follow recipes to the letter and they were the kind that pretty much came printed on the side of the can of condensed soup. My mom added a few innovations, mainly the addition of the roasting bag for the turkey (which came out when I was in grade school I think). My grandmother had never used one and was of the basting every 20 minutes generation. The bag, IMO, creates a far superior juicy bird with crispy skin (and it's a heck of a lot easier to clean up the carcass too).

But we just find that the addition of some flavor profiles that my ancestors never would have used regularly are what get me the most praise in my holiday cooking. Like Chinese 5 Spice or ponzu . . . my Granny would never have dared step foot into an Asian grocer to get these ingredients. White housewives just didn't do that way back in the day, even if there had been an Asian grocer in her mid-western world. And yes, now I understand that you can grab these ingredients at your closest mega-supermarket these days, but even 10 years ago I couldn't find them. They just bring our fuller, more rounded flavors. The same with smoked paprika and Worcestershire sauce in my green bean casserole. And woah, let me tell you about my discovery of the savory sweet potato dish about 4 years ago (it was a side for Christmas dinner at my moms, which btw, I always insist on roast beef instead of ham - yeah, I'm a pain in the putoot). I have never had a more requested dish for pot-lucks and holiday dinners (well, other than my bourbon pecan pie). Most people forgo regular mashed spuds in favor of the sweets, and in all honesty, we know it's because they're not candied.

We like to thank Food Network around our house for getting us to try out new ingredients. Imagine if our grandmothers or even our mothers had had access to this channel when we were young and impressionable and picky eaters. On a side note, my hubby's favorite food at Thanksgiving has always been the green bean casserole. But his mother always made the boring recipe from the side of the can. Now, he can't imagine eating any other than my recipe :)

Happy eatings everyone.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Happy news

Keeping you in the dark on the happy news for a moment, I just have to say my little Yam is being so cute right now. He's recently just reached the point where his little characters "talk" to each other. Right now his sitting at the coffee table with a construction worker, a cow, and a jeep and they are having the most intriguing conversation. Occasionally, the cow hops on the jeep . . . I didn't know cows could drive.

Okay, so my happy news. . . This morning when I woke up, I did NOT have to take my fasting blood glucose. Yup, it's not a day I have to check my sugars. I called in my glucose levels to the perinatal high-risk clinic last night and yes, I got a bit of a chastising with one of my fasting level being 100 (they want them <100, <90 is even better) but I totally understand that my night-time snack was heavy on fruit and milk (all carbs - no protein). I didn't even admit to the cookie I had :) But after that, she told me that my levels have been so good lately that I can now reduce my number of stabbings to 3x/week. Yup, Tues, Thurs, and Sat. I'll still have to check fasting and after all meals; at least it's only 12 stabbings instead of 28! Of course, the first Thursday this time in Thanksgiving! But she told me I could check on Friday instead (well, I'll check on Thursday because we're doing Thanksgiving dinner with my family on Friday as my mom has to work on Thursday). Hooray!

Monday, November 22, 2010

TMI - cat hork!

Today was a long long day. It's day 3 of my illuminated manuscripts project at school and well, my 7th graders aren't doing the bestest on it. Some are pretty decent; they're calligraphy sucks, but I blame it all on the fact they are not practicing patience and attention to detail. Maybe I'll post the best looking ones when they turn them in tomorrow. But I've been sleepy all day and we have a union negotiation tomorrow afternoon which might get really ugly. Basically, the 2 days of work before Thanksgiving Break will be a long, winding road and no brother to carry me.

Okay, now on to the title of the blog post. Just as I'm walking in very late this evening, into the back door, Poppy runs past and I nearly step on a big pile of cat hork. It was full of biscuits and wet food. Well, Poppy was the most likely culprit as she's the one that horks most often. I ignored it and went in to eat, watch TV, and play with my boy.

Well, after Liam and I took a shower, I went into the laundry room to throw some towels and clothes in that I couldn't get to with yesterday's marathon scourge purge. As I walked in, I couldn't find the cat hork. Huh?! But there was a suspicious pile of 3 socks, a wash cloth, and a pair of my underwear on the floor. Ugh, seriously?! The cats (one of them) went back into the laundry room and literally hid the hork under a conspicuous pile of clothes. What little witches. I swear cats are like toddlers.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

DnD widow

Today I got a chance to sleep in a little. Woke up about 2 whole minutes before I heard the little guy yelling to be let outta his crib. My fasting blood sugars have been a little high, but I know it's because I haven't been having my snacks in the evening. But I'm getting used to protein shakes for breakfast.

My mom called today to let me know she was going Christmas shopping and check on the size of appliances we'd like for our gifts. There was a small holiday get together going on down the street complete with firetruck and 15 y/o's death metal band. Then my hubster left me for his DnD game. I'm a widow once again.

So Liam had a protein heavy lunch and then went down for his nap. I don't exactly know when since he was doing gymnastics in his crib. I spent the time doing more searching for Christmas and holiday related crafts appropriate for toddlers. I have come to a couple of decisions: I do not care about glue or glitter, but I do feel uncomfortably about paint projects; we also don't have much money for craft projects :( Also, managed to get 4 loads of laundry done to help keep the scourge of pestilence from spreading. Hot water and bleach on the sheets, blankets, pillow cases, and the bath robes. Liam was so happy when I gave him his Green Ghost all clean and fresh smelling (green ghost is his lovie blanket and we do wash it regularly as he still has leakage problems with his diapers during nights and naps).

We went to the grocery store. I got a freezer lasagna for our dinner (of course Liam ate about 3 bites of it - he still doesn't like noodles very much). He got a bath. I read him Guess How Much I Love You and half of Jack and the Beanstalk. He went down easily. I never got around to finishing the line work for my art project for school. Oh well, I'm pretty beat.

Uneventful day and yet I'm exhausted - go figure. Oh well, Baby B is getting a little stronger and moving more. I'm 22 weeks today and have not a thing to wear. Forgot to weigh myself this morning, so I'll check that tomorrow. Wish I didn't have to work this week (even if it is only 2 days). Won't be getting a shower tonight since the hot water's pretty much been used up. Time for my snack. Then into fresh clean bedding for the night. Ahhhhhhh.

we're sick

Compromised Immune System Volume 2:
Okay, the other day, my husband was looking for any out of the ordinary legions on his skin (because of the month of ringworm around here). He found what looked like a little patch of angry pimples on his lower abdomen. The next day, I guess they started hurting because he texts me while I'm at work. He thinks he's got shingles!!! WTF?!

Okay, this makes sense. The spots aren't itching him but he has radiating pain that is travelling around back toward his spine in a line from the patch of bumps to his back. Actually, he says the bumps don't hurt, just the back. He also never had chicken pox as a kid and got them when he was like 21 or 22 years old.

Worry time for me. I'm really susceptible to herpes zoster virus. I've had it twice as a child. My mother had it three times (once as a child and both times I got it). My dad's had chicken pox once as a child and then came down with shingles a couple summers ago. So, my family just doesn't do well with the chicken pox virus. Don't worry about Liam, he's already had the vaccine (lucky kid). But I'm pregnant. I'm only 22 weeks and coming down with shingles in the first 24w can cause congenital defects in the fetus. Also the risk of developing pneumonia is really high. And people with high stress in their lives are more likely to develop shingles. Eek! To tell the truth, I've been swinging between really stressed and really apathetic at work (not to mention I had a total beeyotch of a mom hassling me this week).

So, precautions: Jon is now required to wear a shirt at all times and sleep in a shirt to bed. We will be washing the sheets with 2 wash cycles (and the blankets are getting an extra wash too which may also help with our ringworm prob). Jon and I will be using separate soaps of a few weeks. Hopefully this will clear up quickly and his pain won't last too long.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Fungus amongus

We've been sick here in the Rogers house. It all started with a little bug bite on my ankle one morning, mid-October, when I woke up. It was the kind that I scratched the hell out of (it even bled a little) and then never bothered with it again. Well, a couple days later it was starting to look like a pimple or an ingrown hair. Then I made the mistake of shaving over it --- stupid!!! Within 10 days, it had gotten to be a red spot the size of a quarter and had that distinct circular ring shape. Yep, I have Tinea corporis, aka ringworm! I had been suspecting it for about a week, even before the ring shape developed and had been treating with miconozole (which I knew from my previous pregnancy was safe for topical fungal/yeast treatment) but it wasn't helping and now my legion was hurting.

Liam developed one ring spot on the back of his leg just before Halloween. We stopped by Target on November 1st and asked the pharmacist (they're great people, they know their shit, use them as a resource). She suggested clortrimozole; apply 2x daily like the package says. Well, my legion started to go away right away and is now practically gone. Two weekends later and Liam's spot is bigger and looks, to quote my husband, "angry." Over the weekend, we also noticed that Poppy has a bald spot on her ear and it's inflamed. Monday night Jon emails a photo to the doc; Tuesday found us racing to catch the last appointment.

Doc looks at both legions and says "yup it's ringworm." But apply 4x daily and expect it to take 4-6 weeks to clear up. Has to do with the compromised immune system of children. Add to that we've had head colds and mild congestion the last week and then I mentioned that Liam's cradle-cap is back. "Yup, more evidence of immature immune system. Perfectly normal."

How did I get it? you ask. Well, my coworker (and landlord's girlfriend) had a major outbreak of ringworm in her house this summer. I then roomed with her on a business trip while she was treating it. Any physical contact with her or her things could have caused it. But that was August!!! you exclaim. Yes, but ringworm is a fungus and can live dormant for a long time. I basically gave it to my cat, who gave it back to me, and that fateful morning I scratched that bug bite until it hurt-so-good I transferred it back from my hand (and the cat) to my leg.

As for treating the cat . . . the same clortrimozole cream on her ear a couple times a day. Rub it in really good so she licks as little as possible off. Her ear already looks better in the last couple days.

Stay healthy!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Couple of triumphs today. 1) started a calligraphy project with my 7th graders; they like it. 2) just wrote a great letter to help a friend's son start K early

Sunday, November 14, 2010

4-day weekend (day 4)

Well, tomorrow it's back to the grind. Honestly, I'm not looking forward to it. Taking 4 days in a row with my guys has been wonderful and I am definitely not looking forward to 3 weeks off at Christmas for the very same reason. I already feel like I'm scrambling even though I made the decision to take it slow and steady with the medieval/Renaissance Europe studies. We're a little over 1 week into it and already I feel like I'm running out of time. I think part of it is because of the Thanksgiving holiday coming up in 7 school days. Then after that there's only 3 weeks before the end of the Quarter. The medieval festival is scheduled for the last Thursday in February and I'm already freaking out. I'm terrified of failing. That's a struggle I've always had. I try to be perfect in all things (or at least give the appearance that I'm living a Mary Poppins life "practically perfect in every way"). And I'm terrified that the festival will sink and the parents and people of my district will cluck their tongues and say behind their hands "See, we always knew she couldn't do anything good." I never feel like I'm good enough.

So, I'll be giving a quiz this next week and then I want to spend 3 days doing an art project. That's something I've been trying to add more into my curriculum this year. I don't know if the kids appreciate it. I'm sure they hate that I have to have a lesson plan for it, a reason for why. Anyway, I was hoping to illuminate nursery rhymes and teach them some basic calligraphy. But of course, I can't afford calligraphy pens. Maybe I can go buy some chisel tipped markers and get the school to reimburse me.

I also want to try to come up with some crafts for the boys' room, like maybe some name letters to hang on the wall. I have tons of scrap booking paper. I suppose I should go look at it. Oh, btw, this is the bedding I mentioned yesterday that I totally have fallen in love with. Jon and I don't think it's too girlie especially since we're going to go with a courtly/knightly theme for the boys room. (Another hint, it has stuck in our brains lately that Baby "B" be named for dragons - No, I'm not naming him Gorbash or Breagh or Srumgl.) Only trouble is that it is only available through JCPenney right now. I can't find an eBay or Amazon sale on it for the life of me.
Just trying out my SMS featureto post from my phone.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

4-day weekend (day 3)

It's been pretty uneventful today. I never got back last night to update at the end of day 2, but it was bad for Jon. :( Poor guy seemed to have picked up a mild case of food poisoning on top of the cold that the family is sharing. His tummy was bothering him all day and he was beat-up exhausted. He threw up 3 bites into dinner, and that was after sleeping for about a 6 hour nap. That was the second time he vomited yesterday too. I'm trying to decide if my new meds are keeping me up or knocking me out. Just need to figure out when to take them. Liam was adorable all day yesterday and we enjoyed a super long, hot shower to try and break up our phlegm before he went to bed (I think that worked).

Today I sat my ass on the couch for the majority of the day. It was nice to sleep in until 7am (yeah, I know, but that's sleeping in for a teacher). I would love to say I'll make Jon get up tomorrow, but I do actually enjoy waking up at 5:30 on weekends now . . . it's the only me alone time I get and I usually catch up on my girly television shows like ANTM and Gossip Girl and 90210.

I started to think of some Christmas crafting ideas I'd like to do. But who am I kidding. We have NO $$$. Last night Mom and I talked for a little bit and I agreed to make green bean casserole and a sugar-free apple pie for Thanksgiving (which will be on Friday this year as my mom is working on Thursday). Then I got to thinking about the bedding set I really want for the new little one, but how it's damned expensive (my mom got Liam's bedding at a garage sale for $25!) and then I really want to decorate their room in castles and dragons and knights but there's nothing like that for kids right now - poo!

Liam was super chatty and rather cuddly today which leads me to believe that his cold is affecting him. He's never been sick-sick and we are so very thankful for that, especially since I work in a school and my students are ALWAYS full of snot and coughs and gross (they're 12). I made pot roast for dinner. It wasn't much work; I got one of those bag-n-season kits. Then I threw together a little roux and made a kick-ass gravy (because *horn toot* I'm awesome at gravy). Liam didn't eat much which is his modus operandi lately. But he drank a lot of juice and milk all day so he might have been full of liquid.

Now, Jon and I are hanging here while he gets some MAN TV time and watches a MMA fight. I played a little Puccini on the piano and finally figured out why I was having to read bass clef (it's my cello book for Puccini - did you know I used to play cello . . . and was a well-trained mezzo-soprano, and am self-taught on piano *toot toot*). We cranked on the pellet stove for the first time this season and now have learned that our cat Lily is completely fascinated by the stove. She has been sitting in front of it since I left the room and turned the light off. Although she did stop for a few moments because I think she was embarrassed that I got the camera out to catalog her looniness. So far, we're liking the thing and I hope it helps us keep cozy this winter (of course, we won't be using it until we get a cage to put around it or the toddler is in bed).

Friday, November 12, 2010

4-day weekend (day 2)

So far the day has been pretty uneventful. I got up and went into work (yeah that's right, my school did NOT have the day after a Thursday holiday off) just to set up for my substitute. Then I came back home. Hubster wasn't feeling too well which is sad because he'd been doing better than I for the last couple of days. He's been back in bed since I got home (around 2 1/2 hours now - note for long though because Liam just ran through the house yelling "daddy daddy dah dah dad" - look out Jon). So I've done a little laundry, updated my blog, played with my kid, facebooked a lot. Got hungry early since I didn't have my normal protein shake at breakfast so I ate around 10:30. Let me tell you it's hard to find something with enough protein when you can't afford the extra protein the new diet requires. Life would be so much easier if I weren't such a picky eater. Here's some adorable snaps of my 27 month old "helping" me with laundry.
He's totally into saying "cheese" now and trying to smile for the camera. So that leaves us with growly-faced smiles. These were totally not posed by the way. He parked his butt into my laundry to watch Elmo.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

4-day weekend (day 1)

Warning LONG!

Today is Veterans Day so we have a crazy holiday in the middle of the week. Too bad students, you have to be back tomorrow. I originally scheduled a prenatal appointment with my nurse practitioner for tomorrow morning and then decided I would take ALL of Friday off instead of just a half-day. The original plan was to pawn the spawn off on someone else and take a little extended weekend with the Hubster. Well money's tight, that didn't work out. Then yesterday, I finally get around to checking my voicemail and find out my appointment on Friday has been canceled and I need to reschedule. Eek!!!

Well, guess what. The doc's office is open on Veterans Day and my actual Ob/Gyn had an opening. So I saw her today instead. Took some pics of my 20w belly to post up on Facebook for everyone (sorry about the blurry one with Liam, it was too cute though).

There was a new nurse taking my BP and checking my weight (oh yeah, still 1 lb under my first weight for this pregnancy - nothing like a carb-starvation diet!). She was awesome. While wrapping my arm with the BP cuff, she stops and exclaims "you have the most beautiful face!" Awwwww. Love her, she's my new favorite nurse!

The rest of the day . . . not so awesome. Turned into an emotional, blubbering mess with my doctor and all this just managed to triple the amount of snot coming out of my already rhinopharyngitis-y face (common cold). Gonna try going on some meds to help me manage life. It was either that or consider going on medical disability and ummmmm, that's not gonna pay the bills. Her first response was "can you quit your job?" Don't I wish. We'll give this about 6 weeks and see how I'm doing. Basically, the risks of medication to Baby "B" are far outweighed by the risks of momma being overwhelmed emotionally and financially strapped and stressed out. Yup. I'm a mess.

Then tried to go to JoAnn's to see if anything caught my eye (not that I could afford it). It was mobbed because, oh yeah, it was a holiday. I had a coughing fit in the middle of the store that was so bad I was gagging. I had no more tissues because I blew through them all in the doc's office. I had to race out to the car where, yet again, I had no tissues. I spent 5 minutes in the parking lot coughing and blowing my nose on a flyer for Woodland Community College. Let's just add to all this embarrassment the fact that I'm basically incontinent because I've had one child and never bothered to do kegel exercises last time or this.

WARNING IT GETS RANT-Y HERE!!!
I stopped at Target to get a few items we needed (like COFFEE FILTERS) and bought a box of tissues for the car. What should have been 5 minutes in-and-out turned into an ordeal as the gal in front of me turned out to be buying with an EBT card. Ugh, and her foodstamps card didn't swipe. So they checker had to ring her through like 3x before he finally got a manager. All the while, I'm miserable and just want to drive the 75 minutes home (or at least blow my nose again) and I notice that she's got a new Blackberry, a new purse, and basically appears like she's abusing the government assistance. This just serves to make me more mad about the fact that we can't get on WIC or foodstamps because I make too damned much money in gross but no one ever pays attention to the fact that my share of health insurance is 1/3 or my monthly check. We never make it through the month and haven't for 18 months now. I friggin' use birthday money to buy groceries or pay for electricity. And to top it all off . . . SHE WAS A HAIR TWIRLER! ugh >:(

Oh, I stopped by Chic-fil-a for the first time on the way home. It was decent, but I still like Carl's Jr. burgers better.

Monday, August 23, 2010

What color do you see?

What color do you see? What color is my pee?
Jon swears it's violet/darker purple. I swear it's more of a magenta. What do you think? And yes, this is important to me to know what color you think my pee is.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First day of school

2010-2011 has begun. I totally did not feel ready going into today. I don't feel like I had enough time to set up my classroom before they showed up at 1st period. By 3rd period prep, my throat was already sore. My classes are larger this year, but I really can't complain because QEIA allows us to still max out at 25:1. My lower back is sore because I sat on my stool to save my feet but then leaned over all day on the stool - how else was I supposed to impose my superior authority on 12 year old kids?

Then of course I had to go to the grocery store and get the mail before coming home. That extra 25 minutes seemed like forever, even though I did get into a super short line with no WIC shoppers ahead of me. Ran into one of our great subs in the parking lot. Got home and instead of just changing out of my work clothes, I took a quick shower. It was Hubster's idea . . . "come home and shower away the school day." I may keep it up. First, it's a chance to wash off the rapscallions and the stress and the irritation. Secondly, it takes care of needing to shower at night or in the morning. Win-win. While in the water, I realized I should probably wear a smattering of sunscreen on my nose. I have bus-duty in the afternoons for 2 weeks.

Oh yeah, I told the kids I've been wrestling walruses to explain my bruised arms.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

3h glucose tolerance

Got my results overnight and of course, since today's Sunday, I probably won't get to hear about the results until Monday at the earliest. I wish someone who's gone through this before give me some insight. I failed and passed.

Yesterday, after 10 hours of fasting, my sugars were 1mg higher than the doc wants (fail). 1h after the glucose drink, they were 197 (fail), even higher than Wednesday's failed 1 hour. After 2h, they were 97 (win) and after 3h, they were 67 (kinda win because at this point I was just about shaking).

Then I made some major rookie mistake and skipped the banana I brought for right after the test. Why? So I could EAT MORE LUNCH!!! Stupid. My eyes were so much bigger than my stomach and I almost broke down into tears when the waitress at California Pizza Kitchen brought me my peach lemonade and all I could think of was why oh why did I not get an appetizer?! oh woe! I didn't need an appetizer, but I was just that hungry. I inhaled my lemonade and needed to ask for a water (I was dehydrated too - remember it was 14hours of fasting). Then I ate half a pizza by myself and although it had cheese and steak on it, I essentially had a lot of carbohydrates. I was shaking by the time I finished my lunch. But did I stop there? Nope. I went to Sees Candy while at the mall and ate 4 chocolates on the drive home. Needless to say, I had a dump (the sugar kind not the poop kind) and was almost passed out sleeping on the way home . . . 90 minutes drive.

So obviously I'm having trouble with my sugar regulation. I was more shocked that I failed the 1h and that my overnight fasting results were so high then dropped so low. Can this be something I fix with exercise? Or am I really gonna have to change my diet as I'm obviously pre-diabetic? Don't judge me by my lunch yesterday. I was not in my right mind. The brain needs glucose to function people!!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Failed Glucose Test

Well, on to the 3-hour glucose screen. I wasn't even expecting to have the 1-hour test when I went in for my check-up yesterday. I've had concerns about being pre-diabetic for awhile, but my GD test when preggo with Liam was super low and they've never found sugar/proteins in my urine before. But the NP thought it a good idea since my mom used to be diabetic (hasn't since she had her gastric bypass and is like 1/2 the weight she used to be) and now I'm in the overweight bmi category.

Ugh, my sugars were 189! Last time they were 93 after an hour and they're supposed to be less than 97. So it's off to the lab super early Saturday where they'll stab me every hour (has to be Saturday since school starts back next Monday and I can't take the time off at the beginning of the year like that). So much for my only day off this week before school starts back up. (I swear the lab tech must have switched my results or something . . . I'm still in shock.)

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

to depress or not?

When I was pregnant with Liam, I had the easiest, most emotionally stable pregnancy. You see, I've suffered from depression my entire life and finally realized what it is like to live happy like a normal person. Well, in addition to the whole pre-heating the oven thing, I've been thinking about getting back on anti-depressants again. Part of this was spurred on by my "get healthier" kick and part by Hubster's recent return to depression meds. He's been doing really well this month btw.

I took a class about depression meds and fetuses/newborns during my pregnancy. While I could pretty much teach the whole class, I did learn a lot of stuff about meds and breastfeeding. Even though I feel well educated on the topic, I still asked my doctor's opinion last week. She told me that she'd only be comfortable starting me on Zoloft (I had some success with Prozac and bad luck with Paxil). She said Prozac is probably the best one for me to e on because it is fast acting and long lasting, however it's considered a NO GO for prenant mothers. She reminded me that Zoloft is fine for fetuses but that newborns go through withdrawal shortly after birth and have been noted to have difficulty bonding. She doesn't want me using them during breastfeeding.

I thought about it a lot over the weekend. It was a difficult decision to make. I know not every pregnancy is the same and my biggest worry is what if I can't shake this malaise? what if this time I get worse during my pregnancy or suffer from post-partum? But I also know that starting the meds for just a couple weeks and then having to get off of them would be worse for me in the long run. Maybe I'll feel better or more alive when the last of my birth control hormones from my Mirena get out of my system (I have made a strong connection between my birth control & hormones and my depression worsening). I decided it would be best to just "go with it." I'm going to adopt wait-and-see how things work. I hope hope hope I'll have a happy pregnancy with the second like I did with Liam.

And of course, my doctor thought this was the best course of action considering I'm trying to get pregnant. (Doesn't that just sound like a doctor?)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

adventures with yeast

...and without.

I've recently gotten into my brain to create my own sourdough. Let's ignore the fact that I also recently swore to reduce my carbohydrate intake. (tee-hee) So I've been combing the web and trying to find some recipes for making sourdough bread, but they all ask for this one important thing . . . a "starter." If you're from Northern California like I, then you understand that there ain't nothing like a San Francisco sourdough bread. In fact, there truly isn't. The SF Bay Area has its own particular kind of lactobaccillus (that's the bacteria that helps make food twang) called L. sanfranciscansis (I didn't even have to look that up. . . I saw it on a History Channel show once) that is only found in the Bay air and once you move the starter away from the Bay it picks up the local flora and loses its San Francisco taste.


Okay, bird walk about the SF dough aside, apparently it is possible to start your own starter without a "mother" or a kit. So I started yesterday morning hoping to do it right. The reason you make a sourdough starter is not only to get the twangy flavor, but to make your bread rise without keeping little yeasty beasties alive (since they're already alive and kickin' it in their "sponge" starter). It takes equal part by weight of water and flour, a clean bowl, a moderate room temperature, a loose cover, and a couple days. I started with 8 oz. tap water and 8 oz. regular ol' white flour. Here was my starter after a couple hours. It was barely bubbly and smelled like paste. Boring.




This morning I checked on it. It had gotten a little dried out and a little dark colored on the top. I decided I didn't need a whole ton of starter so I discarded half and then added another 4 oz. water and flour and stirred it all up. Then I stuck it in the oven with the light on (not the oven on) because we had so much wind drafting through the house this morning that my starter was down in the low end of the growth range (60-80 degrees F). I got the air in the oven up to 93 degrees in 2 hours with the heat from the light and from the heat from the outgassing. He was starting to smell a little like gym socks. Then I sat him on the counter. Here he is after about 36 hours total. He's pretty bubbly on the top and definitely smelling like yogurt. I wish I could say it was unpleasant, but in my reading I learned the only way to make sour dough is to get the starter sour smelling. Go figure :) And if you couldn't tell by now, we've taken to calling the startr "he" and "him". He's like another little baby right?








On a side note, here's a little loaf of french bread I made yesterday afternoon. I wish I could take all the credit for it, but I definitely let the bread machine do the kneading. I don't have the guts to try mixing or kneading by hand yet. But I seem to get the loaves to come out write. It was delish.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

It's May

Today is the first of May and for some reason I'm feeling especially closer connections to my old Wiccan roots. This is of course, May Day or Beltane. It's the ancient celebration of life and creation and fertility. I don't know. I think the connection must come from the fact that I'm now officially "preheating the oven" and we are soon to be trying for another baby. I went to see my doctor yesterday and get my Mirena removed. It hurt way less than getting it inserted. In fact, I really don't think it hurt at all. Jon kept asking me if I was doing alright and I kept saying that I was fine. No cramping or tired feeling or pain. I did get my thyroid levels checked and that hurt more since it required a blood draw. (btw, got my results back and my thyroid hormone is in the normal range but it is on the low side of normal). So my doctor said that we are allowed to start trying after I have one normal cycle. Which means, I can start TTC basically at the beginning of June. YAY!!! I guess I'm feeling May because I'm really thinking about my own fertility. Hrmmm, let's see... I'm really hoping for a May baby so we better get busy by August ;)

words and noises

Liam has a new favorite word, CAR. He brings us his cars, he says car.
It's fast out-pacing Elmo.
Even cuter? His new noise, vroom-vroom.
Vrooming whenever he plays cars.

Friday, April 30, 2010

big Friday


Day spent with Nana delightful. New clothes.

Trip to park.
Visit from Mommy's friends, Tom & Liz.
Tom's a great tickler; kept making him tickle me more.
Crashed at 8!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

my lucid dreams

I am pretty creeped out from my dream this morning. I dreamt that the phone rang one of those worrisome, early morning rings. Jon answers. He hands the phone to me. I answer and the voice on the phone (which was a mix of at least 4 people I know) said "I'm sorry you're awake Haley." In a moment of lucidity, I think wait aren't you supposed to say "I'm sorry I woke you"? But you can't because now I am awake. And this is a dream. And I must check the alarm clock because I turned it off instead of snoozing it. Sure enough...it was 5:35 and I got right up and into the shower. It wasn't until I had shampoo in my hair that I got the creeps about my lucid awareness in my dream.

Monday, April 26, 2010

baby news/suspicion

Here we are, about to go to the doctor this week and I swear I've got some major baby on the brain. Mostly because I'm thinking everyone is getting pregnant right now. Well, by everyone, I mean 2 people. Friend #1 recently posted a cryptic FBook post about her "insides" and a comment she got from a nurse practitioner and tests. We saw her at a BBQ this weekend and I don't recall a single alcoholic drink in her hand all evening. Hrmmmm. Friend #2 is the wife of one of my college roommates (she was a roommate at one point too). At the aforementioned BBQ, my old roommate called to ask what a good Mother's Day gift would be for his wife. Squeeeeee! So he says she's definitely preggo and I was the first person he told (only fair since he was the first person we told with our DS). They haven't even seen the doc yet, but she'd be 6 weeks or so now. Awww man. How awesome. They're looking at an Xmas baby.

So, yeah. I'm really getting the itch now.

theme song

Liam sings now. He dances too.
The Kid's got rhythm.
He sings the theme song to "Dinosaur Train" on PBS.
Of course he can't sing words, but neither did dinosaurs.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

plans for prepping

What are you trying to do to prep your body for pregnancy?

I'm trying to drop a few pounds. I gained about 41 during my last pregnancy and lost about 35 of it, but over the course of the last 20 months I've gotten lazy and complacent. I'm back to about 30 lbs over my pre-preggo weight. I got PG almosti mmediately after getting my BMI under 25% last time. Hoping for that again. I'm getting more exercise. I used to be a dancer. I used to be so flexible and lean. Now I'm stiff and my back hurts all the time (from sitting on my rump). I'm trying to walk at least 25 minutes everyday and I've added in a 5 minute stretching routine before bed or waking in the morning. I think it's time to get back to Wii Fit.

I'm going to talk to my doc about anti-depressants before conception. I'm in a bad way; it's a miasma of functional depression. I've lived with depression almost half of my life and pregnancy was the only time I've ever felt "happy" but I take no joy in most things and am so hard on myself that I need to change things soon.

I'm eating better. Cutting out "white" carbs like refined and processed foods, white flour, sugar, etc. Added in a ton of whole grains, protein, and more veggies/salad/fruit. Let me say that so far (two weeks) it's working and I've lost 7 lbs and am not cravings carbs as much as I was 2 weeks ago. Also not eating after 8:30pm so sometimes I end up missing dessert after I put DS to bed. Oh well.

I'm switching to half-caff coffee and am going to limit my coffee to 2 travel mugs max and gradually wean off (hoping to be down to 1 cup by end of school year in 6 weeks). I realized last week I drink sometimes 6-8 cups and usually 3 travel mugs during work week.

I'm cutting my alcohol intake. I also realized I was drinking 2 drinks a night on a regular basis. Limit to 1 and this should also help my carb cutting too.

Getting DH to the doctor was helpful too. He's our SAHD and I don't think DS has gotten the best of care in the recent few months, but he's avoided the doc like a typical man for the last 5 years. DH also has depression and realized he has high cholesterol now. He's gotten on medication for the depression and I've made the diet change affect him too. Good news, he's lost 5 lbs too.

kitchen helper

Little helper is too much in kitchen.
Baby-proofed but not spit-polished so we never let him in.
Cat's water...led to fall. Dishwasher...plates rescued.
Pantry door...locked Poppy in.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

bring on summer



BBQ with the Tavares family. Logan is the best buddy.
Played with his cars all day and shared sippy cups.
Good role-model; Logan's 50-weeks older.
The cutest widdle buddies ever.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

look out!!!

Has discovered throwing objects behind him.
This is a delight now that he has real blocks.
Caught one in the cheek and one in the arm.
Those things really fly!

Monday, April 19, 2010

RIF rescinded

On Saturday I got my official letter from my school district saying that my RIF was rescinded and I was welcome to come back to full employment in the fall. It was a pretty dull, lifeless, and soulless letter, totally legalese. But on the bottom, was a handwritten note from my superintendent. She apologized for the formality of the "form letter" and said she felt like I deserved a personal letter. Then she congratulated me on passing my English test (which I only mentioned to her in passing as I was leaving the Board meeting on Thursday). I wish any of that made me feel better about my working there.

birthday bash

Fun weekend was had. It was Jon's 35th birthday on Sunday so I took it easy on my diet change. Saturday I let him sleep in as late as he wanted, but alas he got up early to go visit his dad in Fair Oaks. There he found his passport (phew! our trip is in 2 months and we're going into Canada). Then we spent the day enjoying bad television and eating fried food. One of my favorite things in the whole world is a deep fried pickle!!! Have you ever had one? They're the bestest. Then I had ice cream and several glasses of wine (only 2, but I was using our large tumblers which are about 10oz).

Sunday I also wanted to let him sleep in late but, silly man, he got up at 10am. We had ice cream cake (per request) for breakfast. When Liam got up from his lunch, we drove into Davis and dined outside on sushi and teriyaki. Then we strolled around a little arboretum and Liam had a blast grabbing and crushing plants. More ice cream cake in the evening.

So my diet detour caught up with me this morning. Oops. I gained about 1 1/2 lbs. Back to whole grains and protein and water this week (well maybe one more slice of ice cream cake). One of the best things from this weekend . . . Jon gave me the go ahead to call my doctor and set up an appointment to remove my Mirena. We're are officially going in "pre-heat the oven" mode. :)

Sunday, April 18, 2010

hop on pop


Daddy's 35th birthday.
A cuddly-wuddly guy who gave Dada lots of love.
Didn't care for maki rolls. Scraped knees.
Spent 20 minutes bouncing on Dada's belly. It ended in tickle fight.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Word Milestone

Got home tonight and Liam followed me to the baby-gate.
Thought he said letter M; says "mmm-ma."
It became "Ah-mmee" and "um-mmee."
I picked him up and cried and laughed.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

adding English

Back in March, on the advice of my District Superintendent, I took the CSET for English (this is a subject area competency exam that I did not have to take for my original credential because of the nature of my coursework in college). She wanted to know why, with all the courses I took in English instruction in college, I didn't have a supplemental to teach English. Well, I was this close to getting one, but I was part of a small group that was told the state wasn't authorizing supplements to credentials anymore (the are doing so again now). So I took about a semester's worth of courses extra for nothing really.

Well, on the DO's advice, I signed up for the test. But it was incredibly expensive ($245) and I was super scared. It's a grueling test. There are 4 subtests, all of which need to be passed. Well I chose to take them all at one shot to try and get them out of the way (the test is only offered every other month). Then I downloaded practice tests straight from the CSET website and freaked out. This was hard stuff. I only felt like I was prepared to do well on the second subtest about grammar and linguistic acquisition. I crammed until 8pm in my classroom the entire week before. I had a colleague who was thoughtful enough to bring me dinner a couple of nights. The 4 tests were designed to take about 5 hours to complete and the whole test session is only 5 hours long! It took me 4:26 and I was the last person left in the room. Basically, everyone thought I was insane for taking all 4 parts at once, especially as it was the day after I got my pink-slip (about half of the people in the test session had gotten laid off the day before).

Well yesterday was score reporting day. And guess what chicken butt...I PASSED ALL FOUR SUBTESTS!!! WTF?! So what is my next step? Do I have to take the RICA exam? Do I have to do a practicum in an English class? I go to the CTC website and as far as I could tell, I only have to send in a $55 check and my application for an additional single-subject authorization on to my single subject credential. WHAT?! AWESOME! So that's what I did. I walked down to the post office (to get in some exercise as well as to expend some of my nervous energy) and dropped off the application. It'll go out today and start going through the process this week or next. Holy cow. I just made myself doubly hireable and improved my chances in "tie-breakers" on seniority. So now, even though I was last fired, I won't be the obvious first fired choice. :) It's going to be a better day at work today. Not because I got my job back for next year, but because I just had me a Quixote moment. I dared to dream an impossible dream and was successful.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Get Younger - Day 1

So today is the day I began. I'm trying to get "younger" based on the things I posted previously in my list of advice from Real Age. Would be happy to have 6 years added and to be my own age, but if I can add a couple more years in the process, why not.

Here's the skinny...
206 lbs.
28.7 BMI
42" waist
size 16 pants

So I was watching Dr. Oz the other day (this is why I hate Spring Break, I watch crappy ass daytime TV) and he had a show about diet based on your genetics. I thought this was kinda cool. The one thing I learned is . . . I should be on a low-carb diet. No I didn't have any genetic screening done, I just base this assumption on the "typical dinner" that he showed for each diet and the one my body went zOMG-shproing!!! for was the low-carbohydrate dinner. So I looked into it and thought about it and read up on it online and decided that I need to do a "lower" carbohydrate diet. So I'm cutting back on white foods, processed carbs, and too much sugar in general. I'll be adding more brown grains, lean meat, and fruit/veg into my daily intake. I wasn't about to do a diet like Atkins or South Beach because I don't think I could put my body/mind through that kind of strain of depleting it of its major energy source. I'm just gonna reduce the energy as I change of. Think of it as my body's conversion to bio-diesel.

Other things that are definite immediate on my list...
  • drive the speed limit (Even on the boring ol' interstate on my way to/from work)
  • floss
  • reduced alcohol to 1 drink/day
  • talk with friends & family more often...actually talk (hey guess what, my dad stopped by today totally unannounced)
  • take multi-vitamin
  • stretch daily
  • walk daily
Here's a cool fact: distilled liquor has had all the sugars evaporated out of it so therefor a rum & diet coke is a no-carb drink!!! And I thought my mom was just fooling herself when she tried to do Atkins while living in the Virgin Islands.

I'll let you know how it works out.

Friday, April 9, 2010

twitt


For those of you who actually are interested, besides posting my whereabout-updateables on Facebook, I also post on Twitter. My twitter name is Haleypiglet. I've been rather annoyed with it. This is a multi-fold problem.

First off, I frankly can't be checking my phone to look at all the texts during the middle of a class with my impressionable 12 year olds watching me. I have to have some kinds of decorum right?

Next, I have a bunch of people I would like to follow who have Twitter accounts but never update (I'm not always good about updated either).

And then, there's the people I'd like to hear from occasionally who update all the friggin' time. These are usually celebrities/public officials. For example, our governor (who's both celeb and public official). His Twitter-maniac interns will post at least 6x/daily. And I get even more annoyed because the tweets always include links or pics that I can't go to because I do not have an awesome kind of phone that can handle those kinds of functions. I have a normal texting phone. oh well :(

But then I have this one friend who must think he's a celebrity or a public official. He will update his Twitter up there with the likes of Gov. Schwarzenegger or Gossip girl. And his posts are often filled up with all kinds of linkys that I can't go see. And, well let's bring this up again, he's my friend who I've decided is rather pretentious. So a lot of it is like "at such-&-such a place having a most pretentious time. don't you think i'm awesome. validate me!" Okay, not in those words exactly. I'm paraphrasing my memory there.

So this week I've had a plan to update my Twitter ever time he updates his. Sometimes I can't think of anything fast enough before he throws another one out there. In 4 full days I've sent at least 21 Tweets; sometimes I was on the verge of making stuff up just to get things published. It's frankly kinda annoying. My friends must not even check their accounts on their phones anymore or they'd be thinking I've gone mental or that a 15 y/o must have hijacked my account. This is rather ridiculous. and yet, for some people this is the only way to stay in contact with them as they don't have Facebook accounts and rarely update friends with emails. Ugh. Slave to technology.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

OMG I'm Old

So I've been thinking about trying for another baby and know there will need to be some changes in my lifestyle to get prepared. With Husbter going to the doctor for checkups this week and getting come blood tests done et al, it's more on my brain. So I logged back on to my Real Age account. My age versus my real age actually increased by a whole year and I'm now 36.6 y/o (according to my body and my lifestyle) rather than my 30.58 years. I joined an online group dedicated to lowering your age in 8 weeks (coincidentally the time between now and our cruise for my belated 30th birthday trip).

So, in the interest of full disclosure. Here's is my list of things I need to do to reduce my age:
  1. get HDL cholesterol levels checked
  2. talk w/ doc about depression meds/therapy classes
  3. reduced speed when driving
  4. don't talk on phone while driving - even hands free
  5. reduced alcoholic drinks to 1/day
  6. floss every day
  7. talk with friends and family more often
  8. take multi-vitamin/supplements: folate 700iu, vitamin E 400iu, vitamin C 1200mg
  9. reduce red meant to 1-2 servings/week
  10. more omega-3 fatty acids (2+ fish servings/week)
  11. more potassium-rich foods 3000mg/day
  12. more whole grains 6-11 servings/day
  13. diversity in diet
  14. eat a rainbow
  15. 90 minutes of weight training/week (13 min/day)
  16. 210 minutes of cardio/week (30 min/day)
  17. shed extra weight (5% is a good start)
  18. 30 min/week of stretching (5 min/day)
  19. then add 10 more minutes/week of exercise

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

noze nuzzle

Especially cuddly this evening and babbling up a storm. Recited the letters on his sippy sup. While coaxing him to bed, I tried Eskimo kisses. He returned the favor too.

dinner, books

Tonight I made wonderful chicken satay; the peanut sauce was scratch and without recipe. It was ultimately awesome. Peanut butter, half a lime, some honey, some ponzu sauce (citrus soy sauce), and a little water. Try it on grilled chicken skewers or steak skewers.

Yesterday we went to the library and I picked up George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones again. I read it back in college but never finished the series. So I'm gonna try again. Recently I was reading some stuff of his about his real life and he mentioned getting into the fantasy genre and I thought I really ought to go back and read that series and finish it this time. I know I'll get mad again when he starts killing off all the main characters again (part of the reason why I stopped reading it last time). Jon got a copy of Son of a Witch since we both liked Wicked so much. And then I put a copy of Below the Root by Zilpha Keatly Snyder into his hands. I read it when I was 10 because I loved the video game so much. I wish I could play that game again. And I wish I had some cheat codes because I never did finish it :(

I'm finally getting over the histamine reaction I had on the day before Easter, but now Liam has a super runny nose. How the hell do you help a 20 month old clear his nose? I can't use the snot sucker because I can't find it. He LOVES it and he plays with it all the time. What kid likes having the snot sucker in his nose? Apparently mine.

first sprinkler

Today: 1st sprinkler run this season. Not hot enough but lawn needed watering and Liam wouldn't get out of the sprinkle. Neighbors stared; Liam got warm bath. He was charming.

jobby jobby job job


Got my job back!!! I survived yet another round of annual layoffs. Funny thing is, I thought I'd never have to face this problem being a teacher in such a small community. I thought I'd be vital to the education of the children in the county. Guess not...most of it has to do with the fact that about 15-20 years ago, everybody and his brother got a Social Studies credential. So here I come, all new and full of life and the latest techniques in education, and all I have is one measly little Social Studies credential and that's what's been costing me my job.

Last year my job was saved by the 8th grade US History teacher, Graham, retiring. That made me sad because I really liked working with him (he reminded me a lot of a not so antisocial version of my dad) and wanted to try and get a couple more years in with him as a colleague. He was of the mind that he was so close to retirement age and it was time to let those young teachers with young families and new careers have the reins. I am eternally grateful for that.

This year, the Districts conspired to have me removed yet again by claiming there wasn't enough money to fund the art program at the high school. WTF?! They were actually gonna cut ART, a required course by the CSU & UC system for our students to be prepared for college. The art teacher was also on our list for "golden-handshake" retirements this year. She's been too nervous to retire as I understand in these tough economic times. Well, guess what. She's also got a credential for social studies. So my district was willing to put a woman who's in her 60s, hasn't taught world History in 20 years, and has NEVER taught junior high kids into my position. Nevermind that in doing so, they would have to cut the entire Art program at the high school and the entire Home Economics program...AND legally they would not be able to replace these classes back into the school schedule for 39 months (that's 3 whole school years). Yup, legally they wouldn't be able to hire another art teacher for 3 school years.

Anyway, back to the job. The lawyer called me yesterday to say that district's lawyer had called him to rescind my RIF (reduction in force) and offer me my job back in full for next school year. Nothing like being a permanent employee whose job seems to be never permanent. The teachers union save my job. We voted last week to reduce the number of days in the calendars for 2010-11 & 2011-12 by 5 days. 3 of the days will be our buy-back days and affect everyone with the 11 or 12 month employment status (teachers/admins/secretaries/DO). The other 2 days will be actual school days and this affects the children and the 10 month employees (all the support staff). We had to wait for the support-staff employee union to vote to approve this change, but apparently they did. We also had to wait for the school board to approve the change, but that meeting wasn't scheduled until Apr 15th. I guess the district doesn't want to wait that long (probably because they need to start getting the class schedules down for next year's enrollment). The money saved by cutting the 5 days was enough to save the jobs of the 4 teachers who got pink-slipped. And now I have my job back for next year. :)

This is helpful because it brings some weight off of our shoulders. We're currently drowning in the monthly rent we pay and were hoping to move into a lease-option home owned by one of my colleagues (the only one who's taking the golden handshake this year and also has a friggin' social studies credential!!!). He's going to charge us $200 less in rent a month + I'll be closer to work. But we weren't even gonna think about moving until I heard that I got my job back simply because we didn't know if we'd be moving, or moving in with parents, or what-not. This also means that Jon and I can hopefully start thinking about trying to have another baby. I really wanted to start this summer during my belated birthday vacation. And of course, Jon wants to go back to school too (and so do I).

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Easter Elmo


Today...Liam's first egg hunt courtesy of ELMO!!!
Lovely day entertaining Nana and Granny. Found 5/12 eggs without help. Marshmallows, jelly beans. Refused nap. Sugar crash tantrum. Tickles, laughing, delightful day.