Thursday, August 24, 2006

Sick again

Well, we went through it this week. My daughter came home after visiting her various grandparents sick. Not just tired and crabby from too much fun and spoiling from the grandparents...but throwing up sick. We figured she was exhausted, motion sickness or maybe even food poisining. She was fine the next day and even the next. But that night, it started again and it wasn't pretty. After about 4 hours of vomitting and other things (not all making it to the bathroom), it was over. She was better the next day--tired, dehydrated, and afraid to eat in case she had to get sick again...but better. Great, that was over.

Then I got it. Thankfully, I got the younger two to bed easily and finished my PTA stuff for the coming first day of school before it hit. My husband was out at fire fighting training, out of reach so if the boys woke up, I don't know what I would have done. For over 6 hours I was in the bathroom. I slept on the couch, sitting up...close to the bathroom and far away from anyone else. My husband brought the baby down a couple times to nurse. But I figured that our daughter was sick for 4 hours so I should be done soon, right? And I did feel a bit better the next day--exhausted but better. But my husband came down at 6am that morning to take his turn. Now I had only not thrown up for 3 hours and a terrible sense of anxiousness came over me.

If my husband and I were both sick...I mean really sick like this, who was going to take care of the children? Crap!! What were we going to do? Most of our friends were out of town or working and we didn't want to send our possibly infected children to anyone else's house with little ones. Should we call in the reinforcements (e.g. the parents)? Unfortunately, my mom who had been babysitting the kids while we were out of town had caught the same bug and was sick, sick, sick too. There is a crisis nursery in town that we could have used if necessary. But I was feeling better, enough to take care of the kids. And then my husband felt better (only 3 hours of real sickness for him). So we took turns napping and taking care of the kids.

Then all was well. Well, the dishes and garbage piled up (a lot) and we watched a lot more TV than usual. We fed the kids whatever they wanted (out of the meager supply we had). My husband felt better fast and was running errands (e.g. more saltines or powerade, anyone?), he threw in some laundry and a load in the dishwasher. I made up a batch of cherry jello and another of vanilla pudding. And we were all set...then I started getting sick again. Of course Mom gets the sickiest--probably because I had the least amount of time to really devote to getting better (I still had to nurse and take care of people, my husband can nap anywhere anytime).

It feels like it will never end---my kids will never eat a real meal again (I couldn't even watch Food Network, I was so nauseous), the sink will never be empty, I will spend the rest of my life in the bathroom--our one, tiny bathroom.

But alas, it did end (at least I hope so, the little ones haven't gotten it). I finally woke up this morning and felt completely different, anew. I could eat. I could play with the kids. We had an actual meal together tonight. It was only a few days but having three of us sick in the house (including the two adults) was a big blow. I feel like we should set up some kind of plan in case, god forbid, it should ever happen again. At least a sickie food stash and unwatched dvd's.

I hope none of you get sick like us--at least not at the same time.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

This Week...

What we ate this week...
Teriyaki Pork Tenderloin and baked potatoes with mixed veggies
Hash Browns (using the leftover potatoes) and cheesy scrambled eggs
Taco Pizza (see below)
the Big Salad
New Barilla Plus pasta with tomato sauce
Homemade Mac and Cheese (with new pasta)
a yummy dinner at a wedding reception
lots of PB and J's (with natural PB and all-fruit J, of course)
Raisin Bran and Cheerios
Carrot, Apple, Kale Puree (for the baby)
Udon noodles with tofu and veggies
Tabouleh salad

What we read this week...
the baby...animal board book, Maisy Takes a Bath
the 2-yr-old...Buzz and the Bubble Planet, My Truck is Stuck
the 9-yr-old...American Girl Books
the mom...People and Parenting Magazine, newspaper (no books, I know...bad, bad)

I grew up in Chicagoland, so it is given that I like pizza. This was a problem with I decided to give up cheese to help with the baby's reflux. Now that I don't live in Chicago any more, it is hardly worth it to order pizza (too expensive for sub-par food). So we often make our its a great use for leftovers.

What we do...
Crackers, tortillas, toast, store-bought crusts, homemade crust (sorry, I haven't found a recipe I like enough to pass on)
Leftover chicken, bbq sauce, onions, jack cheese
Ground meat, black beans, leftover pasta sauce with a splash of taco sauce, cheese, lettuce, avocado, tomatoes (last 3 add after baking)
Any leftover or fresh veggies
Ham and pineapple (a great use for that Easter ham)
*The kids like to make their own pizzas (torillas are the perfect size for that)!

Friday, August 11, 2006

A Working Vacation

Remember when you were a kid and vacation was the coolest time of the year? You would play until you dropped, ate junk food until you felt sick, got sun-burned, drove for hours and hours at a time?

Who made those priceless, childhood memories possible? Your hard-working parents.

We are on vacation this week in Wisconsin. We are here at my parents' house with my parents, brother, and niece. When I was a kid, we used to come up to Wisconsin all the time with my cousins, aunt, uncles, and dogs as well. It was a blast when we were kids. I have very vivid memories of all the fun. I don't remember the 8-hour drive. I don't remember my parents cleaning up all the time or scrambling to keep us entertained and somewhat clean and rested. I don't remember what my parents did at all actually. Probably because they were busy being thoroughly exhausted.

Honestly, I was ready to go home before we even left Illinois. We had come up early and stayed at my parents' regular house for two days before heading up. So with a teething baby, a moody two-year-old, and a overtired nine-year-old, we were done after that. But we got in the car and did it. The ride was actually ok. The baby only screamed for probably an hour or so (reaching his hands out to me with a look to break my heart). I didn't get car sick--a usual occurance. My map-loving brother navigated us passed a terrible traffic jam. Our two-year-old actually ate lunch when we stopped. So all is well. But what makes you so tired while driving. We were just sitting and talking for 6 hours.

I know why I was. It is hard to entertain two kids for that long. I used every toy I brought and found in the car, plus anything else babysafe I could find. Fed them animal crackers, teddy grahams, juice, water. Sang songs, played peek-a-boo, read books. Let the baby poke me in the eye--since it made him laugh. Tickled them, carassed them, ignored them. Finally, we made it.

Then we had to make sure they safely explored the new place. Remembering if everyone ate, slept, has clean clothes. Are the doors locked? Did the baby eat the dog food? Are the cousins fighting again? Why won't the two-year-old wear a lifejacket? Where is the three-year-old?

It is just so much work to go on vacation with the whole family. My husband and I just want to sleep, really. My mom keeps asking me what I want to do this week...and I reply 'nothing'. I just want to relax a bit. So we are trying to relax and have fun--in between the overtired tantrums, dehydrated kids, and wet dogs.

At least we are with family...the kids will love that they got to go on vacation with their cousins, uncles, aunts, and grandparents. It will build loving relationships for life. Just as our parents did for us. It is worth it in the end (I am close to all my eighty-plus family members who we still vacation with regularly).

But my husband and I are thankfully going out of town next weekend without the kids. Its to a wedding but I'll take the excuse to go overnight without the darlings. Its our vacation from the vacation.

Ingredient of the month...

Well, its time for INGREDIENT of the MONTH!!!!

Ground Turkey
This is our family's new favorite thing. We use it all the time. You can easily replace ground turkey in any recipe that calls for ground beef. It is leaner than beef as well. It can be more expensive than ground sirloin (our usual beef of choice) but if you catch it on sale and stock is about the same price.
Turkey burgers are good as well. It won't taste just like beef but it is yummy nonetheless.
Turkey Chili
1 package ground turkey
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 sweet pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 4 oz can diced green chilies
1 15 oz can of tomatoes
1 15 oz can beans, whatever you like
1 15 oz can of chicken or beef broth
1-3 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1-3 teaspoons chili powder
salt and pepper to taste
In a large, deep skillet or pot, heat pan and add oil. Add turkey and brown. Add veggies and cook 5 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add chilies, tomatoes, beans, chili powder, and worcestershire sauce. Cook 3 minutes. Add broth. Bring to boil. Once to a boil, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook 10 minutes. Add extra water to make desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste.
I usually make this in the morning when I have a bit of time and then stick it in the frig. This allows the favors to meld better. Also, serve any leftovers over grilled hot dogs with cheese and onions.