Friday, September 21, 2012

 "If they don't sell it at Menards, then, you don't need it." --my father.

We have always had a Brita pitcher. A year or so ago, Brendan decided he was going to pour himself a glass of water. He dropped the Brita and it broke. I went out and bought a new one at Costco. I hated it. It was the dumbest shape and the lid kept falling off. So, we bought another one at Target. This one had the same problem. It looked just like our original pitcher, but everytime I went to pour water, the lid would slid off. It became a two handed job--which for someone that has a two year old attached to her hip most of the time, that is impossible. I went so far as emailing Brita and they sent me a new lid. It didn't make a difference. (Most of the reviews on their website said people had the same problem as I did). I went through a great season of dehydration. I was parched. But pouring a glass of water just made me crabby. I literally hated that pitcher.

One day, Liam was getting himself a glass of water. He dropped the evil pitcher and it cracked. I was thrilled! So, I went to Target and tested the pitchers that were on display. Sadly, they all seemed to have the same lid issue. Why oh why did Brita decide to change their design? Our refrigerator is too small to hold one of those giant ones with the spout, and my parents swore by their's but it only held like six cups of water, much too small for my family.

A few weeks later, I was at Menards buying paint and lo and behold, there were Brita pitchers. I tested the one out that looked like our original one. It was a lime green color, but I didn't care. I bought it, and I am madly in love with it. When I pour a glass of water, I smile and feel at peace. I am rehydrated. I am a believer. A believer in Menards.

It's a thing of beauty

Kitchen requests

Thursday, September 20, 2012

The great Plague of 2012 is upon my house, and has been for a month. This has made for a great deal of snuggling with whomever is sick at the moment, or single parenting while it was Bill's turn to be sick. This hasn't left me much time to enjoy cooking or baking. I have been pretty tired during the day because every night, for a month, somebody in my house has been up coughing.

My family has not greatly missed my cooking and baking, mostly because they all are happy to subsist on hot dogs and cereal bars. Honestly, I don't know whose children these are--oh wait, they're Bill's! But, in the last three days or so, I have gotten requests for chocolate chip cookies (actually, that's an almost daily request from Bill), oatmeal scotchie cookies, banana bread, and my friend Leslie's coffee cake and her cinnamon bread. I am absolutely delighted by this! So, today, I made 3 of the 5 requests--with Brendan's help. He absolutely loves to cook and bake. The other day, I went downstairs and saw him looking at my new cookbook and he begged me to let us make the cookies on the page. Sadly I didn't have softened butter so he had to wait until today. Tomorrow, we are going to make the other two requests. I am incredibly happy to accommodate any requests for food since they are few and far between. It has been my dream to open a bakery. However, my bakery wouldn't open until 11:00 AM because I am NOT a morning person. Also, I don't like mass producing things, so there would only be one batch of everything, so if it was gone before the customer got there, too bad. Clearly I don't have the best business model...
Anyway, I know that in about a month or so, it is going to be awhile  before I have the opportunity to do a lot of baking again. We are remodeling our kitchen!! Wahoo!!!!

We have lived in our house for 11 years and I have always hated my kitchen. I literally have 2 feet of counter space to work with. It's awful. Making things that require multiple bowls, or rolling out dough, makes me incredibly irritable because there is NO room! Bill and I decided that with the housing market being not so good, we might as well make our house how we would like it. So, we went to Menards and picked out new cabinets and redesigned our kitchen. I will now have at least quadruple the counter space!!! I am beyond excited and slightly terrified as this is the largest investment we have ever made in our home. But oh, what a happy camper I will be when it is done. The cabinets will be in sometime at the end of October and then we will begin. Bill thinks it will take two weeks, I am guessing it will be January before it's done--but that's because my glass is half empty with a leak, and his is half full.

Now, if I can just find someone to do the massive quantity of dishes I accumulated today...

(sidebar--since I don't post on a regularly scheduled basis, I have added an email sign up. If you don't want to keep checking to see if there is a new post, just type your email address in and it will be sent to you inbox each time there is a new post--complete with pictures (well, when I post pictures, that is)).

Kindergarten Drop Out, No More!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

It's official! We have a Kindergartner! And I am actually not the one posting late this time, he started a week late. A week and a half ago--the day he got his hair cut, he came down with a fever, I figured it would be gone by Monday, however, it wasn't. It hovered around 102 and even with Advil, never went below 100. So, Monday we took him to the doctor. They told us it was just a cold, and gave us some antibiotics in case it turned into an ear infection. His only symptoms were the fever and a cough--no sneezing or congestion. By Tuesday, the fever was still going strong. I was starting to worry because it was now 4 days of 102 degree fever. Bill called the doc and they said to go ahead and fill the antibiotic because maybe there was a bacterial infection going on.

Each day, he'd wake up, and I would pray the fever would be gone and he could go to school, but nope. He would rally here and there while on the Advil, but by evening time he would crash and lay in bed looking pathetic and skinny. I brought him back to the doc on Friday because we were now on 7 days of a fever. The doctor was really starting to irritate me. He asked how long he had cold symptoms. I pointed out he didn't have any cold symptoms except for a cough. I told him that none of my kids ever had 102 degree fevers with a cold. I also suggested changing the antibiotic because the doc said there was fluid in his ear and I pointed out he'd been on it for 4 days by then, and that amoxicillin doesn't work great on my kids. He gave me some spiel about it not being kids but viruses that the drug doesn't work on. I asked about mono because I had mono in college and his fever and symptoms reminded me of it. The doc said nope. He told me if he wasn't better by Tuesday to give them a call. I left feeling completely unheard.

I am pretty sure that doctor is Bob Kelso--if you don't know who Dr. Kelso is, here are some of his best clips. (I swear, he sounds just like this guy) And my humor is totally lacking in this post, so this will make up for it!

I was really starting to worry that something serious was wrong with him. I was so exhausted from worry, that I was ready for bed by 8:00 on Friday night. All of the worst case scenarios were running through my head. I had just never experience anyone having a fever for so long and showing no improvement. Plus I was stressing about the fact that he was missing kindergarten. He was missing hearing about the rules, and where to put your back pack, and how the day was structured, and it was stressing me out a bit. I knew that it's hard to go back when you miss the start. I know this because I missed the first week of my Junior year in college from having mono. I contemplated taking the semester off (well, I had a new love (Bill, in case you were wondering) --who oddly never caught mono from me--and staying home sounded good). Thank goodness my parents made me go, or I might not have returned.

Fast forward to Saturday--no improvement, he laid in our bed most of the day and his fever hovered at 100 until bedtime when it went up again. Sunday I called the doctor on call because he was covered in hives. They had started on Saturday but I thought it was from wearing a shirt that Grandma Casey had just bought him to cheer him up and we hadn't washed it yet. But by Sunday the hives were all over his legs, feet, and bottom. The doctor said it was from the antibiotics. (the ones I didn't want him on in the first place!) She (this was a different doc than the one we saw on Monday and Friday) admitted that having a fever for so long was unusual. She told us if his fever continued to bring him to the ER on Monday and they would do some blood tests and chest X-ray. I finally felt like someone was listening to me! My parents and grandma came over Sunday and I could tell they were worried about him too. We were nine days into this with no sign of improvement. Bill and I almost took him to the ER that night because my mom and I were worrying each other with worst case scenarios. We decided to hold off and let him sleep though.

Monday morning--a brand new kid woke up! All day I waited for his fever to return, but it never did. Thank God! So this morning, he put on his backpack, put some medicine on the remaining hives and joined his friends for Kindergarten. I've always thought that school should start after Labor Day anyway...
I wanted to take our traditional outside first day of school picture, but since we live in the tropics (also known as the midwest) my camera lens immediately fogged up. I didn't have time to let it de-fog, so we went inside.

His teacher was very welcoming! She and I had talked a couple of times during the week because I didn't want her to think we were delinquent (she knows us though, because she had Rori). And best of all 3 of his friends from preschool all surrounded him and told them he was on their team and made him feel loved. I can't wait to pick him up and hear how his day was!
The lens was still a little foggy, but we couldn't be late for his first day of school!