Monday, January 31, 2011

Meal Plan for Jan 30-Feb 5 2011

    Marinated Steak topped with sauteed onions
    Mashed Sweet Potatoes

    Corned Beef-Crock pot with baby carrots
    Garlic Mashed Potatoes

    Seasoned Rice
    Red Pepper Strips and Broccoli with Ranch Dressing

    Meatball Subs
    Apple Sauce

    French Fries
    Veggies (uncertain which kind yet)

    Chicken Fajitas
    Refried beans

    Homemade Pizza

What's for Dinner tonight?

My family and I are continuously asking the age old question, "What's for dinner tonight?".  Unfortunately, there are many days where I'm scrambling to come up with something interesting and tasty.  I don't plan as well as I'd like to and that goes for grocery shopping too.
So, I'm determined to start planning ahead and sticking with it.  I've attempted this before but I've never stuck with it for longer than a few months and never consistently day in and day out.  That's about to change.  I have a new attitude.  I'm trying hard to find a job while the kids are in school and I can't just keep winging it.
First thing I did was call out to my Twitter friends for help.  I've got a few sites I'm going to start pursuing based on their input.  I've also found a few on my own.  I will share all the goodies I find.  Promise!  After that, I sat down with my family and asked for what they wanted to see on their dinner plate.  When all was said and done I have a list 38 main dishes and 19 side items.  I'm going to continue to add and tweak.  I'm also considering trying out theme days. 
Sunday-Sunday Dinner (roast/ham/turkey breast/roasted chicken/meatloaf/etc)...but this will have to wait until skating dies down some.
Monday-Leftovers (it's a hockey practice night until mid-March)
Thursday-Quick Meal (hamburgers/hot dogs/mac & cheese/etc)....another hockey nights
Friday-Chicken of some sort (We're big on chicken)
Saturday-Homemade pizza
So, this is my start and I'm happy with it.  I've got a huge list and can mix and match things.  I need to get a calender to write everything out. I'm also shopping smarter.  I sat down for a bit this morning and went through my meal plan and figured out what I needed from the store.  Then I added staple items and things for breakfast and lunches.  When I got home from the store I spent quite a while going through the freezer and fridge and reorganizing.  Thank goodness I did my pantry and cupboards last month.  Finally, I made a list of dinner items in the freezer. Main meal items like: chicken, steak, ham, etc.  I also have one shelf dedicated to quick, convenience type foods as my husband likes to sometimes just throw something quick together.  This will be great for weekends or when we have to change up the meal plan at the last minute because something came up.  This shelf has things like: meatballs, chicken patties, perogies and raviolis, along with meals prepared ahead and frozen.  I'm trying to stay away from convenience food and steer towards healthier options but these things will be there when we need them in a pinch.  They're good go toos on hockey/skating days.  I try to buy the healthiest choices I can.
Now all my lists are made and hanging on the freezer.  I want to laminate them I think or put them in clear folders.  That's my next step, along with the meal calendar.
I hope this is not only helpful to me but anyone reading this.  I'm open to ideas if you have any and I'm always looking for great recipes to try. 

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Dish Disaster

Does your significant other ever offer to help you clear the table after you eat?  It's a rare treat in my house.  I like to grab the opportunity when its presented.  However, this is what I usually see when I return to the kitchen.  Most of the dishes are not rinsed off and just thrown haphazardly into a pile or into the sink.  This particular time I was told to leave the pots and pans and he'd take care of them.  Usually I clean them up before I sit down to eat.  This way they're done and I don't have to look at them afterwards.

 I came back into the kitchen and seen the above right before I was going to bed.  I couldn't sleep with it looking that way and I didn't have the energy to wash them.  Our dishwasher has been broke since May of 2009.  So, I spent 10 minutes rinsing and stacking them.  Look at how much nicer they look.  I still wasn't happy to see them the next morning but at least I didn't cry at the sight of them.

Monday, January 24, 2011

I swear my husband has multiple personalities

This morning:
Husband comes downstairs and sits down on the love seat.  I'm sitting on the other couch.  Five minutes later. DH: "Honey, why don't you want to sit with me?"  Me: "I'd love to sit with you.  Why didn't you just come over here and sit?"  He mutters something and  stays where he is. I just want to roll my eyes.  This can be an ongoing conversation some days.  After this, he goes out and warms up my van so he can take the kids to school.  He comes back in and sits back down on the love seat.  When he returns from school he once again sits on the love seat and complains how I never want to be next to him.  Get the picture?  Dramatic much? 
I've felt under the weather since the nasty virus ran through our house last week.  My sinuses have been so plugged that I've had a headache plus uncontrollable nasal gushing.  Sorry, TMI but had to be shared to make point.  He says he wants to spend time with me doing something today.  I'd love to, as we rarely get these days together but I don't want to go out anywhere.  I feel crappy and just want to relax at home.   He felt the same way last week when he was struck down with the virus.  I totally understood and waited on him hand and foot. He mutters some more.  Then he decides today is the day he must go to Radio Shack to see what they can do about my non-working e-reader.  I suck it up and offer to go with him.  In return I get, "No, it's ok.  Stay home.  I know you need to relax so you can feel better sooner."  What the heck?  I just got hell for that.  And he wasn't being sarcastic about it.  I don't get it.
Yesterday, he told me that he was going to do the laundry since it's been piling up from sick week and he didn't want me to have to worry about it.  He literally got one load into the wash.  It sat there for hours.  Then, since he was taking our daughter to skating he says to me...."Honey, I started the laundry, can you finish it up for me.  I know that will be easier than taking Little Bee to the rink."  Seriously?  Um, ok.
These are just a few examples of his "multiple" personalities.  I don't get it.  Love him to death, but will never figure out how  he thinks.
Does your man do this?  Please tell me I'm not alone or I may just think he really is crazy.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Take two steps back

My whole family is in various stages of sick.  All 5 of us, including my 16 year old stepdaughter who is only with us on the weekend.
It all started last Saturday night when hubby came home feeling off.  He langusihed on the couch all night and most of the next day.  Some how he dragged himself to my son's away game even though he was coughing and aching everywhere.  I would've taken him but I was obligated to taking our 6 year old daughter to the rink for her 2 lessons and competition practice.  I even offered to make a few calls and have another parent take him.  I would've just suggested he stay home but the team only has two goalies and the other goalie wasn't going.  We believe that our children need to commit to their sport and support their team unless they are sick or their grades are suffering.
Not only did hubby drive an hour to the game but then proceeded to coach one of the groups of kids.  My son's mites team is large and under USA Hockey they only play cross ice games so they split up into 2 teams and played what they call a "Jamboree" of games for 2 hours.  My husband froze on the ice cold bench.  The rink they were at was somehow colder than ours.  By Sunday night he had a fever and was miserable.  Of course, he still refused to closet himself in our bedroom for his health and ours.  He dragged himself to work at 4 a.m. on Monday and dragged himself back home at 2 (normally its 6).  He dozed off and on on the couch and actually agreed not to go into work on Tuesday.  Tuesday we were hit with a storm but he was able to get into the doctors early.  She said he has a very nasty, highly contagious virus.  She gave him Tamaflu which we couldn't get for 2 reasons....1) He told her it started Sunday when in fact it was Saturday.  Tamaflu is only effective when used within the first 48 hours and 2) Our insurance requires a deductable, so we have to pay the full cost of medication which is $90.  He did get a Zpac and another script that cost us $50. 
Now it's Thursday and he's back to work finally.  He's not 100% but he's getting there.  Unfortunately, the symptoms hit the rest of us Wednesday.  Well, I actually started feeling achy on tuesday night.  I got the call from school within an hour of it starting that DD6 had a temp of 102.  The para in my son's class happened to be in the nurses office and said that DS8 seemed off too.  So, we had him come down.  He didn't have a fever but he did look like he hadn't slept in days.
My poor daughter has had a fever ranging from as high as 103.1 to as low as 100.5 with pain reliever.  She also has an ear ache.  Both kids have a sporadic cough.  Unfortunately, I ache everywhere so I can barely get up and down the stairs.  I'm hoping everything is better in the morning because we are getting another storm tonight and I fear even if I feel better I won't be able to get them to the doctor.
My stepdaughter was over this weekend and she's got it too.  A headache, body aches and a low grade fever.  We're all miserable.  And she put it so eloquently on Facebook...My whole family is sick because my daddy likes to share.  I love that girl and her sense of humor!
So, before you get to close to any of us.....remember to take two steps back!  Otherwise we will show you that sharing is caring.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Laundry Mayhem....What will I find today?

Like most people, I'm not a fan of laundry.  Honestly, I try to avoid it as long as I can.  I usually do it once the laundry bins in our rooms are full.  Hubby tries to be helpful and does it some Sundays when he's off.  Warning the term "helpful" is somewhat deceiving.  As I have neck problems he will carry the basket from upstairs to the basement.  Only our(mineand his) laundry most of the time.  I guess he feels that the kids dirty clothes either don't exist in his world or they're not his territory.  I've given up trying to figure his "reasoning" out. Anyways, he'll bring the overflowing basket down and cram as much as he can into the washer.  It usually ends up being 2 or 3 loads.  After it's sat for a good few hours in the wash he'll wander downstairs and move it to the dryer.  Then he'll toss it willy nilly into the basket and bring it to the living room.  He does not empty the lint filter.  EVER.  And there his job is done.  In his mind he has "done" the laundry.  He doesn't fold it or put it away.  I am lucky that if I ask him (numerous times) to bring the heavy basket upstairs he'll do it.  At this point it is bedtime.  Are most husbands wired to "do the laundry" this way?  I do remind myself to be grateful that he does even part of it.  Something is always better than nothing.
He's been sick since Saturday night and our laundry basket is overflowing.  All the pants I like to wear are dirty.  Almost all my socks are gone.  I very carefully dragged the basket across the floor and banged it down the stairs to the first floor.  Then I proceed to separate my clothes from his since I refuse to wear anymore of the pants I hate.  Maybe I'll willing wear them once I drop 10 lbs, but that's another story. 
It's so much fun sorting the laundry because his clothes are always tucked inside themselves and balled up. I actually found two sets of socks that were doubled up.  All waded up.  That would have been a nasty undried mess coming out of the dryer.  Also, I have to check all his pockets because there's always something in them.  I could be rich with all the coin he leaves behind in them. Today I found money and lip balm. This isn't bad.  I've found a whole pocketful of coins before, chapstick, receipts, paperwork, business cards, pens, a parking ticket, candy bar.  You get the picture...
When does it stop...the looking in other peoples clothes before you wash them?  I understand the kids, but why an adult?  But after the crayon incident, I try to check them.  Most of the time I just pat them down orquickly and send a quick prayer.
I carried my clothes down to the basement and now they are happily washing away.  Most of our bedding is in the dryer.  I am trying to de-germ it.  Hubby is curled up in the center of our bed with a comforter that I will wash once he gets up and I put the fresh sheets and blankets back on the bed.  Once he's fully better I will repeat the process.  Since I'm a wonderful wife, I'll wash, dry and fold his clothes next.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Huh? Huh? What?!

My son, Jacob, is 8.  He has minor hearing loss and tinnitus (ringing in the ears).  It's been a long road to get him diagnosed and we're still not finished.  Here's his story.
He was a cute and happy baby.  As a toddler his speech came slowly but not noticeably slow.  As a mom, I worried because while he was talking he wasn't following the typical "two word sentences at two" and "three word sentences at three" sentences.  It also seemed like if he couldn't see your face then he was less likely to hear or understand what you were saying.
He started preschool at three and in January during parent/teacher "conferences" the lead prek teacher let me know that she too felt that he was having some hearing issues.  She said that when she spoke to him ,many times he did not respond unless she got down at his level where he could see her speaking.  She believe he was reading lips.  My mother and I were thinking the same thing at that point.  While he did well in class, he did have trouble at times getting along with the other kids because he couldn't always understand what they were saying to him.  At that point, I wish the teacher had given me guidance on what I could do.  To this day I'm upset that I didn't have the information then that I have now.  He could have had speech intervention and such before starting elementary school.
He had his first (double) ear infection that spring (2006) and that started the ball rolling.  Unfortunately, has rolled very slowly.  He didn't get enough infections to qualify to have tubes but we noticed things still weren't right.  Ironically, even after I told the elementary school, he passed their hearing screening for kindergarten.  I still don't understand how and am baffled.  Thank God for a speech teacher that heard him talking in the hallway because she heard his speech problem and pulled his teacher aside to discuss it.  I had spoken to his teachers and they were aware of his situation.  Both his teachers were understanding and vigilant.  It helped that one teacher had a special ed background and had a nephew with hearing loss.  The other had a grandchild that was deaf.  So, the teacher promptly called me and we discussed him going into speech.  I was ecstatic.  The speech teacher took it upon herself to get him into the program without an IEP.  She had a spot and insisted that he be put into it.    I will always be grateful to her. 
By that point we had found an ENT that was tracking the fluid in Jacob's ears.  It was determined that his hearing was being effected by the fluid never draining and becoming stagnant.  This took 6 months of documentation so that the insurance company would authorize the surgery.  He had his first one in January 2008.  He had his adenoids removed and tubes put in.  He had a second surgery in April 2009 to replace the tubes.  Finally, in July 2010 the tubes were removed.
During all this he was being tested by an audiologist at the ENT's office.  The results always showed minor hearing loss.  Armed with this evidence I was able to secure an IEP for Jacob in Jan. 2009.  I needed it for him to continue speech and get preferential seating and such in the classroom.  The start of first grade was a nightmare because he didn't have either.  I feel that first grade was a year of fighting for him, especially since he was in a classroom where the teacher had no real control of her students.  It was a very rough year and he lost a lot when it came to reading, spelling, comprehension and overall behavior.  To this day, I believe it effects him.  I wish we could do that year over, especially with another teacher.
The IEP has definitely helped.   I send in a personal note to the teacher(s) at the beginning of each year and we discuss details at parent/teachers conferences.  Last year we changed audiologists because we needed more detailed reports and information for our CSE (Committee for Special Education) meetings.  With her help and that of a friend with special needs children I was able to get the school district to pay for auditory processing testing.  Unfortunately, we had to go this route because our insurance does not cover these tests. The testing has pinpointed exactly where his hearing loss is and that he also has tinnitus.  We can not confirm auditory processing because of the hearing loss but signs of it are there.  The audiologist said my son was the hardest patient she has ever tested in her 20+ years of experience.  Many times he would test false/positive.  The testing took 4 sessions because of this.
The good news, is that he is finally authorized for an FM unit.  This device brings the teachers voice closer to him.  She wears a small mic and he has a small wireless ear bud (similar to a hearing aid).  The districts Hearing Impaired Teacher set him up with it last week.  Unfortunately, for some reason, his teachers have yet to start using it.  So, I emailed her and she will be in his classroom today.  Hopefully, that will be resolved.
Our new fight now is hearing aids.  The audiologist said that she would not necessarily aid everyone with his range of hearing loss but because of the tinnitus and his attention span she wants to test it.  Most insurance companies cover up to fifty percent of hearing aids.  Ours does not cover anything.  The aids cost approximately $4,000.  We don't have that kind of money., especially since I am out of work.  I ache inside that we can't buy them and I feel like a horrible mother.  The audiologist mentioning the possibility of renting some from her to see if they help and that's the route we may take.  If they work, we still have to figure out the financials.  This is a tough situation and we want to do what's best for our son, while keeping our family afloat financially.  I don't envy any parent in this situation.
The hardest thing, besides the obvious, is that his hearing loss or speech problems are not noticeable.  Many people would never realize it unless they were told.  He is one of those children that can easily fall through the cracks of the educational system if we don't advocate for him.  Winter seems to be his enemy and there are many days, like today, where he is constantly saying, "Huh?  Huh?  What!".  I have to remember, as do his teachers, that as frustrating as these moments are for us, it is worse for him.  The same goes with his schooling.  Math comes easy to him, if it doesn't include word problems.  And reading and spelling can be a nightmare.  This is all because he does not hear words, especially word endings, properly.  He has to work harder than many of his classmates.  He doesn't want to and let's be honest, what kid wants to put in extra time with school work.
So, our battle (his and ours) rages on.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Quick yummy treats

I wanted to share a couple easy cookie/bar recipes that my family loves.  Both take barely anytime to put together and the results are yummy.  The first recipe is my version of a S'mores bar.  I made these the first time for my annual cookie party last Christmas.  My mommy friends inhaled them and I had several requests for the recipe.  The second recipe is one I tried and tweaked a bit.  I love lemon cookies and lemon bars but sometimes don't have the time or all the necessary ingredients on hand.  This recipe is almost as easy as one of those packaged cookie mixes.
I hope you enjoy them as much as my family did.  Happy baking!

S'mores Bars

3/4 cup margarine

3 cups graham cracker crumbs

1 cup chocolate chips

1 cup peanut butter chips

1 cup Heath toffee chips

1 cup mini marshmallows

1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk


Prep Time: 10 mins

Total Time: 35 mins

1. Preheat oven to 350
2. In  13 x 9 pan combine margarine with graham cracker crumbs and press into bottom of pan to form even crust.
3. Evenly sprinkle chocolate, peanut butter and toffee chips over crust.
4. Repeat with marshmallows.
5. Drizzle condensed milk over everything.
6. Bake 25 minuters or untill bubbly.
Easy Lemon Cookies

1 (18.25 ounce) package lemon cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup vegetable oil

1 Tablespoon  lemon juice

1/3 cup confectioners' sugar for decoration


1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
2.Pour cake mix into a large bowl. Stir in eggs, oil, and lemon juice until well blended. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheet.

3.Bake for 11 to 13 minutes in the preheated oven. The bottoms will be light brown, and the insides chewy.

4. Remove from oven and sift confectioners sugar over cookies while still hot.

***If you find the dough too sticky just put in  fridge for 30 minutes.
***You can add more or less lemon juice to taste and add lemon zest to make it pop.
***If you don't have lemon juice, lemon extract can be substituted.

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My little hypochondriac

"Mommy, look at this."  My daughter says pointing to a small, indistinguishable spot on her arm.  "And this too, Mom." Its a nickle size bruise on her leg.   "Oh no," I say.  "I guess we either have to go to the doctor or cut it off."  This has become our normal banter over the 6 short years she's been alive.  This is my hypochondriac daughter.  She's cute and funny, when she's not being serious.
I swear, when I hurt my shoulder last year she walked around for weeks complaining that her shoulder hurt too.  I think sometimes it's her empathetic side.  She feels deeply for those that are hurt in anyway whether it's a small or big boo boo.
Right now, she lays next to me and this is her list of complaints in a matter of minutes....
***small scratch on left foot
***a nick on her toe where the nail on the toe next to it got too close and gave it a little slice
***And her underarm on her left side is itchy (dear son had an allergic rash last week). 
I shake my head and smile.  "You'll be okay baby.  I think it's time to lay down and relax.  You're just getting sleepy."
Hoping this is one thing she'll outgrow soon.  It's gotta be tough going through life looking for tiny boo boos and thinking you're sick or got some deadly ailment.  But for now it's cute.  I rub her head, give her boo boos a kiss and tell her everything will be better in the morning.

Friday, January 07, 2011

The Best (step)Daughter

I hear giggles and laughter, lots of questions and patient answers  My heart lifts and I smile.  I am truly blessed.  The patient voice belongs to my wonderful 16 year old (step)daughter.
Kay has been in my life since she was 6 and she is very much my first child, even if I only have the honor of her company every other weekend.  She is sweet and fun loving.  She is quick witted and good at making people laugh.  She has many of the qualities that first attracted me to my husband.  And to top it off, she is the best big sister.  We don't, and will never, use the label half siblings/half brother/half sister.  No way, no how. They are siblings, sisters and brother and they act exactly that way.  They love, laugh and argue as siblings do.  There is no hesitation or limit on their love and for that I feel blessed and thankful.  It means that we have a true family that is not going through the motions of acting like one and that Kay does not feel like an outsider looking in.  I hear that many children who's parents have remarried and have had other children feel this way.
Kay makes me feel like a (second) mother to her.  I feel honored and privileged.  I still remember the first time I met her.  It was spring time and we drove 6 hours from where we were living at the time to spend the weekend together.  We met her mom in the parking lot of Burger King for the swap.  It was all very cordial and I was nervous as hell, to be quite honest. We went out roller skating and ate dinner before settling down for the night at a local hotel.  We had gotten 2 queen beds. Kay and I were to each have a bed and hubby was going to take the floor so she wouldn't be uncomfortable.  She said, "It's okay daddy.  I don't mind sharing a bed with Bee."  My heart melted and my nerves disappeared.  My biggest dream was that we would connect.  I couldn't imagine marrying her daddy if we didn't.  I didn't feel it would be fair to any of us.  With those simple words, I knew we all had a bright future together.
Her mom gave me the greatest gift a fellow mom could give.  She gave me her support.  She told Kay from the beginning that she was to listen and respect me as if I were her (mom).  Looking back, now that I have kids of my own, I am amazed and humbled by her words.  She called me and told me this herself one day so I knew where she felt I stood in her daughter's life.  I've always felt touched and honored.  I am also grateful because it helped solidify the foundation of mine and Kay's relationship.  I can honestly say, I don't know if I could ever tell my children what she told Kay.  Just this summer Kay and I sat outside late one night chatting on the back deck.  We talked about boys and troubled friendships and she sought my advice.  She told me she appreciates my advice, feedback and opinions.  I feel so honored.  Not many teens will say that to an adult, let alone a stepparent. I am proud that she can talk to both me and her mom.  We give her support in different areas of her life.  It's like we balance each other out. 
As a sister she is always one to get down on the floor and play.  She'll play dolls, pet shops, Wii, cars and board games.  She'll hang out and watch movies with them.  So far today she has watched Despicable Me twice and America's Funniest Home Videos.  When they were babies she helped feed them, dress them and change their stinky diapers. All this because she wants to be involved and enjoys being an older sister.  Not because it's expected of her. She is a treasure even when the kids are arguing and vying for her attention.  Because of them, she has told me she will wait to have sex.  They are great birth control, especially when my DD cried constantly the first year of her life or when they fight like siblings often do.  She knows that she is not ready to be a mother.  She understands that having a child is a lifetime commitment.
I am truly best to have such a wonderful (step)daughter. She is not perfect.  She's a teenager.  Sometimes she's selfish and puts friends before family.  She struggles in school and sometimes does not make the best choices in friends.  She's human and that's what  I love about her.  I am going to tell her that, once the kids go to bed for the night and we have our time where we just chill and relax together.  And my hubby wonders why I get sad when she can't be here or has to cancel because something comes up.  She's my daughter.  In every sense of the word. 
I love you Kay, you are my first child.  Always...

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Great Website for kids k-3

My oldest is in third grade and my youngest in first, so I thought I'd make a list of some great websites for children.  Some of these are personal favorites and others are recommended by my children's teachers past and present.  Happy fun!

 ***This site is a personal favorite of mine.  Teachers or parents can input spelling (and now vocabulary too!) lists.    There are even pre-made lists including: Sight words, Colors, Homophones, Compound words, SAT words, etc.  Children have the option of spelling test, vocab test, teach me or play games.  In the Teach Me spelling portion they will say the word, spell it and use it in a sentence.  Games/activities include: Hangmouse, Word Search and Unscramble.  My son has tested higher on his spelling tests after using this website.  It makes learning more interactive and fun for him.  I highly recommend it!

Berenstain Bears

Between the Lions



Book Pals

Book Adventure Book Adventure is a reading motivation program for children in grades K-8. Children create their own book lists from over 6,000 recommended titles, take multiple choice quizzes on the books they've read offline, and earn points and prizes for their literary successes. K-8

Children's Storybooks Online

Factfinder Kids' Corner

Interactive Math Activities

Cool Science for Curious Kids

Harcourt Math Glossary

Math Playground   ***Another favorite of my kids

Fun Brain   ***Another favorite

Star Fall  ***Great site

Discovery Channel

National Geographic for Kids

Primary Games

First Grade Skill Builders This site gives you different interactive sites for all subjects and is targeted for first grade.

Timed Multiplication, Division, Subtraction, Addition

Addition, Subtraction and Multiplication Flashcards

                 http ://

Area and Perimeter

Math and Reading Help

Friendly Letter Generator

These are just a few great sites that are both educational and fun for elementary school children.  Children learn better when it's fun.  It's as easy as that!  I hope you and your child(ren) will enjoy these and pass them on to other parents/teachers.  If you have any recommendations please let me know and I'll add them! 

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

A little about Me...the Basics

I started this blog about 9 months ago and haven't kept up with it like I should.  I love to write and once upon a time wanted to be an author or journalist.  A demanding job and family will put you on a different course.  No complaints there.  But, I did (and do) want to get back to writing for enjoyment.  I want to share my days as a wife, mother, daughter, etc.  Writing and sharing helps me get my thoughts in order and work things out.  Hopefully you will laugh, cry and commiserate with me.  I don't live a perfect life.  I am not a perfect mom, wife or daughter.  I can be selfish, argumentative, stubborn and mean. I can be blunt and don't always sugar coat things.  But, I'm also happy, supportive, funloving, and proud of who I am.  Us moms, no matter how different we are, need to stick together.  There's no actually manual to being a mother, wife or's on the job training without combat pay.  So dive in.  There's no time like the present!

A little about the life I juggle:

1.  I'm 36 years old
2.  Married 8 yrs/together 10 yrs
3.  I have a wonderful 16 yr old stepdaughter who joined my life when she was 6.  I refer to her as SD or SD16.  She stays with us Saturday to Sunday every other week.  Sometimes we see her more and I get giddy inside when that happens.  I feel priviledged that she still comes and devasted when she can't make it. She loves her brother and sister and is an awesome big sister.  I'm proud to call her daughter!  She loves to dance, gossip, and text (ALL day long!!).
4.  My son is 8.  He's DS or DS8.  He's in 3rd grade and is constantly getting in trouble for talking and not staying focused.  He is the bain of my existance some days and I love him to pieces!  He also has minor hearing issues that we still haven't fully resolved.  He gets speech and reading help at school and an ELA tutor outside school once a week.  He's been skating since he was 5.  Playing hockey since he was 5 1/2 and goalie for 2 years.  He's a natural, many people tell them this.  I think he feels pressue from the expectations at times so I remind him to just have fun!  He loves HOCKEY, goalies and the NJ Devils.
5.  My daughter is 6.  I call her DD or DD6.  She is in 1st grade and a cute handful.  She has many friends and the boys are wrapped around her tiny finger.  She is a fast learner and I always worry she is going to surpass DS8 and it will wreck his self confidence.  She's a firecracker and will speak her mind.  I don't think I'll have to worry about her being bullied.  She has been skating since she was 5.  After a year and a half she is at Basic Level 6.  She will be in her first skating competition next month.  She loves school, homework, Webkins and Littlest Pet Shops.
6.  I have been out of work since Oct 2009.  I reinjured (original injury March 2006)  myself at my job and was told to take leave until my doctor cleared me to go back to work.  It's been an uphill battle since then.  I have pains in my neck and shoulder plus a previous back injury to boot (also on the job).  I received a notice just the other day by comp that their doctor says I am fine and should go back to work with no restrictions.  2 company released me in November and my doctors don't feel I'm ready to go back to full duty until I complete another series of PT that comp won't authorize and a work conditioning program.  So, I live in fear of what is going to happen to my income.  I've been trying to find a job since some work restrictions were lifted back in Jan 2010 and still have yet to find anything.  It's so disheartening and scary.  I live with constant fear that everything is going to tumble down around us.

***So this is a little about me and who I am.  Follow my blog to get a better insight and feel free to offer support, advice and words of encouragement.

Sunday, January 02, 2011

My son...the itchy blob

On New Year's Eve my son told me his feet were itchy.  He plays hockey so I figured that maybe he got athlete's foot from his sweaty skates.  I had him wash  his feet with warm, soapy water.  It seemed to work and all was fine.  Later in the evening he mentioned that his wrist and arm were a bit itchy too.  I had him shower.  It seemed to help but he was cranky the rest of the night.
The next morning he woke up itching again.  So, I told him shower again, in what was supposed to be warm water (told me later he had it on hot...but didn't seem to effect outcome).  I couldn't figure out what he was coming in contact with that was making his body react this way.  I had him slather lotion all over and I found some athletes foot cream lost in the top of the closet.  That seemed to do the trick.  The weather's been crazy here...blizzarding one day and temps in the 50's days later.  It's killer on skin.
Too bad that it was suddenly obvious at 5:45 that things hadn't truly cleared up.  His face was swollen, red and blotchy. A check of his back and neck revealed the same thing.  I've had this happen to me before and never pinpointed what caused it because it would clear up before I could see a doctor.  I just found out a few years ago I have eczema, so maybe those symptoms were a precursor to it.  I'll never know.
Knowing that it was a holiday I decided to call the Urgent Care Centers in the area rather than wasting time driving him to places that were closed.  No one answered and only one had a message for callers.  It seems they all closed by 3pm.  Grrrrr!!!  Taking him to the ER wouldn't have been cost effective and we would've been there for hours on end.  His symptoms weren't life threatening and I'd honestly prefer to take him to the pediatrician.  So, we stayed home.
I wish it would have been as easy as slathering cortisone cream all over him.  But, there's no way I could put it over his whole body.  So, I turned to my friends.  Totally forgot about Benadryl and Oatmeal baths.  I should know this since I have eczema. Maybe I forgot because I only use prescription cortisone cream, sparingly.  He took the Benadryl last night and it helped curb the urge to scratch, though the blotches didn't clear up all the way. 
He looked much better this morning.  The blotches are no longer on the surface of his skin but I can see the remnants of it underneath.  If that makes sense.  So, I gave him more Benadryl and had him take an oatmeal bath.  I'll give him more Benadryl before bed.  I'm hoping it'll finish clearing it up by morning.  If it's not gone I'll be driving him to the doctor after dropping his sister off at school.
He's at hockey now so he'll be taking a warm shower when he gets home and we'll slather moisturizer all over.  Praying that morning brings normality!  I'm very thankful for my friends for their help!