Tuesday, January 25, 2011

You give me fever

It's a been a long few weeks.

Remember that last post when I was all excited about my meals?! Yeah, I think I made one of those meals. By the end of the week my husband, who has never ever complained about dinner occasionally being grilled cheese, or sometimes nothing (because we all have those days) said "I need real food".

Instead of being about new and yummy meals, my week became all about fevers, motrin, tylenol, coughs, fever, motrin, tylenol, exhaustion, crankiness, snow days, fevers, bronchitis, ear infection, sick stomach, another ear infection, crankiness, exhaustion.

In case you you didn't catch that, both kids got sick with fevers that resulted in me not leaving the house for four days straight and watching so much Hannah Montana, The Suite Life and Phineas and Ferb that I thought my brain would melt away.

Isn't it nice that my beloved children were sick and miserable and somehow I made it all about me?!

Ella got the worst of it with a fever for three or four days straight and a cough that became bronchitis as well as an ear infection. She was up every night coughing or dealing with being uncomfortable. I knew she turned the corner when she asked to go to bed at 6:30 and proceeded to sleep for 13 hours straight. On the whole, she is not a good patient. The entire time she was home she was exhausted, more miserable than I have ever seen her. BUT - she would NOT sleep. She would lay on the couch in tears because she was so exhausted but she said that sleeping was boring.

For real. Sleeping, the one thing that would make you feel better, was boring.

One time I forced her to lay down in a dark room and I proceeded to sing her to sleep for at least twenty minutes. Her eyes were closed and she was perfectly still. I was so relieved, finally I would be able to sneak away, give Catherine a little attention, try and straighten up the house....when Ella's eyes popped open and she said "Can I be done resting now?"


Then there's Catherine. Wednesday morning she woke up not feeling well and proceeded to sleep until noon! That's right, she slept until noon. She was definitely sick with a fever spiking close to 103, but she never got bronchitis, never was as miserable as her sister.

In the midst of this we had a snow day and then the following week we had Martin Luther King Day off and then the next day another snow day. At one point I realized that out of 10 days Ella had been in two of them (2 snow days and a holiday included helped her not have as many sick days)!

We've started off this week on a good note and both kids went to school as usual Monday and Tuesday. But as I am writing this I'm also listening to the weather forecast and wondering if they school district will cancel school out of fear of the upcoming storm. Then what about Thursday when we deal with the aftermath of this "potential" snowstorm? Because guess what - Friday is an inservice day so we know we're staying home!

In all seriousness, I am thankful for the kids' health and realize that I have no reason to complain about a week or so of illnesses. But can I have free reign to complain about the weather or do I have to wait to February to officially have Spring Fever?!! (cuz it's all about the fevers over here!)

Monday, January 10, 2011

Menu Monday

I was so excited about this week's hearty and comforting meals that I had to share them!

Snow is in the forecast and that had me craving warm hearty meals that would warm us up after braving the cold outdoors.

Tonight I was all set to cook but Matt's going to be away until bedtime getting a snow plow attached to his truck. No, there's not that much snow coming, it's a work thing, but let me tell you I am even less excited about driving the truck around. I am already nervous about parking it as it is but now I will have a nice plow in the front and an extended bed in the back. Yay. So tonight will be whatever I scrounge up for the kids and myself. (I'm curious if anyone else skips cooking (and by cooking I mean, a real meal that you've planned, not like breakfast for dinner or spaghetti which are two standard fill ins when it's just me and the kids) when their spouse is gone? It might just be me but knowing that the one other person who will really enjoy the meal is gone takes a ton of my motivation away.)

Tuesday - Chicken and Vegetable Dumpling Soup I dare you to click on the link and not want to make this soup right away. It looks incredibly delicious and healthy. Perfect perfect for a snowy day!!! I can't wait for the way this makes the house smell :)

Wednesday - Kalua Pork - This is one of my favorite ways to cook pork. So easy and so yummy. I plan on serving it plain accompanied by broccoli and some sort of red potato (mashed, roasted, any suggestions?)
Thursday - Classic Italian Lasagna - In case you haven't noticed all three recipes are from Mel's Kitchen Cafe. I know I say it all the time, but I LOVE her recipes! Anyway, this lasagna looks so yummy and is different from a traditional lasagna because it doesn't use ricotta cheese. I am a ricotta cheese fan, but I have to admit it's not my favorite part of a lasagna so I am super excited - I am hoping to have found my go-to-lasagna (I tend to rotate a few different recipes, or make a combination of a veggie/traditional meat one).

Friday -Sunday - I never plan real well for the weekends because, well, it's the weekend! But too often that leads to last minute dinners that end up costing more money and aren't as healthy or yummy. My plans for those nights include leftover pork in the form of BBQ sandwiches, Spinach Ricotta Pie, a family favorite growing up and a relatively inexpensive vegetarian dish, and most likely pizza, because who I am kidding, it's not a weekend without pizza at least one night!
What are your favorite meals to make during these cold winter months? Let me know if you post any recipes so I can come check them out!

Friday, January 07, 2011

Christmas singing

We had a very lovely Christmas that was full of family, fun, food, Barbies and last but not least...songs.

My kids love to hear stories about me and my brothers growing up. Catherine went through a phase where she would ask me to tell a story from when I was little every single night. They know them so well that they often request certain ones. For instance Catherine will say "Mom tell me the story about when you were little and your bigger brother would make you do songs Christmas and put a towel under the door so no one could hear you practice."

Why thank you Catherine, now there's no need for me to actually tell the story!

But yes, when I was younger my brothers and I would put on a little Christmas Eve show that involved us singing various Christmas carols. And yes, my older brother was a bit of a slave driver and would make us practice upstairs in his room, and in order to keep our program a complete secret from my parents, he would put a towel along the bottom of the door to keep any sound from escaping.

You know in case my mom was trying to listen.

Because thinking back on it now it cracks me up because I know if my kids were upstairs playing (assuming happily) my first reaction would not be try and listen in. I would definitely be using my time more wisely, like cooking dinner, cleaning, doing laundry....or reading blogs, playing Words With Friends, scrolling through facebook. Hmmmm which seems more likely?!

Anyway - we've come full circle because after hearing that story for years now the cousins (fueled by Catherine and Ella) decided this was the year to put on their own little show.

I took some video that isn't the greatest quality but it's better than nothing.

Same house, Same fireplace, different giggling girl (Ella = me 25 years ago) and different little squeaky kid voices that I imagine bring the same joy to my heart as to my parent's many years ago.

This next one is a few songs later. Just keep your eye on Norah, it's priceless...

Seconds later and we're all good!

There are many more I hope to post - some great rock and roll clips with Caleb leading the way with his drum and some sweet dance moves during a little dance party. But I couldn't pass up sharing with you an event that was 25 years in the making!

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