This week I have really concentrated on living through my sinus infection and double ear infections. It’s taken a lot of concentration. I don’t remember ever having been this sick. I broke down and went the to the doctor on Tuesday afternoon and she gave me some heavy duty prescriptions to help kick these infections. As if I wasn’t feeling bad enough, turns out I’m allergic to one of the prescriptions she gave me because I broke out in head to toe hives about 20 minutes after taking it that night. Then, yesterday, I got out of bed for the first time in almost two days and went to the kitchen to make myself some dinner. But when I stood there, I started getting lightheaded and dizzy, and the next thing I knew I was sitting on the kitchen floor. I tried to get up and walk back to my bed, but started getting sick to my stomach. I managed to grab my cell before I ended up sprawled out on my bathroom floor. I called Chris and he came home to help me. He fed me soup and Gatorade and put me back in bed. By late last night, I was feeling a little better. I think eating and drinking lots of fluids helped that. I stayed home from work again today (third day in a row! yikes!) and have been laying on my couch, trying to rest up. I am feeling much better, but still really weak. I can barely life this Thin Mint to my mouth…
Oh, nevermind. I got it.
So, days on my sick bed and here are the musings I have had:
1. Sadly, life does not stop just because you are sick. Babies still want to be held, big boys still need you to help them find clean underwear, and dinners must be made. I’ve managed to put life on pause a bit, thanks to Chris, but I guess the saying is true. There are no sick days in motherhood.
2. My kitchen floor needs to be swept. I discovered this when I came to and I was sitting on my kitchen floor surrounded by stray green peas, a Lego, a Gerber Puff, and a ball of some kind of tape.
3. I take turns in my book choices these days. I read one young adult novel that my students recommend and then I read one adult novel that I choose. I just finished my latest choice, “Nineteen Minutes” by Jodi Picoult. My mother-in-law sent it to me for Valentine’s Day and it was fantastic. I would highly recommend it to any parent or teacher. It’s about bullying and the effects it has on children. It was really hard to read, and I almost put it down several times because I didn’t think I could handle it, but I’m so glad I stuck with it. Now I’m reading “The Battle of the Labyrinth” by Rick Riordan. It’s part of a series of young adult books about Greek mythology coming to life today. A lot of my dude students are reading the series, so I’ve been working my way through it, too. It starts with “The Lightning Thief,” in case you’re interested.
3. I don’t normally take medications. It’s not that I avoid them. It’s just that I don’t think they actually DO anything. This is an endless argument in my marriage. Chris insists they don’t do anything for me because I don’t take them consistently. I insist they don’t do anything for me because they just make you sleepy until you sleep through your sickness, and I can’t really walk around sleepy all the time (see #1 above). But this time, I’ve been too sick to argue and have taken my medicine around the clock like a good girl. The only thing that seems to make a difference is the Amoxicillin for my ears and sinus infection. That’s broken everything up like a charm. The jury’s still out on the other stuff…
4. I’ve never stayed in bed this long at one time before. It has been awesome! I just wake up, read, go back to sleep. Or, wake up, drink some Gatorade, go back to sleep. Or wake up, take some medicine, go back to sleep. For two whole days that was my routine and, even being sick, I loved it. I can’t tell you the last time I got to sleep all day in my bed. But by today I was ready to get up and out. I’ve moved down to the couch and I feel much more alert and active today. I’m still in jammies, but I think my body knows we’ve crawled out of the cave of pillows and joined the living again. My dad always said that was the best cure for a cold, anyway. So today, I’m up and moving around my house and feeling more like myself. Although, I do miss my bed.
This weekend, Chris has to work and so I’m thinking about shipping the kids off to my parent’s house on Saturday, just to give myself one more day of taking it easy before jumping back in the saddle, full swing. Here’s hoping that by Sunday I’m feeling better again. I can’t believe I’m about to say this, but I actually MISS running in the mornings! I hope by Monday I’m able to get back out there again.
I better to back to bed. Clearly, I have become feverish and am speaking nonsense.
When Bean was a wee lad, he did not like processed baby food at all. Try though we might, we could not get him to eat anything out of a jar. I was working full-time and I was not at all excited about having to make homemade baby food. Turns out, though, making your own baby food is super easy! You can read all about the process I used with Bean here, but basically I’d take a couple hours on Sunday afternoons to make enough food to get us through the next week. It couldn’t have been simpler, and it was so incredibly healthy for him.
With Gracie, we did use regular Gerber baby food and we were all happy with that. It cost a little more, but with two kids running around, I was okay with paying a little for the convenience factor.
But now, Gracie is eating more and more table food. She is about to come off formula altogether here soon, and so table food is becoming a much bigger part of her diet and where she gets her nutrition. Because of that, I’ve gone back to making her food in much the same way that I did for Bean.
At Christmas, my mother-in-law introduced me to these babies… Ziplock Zip ‘n Steam bags. (I should note here that I am in no way being compensated for this blog post. This is simply an awesome kitchen shortcut I’ve found and I wanted to share.)
Not that steaming food the traditional way in a good ol’ pot with water is rocket science or even all that time consuming. But it did require that I pay a minimal amount of attention to what I was doing so that I didn’t burn the food or scald my pot (both of which happened to me quite often. I tend to get distracted when I cook…). With these Zip ‘n Steam bags, I don’t even have to pay a MINIMAL amount of attention!
Here’s how they work:
First, you chop up whatever fruit or veggie (or even meat, but I haven’t tried that yet) into bite size pieces, according to whatever suits your tot. These are zucchinis, which I went back and quartered after the picture was taken.
Then, you dump it into one of the Zip ‘n Steam bags…
…and add about a tablespoon of water. You can also add spices and such to your food at this time, but I keep things pretty bland for Gracie.
This is the part that I love about these bags. They have a microwave time chart right on the bag, so you don’t have to go digging for the cook time. You just check the bag and it tells you exactly how long to cook whatever it is you’re cooking. It just makes it one step easier for me. I like clear, simply instructions that are always at hand. Because I’m a simpleton and simpletons get confused very easily. Especially around kitchen appliances.
(Side note: Oddly, there aren’t fruit times listed on the bags. I guess not enough people are steaming fruit these days. I’ve done apples and peaches myself, and I did both of those on 2 minutes, if you’re interested.)
Then, you just pop the baggie into the microwave for a couple of minutes and – voila! – steamed veggies that are perfect every time! (Pictured here are diced sweet potatoes and apples.)
Another great thing about these bags is that you can reuse them once or twice. It says on the package not to reuse due to cross contamination, but as long as I’m doing all raw fruits and veggies, I don’t worry about that. Now, if I was doing meat or something particularly pungent, I’d definitely just stick with one use. But with what I use them for, I can get away with two or three uses in one bag.
You could do this each time you needed to fix a meal. My mother-in-law throws in lots of different veggies at once for her dinner sometimes. But for me, it’s easier to do a bunch of steamed food at once, and then store it in containers in our fridge for me to use at individual meals throughout the week. Gracie’s daycare provides her meals all day, so I just have to make enough to get us through dinners during the week.
I prefer to make a little bit of a variety of foods so that Gracie gets a selection of different things each night, even if it’s just the same food but in different combinations. Actually, that sounds kind of silly when I write it out, but that’s how my simpleton mind works. This week, Madame Gracie will be dining on a selection that includes steamed sweet potatoes, apples, zucchini, black beans, and green beans. Other popular favorites have included carrots, broccoli, spinach, squash, and eggplant.
(Side note: I try to keep all of Gracie’s food in the same spot in the fridge so that whoever happens to feed her knows that she can have whatever is on that middle shelf. Well, except the salsa in the background. That’s just there by accident. Actually, I better go move it while I’m thinking about it before Chris adds a little fiesta to Gracie’s sweet ‘taters tonight…)
Along with those things, I usually give her small pieces of whatever meat we are having for dinner. Bean has never been too much of a meat eater, but Gracie likes it. I also keep jarred all natural, unsweetened applesauce (organic, if it’s on sale) and Greek yogurt, which she really likes mixed with steamed or fresh fruit. In addition to those staples, she can eat any of the raw fruits that I keep on hand in our fridge for the rest of the family. Usually these include whatever berries are on sale, grapes, avocados, bananas, peaches, or whatever else looks good at the grocery that week. She really loves those little “Cutie” tangerines right now. They are small, easy to peel, and seedless, so they are great for kids. Bean loves those suckers, too. For Gracie, I cut up her pieces into small chunks.
Her absolute favorite food, though, are blueberries. I cut them into halves or quarters, depending on the size, and she just goes to town on them. I have to be careful not to give those to her first, or she won’t eat anything else on her tray! I held off on strawberries for a while because they gave Bean a little rash when he was little and first tried them. I gave them to her for the first time last week, but she broke out in a little rash around her mouth that night, so those are on the back burner for another little bit.
Whether you are going all out and making your own baby food from day one, like I did with Bean, or are using your own steamed food to help your baby transition to table food, it really isn’t hard at all. Like with anything else, it just takes a little time, a little creativity, and a few little short cuts to help.
I wish I was still reporting to you from my sick bed, but duty calls. I went back to work yesterday, and the exact words from my students were, “You look like death, Mrs. Brown,” and “You look terrible, Mrs. Brown.”
Ahhh…middle schoolers. Such honesty.
Anyway, I’m still not 100%, so I’m rerouting you today to my column over at Southern Weddings Magazine. It was written back before I came down with the Plague and so it’s better than anything I’d write here today under the influence of cold pills.
I’ll be back up and running when I’m finally feeling better!
I’m going on three weeks of this terrible sinus infection (with a side of double ear infections). It has just been slow going’s getting better. As soon as I’d start to feel better, someone in my family would start to get sick, too, and I’d get worse all over again. Finally, everyone was back to school and work today and everyone came home feeling better and happier than they had in weeks.
Except me. Naturally.
I still hurt here…
So, I headed back to the doctor for the second time to see about different medications. I waited dutifully for TWO HOURS to be seen at the last minute, finally saw the doc, was told that I still had a sinus infection and two ear infections, got my three new prescriptions, and headed over in a haze of sinus pressure to the drug store to get my prescriptions filled. As I waited in the store for my order, I poked around the Easter candy aisle and picked out a few of Chris’s favorite candy goodies as a thank you for taking care of me these past few weeks. Then, I wandered over to the magazine aisle and read about beautiful people in beautiful clothes who were living happily without sinus pressure and headaches. (Jerks…) By the time my prescriptions were ready, I’d been at the store for about 20 minutes.
So, I get my medicine, check out, and head to my car. Only, as I’m walking out to my car, I couldn’t find my keys anywhere. I dug in my purse and my pockets, but couldn’t find them. As I got closer to the car, I put my bags down on the hood of my car and dug and dug and dug. But, no keys.
“Shoot!” I mumbled as I fumbled.
“Lose something?” asked a nice young guy as he walked by.
“My keys,” I said. “I must have left them inside.”
And he kind of laughed at me. Then he stopped laughing.
“You do know that your car is running, right?” he asked.
Sure enough, I’d apparently pulled into my parking spot, and just headed into the store without even turning my car off. And then I shopped around for 20 MINUTES while my empty, unlocked, running car sat out in the parking lot.
And now, I will go back to bed and hide until work tomorrow morning before I do something even dumber.