Friday, April 22, 2011

sinuses: this is WAR!!

i am sure at some point in my life, i woke up in the morning feeling refreshed, rested and ready to take on the day.  i do not, however, remember any such day.  i am not a morning person and doubt i ever will be.  but looking back on the many recent years of my life, i wake up most days feeling like total crap.  i usually sleep until carter (or holden, although it's almost always carter) wakes up.  as he walks into my room to announce "it's 7," as he does every day, i typically just want to cry.

as i pry open my eyes, and often before i am even able to do that, i feel the headache.  UGH, again?!?  my face is often so puffy i am able to see my cheeks out of my peripheral vision and my face throbs.  clearly, there is a problem here.  unfortunately, it has been going on for so long that it has just become part of my life--suck it up and gimp through the day, always just managing instead of performing at my best.  i get "sick" often--mostly cold and sinus issues, but they drag me down even farther.  my mother-in-law always seemed to have similar issues and finally found out she had polyps in her sinuses and a crooked nose to blame and had surgery (today) to correct it.  motivated by this, and her encouragement, i realized this has to stop.

then came the next issue, which is scheduling any type of appointment for myself.  this is near impossible since ryan rarely has his schedule for more than a week at a time and it changes from day-to-day.  my most recent dentist appointment had to be rescheduled 3 times, and at that point it starts to become a bit embarrassing.  finally, i was able to schedule (and keep!!) an appointment for a sinus CT today.  my family doctor called with a report that it indeed showed some thickening of the walls from chronic infection.  i have an appointment with an ENT doctor next friday to find out what needs to be done about it.  i am pretty much scared to death of that surgery, but something has GOT to give here.  REALLY hoping they have an answer for me!

Monday, April 18, 2011

new recipes success!

in my new cooking inspiration, i have decided to try at least one new recipe each week.  so far, i've made 5 new recipes and 4 were keepers and 1 was not so much.  most of the new recipes i am trying are coming from old cooking magazines that my mom gave me YEARS ago that have been sitting under my microwave stand.  since we are getting rid of said microwave stand, it has become necessary to get rid of the stuff on/under/in it.  i decided to go through them, tear out the recipes i'd like to try, and then just throw the rest of it away--takes up way less space that way.

the first one i tried was called "nutty peach bread"--yum, right?  well, i didn't really think so.  it was ok and we nibbled on it for a few days, but the bulk of it went in the trash, along with the recipe.  in defense of the recipe, i did not use any nuts (just not my fav thing) and used peaches from a can.  i just thought it was kinda blah, and that, my friends, is not worth the calories.

since then, i have successfully made ham and cheese quiche (thanks to a friend who served it at a baby shower), cranberry-orange muffins, brownies and cheesy sausage penne and they will all be added to my stash!  i made the cheesy sausage penne and immediately put it in the freezer.  last night i heated it up, my brother came over for dinner, and we all thought it was super yummy!  i am sharing the recipe for anyone who wants to give it a whirl.

cheesy sausage penne

1 pound bulk italian sausage
1 garlic clove, minced
1 jar (26 oz) spaghetti sauce
1 pkg (1 pound) penne or medium tube pasta
1 pkg (8 oz) cream cheese, softened
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
4 green onions, sliced
2 cups (8 oz) shredded cheddar cheese

in a large skillet, cooke the sausage and garlic over medium heat until meat is no longer pink; drain.  stir in spaghetti sauce; bring to a boil.  reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes.  meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  in a small mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese, sour cream and onions.

in a greased shallow 3-qt baking dish, layer half of the pasta and sausage mixture.  dollop with half of the cream cheese mixture; sprinkle with half of the cheddar cheese.  repeat layers.  bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until bubbly.

NOTE: i used 2-8x8 dishes instead, since that size works better for my fam and it worked great, making two dinners.  also, since mine started from frozen, it took about twice that long to thoroughly heat.


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

holden's surgery

we spent yesterday morning at a branch of cincinnati children's hospital having holden's hypospadias repair surgery.  for those that aren't familiar, the short version is that hypospadias is when the pee-hole is not in the correct place of the penis.  carter actually had the same condition and has had the repair surgery twice (only because the first one came undone).  there are many varying degrees of hypospadias.  in the worst cases, the hole can be behind the testicles, which requires multiple surgeries to correct.  luckily both of my boys had very mild cases, where the hole was only misplaced by a fraction of an inch.  to correct this, it only requires an outpatient surgery (unless there is another factor, such as prematurity, which requires an overnight stay for observation after anesthesia, like carter had for his first surgery).

anyways, background aside, the surgery went great.  we opted to have the surgery at an outlying campus of cincinnati children's instead of the main campus simply because it's a little closer for us.  surgery was scheduled for 7:30 am, with us arriving at 6:30 am.  everything went so well, that we were on our way home at 10:30 am!  here is a picture of my little dude before surgery.

he woke up well from anesthesia, which is always a concern.  even with carter, he always woke up really crabby and was hard to control.  holden woke up great, which isn't so much of a surprise since he is a happy waker-upper anyways.  so far he has been doing great, just a little extra sleepy.  our main problem has been with the fact that he has diarrhea from being on antibiotics for weeks now trying to get rid of his stubborn ear infections.  this is a problem for obvious reasons.  we have already had to change the dressing around his penis multiple times and we weren't supposed to mess with it at all.  however, once it gets "dirty" it has to be done.  he has been great about taking all the medicines he has and hopefully they will help him heal quickly!

he has a stent in to keep the hole open while it heals, which means frequent diaper changes because he is always wet.  he will have that taken out next tuesday and then can resume normal activity.  in the meantime, he can't do any straddle toys, which means NO JUMPEROO :-/  and we can't even carry him on our hips, which presents another challenge trying to tote my 21+ pound dude around.  all in all, everything has gone great so far and we are hopeful his recovery will continue to go well and he will be back to normal in a week or so.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

saturday morning bait and switch

my rant for the day is about aerobics class.  we belong to a gym like 30 seconds away, that also has childcare, which has been great for me to go workout.  the classes are all free and are drop-in style, which i what i do the most.  i went today for a scheduled hip hop aerobics class that i have attended before and loved.  when i got there, it was a different teacher and she is doing zumba.  now don't get me wrong, i like zumba and have attended that class as well, but when you go expecting one thing and get another, it's not cool.  i also realize that things come up at the last minute, but it seemed as though this was a planned sub and a note at the gym announcing the change for the week would have been helpful.  but oh well, now we're doing zumba.

so she turns up the music and off we go.  and i mean she REALLY turns up the music.  like, hurts your ears loud.  luckily, there was an instructor from another class in there and she went up and just turned it down-LOL.  after a couple songs, the girl thought it would be "fun" to turn around and face the class instead of the mirror.  now, i was a dance teacher for many years and this is something that is totally okay to do...with one requirement--if you are facing the class, you (as the teacher) must do everything opposite, so as to mirror the people doing it.  i'll bet you can guess where this is going...people going every which way.  some going left, while others go right, and many just flailing around because they don't know which way to go.  instead of realizing and correcting, she giggled and continued this throughout the whole song.  soooooooo irritating!

on saturday mornings, the classes are always super full (for obvious reasons) and the mirror always fogs up.  she thought this, too, was hilarious and continued to wipe it down after EVERY song to try and see herself.  it fogged up again within seconds EVERY time, yet she didn't seem to get the memo.

little things like this went on the whole class and while she seemed rather adept at the "smile and nod," she was lacking in some basic skills.  the kicker for me was when we went to stretch and she was doing stretches with her weight on the wrong leg, which could actually cause injury.  uurrrrrgggghhh!!!  is it too much to ask for aerobics instructors to be at least mildly qualified?  i really hope she has another "day" job...

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

recipe re-do

for my mother-in-law's birthday, which was march 3rd, i was struggling to come up with something to get for her.  then i got the idea to reorganize her recipes for her!  now i use the term "reorganize" ridiculously loosely, as they were in no particular order.  this is what they looked like

they were literally just all shoved into a box, with no particular order. (and this photo is after she went through them all and got rid of the ones that she has never made and has no interest in making) as you can imagine, when you tried to find a recipe, it would take FOREVER to find it.  a couple times of helping her find a recipe and i was thoroughly annoyed.  anyways, what a perfect idea i thought!  it has taken me about a month (of working on it here and there) but i am finally done!  

i was unsure of the best way to organize them, but i decided on typing them up and putting them into a binder with plastic sleeves for each page, so she can take out a recipe she is using and not have to worry about spilling or splashing on it.  (note:  after typing the first 20 or so recipes, i contemplated quitting, and was debating her sanity as i had typed 3 chocolate cake recipes and 3 brownie recipes.  but i pushed through and here is the finished product!)  this is the cover:

there was supposed to be a border around the edges of the cover, but for some reason it refused to print that way and so i gave up trying ::shakes fist at printer::

here is a look of the divided and organized book (disregard my cute slippered feet, as i was too lazy to move and simply took the picture on my lap :-P)

most of the pages are of recipes that i typed up, which took the majority of the time to do, and then copied the file onto a disk so she will have that as well

some of them i just copied on our printer because there were multiple recipes on one page (look how old this one is!)

i got dividers with pockets so that she can put the recipes that she hasn't made but would like to try in them.  that way, if she's feeling liking making something different for dessert (which apparently is the only thing she might like to try, as all of the recipes of this category were desserts except 3 :-P), she can just pull them out of the pocket in that section

i am rather pleased with the finished product and hope that she likes it!

Monday, April 4, 2011


seriously wishing there was a military school to send carter.  someone needs to beat some good behavior into that child and i just don't know if i have it in me.  he has just been so hit or miss lately.  the good days are that of a typical 3 year old, mostly good behavior with a few whines thrown in.  which makes the bad days that much worse.  the only word i can think of that describes him on those days is hysterical--like actually in a state of hysteria.  there is no reasoning with him, no snapping him out of it, and usually not even any talking to him, since as soon as you speak a word he screams as loud as possible over the top of you.  he just screams and thrashes and throws himself down.

he went through a phase similar to this a while back and it was awful.  now he is bigger and quite frankly, meaner.  today he was freaking out about having to picking up the toys in his room and he ended up kicking me and throwing a plastic grocery basket from his kitchen in holden's face.  obviously that type of behavior is not acceptable, but what to do?  i feel like we have tried all the "nice" parenting methods and another day like that and he will be getting a drill sergeant instead of a mommy until he can get in line.  OY!  thank goodness for alcohol...