Sunday, December 16, 2012

Sick & On the Other Side

My kiddos have been sick for a week and a half.  It started the Thursday before last (12/6).  I picked D1 up from school but she wasn't as perky as usual.  D2 and I ran errands while she was in school.  We finished 2 additional errands together and ended the day at Dairy Queen.  I rarely splurge but I have a soft spot for candy cane blizzards.  The kids obliged.  We happily went home and they went to nap.

After nap D2 felt warm and had a strange hivey rash from her armpits down to her diaper.  Just on the sides.  Was very weird.  Before bed I gave her Benadryl and Tylenol.  The next morning I let the kids sleep in and at 9am D2 had rash everywhere.... everywhere EXCEPT where it was the night before.  She was also hot with fever.  Her hives were so bad her left eye was swollen and she had a huge raised area on her left forehead.  Was extremely odd.  Odd enough to make her nurse mother and doctor father rush her to the pediatrician.  D1 was unwell but it seemed like it was a typical 'cold'.  At the Dr office they said that it could be a viral rash.  Gave us some prednisone for the hives and sent us on our way.  It was nothing "bad" but I did have to reveal that I gave them the DQ blizzards as it was the only 'different' thing she has eaten.  She was MY child... so there was no way she could be allergic to a blizzard!

The fevers persisted.  They were both pretty ill over the weekend.  Unfortunately for me, Hubby worked all weekend.  D1 started turning the corner on Monday but I kept her from school Tuesday.  Wednesday we all seemed better.  So much better that Hubby took D1 and I took D2 shopping.  Big mistake.  By the 2nd store D2 was hot with fever.  Damn.  Thought some fresh air would ward away sickness.  Wrong.

I took D2 to school Thursday and came right home and had some cuddle time with D1.  Hubby got frustrated that Thursday night (12/13) with her persistent fevers and called in an antibiotic for both kiddos 'just in case'.  The fevers were no longer 101/102 they were 103/104 degrees.  I called the office Friday morning as she was 104.1 when she woke up.  They did a flu swab assuming that was the culprit but alas it was negative.  Her eardrums had some scarring so it was thought that she had a resolving ear infection and to follow on the course we were on.  Call Monday if fevers persisted.

Plans were cancelled for the entire weekend.  We were hunkering down and beating this thing.  Saturday (yesterday) morning was great.  NO FEVER.  D1 was a happy clam and D2 was on the mend.  She went to nap with with a 98.4 temp and woke up at 5pm 98.1.  YAHOO.  Then it happened.  I noticed that she was extremely whiny repeating "mommy" over and over and over again.  She then looked like she was shivering.  Checked her temp... 102.1.  DAMN.  Tylenol administered and rechecked at 6:30 and it was 104.1.  UGH.  Lukewarm bath.  Before bed she was down to 102; Motrin given.  I woke her up at 11:30 and she was 103.  I slipped in an extra dose of Tylenol because I HAD to do SOMETHING.  UGH.  Of course Hubby was working.

This morning (12/16) I let her sleep in until 9am.  Went in and knew she was hot.  It was like I could smell it in the air.  105.6.  Dear God.  I am a nurse of 14 years and I can not remember the last time I had taken a 105.6 temp.... and this was MY BABY.  I woke Hubby up (he worked until 1am), gave tylenol, called the MIL to get D1, and called the pediatrician.  I made an appt at 1030.  Thank goodness for Sunday hours.  We got there and temp axillary was 99.5.  She felt much hotter and I HATE axillary temps.  They are shit.  We got examined.  Flu swab repeated and negative once again.  10 days of fever now.  Then I heard it.... recommendation to go to the ER at Rainbow Babies.  UGH.  I knew it.  Getting outpatient labs, X-rays, etc on a Sunday is ridiculous.... so off we went.  I shed a few tears, tears of confusion, pity and helplessness.  Hubby had to work at 2pm.. so it was just me and D2.

We arrived at Rainbow around noon.  D2 was 'acting normal'.  We got triaged and they did an axillary temp.  98.6.  My ASS.  She had flushed cheeks.  NO WAY was she 98.6.  I rolled with it.  I met the attending doc and labs were started immediately.  Cath urine, 22g IV, labs, blood cultures, Chest X-ray all ordered and underway.  Poor kid.  Heart rate was 168 at rest.  She was taking good fluids by mouth but she was just so hot for so long my baby was dehydrated.  Everyone was great at Rainbow... I can't complain at all.  I did ask to have her temp retaken and of course they did it axillary and it was 101.8.  She was BURNING.  No way 101.8 but again, I rolled with it.  She was given Motrin and it was finally confirmed.  D2 has a left lower lobe pneumonia.  Her white blood count was 28.7.  Poor kid.  Two fluid boluses and some IV Rocephin and we are in business.  They offered us an inpatient stay but it was felt that her oxygen saturations were good (96-98%) and she was having no difficulty breathing so we could go home.  We have a recheck with her pediatrician in the morning.

Weird tidbit... I held her the entire day with the exception of the car rides and the chest X-ray.  My chest feels like I have a sunburn.  I can only imagine how she felt.  I hope she is on the mend.

I'm now reflecting on this entire experience.  I'm probably overly emotional because this comes just days after the Connecticut 1st grade class was gunned down and I have shed many tears for them.  I just feel that life is just so fragile.  I have been a nurse for 14 years and none of it has prepared me for how I felt last night & today.  This morning holding my hot sleepy baby bawling because between myself and my emergency room physician husband we could not fix our child.  We now have an answer but it will still take time for her to heal.  It's a helpless feeling... one that I do not wish on my enemy.  I can not even fathom having to deal with a lengthy or permanent illness in a child.  My heart has been aching the last 10 days with what I had to deal with which is minor in the real world scale.  I spoke with a friend today and she said that things like this will make me a better nurse/nurse practitioner and I have to agree.  Many times I would balk at a family bringing in their kid with a runny nose.  I now understand why SOME people end up in the ER.  Its that prolonged sickness that just wears you down and you feel like you have to do SOMETHING, ANYTHING to make them well.  The babies will be hugged and kissed a bit more in the next few days.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

30 Day Shred & Natropathy

So I did what I blogged about and restarted Jillian Michael's 30 Day Shred.  Today was day 7.  I missed one day because of my crazy schedule but overall I feel that I am doing well.  I've been a bit freaked because I actually GAINED 3 pounds.  I googled it and it seems as if I am retaining water due to my new workout regime.  I was CRAZY SORE for the 1st week so I know that I am doing something right.  Today was MUCH easier and I'm hardly sore.  Thinking that I will jump up to level 2 this week.  The first time I did this DVD I did each level for almost a month... so at least I feel progress much faster.  I can feel my arms and butt toning so that makes me feel better.  It is funny that I think that I am "somewhat in shape" yet doing this has made me feel 70 years old!

I took before pics when I started this journey and I am hoping to post them soon... once I hit my goal.  I just took a peek at them and feel VERY proud.  Not quite proud enough to post.... but proud to say the least.  I know that I am close and can't wait to get there.

The most recent part of this trip into health was visiting a Naturopathic Doctor.  A close friend told me about it and my curiosity was piqued.  I went for several reasons.  I wanted to see what was done, how I felt and more so to know if there were any recommendations.  I feel the best I have felt in my life and I would like to keep it that way.

This visit was like no other.  It was very eye opening and educational.  I like to think that I am a pretty smart cookie, and a damn good nurse to boot.  I was even prepared by my friend yet I was blown away.  I felt energized yet relaxed after my visit.  I got fabulous information that I plan to incorporate into my everyday routine.  I will be back.   I won't go into any detail because some would think it was different and unmusical but I highly suggest it if you have an open mind and want to give it a try.

Okay... gonna go to bed and get that MUCH needed rest!  Night!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Thanksgiving and Back on Track

Thursday was Thanksgiving and I have to brag just a bit.  Hubby asked me about a month ago what my feelings were about preparing a second Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings to take to the hospital.  I agreed.  There were many times that I can remember working a holiday night shift in the Emergency Room eating cold cafeteria turkey.  I was all about it.  I had everything planned out.  I went shopping the day before... I got 2 turkeys (a 15 for us & a 20 pounder for the ER), stuffing, 15# of potatoes, pies, rolls, corn and Brussels sprouts.  I brined both birds that afternoon to soak all night.
brine buckets!
I woke up at 5:30 and started rinsing the turkeys.  Hubby started the smoker around 7 and we were in business.  I made a rub for the birds and ours went on the smoker and the hospital bird went into the oven at 8.  The stuffing got started and poured both into crockpots once prepped and I started on the potatoes.  The gravy got made 15 mins before running out the door at noon.  All was PERFECT.  I have three crockpots and I borrowed one from a friend so it all worked out seamlessly.  We did Operation Dropoff at 12:30 and we headed home to start getting ready for our dinner at 5.  We wanted to kids to be able to nap.
Oven Bird for the Hospital

Smoked turkey for us. YUMMMM

when transferring the turkey from the pan to the plate the led & wing fell off... so I  quickly put it back on the pan so I could get a good pic!!  It was THAT good!!!!
 We got home (the MIL watched them) and put them down to nap at 2.  I really had nothing to do except assemble the buffet line, and dress the table until dinner.  It became o'wine 30 quickly.  I was calm and relaxed the whole day which is quite a change from last year.  Twelve months ago I had a 5 month old who was nursing, I made Thanksgiving Dinner, was still pumping at night and had a wild 2.5 year old. I remember sweat dripping down my face as I was whisking gravy.  It was bad.  I will NEVER do that again.  Never.  I was getting texts from one of my awesome friends that she was having a BAD time.  She's a fabulous cook and things were just not turning out... we all have our years.  This one was just a good one for me.  That night a friend and her family came to have dessert and enjoy a glass of wine by the fire.  Good times with family & friends.... its what Thanksgiving IS.
Luey watching the smoker!

15# of potatoes!

the start of getting things put out

My eclectic dinner table 

The potatoes


Hot apple cider with mulling spices! 

The feast!

More food!

Now that the holidays are half over I an feeling the itch to get back to being organized and to get back on track.  Winter is coming.  I have not jogged in about a month and I feel it.  Those I inspire would not feel so inspired right now.  With my absolutely INSANE October and my busy November I haven't gotten much "me time".  My dad moved back to Pennsylvania last weekend so my "manny" hours are gone.  I took the girls to PA with me to help him settle in and have Thanksgiving there.  It was a 4 day trip that has taken me a week to recover.  I need to make time for me once again.  The scale is not dropping anymore and actually it jumped up a couple.  I can feel it.  I need to get to be earlier so I can wake up earlier.  I am a much happier camper when I can drink my coffee in solitude.  Nap time must become exercise time again.  I only write this out on my blog so that I own it.  Its my way of becoming accountable.  Its 9:54pm and Im going to bed.  On a Saturday night.  Yep, Im old.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Halloween & Snack Day!

Tonight is Halloween.  I had decided 3 years ago to bestow a new tradition on my family.  Dinner in a Pumpkin.  Growing up we didn't have many traditions so I wanted to have a fun one that we could easily do.... and this is it.  I will paste the original recipe but I must say that every year I tweak it.  Its a good base... but every year it gets better.  I have a few in mind already for next year.  I will post my changes after the recipe:

Dinner in a Pumpkin

Much of this meal can be made a day in advance: Complete the first baking of the pumpkin and the beef-and-rice mixture, then cover and refrigerate. The baked pumpkin can accompany the beef and rice as a side dish. From Washington Post Book World contributing editor Evelyn Small.

• 1 small to medium pumpkin (the size of a regular soccer ball)
• 1 to 2 tablespoons canola or olive oil
• 1 medium onion, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
• 1 cup finely chopped button mushrooms (may include stems)
• 1 1/2 to 2 pounds lean ground beef
• Salt
• Freshly ground black pepper
• 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
• 2 tablespoons light or dark brown sugar
• 1 10 3/4-ounce can low-fat cream of mushroom soup (may substitute cream of chicken soup), such as Campbell's
• 1 8-ounce can water chestnut slices, drained and diced
• 1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Have ready a sturdy rimmed baking sheet.

Cut off the top of the pumpkin (as you would if you were carving a jack-o'-lantern), to be used later as a lid, and set aside. Discard the pumpkin pulp and seeds, making a clean, hollow space inside. Place the pumpkin on the baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until the oil shimmers. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for a few minutes, then add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes. Add the meat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook for several minutes, stirring to break up any clumps of beef, until no pink remains. Add the soy sauce, brown sugar and soup, stirring to combine. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add the water chestnuts and cooked rice. Transfer the mixture to the pumpkin; cover the top with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes or until the mixture inside has heated through and the pumpkin flesh is tender when pierced with a fork. Transfer to a serving platter; decorate the outside of the pumpkin with a jack-o'-lantern face and serve warm. Makes 6 servings

First, I use ground turkey.  2 pounds of it.  When we do meat.. we DO meat.

Next, this year I added 5 sliced carrots when doing the onions.... I also added 2 LARGE cloves of garlic.  I do not pulverize everything (mushrooms, onions, chestnuts) like they call for... I did it the 1st year and it was like mush.  We like chunks.

Next year I will omit the brown sugar and Im thinking about using worchestershire instead of soy but we'll see how I feel when the day comes.  I will also use more garlic..... NEVER TOO MUCH GARLIC!!!

Otherwise a great 'tradition' meal

Tomorrow I am the snack mom for D1's preschool.  I attempted making sweet potato chips.  They are good... bot after 2+ hours making them I didn't have a ton (they take FOREVER to cook) so I am mixing them with dried apples.  WALA!

Some pics of our spread.... Hubby roasted the pumpkin seeds... so we had alot going on in the kitchen!!  So I HAD to bust out my new favorite wine!!  OZV.... OMG GOOD!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Rubber Mulch and HEALTHY DOGS!

It was again a busy week.  Hubby worked much of it so I flew solo most days.  I had an amazing board meeting with my Mom's Club mamas which always makes for a GREAT week!  Thursday was interesting.  I had decided to take the pups to a holistic vet.  First, I must say that much of it I cannot describe.  Not that I don't WANT to... just that I CAN'T.  I don't know how to put it into words.  She spent 2 hours with me, hands on my pups.  She is a DVM but also a holistic practitioner.  I believe that there are certain people put on this planet that have abilities above and beyond.  She is one of these people.  My dogs took to her immediately.  Luey was practically laying in her lap.  It was a TON of information and recommendations.  I plan to do them all.  Luey is a Rottweiler and weighs 112#.  Far too much. Bubba has horrible allergies.  Their health boot camp started today.  They will now be on CORE grain free food, yogurt & veggies.  Yep, veggies.  I must have completely look at the Dr sideways when she asked me if I owned a juicer.  I said "ummmm... yeah".  She suggested that I put the pulp into their food.  THEY LOVE IT.  Its amazing.  I will fall over if this dog loses 10# this month.  Guess time will tell.  They are now on a few supplements... which are made from different foods.  Its just such an interesting concept.... can't wait to learn more!  I swear I want to take before and after photos of the pups!

Luey Chowing

Today I was supposed to testify as a witness to the incident next door with the rogue backhoe but apparently the scumbag plead out.  Thank goodness.

After I found out that I now had a free day the delivery company called about the rubber mulch I ordered.  The could deliver today!  The landscapers charged me next to nothing to sod cut and to dig down 3" to put down mulch around the girls' play set.  Today's job consisted of laying the landscape fabric and 5000 pounds of rubber mulch.  We decided to go with it because of the safety factor as well as the cost factor.  Every year we re-mulch the house.  Every year we say.... we are switching to every other and it just never looks good enough to switch.  So it was an easy decision.  Its pricey... but it never needs to be redone!   Dad helped ALOT.  He loaded the bags onto trailer and drove the tractor to the area.  There were 125 40# bags.  The man will need some Motrin tomorrow!!!  We got everything laid out in about 2.5 hours.  I have to trim up the landscape fabric but I was going to wait a week or so until 1.) the rain stops and 2.) the mulch settles a bit.  All I can say is that it looks FANTASTIC!!!
3 pallets delivered

Looks FABULOUS... and its SAFE!!!

No more mowing in and out of swings... NO MORE WEEDWACKING around the darn thing!!!


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Grad School & Pond

So much has happened in the last 3 weeks.  I hosted a board social which turned out AMAZING... then I ran a board meeting and a general meeting.... and then this past weekend was our fall consignment sale.  I've put in a TON of hours for the club lately but I am very proud of the accomplishments. After the sale we donated 61 trash bags and a few boxes FULL of clothing, books, shoes & toys to local shelters, rescue organizations and Easter Seals.  Monday night was Preschool Information Night.  We hosted this event with the NRECPTA.  Our 2 chairwomen had life altering events so I stepped up and took charge.  It was stressful for me but I pulled it off with the help a wonderful committee.  This is an event where local preschools all come to one location so that our members (and the community) can interview and weed out the schools before visiting.  Its a huge service to our membership as well as the community.  All the facilities seemed VERY happy so I was ecstatic.  I am happy to say that I get to lead a pretty AWESOME group of women.  This has truly been a position that I am proud to hold. Thank you to all of my Brecksville Broadview Heights Preschool Mothers Club mamas!
Today is an AWESOME day.  I submitted my grad school application to Ursuline College about a month ago and had not heard a peep.  From time to time I think about it, but have just been too busy to do anything about it.  I have had my interview outfit picked out in my head and I occasionally rehearse what I would say.  Just last night I decided to get my Kent State application ready to go as a backup.  Well, today, it came.  It was a packet from Ursuline.  I thought it was too heavy to be a rejection letter.  I tore into it.... and I HAVE BEEN ACCEPTED!!!  They put me into the Spring 2013 class although I enrolled for Summer 2013.  I emailed and was told that they put me in for spring in case I want to start taking classes.  AWESOME.  I am SO excited to start the next chapter!!  Hubby is even excited now that he knows that there is retirement in his future!

Flowers, a card & celebratory wine from Hubby

The pond is done.  The landscaper came today to "rock hound" the area and smooth up a few areas before we seed.  CAN NOT wait to see some green going on.  Its beautiful now but by spring when its green and almost full it will look AMAZING.  We got our landscape mound that we covered with trees.  In the second photo you can now barely see the 6000 square foot home that is being built next to us!  Hallelujah!

Something else that I wanted to blog about.... a very good friend called me last week.  She has gained some weight and has decided that its time to take it off.  She called ME.  I think that's pretty damn awesome.  She said that I inspire her.  What an honor.  I had her watch Fat Sick & Nearly Dead.  Needless to say, she bought a juicer.  I still have my 10# to my goal... but I am very excited to help her in her journey.  XOXOXOXOX

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Digging & Size 8

So the lake/pond digging has begun.  This has been a long time coming and its almost weird that its finally happening.  We have plotted out where it would be, we have diagramed it on a plat map... but to see the actual dig is amazing.  As of this evening there are 5 pieces of LARGE equipment in our yard as well as TONS of dirt.  This is only the beginning.  Half of me is scared shitless about our decision and half of me is COMPLETELY stoked.  I guess the end of this week we will know what the thing will look like.  So far... we have something that is starting to resemble a hole.

Last week I went back to Talbots outlet for a few things and I can now say that I have left double digit jeans.  I am now an 8.  This is VERY hard for me to believe.  I see myself in the mirror as the same person a year ago.  Yes, I can easily recognize when clothes are too big and that smaller clothes fit better but I am having a hard time wrapping my head around it.  I have about 6 pounds to lose to finally hit my goal.  Hard to believe that I am almost there.  Here's a recent pic!