Monday, September 27, 2010

And Cue the Bad Teeth Dreams

I have nightmares, on a pretty regular basis. I will confess now that it is waaaay past my bedtime, and I can't sleep because of these horrific nightmares. About my teeth. I have dreams that my teeth fall out, get chipped, cracked, need braces, and last night, my tooth just fell out in two pieces and left an exposed nerve. I don't know WHY I have weird teeth dreams and I really wish Dr. Freud could tell me. I don't even have bad teeth. I had braces, and get them cleaned every six months, without fillings (except when I was pregnant and that does not count). I really want the teeth nightmares to go away.

Add to this the stress that as if cooking for my family isn't hard enough, John had his yearly physical today (and only because he gets money for it from his company because he won't go to the doctor ever unless I pitch a fit) and because he's been having these GERD type issues needs to have some testing done and is on a restricted diet for EIGHT WEEKS. No coffee, no chocolate, no spicy (not a problem here, really), no tomatoes, or other acidic foods, no chocolate. Basically he can eat meat, and probably milky, creamy, cheesy dishes that I can't make anyway for a family meal because Jack can't eat it. So now what? Cheerios and Wheaties every day and night? He also needs to cut his sugar intake because his blood glucose levels are borderline prediabetic, which makes no sense to me because he is in great shape, works out all the time, and is no where near the obese/risk group category. Add to the fact that his diet is ridiculously healthy and for the most part CLEAN and organic and really I'm not sure what else I can do.

On an unrelated yet equally interesting in the "My Life is Fascinating" category (tongue in cheek people!) I got some interesting info from Nate's OT last week. A couple of Fridays ago I popped my head in his classroom while I was Mommy Helper and noticed he had trouble looking to the left and copying words down in his journal, so his teacher moved him right in front of the board while the other kids played and he was fine.

I should mention here that a few days after this, on Monday, we had an evening music program put together by the high school kids. Think big crowd, lots of instruments (VERY well run and organized, by the way) and a lot of auditory and visual processing that needed to be done, and you have a Nate meltdown. Literally crumpling up on the gym floor in tears because he couldn't take it all in. Thank God my very good friend was there with her OT ambulance that doubles as a minivan to transport her kids around in, throw in some chewing gum and a round of brushing protocol, and Nate was good to go, but I was heartbroken. That crumpling was very hard to watch.

Fast forward to last Wednesday. He had his eye doctor appointment mandated by the state and has 20\20 vision. Yay. However I told his OT what happened in school, so she put him on a platform swing standing and moving side to side. She had beanbags which spelled out the letters of shapes, and while he was swinging she put the bags to his right, and had him read out the letters. He did okay. Now switch to the left side. He couldn't do it. Did not know what the letters where. This signals some sort of processing deficit on his left side, and we are not sure if this is reflective of his ATNR not diminishing enough BABY has an ATNR, but it diminishes at different rates), or if something else is going on. I do know that once he got he sensory system organized in OT on Wednesday, he was able to talk to his speechie about our trip to Disney. A Year and a half ago. It took that long to process it and come out in a normal 5 year old conversation. She said she knew more about our trip last week than she did 5 minutes after we got back. She made note that when he is organized enough in his body, all of the oral motor and speech issues are secondary and he is stimulable and does really well with all of his articulation issues.

Our OT also gave us more 'homework". Because Nate has been stripping when he comes home from school and physically craving the electronic downtime of Wii, she thinks he can hold it together in school just long enough, so that when he gets home, he cannot stand to have anything touching him and have to process THAT. So we are back to brushing. And we do music therapy, and our "starfish" exercise that takes him through his PNF patterns to get his neurons all fired up and ready for school. It all seems to be working soccer on Thursday he was EN FUEGO and scored 4 goals. He had to be taken out and made "goalie" even though they don't have a goalie for 5 year olds just so that he couldn't score on the other team but would still be able to say he had game time.

I suppose all this hard work is paying off. Jack came home with LOADS of work to do because he is too distracted to do it in class and in doing it got half the math problems wrong, which Nate was more than happy to answer for him. Nate's a smart kid, and with all of the help he's getting he is able to show people now. So I guess I feel good about that.

Now I need to start focusing more on Jack I suppose and figure out why he is destroying pencils by using his scissors to mangle them into weapons during class instead of getting his work done. I'm sure he could use a little OT too. They're like modern day Annie Sullivans, I swear.

Maybe one of them could cure my teeth nightmare dilemma.

Recipe of the Week

I've been meaning to post this forever because I think it's HIGH larious. I make meals for people at church, and try my best to make them healthy. Last week I made crockpot beef sandwiches (yum) , special potatoes, and for dessert...well....

I got a lovely thank you note. And then she asked for my dessert recipe because it was so delicious. I am almost too embarrassed but here it is:

2 gigantor scoops of Silk French vanilla Yogurt.
Top with fresh frozen fruit, berries are preferable.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Thinking out Loud

I have so many things to blog about, I don't know where to begin. So I suppose I will just get carpal tunnel in a stream of consiousness.

Nate is freaking awesome. Here's how it works. He has a 1/2 hour practice, then a half hour game. He's team blue. Here's how it works (underline, highlight etc): EVERYBODY WINS! YEAY! Except when you play agains Nate because he is so super competitive, he keeps score and trash talks the other team. I find it difficult to put a stop to that kind of enthusiasm, because it's not like I'm the one yelling, "Yah! We're gonna crush them dad! 6 to 4....they better not get any more goals!". John of course loves it, because when Jack was this age he was more or less socializing with the other team, "Hey dude, nice kick!", or "Wow, you got a goal!", or "You're a fast runner, you got right past me!" Now of course Jack does a-okay for himself, but it has taken a while to get there.

Going on right now, my THREE children are involved in no less than FOUR concurrent fundraisers, and so my remedy for this was to THROW AWAY ALL THE "BUY OUR AWESOME PRODUCT' forms. Tomorrow is some sort of 'how many laps can you run' derby at the boys' school, but who the hell is supposed to give them money? Me? Uh, I pay taxes and buy your school supplies so uh, no. The neighbors? Might've worked if their kids weren't doing the same exact stuff. Grandparents? My parents have decided to vacation in Florida for 2 weeks, so, uh, no. Maybe if all of these fundraisers didn't happen all at once at the beginning of the school year when I'm trying to organize everything else, it wouldn't be so bad. But it is, and so we will not particpate in any of them. You can only ask people for money so much, and then it becomes a headache.

I have decided to run a 10k this weekend. It's a great cause:
but my last 10k didn't go so very well. True, at that point I had swum a mile, ridden my bike in the Omahanian mountains for 26 miles and then was running the 10k but still. Should be interesting at the very least.

I'd love to write more, but I have to pick up Nate from school Stupid 11:14 school dismissal!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Your Recipe of the Week

I've decided that I'm going to try a new dairy free adventure at least once a week to replace our old standbys, or at least shake things up a bit. Knowing me this resolution will last another 2 days, but at least I started out trying. The recipe will appear on different days of different weeks, depending on our crazy ass sports schedule and everything else we've got going on.

This is what I made for dinner last night. I've made this before, just not dairy free. It turned out well, except my kids thought the onions were worms.

Cube Steak Yummy Bake


Flour 1/2 c
seasoned salt 1t.
ground black pepper 1/4 t (although I never measure. Eyeball it to taste).
garlic powder 1/4 t.
Cube steak 3lbs (I used 4 'patties' for our family and there are no leftovers)
veg. oil 1T
Cream of mushroom soup 1 can (RECIPE FOR DAIRY FREE FOLLOWS)
Beef Broth 1 can or 2 cubes of make your own w/Bouillon. (to be honest here, I only had 1 beef cube and 1 chicken cube and it turned out just fine).
1 onion sliced into rings
non dairy butter substitute: 1/4 cub (melted)
Dried bread product 3 C (the recipe calls for dried pieces of bread cubed. I used croutons because that's what I had, and they add a little more flavor).
a dash of wheat germ
a dash of flax seed

Mix flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, wheat germ and flax seed in a shallow dish. Coat the meat with flour and lightly brown (less than 5 m. per side) the meat in oil. Place the meat in a 9x13 in dish when done (it helps to use a foil pan). When all the meat is brown, add the cream of mush soup, 1 c of broth and the onion to the remaining flour and mix well. pour this mix into the skillet scraping up all the browned bits to create a delish sauce. Heat until simmering, and then pour over the meat in the baking dish. In a bowl, combine the rest of the broth, the butter and the bread crumbs. Put over the steaks. Bake at 350 for an hour or so.

Now for the Cream of Mushroom Soup recipe

In a pan, combine 1 and 1/4 cup of milk substitute ( I actually used soy milk coffee creamer, and it was a little bit sweeter and delish)
2 T flour
1 T cornstarch
1 T veg. oil
1 tsp. salt
1/8 t. onion powder
dash or more of garlic powder
mushrooms (you can use canned but I preferred to use a container of fresh. It was a lot of shrooms, but for the aforementioned recipe it worked out great).

In a saucepan, whisk the milk, flour, cornstarch, oil, salt, onion and garlic powders until smooth. Stir in the shrooms, whisk continuously over med. heat for about 10 min., or until thickened.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Waxing Philosophical....and some 9/11 Bidness

The following pictures are from our apple picking excursion on Labor Day. The kids had some fun picking the apples off the trees, although Nate just picked them and threw them back on the ground as hard as he could. However, what they really wanted to do was run wild in the park the apple place has on the premises. Fine. We did wind up leaving earlier than expected though, because all I wanted was a photo with my kids and they all ran away. It hurt my feelings and John got super pissed and wouldn't even take them out for the free lunches they've earned from the library reading program. That's hardcore.

This isn't just a pose for the camera. He's always like this. He's my biggest kid, hands down.
Inspection for imperfection. There were a lot of freshly picked apples that did not make Nate's cut. He has really high standards.
These two yahoos were just having some fun.

I'm sharing this because I need to talk about how much I hate GOATS. I think they smell. I think they're nasty. I got photos of 2 of them headbutting each other. And Nate wanted to feed them. One kernel of 25 cent goodness at a time. Really, look.

If this winds up being the Christmas card you get, act surprised. They are all almost looking at the camera. And smiling. And looking like they like each other. It was a moment.

So now on to 9/11. Pastor at church today was talking about it during his sermon, and so I sent Jack into the 'nursery'. He's really too old to be in there, but he didn't question me on it even though I am pretty strict about having him sit with me through the sermon. He even took communion with me last week. All he said was, "Pastor David's talking about some pretty grown up stuff, huh?" And I just said, "yes".
I still haven't figured out if I haven't discussed 9/11 for selfish reasons or for REALLY selfish reasons. I think history is important, and I will teach my kids. But if you know Jack, he will perseverate on an idea to the point where you want to gouge your eyeballs with toothpicks and I just can't do this with him yet when it comes to 9/11. That would be my selfish reason for not bringing it up AT ALL yesterday with the kids. Of course I prayed and meditated on it myself, but the kids didn't know anything happened until they heard a very age appropriate story during children's time at church. He hasn't asked about it yet, but the day is still young.
My VERY selfish reason for not discussing it? Because there is a part of me that wants to preserve that innocence in all my kids for as long as I can. They know that there are 'bad guys' out there, but why should I have to delve into how very bad those bad guys are? They still believe in Santa and the tooth fairy and why not? Their little worlds will crumble soon enough, so as long as I can I want them to learn about the good in the world.
Let them see their parents do good.
Let them learn to do good and right by others.
Let them believe in magic and miracles for as long as they can.
Because at the end of the day it is a scary, savage world out there. There are bad guys out there who can and have harmed children.
I want to protect them for as long as I can from even the thoughts of how bad it can be.
Because maybe, just maybe, if they see enough good, if they hear enough good, and if they surround themselves with others who can and do believe in magic and miracles maybe there is hope for their generation to effect change in the hearts of men.
Let their sweetness and innocence be preserved a little longer.
And in the meantime, let the rest of us not forget how very fragile the balance is between innocence and the loss thereof.

Monday, September 06, 2010

The Poop Contest

Shield your eyes if you are squeamish. This one's a goody.

Yesterday we were driving home from Brycie Boo's 2nd birthday. Nate was in the back half asleep, and I don't WANT him asleep because we were at a place called Germ Zone. Or Jump Zone, I get confused. Either way, all 3 of my darlings needed to bathe, thus I decided to regale him with stories of how I was going to eat his Halloween candy. Oh yes I did.

Then, because the child is now FULLY awake, he decides to segue somehow from eating all of his Reese's (which his father can have because I don't like peanut butter and chocolate mixed together, it's just WRONG. Wrong like Neopolitan ice cream, but that's another story altogether), Nate decides that we are going to have a POOP CONTEST.

He laid out the rules. Basically, you have to poop on a plate. If you have the biggest poop, you win a prize. If you have the smelliest poop, you win a prize. Your coveted prize? A sock. Not a pair. Just. a. sock.

I can't help wondering if he translates this to creative writing if he'll get in trouble, or if his teacher will someday appreciate the thought that went into this idea.

I also can't help wondering why my kids are so gross and where I went wrong.......

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Nate's Deep Dark Secret

Last night John came to bed explaing he had uncovered Nate's deep dark secret. Had I known a 5 year old could have a deep dark secret I may have been a little more wary.

Apparently, John found Nate's pillow. Soaking wet. They had a brief conversation.
"Nate, why is your pillow all wet?"

"Because I had to wash it."

"Why did you have to wash your pillow?"

"Well, because I went into your bathroom and when I sat on my pillow to put my pants back on (he likes to do his #2 business nekkid), I accidentally wiped my butt with my pillow. So I washed it."

"You "accidentally" wiped your butt with your pillow?"

"Yes, but it's okay because I got it all off!"

He was so proud of himself and his initiative. I for one, didn't even know we had a pillow wiping butt incident in the house.

Said pillow is now in the washing machine.