Friday, November 13, 2015

They come in 3's

Well, in about 2 weeks, we have gone from 100 degrees down to 38 degrees.  Holy Moly that is cold!
We seem to live in quite the little micro-climate here at our house.  I caved yesterday and ran the heater in the morning.  The backyard is now covered every morning with a blanket of frost.  Georgia loves to walk through it, listening to it, crunch, crunch, crunch.

Yesterday I had to scrape ice off the windshield that was too thick to melt off with the heater, or brush off with the wipers.  In fact, Georgia was in awe of the little designs the ice had made.  (wishing now I had taken a picture, I've never seen crystal designs in frost was very cool).  But during the day it has been a lovely 75+ degrees.

I managed to get pneumonia.  First time ever.  Woke up on Oct 24th with a 103 fever that lasted for 5 days with no end in sight.  Initially I thought it was the flu, but when the fever wouldn't budge, I figured there must be more going on.  So I got myself to the doctor's office where he took one look at me and said, "Wow, you are REALLY sick."  Yes, Thank you.  That is why I'm here.  So anyhow, he took a listen, and sure enough, pneumonia.  He explained that it could be secondary to another illness like the flu, so they tested me, but the flu test was negative...after which, he concluded that it was just pneumonia.  He prescribed some strong antibiotics and sent me on my way.  It took another 36 hours for the fever to totally go away.  But shortly after taking the first dose, boy, did I feel that antibiotic kick in.  It felt like the army was on the march.  My fever shot up to 104 for a couple hours and then made a gradual decline after that.  Weirdly, when it went up, I actually felt better.  Not sure if that was the antibiotics making me feel better, or the higher fever killing stuff, making me feel better. took about 2 weeks in bed, start to finish before I was feeling half human again.

Fortunately or Unfortunately depending on how you look at it, Curtis was out of town for work, the first week I was sick.  Fortunate for him, unfortunate for me.  So he seems to have avoided getting this narley little illness.  My Dad came up to help with the kids, for which I will be forever grateful.  Nothing like Mom being down for the count.  I was ready to just keep them home from school so I didn't have to drive them.

Partway through this little experience, the fridge died.  So I had to get myself out of bed once Curtis got home from his trip to go buy a new fridge.  Which, happily, I found what I wanted for a great price.

This week, the dishwasher finally broke as well.  It struggled when we moved in 6 years ago...and we have just fixed it over and over and over...until now when it finally bit the dust.  The new one comes tomorrow.

Now, I'm just wondering what the 3rd thing to break will be.  Since they always come in 3's right?

Have a great day!    

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Georgia and the Ball

Georgia and Daddy on their way to the Young Marine Ball

Georgia had a fantastic time, and danced the night away.  Daddy said they had a fantastic speaker.  Red ribbon week was started after the death of an Agent who helped to shut down one of the largest drug operations to date.  His Son was the speaker and told the story of how Red Ribbon week began, and the story of his Father.  Daddy said it was an incredible story.

Love this program, they have so many great service opportunities and activities for the kids.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

To clean or not to clean

Today, Levi had his quarterly dentist appointment.  Yes, he gets his teeth cleaned every 3 months.  Since Levi doesn't tolerate much brushing (a few strokes on each surface, if we are lucky), it means that we have to keep a much closer eye on dental health.  Dentist appointments are the hardest for him and for me.  They are far more difficult than his IVIG appointments (and he got an IV placed at those appointments!).  He cries the whole time, and it is just heartbreaking.

We have known for some time that Levi is very sensitive in his mouth.  Other areas can be hurt, and he will have little response, but the smallest sensation in his mouth can be a big owie for him.

Well today, he was not quite right from the moment we entered the office.  He normally will let me know that he isn't happy to be there, but then will willingly comply with getting into the chair.  Today however he was not having it.  He thrashed all over the place, and cried more than he ever has at the dentist.  The technicians are very nice and work as quickly as possible.  Usually done in about 10 minutes.  It takes 3 of them to work on Levi.  One who does the work, one to hold his head still and another to hold the "lego" in his mouth and suction when needed.  The "lego" is a rubber spacer that is placed on one side of the mouth to hold it open so they can work without Levi closing his mouth.

Throughout the 10 minutes today, which seemed like and eternity, Levi kept saying 'sorry' & 'it hurts'.  Needless to say, both Levi and I left the office in tears.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Books & Stuff

Georgia has just finished reading her biggest book yet.  550 pages!  Wow!  I don't think I read anything that big until high school or maybe even after high school.  I thought it was funny that as she announced her finishing, that she thought she deserved a treat for a job well done.  So I asked what kind of treat she wanted.  Of course, her answer was, Froyo...Frozen Yogurt is one of her favorites (most likely because she gets to choose from all the fun toppings).  I was happy to oblige on this special occasion, but Daddy had one more requirement, which was to give us a synopsis of the book.  I thought this was fitting (because honestly we were wondering if she was actually reading it), so she proceeded to tell us all about the story for the next 30min.  I was quite impressed.  Curtis asked her questions, and she answered everything.  It was great.  So off they went to get Froyo, and now she is on to reading Harry Potter 3.  


Levi and I had a fantastic exchange a couple weeks ago.  This boy, never ceases to amaze me.  We are on our way to school, when I hear him opening his back pack and then his lunch box.  I knew exactly what he was going for (sliced hotdogs, his favorite).  I put my open hand back and asked for the Hot Dogs and told him that he could eat something else, but he needed to save those for lunch.

He then pulled out the IPAD from his backpack.

He pushed the buttons "I want a snack, I want hot dogs."
"I know you want the hotdogs, but we need to save them for lunch.  You can have chips, fruit, cucumber, bread..."
He pushed, "No, I want a snack, I want hot dogs."
(Wow, are we seriously having this conversation?  Yes, we are :)

I gave him a couple and then gave him the bag of chips, because, I was just blown away.  But here is the thing that makes it even more incredible.  He has to navigate through 3 pages to make those sentences.  He has to exit out to get to the front page to say "No" and then navigate back in to tell me he wants hot dogs.  I'm telling ya, that boy is awesome.


I just finished reading one of Dr. Laura's great books, Stupid Things Parents do to Mess up Their Kids.  I have to say that after reading it, I was feel pretty good that we are not totally messing up our kids.  However, she made some good points that I felt I could really do better on.

One such point was ignoring bad behavior.  Now coming from a behaviorist stand point...and all the training I have received with Levi, there are times when ignoring behaviors works.  But there have been some behaviors that we have ignored for years, that just aren't going away.  Her stance to not ignore these bad behaviors, reminded me that there are definitely times when bad behavior requires discipline.  If they don't know it is bad, they are just going to keep doing it.  And if they know it is bad, but we ignore it, they often just continue with it because we don't set any boundaries.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Chicken Tikka Masala

I have tried to make Chicken Tikka Masala several times over the years, and have never been able to get it quite right...until tonight!

I know, I know I get excited about the silliest things...but seriously, when I find a dish that tastes good and everyone likes it???  Well, now, I have to shout it from the rooftops :)

When I asked Georgia what she thought, she said, 
"It doesn't taste too bad"....translation: Hey, that's pretty good :)

Here is the link to the recipe.  It is fast and easy.  I made a few changes below for our dietary requirements.  Enjoy!

Chicken Tikka Masala Recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons butter (I used coconut oil)
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces (I used left over rotisserie chicken from costco...cause, it's easy and delicious)
1/2 medium onion, chopped (approx. 1 cup)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon chopped fresh ginger (I used a 1/4 tsp ginger powder since I didn't have fresh)
1 serrano chile, cored and finely chopped, or more if you like it very spicy (I used half, cause let's face it...if something isn't bland, Georgia says it is too spicy.  It was enough to add flavor, but not so much that she complained.  Yea!)
1 (15 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, drained
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce (I used a 15oz can)
2 teaspoons garam masala (I use Frontier Brand)
1 teaspoon curry powder (I used Trader Joes Brand)
1/2 cup heavy cream (I used 1 cup Trader Joes Heavy Coconut Cream)
Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped (approx. 1/4 cup), for garnish
In large nonstick skillet, heat the oil and butter together over medium-high heat until the batter is melted. Add the chicken, onion, garlic, ginger and serrano chile. Saute until the chicken is mostly cooked and the onion is translucent, about 7 minutes.
Stir in the tomatoes, tomato sauce, garam masala, and curry powder. Reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the cream and heat for another 5 minutes. Garnish with the cilantro and serve.

Coconut Rice Recipe

2 tablespoons coconut oil or other vegetable oil (I used olive oil)
2 cups long-grain white rice
3 cups water
1 cup canned light coconut milk (I used the rest of the can of heavy coconut cream)
Fine sea salt (I added the salt with the water...about 1/2 tsp)                               Freshly ground black pepper (I left this out)                                                                               ½ cup coconut flakes, toasted (I didn't add this...but I'm sure it is delicious)
In a large skillet with a lid, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the rice and sauté until it becomes opaque, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the water and coconut milk and bring to a low boil. Cover and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff with a fork and season to taste with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the coconut flakes over the top and serve.
Serves 4. (I would say this could probably feed 6...especially if you have a salad or other side dish.)

Friday, September 25, 2015

Washing Clothes

Since Georgia's little stunt of the clean clothes in the dirty laundry basket (which has happened many times in the past, but warnings seemed to not be enough to stop it), I have been teaching her how to wash her own clothes.

This morning, she had a finished load in the dryer to be folded and a load in the wash to transfer to the dryer.  I asked her to fold her clothes and put them away and move her clothes over, and start the dryer.  This way I could start on the rest of the laundry for the weekend.

After a couple hours, I asked her if she could check to see if her clothes were dry.  She informed me that she didn't turn on the dryer because she couldn't remember how to work it.  "No problem, lets go take a look" I said.

We go out to the garage, and there is a pile of clean clothes on the floor (they had been apart of her previous load, in order to fill it up, but they didn't belong to Georgia).

"Are those clean clothes on the floor?!"  I asked.  
"I didn't know what to do with them, they aren't mine."  Georgia said.
"Do you think leaving clean clothes on a dirty floor is a good idea?"
"I didn't know where to put them" she said.
"Okay, well, if ever there are clothes in the load that don't belong to you, put them in a basket on the couch.  For now, you can pick them up, fold them and put them away."

She didn't put up a fight, I think she realized it wasn't a good idea to just leave them there on the floor.  Afterward I just said, "I hope next time you are more considerate and don't leave clean clothes on the dirty floor."

(Am I crazy in thinking that it just seems like common sense to not leave clean clothes on the dirty garage floor?  Perhaps I was the same way at her age.  Oh good grief...I need more patience.)

I have like 5 posts in the works...but this I just had to post right now.

This article reminds me of a quote by Margaret D. Nadauld (you can just substitute the word 'women' for 'people') : “The world has enough women who are tough; we need women who are tender. There are enough women who are coarse; we need women who are kind. There are enough women who are rude; we need women who are refined. We have enough women of fame and fortune; we need more women of faith. We have enough greed; we need more goodness. We have enough vanity; we need more virtue. We have enough popularity; we need more purity.”

Here is what I have to say:
Let's try to be more understanding of people and the struggles they have. 

Offering a helping hand teaches us far more than a pointing finger.