Saturday, February 28, 2009

A Stomach Flu Primer

Rule #1: When you are a Mom, never, never, never throw up into your own car. Ask me how I know this.... It will be awhile before the smell is completely gone (sigh).

Rule #2: Always keep a trash can near the potty. You WILL need it!

Rule #3: Keep a few gallons of Gator-Ade in the house just in case. Once you can keep it down for more than 20 minutes, it will help you to feel much better...

Rule #4: If you are going to share your viral good fortune, try to spread it around so that you never have more people vomiting with diarrhea than you have bathrooms at one time.

Rule #5: Remember that you are a Mommy first and a teacher second. Don't feel guilty that you have to take all but one day off a week in order to deal with sick kiddos. Well, try not to anyway.

Rule #6: Be eternally grateful that when hubby gets sick that he can be left alone at home to recuperate without your presence.

Rule #7: Remember that viruses don't respond to antibiotics, so don't go running to the doctor's office. If you can keep everyone hydrated (if you don't know how to tell, check the internet or ask a doctor or nurse) then it will pass in time.

Rule #8: Be glad you married a fabulous chemist who just happened to have industrial carpet spot remover in his truck. Now that is love! Be glad that he is willing to share the scrub up duties.

Rule #9: Disinfect everything in the house, hard surfaces, etc. Use 1 Tablespoon bleach in every dishwasher load or sinkful of dishes washed. I wouldn't use it with every load, but I do when I want to kill germs on glassware and dishes that sick folks have used. Wash clothes in hot water during this time.

Rule #10: Remind kiddos to wash hands after going to the potty or eating. Make sure they have loads of hand sanitizer around in classrooms, bathrooms, etc. to use additionally or if washing is not convenient.

A Late Post: DS is 11!!!

Due to a nasty, nasty (did I mention NASTY?) bout of stomach flu, I have failed to post anything. But, on February 23rd, my baby boy turned 11. Wow!

He has had a scaled down birthday so far due to the illness, but we are finally getting back into the swing of things and the celebration will continue...

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Never a dull moment...

I survived the root canal, and although my mouth is rather tender, I am fine. The dentist I saw was really wonderful and kind and that helped an awful lot!

Of course, this morning, while I am still under the influence of major pain killers, DS10 runs in screaming that our cat is dying. Have I mentioned that he is inclined toward fits of melodrama??? The cat was, indeed, very sick and needed to go to the vet. I was unable to drive anywhere, so I had to call Granny to the rescue!

Of course, throughout the ordeal, I am seriously dunder-headed and DS1o is concerned that he is going to die of rabies because the cat scratched him and was drooling a lot. Does the fun never end?

This was doubly traumatic due to the fact that our beloved cat, Diana, died less than a week ago. So, off we go to the vet where we learn that our little kitty has rambunctiously bitten a light cord and burned the crud out of the inside of her little, tender mouth! Ugh!

Of course this wound was infected and she was running a massive fever. She got a shot of antibiotics and we will be giving her medicine by mouth for a week. We also now own our very own large animal syringe (sans needles) so that I can drizzle gatorade down her throat so she won't get dehydrated (since that is the biggest risk to her right now).

At least she will be okay (we hope and pray). Glad we are on vacation this week!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Tomorrow is the day...

Tomorrow, I go to see the dentist to do my root canal. I sure hope that I like this new dentist (my regular dentist no longer does root canals). I am sure he wouldn't recommend someone who wasn't fabulous, but I am not crazy about dental procedures anyway.

It will be interesting, especially paying for it since I have no dental insurance. Not frugal at all, huh? But, I will make the best of it as I can. Maybe I can get some good painkillers.... Then I might not care so much!

Another frugal remedy...

With the seasons changing in the deep South, we have highly variable weather which can reek havoc on my poor sinuses. I use a nasal irrigation system to clear out the excess mucous, etc. to try and ward off sinus infections and just keep myself feeling comfortable. And that is frugal in itsself to keep from needing more prescriptions.

However, sometimes that isn't enough. So, on those nights, I resort to the ever present (in our home, anyway) rice sock. It is exactly what it sounds like, a sock filled with uncooked white rice and tied with a tight knot in the top. It's a perfect use for those tacky old socks from the 80s--hehehe. As a matter of fact, there is a rice sock made from a fuschia and burgundy argyle from my high school years around here. It's cheerful and I won't mind if it eventually goes to the great sock heaven in the sky.

Basically, I take a rice sock, place it dry in the microwave for one and a half minutes and then take it with me to bed. Once all snuggled into the bed, I place it over my forehead, directly over the sinuses and rest. The heat is so soothing and it helps to force my painful sinuses to drain and relieve the pressure.

Rice socks are also wonderful for strained muscles and lower back pain.

My kids use them as bed warmers by their feet in the winter so they aren't getting into a cold bed.

Many years ago, my friend Bev gave us a rice sock with a cute little flannel cover to keep it clean. She also put bits of cloves and cinnamon sticks in the rice, so it smells good when heated. We used that one to death! Mine aren't nearly as sophisticated or pretty, but they are so functional!

Warning: if you singe the rice by leaving it in the microwave for too long, it will pick up a bizarre, burnt popcorn smell. At that point--start over with another sock without a mate.

These make great gifts if you are crafty. I have seen wonderful plans on the internet, including some that look like red hot water bottles. Very cute. Place in basket with a "get well soon" theme with some homemade soup, tissues, and a good book to read while recuperating.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Physical Therapy Continues

I continue to be really thrilled with the level of care that we are receiving at Progressive Sports Therapy in McDonough, GA. DS12 is very comfortable there and works hard to please his therapist who praises him lavishly. It's wonderful how the therapist works to make sure that he is both physically and emotionally safe there.

I wouldn't hesitate to recommend this facility at all.

Happy Valentine's Day!!!

The holiday has been pretty low-key around here. We've been showering lots of extra love on our remaining kitty, Delilah, and she is loving all of the extra attention.

But, she still goes to Diana's favorite nap spots and looks for her and cries. Last night, she took Diana's spot on the bottom of our bed, but cried before she went to sleep. Today, she seems a bit better. So sad.

Hubby gave me a movie on dvd that I have wanted to see for some time. We're about to watch that one tonight. He then took the boys out for a special day with Daddy. They had lunch together and went to see a movie (Mall Cop). The boys were so excited and so was I! I got to read for awhile, do a little around the house, take a nap, and enjoy the quiet for awhile, knowing that the boys were having a great time. Love that!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Farewell Dear Friend

Tragedy has struck our humble home. Last night, our kitty, Diana, died suddenly. She literally went from happily playing to falling over onto hubby's lap. We can only assume that it was a kitty heart attack. The boys are devastated. We're all grieving in our own way, but our other kitten, Delilah, seems to be taking it worst of all. She is more clingy and needy than I have ever seen her.

I am sure that she is grieving.

We will all miss Diana, our wonderful, friendly, lovable mouser.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Culture, Field Trips, and Such

Last Thursday evenings, I took a group of about 17 kids and 6 adults into Atlanta to the New American Shakespeare Tavern to see a production of Romeo and Juliet. The average age of these kids were a tad younger than I had taken out into the "real world" before, so I was curious to see what they enjoyed, would they come back, etc.

Well the trip, and the play was a hit! The kids and adults all had a wonderful time (although it had us adults up a tad past our bedtime). The only glitches in the evening were the typical immature kids kind of things (cell phones, giggling and talking, etc.). Not too bad at all.

For a night in Atlanta, the prices weren't bad for an occasional treat, either. With the educator discount, all parties were able to get really good seats for less than $15 each. Considering that the Fox Theater is around 2 blocks north and you can't get even lousy seats there for less than $30 or so, I felt pretty good about it all. Plus, we teach Romeo and Juliet, it directly will impact the education of these kids to see a live performance.

Actually, I have been going to the Tavern since it opened in 1991 and I have never left feeling like I had wasted money or not enjoyed the production. They are an awesome theater company, even in the non-Shakespearean shows that I have seen performed there.

I can't say that about every outing into Atlanta or to a play. I have spent more money for less entertainment at other venues.

Okay, theater is generally not considered frugal entertainment, but a full price movie ticket in my town is around $9! Very few movies are of a caliber as a Shakespearean play, I might add. There is nothing so sad as a world without any real culture, where all is car chases, gun battles, and scantily clad girls--a world flooded with cheap testosterone.

Sure Shakespeare had his naughty moments, but folks had clothes on, they generally ended in marraige (and/or death with Romeo and Juliet) but the audience had to THINK about what was funny, what was naughty, what was worthy. I am willing to return to that world--car chases be, well, ...uh... darned!!!

A ticket to the Shakespeare Tavern in Atlanta is clearly worth far more than it costs! I consider it a frugal entertainment in that it entertains and informs and sometimes edifies, rather than merely tittilates. After all, I am an educated lady, not a hormonal child!

A Touch of Spring

After a week of feeling half frozen, we had a lovely, almost really warm day today. It was lovely.

We could walk about in short sleeves during the heat of the day, no bulky coats to drag out. Birds were singing and the squirrels were scurrying from tree to tree giving quite an aerial show.

I was able to hang out three loads of towels and sheets in my limited solar drying set up. Ahhh.

Life is good.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Physical Therapy part I

Today was DS12's first day at physical therapy. We had to leave home earlier than earlier and that made everything a bit harried. I was driving somewhere unfamiliar, so that didn't help much either.

And 10 minutes before we arrived, we got a cell phone call that the PT called in sick. We went by to fill in paperwork anyway and it turned out that another PT agreed to see him since we had driven in already.

This lady was phenomenal! Not everyone works well with an Aspie, but she really brought out the very best in him. He worked harder for her than I have ever seen him work before. I was impressed and I made sure that I told them so!

I have really been pleased so far and DS12 is excited to do his exercises and thinks they are fun. Go figure. We went tonight and bought his two physio balls. You would have thought he got a wheelbarrow full of candy for all of the excitement.

So far so good.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A new breakfast idea...

Well, okay, it's new to me, but judging from all of the references to it online, I suspect that everyone knew about it but me!

In an effort to eat a tad healthier (and to avoid paying for chicken biscuits at the school every morning), I have modified a "scrambled egg in muffin tin" recipe that I found and turned it into a healthy mini-quiche to be reheated in the morning.

I chopped up veggies (your preference, but I had onion, garlic, and broccoli) and filled my greased (with olive oil) muffin tins half way with the veggie mixture. I poured generic brand egg substitute over the top of each compartment until it came just under the top. I am sure that regular eggs would work well here, too. I used most of a container that said it was the equivalent of 15 eggs, so I am guessing that roughly 1 egg per tin would be about right. Then I sprinkled each with kosher salt and pepper.

I put them in a pre-heated 350 degree oven. I checked them in 15 minutes, but like my eggs firm, so I put them in for 5 minutes more. I sprinkled about 1 tablespoon (maybe less) of sharp cheddar to melt on the top. After they cool, I will remove them from the pan and bag and freeze.

I can't wait to try one (or two) in the morning with a cup of coffee! Love it when I can do things in advance that will make my mornings easier. I'll let you know how they taste and if they keep me from starving by 10 am!