This is going to bite me in the hiney…

April 30, 2010

I just know it. I know it will. So, I’ve recently been struck with the notion to cast on lots of knitted girly things. I’ve been resisting the urge…until now. I’m casting on a little knit dress. I am actually finishing up a pair of girlie booties. I would like to make a little skirty as well. I just have this feeling that I’m going to do all this girl knitting and sewing and well…you know.

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blocked salivary gland

April 27, 2010

So Saturday we went to a redneck convention (antique lawn tractor and steam engine show) and ate expensive crappy food, including, for me, a hot dog with sauerkraut. I took one bite and noticed a really odd sensation under my right ear. You know that weird twinge you get under your ear when you eat something really sour? That was it, but I didn’t think the kraut was that sour. This went on all through lunch, with every bite, it grew worse and felt odder. I also noticed the right side of my face swelling up. Weird.

We came home and as it was raining and generally a blah day, everyone took a nap. I tossed and turned. When we woke up the swelling had gone down and we went for ice cream and to wander around Hobby Lobby. After eating a delicious cone of Brusters Mint Oreo I noticed that odd twinge again and my face swelling again. So weird.

Anywho, to make a long story short, after some digging on the internet I figured out I had a blocked or infected salivary gland. Oh joy. I did as described on a few sites and put a warm compress on it to help the swelling. By Sunday I couldn’t take the pain and swelling anymore. Every time I ate it was a nightmare so I went to the walk in clinic. I was told it was a blockage and given the oddest course of treatment. The doctor said to eat sour candy and this would produce massive amounts of saliva and dislodge the stone or “sludge”.  Sludge being the proper medical term I believe. Eww.

So on the way home I downed half a box of Sour Patch Kids, a handful of Lemonheads, and a few Sour Skittles. Upon reaching home my face was swollen to goiter like proportions, my tongue was thoroughly blistered, burned, and I’m convinced pickled. But alas, it didn’t work. So the next morning I did a wee bit more research and read that some folks had success chewing gum.  Whilst chewing said gum I felt my face swelling up and then all of a sudden a burst of saliva. I drooled like a bull mastiff for several hours and low and behold the gum worked. I am still a little puffy and soar just from all the up and down of the swelling and my tongue is still suffering the war waged on it by the sour candy, but I can now eat without wanting to cry. Hooray for Trident Layers Green Apple Pineapple Gum. Hooray for properly functioning salivary glands. Booo for sour candy. Man what a weird weekend.


Conquering Fears (pics of a blood draw)

April 21, 2010

As some of you know, I am studying (albeit at a snails pace) to be a midwife. This is something that I am taking my time at because our family comes first and we are still growing as a family. Midwifery is a call that I will take once our family is done growing and well established. Anywho…

This evening my midwife/best friend came over to draw labs on me to check my antibodies. To make a long story short, we didn’t do it. I have minuscule tiny non-existent veins. When they say someone has tiny spaghetti veins…meh, I have angel hair pasta in my arms. So we discussed the risks and whether or not it was a problem last time, if Travis was negative, etc. and came up with another course of action.

Well, we still had the needle and everything there unused and ready to go so she asked if I wanted to do a blood draw on her. This is something I am going to have to learn to do to be a midwife, it goes with the territory. I told her no way, and then proceeded to ask questions about how you do it. We talked about it and she walked me through all the steps:  putting on the tourniquet, feeling for a vein, how to put the tube on, etc.  right up to the actual “poke” and I said no thanks and chickened out. Later, after Finny went to bed I did it. I just did it, I didn’t try and over think it. I missed the vein on the first poke by a fraction, but got it on my second poke. She was very impressed and said I did a great job, she said she didn’t feel the pokes and that I did such a nice job she wouldn’t have any bruising at all. I did go through the vein when I got it so it was a slow fill, but other than that I did great.

It was so much easier than I thought it would be. Really it’s all a mental, “oh my gosh I’m stabbing someone” hurtle. I was so scared that I was going to hurt her or that I would feel some resistance and then a pop or something when I put the needle in, but there was nothing. It really is quite like slicing through butter. The needles are so sharp for that reason. I can’t tell you how proud I am. This was a HUGE hurtle for me, and may have even lessened my anxiety over having my own blood drawn. I can’t wait to do it again. Next time she said I could do her other arm which is a little harder to find a vein. Honestly, I think that’s the hardest part is just finding the vein with your finger.

Anyway, this was a huge accomplishment for me and I thought I would share. On to the pics!

Getting ready! (oops, forgot my gloves)

And whalla! I did it!


Little Boys

April 16, 2010

I am loving being a mom to a little boy. Little boys are different from little girls in many tiny ways that I can’t even begin to explain. Each are wonderful in their own way. When I was pregnant with Finn, and starting to seriously suspect he was a boy, I wasn’t entirely sure what I was going to do with a boy. I didn’t need to worry, he’s teaching me all about how much fun little boy’s can be. Just as much fun as little girls.

Love that little face

Playing outside in the sunshine

This little guy loves to play in the water

"Gosh mom, there sure are a lot of weeds to water."


The great cupcake caper

April 14, 2010

For a dear friend’s birthday party I got it into my head that I needed to make cupcakes. Ok, maybe it was the pregnancy hormones talking and I just really wanted cupcakes, but either way, I was listening. I decided on lemon cupcakes, something sweet, and springy, and not too heavy. After a half hour on the internet and being bombarded with cupcake recipe after cupcake recipe I decided on this recipe for the actual cupcakes. (I hate boxed cake mixes) It turned out beautifully! Moist and squishy without being too dense. Just perfect, light and lemony without being cloying. For the icing I used this recipe as a jumping off point, but ended up improvising quite a bit. For instance I used a couple of teaspoons of homemade lemon syrup in it, as well as the juice of one lemon and didn’t really follow the exact measurements for the butter (I added more!) and confectioner’s sugar. I always eyeball the sugar and then let it whip in the stand mixer for a good 10 minutes so it’s extra light and airy.

Of course, as with most projects in my kitchen, this did not go off without a hitch. Upon returning from my second trip to the store for just “one more ingredient”, I opened my cupboard only to find that I had about 10 cupcake liners  left. Figures. So after a quick google I found a tutorial on how to make your own and I will never buy cupcake liners again! I will show you how later…

Also, I decided to try making my own candied lemon peel to add to the tops of the cupcakes. Unfortunately that didn’t turn out so well. I didn’t get enough of the rind off, and so my peel was a little on the bitter side, other than that the recipe was really easy. The good news is that I now have 2 cups of amazing, all natural lemon syrup, as the byproduct, sitting in my fridge (with nary a drop of the evil HFCS in it!) and about three cups of sliced lemons just waiting to be made into lemonade this afternoon. The syrup is excellent! Great for adding to tea for a sore throat, or to put a couple of teaspoons in my icing, or add to anything you’d like a bit of lemon zip too.

In the end though, I had some amazing cupcakes on my hand and was seriously considering ditching the birthday party and driving to someplace deserted where I could eat 30 cupcakes all by myself. I didn’t though, and the cupcakes were met with rave revues. I will definitely be making these again!

And now for a quick tutorial on how to make your own muffin liners. By the way, I noticed, as well as a few of the party goers that these peel off your cupcakes much nicer than the store bought ones.

You will need:

1/4 cup measuring cup

parchment paper

pencil

cup or other cylinder measuring 4.5″ across

smaller round object that will fit snuggly in 1/4 cup measuring cup

You want to stack several sheets of parchment paper on top of each other and then trace as many circles as you can fit, using the 4.5″ cup. Like so…

It works best to stack a few together so you aren’t cutting out a million circles one at a time.

Next you stack all your circles together neatly. A note: the more you do at a time, the nicer your pleats are. Then you wrap them around (as neatly as possible) whatever object you have to push into your measuring cup. I had a bottle of vitamin E that worked perfectly.

Finally you push it all down into your 1/4 cup measuring cup, it should be a very snug fit, the snugger the better. Once it’s down in there, give it a good “smoosh” and leave it for a few minutes.

Ta-da! Never pay for store bought muffin liners again!


Pee Pee in the potty

April 9, 2010

Yes, that is our brand new potty chair. Why yes, there is pee pee in it. Of course, we are unbelievably proud. And yes, I really did put a picture of it on the internet.


A wee pet peeve

April 7, 2010

I know many people won’t see the harm in this, but it’s one of those things that drives me crazy. We don’t dress our son in anything with licensed characters on it. No Disney, no Diago, no Transformers, or Marvel comic book heroes. My child is a child, not a billboard. He doesn’t even know who most all of these characters are. What frustrates me is that this has been slid into main stream culture so seductively that most people don’t even realize it. We are so used to seeing branded clothing on kids that most folks don’t bat an eyelash. Well, we bat. Yes, it’s harder to find clothes sometimes, especially kids sneakers, but this is a choice we have made and we intend to stand by it.

Of course, it’s only worse when they hit the teen years. Then it’s not cartoon characters, it’s brands. Abercrombie & Fitch (gag), Aeropostale, American Eagle. You can go buy overpriced clothes, just so they have that little logo on them. Instant popularity! Grrrr.