Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Seen and Heard


I took the boys to lunch at McDonald's today since we were out and they've both been doing so well with school. As we stood at the counter and waited and waited and waited for our order to be ready, I noticed something strange on the menu: a single cheeseburger is $0.99; a double cheeseburger is $1.00. What? The extra meat patty and slice of cheese cost just $0.01?


Jacob: "I haven't seen George Washington yet!"
Caleb: "Well, he died before Mom was born."
Just how old do they think I am?

Jacob: "When we go to heaven, will we take our stuff?"
Me: "No, we'll have all new 'stuff' in heaven."
Jacob, sobbing: "I don't want to go to heaven. I want my toys!"

Jacob: "Mom, can we take our van to heaven?"
Me: "No, we won't need it. There won't be any cars there."
Caleb: "What about NASCAR?!?"

Later today...
Jacob, whining: "I want to take Snoopy to heaven with me."
Me: "Well, the man who made Snoopy is there."
Jacob: "But I want my Snoopy!"

Jacob: "Can we take our jammies to heaven?"

A Steel Trap

It amazes me how Caleb is able to retain trivial information (and endless NASCAR stats). While we were at the library today, he reminded me he wanted to check out Scholastic Book of World Records 2007 again. It's been a few months since he last had it, and he pored over every page. The only one I could find on the shelf this time was the 2002 edition, but he wanted it anyway.

As he was reading it on the way home, he remarked, "I wonder how that happened!" When I asked him what he was talking about, he said that in the 2007 book, the Nile River was the longest; in the 2002 book, the Amazon River was the longest. (Or maybe vice versa. I can't remember things quite the way Caleb can!) He proceeded to announce that he wanted to check all the other years for that book so he can find out when it changed and maybe how.

He blows my mind sometimes.

Monday, August 27, 2007

First Day of School

After a few delays, and a much bigger break than I had intended to take, we're officially back to school again. We didn't finish everything last year and, because of our busy summer schedule, we didn't get the chance to pick back up again until now. I had hoped to have a more year-round school year, but we ended up taking a full 3 months off instead.

Caleb woke up early today, shortly after 7:15. He might have been excited, but he wouldn't admit to it. I woke Jacob up shortly after 7:30 and had the boys get dressed for the day and eat breakfast. I wouldn't let them get on the computer until after we had finished with school, which they hated. That's one of the new rules.

As I was getting Caleb's books ready, he told me he wanted to do his math first. That's his favorite subject. He jumped right in, picking up where we left off with very little trouble. He was a little rusty on adding two-digit numbers, but after I worked with him on one or two, he got right to it.

I had planned on history (his least favorite subject) for Mondays and Tuesdays, but Caleb wanted science on those days. He wanted to do plant science again, but I told him we had completed that unit. He has the opportunity to participate in a science fair sponsored by our homeschool association for grades K-8, so he decided to do a project on plant science for that. We reviewed our journal entries from our experiments so we could come up with some ideas. Since he really wants to plant some more seeds, and the ones we planted in small cups this spring quit growing because they ran out of room, we decided to make that the focus of the project. This weekend we'll get seeds, good-quality potting soil, and 5 different sized pots so we can start our project next Monday.

After we planned that out, we got back to our human body science. Today and tomorrow we're studying bones. We actually have a library book called Dem Bones: "The toe bone's connected to the foot bone. The foot bone's connected to the ankle bone..." Next week we'll study muscles. Then we'll move on to the nervous system, the circulatory system, and the respiratory system. Finally we'll be able to get to this year's study on earth and space sciences.

Following a quick snack break, we worked on spelling, English, and writing. Part of our spelling this fall will be working on the 2nd grade spelling bee word list. Caleb participated last year and did really well, especially considering we didn't start working on the word list until only 2 weeks prior to the bee. In English, he learning about the different types of sentences. He's having a lot of fun with that. This year I need to increase the amount of writing he does. I need to be sure he does some copywork each day and gradually work in some writing of the narratives after his science and history lessons.

I also need to get him started early on reviewing his AWANA verses for this year. It starts in two weeks, but since I know the first few verses he'll need to know for this year, he may as well get started. I have also thought of two visitors he can take with him this year, so he'll get that part of the green jewel requirement met. We've struggled with that the last two years.

I set aside 30 minutes this afternoon for him to complete the second side of his math worksheet, then do some silent reading. When his time was up, he said he wanted to read some more, but that only lasted about 5 minutes before he was back to playing with his Hot Wheels.

While Caleb was working on his copywork, I started working with Jacob on learning to read. I'm using a phonics program, Teach Your Child to Read in 100 Easy Lessons by Seigfried Engelmann. I used that with Caleb and he was reading Dr. Seuss books after only 3 months. Jacob did really well with his first lesson today. He surprised me by already knowing the 's' sound without me telling him first. Thankfully the lessons are short - only about 10 minutes each right now. I had trouble keeping him still long enough to complete the first lesson. Maybe he'll adjust as the lessons get longer later on.

I wonder what tomorrow will be like!

Monday, August 20, 2007

Monday Memories: Packing

This time last year, I was too busy to blog much. We had found a house to rent and were getting ready to move into it the first weekend of September. I only blogged once last August. In it I answered a meme, wrote about first grade preparations, and shared the latest in my Pampered Chef business. You can read that post here.

What's Cooking?

Tonight: Tuscan Chicken over Angel Hair Pasta, Garlic Bread
Tuesday: Mushrooms in Garlic Butter Sauce over Angel Hair Pasta, Garlic Bread, Salad
Wednesday: Hot Ham & Cheese Sandwiches, Sweet Potato Fries
Thursday: Garden Veggie Pizza (on that delicious homemade pizza crust I tried last week!)
Friday: fast food
Saturday: leftover pizza
Sunday: Family Fiesta at church - catered by El Fenix, dramatic presentation by Reg Grant (DTS professor), dessert auction

Speaking of Mexican food...

I really miss Trejo's back home. We like El Fenix really well. We've tried two other Mexican restaurants lately, too. Martinez' Mexican Restaurant is good but not great. Enchilada's was good the first time we ate there; we were less than impressed the second time and probably won't go back. I've heard Chuy's is really good, but I haven't been there yet.

But no place is like Trejo's. I really want to go back there again sometime.

Checking my List

I had a few days last week to do some things on my own while the boys stayed with my parents. I actually made a list because last time they were gone, I forgot half of what I wanted to do and ended up missing out. Let's see how I did...

1. I did browse the shops at Tanger Outlet Mall on my way back home, but I didn't find anything. I did get my "Blueberry Chocolates", and they're really good. I think the manufacturer needs to change the description on the back of the package, though. It reads "a huge, tart blueberry..." It's actually a tiny dried blueberry dipped in creamy milk chocolate, then covered with a smooth blueberry-flavored confection. Billy doesn't like blueberries much and, after I read the description on the package, said he wouldn't try it just because of the language. It sounds like something from the J. Peterman catalog (of Seinfeld fame).

2. I waited until Saturday to go to the Rock Barrell. I've been trying to get Mama there for quite some time, and this weekend I finally did. Her eyes lit up when she walked through the door - all the rocks and minerals and fossils. That's just her thing. Melissa and Lindsay went, too. I'm not sure what they were expecting, but they were pleasantly surprised. The three of us bought beads for making necklaces. I helped them make theirs Saturday night, then spent a good part of Sunday afternoon making a necklace, a watchband, and a bracelet for myself in black, turquoise, and silver. Once I finish up with them, I'll post a picture. (I also found a turquoise and brown donut to use when I remake a necklace Aunt Sue gave me. That's my next project.)

3. No golf. No time. Too hot.

4. I loved the gellato from Paciugo at NorthPark Center. After tasting Rose, which was light but a little too sweet, I chose Butter Pecan, Turtle Cheesecake, and Chocolate Chocolate Chip. Great combination! I think I liked the Chocolate Chocolate Chip best. The lady I had given the Pampered Chef catalog to wasn't there, but there were about a million other people milling around. I kept wondering why in the world there were so many people in the mall, then I saw a sign declaring the tax-free weekend. I don't like crowds and didn't want to feel like a salmon swimming upstream, so I left.

5. There aren't nearly as many antique stores in Forney as I thought there would be. There used to be a long row of them right off Hwy. 80, but as I drove past on my way home from dropping off the boys, I only saw 2 or 3. I didn't feel like stopping then, and I never made it to the one I visited about a year ago.

6. I didn't get around to working in my closet. Maybe tomorrow...

7. I didn't scrapbook, either. I figured that would be something to do after I worked in my closet and found all my stuff.

8. On Friday, Billy took me to lunch at Fadi's. It was just as good as ever! We both got a salad with marinated mushrooms, spinach, and dried cranberries and a serving of their delicious roasted cauliflower. I ate most of my whole wheat pita with some of Billy's hummus. I drank a glass of strawberry juice with my meal. It was really good! I tasted Billy's Magic Drink (with 12 fruits and vegetables in it), and it was really good, too. It had a distinctive flavor that I'm still having trouble identifying.

9. I browsed a few stores, but I didn't buy anything. I was looking for a pair of sandals or cute brown flip flops since the sandals I've been wearing for years are finally tearing up. I saw the same cute pair at a couple of different stores, but I didn't buy them. Maybe I'll go back after payday and see if they've been marked down any.

10. I spent my Barnes & Noble gift card, but I got Red River at Half-Price Books (for half price) and was able to get a different book with my gift card. Our local Barnes & Noble is small and goes by the name of Bookstop. Its parking lot is closed off because of road construction, so you have to go around the long way to get there. As I pulled up to one of many front-row parking spaces, I saw signs in the windows announcing their "Final Closing Sale". Everything was 20% off, with some items marked at 30% off. I found two books for the boys in addition to Build it Big for myself (business-related reading).

11. I didn't wander leisurely through the library. Instead I drove up and stuck my almost-due movies in through the book drop on the side of the building. I never even got around to watching my two movies.

12. Friday morning I was all set to stroll through the Arboretum. I was dressed comfortably, had my camera ready, and was going to be there shortly after it opened for the day. As I backed out of my driveway, raindrops started falling on my windshield. As I drove around the block, the rain started falling harder, so I went back home. I checked the radar and it didn't show anything in the area of the Arboretum, but you never can tell when something's going to pop up, and I didn't want to pay my admission and get rained out. I'll try again another day.

13. I didn't open any school books. I'll get to that this week since we'll be starting school Monday. Yes, I put it off another week. This week is full of various appointments and meetings.

Three fun things I did that weren't on my list:
1. Lunch at Panera Bread on Thursday. I took my book (What's so Amazing About Grace? by Philip Yancey) and read while I waited for my Portobello & Mozzarella Panini and my Cheddar Broccoli Soup and French Bread to be brought to my table. I enjoyed every last bit! I love Panera!

2. Supper at Romano's Macaroni Grill on Thursday. Billy and I went up to Plano for that since the one a few miles from here closed down. I ate Chicken Toscana Soup and Chicken Canneloni. Both were excellent. Billy's Creamy Tomato Basil Soup with Tortellini was really good, too. (That coming from someone who doesn't like tomato soup!)

3. After supper, we walked through Whole Foods Market, a mostly-organic grocery store. It was fun seeing all the cheeses, olives, granolas, dried fruits and lentils and beans, etc. I was hoping to glimpse Lisa Whelchel (Blaire, The Facts of Life) while I was there, but I didn't. (I've heard she shops there. I met her at a local Lifeway book-signing event she did a year or so ago. Shortly after that I learned she lives in Plano.)

All this has made me tired, and it's late, so I think I'll head off to bed...

Good night!

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


I went to the dentist today for cleaning and x-rays. The good news is that my broken tooth is the only problem I have. Everything else looks great. The hygienist even commented on how clean my teeth are, especially for someone who hasn't been to the dentist in 4 years.

The bad news is my broken tooth. It broke "deep", as the dentist put it. I'll be going back in 3 weeks to get some work done on it. He said there's a 50/50 chance I'll end up having to get a root canal done because of how deep the break is. He said it's hard to see on the x-rays and that he won't know for sure until he's working on it. If I do end up needing a root canal, I'll have to go back two more times after that - once to get my tooth built up and once to get a crown. Somehow I don't think I'll feel like a princess.

Please pray really hard that I won't have to undergo a root canal!

Apparently I had a cavity there. IF I had gone to the dentist regularly like a good little girl, I wouldn't be facing this problem now. It would have been detected and taken care of earlier. I scheduled a 6-month cleaning for February. Now I need to call the boys' dentist and get them scheduled; it's been a little over a year since they last went. Unfortunately, I can't remember the name of their dentist or the pediatric clinic where I took them, but I do know where it's located. I'll probably go by there one day this week and get all that taken care of. I bet they sent a reminder card, but since we moved almost a year ago, it probably didn't get forwarded.

Move Over, Martha White

I love making pizza. For the longest time, I used the Pillsbury crust in the can. I never really liked it that well, but it was better than the Chef Boyardee brand.

Then I discovered Martha White's Pizza Crust Mix. All you have to do is add hot water, stir until it's mixed well, brush it with oil, and let it set for 5 minutes. It tastes really good and is inexpensive. Wal-Mart has a Great Value brand on the shelf next to it for even less, but I never did try it. It's probably just as good, but now I'll never know.

I remembered a delicious pizza crust Amy had made several years ago. She emailed me the recipe and I tried it last night. (I kept forgetting about it, but I couldn't find any Martha White Pizza Crust Mix when I shopped at Kroger last week.) It was soooo good! Even though it took a little longer to mix it up than the Martha White brand, it's well worth those few extra minutes. This will be my standard pizza crust from here on:

4 cups flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
2 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese (I added a little extra.)
2 tsp. oregano (I used Pampered Chef's Italian Seasoning Mix.)
2/3 c. olive oil
1 1/3 c. water

Combine dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Measure oil and water into one container, pouring all at once into flour mixture. Stir to form a ball.

Divide in half and press or roll out onto 15" pizza stone. (Yes, I only use my Pampered Chef baking stones!) If dough is too sticky, add a little extra flour. (Mine turned out just right.)

Top pizza and bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes. Makes 2 15-inch pizzas.

**I prebaked my crusts for 8 minutes each before topping them, then I baked them an additional 8 minutes.

I topped these pizzas with some left over diced ham, sliced fresh mushrooms, and sliced black olives. I also added some onion to mine and Billy's pizza. I think this crust will be excellent topped with spinach, zucchini, tomatoes, etc. I want to try it like that in week or so.

We all loved the flavor of the crust, and I loved the fact that I knew exactly what ingredients went into it. It really didn't take much time, and it's so much better than any other crust I've tasted. It seemed to be more filling, too. Billy and I each ate 2 pieces and were full. Caleb ate 1 1/2 pieces; Jacob ate 2 1/2. Since I always make 2 pizzas, we have plenty left over for tonight. Mmmmmm....

Monday, August 13, 2007

When it rains, pours indeed.

First it was my tooth that broke. It's still not giving me mouth pain, but I wonder if it's the cause of the headaches I've been having the last few days. Thankfully I was able to get an appointment for tomorrow morning for a cleaning and x-rays. Then they'll determine "a course of treatment" until they can get me in to fix it.

My next challenge was finding a babysitter. Of the two I use "regularly" (as infrequently as I actually use one), one works days and the other has relatives visiting for the week. I went down my list and finally found a friend whose daughter has just gotten her babysitter certification. She's "practicing" babysitting at her house with her mom there, she only charges $2 an hour, and her little brother is a friend of Caleb's. Everyone wins! I just have to be sure I leave in plenty of time to take the boys there, then get back to this part of town for my appointment.

Then the garage door broke this morning. I heard a clank! this morning after the garage door closed when Billy left. I looked around, but I didn't see anything wrong. When the boys and I tried to leave later to run a few errands, the door would only go up about 3 inches. When I pushed the button to let it down, it went down and back up to that same 3-inch height. I couldn't even push the door up. Our leasing agent said a repairman would be calling me about coming out this evening, but when he called, he said he'd be out tomorrow morning. I told him I had an appointment and he promised to come early and be finished in less than an hour. I will not be late.

Finally, this afternoon when the boys were going to have a little video game time, our old PlayStation quit working. Caleb said the sound had gone out on it a while back. Today the video went. I tried hooking it up to a different TV, but still nothing. I'm sad that it's not working, even though I haven't played it in years. We have some really fun games that I'd like to be able to play again one day. Maybe it's not the console but the cable we've been using. Maybe Billy can figure out what's wrong and fix it. Caleb said, "We'll just get an X-Box, then." I told him he'd have to wait until Christmas for something like that. And we're thinking maybe a Wii... I don't know much about all that, so I'll leave it up to Billy.

Hopefully that'll be all that breaks down around here for a while. Things like this usually come in three's for me.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Feast 155

Here's today's Friday's Feast:

What is your favorite kind of pie?
The first thing that came to mind was Strawn's Coconut Cream Pie. They're famous for their strawberry pies, but I much prefer the coconut cream. The chocolate cream pie is really good, too. I haven't had their pie in many, many years. I remember one year for my birthday I didn't want a cake. I wanted coconut cream pie - and I got it, too! My mouth is watering just thinking about it.

Name something that made you smile this week.
Something that was different from Caleb's questions, which I often find humorous, and Jacob's funny antics was getting to hang out with friends yesterday. Kim and I see each other often, but I don't think I've seen the others all summer, so it was good getting together and laughing with them again. Just thinking about the day brings a smile to my face. Even the bird. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, read the post below this one.)

What do you do to cool off when the weather is hot and humid?
Stay indoors. Eat popsicles, ice cream, and fresh fruit from the fridge. Drink ice cold lemonade or ice water.

Main Course
You receive $1,000 in the mail with a letter that says you can only use the money to redecorate one room in your home. Which room do you pick, and what do you buy to spruce it up?
Well, $1,000 isn't going to do much toward redecorating my living room, so I won't even dream about that. It would do nice things in the boys' playroom, though. I'd put up some curtains across the two windows and the sliding glass door. I'd buy some attractive shelves for stacking their boxes and tubs of toys on instead of shoving them under the toddler bed/"couch", which I'd probably get rid of since they never use it. (I'm not really getting rid of it since I'm not redecorating, though. It looks cute and hides the Legos, K'Nex, Magnetix, Tall Tree Timbers, and other things that are stored under it.) I'd coordinate the boxes and tubs their toys are in so everything would look more uniform.

Fill in the blank: My friend says my hair smells good, but I say it's just the baby wipes. (Yes, you have to read the previous post...)

Chip or Chunk?

Last night, as I was eating a piece of pizza, I realized a piece of one of my back teeth had broken off. I had swallowed it! It felt strange, like I had cheese sticking to the side of my tooth, but when I ran my tongue across it, it felt sharp and strange. I stuck my finger in there and felt a sharp edge, but no cheese. I stuck my tongue back there again and realized part of my tooth was gone! I tried looking at it with my hand mirror, and I could see part of it was missing, but I can't really tell how much, just that it's angled upward. It doesn't go all the way up to my gums, thankfully. It feels like a chunk, but it may just be a chip.

It doesn't hurt when I drink anything or brush my teeth. I guess it won't hurt when I eat, either, but I'm nervous about that. I have to eat sometime, though. I'm starving! I've been wanting to lose some weight...

I need to call a dentist. I haven't been in 4 years - since we moved here. I kept thinking I would make a special trip back to see my old dentist, one I'd been going to for 16 years before we moved, one I was comfortable with. But I would forget, then put it off when I did remember. I've always had good teeth, so I never worried about it. Now I'm going to pay for it!

Billy left his dentist's card on the refrigerator for me so I can call this morning and get an appointment. Hopefully it'll be soon.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Dallas on the DART Rail

During our summer break, the Bible study group I'm a part of gets together every week or so to do something together with the kids. Two weeks ago, we were supposed to do this day trip, but no one was able to go for various reasons. My friend Kim asked if we'd like to try to do it later on when everyone was back in town and had semi-regular schedules again. I told her to definitely count us in. I knew this was something the boys would enjoy. So today, we caught the DART Rail at the head of the Garland line, rode in to Dallas, and toured part of the downtown area.

Five families went: Kim and her two boys; Stefanie and her 3 girls; Christy and her son; Jen and her two boys; and me, Caleb, and Jacob. We met at the Downtown Garland Station right around the same time, bought our tickets, and boarded the train. It was our first time to ride, but I think all the others had ridden before. After several stops, and a short jaunt through a tunnel, we arrived in downtown Dallas. We got off and started toward Thanksgiving Square, but realized we were headed the wrong direction. After turning around and getting our bearings, we found it. We passed a delicious-smelling Italian diner right next to the train station on our wrong way out and again as we were going the right way. I wanted to toss our lunch bag in the nearest garbage can and eat some pizza or pasta and garlic bread!

Our first stop in Thanksgiving Square was at a prayer chapel. It's a stark white spiraling building that looks like it belongs in Greece instead of downtown Dallas. We entered the dark coolness and were awed to see the ceiling spiraling upward in a rainbow of stained glass. After we had cooled down, we went back out to see the water gardens. The kids were excited to see two men in wading boots standing in the pool, vacuuming the bottom. The large fountain had been turned down, but the water was still spilling over the edge and running down a beautiful rocky slope. Across the center where several sidewalks came together, there was a beautiful waterfall spilling down a large rock backdrop. I took some really cute pictures of each of Stefanie's 3 daughters there. Along another sidewalk was a narrow stream of water running down a slope toward a small, deep triangular pool at one end. All the kids loved sticking their hands in the water and watching it flow to its various pools.

Oh! And guess what happened to me while we were there. Under some trees. With birds flying around directly overhead. I got pooped on again! This time was in my hair. Ugh! I felt something fall into my hair, and my first thought was a bug. I started to run my hand through it and stopped abruptly as another thought crossed my mind. I asked Stefanie, "Did a bird just poop in my hair?!" She laughed and said that one had. She cleaned up as much as she could with a baby wipe, then she commented on how good my hair smelled. I said, "Yeah, now that the poop's out!" I'm glad I can laugh about things like this! Otherwise it could have ruined my whole day.

We finally managed to get the kids away from the water and inside some walkways that run under the buildings. The kids lined up along one wall for their lunches and ate heartily. We were all starving! The boys and I ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, Bugles, a banana, string cheese, and water. They also ate some Snoopy gummies, and I ate a delicious Nature Valley Almond Crunch bar. (It reminds me a lot of the Planters Peanut Bars I used to eat as a child...)

The resounding ring of a large bell met us as we walked back outside. It was noon and the bell in the square kept ringing. Caleb asked me how long they rang it, but I wasn't sure. When I checked my watch, it was 12:08 and still going strong. We watched it for a little while, then made our way back to the train station so we could continue on to Union Station. Caleb and Jacob were excited to get off the train there because they remembered we had picked Melissa up there a few months ago when she rode Amtrak in for a short visit.

We made our way down a set of stairs and into an underground walkway toward a hotel (Hyatt, maybe?) and Reunion Tower, the big ball-looking restaurant and tower that overlooks Dallas. I held Stefanie's 2-year-old daughter's hand while she helped Jen get her stroller and 2-year-old son down the stairs. Once inside, she wanted to keep holding my hand. As we walked down the hallway, we played a variation of peek-a-boo with the mirrors interspersed on the walls. She had the biggest grin on her face!

We paid our tower admission, then rode up the elevator to the top. The kids were thrilled when they realized one wall of the elevator was glass and they could see out over the city as we went up. They loved seeing different sights in Dallas from the top of the tower. Caleb was impressed that he could the site of the gas plant explosion from a few weeks ago (July 25). He also commented on how all the cars looked like Hot Wheels from that high up.

After we had been all around the outside, we rode the elevator back down and made our way back to the train station for our ride back to Garland. The kids were all getting tired and ready to go home, and all the grown-ups were talking about how nice it would be to take naps when we got back home. (I wonder if anyone actually did.) The ride back was pretty relaxing, but some of the kids started getting wound up. We made it back to the Downtown Garland Station shortly after 2:00 p.m. and walked out to the parking lot together, chatting up the last few minutes before heading home again. Stefanie hugged me good-bye and commented again on how good my hair smelled. "What do you use?" she asked. Jen piped in, "I think she said it's bird poop." :o)

The van was so hot when we climbed in. I offered to stop at Sonic and get us all cold drinks, but Caleb wanted to come straight home. I remembered that I had some lemonade concentrate in the freezer and offered that up as a compromise because Jacob wanted to stop for a drink. He was appeased by that, so we came straight home. After I made the lemonade, we all drank a few tall cold ones. I think I need another one right now.

Today was a really fun day! I hope we can all do it again soon. It's not something I'd want to do on my own. Friends make things so much more fun!

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Feeling Better Now

My bee sting has healed nicely. There's still a faint pink splotch on my arm, but you have to be at just the right angle to see it. The point of entry is still red and raised, but it's small.

But that's not what I'm feeling better from. I woke up early Monday morning with some sort of stomach bug. I spent all of Monday on the couch. The boys did really well fending for themselves. Caleb was a great help and took care of snacks and lunch. He made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch, using forks to spread on the peanut butter and jelly since he's not supposed to use knives. I need to tell him that next time he can use the butter knives in the drawer. I managed to stand long enough to put the lids back on the jars and put the jelly back in the refrigerator. All I ate that day was 6 or 7 saltines, half a popsicle, and about 3 bites of dry toast. I did manage to keep hydrated with ice water off an on during the day.

Yesterday was better. I was hungry, so I ate a whole piece of dry toast. Then I started snacking on Tostitos every now and then. At least they have some flavor! For lunch I had another piece of dry toast. I was determined NOT to have it again for supper, so Billy picked me up a baked potato from Wendy's. I ate every bit of it, followed it with a few more Tostitos, then chased all that with a whole popsicle. I'm so sick of water - and that's what I usually drink all the time anyway.

This morning I felt well enough to wash my hair, and I've been able to get some work done at the computer for about an hour now without going cross-eyed looking at the screen. Progress! I'm really hungry, so after a breakfast of toast (with a little butter and some cinnamon and sugar) and water (ugh!), we might venture out to the grocery store.

What's Cooking?

I have no idea!

Monday night, Billy fixed a corn dog for Caleb and a hot dog for Jacob.

Last night, Billy picked them up some chicken nuggets and fries from Wendy's.

Tonight, maybe I'll scramble some eggs. We never got around to the omelets last week. Or the burgers. Plans changed here and there and things got moved around and wiped off the (dry erase) menu.

As for Thursday and Friday nights, things are going to be simple: sandwiches, salads, etc.

I'm feeling slow and tired, and I don't want to have a lot of clean up. Besides, we're supposed to have an adventure tomorrow with some of our friends and I'm sure I'll be exhausted from that. No, I'm not going to tell you what it is. You'll have to come back to find out. :o)

Thursday, August 2, 2007


I got stung by a bee right after Caleb's swimming lessons this morning. I had draped his towel across my arm as I walked toward the playground where he and Jacob were playing for a few minutes before we headed home. Suddenly I felt a sharp prick in my forearm right under the towel. I dropped it on the ground and checked my arm to see what it was. It looked like a tiny thorn or something stuck there, but I didn't examine it too closely. I wanted it out of my arm and off my finger. Then Caleb told me a bee had been buzzing around the towels during the lessons. I guess it landed on his. Thankfully he didn't get stung by it!

Three and a half hours later, it still hurts a lot and is still swelling. The wheal is now about 1 1/4 inches long and about 3/4 inch wide. How long before it starts going down again? How long before the pain goes away? I stopped at Walgreens on the way home to see what the pharmacy recommended putting on it. I bought a tube of hydrocortisone cream and applied it to the sting, but it didn't seem to be helping. I checked the internet for other remedies and found that a paste of meat tenderizer and water would be good for it since something in the tenderizer breaks down the bee's venom. I don't have that in my pantry or spice cabinet, so I checked for something else. I saw a recommendation for toothpaste, which I have on there now. It still hurts and is still swelling. And it keeps touching my shirt and sticking to it. I wonder if there's something else I could try. I wonder if my aloe vera plant would help.

Mama swears by tobacco. (On stings, not for anything else.) I guess I should've bought some Skoal or something when I was at Walgreens, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it. I may go back and buy some anyway.

Update: When I went to bed last night, my arm still hurt terribly and I had a 1-inch triangular-shaped red mark around the sting. (Actually it's shaped like a small car.) It looks like I have a strawberry or port wine stain birthmark. There's a small white raised bump in it where the stinger got me. I took a Benadryl and an ibuprofen to help me sleep.

When I woke up, the pain had subsided quite a bit, but I still have the red mark. And there's an itchy light pink rash (about 2x3 inches) around the mark. I slathered on some hydrocortisone cream and took my daily Claritin. It stopped itching for a while, but it's started back up again.

I hate when things like this happen so close to the weekend. You know, when you don't think you really need to go to the doctor, but sure as you don't, it's the weekend and you need to. There are always the quick-care clinics, but they're impersonal and they have a higher co-pay. I think I'll be fine, though. It's not life-threatening, just annoying.

13 Things I Want To Do... week while the boys are away: (It's my Thursday Thirteen!)

1. Browse the shops at the outlet mall on my way back from taking the boys to meet my mom. I received some 20% off coupons from there in the mail yesterday, along with a coupon for a free bag of chocolate-covered blueberries. Interesting...

2. Take my time looking through all the beads at the Rock Barrell. I want to find some green turquoise beads or a large pendant or something to match with a strand of beads Aunt Sue gave me. I'd also like to match the brown beads in it so I can make 2 new necklaces and maybe a matching watchband or two.

3. Hit a bucket of balls at the driving range. Now that I have my clubs again, I'd like to use them. I really wanted to do this the last time the boys were away, but it rained almost every evening, and it's too hot during the day. Maybe next week I'll have a chance.

4. Go back to NorthPark Center. I'm really wanting to try some gelatto. Plus, I'd like to follow up with a lady who works there. She commented on my Pampered Chef purse and how much she loves the products, so I gave her a catalog with my contact information on the back. I haven't heard anything from her, but if I seek her out, I might get a show lead or even a recruit lead.

5. Visit an antique store or two. It's been a while since I last walked through an antique store. Since I love to make a lot of my own jewelry, I might find some inexpensive treasure to create something fun with.

6. Organize my closet. It's been almost a year since we moved in, and my closet is still full of boxes in various stages of unpacking with who-knows-what still in them.

7. Scrapbook. It's been over a year since I last did anything with it. I need to finish organizing my photos and decide what subject I want to tackle next. The only problem with scrapbooking is that I don't have anywhere to work on it where I can leave it out for a few days. It takes so much time to get it out and put it away that I end up with just a little time to work on it.

8. Eat at Fadi's Mediterranean Grill. I haven't been there in a year or more, I think. I'm really wanting some fresh pita bread and some of their delicious cauliflower. I tried to make some myself once, but it wasn't nearly as good.

9. Look at clothes and shoes, and get ideas for jewelry, at some of my favorite stores. If I find a good sale, I might even buy something!

10. Spend my Barnes & Noble gift card. I want to get Lalita Tademy's Red River to go with my copy of Cane River. I hope it's as good.

11. Wander leisurely through the library. I don't get to do that when the boys are there with me. If I want a book that's not in the children's area, I have to go straight to it and get right back before Jacob starts yelling for me.

12. Stroll through the Dallas Arboretum and take some pictures. I haven't been there in the 4 years I've lived here, but I hear it's really nice. I want to take the boys there this fall when it cools down. If we really like it, I may see about getting a membership there so we can go whenever we want to.

13. Prepare for the next school year. I have Caleb's books for the new year, but I haven't really looked over them in detail yet to see all we'll be doing and when.

Seems like all that will probably keep me really busy. I wonder if I'll get to it all...