Friday, September 26, 2014

The Strep Madness Continues....

I'm so glad I posted yesterday's post.  I'm also really glad the doctor and I decided to do a throat culture on both boys when we saw her yesterday.  That face the boys were making in the last post, it's still exactly how I feel!

Tommy's fast strep test came back positive.  He also has an ear infection.  The doctor ordered him to be put on Omnicef and we were crossing our fingers for no allergic reaction to it.  He's had yesterday's dose and today's and still no issues.  Whew!  Hopefully this latest antibiotic which he'll take for 10 days will do the trick.

Liam's fast strep test was negative; however, I called the doctor back to check today, as she ran an overnight culture and it's positive today.  We still don't understand if the allergic reaction he had was really the Clindamycin or the Omnicef, but we do know he had a definite allergic reaction to the Rocephin he had at the urgent care, so we're going to try Biaxin tonight and see if his body can tolerate that.  I'm also going to follow up with an allergist on Monday to see if I can get Liam an appointment and get to the bottom of what antibiotics or something else is he really allergic to.

Talking to the doctor about how this does not seem to be going away, when they are finished their antibiotics, we are probably going to re-culture their throats to make sure it is all gone.  In the meantime, I'm going to Google what to do about brushing their teeth.  When to swap out their toothbrush, or if there is a way to clean it while they are on antibiotics.  Any personal advice on that front is appreciated.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Still More Pediatrician Time and Tommy Eye Check

Above is how I feel about the way the boys still haven't quite seemed to be able to shake feeling under the weather.  Both boys still have swollen tonsils and Tommy has a huge lymph node in his neck that he says hurts when I touch it.  Neither boy has had a fever, they both have gotten back on a regular sleeping schedule for school days (8PM to 6:15AM) and they've been eating just fine.  However, because this doesn't seem to be getting much better this week, I'm taking them to the doctor's this afternoon for a checkup.  Hopefully, we can get over the hump of this bug and I can stop spraying everything down with antibacterial Windex or Lysol wipes obsessively.  I'd also like to stop walking around the house with a thermometer and flashlight to check out throats!

The one nice doctor's appointment we had was Tommy's eye checkup with the pediatric ophthalmologist.  He sees her every six months these days.  We all agreed his eyes are looking straight on, the prescription to his glasses seems to be still good, and there's no need to change anything.  His fine motor skills are getting better, so I don't think his wonky letters are from eyesight, just from immaturity in that skill.

I'm seeing a lot of improvement from both of them in their writing, which has been a concern for me.  If they keep progressing like they are right now, they will be right on track with their peers by the end of the year.

Right now, I just know we're all a bit weary.  We're making great things happen, but I honestly think this rainy, dreary day we are having today is just what the doctor ordered.  May our daughter's field hockey game and our boys' soccer practice be canceled this afternoon.  I think we would all use the quiet recoup time after the doctor tells me if there is any more antibiotics needed for these boys.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Menu Plan - Week of 9/21/2014

Another week, another menu plan - Go Me!!!  This is really helping us keep on track from wanting to just get take out during the week.

Curried pumpkin soup (made by Tom, it was amazing!!! and no cream, dairy or coconut milk in it at all!), salad, crusty bread

Ramen noodle soup, steamed Chinese greens

Angel hair (leftover), pesto, diced tomatoes; roasted chicken sausage and crusty bread

Wednesday - Tom and I are going to a comedy concert 
Frozen pizza or mac n cheese (will ask Phoebe which she feels like having with the boys)

Thursday - soccer practice night
Leftover pumpkin soup, grilled cheese sandwiches, salad

Chicken wings (barbecue and hot), french fries (made from potatoes we have), steamed green beans

I'm leaving Saturday and Sunday open as to what we want for dinner.  We'll probably being running errands on Saturday before Tom and I go out for our official date night.  This week will be kind of decadent, as we'll have time out on Wednesday night.  That never happens!  I also want to talk to Tom if we want to have a Sunday Funday this weekend, as our neighbor's daughter should be home from California!!!  I have to find out if she'll be across the street on Sunday, or if she'll be off at Penn State main campus, which is also where she's visiting some friends.

Friday, September 19, 2014

My Nana and Getting More Organised

This is in 1977. Me, my grandmother and my uncle who is only two years older than me.

My grandmother passed away this week.  We're about to go up to where I'm originally from in upstate Pennsylvania for the viewing and funeral.  My Nana lived a full life, so I can't say I'm sad.  She was 83 years old, had two marriages, three kids and four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren (all of those were from me).  She had a great sense of humor, wanted to be like Elizabeth Taylor (didn't they all from this generation) and was very old fashioned as she was from a time when women worked only until they became wives.  She was my last living grandparent, so this is an end of an era for me.  It was my mother's last living parent and it makes me think of how odd that will be when I'm in that situation.  However, my parents are still young, so I think that will be quite some ways off.  They think they are old, but 61 and 65 are really not that old.  At least I won't think it's old when I get there, LOL.

Before I received this news on Wednesday afternoon, I have made great strides in getting areas of our house organized.  So far since the beginning of the school year at the end of August, I have organized the boys' clothes (except their pajama drawer, I still need to do that), the boys' bookshelves, two coat closets, under the kitchen sink and the homework/craft supplies.  Whew!  I'm doing all this as part of my friend Marcia's Live Organised Community.  She's really helping me keep on track!  This Saturday is her "Get It Done Day."  I'll be busy with the funeral and traveling back home; however, I plan to have Sunday as my "Get It Done Day."  I plan on tackling the boys' pajama drawer and my husband's office, which is also where we share office supply and filing cabinets.  I'm looking forward to it!

Monday, September 15, 2014

Menu Plan - Week of September 14

The boys seem to be on the mend again and went back to school today!!!  However, Tom started feeling sick on Sunday and Phoebe stayed home sick on Friday and today.  Last night she was running a fever, but not today.  So the continuing trying to keep illness away, we had soup on Sunday's dinner and we have some leftovers we can have during the week for lunches as well.  We also have some cantelope cut up in the fridge we can finish and I need to cut up a watermelon.  I'd also like to make some gluten-free blueberry muffins and some roasted tomato salsa.  Let's see if I can get any extra time in the kitchen to do that!

Homemade ramen noodle soup, steamed Chinese greens

Crispy chicken thighs (Liam's name for them, they are just baked with seasoning on the skin until the skin is crispy), roasted potatoes, roasted carrots

Leftover pork chops and butter beans casserole, steamed green beans

Stuffed mini peppers (stuffed with sausage and feta cheese), tomato sauce, pasta (angel hair or rigatoni)

Thursday - soccer practice night (5:30 to 6:30)
Turkey club sandwiches, tortilla chips

The weekend we're playing by ear.  Not sure yet if we'll have company or what our exact plans are.  Will decide as we get closer to the weekend and plan for what get's finalized.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Quarantine and Disinfect

Here are my new best friends.  The boys and I were hit by strep throat ....  Hopefully, Tom and Phoebe are not going to get it.  I'm looking at Phoebe's throat all the time.  I still sent her to school as she looked fine this morning.  The boys and I are home, all on antibiotics.  My job now, other than attending some work calls from home, is to obsessively wipe down every surface of this house and push healthy foods on the boys like homemade soups.  Hopefully, everyone will be feeling better tomorrow as it is picture day at the boys' school.

I also need to rally myself as other than cleaning, I've got some areas of this house that need to be organized.  Right now my main areas of concern are:  boys' craft/school supply cabinet, the coat closet and the boys' pajama drawer.  I also know I need to buy the boys some more pajamas, but I want to take an inventory of what they have and what they need.

I also have a lot to learn at work with my new role.  I want to spend some time today organizing my thoughts of what I've seen so far and what questions I have accumulated.  I've been learning a lot of new acronyms and the lingo of the area, but as I hear new ones I look them up or ask someone on the team.

Our menu plan this week has been very fluid.  We have certain meals we knew we had things on hand to make, but didn't plan a specific day to make them.  Things like turkey club sandwiches, pork chops with butter beans and soups from the freezer.  This is mostly as even before we got sick, we had evening things to do with kids' school and activities every night this week.  Two of the nights were back to school nights (the last ever one for Phoebe - I'm assuming high school next year doesn't do this anymore) and tonight though the boys won't be going to soccer practice, Tom needs to go as he agreed to help coach the team.  He's doing a great job with that.

Time to go tackle the day!  Hope everyone has a good one!

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Menu Plan Week of 9/1/2014 - Being Kind to Myself

If the September goals list looks like I've got a lot to tackle, keep in mind, I'm also practicing being kind to myself and our family.  We're going to be very busy in September with the boys in Kindergarten and starting to have homework.  They also started soccer and my husband has agreed to help coach the team.  Phoebe is back to school with 8th grade and has field hockey practice daily after school until 5PM (she's the only 8th grade goalie!).

This month we are focused on learning our new routines, keeping the calendar up-to-date and menu planning.  I'm still exercising but it may not be longer than 40 minutes.  I'm working on keeping up with the routine to work out, rather than focusing on a specific goal.  A friend wanted me to do a half marathon this fall, but I told her it would be a bad idea when I knew the craziness we would be going through this month.  I'm very glad I said "no" now that we are going through the mad rush of back-to-school.

It's also very warm this week here, which is odd.  We've had such a mild, cooler summer, but now that we're at the end of summer and the kids are in school, it's been very hot and humid.  This leaves us to have dinner options that are not very hot and steamy like soup, which is one of our favorite go-to easy meals in the fall.  We'll have plenty of time for that as we get into the cooler fall weather.  Enjoy the end of the summer and be kind to yourself!

Monday - Labor Day
Grilled chicken sausages with feta and spinach (from Reading Terminal Market in Philly - very yummy!), baked beans, corn on the cob and Caprese salad (mozzarella, tomato and basil)

Tuesday - everyone back to work and school
Shrimp kabobs (shrimp, onion, red and yellow peppers and zucchini) and brown rice

Bacon, lettuce, tomato and mozzarella sandwiches (bacon was also from Reading Terminal Market), leftover baked beans and corn on the cob

Thursday - Tom taking boys to soccer for 5:30PM
Hot dogs, french fries and other leftovers

Friday - thank goodness for the weekend!
Falafel, pita, cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, tomatoes, and yogurt, dill and garlic dressing

Saturday - boys soccer game during late morning, running errands in afternoon
Homemade pizza, salad

Sunday - boys have a birthday party from 1 to 3PM
Not sure yet but something grilled and easy!

Wednesday, September 03, 2014

September 2014 Goals

Some of these goals for September have already been completed, as they were helpful to do last weekend before we got back into the day-to-day school year schedule.  I look forward to getting more done.  Here's the paper calendar we keep on the refrigerator mentioned as #5 under "Family". This is also updated online.

  1. Menu plan weekly - plan out healthy meals and keep eating out to a minimum 
  2. Organize Phoebe’s room before school starts this year - Phoebe actually did this herself! 
  3. Work with Phoebe daily on her organization this school year – both homework and activities 
  4. Keep the boys organized with school; make sure we understand what homework and activities they have with school 
  5. Keep the family calendar online and on paper up-to-date.   Did this yesterday! 
  6. Keep the boys signed up for sports with the YMCA - The boys are in soccer this fall. 
  7. Document/start chores for kids before school starts and make it fun! I didn't get this done before the school year, but I will get this done soon. Right now, we're trying to get into the new school schedule with everyone out the door early in the morning. The bus comes for all three kids at 6:45AM. 
  1. Learn new responsibilities and exceed expectations for the rest of this year 
  2. Blog 3-4x per week on this blog
Health and Fitness
  1. Begin working towards weight goal for year end
  2. Cardio 4x per week
  3. Drink 8 glasses of water a day
  4. Eat healthy – build default diet
  1. Keep our checkbook and online file up-to-date of expenses
  2. Look for reoccurring expenses and if some can be canceled
  1. Declutter coat closets downstairs and setup launch pads for people to start their day right
  2. Organize boys bedroom/school clothes/closets - Completed this over last weekend!
  3. Begin decluttering the guest room so we would be able to begin painting during the fall
  4. Immediately – plan out garden seasonally and harvest/weed daily - I weeded and cleaned up the garden over the weekend.  Need to plant radishes and lettuces that will grow during the cooler fall weather and keep up with the weeding
  1. Begin learning basic conversational French
Fun, Recreation & Social
  1. Trip to Paris with Coni in Fall 2014?  This is also depending on what Coni can arrange
  2. Continue to meet up with friends 2x per month  - Already have two different Saturday nights setup.  Might have a third as well.
  3. Plan “Funday Sundays” in the fall – invite lots of fun people