Monday, February 29, 2016

Happy Birthday Dr. Seuss (Lunch) Day 1

This week my youngest daughter's school is observing Read Across America week by celebrating Dr. Seuss's Birthday. It's not unsusal, but it's always fun. 

The theme today is Fox in Socks, the children are all wearing mismatched socks and here is F's lunch. 
Hope she enjoys it!

Simple Nutella and fresh strawberry sandwich with more strawberries and cheese-its on the side. 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

The Past Three Months

12/8/15 at the ER with a smile on his face. 

(This Post is the first about my father. It is an attempt to recreate what has happened over the past few months.)

The last time my dad, Bill, was able to visit our house was for my youngest daughter's birthday on November 19th. At the time he had been ill for a little over a month. First we thought he threw out his back, later he was told he was reacting to a flu shot. On December 8th he was in rough shape. My sister and mom took him out to the ER where they spent most of the night. At that point he was diagnosed with pleurisy and sent home with medications. A week later I got an urgent call from my mom. Bill was feeling really bad, REALLY bad and wanted to be taken back to the hospital. She didn't want to make him wait in the ER for another 7-12 hours and didn't know what to do. "Call 911" was the best I could suggest. Earlier in my life I learned that that is the best way to get seen in the emergency room and this seemed like the time to use that lesson to help my parents. My sister and I joined them and we waited to get him help and hopefully, some answers. They ran several tests including a CT scan. From the ER he was transferred to our local Kaiser Hospital and admitted. They did an MRI, another CT scan, two ultrasounds and other tests. He was poked prodded and pinched. Thankfully we got a commitment from the doctors that they would not discharge him until 1) His pain is managed 2) We knew what was causing this 3) We knew he would be safe to go home.

Still Smiling!

Some of the tests they needed to run were scheduled to go into the late hours and then they were rescheduled for the next day. Sometimes his positive attitude showed some signs of stress but only a little. We spent most of the Christmas holiday waiting, speaking to his three doctors and oncologist.

In 2009 Bill was diagnosed with prostate cancer. They said it was the good kind. Incapsalated and slow growing. Bill opted for watchful waiting, hormone treatment and a change of diet. 

It's probably no surprise that the prognosis was related to the prostate cancer. The MRI showed lesions on his spine, two masses in his lower back (attached to his spine), and the cancer had metastasized through most of his skeleton. That thrown out back from October was likely the masses. The pleurisy was possibly broken ribs caused by fragile bones and normal activity.

He is 83 so none of should have been shocked, but we were.  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

New Year's Lunch Resolution for 2016

According to the USDA "Americans waste enough food every day to fill a 90,000 seat football stadium." I'll be honest, I struggle with my kid's lunches. I feel like I am always trying to figure out how much food is enough to send and I am often frustrated with how much comes home, and shocked at what comes home. In an effort to have less food go into the trash I am scaling back, bento lunch boxes have always been our favorites for lunch anyway, and I appreciate how they allow me to control the portion sizes my children take to school each day. 

Here are the lunches I sent earlier this week. 
Half sandwiches. On the right are cucumbers with Tajin in the heart, and a 100% juice Caprisun. On the left, pretzels, a yogurt and a cutie. 
A close up of one

Each time something comes home I am going to try to figure out if it's something they didn't like, didn't feel like, or if I sent too much food. This day the juice on the right came home and so did the cutie. At least we are getting closer...

Happy New Year!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Of a Visiting Carrot

Today the most awesome carrot came to visit our home. Her name, Elizabeth, Liz for short. 
Not your run of the mill carrot, Liz was full of personality and clearly here to bring some sunshine to the last day of winter break. Liz was fun, and helpful!
She visited my husband as he prepared our dinner, didn't take offense when she saw him preparing the veggies...

She helped me with the Christmas tree...
It was when she went outside to play with the kids that we saw the first warning signs.
The rabbit, typically a sweet if slightly standoffish animal, seemed a bit too interested in Liz. 
Buddy our dog got between them and made sure Liz was safe. (Our Hero!)
Sadly, I turned my back on Liz to help my husband in the kitchen. 
When I checked on her again she was being mauled! It was terrifying!
The bunny was merciless!
Our Lil ran out crying and got between Liz and the bunny. She checked Liz's vitals and it appeared she was not breathing so Lil attempted CPR.
Her entire arm had been eaten and the damage was too extensive. Liz was left a vegitable.

Goodbye Liz Carrot. RIP

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Pet Parenting in the Heat

Along with my two children, I am also the pet parent to two creatures. The first is a 3+ year old fluffy white bunny. The second is a small white puppy. 

The bunny is free range during daylight hours and the dog comes and goes in and out as long as someone is home. 

With the recordbreaking heat their survival has been a worry.  I don't want them to become prisoners and so far we have been able to provide them each with relief without crating them in the house. 

Here is what we do- utilizing 4 or 5 milk jugs that were previously "customized" to help in slow watering the trees is the key. 

First, I bring out one of our shower buckets and dump the contents onto our cement patio in the area I know will get the least amount of sun all day. 

Next, I fill the jugs with water, replace the lids, and set them out at the top of the designated area. These jugs have one to 4 small pin holes in their bottoms which allow water to leak out when the lids are loosened. Once they are in place I adjust the lids to allow a tiny bit of water to leak out. On extra hot days I also add some Ice packs, just to be safe. 

This combination, along with plenty of water, seems to do the trick. Both animals enjoy laying on the cool slightly damp cement patio and we are controlling the amount of water used which keeps my anxiety at a minimum. 

I wonder what other people do....

Monday, March 16, 2015

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Do you do silly and sometimes ludicrous things to establish family traditions or foster a sense of wonder at home? Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day and I totally forgot to get goodies to leave from the Leprechauns. I hope one of my girls lets me have their cereal! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

A Quick and Literal Tale

I realized today that my children are way too literal.  
Yesterday my husband, in a moment of frustration,  asked her how many times he had to ask her to do something. She replied 6. 
Today I asked the 7yo how many spoons of Nutella one person needs. She said 2. 
Oh for the love of sweetness! What are your options when this happens? 
I see two clear options in this sort of a situation-
1) Laugh
2) Hit my head on the nearest solid structure