Friday, December 30, 2011

Happy Holidays

Well, that was fun right?  I just love Christmas, and I think this might have been the last year all three kids would be into Santa.  Owen told us before Christmas that Santa must be real because we would never spend that much money on presents.  I think next year he will be a bit more sceptical. 

We had a great time baking and cooking, decorating the house.  The kids did a good job buying gifts for each other.  Maddie and Owen seemed to really get the idea of picking something the other would actually want.    It has been fun watching them get along a bit better as they have more in common with her starting to read. 

The only bump this year was Ellie, she started being afraid of the dark beginning of October and hasn't slept well since then.  It's like having a newborn again, and I don't do sleep deprivation well.  We are working on retraining her again, booooo.  I am crushed by exhaustion, but I think we are finally making progress.

What was your favorite moment this season?? 

Mine is this:

They both used a pastry bag, and had so much fun putting these together.  Sadly, Santa loved them so much he took them back to the North Pole with him (the trains, not the kids). 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Updates in bullet fashion

  • I talked with Owen's teacher, apparently 3rd grade is for serious with the writing.  They want main ideas and supporting sentences.  Whatever.  Also, he has timed math tests, 50 problems in a minute which seems a bit much to me.  His teacher is also not fond of them but, that is what their grade level does.  ( Karma knocks...I have my algebra 1 kids do timed tests, but they have 50 problems in a minute and a half.)  He is being tested again for GATE this month, he tested in April but missed the cut-off, and the teacher wants to test him again.  Personally, I don't care, but Owen has his heart set on it.  So I am crossing my fingers for him, because the weeping will kill me.  He sent me an email (he can email us and grandparents) one night, this was his email
Mom  I keep having nightmares that I am blind.  and I can't hear. then I die :(

           It is the saddest most hilarious email ever.  I know I shouldn't laugh but the frowny face is what really kills me.

  • Kindergarten is killing Maddie.  Ok, just the lack of naps, everyday she comes home a  frazzled mess.  I don't think it is just the sleep, she still sucks her thumb but only with her kitties when she is laying down.  I think she is also missing a little quiet time by herself.  She is one of the few five year olds who frequently tell people she need a little alone time.  She has had her ups and downs since I wrote this.  Honestly, the comments were all helpful, but Swistle's comment about validating and compromising were smack my head helpful.  I don't care for it when Bud tells me my problems are no big deal, why would Maddie?  Note to self:  my children are people.  I should put that on a sticky note.  She is starting to be able to pull herself out of the nosedive of despair, and if all else fails we send her to her room and she falls asleep.  One night she fell asleep at 5:45 and didn't wake up until 7:00, she was magical that day.
  • Ellie went for a trifecta this October, her daycare closed for 2 days for a wedding, she got strep and while on antibiotics, she got a viral thing (hand, foot and mouth?).  She moved into her big girl bed:
Owl quilt!
We started off with the mattress and box spring but she fell out a few times so now she just has a mattress.  She just loves the bed, she will lay in bed on the weekend for 30 minutes just enjoying her bed.  She calls it her "good girl bed", so I guess the crib made her feel like a bad girl.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Faith Shaken

Well, found out I don't have to testify tomorrow.  I don't really understand all of it, but I guess the pharmacy agreed with the charges.  The pharmacy board decided it was a store issue and not a pharmacist issue, so they dropped the complaint against her.  I reminded them that the pharmacy manager looked at the pills with her eyeballs, and said they were the right medication.  That seems like the definition of the pharmacists fault.  So nothing happens to the pharmacist, the pharmacy has to pay a $1000 fine and they have to participate in trainings.

I feel a bit deflated.  I am having a tough time for some reason.  Not that I wanted any one's head on a platter, but something a bit more severe would have been nice.  I guess I did what I could right?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


Owen is not transitioning well to 3rd grade.  We are not super fond of his teacher, she is very much about punishing people.  He is shy and anxious, his teacher last year really seemed able to bring out the best in him.  He is flaky and flighty, and I don't know how to get him more focused.  I sent his teacher an email to get suggestions from her, but haven't heard anything back yet.  I spent half an hour crafting my email, trying to convey that we are concerned, we aren't blaming her, but also she maybe need to focus on him a bit. 

He has been having dreams about us dying, so I know that school is making him upset.  He has an ipod touch, and he is allowed to email us and his grandparents, last week he sent me an email from bed saying he keeps having a nightmare about being blind, and he can't hear... and then he dies.  So clearly, mother of the year over here.

I am on a committee at his school and my job is to organize the volunteers to sell tickets.  I have to coordinate with a mom, who seems determined to not understand what I mean.  I explained the days I need volunteers, and gave her a sign up sheet with all the days and times.  She made a new sheet with only one day.  Then when I asked her about it she said her class would only do one day and I would have to find someone else to do the others.  Unfortunately she informed of this a week before I need people.  I hate having to talk to people I don't know, then to have them ignore me and have to keep addressing them on it is really stressful.

Also, remember my pharmacy issue?  I have to testify to the governing board on Wednesday.  Gahhhhh

Friday, August 12, 2011

Who Knew??

Pickles could be so easy...

I went with Catherine Newman's pickle recipe.   She has never failed me yet and I figured it was worth a try.  Best pickles ever.  Sadly we only got 6 cucumbers, I am hoping for more tomorrow, because I have more dill.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Todays Challenge....

This is our basket from this week.  I was very excited about the asparagus and red peppers, Maddie begs for both when we are at the store, but it can be pricey so I just buy them on sale.  That is a full dozen tomatoes at the right, and toward the back are some plums, but I am not sure what variety they are yet.  ( they are pluots!)

I am going to try and do pickles with the 6 pickling cucumbers.  I have never made pickles, so I am excited.  Trouble is my dad is in town and then we are leaving for  a few days so I don't know how the pickling will work??  Hmm  looks like I need to do some research.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eggplant Update

Let's say you are laying in bed in the morning and you hear your two year old talking.  Then you hear a weird, unidentifiable sound, and you and your spouse discuss what is this strange sound??  Hmm well, she isn't crying so leave her be.  NO. NO you get up immediately and see what the demon seed is doing:

No idea where she found a pencil but she really gave the wall and bookcase a work out.  She will not contain her muse to a piece of paper.  She has colored on everything in this house, we hide  writing utensils like most people hide matches.

So the eggplant.  I have mentioned my Meta Givens cookbook before, I found a recipe for  Eggplant En Casserole and had all the ingredients so what the heck.  I made some changes because I strongly believe onions are bigger now that they were in 1947.

Eggplant  (peeled and diced mine was about 4 cups)
2 tomatoes  sliced (peeled, but I didn't because how do you do that?)
1C cheese  ( I used cheddar jack also I don't measure cheese I just throw handfuls)
Salt and Pepper to taste

Saute the eggplant and onion is butter until semi cooked about 5 minutes.  Then layer eggplant/onion then tomato then cheese then repeat.  On the top sprinkle more cheese and some breadcrumbs.  Put a few dabs of butter on top.  Cook at 375 for about half and hour.

Bud and I both loved this, the tomatoes added a nice bit of freshness.  Owen nearly vomited just looking at it, and Ellie liked the first bite but refused anymore.  Maddie at three helpings, of course she thinks edamame is a huge treat so she is not your typical kid.  Definitely something I will make again.  Owen use to eat tons of vegetables but has been more picky since hanging out with more kids, I think since he use to love veggies as a little kid he will eventually get back to them as he gets older.  I hope.

I can't wait to see what this Saturday brings.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Trying New Things

For the last few week we have participated in Bountiful Baskets.  It is pretty cool, especially since we live in a desert and don't have lovely farm stands like we visit in PA when we are there.  Each week we sign up and pay for a basket.  Then on Saturday we shlep out the the designated location and pick up the basket.  It is $16.50 for a basket, and this week in the basket we got a bag of potatoes, 2 tomatoes, green beans, eggplant, leaf lettuce, a cantaloupe, 5 plums, 5 peaches, a couple pounds of grapes and bananas.  Which where I live is way more the $16.50. 

Each week there is one item that is "unusual" at least for us.  This week it is the eggplant.  Last week we got kale, and another week it was swiss chard.  I love the opportunity to try something that our family has not tried.  I love looking for the recipes, and trying them out.  So my project this week is the eggplant.

Just try to get your children to eat me....

So I think I found a recipe, lets see how many I can get to eat eggplant.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

OCD Pays Off Part 2

So pretty much everyone I talked to reacted the same as you guys in the comments.  I called my doctor's office, because of the pain medications they don't want you bouncing around pharmacies, to let them know I would be changing to a different pharmacy.  When I explained to the first person on the phone, she gasped really loud and told me to hold on.  I got the feeling they started passing my call to other people in the office to freak them out.  The doctor passed along a message that no way in hell should I go back there, and the nurse said if it was her she would put up a big stink.

We bypassed the store level, because the first person Bud talked to was the manager, so it seemed a bit pointless to complain to her.  Also, not only did she screw up, the other pharmacist was also very Wahteva about the whole thing, so it seems as if much of the staff there is a bit indifferent.  I filed a complaint on the store website, and ..... crickets chirped.  Finally, three weeks later the district manager called and left a message, I called back and he was out.  I gave them the best times to reach me, and every time he called it was never when I was home.  I would say call after 3 and he would call at 9 am.  We did that for two weeks, and he just stopped trying to reach me.  But I am sure he was able to write in his report that he tried to contact me.

I also found the state agency that oversees the pharmacies, and filed a complaint with them.  I was afraid that was a bit of overkill.  I had to write a long statement, and actually mail it, with a stamp!    I got a call from a guy there to tell me that he would talk to me in length the next week, but just wanted me to know that I was going to be addressed, and set up a time to talk with me.  I thought that was nice, also he had given me his cell number, so when I called, he answered not a receptionist ( one less person to talk to on the phone WIN). 

So the next week he called, and asked me to talk him through the whole thing.  I had taken pictures of the two different pills with the prescription bottle in the picture as well.  He said that was really helpful, as Swistle said, he was able to determine from that who filled the prescription, who was suppose to  check it and so on.  He said he was very impressed with my organization, and attention to detail.  I am a super dork, so that made me happy.  Anyway, he will finish his investigation and then take it to the pharmacy board later this month.  He said he would call me to let me know what happens, which could range from a letter in a file, to fines, suspensions and revocations of licenses.  He was most disturbed that we had brought it back and were told it was fine.

He asked me what did I want for an outcome, and I told him I didn't want to hear in the news about someone dying because of them.  (A few weeks later there was a mix up at the same chain in a different state with a 2 year olds medicine)  He told me his job is not just disciplinary action, but to find out why the mistake happened and rectify the situation so it doesn't happen again.  I will say, he was very nice, informative, and reassuring.  I am sure the local news would be shocked that a state employee was helpful and nice.

Of course, two weeks after this happened all the kids got sick.  We had to fill 7 or 8 prescriptions for them in the next 8 weeks.  We changed to a pharmacy in the grocery store, which is nice, because you always need something at the store.  Also the people there are so nice, they remember our names!  They asked why we switched and I told them the story.  When I had spoken with my doctor's office, everyone was appalled that there were two different pills in the same bottle.  Well, the new pharmacist explained, if they have to fill a prescription with two different manufacturer's pills, they have to be in different bottles and the pharmacist has to speak to the customer, apparently it is a law.

So, as Ma Ingalls would say "all's well that ends well".

Friday, June 24, 2011

OCD Pays Off, Eventually, Sort of... Part 1

As I have mention many time I have neck and back issues.  I had injections last year, but still use muscle relaxants, arthritis medication daily and pain meds occasionally.  We were filling our prescriptions across the street at the large national chain we will call WalBlue. 

So Bud went and picked up my refills that I had called in, when he got home I opened the muscle relaxant immediately, and noticed that the pills were not the same as usual. They looked similar, so I dumped out the bottle and realized there were two types of pills in the bottle, one that was what I was familiar with, and one that was a bit larger and had different markings.  So like any reasonable person, I consulted google.  And google told me it was a diabetes medication, not a muscle relaxant.  Bud immediately went back to the pharmacist and showed her the problem.  She poked around on the computer, looked in a few bottles, and on a few shelves then told Bud it was a new generic that they were changing to.   I kept feeling skeptical, but if it is new, maybe it just isn't online yet?  I mean who do you trust, the pharmacist who went to school forever or a website possibly updated by crazy Uncle Joe?

At first I avoided the new pills, but my insurance won't pay for more until a month has gone by, and more than half are the new pills.  So I finally took a few, I can take up to 4 a day, but usually just take 2.  Then I came down with a bug, of the intestinal sort.  I don't have the kind of job where I can just run to the bathroom whenever I want.  I was also woozy, light-headed and nauseous and shaky.  I eventually set up lessons for a sub, figuring I caught a bug from my students.

Anyway, this went on for a few days, I was ready to take a sick day when WalBlue calls and asks us to bring in the bottle of medication.   They wanted to replace it with all the same pill.  Bud kept asking if they gave me the wrong meds and they just said it was the wrong dosage.  We took it back (first I took pictures and kept a few of the wrong pill) and got the prescription fixed.  Bud spoke to a different pharmacist, explained the situation and she responded with "these things happen all the time, we are doing our best".  (and there is only one dosage for my prescription and one generic, there is no new generic)

So to me, yes mistakes happen HOWEVER

1) we noticed and brought it back ASAP, and the pharmacy manager didn't know it was wrong.
2) giving the wrong meds could cause a reaction with the other crap I am taking.
3)  the diabetes stuff was extended release 1 every 24 hours I was taking 2 each day and by doctors directions could have been quadrupling the dosage.
4)  My dad has bad eyesight and would never have noticed the difference.  My mom may have noticed but would have assumed everything was fine.  How many people don't match the description on the bottle with the pill in the bottle.  I am super obsessive about that, drug interactions scare the bejesus out of me.

Oh, and the side effects of the wrong medicine they gave me?  Nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, light-headedness I wasn't sick, I was having side effects of a medicine I shouldn't have been taking.  As soon as I stopped taking it I felt better. 

So how do you proceed from here?  Do we let it go?

To be continued...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

So I am paying you to insult me?

I had an appointment today with my pain doctor for my neck.  I like him and feel he listens and blah blah.  However, he is super chatty, he will talk your ear off.  So today he started talking about the education system and how messed up it is and what should be done.  Which, he knows I am a teacher, and proceeds to tell me that once teachers have tenure, they don't feel the need to work anymore.  Ummmmm, so you're telling me I don't do anything anymore?  That seems like a poor choice.  I have been teaching for 13 years and bust my butt, as do 99% of the teachers I know.  I am the first to admit there are some crappy teachers, and a few changes should be made but telling a patient that they are bad because they have been at the job too long?

I felt like I couldn't really get to upset because he will be giving me neck injections at some point.  And quite honestly, I don't feel like having to defend my profession everywhere I go.  I don't to his office and tell him what is wrong with health care.  These would have been better topics:

My neck and current pain levels
Plans to treat above
Local sports team
New movie releases
What I am eating for dinner
When was the last time I scrubbed the toilets at home

I don't truly think he meant to offend, and he seems like a nice guy, just maybe politics should not be discussed with clients or patients.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011


Since the end of March, Maddie has had two ear infections, strep, and now scarlet fever*.  Ellie has also had two ear infections, some other viral thing, Owen had some sort of virus with a fever and red eyes. 

Honestly, I can't take it anymore.  At one point Maddie's fever went up to 105, I felt like I was running around the house with one of those thought bubbles that said " oh shit, do we go to the ER?" going around in my head.  I could hear of speak to anyone I was freaking out so much.  We did not go, we were able to get the fever down with Tylenol.  She had missed her last dose, because, ironically (I think this is actual irony, feel free to correct me) we were at the doctors office because she was sick.  Oh universe, you are so funny.   

*Scarlet fever is strep but with a rash... who knew?

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


What an awfully long pause.  No point doing the whole "why I haven't posted in decade" thing.  Everyone one knows, everyone is busy.  I have been reading and commenting when I can think of any think to say. 

Like everyone else, we have suffered with the unholy plague of 2011.  We have been to the new pharmacy* 3 frillion times in the last 6 weeks.  On the first saturday of spring break Maddie woke up with blood shot eyes.  We figured pink-eye and took her and Ellie to the doctor ASAP.  She had been coughing for a week or so, and had a low grade fever.  It was not pink eye, she had coughed so hard she had broken blood vessels in her EYES.  That was disturbing.  Both also had ear infections and some giant tonsils.

Owen is currently on his second day home, with a fever.  Usually my kids are pretty healthy. [Which I am totally taking credit for, when they are 60 with a heart like a 20 year old I will say "It's because I nursed you for a year damn it.  Be grateful.]  So this 6 weeks or so of crap is killing us, and using up tons of sick days.  On a better note only 7 more weeks until summer vacation.

* Story for another day this week.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sick Day!

Ellie has been sick with a fever for the last two days, so I am home with her today.

First a visual aid:

Saddest baby evah!
4:15 am -4:30am Neighbor's barking dog wakes me up.

5:20         Ellie wakes up, luckily I am still awake from the dog.

7:00         Bud leaves with the kids

7:02         Ellie hits her head  on the counter and cries

7:03         Yo Gabba Gabba  (apparently you shouldn't hit your friends, are they advocating hitting                 non-  f riends?  must check into this)

7:10          Ellie hits her head on the table and cries

9:00          Ellie falls asleep on me and I realize I have not yet eaten.

9:30         Try laying Ellie on couch, she starts screaming before her eyes open

10:30       Find poop on my sweatpants.  99% sure it is Ellie's, wash laundry

12:00       Lay her down for nap.  Eat lunch of tater tots (dipped in butter, they are potatoes, don't judge)

12:11      Yay Ellie's awake

12:15      Ellie hits her head on the fridge and cries.  It her head bigger than it was yesterday?  What is the problem?

And the rest of the day was a blur of over tired toddler smacking her head into every object in our house, wiping snot on me, and me trying to cook dinner.

However, she did give me a kiss completely on her own.  And she got a diaper and layed down on the floor and said "poooop".  Clearly she is a genius, at least before she whacked her head 75 more times.