Thursday, January 20, 2011

FYI: Rhythm is in the hospital

This past Sunday Rhythm came down with what we thought was a stomach bug.  He complained of a stomach ache and threw up for hours, unable to hold anything down.

Monday the vomiting stopped but the pain increased.  By the end of the day he didn't even want to walk.

Tuesday my mom came and picked up Lion Cub and I took Rhythm to the ER- he refused to walk at all by then and would not uncurl from the ball he had huddled himself in.

More than 2 hours after arriving at the ER we were finally seen by a doctor and told that he likely had an appendicitis.  This diagnosis was confirmed by an ultrasound about an hour later, but it was thought that the appendix had not yet perforated.

By 5:20pm Rhythm, no longer even speaking at this point, was rolled into surgery.

Around 7:20 he was taken to recovery and we were informed that his appendix had perforated.  Luckily his colon had flopped on top of it, essentially acting as a blanket on the fire and limiting the damage, but none the less, a leak had sprung.  They thoroughly lavaged his abdominal cavity but he is still extremely at risk of abscess, which would not present itself until 5-7 days after surgery.  He is on three different IV antibiotics and will be in the hospital 5 days-2 weeks.

Yesterday was mostly about pain management.  He was given morphine every 3 hours and a heavy duty ibuprofen every 6.  He walked to the bathroom a couple of times, at mom's prompting, but mostly stayed in bed.  His temperament was good and he worked well with the nurses.  His bowel tones were still low, so he wasn't allowed to eat, but he never had a fever and did quite well.

Today was more difficult.  He was off the morphine and handling pain well, for the most part, but his attitude had turned very grim.  He was argumentative and uncooperative.  When he spiked a fever of 100.4 late in the day, he spit out his tylenol and a nurse actually had to hold his mouth shut and blow in his face to get him to swallow on the second try.  Although he was allowed to start soft foods, he was so picky about what he wanted (specifically- a donut or a muffin) that it was difficult to get him to eat.

I made him get out of bed a few times.  We walked to the end of the hall to check out a movie to watch and he mumbled and complained the whole trip.  At one point a nurse came up and told him what a great job he was doing.  His response?  "My looser mom made me come out here and walk.  I'm so mad!"  (Alright, so I was actually trying really hard not to laugh while I told him that he was being inappropriate and disrespectful!)

After the fever situation and some sudden, increased pain, we realized he was experiencing gas pains as his bowels truly began to wake up.  I once again made him get out of bed and walk down to the movies and playroom.  He SCREAMED the whole way down the hall, and continued to carry on as I left him in the hallway and said that even if he wasn't going to check out the playroom, I was!

A few minutes later his interests were peaked and he ventured into the room himself.  Well, wouldn't ya know?  He wanted to spend the rest of the evening in there!  He played Wii with his dad and would hardly go back to his room!  It is amazing how much things can fluctuate in a matter of a few hours!  We pray he keeps that attitude and continues to heal, avoiding further complications.

For me, it has been a trying and exhausting ordeal.  Although I know he is hopefully on the road to recovery, it is very difficult to see your little one in so much pain and have to push them to do things that hurt, even when they get so mad at you, because you know it what's best for them.  It has been especially difficult to also have Lion Cub be so young, an age when he still needs me very much and has difficulty sleeping without me.  Plus, he is just a handful and can become very taxing on those who are watching him.  I feel so torn and inadequate- needing to take care of two boys who are in different locations.  I feel spread thin.  My husband is also still working full time, which makes it even more difficult, knowing he needs sleep, and food.

I feel as though I am wading through a bit of a fog. Even when I am with Rhythm during the day at the hospital and he is sleeping, I just sometimes feel... blank.  Too much going through my head.  Lots weighing on my shoulders.  So much to take care of and no way to do it.  It is a very isolated and alone feeling.

Sometimes, even though I want to pray, I just don't have the words, or the energy.  I just keep thinking, "God, please know where I am at right now, what we are going through, and fill in what I should be saying to you.  Heal my boy, be with Lion Cub and whoever has the task of managing him, and just help."

I am just trying to do the next thing, as a dear friend shared with me the other day.  Right now, that is all I can do.  I don't know how long I am going to have to try to juggle all this, but somehow it all has to get done.  I don't know how long Rhythm will have to go through all this, but he is such a trooper and I am so proud of him.

Living in the midst of a trial and expectantly waiting on what the Lord will show me through it,

Be sure to visit my sponsor- Marmee's Bread Market- for recipes and everything else you need to easily make fresh baked goods for your family!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Nutty Twister Bread!

I got a little adventurous last weekend and gave Marmee's Nutty Twister Bread from The Bread Basket Cookbook a whirl. Oh my!  Love!  I made two loaves- one according to the recipe with coconut, brown sugar, butter, walnuts and cinnamon rolled on the inside, and one with just cinnamon, sugar and butter.

My only regret was not making MORE!!  They were sooooo good!!  Our eyes bugged out when we saw how huge they proofed and they were just so darn pretty all braided like that!  It is so easy yet looks so difficult & impressive.  I found this easy technique to be well spelled-out in The Bread Basket Cookbook, and even better in Marmee's Make it Special DVD.

Another great thing I love about the braided technique you can do so much with it.  You might remember this parmesan and garlic braided bread I made a few months ago.  You can put practically anything in one of these braids!  Wouldn't you love to take them to a potluck or other gathering?  Come on, you couldn't help but love the ooo's and awww's at your beautiful bread!

Smothered in butter- divine!
And, of course, none of this would have been possible had it not been for my delightful BOSCH Universal Plus Mixer from Marmee's Bread Market!  Ok, so maybe it would have been possible but it sure wouldn't have been easy and I probably would have never made it- plain and simple!

Be sure to visit my sponsor- Marmee's Bread Market- for recipes and everything else you need to easily make fresh baked goods for your family!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Get 'em while they're low!

Psst- hey!  Yeah, you!  Haven't you always wanted a BOSCH Universal PLUS Mixer?!  Well- NOW is the time!  Marmee just sent out a notice that BOSCH will be raising their prices on February 6!  Don't miss the chance to get your new BOSCH while the price is still down!  And trust me- this is one kitchen appliance you won't regret buying!  I can't wait to show tomorrow what I made over the weekend with it!  SO yummy!

Be sure to visit my sponsor- Marmee's Bread Market- for recipes and everything else you need to easily make fresh baked goods for your family!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Pot Roast Perfection

I love a good pot roast (or as I like to call it po' roast- we can't afford the "t").  I get to make it long before meal time, so there is none of that last minute, "Oh Holy Cow! My husband will be home in 15 minutes and I haven't started dinner yet!"- gut wrench that often ensues on other evenings, AND it last for days because I turn the leftovers into the most delicious Shepherd's Pie you've ever dreamed of tasting (thanks to one Miss Paula Dean)!

Here in lies the problem, however- my crock pot broke!

(insert moaning and wailing here!)

Apparently he has a mind of his own.  (And yes, I may or may not have decided to call "him," a "her" if I were pleased with his performance, rather than disappointed and downright angry!) His other kitchen appliance friends must have gotten together, poked fun at him and called him the slowest kid in the hood. I can imagine him getting up extra early, working out and going running, because now he's fast.

Really fast!  

There's nothing slow about him!  He cooks everything in .02 seconds and leaves the dry, shriveled up remains of his fastness for me to disappointedly find after a long day of "simmering," begging the question, "If I douse this with enough gravy, could it be edible?"

The answer is usually "no."  But I make my family eat it anyway.  Mama already made dinner today- she's not doin' it again fool!  We pick over it.  Pretend we're eating.  The four year old complains.  We clear the dishes and opt for ice-cream.

So, I had to find a solution.  I had to go where I had dared not go before.  I had to make a pot roast in a pot.  Well, a pan actually.  And do it in the oven!

(Gasp in horror!)

Sometimes I'm afraid of that machine.  It's hot in there!  And I seem to dry things out faster in the oven then even Speedy Gonzales the Crock Pot can seem to accomplish.

I forged ahead anyway.  Did a little research.  Experimented a little.  And in the end, I came up with this- my recipe for Pot Roast Perfection!  Curious?  Join me, won't you?

First, gather your cast of characters:
Roast (I used a 3.5 lb)
About 1 lb of Baby Red Potatoes
1 lb of carrots (I prefer a nice little bag of the baby ones, cause they're washed and you can just throw them right in)
1 yellow onion
3-5 cloves of Garlic
Kosher Salt
Dijon Mustard
Emeril's Original Essence

Next- sear that meat baby!  Go ahead, slap her in a hot pan and listen to her sizzle!  You just want to brown her on all sides to give her a little color and keep all those juices in as she slow cooks (and yes, she's a she, cause she's all good)!  Oh- and preheat your oven to 250.

While your searing away, thick slice your onion and line the bottom of your roasting pan.  You can also give your red babies a quick, rough chop, just so they are chunky pieces.

Aren't they pretty?  Gleaming and clean.
Except this one- he was green- and was sent to live with the goblins.
When she's all seared up, pop her in the pan on top of the onions and wedge the potatoes and carrots in around her.  Don't be shy, go ahead and shove!

Now, get your crush on and sprinkle that garlic all over your roast.  You also want to, fairly liberally, sprinkle both roast and veggies with kosher salt, pepper and Emeril's Essence.

Grab your Dijon now and give it a good squirt over most of your roast.  There is no real measurement here, just smother it baby!

At this point you are going to want to add one cup beef stock, and can I make a little suggestion here?  Pack yourself up, head to Costco and invest in nice big jars of beef and chicken base.  Sort of like boullion, but richer, and it stretches so much farther than stock for the price.  Wise investment, fo' sho'!

Finally, tightly wrap your pan in aluminum foil and pop it in the oven for about 3 hours for a 3 lb roast (check it at 2 1/2 though- it should easily pull apart).

I get a little silly here and talk myself into putting the lid on too, somehow thinking it just helps seal in every last little inkling of steam, but it probably isn't necessary.

As the glorious aroma fills your home you will quickly be reassured of your success and at the end of that 3 hours your family will kiss you and call you blessed!

Which you will then, in turn, pass on to me! :-)  Haha!

She's not glamorous, just simply delicious!


Be sure to visit my sponsor- Marmee's Bread Market- for recipes and everything else you need to easily make fresh baked goods for your family!

A little heart broken...

Last night I found out that the Friday co-op/moms group I have so raved about, counted on and sought reprieve in, has been canceled.  This Friday will be the final meeting.  The short of it is, the wonderful family who hosts it will be moving in a few months and are simply unable to continue- it just won't work for them.

I get that.  And I respect the mama for so putting her family first and doing what is absolutely best for them.  She follows Jesus daily.  Deliberately.  I still have much to learn from her, but now will not have the chance.

Honestly, I'm heart broken.  Fridays were the one day a week that I really had the chance to be around other women (or adults at all for that matter).  I have learned soooo much from them.  Wisdom just seems to pour out of these ladies each week.  Jesus is there those days.  And more over, they are some of the most lovely and wonderful women you could ever meet- genuinely caring and a total kick in the pants to top it off.  

You can see it in their children because they are all as lovely, sweet, kind and goofy as their mothers.  Not the kind of kids you're bothered by, but the kind you could love almost as much as your own.

I always left Fridays with a lighter burden.  At a time in my life that has been fairly void of hope or encouragement, these women lifted me up and gave me a break.  

To say I will miss these days would be a gross understatement.  I wept a little last night.  I suppose from fear of loosing my friends, who I mostly only saw on these days.  And more over, loosing myself.  Loosing myself to the trials and hardships of this life without that fellowship to keep me afloat.

I'm a little broken right now.

know Jesus has bigger plans.  I KNOW that.  But sometimes, when disappointment after disappointment are heaped on your plate, you want to feel His guidance more than know it.  You want Him to fill the gaps in your aching soul more quickly.  You want answers.  You want Him to just say, "This is what I have for you next, this is what it looks like and this is when it's coming."

But if there is one thing I'm constantly reminded of, things don't happen in my timing, they happen in His.  And every time I rush ahead of him, I live to regret it in big ways.

So, I'm waiting on You, Jesus.  But just so You know, I'm pretty tired and I could really use some love and care about now.  

Be sure to visit my sponsor- Marmee's Bread Market- for recipes and everything else you need to easily make fresh baked goods for your family!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Daily Bread

Ok- I'm back!  Five days into the New Year and we are starting to get around again!  It's a good thing because we were clean out of bread!  I have been wanting to try out some other recipes of Marmee's for a while, but in all honesty, haven't had the money to buy a lot of ingredients that I didn't already have.

So this week, in desperation to try something new (and have something valuable to post about) I gave her Daily Bread Recipe a shot, with a few alterations.  Instead of hulled millet in the recipe I used milled flax seed and instead of honey I used demerara sugar.  I also had to use a little more white flour than called for because I ran out of wheat (can you believe it?!  50lbs used already!).

While I am sure I would like the recipe better with the honey (mostly just because I have had a hankerin' for honey lately) I do really like the recipe.  With the flax seed added it just tastes so.....



I love filing up my freezer with a batch of bread dough again- it is a comforting feeling, knowing I am providing pure food for my family, simply.

I'm consistently amazed with the variety and number of recipes in Marmee's Bread Basket cookbook!  I could literally make a new recipe every week of the year if I had the money!  And so far I have yet to find one that we haven't enjoyed.  This silly little cookbook, $7.29, is worth every penny- I highly recommend it!  Seriously!

And this wouldn't be a baking post if I didn't mention my love for my BOSCH Universal Plus Mixer!  It has rocked my world and changed my baking life forever!  My husband asked me the other day, "So, now that you've had it for a while, do you still life making the bread?"  I think he was secretly hoping I would say "no" because he doesn't like the size of the slices of bread since the loaves are made in an 8" bread pan.  But I do still enjoy it- especially when I get to try a new recipe.  It makes me feel like such a homemaker!  I love tying on my apron and making something wholesome and delicious.  I love the aroma of fresh bread baking, floating through my small home.

Thanks again Marmee for the wonderful opportunity to use such an amazing machine!  I am hoping to do another baking post this week since I was too sick to do one last week.  And get around to talking about resolutions too!  I hope you missed me!

Be sure to visit my sponsor- Marmee's Bread Market- for recipes and everything else you need to easily make fresh baked goods for your family!