Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Emergency Room or Emergency Muffins, Take Your Pick

Yep, I am really slowing down folks.  If I were a two toed sloth, I would be growing green fur about now.  This is the fourth day in a row I have eschewed school for more "practical" studies.  Like imparting folding-wash-cloth skills and loading-the-dishwasher prowess to my minions, uh, I mean students.

Truth be told, I really haven't spent a lot of time sitting down.  The past seven days I've been too busy running around the zoo, mall, bowling alley, church and the occasional emergency room.

Yeah, we were back in the ER Sunday afternoon.  Dee swallowed and a quarter just happened to jump down his throat and lodge in his esophagus.  He could breathe but absolutely could not swallow, was in a lot of pain and was totally panicked.  I was verging on panic too.  Our first impulse was to get him to swallow down some water, but that quickly turned to fear that the coin would shift and block his airway.

I grabbed Cy to help keep Dee calm and we made it out to the car and on our way to Urgent Care in record time.  Poor Dee was in agony.  Every stop light he would moan, "Why did the light have to be red?  Why did you make a wrong turn?  How long will it take?"  I kept urging him not to cry, as that would just make his throat swell tighter.

Upon arriving at Urgent Care, I left Cy and Dee at the front door while I quickly parked the car.  When I got up to the front door, Dee was full on vomiting, alarming a nurse who was walking through the parking lot as well.  I left him with his brother in the bathroom while I spoke to the nurse at the front desk.  She said there was nothing they could do for him there except take x rays.  We would be better off at the Emergency Room.

Poor Dee.  He was so disappointed to have to get right back in the car again.  This time I turned my hazard lights on and hit the gas.  By this point I was really wishing we had called an ambulance.  I really thought that Urgent Care could take care of it much faster than calling and waiting on an ambulance would take.  As I hit 90 MPH on the BA Expressway, I recalled my dad's days as a first responder in Bridgecreek.  I guess I was deep in thought and totally forgot the quickest way to St Francis.  Dee in the backseat was groaning, "Why did you go this way?  This isn't the fastest way to go!"  As long as he was complaining I knew that he could breathe...

The ER was packed.  Thankfully, they were able to get him in within 30 minutes.  But let me tell ya, the ER waiting room has got to be the loneliest place on the planet.  You feel completely alone and uncared for.  You could die in a corner, while watching Dr Oz, before anyone would know.

Anyways, to make a long story somewhat shorter, eventually Dee was comfortably ensconced in a room watching the Dukes of Hazzard 35th Anniversary Marathon.  X rays were taken, which showed there was definitely a quarter stuck somewhere in the vicinity of his esophageal sphincter and it was turned just enough to allow him to breathe and vomit (which he was still doing at intervals).  An ENT specialist was called in, Dee was put under anesthesia and the offending coin retrieved.  An entourage of loving prayer warriors showed up in the surgery waiting hallway (the waiting room was locked for the weekend)  We prayed and laughed and passed the time until they called us back to recovery.  Thank you so much, Pastor J C, Gary, Billy, Brenda, Linzi, Dan and Susan!  Humongous thanks to Clint and Joanna for taking care of the kids for us!  We love you guys so much!!

A large bowl of ice cream and a good night's sleep later, Dee was back to bouncing on the furniture.  Thank you, God for a little boy who can still bounce and make messes and make the funniest faces!  When I asked him "WHY DID YOU SWALLOW A QUARTER?!!!"  He philosophically replied, "I don't know?  I swallowed and there just happened to be a quarter in my mouth."


So, that brings me to today.  A sore and worn out blimpy shadow of the mama that clicked down the hallways all evening in heels and pearl earrings to save her baby.  A mama that has not brushed her hair all day.  A mama that for the life of her cannot manage to get to the store and pick up a few odds and ends.  A mama that can hardly form coherent answers to her hungry brood's demands for breakfast.  A mama that turns to the most amazing, time saving, maybe even life saving muffin batter known to man in order to put food on the table before noon, thus calling it "breakfast".

Yes, a muffin batter.

You mix this simple batter together, store in the 'fridge for up to 6 weeks and Bam! at the drop of a hat you can have muffins in the oven within 3 minutes.  Any time, night or day.  And they are delicious!  Muffin mix is a thing of the past.

Life Saving Bran Muffin Batter

1 box bran flakes (or raisin bran or any other healthy type cereal)
3 c sugar
5 c flour
5 tsp baking soda
4 c buttermilk (I make my own with powdered milk and adding a spoon of vinegar)
2 tsp salt
4 beaten eggs
1 cup oil

Mix the dry ingredients, add in cereal.  Mix wet ingredients and combine all together.  Stir just until moistened.  Store, covered in a plastic or glass container (NOT METAL) for up to 6 weeks in the refrigerator.  When ready to use, grease muffin tin, spoon in desired amount of batter.  Bake at 400 15-20 minutes while you take a shower, get dressed or otherwise save the day

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Operation Icicle

My cousin, Vikki (from sisters point of view)  is coming to visit next week.


My long overdue burst of nesting might be making an appearance.


I plan to spend the next four days cleaning, planning, schooling and cooking.

I will call this Operation Icicle. 

We will fly to the Y, execute a HAHO infil over the desert, remembering the only easy day is yesterday and exfil to JSOC upon completion of said objectives.

Why yes, I did just finish reading a book about the Navy SEALS.  Why do you ask?

Anyways, this will be a major operation, requiring skill and stealth.  And bribing the natives.

The first step is to, well, get off the computer and fix breakfast before 10 am.

We can't all be up before sunrise, ok!

Really, my major goal is to set the timer for 15 minutes.  Clean a particular area during those 15 minutes.  Take a 15 minute break to work on "school" stuff.  Return to area 51 and keep cleaning 15 more minutes.  Repeat as necessary.  When area 51 is complete, debrief with a game or movie.

That is all

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Thoughts Of Peace

  How many times have I seen Jeremiah 29:11 printed out on mugs, journal, bookmarks and picture frames?  It is a very encouraging verse.  One that makes me smile.  One that brings hope.  It is often quoted in the NIV:

" For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

Oh, goody!  It says right here, "It's all good"!

So, I was reading Jeremiah 29 yesterday.  Sometimes I get lost in the Prophets.   Repeated messages of impending doom and repeated responses of rebellion on the part of Israel can be really depressing.  It's easy to lose my train of thought and just cruise for awhile...  So far, the book of Jeremiah has been warning after warning.  "If y'all don't repent and seek the Lord,  you will be carried away to Babylon.  If you try to put up a resistance and fight, you will be killed and turned into fertilizer."   Pretty stark.

By chapter 28 it is clear that judgement had already fallen and many captives had been drug off to pagan Babylon. (although they should have been comfortable there, since these were the same gods they had forsaken Jehovah for)

But, it wasn't just the "carnal" Hebrews that were affected.  There were Godly people in there that were suffering too.  This is the time of Daniel, Shadrack, Meshack and Abednego.  Surely they didn't deserve all this brutality.  You would think that maybe there were some patriots, freedom fighters, preppers, if you will, that were plotting an insurgency.  Maybe they were looking for the next Moses or Joshua to lead them back to freedom.

But God said no.

Stay put, unpack your bags and get comfortable.  You're going to be here awhile.  This is my plan to prosper you.  

Here it is, lined out in KJV:

"Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel, unto all that are carried away captives, whom I HAVE CAUSED TO BE CARRIED AWAY...  

Build ye houses, and dwell in them; and plant gardens, and eat the fruit of them;  Take ye wives, and beget sons and daughters; and take wives for your sons, and give your daughters to husbands, that they may bear sons and daughters; that ye may be increased there, and not diminished.  

And seek the peace of the city whither I have caused you to be carried away captives, and pray unto the Lord for it: for in the peace thereof shall ye have peace...  

For thus saith the Lord, that after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place.  For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. 

 Then shall ye call upon me and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.  And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart.  And I will be found of you, saith the Lord: and I will turn away your captivity...and I will bring you again into the place whence I CAUSED YOU TO BE CARRIED AWAY CAPTIVE." Jeremiah 29:4-14

I guess that is a little much to fit on a coffee cup...

What strikes me is how often verse 11 is construed to mean nothing bad will ever happen to us.  And if it does it is either
a. the devil got one over on God   or
b. it's all my fault

I think there is a "c" in the context.  Sometimes God sends us into the wilderness for our own good.  It may be we are innocent bystanders, swept up in general catastrophe.  It may be that we had lost sight of God and wandered out of the path on our own.  It may be, like Job, that we were doing everything right.  But whatever the circumstance, God knows where we are.  He cares about us.  He has a plan.  And it's all right on schedule.  Thoughts of peace and not of evil does not mean that we won't go through rough times.  It means God has a path for us that will bring us out on the other side.

This seems to be the proof text for "Bloom where you are planted"!  Instead of frantically trying to escape uncomfortable situations, maybe we should unpack and settle in to stay awhile.  Make the best of it.  Do what we can with the materials on hand to beautify our cells, like Corrie and Betsie Ten Boom   It may be this will be the time of your greatest growth and blessings.  And the Lord promises to be near at hand.  He will hear you.  He will answer you.  He will lead you out at just the right time.  It will all come together, just as He has planned.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

An Apple A Day...

  It's taken me a while to get back into the rhythm of "normal" days.  Mostly because normal has forever changed.

I start weekly visits to my favorite OB next week.

Rolling over takes more energy than climbing Hatcher's Pass, and it's more painful, too.

I've hit my 180 lb weight goal, 6 weeks early.

 I. Am. Grouchy.  Seriously, keep fingers inside the fence, I bite.

And I'm always hungry.  The girl who gets depressed when she eats too much sugar is spooning it in like it's the only thing that will keep her sane.

I'm sure once I have a screaming bundle of baby girl sweetness keeping me up round the clock things will get much better.

So, in light of all this cheerfulness, I thought today would be a fine time to showcase my New Year's Resolution's.  They are as follows:

1. Avoid a mental breakdown
2. Make sure no one expires from hunger
3. Do laundry at least once a month

What?  That doesn't inspire you?  Me either.  Instead of fancy Resolutions, I am trying something new this year.  A small list of daily goals.  Nothing big or earth shattering.  Just small steps that will hopefully keep me healthy, productive and less stressed.  You know the old saying, "An apple a day keeps the doctor away."  I'm hoping that small steps will lead to healthy habits that will keep the men in the white coats away.   I took a small piece of paper (very important! the larger the paper, the longer the list.  I might have to downgrade to a Post It note after the baby is born)  and listed 10 things that I can try to fit into my day.  Kind of like puzzle pieces.  It's a rare day when I do all 10, but accomplishing even one thing makes me feel good.  Hopefully these will become habits that I do without even thinking about it.

Small Steps Make A Big Difference!
1: Eat 1 piece of fresh fruit or vegetable
2: Completely finish 1 load of laundry (never mind that there are 3 unfinished loads on the couch)
3: Clean 1 bathroom
4: Dance through 1 song (yep, that's the extent of my exercise)
5: Play 1 hymn (just in case I'm unexpectedly called upon some Sunday)
6: Get rid of 1 item (this is sooo important! Tossing any little thing you no longer need or use counts.  I threw out an 80% used up dot-to-dot book today.  Bam!)
7: Read 1 children's book out loud
8: Do 1 activity with kids (we managed a board game during nap time, but coloring together counts.  Or working a puzzle.  Or building blocks.  This is my hardest task)
9: Straighten 1 room (Or a shelf.  Or just clear the table)
10: Read 1 chapter (from a book I WANT to read, all by myself.  If you don't have a daily habit of Morning Devotions, this would be a good way to start) 

That's it.  It may seem pathetically small and prosaic.  Or it might appear overwhelming and unrealistic.  Most days I can hit 8 out of 10 of these mini challenges.  The good news, I can always refine and restructure for my changing needs.  But each item adds up and if I can hit it consistently through the next year, I think we're going to be all right.

Happy New Year, everyone!