Friday, December 2, 2016

Hello Again, Croup. I Haven't Missed You.

Cubby had it first. Then Jack went down a few days ago.

Last night Charlie succumbed, waking up screaming and barking that awful croup cough, panicked because he couldn't breathe. I took him outside to look at the moon*, because cooler, damp air is helpful with croup. Then he sat on my lap in the kitchen and breathed in the steam from a hot mug of water, taking sips of cold water occasionally before he eventually decided he could sleep again.

This happened twice, once at 1 a.m. and again at 4:45 a.m.

Jack woke up crying and coughing at 6:15 a.m. He sat with me until 6:30 a.m., at which point I had to dump him in bed with A. and go get Cubby up for school. Waking Cubby up also woke Charlie up.

Cubby was whining and crying that he didn't want to go to school. (He's not sick anymore. Just grumpy.)

Charlie refused to go back to sleep and instead collapsed on the mat at the bottom of the stairs, wailing that he couldn't come upstairs.

Jack was crying in the bed with A., who is now also sick with a cold.

So, at 6:30 a.m. I was running the shower in the bathroom to make it steamy for Charlie--at which point I hauled him upstairs and sat him in there with a mug of hot honey water--forcing Cubby to get dressed and putting out his breakfast, packing Cubby's lunch, and making hot tea for Jack and A.

The three contagious amigos.

Keep your fingers crossed for me that I don't come down with something, okay? Someone has to keep this snotty ship from sinking.

* In my pajamas, which meant I was outside in a t-shirt and shorts, barefoot in the 38-degree night with half-frozen rain coming down. Motherhood literally pushes you out of your comfort zone with some regularity.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Spilled Milk

I have to remind myself nearly daily that there's no use crying over spilled milk. Or, more accurately, there's no use yelling over spilled milk. My children are unconcerned about spilled milk and unlikely to shed any tears over it, but I am very irritated by spilled milk and must stop myself from berating the kids when they spill it.

The reason it's so irritating is that milk is surprisingly difficult to clean up properly. The large puddle must be mopped up, and then the area has to be wiped with a wet cloth to prevent a disgusting sticky spot. In addition, when milk falls from a table it spatters for an incredible distance. I've found milk spatters up to five feet from the actual spot the cup hit the floor. 

Plus, the milk is usually in an inconvenient spot like underneath the table or chairs, necessitating hands and knees scrubbing and the likelihood of whacking my head in the process.

The best--or worst, perhaps I should say--was this morning, though, when Charlie was putting the full cup of milk he had requested and refused to drink into the refrigerator for later.* He somehow caught it on the edge of the refrigerator shelf or something and spilled the entire cup on the floor directly in front of the refrigerator, which meant half of it spread under the refrigerator.

Deep breath (after my involuntary, "Charlie! COME ON."). No use yelling over spilled milk, no use yelling over spilled milk . . .

On the up side, pulling the refrigerator out to clean up allowed me to wipe down that side of the counter next to the stove where things fall in the unreachable crack between the refrigerator and the cabinet. 

I also had the opportunity to note once again that our landlady is either an excellent housekeeper in general or did a really bang-up job of cleaning before we moved in. It was by far the least-scary refrigerator moving I've ever had to do. Mostly dusty back there.

And now all clean. Thanks to the milk. Silver linings, keeping on the sunny side, and Pollyanna-ing all over the place here.

* The small cups of milk cluttering the refrigerator when the kids don't finish drinking them are another irritant of milk, but wasting it would be worse.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Also Thankful for This

Hello, my lovelies! Is everyone jumping right back into work/school/whatever everyday drudgery awaited you after the holiday?

Yeah, me too. I did three loads of laundry yesterday, re-stocked the very bare refrigerator, and am currently home with all three children, as Cubby's cough this morning convinced his tender-hearted father that he should stay home from school.

I was going to send him. Lucky for Cubby he has such a nice dad.


I am here to tell you of a felicitous food accident that occurred during the MiL's many Thanksgiving food preparations. She made three different pies: one pumpkin, one apple, and one chocolate. The filling for the chocolate pie was a very easy recipe for a kind of chocolate mousse called pots de creme. The recipe--an old one from A.'s grandmother--involves simply blending together chocolate chips, sugar, vanilla, hot milk, and an egg, and then chilling it to set.

I happened to be in the kitchen when the MiL was pouring this chocolate mixture into the pie shell and she had just a little bit left over. I helpfully found a ramekin for her to pour the extra into.

My Thanksgiving labors were very strenuous, yes*.

Then I saw four small circular pieces of pie dough that the MiL had cut with a biscuit cutter from her extra dough and baked along with one of the pies.

The MiL mentioned that she thought the boys might like to have those as a treat.

They probably would have, but they never got the chance, because I saw those little circles of flaky pastry, and I saw the ramekin of liquid chocolate.

It was just inevitable that I dipped that pie dough directly into the chocolate and ate it standing there in the kitchen. Jack was in the kitchen with me, so he got to have a piece, but otherwise? All me. And the best thing I ate on Thanksgiving.

How about you? What was the best thing you ate last Thursday?

* Okay, I also made some mashed sweet potatoes, but those are so easy they don't really count. Certainly nothing like making three pies all from scratch.