Thursday, March 06, 2008

Katie's News

Since Katie and Nathan have made all the personal phone calls and she is now announcing it on her blog, I guess it is okay for me to tell the joyful news too.

Maggie and I are going to be keeping an eye on Baby Center's fetal development website so that she can learn about the growth of the new family member. By Thanksgiving my first grandbaby should arrive.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Really Good Rice

Our standard and boring rice recipe is to cook the brown basmati in double the amount of water, throw in a little chicken Better-Than-Bouillon (or better yet, use real home-made stock), some onion and celery and garlic and grated carrot, spiced with salt, pepper, and parsley. If we're feeling like Wisconsinny cheeseheads, we will put in several slices of American cheese after the rice is done cooking, let it melt, stir, and have a dish quite like some of the expensive boxed-rice side-dishes sold in the grocery store (ahhh, but ours is made of real ingredients).

I didn't have American cheese. Or cheddar. (Trying to deplete the grocery stash prior to moving day, doncha know.) So I thought I'd try adding feta. For 2 cups of rice, 1 onion, 2 ribs of celery, and no carrots (still tryin' to run down those grocery supplies), I added about 1/3 cup of feta.

Oh. My. Goodness.

It was unbelievable. Andrew declared it was the best rice he'd ever eaten in his life. Then he found out there was feta in it. Andrew does not like feta. But he pulled together his good sense and his well-favored taste buds, and decided he wanted to eat this again!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

The Work of Moving

We have the usual: cleaning and packing and making decisions. What caught me off-guard was the amount of cleaning. I thought the new house looked well taken care of and clean. But the previous owners smoked, and the bucketfuls of wash-water come out a whole lot dirtier than anticipated. So the cleaning is taking longer than expected. We also have a lot of laundry to do this week. Not only are there piles of cleaning cloths, but there's also loads and loads of blankets and jackets and other non-weekly (not even monthly) laundry to be freshened. The septic system at the new house needs to be replaced, so it's important that we not overload it and cause it to fail. That means a laundromat will become a major feature in my life for the next 7-12 weeks. That means I want to get all the wash done NOW, while I still can run a machine without putting quarters into it.

It was nice to have some extra hands come and help with the cleaning today. Of course, there has to be visiting amidst the scrubbing. Mouths can work at the same time as hands. Thank you, Laura and Mary and Rachel!

Monday, March 03, 2008


Andrew had another ear infection early this year. At that point, I wanted to write this post but didn't get around to it. A friend took her son to the doctor today to check for an ear infection. When she said, "If only I had an otoscope, I could look at his ears myself," I decided I really wanted to get this posted publicly.

Two of my children have problems with outer ear infections due to wax build-up (due to oddly shaped ear canals). After a couple of ER visits, I learned how to deal with the wax problem the way the doctors do. But one of the important tools is the otoscope: you have know when to keep flushing the ear and when it's clean enough to stop, and looking through an otoscope tells you what you need to know.

So I investigated otoscopes. The Dr Mom otoscope is the friend of any bright mother. When the child goes to the doctor with an ear infection, ask to see through the doctor's otoscope. Begin to learn what an ear infection looks like. (The Dr Mom website also gives some illustrations.) The otoscope can tell you when a child's ears are clear as can be. It can tell you when there's an outer ear infection. It can show when the ear drums are getting stuffy with allergies. It can show when there's infection that might spur you to make an appointment with the doctor posthaste. These things are, like, 25 bucks, and that includes shipping. If you can avoid even one co-pay for the doctor, you've paid for the otoscope. Mine is about five years old and still works just great. This is something I wish I'd known about much earlier in my mommy-days. It saves time and it saves money, and sometimes it allows a sick child stay home in comfort instead of sitting in a doctor's office getting exposed to more germs "just in case" he might need the amoxicillin.

Sunday, March 02, 2008

Better Late than Early

Although it's the name of an education book (the philosophy of which I quite agree with!), that's not what I'm writing about here.

When you have an appointment with the cable guy at your new house, it would be better if he showed up late rather than early. We have been waiting for installation of the phone and internet at the new house. I made the appointment for the phone hook-up. A few days later I added the order for the internet. Both times the appointment was confirmed for 1:00-3:00. We arrived at the new house at 11:30, just to make sure. And he had already arrived, found us not there, and left.

Now we have to wait until Thursday before they can come back. I've heard this company has lousy customer service, and they can get by with it because they're the only cable-game in town. But still, it would be better if they were late rather than early. Then I would've been frustrated by the long wait, but at least I wouldn't have had to wait five days.

It makes me disgusted with myself how these little glitches can totally turn me into a basket case these days.