Tuesday, 7 July 2015

When to go to the Doctor: A Mother's Guide

My husband's mother had a reputation of NOT taking her boys to the doctor for broken bones exactly 100% of the times they broke bones.  At least not at first.  Eventually yes, but she required convincing.  Inevitably they were given a hot bath and put to bed and told they'd be fine.

I've tried very hard not to follow in those particular footsteps.

There have been doctors who have doubted my mother's intuition, over the years.  For instance, Mr Busy's chest infections.  As a small babe his cold would turn from snotty to infection in mere hours, and I could tell the difference.  It happens with loads of experience, and he spent his first five winters going from one chest infection to the next.  I remember taking him to the doctor one day, the conversation going something like this:
Dr:  Why didn't you bring him in before now.  He's very sick.
Me:  Because yesterday it was just a cold, it changed overnight.  And now here I am.  Yesterday you would have sent me away and said he'll be fine.

Eventually this Dr trusted my instincts so well she was happy to give me prescriptions for antibiotics before we needed them.  If we were going away and he was on the cusp of another infection she would hand over the script and say "I know you'll know when to use it".

On the flip side I have taken Miss Mischief to the doctor because she stopped eating.  Actually I've done that with all of our kids, because these kids are Eaters.  It's genetic.  The whole of Dh's family are Eaters.  I know they're sick when they stop Eating.  And on this day Miss Mischief had no other symptoms except that she'd stopped eating.  The doctor (different to the one above) looked at me like I was neurotic.  I know he wanted to say "Lady, babies stop eating all the time for unexplained reasons".  But he checked her out and lo and behold she had an ear infection.
Dr:  Are you sure she has no other symptoms?  Pain?  Fever?
Me:  Nope.  She just stopped eating.  That's it.  My kids are very sick when they don't eat.

He was dumbfounded, because she should have had pain AND fever, and been very miserable.  And who ever heard of taking their kids to a doctor "because they stopped eating"?

Unlike my MIL I did manage to take Miss Sunshine to the doctor when she broke a toe.  I knew buddy-strapping was the only treatment, but I wasn't going to be reputed with the family "our mother's don't take us to the doctor for broken bones" line.  Yessireee, I put a stop to that one!

Which brings me to our most recent medical event.  This past week Miss Mischief (actually, last Monday) got herself into a spot of bother, due to walking on our gravel driveway, barefooted.  We won't go into the gravel driveway issues and the rubble that spreads everywhere....  She got a stone in her foot and had to dig a little to get it out.  Somehow she was adamant, after a great deal of digging about, that there was still something in there and I was less convinced.  She'd dug pretty deep and nothing could be felt.  I told her our bodies are designed to push foreign objects to the surface and we'd just see what happened.  On Wednesday, after having my mother (who is far more persistent with these things, and who has a magnifying glass lamp thing) dig about they got a bit more out.  While Mum and Miss Mischief were digging about I told her I would take her to a doctor when we got home, if it wasn't out by Sunday.  You know, give the thing a good week to come out on its own, and all that crunchy-mum kinda stuff.  And then on Saturday morning I got a text with the image above.  "In case you're wondering what it is..that's what came out of my foot..." she said.

Maybe I should have taken her before?

But at least it wasn't a broken bone.  And I was right...our bodies push foreign objects out.

Saturday, 4 July 2015


Image Credit
I asked Siri what the temperature in Our Town is.  She tells me it's 6C (42F).  No wonder I've been cold every time I've stepped out of the house.  I feel validated for shivering!

This afternoon?  More crocheting.  Perhaps some planning for school.  Both while sitting under my fleecy blanket.

An afternoon tea cheese platter.

All after a lunch of my very most favourite Greenwell Salad (today's version: cashews instead of walnuts and apple instead of pear).  Cold salads might be counterintuitive on a cold day, but it feels alive and perhaps it has some illness-fighting qualities.  It feels like that.

Off to the couch with the blanket.  I'm sorry Step Counter App.  It's too cold and wet to walk outside today.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Oh A-Crocheting I Go.

We have just returned from a few days with my parents, who live a couple of hours' drive away.  It was the loveliest couple of days.  Lots of yummy food, because despite popular opinion my mother can cook.  She just doesn't enjoy it as much as others seem to.  Feeding my family is entirely satisfying though - they eat everything and tell her how wonderful it was.  You wouldn't think iced chocolate cake was that amazing.  Maybe they're just deprived?

In any case, Mr Busy got apple and rhubarb pie, and lots of boys-only trips of secret-men's-businness with his Dad and Grandpa.  I think they included coffee and cake.  Us girls went Geo Cache-ing.  My aunty got Mum into it, and then Miss Sunshine downloaded an app and we got into it.  And then Miss Sunshine told a couple of friends and now they're into it.  So much fun at no cost.  Glorified orienteering with a GPS that tells you exactly where you should find the cache.

I got back into crocheting.  My mother is the kind of crafter who has all of the paraphernalia required for every craft under the sun.  She was the perfect person to ask about crocheting patterns.  "What do you want to make?" she asked me.  I didn't know, just something.  So she dragged out her pile of pattern magazines and such and I looked through every single one.  The pile was nearly a foot high, but that's half the fun - choosing something.  I found something I loved, went to Spotlight and got my wool and in less than 24 hours I have something significant to show for my time.  I love crocheting - so satisfying!  In between choosing the pattern and getting started, my precious mother figured out the pattern so I could just get on with it.  Because reading the pattern is often the biggest obstacle to crocheting (and knitting).  She had to write DC = TR for me at the top of it so my British-oriented brain could cope with a US pattern.  I guess I just don't speak US when it comes to crochet patterns.  I haven't crocheted for a very long time, but my brain is firmly imprinted with the way I was taught!

At the end of it I will have this vest:
Image Credit

And because crocheting grows so quickly I am already well on my way.  All this since 5pm yesterday - a mere 4 hours of work.

Tuesday, 30 June 2015

Operation Freezer Stash Is Go

I have plans in the works to spend a day with my sister-in-law (also a teacher, also works full time, also a mum) to get our freezers all stocked up and prepared for the school term ahead.  But being the driven, overachieving type I've already begun my quest for a well-stocked, family-protecting freezer.

My biggest issues around meals and motivation is the preparation.  Well, besides coming up with the ideas, and shopping, and putting everything away, and then figuring out that the meal I had planned needs to be switched a bit and getting it done.  I just still don't get it - these unreasonable people need to be fed every day.  Every.  Day.  On my worst days I think just once a day would be fine, but no.   Mr Busy has even told me it's illegal not to feed children, to which I responded that the law only tells me I have to (not neglect them, you know), not how often.  Our GP laughed at that and agreed that I was right.  There was no stipulation for how often.  So once a day then, right?  Secretly though?  I get hungry too.  Darn!

The other night when I went to buy chicken thighs for dinner I did something brilliant.  I bought three bags of thighs (from Aldi) and did the preparation - we ate one meal and I froze two more.  All prepared and in the marinade.  All that is left to be done is defrost and throw in the oven.  My kind of busy-day cooking!  Last night I was bread crumbing chicken fillets.  I made four fillets go two meals for the five of us by slicing off the tenderloin and then placing the fillet flat on the bench and slicing horizontally - two full-sized half fillets just like that.  Once prepared, those were flash frozen and bagged.  Again, nothing to do but defrost and cook.

Kicking goals all over the place!  So far I have two Forbidden City Chicken's, one chicken schnitzel, one homemade pizza dough and sauce and....I think that's it.  But I'm on my way!

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

Mr Busy = Funniest Boy on Earth

There is a child in my house who does some very strange things.  The said child also loves to bake biscuits (cookies).  Today was end-of-term class party day, a couple of days early, and so last night was baking night.  He was quite intent on ensuring that the girls in his class would have their favourite bikkies, made by his very own hand.  He's so sweet!

But tonight, when I went looking for butter, the picture above is what I found.  On Sunday afternoon there were four 250g blocks of butter.  Now there are three half blocks.  I shook my head, more than a little bemused, and called out for Mr Busy to come and have a chat with me about this.  It began with first, middle and last name.

Mr Busy:  What have I done now?
Me:  Come and look at this? (to which I slowly pointed to each. half. block)
Mr Busy: Uhhhh … yeeeaaahhhh.
Me:  What is this?  Why are there three half blocks?  What did you do? Need 125g, cut half and put half away.  Next time you need butter, grab a whole block, cut in half, put half away.  How many times did you do this?  What were you thinking?  This is what scales are for!!  You get out the bits of butter and weigh some bits until you get to the weight you need, so that you don't use Every. Single. Block.  (with tone of voice escalating as to the absurdity of the whole scene)
There may or may not have been girly slapping at a big strapping young lad at this point.
Mr Busy: (laughing) OK, Mum.  I get it.  I'm sorry…..as he wandered off to his room again.

And then we were both laughing.  Him louder than me.  Because I still have three half blocks of butter.

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

IT'S THEM! Not me. Or you!

Image Credit

If you're a mum and you feel like you're losing your mind, it's probably because you are.  But not because there's something wrong with you.  Yesterday during my it's-breakfast-time-and-the-only-way-to-block-out-the-noise-is-to-read reading time I was reading Glennon Melton's Facebook page.  I think I woke everyone up as I killed myself laughing.  Do yourself a favour.  Read the post, and then read all the comments.  Make sure you've got tissues and whatever else you need for a good laugh.

If I had Facebook I could have posted about how it's not just littles that make you crazy.  No, it's 19yo's as well.  My 19yo has decided I owe her a MacBook.  I can't figure this one out.  I have given up explaining and just roll my eyes at her now.  And remind her often: "I gave you life, I owe you nothing".  And then I remind myself that when I am away from these people that make my house crazy I am a really nice person.  I don't get cranky or frustrated or yell at anyone to tell anyone off.  No!  I am perfectly reasonable and calm and sweet and caring.  I'm telling you - it's not me. It's them!!  If you feel like you need some solidarity today then read the post and comments.

As I was reading yesterday morning and sharing tidbits with Mr Busy, who just laughed politely, he was putting his hoody on while standing just behind me.  All of a sudden I hear a muffled "this isn't going to work".  I look up and there's a hood over his face.  He had put the thing on back to front.  And I killed myself laughing even harder.  It's been a while since the boy has come out with something funny.  It's like he got to upper Primary and all his funny left him.  But it's still there.  Hiding

Solidarity Mums!  You're NOT crazy.  It's all the them's living in your house being crazy around you.  It's them.  All them!

Sunday, 21 June 2015

A Smug Homemade Pasta

Not the best photo, I'll grant you, but this will be the best lasagna!  I am beginning my mission to protect our family from a life of pretend meat, take away and other unhealthy meals for the sake of lack of time and energy.  Tonight I'm feeling a little smug.  Homemade lagasne noodles and two full dishes of lasagne to boot.

Sunday's are slow days in our house and slow days sometimes means slow food.  The kind that takes time but tastes so good.  And feels a little bit like love on your plate.  With any lasagne the time it takes to make means I want to make two because all that time should could for more than one meal.  But today I gifted myself a glassware baking dish that can also go in the freezer.  This is going to be a kitchen game-changer!  Oven to freezer to microwave or oven again?  I think this stuff is going to be my best friend!

I pulled out my "Chicken Plan" (by Kim Tilley) yesterday and perused recipes I haven't made in quite some time. This is my school holiday job; stocking the freezer with pre-prepared meals that the kids can pull out and cook on days when I won't be home til tea time.

So far:  pizza dough and sauce, lasagna….I wonder what else I can get stocked away this week?

What are your crockpot and cook-ahead favourite meals?