February 28, 2011

Getting to Know the School Nurse

My kids rarely get sick, and even then it's usually nothing but a minor cold and they don't miss school.  They usually get the "Perfect Attendance" award at the end of the school year.  I never get calls from the school nurse.  That is until last week.

There was no school on Monday (President's Day), but on Tuesday just after lunch I got a call from the school nurse saying Mary had a temperature of 103 and a pounding headache.  I was surprised, but I picked her up and she spent the rest of the day in bed.  She stayed home again on Wednesday because she was still feverish and lightheaded and achy.

BUT about 10:00 I got a call from the nurse saying Jack had something in his ear.  She had tried to get it out with tweezers, but couldn't reach it, so I was needed to come look at it and decide whether to take him to the doctor or urgent care.  When I arrived, Jack said he had a piece of a pencil eraser in his ear.  Sure enough, I could see it, but it was just out of reach.  Here is how our conversation went:

Me:  Jack, what happened?
Jack:  (shrug)
Me:  Jack, what's in your ear?
Jack:  An eraser.
Me:  How did it get in there?
Jack:  (shrug)
Me:  Did you stick your pencil in your ear and it broke off?
Jack:  No.
Me:  Then how did an eraser get in your ear?
Jack:  (shrug)
Me:  Are you sure it's an eraser?
Jack:  Yes.
Me:  How do you know?
Jack:  I just do.
Me:  (trying not to laugh) Jack, did you put an eraser in your ear?
Jack:  (shrug)
Me:  (trying REALLY hard not to laugh) Jack, you just need to tell me what happened, even if it's really silly.
Jack:  I don't know.
Me:  Jack, did you find a broken piece of eraser and stick it in your ear to see what would happen?
Jack:  (nodding yes)
Me:  (I couldn't help it, I laughed out loud, and I couldn't stop for a minute)

I hugged him and made him promise to NEVER stick anything in his ears or nose ever again (he never has before), and then tried to decide what to do.  He wasn't in pain or even uncomfortable, and I really did NOT want to spend the day at Urgent Care and spent $40 just to have some PA take 10 seconds to pull it out, especially since Mary was home in bed, still sick.

So, I asked the nurse for some peroxide, poured a little in Jack's ear, let it sit for about 30 seconds, flipped his head over and let it drain out, and sure enough, the eraser had come down far enough that I was able to reach in with the tweezers and pull it out.  It was wedged in there pretty good and stuck to some ear wax (ugh), but the peroxide did the trick.  The nurse said, "That was genius!"  Yes, it was.  A mom does what she has to do.

My experiences with the school nurse don't end there.  The next day, I got yet ANOTHER call from the school nurse.  Mary was back at school and seemed find, but this time it was Jack with a high fever and headache.  He spent the rest of the day in bed.

The next day was Friday, and it was a half-day.  Jack and Mary were back at school, and Collin seemed fine, but I was holding my breath all day, hoping my kids could just make it to noon!  They did.  Whew!  And everyone was fine all weekend.

It's Monday morning and the school nurse just called again.  When I answered the phone we both just laughed when she announced herself, and I said, "You've got to be kidding me!"  Still laughing, she said, "Well, this time I'm just calling you to let you know that Collin fell and hit his nose at PE.  It was bleeding, but now it's stopped and he seems fine.  I just wanted to let you know so that you can keep an eye on it when he gets home."

Oh boy.  Our school nurse is a really nice lady and I like her a lot.  But I REALLY don't want to talk to her for a long time!

How often to you get a call from the school nurse?

February 24, 2011

Tomato Soup

Jay and I both love tomato soup.... we even like Campbell's from a can (though not our preference).  Our favorites are from Paradise Bakery and District.  It's the ultimate when served with a grilled cheese sandwich on good bread.  Yum!

Since I can't/don't want to eat at a restaurant every day (and I would eat it every day), for the last few years I have been on a quest to find a recipe that is similar so that I can make it at home.  I have tried many recipes found on the internet, and they have been disappointing, even those from the likes of Martha Stewart and Ina Garten. 

I've been working my way through a stack of recipes I have printed out, and finally found it!  The one!  It's from ourbestbites.com (I am liking everything I have tried of theirs so far), though I adapted it a bit to suit my tastes (I just can't help myself), and what I had on hand. 

Here is what I did:

1-2 T. olive oil
1-2 T. dried onion
2 heads roasted garlic (fresh would be fine too, but don't use as much)
1 T. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 tsp. kosher salt (optional, since there is quite a bit of salt elsewhere)
2 tsp. dry basil
1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, packed in oil with herbs (I used about half of an 8 oz. jar)
2 (15 oz.) cans diced tomatoes
10 oz. chicken broth

1/3 - 1/2 c. sour cream (optional)*

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large sauce pan or medium pot; add onion and garlic and saute one minute.  Add all but the sour cream and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer 5-10 minutes.  Use an immersion blender to puree until smooth (a regular blender works too, but it's a lot harder).  Stir in sour cream or serve with a dollop on top.  (Serve with grilled cheese or croutons!)

* I tasted it before adding the sour cream and I thought it was delicious, so it doesn't really need it, but I added it anyway.  I could have gone either way, so just go with what your preference is.  The original recipe calls for cream cheese...I didn't have any, but I wouldn't have used it anyway.... the thought made me gag.  Heavy cream would be OK, just not as much flavor.  Greek yogurt would be another good substitute.

February 20, 2011

Funny Things Kids Say

Jay took Mary and her friend to the park yesterday so they could roller-skate around.  After skating for a while, the girls were tired and looked for a place to sit down.  Jay overhead this conversation between Mary and her friend, Brooke, when they discovered a park bench with a plaque on it, dedicated to someone.

Mary:  Why does this bench has someone's name on it?
Brooke:  That must be someone who died.  They must have died on that bench!
Mary:  (wide-eyed)  Oh!  We better go sit somewhere else!

This evening we were all in the car and drove past a housing development called "Lindsay Park" that has been there for a few years.  Mary said, "Wow, it's taking a really long time for them to finish building that park."  Jay and I looked at each other, confused.  There was no park in sight.  I finally realized Mary had misunderstood the term "park," so I explained that was just a name for the subdivision.  "Oooohhhh!" she said and seemed relieved.  "I was wondering what was taking so long!"  Then she laughed at herself.  Jack was listening, but obviously wasn't very interested.  He said, in a very superior voice, "Huh.  I wasn't even curious about that."

February 15, 2011

Valentine's Day

Even though I always tell Jay that he shouldn't let a commercial holiday that requires an annual expression of love to your spouse force him to buy me roses and chocolate, he does it anyway.  And who's complaining?

He gets me Godiva chocolates.  He selects all my favorites.  Heaven in a box. 

He also took me to dinner at Zinc Bistro.  Heaven on a plate!  It's too bad I didn't have my camera with me because the food was a gorgeous as it was delicious.  We shared an appetizer of crab and mushroom crepes with lobster sauce.  Oh my.  Our entrees were a crab and truffle omelette with straw potatoes, and scallops with risotto.  Both were amazing!  We were full, but we couldn't resist ordering the chocolate souffle, which was incredibly rich and decadent.  Too much so.  We didn't finish, of course.

Jay is very romantic and thoughtful.  And kind, and handy, and funny, and handsome, and a great dad.  And the very best husband in the world.  I'm one very lucky gal.

February 14, 2011


Happy Birthday to my beloved home state!

We have the best flag ever.  Hands down.

The most gorgeous sunsets.

The best weather.

And the greatest people.  Of course.

Oh yeah.  Happy Valentine's Day too.  Whatever.


February 13, 2011

Jack's 7th Birthday

Jack turned 7.  He had an "Army Bootcamp" party with some friends.  He was so glad that his cousins, Oliver and Nicholas, happened to be in town so they could come!  Yay!

The party turned out really fun.  When the boys arrived (in their camouflage wear) they received a hat, dog tags, and had their faces painted (by Jay).  Then they had "bootcamp" training.... through the obstacle course, target shooting, assembling their (marshmallow) guns (from PVC that Jay spray-painted camo), and having a "marshmallow war" (darn, I didn't get a photo of that... I was busy in the kitchen!).  They also ate tons of homemade pizza, cake and ice cream, and s'mores.  It was WAY too much food, but it was great.

Happy Birthday Jack!  We love you!  I can't believe my baby is 7.  Boo hoo!

February 11, 2011

Kids' Valentines

The kids had their Valentine parties at school today.  I have seen this idea on the internet many times over the past few years and I always wanted to try it.  We finally did and it turned out great.  The boys loved it, and no one in their classes had ever seen it before, so everyone thought it was really cool.
Mary gave bubbles instead of candy.  It was great and everyone appreciated having something non-sugary, but still fun!

February 06, 2011

Scout Day Camp

 Collin went to 11-year-old Scout Day Camp with our stake.  They earned a merit badge, ate good food, did some fun activities, did silly stuff, and had a spiritual fireside.

 I am so grateful that we have great Scout leaders.  Collin and the other boys in his patrol are well on their way to earning their Eagle even though they aren't even 12 yet.  They have worked hard!
 Collin is very excited to go to "real" Scout Camp this summer!