Saturday, February 13, 2010

Let's Clarify.

What was I thinking when I said this blog would be about me? Who am I without my Mr. Wilson, and my two boys? I take it back. I take back what I said about this blog being about me. I don't know what this blog is about. 

Today was a scheduled work day. So of course leading up to it Joe often vocalized his hopes of me getting called off, or put "on call" really. If the patient load is such they don't need as many nurses as scheduled, someone gets "put on call" to remain at home, but available, should the need arise for more staff. So today Joe got his wish. The lovely phone call came at 5 am and I crawled back into bed. 

Joe had plans today to drive several hours to meet his dad with some KSL classifieds purchase. (Don't ask me!) He had to take the boys and I had to stay, should I have to go in to work. So, hmmm, all day, alone. What was I going to do? I managed to stay busy cleaning toilets and such. But I miss them. I want them home.....RIGHT. NOW.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Brown Rice

This is for Heather. 
I like to cook brown rice in the oven. I don't like cooking it on the stove because, well, I think it might be better if I have a pot with a tight fitting lid. Also, in the oven I don't worry about boiling over or scorching the bottom when it runs out of water. It works, it's worry free, it takes an hour and you don't have to worry about it while you finish up the rest of the meal. The directions are from the January & February 2006 issue of Cook's Illustrated, forwarded to me by my mother. If you have any cooking question ask my mother. She has read every Cook's Illustrated issue and America's Test Kitchen book. I recently "submitted" a recipe to her and she loved it. It's for round steak. So if you have a freezer full of beef including cuts of round steak, let me know, this recipe is delicious and easy.
Back to the brown rice. I'll give it to you just like it says, then explain what I have learned.
Oven Method
Best for situations requiring prolonged, even heating, such as cooking brown rice or larger quantities of white rice.
1. Heat oven to 375 degrees with rack in the middle position. Bring liquid to boil, covered, in saucepan over high heat.
2. Combine grains, boiling liquid (1 1/2 cup to 2 cups for brown rice), and salt (1/2 teaspoon per cup of raw grains) in baking dish and cover tightly with double layer of foil. Bake until grains are tender (1 hour for brown rice). Let stand five minutes. Uncover, fluff with fork, and serve.
There you have it. I have learned with regular brown rice 1 1/2 cups should be enough water. The rice I have been using is Basmati and requires 2 cups. Also if you want to use broth instead of plain water, extend the cooking time to 1 1/2 hours. These instructions do not recommend rinsing brown rice before cooking.
Good luck. Let me know if you try it and if it works for you. 

Vertigo. Please go.

Today has been just awful. Yes, things could be worse, I've thought about that already. But thinking/knowing things could be worse has not stopped my head from spinning.
Spinning out of control. 
It started early, say 5:30 am. If I stayed still, real still, the spinning ceased and all was well. However, explain to me this. How does a mom of a two year old and a four year old lay still for very long? 
This is where the dry heaves come in. Dry until they continued for long enough bile decided to present itself. All the while Myles is asking for cereal and Sullivan begged to "eat, eat."  I explained to Myles my head was spinning and my tummy hurt. He went off to find me a cough drop, because, at last, I've made something clear. Cough drops are used when you're sick, they are not candy. 
I let Myles pour the cereal, sat Sullivan in the high chair, and found my way to the couch where I stayed pretty much the whole morning. Around eleven, having not moved for some time, I felt better. Hmmmm, this can not be morning sickness. 
It's not, as one line indicated. And the spinning returned with movement. 
A ray of sunshine arrived around noon, I don't know what the boys would have done for lunch. I cried when he left and prayed all afternoon for 4:30 to arrive quickly. 
The boys fought, found desireables in the pantry, watched movies, and wrecked the family room. Twice off the couch, to change a diaper and provide service to another on the toilet, found me heaving again. 
4:20. Thank heavens a bit early, he walked in, carried me to the bed and took the boys outside. Oh, how I love him. 
I joined them for dinner. If I hold my head just right and don't move too fast I can avoid the spinning. I also must lie on my right side, for if I roll over to my back or left side the room starts spinning again. 
Tomorrow I'm going to feel better. 
I have things to do.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Things I learned.

A few weeks ago someone asked if I could work a couple days this week. Unable to say no straight out, I said "one day, I'll work one day." That way I could say "yes" to lesson the blow of saying "no". An extra day of work for me, no big deal.
Mom agreed to watch my boys and an extra bit of money is always welcome. Well, what I learned is, it is not worth it.
Realized this a little late, however, but just in time for the next time someone asks.
I'm going to say no. Flat out.
"No." There, I practiced.
Here is what it takes to work during the week while Joe is working. Lots and lots of driving. Why? Because I haven't warmed up to the idea of having someone else (besides my parents, or Joe's parents, but they don't live close enough) watch my precious children all day long. Then a staff meeting was scheduled for Monday night. So this is was the plan.
Drive to my parents Monday afternoon=two and half hours.
Drive to work=one hour.
Drive back to parents=one hour.
Drive to work Tuesday morning= one hour.
Drive to parents after work=one hour.
Drive home Wednesday morning= two and a half hours.
Hmmm. How much driving is that. Nine hours and 580 miles. For a day of work (and a staff meeting). Nope, definitely not worth it.
So, hmm, if I stay in Evanston Monday night that would cut out 140 miles and two hours. Then I decided to ask my parents to me me in Evanston Tuesday night. That saved me time but then they had to make the drive. I'm just inconveniencing someone else (though my parents kindly agreed to meet me, I still feel bad about even asking.)
It turned out they couldn't meet when I got off, that was too late, so Joe was going to meet them earlier. This way we could be home before Wednesday afternoon. Sure, it saves me time and driving. But the miles and time is still affecting someone.
Fortunately, it worked out better than planned. I got off work early and met my parents so Joe didn't need to make the trip. And we all arrived home happily ever after, earlier than expected. Next time, I'm going to say no. And then my post will be three words. "I said no."
So, work called this afternoon and asked if I could work tonight and/or tomorrow night. I said no. About tonight.

And yes, about tomorrow night.

Before I beat myself up for not having learned a thing, I'm going to justify my actions. Joe will be home. No driving to and from and to and from and to and from. I'm going to drive to work. Spend twelve hours with adorable brand new babies. Then I'm going to drive home from work and spend the rest of the day wishing I had just said "no" so I could sleep at night, when it's dark. Like. Nature. Intended.

Why is it so hard to say no?

Friday, January 15, 2010

Another Day, Another Dollar.

Growing up, I remember my dad saying one of three things when asked about his day at work.
* Another day, another dollar *
* Oh, just another day at the mine * (He didn't work at a mine. At least I don't think he did.)
I don't quite remember the third. I think it was something about a dragon. It'll come to me. Tonight. About 1 AM.

I worked today. Joe spent the day with the boys. He wished all week I'd be called off. He does that. Every. Time. I'm. Scheduled. He says it's because he loves to have me around. Do you believe him? 
He is a great dad. For this, I'm grateful. I leave for work long before the rooster crows. Or would crow if we had one. But we don't. But I won't get into that here. Not today. But I'll just say if the rooster did crow, I'd already be at work. 
Joe makes breakfast. If I were to guess, I'd guess pancakes. He doesn't need the recipe anymore. And they are delicious. He makes the boys lunch. And dinner. Joe runs around with them, and rolls around. Steamroller to be exact. Takes a strong stomach.
Oh, and no living room furniture.
Then he puts the boys to bed. And sometime before midnight I roll back into town. Quite a bit before midnight on a good day. 
Boys are well taken care of. Don't usually worry about them all day. Walk in the door, shower and go to bed. That's where I'm headed. To. Bed. But before I get there, I always say a prayer of thanks for indoor plumbing. 

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Some people talk till the cows come home.

Just finished lunch. Firstborn is playing with pillows and blankets, making a house for his baby tiger. Secondborn is sitting on the floor watching Baby Einstein and occasionally falling back, hitting his head on the floor, and saying "ouch" but mostly just watching the hippo puppet drink all the water.
Actually, not all of us finished eating lunch. Salad and stew was less that enthusiastically accepted for the lunch menu today. I allowed (aka, bribed) Firstborn to eat a much desired crouton after he took a bite of salad. After chewing for a minute or so, he ran to the garbage and spit out the bite of salad then devoured his crouton.
I pictured that going differently.
However, the setup is working well with the stew. One bite stew, one crouton. As I sit here typing I take a break and spoon feed a four year old stew. I have a feeling this isn't going to teach healthy eating habits. What do I do?
Let me describe yesterdays lunch. Firstborn absolutely refused to eat any of the healthy options offered him. Then about 30-40 minutes later he is asking for this, that, and just about anything in the pantry. Umm, no. "You have food on the table, eat that then you can have other options." It was back and forth until finally he sat on my lap and, more or less willingly, choked down lunch. Then he was able to choose more desirable options from the pantry.
Funny, though, he actually chose canned apricots.
I absolutely disagree with offering other food in place of lunch or dinner when they don't like it. This is not a restaurant. However, when they won't eat but want snacks later? How did my mom do it? We all ate what she made and didn't say two words about it. She prepared healthy food. Did she ever. I remember one kick from a book titled something about "lowering your fat thermostat." Beans, beans, beans, is what I remember most.
And brown rice.
I actually really like brown rice. Figured out the best way to cook it is in the oven.
I've made a stronger commitment to increase our fruit and vegetable intake as well as our whole grain consumption. The hubby is taking to it rather well. He likes his salad with cheese, bacon bits, and croutons. Fine. He's getting the vegetables. But that doesn't work with the First or Second born. Salad is salad, bacon bits or not.
I was actually planning on posting about the advantages of Mr. Wilson's job. That's his name. Just ask Firstborn.
1. He gets to come home for lunch. I look forward to this. It breaks up my day and the boys love looking out the window watching for him to walk home midday. We eat together as a family twice a day. And you know what they say about eating as a family. Kids turn out better (or something like that). And I need all the help I can get. Some days, I don't feel like a very good mom.
2. He is home by 4:30 (except for several weeks before Christmas when he is coaching). I can handle anything till 4:30. But after that, I have great help with the boys.
3. He spends every night at home. Not the one week on-one week off schedule that many have around here. I feel for those families. That would be tough.
4. He is right down the street. I don't need this very often, but occasionally the proximity is nice. During basketball season when he was coaching, the boys and I would go over and the boys would run wild in the halls. This is great when the temperature drops outside.
5. He teaches science, so I can ask him all kinds of questions like "why is some dirt red?" He loves those questions.
Just ask him.
That's about it for now. Next I come up with some advantages of my job. But it my take me a while.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

I'm ornery.

I have a vague memory of the word "ornery" and if Court reads this she can help me solidify more distinct details. However, as it is now, I can't quite place the surroundings or the other people involved, only remembering they were from a state other than Utah and were obviously unfamiliar with with our pronunciation of the word "ornery". Onery would be a better spelling for us Utans and that is exactly how we were saying it. They didn't understand our accent, though they were the ones with the east coast accent. With those foreigners we had a discussion regarding our definition of "onery". They learned we were in fact trying to say "ornery" and laughed themselves crazy every time we said our version of the disagreeable disposition. 
Regardless of the pronunciation, I am ornery. 
I am cantankerous, surly, testy, whichever word you'd like to use.
I don't feel well, and no that is not an excuse to have a disagreeable disposition. Pardon me. 

When the hubby asked "should you go see a doctor?" I asked him what he meant. "Like a psychiatrist?" 
He laughed.
My translation. "Yes." 
Though that may have been what he meant, he also provided the specialty of another doctor he was referring to. Safe move for him.
So I'll go. Hopefully I'll get some answers. But in the meantime, I'll be working on my orneriness.