Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Sun-dried Tomato Bowtie Pasta

I realize that it's been forever since I posted a recipe card on this here blog, and I figured it was time to get back to that. I still have oodles of recipes I want to share, and oodles of recipes that I still need to make recipe cards for, so let's get on with it, shall we?

This recipe is one of my favorites because it is full of flavor, it's easy to throw together, and I can pack the leftovers for lunch and actually be excited about what's in my lunch box the next day. 

Here's what you need to pull this one off: bowtie pasta (or Farfalle if you want to get Fancy Nancy), pine nuts (don't look at the price when you buy them, trust me), olive oil, sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil or vacuum packed), green olives with pimentos, salt, pepper, and garlic.

I made this for dinner last night, and I took it for lunch today. Now it's gone and I'm sad. I have only these pictures and my memories now. Sniff.

Here's the recipe card if you want to give it a try. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Drama Llama Slap Yo Mama

We had a little drama in our house this week and it's Zoe Bug's fault. That's because she's our little Drama Llama, but this time it was legit.

On Wednesday morning she started complaining about lower abdominal pain. I didn't take it too seriously because Zoe Bug experiences pain more intensely than the average person. That and she's a Drama Llama. She complained about it off and on all day, and I listened and quizzed her about it, but again, I didn't take it too seriously. It's not like she was lying on the floor writhing in pain either.

I'm always scolding Zoe Bug for not eating enough fruit, so I even asked her if maybe she just needed to poop. Or fart. 

The next morning, Thursday, Zoe Bug was in more pain and told us that she was up a lot during the night and had shooting pains. 

I then wondered if maybe she was getting her first visit from Aunt Flow, but I didn't want to think about that too seriously because she's only ten, for crying out loud. Yes, almost eleven, but still. I was in eighth grade when I started and she's only in fifth grade. And she's my baby.

It was weighing heavy on my mind as we left for school. I didn't want to leave Zoe home because I wanted to keep an eye on her. Peanut Head had meetings that morning and couldn't take her to the doctor so I was going to try to get a sub to cover my class.

The following are the texts that took place between Peanut Head and I before school.

I was planning on keeping Zoe in my room with me, but she insisted that she was well enough to go to class. I figured if it were really bad, Zoe would let me know. 

Shortly after 10:00 a.m., my students went to recess and I checked my phone as I walked to Zoe's classroom to check on her.

This is the text that I found from Peanut Head.

What?!!! What?

Immediately I called Peanut Head and demanded to know how our doctor could make a diagnosis over the telephone without even seeing Zoe. Seriously! And I'm calling Zoe Bug a Drama Llama.

Peanut Head replied "Zoe is with me. I am driving her to the hospital right now."

This here is where I realized I was in the Twilight Zone because I had no idea that Peanut Head had even picked Zoe Bug up right out from underneath my ding dang nose. I was discombobulated on a grand scale and blubbering all sorts of retorts and questions. I don't even know what I said, but I'm pretty sure it didn't push the conversation forward one little bit.

I bumbled down to the office to relay what had just happened. Of course they didn't know that I didn't know that Peanut Head had picked Zoe up. Now everyone knows how bad we suck at communicating with each other. And the internet. Don't forget the internet.

Our school secretary, Judy, worked her magic and arranged to have a playground duty aide in my classroom so I could go to the hospital. Thank you Judy, and Lisa for taking care of my class. I owe you two big time.

Lisa came to my classroom right away and I rushed to the hospital so Peanut Head and I could spend the rest of the day sitting around waiting for something to happen. It turns out that they couldn't operate until 5:00 p.m. because Zoe had eaten breakfast that morning. It was very anticlimactic, let me tell you.

When I arrived I found Zoe looking very much like the picture above, and a nurse was prepping her for an IV. Zoe was very scared and freaking out. Peanut Head tells me that I missed the worst of the hysteria which occurred in the doctor's office after she found out that she was going to have surgery.

She got through it though, and we are very proud of her. Since we had six hours to wait for surgery, and Zoe didn't have all the classic signs for appendicitis, her surgeon ordered an ultrasound. That took awhile and the Ultrasound Technician had to call the Radiologist in to get his opinion as well.

This is where I admit that I should have my parental license revoked, because while the Ultrasound Technician was looking perplexed and not relaying any information at all to us as parents, I kept thinking "I hope this doesn't just turn out to be a really expensive fart. That would be embarrassing. And expensive."

Really, I should want it to be a fart, right? I don't want to have my baby cut open just so I don't have to admit that it was all just a false alarm and she just needed to pass some gas with the assistance of an ultrasound.

About a half hour after the ultrasound we were informed that her appendix was encapsulated with fluid, which apparently means that it was inflamed. The technician was also able to determine that Zoe had some cysts on an ovary and that it might be causing her some pain. He did tell us that much, thank you Kind Sir. 

The appendectomy went very smoothly and afterwards the surgeon came to tell us about the surgery. He had pictures to share too.

You know how much I love pictures.

While they were in there, this is what they found. As you can see, it was pretty creepy. That white thing on the right there is one of Zoe's ovaries. That black thing is what they are calling an Accessory Ovary, like a handbag I guess, that was attached to her ovary by a stem of sorts. The stem got twisted and the blood supply was cut off to the creepy handbag, so it began to die.

They were able to just slice it right off and pull it out. We were told that it was about the size of a golf ball.

I was very impressed by the pictures and I asked the surgeon if I could keep a copy. He looked at me funny, and said "Su-u-u-ure. But you can't take the appendix home. We don't let people do that."

Deflated, I replied "Of course not." He must have sensed that I was going to ask him if I could do just that, because I thought that would be really cool to share with the kids. All in the name of science, of course. Drat.

So long creepy handbag.

This is pretty cool too. I asked Zoe if I could share her incisions with the internet, and she was fine with it.  I took these pictures today, three days after surgery. As you can see, they used glue instead of stitches.

I think that's so cool. I'm probably creeping Zoe Bug out because I keep asking her if I can look at her boo boos. She rolls her eyes at me, but she is happy to share.

She has been doing a lot of lounging around and chilling with the cat. She gets to go back to school tomorrow, but she can't play or run for two weeks. I'm sure that part is going to kill her. I took her shopping today to buy sweatpants for her to wear all week since jeans bind and hurt her incisions.

She's doing great and recovering quite nicely. She has cut way down on her pain meds and can even hop up into Peanut Head's truck, although gingerly.

Yesterday was Stinkerbell's ninth birthday, and all this excitement has sort of put a damper on her birthday. We've been giving her extra love and attention though, so she doesn't feel like chopped liver.

In other news, Peanut Head ordered some decals for his truck window. I was super excited that he found himself a Peanut to sport with pride.

Zoe picked out the wolf for herself, and Stinkerbell picked the dragon that, to me, doesn't look like anything. The cupcake, of course, is me.

I have this cupcake on my Swagger Van. A lot of people don't get it, but I think it's hysterical. But what do I know? I have a sick sense of humor.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Extreme Sport of Lying to My Offspring

Today was the day that the ugly truth came out.

I am the Easter Bunny.

I've been finding plastic eggs all day that the girls missed, and Zoe Bug slipped and asked me where I hid all of them. I said "You mean 'where did the Easter Bunny hide all of them?'"

Then she looked me in the eye and said "Mom, tell the truth. You're the Easter Bunny, aren't you?"

"Why do you say that, Sweetie?" was my reply.

"Because Mom. Last night I came out to check the Easter baskets and they weren't there, and you and Dad were still up." she accusingly replied.


Really, I'm surprised this conversation hasn't happened sooner. You see, I suck at my job. I Green-Gopher-Guts-Suck at keeping the magic alive.

I started slipping about four years ago when I blew it with the Tooth Fairy. Of course I still maintain that there is a Tooth Fairy, but I never miss an opportunity to tell my kids what a slacker she is. On average it takes her about four nights to get to our house to retrieve a tooth. It's pathetic.

The Easter Bunny is also a more-than-one time loser. It's just that it's so hard to get up at the crack of dawn to hide eggs. I just can't seem to motivate myself.

And of course we cannot forget about Peter-Peter-Pumpkin-Eater, the Magic Christmas Elf. I suck at that too.

Thankfully Peanut Head knows how to keep the magic alive with Santa. We haven't confessed to that one yet, but I think that this house of cards is coming down too.

I'm actually kind of relieved that the whole Easter Bunny secret is out in the open. It was exhausting keeping up with the charade. I feel as if a great weight has been lifted from my chest.

What?! Is this what truth feels like? Ah. . . . my soul is at peace now.

The conversation that I've really been dreading has come and gone like a blip on a seismometer located on the San Andreas Fault. Yep. We had The Talk. The Birds and the Bees. Your Body is Changing and You Will Soon Be Horrified at the Things that Will Appear and Grow.

It's funny because I always thought that when I had kids I would be very open with them about the human body and how it functions. Ha. Ha. Ha. It turns out that I didn't really want my kids to know about it because I didn't want them to be horrified and grossed out like I was.

It just goes to show you how much I really needed that Instruction Manual that inconveniently did not come home with my babies when I brought them home from the hospital. Someone needs to fix that.

So, I had no immediate plans to bring the topic of the birds and the bees up. At least not before the scheduled Fifth Grade Maturation Film that is offered in our district.

And it turns out that I didn't have to. It all came about by accident one day when we were driving in the car. Zoe asked me about the Alternative High School and the "Bad Kids" that went there. I explained to her that the kids that went there weren't "bad," but they had maybe made some bad choices or didn't have all the opportunities available to them that she has had available to her.

The conversation then turned to how some kids have babies before they are ready for them and then that makes it even harder to graduate from high school, yada yada. Zoe stopped me right there.

"How do they have babies, Mama?" she inquired.

I spewed out my usual tripe about putting the love together to make a baby, but for some reason this time she was not satisfied.

"No. How exactly do you put the love together to make a baby? How did you and Daddy make me?" she interrogated.

Gah! Where is the eject button in this ding dang car? I need out NOW!

After my momentary mental freak out, I took a deep breathe and replied, "Weeeeeell. I can tell you, but I have to warn you that you might be really grossed out by it."

I know, I know. I was leading the witness and all that, but I was preparing myself for the awkward moment.

"Do you really want to know?" I questioned before I took the plunge.

They did want to know. So I mentally cringed and explained the process quickly and concisely, without any distractors. I'm not going to relive it here because it hurts.

And I'm blushing.

And this is a family blog.

When I was finished I braced myself for the awkward moment.

The awkward moment came, but it was immediately diffused by Zoe. "Really?! That's how horses make babies! Did you have to go to the hospital to do it?"

Geesh. If I knew it was going to be that easy I wouldn't have waited so long. I kind of feel like the horses stole my thunder.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Quick Shout Out

I'm popping in super quick to tell you about a couple things that I don't want you to miss out on. The first is that I have my second post up at The Teacher's Lounge, and this one is about Technology Timesavers for Teachers.  If you want, you can check it out here. I would love to hear about technology you use, because I'm always looking for things to make my day go more smoothly.

The second thing I'm excited to share with you is that Janae from Thoughts in Vinyl contacted me to let me know she is having a sale on the menu planning vinyl grids through this Thursday, April 8th. She has several varieties for you to choose from, so the sale is for $2 off whichever one you choose. She makes them as small as a two-week grid and as large as a five-week grid. They can also be used as regular calendars instead of menu planning calendars, and you could even put them in a large frame to use as a dry erase calendar instead of right on your refrigerator. To get $2 off your calendar grid, use the coupon code SPRING. You can find those calendar grids here.