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January 29th, 2009

Tired, still.   Stop.  

Add an ear infection to Cooper’s roster; Giant Pharmacy running promotion for free antibiotics for the month of January; Pharmacist joked today that our family is making them broke;  Ha. Ha ha ha, can I punch you even if you’re wearing a lab coat?   Stop.

Kenny finally sick, too.   Croup.   Rx for Prednisone.   Oh my gracious.   The only thing worse than giving a three-year-old prednisone is giving it to a weimaraner.   Yes, and we did that once, too.   Stop.


Sleep is For the Weak

January 28th, 2009

I am turning into a zombie.   Between holding Cooper much of the day and rocking him to sleep for naps (I can’t bear to make him cry when it drives him into a coughing fit!), I have also been sleeping in the room with him in Kenny’s bed so that I can listen to  him breath and get up  to do his nebulizer in the middle of the night.   The last two nights he’s slept straight through the treatment, only to wake an hour later with boogers sealing his nose shut,  cranky and wanting to nurse back to sleep.     His breathing sounded worse today, but the doctor did say that he may get a little worse before he gets better.   We have a follow-up on Friday and I’m crossing my fingers that we are going uphill from here on.

Kenny is also ready for Cooper to get well, as he is not enjoying the fact that Cooper has currently been getting top billing for Mommy-attention.   Couple that with an ice storm today and no end in sight to the cold weather, and we are feeling house-bound and irritable.  


What I wouldn’t give for a day warm enough to take a walk!   Dudley agrees, and was quite the rascal today in his frustration, attempted to garner attention first by pulling nearly all the stuffing out of his bed, then by randomly selecting toys to prance around the house with, staying just out of reach and drooling all over them as he mocked me for my inability to reclaim them.

With the drama surrounding Cooper’s illness, I didn’t mention in my last post that prior to Coop’s pediatrician appointment, we traipsed off to the dentist for checkups.   Kenny has his first cavity!   I am so bummed, as we are pretty fanatic about brushing his teeth.   Not only that, but I found out that two of my teeth are cracked.   I have no idea when it happened.   So we have matching appointments again in a few weeks for fillings.   Can I express that I am not looking forward to this??

I also was remiss to mention that we did not get our coveted house downtown.   The contract fell through and we are on the hunt once again.   I know that there is a better house out there, but the wait is getting to me.

So it would seem that we’ve got the winter blues.   Truly, if the sun was out and the temperature was somewhere in the 70’s, none of this would seem so dreary.   As it stands, though, I’m ready to go to a tanning salon, if for nothing else than to lift my spirits with some concentrated UV light.   Um, and it would be nice to be tan.


Snowed Under

January 27th, 2009

Yes, it’s snowing out, but our house-bound state started before a single flake hit the ground.

Cooper woke up a little punky on Sunday and started coughing… again.   The kid had a cough for 10 weeks straight, but the past week he had been completely well, so when the cough started again, I did little more than sigh.   But Sunday night he was up half the night screaming, and I figured a trip to the doctor was in order – only ear infections make him screech like that.   Turns out, though, it’s not his ears.   My sweet little guy has RSV and the resulting bronchiolitis.  

When the pediatrician said “RSV,” the only reference I had was scary – I know that many infants are hospitalized with it, and my heart hit my stomach.   She calmed me, though, admitting that though it is a serious diagnosis, and one we need to watch carefully, Cooper was a old enough to be in less danger.   She sent us home with a nebulizer and told us what to watch for.   So every 4 to 6 hours for the next ten days, round the clock, Cooper has to breath into a tiny little air mask and suck up all the medicated mist he can.


He may not feel good, but he sure is a looker!

Anyway, I have my hands full with a sick one and a wild-stuck-in-the-house-because-Coop’s-too-sick-to-be-out one…   more to come on that…

Runner-Up Recipes

January 25th, 2009

As promised, here are the “runner-up” recipes for the Super Bowl recipe contest!

from Kirsten:

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

1 rotisserie chicken shredder (or 4-5 left over chicken breasts, shredded)
2 can cream of chicken soup
2 cans rotel tomatoes (mild or hot depending on your taste) We like hot!
4-5 cups shredded cheese
8 corn tortillas

1) Blend soup and rotel tomatoes in blender
2) Spray 8 1/2 by 11 (or so) baking dish with pam
3) Start layering, 2 tortillas(side by side to cover pan), 1/4 of chicken, a
thin layer of the soup/tomato mixture, and 1/4 of the cheese….do this 4
times! End with a good portion of cheese on top!
4) Bake at 350 degrees for about 30-45 minutes. Let stand for about 10-15
minutes before slicing/serving

“All measurements are approximate. This recipe is very easy and I really don’t
measure anything! We hope you love the way it tastes as much as how simple it


from Julie:

Cheesy Cheddar Bacon Dip

Mix with hand mixer:
8 oz block of cream cheese softened
1 cup of sour cream
1 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup bacon bits (I like to use real ones)
1 clove garlic minced
3 green onions sliced thinly

After mixing ingredients together, bake inside a hollow bread bowl for 30
minutes on 350.   Serve with bread cubes or crackers.

from Angela:
Super Party Pretzels              

1 cup vegetable oil
1 envelope (1 oz) powdered ranch salad dressing mix
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
1 bag (15 oz) thin pretzels

Preheat oven to 200 degrees.   Pour the oil into a 2-cup glass measure.   Add the
ranch dressing mix, garlic powder and cayenne pepper.   Whisk until thoroughly
mixed.Pour bag of pretzels into an ungreased 15-by-10 inch baking pan.   Pour the oil
mixture over the pan.   (Use a spatula to get all of the oil mixture into the
pan.)   Stir gently until all of the pretzels are coated with the oil mixture.

Bake, uncovered, 90 minutes, stirring and turning every 20 minutes or so.
Remove pan from the oven and cool completely, about 30 minutes.   Store in an
airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 weeks.

And the Winner is…

January 24th, 2009

Thank you all who entered into The Ultimate Pepsi Super Bowl Party contest!  

I was flooded with fun (and some extremely creative!) recipes for Super Bowl party snacks.   If only I had some runner-up prizes!   From Chicken Enchilada casseroles (super-yum!) to molten chocolate cakes, and a slew of variations on spinach-artichoke dips, I am all set to host a party of my own!   Tomorrow I will post my three runner-up recipes (no prizes for these, but at least you get published?), but today I am happy to announce that Becky, mom to Lilly, Sophe, Emery and baby Maddox, has been declared the winner with her jazzy take on the popular sports bar favorite, Jalapeno Poppers:

Jalapeno Popper Dip


2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup mayonnaise
1 (4 ounce) can chopped green chilies, drained
4 ounces canned diced jalapeno peppers, drained
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
A dash of garlic salt  

1.Stir together cream cheese and mayonnaise in a large bowl until smooth. Stir in green chiles, jalapeno peppers and garlic salt. Pour mixture into a microwave safe serving dish, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
2.Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and browned.

Congratulations, Becky and look for your Ultimate Party Pack in the mail, soon!

Time to Rhyme

January 22nd, 2009

Somewhere in the last month or so, Kenny has hit that pre-schooler phase of rhyming everything he says.   “Come on, Mom-dom!   Make me a pancake-spancake!   I want some juice-dooce! Let’s play a game-name-dame-same!”

It is maddening.

Today for a full hour after Cooper had a record-winning spit-up, he chanted, “Vomit-Gromit” and “Darn-it-barn-it” to the point that I actually threatened to spank him if he didn’t knock it off.

“Knock it off, Doff!   Okay, Mommy-Tommy.”

Somebody, please chop off my head.


Flipping Coins

January 21st, 2009

I mentioned a few posts back that we are contemplating a move to the historic district of the city near us.   Indeed – we’ve put a contract on a house, which was accepted, and we were waiting on the home inspection to move forward.   Unfortunately, the inspection turned up a few surprises.   Now Casey and I are sitting on the fence – we have until Monday to say yeah or nay, and I honestly can’t say that I know what’s going to happen.   The issues that have come up are expensive, and we are suddenly wondering how good is a good deal as the price creeps up.   We also just found out that the person who was going to rent our house for the next several months has backed out.   That would leave us with two houses instead of one.   How did we end up here??

We went to the house today with a contractor to poke around and start putting some price tags on the issues at stake.   As I walked through the house with Cooper in my arms, I daydreamed about where to put what furniture, and what color to paint the boys’ rooms.   But some of the glow was gone as I realized that we may not move in after all.

If only this as one of those decisions that could be solved by a coin toss…


On a lighter note – Don’t Forget the Pepsi Contest!!   I’ve only received about 10 entries, and the deadline is tomorrow night.   It’s a great prize pack and I’d love to have a huge pool to pick from.     Get those Super Bowl party recipes in for a chance to win!

Home Improvements

January 20th, 2009

I mentioned in the last post that we had a pipe burst while we were away on our 24 hour jaunt.   After nearly a day without water, we were anxiously awaiting the plumber (who was scheduled to arrive sometime between 8 and 5.   Why can’t I schedule my day like that??), Kenny most keenly, as he was afraid to poop and not be able to flush it down the toilet.

At 1:15, we heard Dudley dash outside and start barking like mad, so so Kenny and I jumped up, Cooper in arms, to   welcome the man who would give us the chance to wash our hands and run the overflowing dishwasher.   The man in our yard was a 6 foot 5 inch Rastafarian with dreadlocks down to his waistband, which was not sagging plumber-style, but was instead hanging down over his boxers, gasta-style.   “Yo, yo, yo, Mrs. Cook! I’m here to hook you up!   Call this dog, ’cause I ain’t going to trip with him, you know what I’m sayin’?”   Kenny stood next to  me with his mouth agape and Dudley, after an exploratory sniff, decided that this guy was chill, and slunk back into the house to resume his nap on the couch.   I led Shane (“I’m Shane, Mrs. Cook, and I’m going to take care of you and clean this mess up, do you hear what I’m saying to you?”) into the house and turned on the water.     He started listening around, to source the leak, and Kenny stage whispered, “I thought plumbers were supposed to have short hair!”   Cooper chewed thoughtfully on his finger, and I held Kenny by the collar to keep him from helping our friend with his task.  

He finally decided that the leak was behind the washing machine and proceeded to saw a hole in the wall.   Kenny was extremely excited about that move, and sat rapt as Shane dug out the wet drywall.   “Uh-oh, Mrs. Cook.   I see now where we have a very sincere problem.   Now don’t you worry, because I’m going to hook you up in just a matter of time, but you see this leak before me is going to take some sincere time and work to access.   This pipe is running right through the concrete wall here and I need to remove these cinder blocks to access the situation.   Then I can replace this here pipe and you will be all set to resume your day.”  

Can I just say that every other plumber we’ve ever had at the house speaks only two to three words at a time?

Out comes the concrete saw (Kenny was now dreaming of becoming a plumber, if only for this display of gleeful demolition), and before our eyes a foot square hole materialized in our wall.   It’s cold outside.   Three hours later, the “situation is accessed”, and the leak is fixed and the water is back on.   Shane was so eloquent with his goodbyes and fair wishes that I almost thought for a second that if I hadn’t been holding Cooper and combing smashed pees out of my hair, he would have called me “baby.”


Weekend Report

January 18th, 2009

This weekend we headed out for a very quick and slightly insane road trip.   We drove three and a half hours with three other families (and thirteen kids total, ages 6 months to 11) to a family waterpark and theme hotel for a day of swimming and a night of sitting around the lodge campfire talking.   The family who planned our trip is military, and the husband is gearing up in the next three weeks to deploy for eighteen months, leaving his wife and four daughters behind.   We planned the trip months ago and had everything organized down to who was bringing the wine and who was going to go on which waterslide first.

Everything, that is, except the actual confirmation.

When we arrived at check-in, kids already in the their suits, we were told by the clerk that indeed, our confirmation numbers were in the computer, but, alas, they were for last weekend.   We stood, baffled, looking at each other and wondering, how, indeed??   It turns out that since they were booked with a military discount through a third party, someone at reservations got the dates wrong, and the hotel was now over booked, leaving us, quite literally, with no room in the inn.   The manager, distraught over our plight, gave us “free” passes for the day (free only in theory, as we had already been charged for the rooms we didn’t use the weekend before) and directed us to a Days Inn a few miles down the road.

Crises averted, we swam (or rather, the kids swam, Kenny road the mini waterslide over 100 times, and Casey and I took turns holding Cooper) until dinner time, then loaded up and shuttled over to the Inn.   The Inn itself was practically empty, and we asked the front desk clerk if we could eat our dinner (which we had brought in coolers) in the lobby area, where there were big couches and  nice tables ready for the complimentary breakfast.   She told us to have at it, and we uncorked the wine and had a feast.   The bigger kids, exhausted from their play, passed out on the couches, and the little ones – Kenny and his two-year-old friend, Ruthie, ran laps around the lobby and ate nearly an entire bag of Doritos between them.

We headed back home after an IHOP stop this morning and the drive couldn’t have been more smooth.   Ah, but there was a surprise waiting at home: one of our pipes burst while we were gone and we arrived to find water gushing out of the side of the house and a good inch of water in the guest bathroom.   We are determined not to call an emergency plumber, so Casey turned the water off in the house (after filling a few pots to wash up later with) and we have settled into the afternoon to relax, play games and watch football.   Not a bad 48 hours, I would say!

A Week In Review

January 15th, 2009

We have had much going on here in our little family this week.   The biggest hurrah has been that Casey started his new job!   For those readers who have been with me since this fall, you know that we moved to Atlanta for a new job, but came back shortly thereafter.   It’s been a whirlwind few months as Casey looked into other options, but he has finally landed into a new company.   It’s exciting for him, and a big change for us:  while Casey was on the hunt, he was home for long stretches of each day.   Kenny and Cooper got pretty used to not only having Daddy around to play, but to having family dinners at 5:00.   Now as we adjust to our new schedule of Days Without Daddy and dinner a whole lot later than five!

As if that weren’t enough, we are in the process of buying a new house!   We have always wanted to live in the historic district of the town we live close to.   We have house-hunted for over three years, but with our parameters (parking spot, enough yard for Dudley to wee wee in, and within an affordable price range), we kept striking out.   Until now.   After four weeks of back and forth negotiations, the sellers of an adorable little yellow house just off of Main Street have accepted our offer and we are in the process of doing home inspections and the like, counting down to a closing date in early March!  

It will be a huge change for us:   Now we live in a fairly large 4 bedroom house  on the waterfront with a dock, a kayak and  a big fenced yard  with a swing set.   Soon we are facing a (pretty darn tiny) 3 bedroom, 1 1/2 bath city house with only enough land for, literally, Dudley to wee wee in.   Now we are 15 minutes from the grocery store and 30 minutes from church, the mall and most of our social life.   Soon we will be able to walk to pretty much anywhere we want to go, including to get together with friends, and church and the mall    will be no more than  a quick 10 minute hop down the road.   And the city itself is on the water, so we can still kayak and fish, just not out of our own backyard.   Soon we will be in the rhythm of city life – big public parks to walk to, a front porch to sit on and watch the city go by and awesome safe places to go for long walks and runs.   Not to mention Dudley’s favorite dog park is 2 miles away.  

I know that the space in the house will be tough to get used to – as will not having a yard – but living in town will make the whole city our living room and with the city playground a four block walk, I know that our days are going to really perk up.     And Casey and I are looking forward to sitting on that gorgeous front porch after the kids go to bed and drinking wine and watching the world go by.   Good bye TV!

I am still holding my breath a little… because it’s an historic home, I know that the home inspection may turn up something.   The house has been owned by the same family since 1901, so the current owners have never had an inspection.   Still, barring a foundation that’s about to collapse, I’m sure that whatever turns up can be fixed, right?

More to come on the big family move!

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