Breakfast for Dinner and Tales of a Helpful Toddler

Last night was the first night in a long time that I cooked dinner for my family.  I love to cook and I normally cook quite often, but Michael had been out of town for a bit and then my Mother-in-Law had a heart attack (more about that in another post) and as a result we have been back and forth to Little Rock (to visit the hospital) and Michael has been staying at the hospital a lot too.

Michael was home last night and I wanted to cook, but I had forgotten to set anything out to defrost.  I was left to ponder what I could fix for dinner fairly easily and with what I had on hand and ready to cook.

I decided on Breakfast for dinner –  a fairly regular meal at our house.  I thought about what I would include and decided on gluten-free biscuits, scrambled eggs, and sausage links.  Now generally Michael prefers bacon or at least sausage patties, but all I had was sausage links, so he was just going to have to make do with them.

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The kitchen quickly becomes a disaster area when I am cooking!

Genevieve saw me in the kitchen and wanted to help.  She climbed up in her learning tower (we found this at a Rhea Lana’s sale for so cheap!), and asked to help me.  She first pointed to the sausages and told me that she wanted to eat the “hot dog,” which was so cute!  I told her that they were sausages and she then told me that she wanted to eat the sausages, but I told her they had to cook first (much to her disappointment).  She then helped me cute the biscuits.  When I started breaking the eggs to scramble them, she asked if she could crack the eggs.  I wouldn’t let her crack the eggs because I didnt want to fish all the shells out.  She got so made at me that she ran out of the kitchen saying that she was going to go “tell daddy that you are doing it wrong!”

When dinner was finished cooking, we all sat down to the table to eat.  It was such a treat for us all to eat dinner together, since it had been so long.

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I ate my biscuits with honey…yum!

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Want to know how to make these amazing gluten-free biscuits?  I use this recipe from Maebell’s blog.  It is the best gluten-free biscuit recipe I have found.  I generally tweak it by adding 1/2 teaspoon of xanthan gum, cooking in a glass 9×13 casserole dish coated with melted butter, and I cook them a bit longer – 15 to 20 minutes (finishing with the broil setting to get a golden color on top).

Insta-Moment: why does the blurry photo have to be my favorite?

That moment when you try really hard to get a photo of your daughter playing with her dogs and the photo that has the best angle and position turns out blurry, but the picture with your daughter looking blankly  ahead while one dog bites the other turns out crystal clear. .... and yes that is my pile of laundry in the background. #blog #agirlandherdog #2yearsold #30months #candidphoto #momlife #toddlerlife | February 24, 2017 at 08:10AM

That moment when you try really hard to get a photo of your daughter playing with her dogs and the photo that has the best angle and position turns out blurry, but the picture with your daughter looking blankly ahead while one dog bites the other turns out crystal clear. …. and yes that is my pile of laundry in the background. #blog #agirlandherdog #2yearsold #30months #candidphoto #momlife #toddlerlife

Genevieve’s Bookshelf

Of course as a Librarian, everyone expects my daughter to love books.  Thankfully, she really does love them.  In fact, if she is upset or hurt, you can offer to read her a book and she immediately quits crying!

I recently discovered a movement that promotes the gifting books instead of toys.  This movement inspired the creation of a reverse registry and book recommendation website designed for children. This website is called Red Antler Books.  I will be reviewing this website soon, but while you anxiously await my review, I wanted to share the current list of titles on Genevieve’s bookshelf.

So without further ado: http://ninaksodhi.wixsite.com/red-antler-books/genevieve-exisiting-library

 

*the basket holds her clothes books. She also has a small basket next to the chair in her room for her current favorite books to read at bedtime.

Holiday Sale at Genevieve’s Smile


Ok guys, here it is!  Our Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday deal!  This deal is good from 11/182016 until December 3, 2016.  

Free shipping on all orders using this code blackfriday16.  

In addition to free shipping, all purchases will automatically receive a free gift and all purchases over $40 will receive 2 free gifts.

First time purchases also receive a free gift!

Shop at  https://www.facebook.com/GenevievesSmile/

Or 

https://www.etsy.com/shop/GenevievesSmile?ref=search_shop_redirect

Family Photos for Christmas

This year (and the two years previous) I have purchased a Groupon for a portrait package with JC Penney Portrait Studios.  The purpose of the purchase was to have Christmas photos taken for our family Christmas card.

This year was by far the best experience we have had with the studio.  Each time we have used the same studio, and both this year and last year we had the same photographer.  I think a large part of the better experience this year was because Genevieve was older and better able to follow instructions.  She was also easier to bribe.

The most frustrating part of the experience is the time it takes to go through the ordering process after the pictures are taken.  The photographers are required to create specialty photos and packages for every option, prior to you being able to checkout.  This is a very time consuming process and quite annoying.  This is especially true since they try to rush through the process (because they know you want it to be done) and throw together things that dont even look good.

Our Groupon this year cost $13 and included 3 digital images (with rights), 1 free photo sheet, and 40% off any additional purchases.

Overall I have been very impressed with my Groupon photo packages and their values.  However, I must say, that next year I will be much more particular about paying attentions to sales and what I order.

I wanted to purchase Christmas cards, but there is currently a sale going  on that was cheaper than my Groupon 40% discount.  I asked about getting that price instead and was told that  I could not combine coupons.  I asked how long until my online album was created (they now load all your photos into an online album for future orders) and was told that it would be 48 hours until it would be available. I asked about ordering a ceramic ornament and was told those had to be ordered online. I went ahead and placed my order (and spent more than I intended … as always).

My frustration grew some when I got home and found out that my digital prints were ready to download and my full online album was ready to view.  I also discovered that I could already order from my online album and the prices were significantly less than I had paid when I was in the studio earlier.

Lesson learned.  Next year I will only take what is offered in my Groupon package and then go online and order from my album.  We always have these pictures taken at about the same time of year – so there is always a sale going on.

I will say that the staff were nice and the pictures ( for the most part) were really good.

Note: Michael refused to have a solo picture taken of himself.

IFTTT – The app you aren’t using, but should

IFTTT – The app you aren’t using, but should
I want to take a few moments to break away from my normal posts, and share with you one of my favorite productivity tools – IFTTT.  
This app is basically a tool that creates an automatic chain of secondary actions based on a primary action, in effect saving you time and increasing your productivity.  What does this mean?  IFTTT lets you link two services together in am if-this-then-that action.  For instance, If I post a picture in Instagram I can have that post automatically posted in my WordPress blog (see my Insta-moment posts) with a predetermined formula for title and various metadata.   
Examples:

  • Evernote to WordPress
  • Facebook to Google Calendar
  • WordPress to Facebook
  • Android device to Dropbox
  • Pinterest to Twitter
  • Craigslist search to Email
  • Twitter to Google Spreadsheet

IFTTT works with houndreds of platforms and services and the process of creating linked actions is really simple.  The process of linking services and creating secondary actions only takes seconds and involves only a few pieces of data from which to process the action.  
IFTTT calls the process of creating this chain of events a “recipe.” To create a recipe the user only needs to select the mortar and pestle icon.  From there you will be given the options to choose the services you want to connect.  Once you create a recipe, you can go back and edit it to reflect the metadata values you want to use (date, time, title, url, tags, etc).

I have one word of caution about this app. Because many of the recipes are user-generated, sometimes they don’t work. If one recipe you try doesn’t work, then try another one that does the same thing or try creating your own.

IFTTT is a free download in your mobile store.  This app really takes the guess work out of staying connected and streamlines workflows that you have never even considered.   Try it!  There are thousands of possibilities and I bet you will be just as excited as I am once you give it a try!


Tags: Completed Post, Personal Blog, Technology, Readytopublish

August 11, 2016 at 11:57PM

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My 1st Appointment with Dr. Berry

Today I had my first visit with Dr. Berry at the Little Rock Diagnostic Clinic.  I schedule my appointment back in December and my original appointment was scheduled for the end of July, but I got a call two weeks ago asking if I was able to take an earlier appointment.  I said – “Yes!”

I have heard so many wonderful things about Dr. Berry and I was really looking forward to the appointment.  I have two friends who have seen her before and they were both very complimentary.  I was told to expect her to spend an hour with me – an hour!

The pre-appointment paperwork was extensive, but it was very thorough.

My appointment was on May 20th at 8:30am and I was asked to arrive 1 hour before my appointment time.  I wasnt thrilled about having to leave the house at 6:30 am, but I was definitely ready to try a new doctor!

Dr. Berry will have been the 5th doctor I have seen in 4 years.  I have really struggled to find good medical care.  It seems like most doctors just want to push you through the door and collect your co-pay without even pretending to listen to what you have to say.  At least this has been my experience.

The check-in process went smoothly and Dr. Berry was in my room and chatting with me by 8:45.  She spent a good 45 minutes listening to my medical complaints and reviewing my new patient paperwork with me.

We talked about my foot pain, my thyroid symptoms, my fatigue, my hip and back pain, and my stomach issues.  I left with a few tentative diagnoses, a treatment plan, orders for blood work and x-rays, and a prescription for physical therapy on my back and hips. The diagnoses and treatments are preliminary pending labs and x-rays.

Feet – probably Plantar Fasciitis.  Probably related to my previous pregnancy. Massage every morning with a frozen water bottle and do foot stretches twice a day.  Make sure to wear shoes with good arch support.  

Back and Hips – probably related (at least in part) to  my previous pregnancy.  Possible scoliosis.  Hips and back are not lined up as they should be.  This could also be causing my knee pain.

Stomach – constipation and possible ovarian cyst. Also, possible lack of nutrient absorption. Treat with a diet of 25 grams of fiber per day (or Metamucil) and a daily dost of Miralax.   Follow up with ultrasound via Dr. Berry’s office or my OB’s office within 48 hours of severe pain incident.  

Thyroid – Possible lack of absorption. Stop taking generic and take name brand Synthroid.  This will make sure I am getting a consistent dose of medication.  Scheduled ultrasound of thyroid to compare size to 2013 ultrasound since the thyroid was found to be enlarged from manual exam.

Fatigue and Brain Fog – Many possible issues.  Probably related to lack of nutrient absorption. Start taking a prenatal vitamin.

I left Dr. Berry’s exam room and immediately went to the lab for blood draws.  They took so many vials of blood! Then I had to leave a urine sample.  After theses samples were collected I walked to radiology, where they took several x-rays of my hips and back.

My last stop of the day was to stop at the scheduling desk to schedule my thyroid ultrasound (they couldnt get me in right away) and the schedule my follow up appointment and another set of lab work to be taken a few days before my next appointment.

I go back again in 3 months.

Overall I was highly satisfied with my visit to Dr. Berry.  She listened and had good advice and genuinely seemed concerned for my welfare.  I asked her about becoming my general practitioner and she said that she would be glad to, but that she would not prescribe the phentermine I am currently taking for weight loss.  I am near enough to my goal that I think that is fine.  I will continue to see the doctor prescribing the phentermine until I reach my goal and then move all my medical care to Dr. Berry. I hope to have reached my goal by the end of summer.

Next week I will call my insurance and find out what to do, as next steps, to follow up on my prescription for physical therapy.

 

 

Genevieve Gets Stitches

May 5th – The day Genevieve falls at daycare and needs stitches.

Poor Genevieve!  She just cant seem to win for losing lately!  She has been fighting ear infections and strep for months and she just had tube surgery last month – and now she falls and needs stitches!

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Genevieve’s daycare provider called me and told me that Genevieve had tripped on her own feet and fell at daycare.  She hit the ONLY wooden chair in the building with her head!  They said she was in the office, but the bleeding wouldnt stop and that they thought it needed stitches!

I called the pediatrician right away.  I didnt know if we should take Genevieve into the doctor’s office or take her to the ER.  They told us to bring her in and that they could see her in 15 minutes.  I called Michael and told him to pick up Genevieve right away and take her to the doctor’s office after I explained what happened.  Then I told my staff I had to leave and I rushed out of town (I work 30 minutes from where her pediatrician and her daycare are, but Michael works in that town).  I just couldn’t stand not to be there with her!  Oh!

When I got the the doctor’s office, the nurses led me back to the examination room where Michael and Genevieve were waiting.  Michael said that they had already seen the doctor and that they were waiting on the doctor and a nurse to come back with the suture kits.

Her clothes were soaked in blood and the wound was still oozing, but Michael had her laughing a little bit and was trying to keep her distracted.  Everytime she stopped for a minute she got upset about her “boo boo.”

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The doctor used dissolvable stitches and he said he didnt think the wound would scar.  I was afraid that I was going to have to hold her while they stitched up the wound, but they strapped her into a backboard device that pinned her and her arms down.  I am glad I didnt have to hold her, because I dont think I could have held her still, but I was hard to watch them stitch her up and listen to her cry and scream “mama” over and over and not hold her and comfort her.  Because there was two nurses and the doctor there for the procedure, I couldnt even get close to her.  The best I could do was weave my hand through the bodies and rub the few exposed inches of her elbow with my finger.

The doctor said she did very well and Michael said that he was proud of his daughter’s “grit.” Let me tell you, I was not very happy with that statement!  My 1 year old does not need “grit!”

The result – 2 stitches in her forehead.

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For the most part, Genevieve was fine after the procedure.  She drank some milk and cuddled with us for a few minutes.  I took her home and when I got there I put some Tylenol in her milk.

When she is upset about her injury, sees her forehead, or accidentally touches her stitches she says”boo boo, head.” It distresses her.

Update 1: Two days after getting her stitches, Genevieve woke up at 2 am with a 101 fever and in a puddle of vomit.  It was all over her.  It was all over her face.  It was in her hair.  Evidently she picked up a stomach bug when she was at the doctor’s office getting stitches.  Really?! Geeze!  I got in a cool bath with her and we sponged off as much of the vomit as we could.  We couldnt really wash her face or hair due to the stitches.  Poor baby had to smell slightly like vomit for the next few days, as she got well, since we couldnt scrub her as thoroughly as we would have liked – the stitches aren’t supposed to get wet.

Update 2: As of May 21st, the last remnants of the stitches came out last night.  Her forehead is very red where the stitches were, but we are treating it with Neosporin.  Now that the stitches are completely gone, we can resume full baths.

 

Genevieve’s Bilateral Myringotomy

Genevieve had a pretty healthy first year, but in December (2015) she was diagnosed with a double ear infection, strep, and a cold.  Between that first diagnosis and the first week of March, Genevieve had been diagnosed with 2 additional double ear infections, and separate cases of strep and an upper respiratory infection.

At our 18 month well child visit (it happened at 19 months), I spoke to her pediatrician ab out her new trend of frequent ear infections and illnesses. He told me that we could wait and see if the trend stopped as the weather got warmer or he could refer me to an ENT to discuss the possible need for tubes in her ears.

We met with the ENT, Dr. Linson, on March 28, 2016.  He checked her ears for fluid and asked about her recent history of ear infections.  In fact, even though she had just finished her last round of antibiotics a week prior, she still had significant fluid on both ears. Based on our conversation, I suspect that Genevieve has had fluid on her ears since the first ear infection, and since she was always asymptomatic, I would not be surprised if she started having problems prior to her first diagnosis.

After he spoke with us, we were directed to another room where she was given a test to check the movement of her ear drums.  We were told that a normal test result would look like an inverted “V.”

The image below shows a “normal” range test result. Genevieve’s test results showed an almost flat line, with a barely noticeable rise in the center.  The doctor told her that this meant that she had almost no movement in hear eardrums.

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Image Credit: Florida Otolaryngology

Dr. Linson told us that we were lucky that Genevieve had not experienced a language delay since the the test results indicated that she was hearing everything as if she was under water and probably had been for some time.

We scheduled her bilateral myringotomy surgery (tubes in both ears) for April 5th.  We were told that she could not have any food or beverage (not even water!) after midnight prior to her surgery.  We arrived at the hospital at 6:3o am and were taken back to a pre-op room at 7:30.  About that time Genevieve started getting cranky wanting something to eat and her cup, and I dont blame her!  It was so hard to tell her “no!”

The nurse had us put her in a tiny little gown and we tried to keep her occupied and distracted until they took her back for the procedure.

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They also gave her a cute little bear made by a local church.

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When they took her back into the operating room, she rode on the bed pretty contently.  I think she was enjoying the ride, like it was a game. The staff wouldnt let us go into the procedure room with her.  This caused me some anxiety, as I didnt want her to feel abandoned and scared in a strange place.

 

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The procedure only took about 15 minutes.  They told us she did really well and that she only cried when they switched her to a new bed and had her lay down.  They said she cried for about 45 seconds, which caused the anesthesia to work faster. I really hate that it happened this way.  It just seems wrong to me.  I dont understand why they let her take two blankies and a doll into the procedure room, but a parent couldnt go back with her until she was asleep.

After the procedure we were taken to the 1st recovery area where Genevieve was waking up. We were warned that she would be angry and very upset as the drugs wore off and would be for 20 to 30 minutes.  This was definitely our experience. The screaming and crying were heart-wrenching!

She calmed down when we were moved to the 2nd recovery area.  We were only in the 2nd recovery are for about 20 minutes, while we waited for our discharge paperwork.  We were scheduled to follow up with the doctor for one month after the surgery.

We will use antibiotic ear drops in each of her ears, twice a day for three days.

Genevieve slept on the way home and then was pretty normal the rest of the day, just fussy and whiny. She snacked a large part of the day and even though she fought a nap, she did take one in the car when I went to pick up her medication.

Im looking forward to her feeling better and hoping that its fast. Im ready for my happy baby to be back to her normally happy and healthy self.

 

 

 

A day In The Life: January 25, 2016 – After Work Chores

Tonight's chores: I went to the grocery store, put away groceries, cookrd and cleaned up after dinner, washed and then put away dishes, unpacked and cleaned up G's lunchbox, washed 4 loads of laundry, folded and put away 2 loads of laundry, bathed and dressed G, picked up toys, fixed and put away G's snack. Yea for bed before 1am!  #familyof3 #workingmom #householdchores #adayinthelife #blog | January 26, 2016 at 12:44AM
Tonight’s chores: I went to the grocery store, put away groceries, cookrd and cleaned up after dinner, washed and then put away dishes, unpacked and cleaned up G’s lunchbox, washed 4 loads of laundry, folded and put away 2 loads of laundry, bathed and dressed G, picked up toys, fixed and put away G’s snack. Yea for bed before 1am! #familyof3 #workingmom #householdchores #adayinthelife