Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Friday, January 13, 2012

Quick Takes


Just in case you all got the mistaken impression that I have it all together, the other morning, I found my 18 month old sitting on the kitchen counter, munching on an apple he'd helped himself to as well as a leftover pancake I hadn't put in the refrigerator yet, whilst spooning the sugar out of the sugar bowl into a dirty teacup (with a generous helping for the counter).

Further evidence?  Look what is still sitting on my front porch greeting visitors?

At least the Christmas tree is down and out of the house.


But in good home management news, my husband (note that it was not me, who deserves the credit here) did a massive cleaning of our bedroom and we've managed to keep it clean for two whole weeks.  When something has been a mess and is finally clean, I practically want to throw a party just to show off the lovely clean space. This might have something to do with the facts revealed in the first two quick takes.

We started our school back this week after Christmas break. Monday was difficult. My seven year old told me it was all my fault that she'd forgotten how to do everything, since I had chosen to give them such a long break.  Tuesday went much better though. This week has been the last week in our second quarter. I'm still in the process of writing the plans for the next quarter. It is a slow process which always makes me envy those people who buy a set of plans, buy the books to go with those plans and call it good. But whenever I look at the plans I could buy, nothing quite suits me, and so I go on writing my own. 

By the way, I've uploaded a few more things (mostly last quarter's plans) to my St. Bede's Academy page.

If you are wondering, I still haven't found a new doctor or midwife. What? I still have a pumpkin on my front porch and you expect me to get in a hurry about these things?


Currently stuck in my head, thanks to children replaying it and then singing raucously around the house:

Friday, January 06, 2012

Thai Lentil Soup, or I would have taken a picture, but the locusts ate it all

My original plans for dinner didn't appeal when the time came to cook them, and yet the children keep insisting on being fed multiple times per day, whether I want to cook or not.  So I had to figure out what did sound good to me, and I decided on Thai lentil soup. Only, I've never cooked such a thing and had no recipe. A bit of Googling didn't yield quite what I was looking for, so I had to start inventing -- and fortunately for me, my pantry was well stocked with strange food items.  Here's the recipe, for posterity and because I've been told I need to make it again soon, so I'd better remember it.  This makes a lot, but my family ate every single bit (not that my family isn't on the large side) -- even the 3 and 5 year olds asked for more than one helping.

Thai Lentil Soup

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, grated
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
2-3 carrots, peeled and diced
1 lb. French lentils
10 cups chicken broth
1 can coconut milk
2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste
dash of fish sauce
salt and red pepper flakes to taste
2-3 tablespoons chopped cilantro
chopped peanuts or cashews to garnish

  • Heat oil in large soup pot over medium heat and saute onions until very soft, about 10 minutes. In the meantime, place lentils in a heat proof bowl and cover with boiling water for 15 minutes. 
  • Drain lentils. When onion is softened, add garlic, ginger, lemon zest and carrots. Saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add lentils, broth, coconut milk, curry paste, fish sauce, salt and pepper.
  • Cover and bring to a boil. When boiling lower heat to a simmering temperature, uncover, and simmer for 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Add cilantro. For a thicker soup, blend part of the soup in a blender or for a few seconds with an immersion blender.
  • Garnish with peanuts or cashews.

Tuesday, January 03, 2012


"Shhhh..." I leaned over to silence my chatty three year old during the consecration at Mass.

"Jesus is here," I whispered.

"Really?" She glanced around. "What car did he drive?"

WWJD? What would Jesus drive?

Monday, January 02, 2012

Doctors, Nurses and Quandries

I hate change. As long as something works, I'm loathe to change it, even when something better comes along. I don't even like making changes when things really don't work. You might say I'm a natural conservative.

And thus I find myself in the midst of a dilemma. My OB has delivered all 6 of my children. I think he is great and I really like him. I've been going to see him for 13 years. But, over those 13 years his practice has radically changed. It used to be a small 4 doctor practice where they rotated you through the doctors so that you knew everyone.

Now? They've moved to a maze of offices you could get lost in. I'm not even sure how many doctors and midwives they have. You never meet most of them and have no idea who will be there at delivery. At least one of the receptionists can't even pronounce my doctor's name. So, it is neither friendly, nor small. And my doctor? He now sees patients one afternoon per week. Meaning that in the next 6-7 months, I can actually see him 3 times. Have I mentioned I don't like most of the other doctors?

But my dislike of the doctors is surpassed by my dislike of the nurses, who seem to see their job as keeping patients away.

This pregnancy has been difficult and different. After this many pregnancies, I had certain expectations about what my normal would be. When this pregnancy felt very different, I called asking for either an earlier appointment or at least an earlier blood draw, to check certain things which run in my family and fit some of my symptoms.

No. The nurse told me everything was normal. Since I wasn't bleeding or in severe pain, I didn't merit any early visit, and I didn't need any extra or early blood work either, but that what I wanted checked would be looked into in the normal course of things when I came in. I was too tired to pursue it and just waited.

When I finally had a check up, I found the blood work I wanted wasn't on the typical panel, but based on family history the doctor added it. And it came back a bit off. I also found out that it is something that given my circumstances should have been pursued as soon after I found out I was pregnant as possible. Thank you helpful nurse.

So though I like my doctor, I'm not going to see much of him. I don't like the practice. But I do want to deliver at the hospital where this practice delivers, and there aren't that many others that deliver there. I hate making changes. I don't want to go interviewing doctors or midwives, but I'm afraid the handwriting is on the wall and the time has come.

And so I keep putting it off, but I suppose I have some phone calls to make.
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