11 February 2009

the Great Potato Race

I distinctly remember our first microwave. Its size rivaled the console televisions of the 1970’s, its dimensions imbuing it with the ability to cook within it’s depths an adult turkey. When I told my brother’s wife that we could now bake a potato in only six minutes in the new contraption she asked me, full of incredulity and, I’ll admit this to you now, a concentrated air of superiority, “why would I bake a potato in six minutes in a microwave oven when I can so easily bake it in only an hour in the conventional oven?”

Why, indeed.

I mentally envisioned both of us on a culinary countdown, me in front of our new microwave oven, she in front of a conventional oven, a contraption she was only casually acquainted with in the first place, glaring at each other as we raced to the potato-cooking finish. I would laugh triumphant as my tuber emerged, fully baked, from the microwave in only 6 short minutes, while she stared pitifully into her oven and awaited her potato's slowly-heated conclusion.

She had, until this point, only made the Noodles of Ramen and various incarnations of Some Beef Dish. What she did was create a concoction of hamburger, one egg, and a generous helping of Lawrey’s Seasoned Salt. If it was a meatloaf she as crafting, she put it in a loaf pan. If it was Salisbury Steak, she put it in the shape of a patty. It was culinary craft of a whole new form. I feared that if I ever were to eat breakfast in her home I would awaken to that meat in the outward appearance of bacon strips.

Quite possibly the scariest thing about her kitchen, though was that from the time she married my brother in 1984 to the time of this writing in 2008 she has had the same bottle of dish soap in her kitchen window. I never figured out if it was a decoration or if she simply forgot to use it. Every dish I retrieved from her cabinet had a film of grease on it at least a millimeter thick. It was like being on a tiny and terrifying roller coaster just attempting to keep the dish within my grasp as I hoisted it from cabinet to countertop. She once returned from a trip with my brother after I had house and kid-sat for them. She rushed to the kitchen window, noting the reduced quantity of detergent in the Dawn bottle and shrieked, “what have you done?!” I had taken every dish out of the cabinet and washed it with soap.

She holds a grudge to this day.

08 February 2009

Our New Menu

Usually I just scrawl the menu on the back of a junk mail envelope, but today I decided to actually type it into Word, with accompanying grocery list. Here is what's cookin' at our house:

Family Menu February 9-22, 2009

Monday Asian flank steak, jasmine rice, stir-fried vegetables

Tuesday Oven fried chicken, mashed potatoes, corn, peas, bread

Wednesday Braised sirloin tips, sliced onion potatoes, green beans

Thursday Grilled pork tenderloin, sweet potato casserole, crunchy parsnip cakes

Friday Black bean soup, sweet potato fries ***Family Game Night!!!

Saturday Egg rolls, fried rice, chocolate cake (Happy Valentine's Day!)
Sunday Dinner: the Sequel (leftovers)

Monday Beef kebabs, sweet potato casserole, green peas

Tuesday Cheesy pasta and broccoli

Wednesday Indian grilled chicken, basmati rice, aloo gobi

Thursday Beef brisket, herbed potato wedges, green beans

Friday Beans and kielbasa, cornbread ***Family Game Night!!!

Saturday Crockpot chicken alfredo, broccoli

Sunday Dinner: the Sequel

06 February 2009

Okay, here's the silly:

And it makes me smile EVERY SINGLE TIME I see it

Snowbunny Pics and more

Claire as snowbunny, Claire as silly.....you decide:

Stoichiometry of a Pea

So, Sunday night I was at work when my mother called to tell me that Claire was throwing up.....and had been for awhile now. We started the count at 3 rounds of vomitting. I came home and found her still upchucking. I freshed up her pj's and threw her in the car, along with everything that could possibly fit in my backpack. In it I shoved: another pair of her pajamas (unmatched, but who cares), a package of baby wipe refills, unopened. A ziploc bag for when I open the baby wipe refill, an extra pair of her socks (more than likely similarly unmatched) and the biggest handfull of fresh diapers my small hand can grab in an urgent hurry. I strapped her into her sweet flowery carseat, tucked bathtowels all around, under and over her so she could barf on something more easily laundered. (I'm planning ahead. I'm not careless!)

We spent mere moments inside the ER before being seen. I apologized for coming in "just for a kid vommitting" and said that I "knew it wasn't an emergency." The Dr cut me off right there. He said, "she only weighs 26 pounds. 26 pound people can deydrate really fast, it IS an emergency." So, that made me feel a little better. It made me feel like I didn't have to keep apologizing to them, because, really, who would you rather see at 1am this cute snow-bunny looking kid or some whiny-ass crybaby with a gunshot wound?!


So, he gave her some Phenergan, which didn't work. Next, he gave her some Zofran, which she promptly refused to take. They crushed it into a powder and I tipped her head back and he said,"you need to let us put this in your mouth". The only word I heard from her all night was right at that moment, "okay". She took it and threw that up, too. I had half a backpack full of clean bathtowels for her to throw up in. The nurse who was helping us watched me dodge Claire's projectile stomach contents with our fine linens and I explained, "by your third kid you no longer think letting them puke all over you is the sign of a noble mother." By the end of our little excursion she had vomitted over 11 times in 3 hours. I'm glad we went.

They decided to send her home anyway with a script for Phenergan suppositories. And this is where our stoichiometric nightmare began.

Wouldn't you know that they were not going to work effectively for this particular bug becuase that part of her anatomy was currently under attack as well. So, I called in a Rx for Phenergan gel.

Evil stuff, that is. Apparently they put the ENTIRE PRESCRIPTION (SIX DOSES!!) in one syringe. Do you know how to do THIS sort of stiochiometry inside your head?

Claire weighs 26 lbs (which is how much in kg?) and her dose is 1/2 of a 12.5 mg suppository. Now, her Phenergan gel Rx is for 0.025 ml of gel, or, as the Pharmacist told me, "a pea sized amount". Have you ever tried to visualize a pea sized amount of a liquid? I am trying to imagine,......if a pea were to ever want to be a liquid, how far and how fast would it spread and would it still occupy the same mass in space? (As I tried to figure this out in my head I chanted to myself, "BE the liquid pea, Cyndi, BE the liquid pea!")

So, the next day Jake comes down with it and I am told to use Claire's suppositories, as her dose was half of a whole suppository and Jake's dosage would be one whole one.

Big Mistake: Jake is now facing Montezuma's revenge as well, so suppositories are out of the question. As I drive back to the pharmacy to pick up his Phenergan gel I wonder how 12.5 mg of the solid suppository translates to 0.50 ml and how to compare this in a more "apples to apples" way. I mean, if someone could show me the diameter of a average pea and then I could convert that to the mass of gel in ml.....maybe.

So, I challenge all of you science geeks to ponder me this:

What is the mass of an average green pea and how would half of it's mass end up as
.025 ml. I am arguing with no one, it's just that us enquiring minds would like to know. Oh, and that I accidentally gave him DOUBLE THE DOSE as I was trying to squeeze the tiny syringe and read it (upside down, mind you!) at the same time. I panicked and wiped it off, while calling poison control. She was all, "Dude, you, like, totally did what I was going to tell you to do. I mean, he is gonna' be like totally fine. Wake him up every 15 minutes or so and if you are stressed out about, like, anything, just totally call us back." She also explained that Jake could start having hallucinations. I had a feeling that my friend at Poison Control had beat us to 'em.

DUDE. She like totally helped and I think we are totally going to be like the best of friends now.