Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Tickle Time at the Hood Canal



Look at the last square on the bottom right.
I'm falling over...ahhhhh!
Serves me right for tickling my little buddy.
Love tickle time!

We had a great time at the Hood Canal over Memorial Day weekend.  Here's just a little teaser.  
Looking forward to going through some photos and sharing them soon!

Hope you all enjoyed the long weekend!


Friday, May 27, 2011

Shared Recipe: Strawberry Spinach Salad


Thought I would celebrate Memorial Day Weekend by sharing this scrumptious salad recipe with you all.  It is truly a family favorite that has been passed around from family member to family member, and I don't know an occasion or celebration that it doesn't usually end up on the table.  It first was introduced to us all by my mother-in-law, as she is always trying new salad recipes and new dressings...she is so adventurous.  From there, we have all made it, changed it up, made variations, added or taken away ingredients...and it amazes us every time.  And this has been over the course of years people.  This salad is a good one.

It is perfect for summer as strawberries are at their peak in flavor, and the bright red makes this a fun festive accompaniment to any holiday meal.  The salad pictured here does not have the candied pecans in it, but they are a delicious component to this salad when added.   The sweetness from the strawberries and the tang from the dressing really pair together wonderfully.  I'm sharing with you the original recipe...THE best way to enjoy this salad. 

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Hope you get a chance to celebrate our freedom this weekend by cherishing moments with your family and friends.  I am in awe of the courage and sacrifice our service men and woman are displaying on a daily basis and the powerful strength of their family member.  They are willingly fighting the battle of good vs. evil in unimaginable ways, protecting our lives here in this country, protecting our freedom and safety, protecting our happiness and sense of security...ultimately giving of themselves so fully, that we could never repay them.  Knowing that they are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, and we in turn might have a day off from school, make a s'more, play in the water, see cousins or friends we don't often see, make sandcastles at the beach, or sit around a campfire is just about the most humbling thought I can imagine.  

Take a moment to pray for them, to honor them...for what they have done, for what they are doing, and for what they represent.

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Here's the salad recipe.  You will not be disappointed!  Promise!

Strawberry Spinach Salad

Ingredients
One head red leaf lettuce
Spinach...amount is up to you...your preference
Feta cheese...eyeball it
*Glazed/candied pecans...oh my goodness...like eating candy!
Strawberries...sliced, halved...however you like it
*Raspberry Vinaigrette...homemade is so delicious, but THIS is an awesome substitution
*Recipe below


Layer ingredients in this order...
Eyeballing the amount of each...
However you prefer it...
Lettuce/Spinach
Feta
Dress with dressing...
Lightly toss...
Strawberries
Pecans


Dressing
1/2 c. raspberry vinegar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 medium clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
3/4 c. canola or vegetable oil

I usually empty all these ingredients into an old peanut butter jar with a lid and give it a shimmy shake.  Ya know, up and down, side to side, jumping all around.  It's a good time, and it gets the job done.


Candied Pecans

3 cups whole pecan halves

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

½ cup light corn syrup

½ cup sugar, divided use

¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon



1. Preheat oven to 250* F
2. Place pecans in 13x9x2 inch baking pan.  Bake for 5 minutes.
3. In a 2 quart saucepan melt butter over medium heat.  Stir in corn syrup, ¼ cup of the sugar and cinnamon.  Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat.  Boil without stirring for 5 minutes.
4. Pour hot syrup over pecans, stirring constantly to coat evenly.
5. Return to oven and bake, stirring several times, for 1 hour.
6. Remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining ¼ cup sugar; toss to coat evenly.
7. Store in tightly closed container.
Makes 3 cups.

Many blessings,



Linking up with...

  Check me out Saturdays   


HookingupwithHoH   

Ginger Snaps





Monday, May 23, 2011

Slowing Down...My Arthritis and Working for the Lord

For the Laundry Room. Work for the Lord 8 by 10 print
Emily Burger Designs on Etsy
Love her stuff!  Take a look!



Hi all!   I hope you have been doing so well and enjoying life.   This verse speaks volumes for me right now, as we are experiencing a bit of a whirlwind around here lately.  I have to remind myself constantly that each step I take...I am working for the Lord.  Every little victory...one moment at a time...is done by working for the Lord.  I thought it might be a great time to give you a little update. 

We have enjoyed some inconsistent sunshine lately, and it has been a welcome change from the constant downpours we've been experiencing for quite some time now.  Spring hasn't quite sprung around here fully, and by golly, it is almost summer.  So, here's to hoping that summer will come in all of its glory and stick around for...well...for the summer!  


Here's little buddy and I on Mother's Day.  We look a little disheveled after running around in my parent's backyard blowing bubbles.  Please forgive us.

Anyhoo, you may have noticed that I have not been posting as much lately, and that I also have not been visiting you all as often as I like to...making comments on all of your beautiful projects, recipes, life stories, and giggle inducing posts.  Well, here's why.  My arthritis (you can get caught up HERE) has come back (the joint pain is not just the inconsistent flare ups...it is here, every morning, every day, and every night).  I, along with the Mr. and my Super Duper Little Buddy, are working on navigating what that means for our family.  

I am finding most of my joint pain stemming from my neck muscles being severely tense and tight, my clavicle, sternum, shoulders, hips, fingers sometimes, toes on occasion, and a lot of the bones that make up my feet.  Now this may sound weird, but I am so THANKFUL!  Last time I experienced severe arthritis, I also suffered from plantar fasciitis, which not only created severely intense and sharp pain in my feet and heels, but also the inability to walk and get about at all.  I was crippled.  As of now, plantar fasciitis is not an issue for me, so even though I do have a lot of joint pain, it is not quite as severe and devastating as my previous experience.  Hallelujah!  I am remembering to just take my time when attempting to walk somewhere or get something done, one foot in front of the other, one moment at a time.  Sitting for long periods of time does in fact make the pain more prevalent though, especially when I go to get up, and in the evenings, that's all my tired and aching body seems to want to do.  What a conundrum!


I'm moving a bit more slowly, and therefore, life in general has slowed down a bit for me lately too.  Ya know, one thing I can say is this...slowing down isn't always a bad thing.  It can open our eyes to the little everyday miracles that we so often overlook when we're on the fast track of life.  Sweet little thank yous from my little buddy, smiles and giggles when I stay sitting with him instead of getting up to go get something done, opportunities to practice patience, empathizing with others who are experiencing pain and hardship, longer snuggles in bed, my little buddy offering me one of his "buddies" (stuffed animals) to make me feel better, the joy of accomplishing one task and having that be enough, the blessings of letting someone else do "it" for me...there are so many.

SLOWING DOWN ISN'T ALWAYS A BAD THING.
IT CAN OPEN OUR EYES TO THE LITTLE
EVERYDAY MIRACLES
THAT WE SO OFTEN OVERLOOK...

Every moment I feel a burst of energy or a slight relief in pain, I am trying to clean up, organize, think ahead, and do something that will help the day move along more smoothly for us as a family.  It's hard to say, but I am really aiming to do the bare minimum in a day.  Many of my household chores and To Do List projects have been left undone or inconsistently addressed for quite some time now as my arthritis has slowly gotten worse.  Just think of all the little things you do throughout your day to keep your family moving steadily along...things you don't even think about...things you just automatically do and use your body to perform.


Doing the laundry...bending, lifting, folding, hunching
Grocery Shopping...lifting, loading, unloading, carrying kids, walking 
Ironing...leaning, swiping, standing, repeat
Doing the dishes...unloading, loading, standing, washing, hunching, bending
Preparing meals...hunching, chopping, standing, stirring, repeat
Cleaning the floors or counters...hunching, scrubbing, wiping, bending, kneeling
Changing the bed sheets...tugging, stretching, pulling lifting, tucking, hunching
Running to Target for a few things...loading, unloading, walking, reaching, standing
Picking up toys...bending, grabbing, holding, carrying, lifting, scooting, kneeling
Gardening...walking, bending, kneeling, pulling, pushing, hunching, standing, digging
Walking up the stairs...with a kid, without a kid, one time, ten times
Heading to the Playground...pushing, lifting, bending, running, walking


All the tasks you do without even thinking, as if your body just takes you through the motions, these are the things that constitute my big decisions for the day.  Every little movement requires a thought and a decision.  Can I do this?  Is it worth it?  Can it wait until later?  Just the simple tasks of every day living can feel a bit overwhelming and be very taxing on my body...and that is all the stuff you don't even think about usually...what about the fun?  The playing?  The packing to go somewhere?  The adventures that require walking?  Shopping for a new pair of shoes or pants?


Brian helps as much as he can, but with his new job, he is leaving the house around 5/5:30AM and hoping to make it into bed by 9PM (and even that's a little late) so he is not a walking zombie the next day.  Poor guy hasn't gotten enough sleep.  My parents and in-laws are amazing and offering to help us with whatever we need...meals, cleaning up, painting...you name it...they are offering to help.  It's not always easy for me to ask for help, but I am ready and willing to take them up on any offers to help lately, and they are graciously offering so much.


I am finding one of the toughest tasks as my arthritis has returned is managing being a stay at home Mom (forget about being a stay at home housekeeper) of a two year old who finally decided it was time to be normal (tantrums galore around here)...and this alone brings a whole level of exhaustion and patience testing on its own.  I sure love my little man...but this normal phase that most kids and parents experience is turning into one heck of a nightmare at times for this aching and not quick to move around mama.  He is doing well with playing independently and understanding when I say I can't "play" with him because my body has owies, but what Mom wants to say that to their little buddy every single day?  THAT gets tough.

Our plate is full at this time, and yet, we are plugging along.  I am experiencing arthritis with a whole heap of history, understanding, gratitude, and patience that comes from going through this before and knowing what to expect.  But I dare to say don't let that statement fool you because life is definitely not all rainbows and butterflies right now either, as we are working through this time with a lot of frustration, exhaustion, feeling overwhelmed, helplessness, uncharted territory (being an arthritic stay at home mom with a two year old...before, it was just B and I), and concern.  


Now, I should assure you, not every day is horrible.  In fact, I am thankful to be experiencing a lot of good days...days where there is pain, but I am still able to move about and tackle life a bit.  I would say, however, that the good days lately are also met by quite a few rough ones in terms of being able to function properly/productively as a stay at home mom/wife/cook/housekeeper.  It's a daily struggle to maintain a positive mental attitude, as that can be my biggest enemy at times.  

I do have an appointment with a new rheumatologist scheduled soon, as my previous doctor is no longer practicing here, and so I am hoping to start fresh, talk about some options for pain relief, and just go from there.  One hurdle for us is that we would love to get pregnant and add to our family.  Getting pregnant hasn't come easy for us in the past.  It took a year to conceive Cooper, and it is proving an equally as lengthy attempt this time.  Unfortunately, we have seen my arthritis pain simply worsening during this time.  Eek!


The route of finding pain relief might be tricky for me.  Remicade is what I took previously for my arthritis, but it has not been around long enough to have the data to prove it's safety for women who are pregnant or the safety of the unborn child.  Many of the other arthritis drugs out there are so toxic, and nowhere close to being safe for women who are pregnant or hoping to get pregnant, so this is going to be an interesting road to investigate.

Although I am stealing a few moments to blog or catch up on reading, sitting at our computer is not as easy for me as it was previously, and without a laptop to blog with while lounging in bed at night, I am just not finding sufficient time to really keep up lately.  I was having so much fun trying to post almost daily.  Through blogging I have been so inspired and encouraged, and at the same time, have LOVED sharing Hallelujahs with all of you...hoping to inspire and encourage you in return.  I think it makes sense to slow down a bit.  I am sure everyone experiences seasons in life...and for me, this season presents itself as a good time as any for a bloggy slowdown.  I still look forward to posting here and there...but probably just not so vigorously and consistently right now.  When I am able to dig right in, I will do so, and as I am struggling a bit to balance it all...I will do a little less.  I will still be sitting here, thankful for each of you, and looking forward to all the future Hallelujahs that will make their way into our lives.

I thank you for your inspiration, and send you my biggest hugs.  You all serve as such encouragement to me.  I tell ya.  Every little thing I'm doing lately, I can't help but be so thankful that I have hands and feet to do it with, that I am loved, that I am alive, that I am surrounded by grace...and continue to plug away...trying to remember to do it all for the glory of God.  Although struggling physically right now, I do feel so blessed, and I know not everyone is so fortunate to have some of these joys afforded to them.  


Is there anything you are working for...putting your efforts and heart toward...all for the sake of man right now?  Is there anything that you could slow down to examine...to take a moment to rearrange your heart...so that you are working for the Lord?  Not yourself, not others, not because of obligation, not just to make it through the day, not for money, not for power, but for the joy of the Lord?  Giving your all for Him, to Him, because He deserves it and because He calls us to do so?

Whatever you do, 
work at it with all your 
HEART,
as working for the Lord, 
not for men.
...
Colossians 3:23

I pray that you have a moment to contemplate this for yourself, that you are experiencing joy in your every day, and that you can slow down and catch a few everyday miracles for yourself.

Many blessings to you friends!  
I'll catch ya soon!  Life is good!


PS - As I finish writing this, I feel like today is a GOOD day.  Yay!  Some pain, but nothing severe.  I am ready to tackle this day...one moment at a time!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Chicken Caesar Salad with Homemade Croutons

Seriously one of my all time favorite, simple, satisfying, and flavorful go to meals.


Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  All you need is...

ROMAINE HEARTS washed, dried, and cut to your preferred size.
I like to buy the large bags of romaine hearts at Costco.

Some folks tear their lettuce...me?...I cut...faster way to the salad spinner.

I use this salad spinner.  It works like a champ.

OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner


Find a wide, shallow bowl that can hold tons of yumminess.
You can go large serving bowl size for the fam, or stick to personal sized salad bowls.

These are my favorite from Pottery Barn.  I always love white dishes.  Classic, versatile, lovely.

Great White Soup Bowl, Set of 4

Create a large mound of lettuce in your bowl.

Then you add a little CAESAR DRESSING.

Our favorite is this one...just the right mix of creamy and zing.

Cardini's Original Caesar Dressing, 20-Ounce Bottles (Pack of 6)

Our worship pastor introduced us to this brand.  He used to be a chef/cook in a great little cafe back in the day.  He brought us dinner when Cooper was born...Pasta Puttanesca and Caesar Salad.  It was amazing...you know those days when you have just brought baby home, you are exhausted, a little loopy, famished, covered in spit up and poo, and you've got people coming over to oooh and ahhh over your precious little bundle...and then they hand you dinner?!  It was like eating heaven!  Well, it really was, and simply put, from then on, this caesar dressing has a permanent spot in our refrigerator door.  I have been meaning to share my pasta puttanesca recipe.  Hopefully it will make its way on here.


Next, pile on the fresh PARMESAN CHEESE shredded to perfection.

I shred our cheeses using this one...

OXO Good Grips Box Grater

and sometimes this one.

Microplane Fine Grater

Depends on the mood I'm in.  :)  
Big shreds of cheese or little curls.  
They each have a special place in my heart.

After the parmesan cheese, pile on some COOKED CHICKEN.

Cut up and cook with a little kosher salt, pepper, garlic powder, and extra virgin olive oil.  Simple and tasty.  Sometimes, I use a little lemon pepper.  Lemon is a good compliment to caesar flavors.  If you want to, cut up a lemon into wedges, and serve with your bowl of salad.  A little squirt of lemon juice goes a long way with this meal.




The chicken is vital if making this salad for a lunch or dinner.  The chicken gives it that oomph 
and satisfying/filling aspect...and without it, you are left with a tasty side dish.


And to top it all off, HOMEMADE CROUTONS.

Pugliese bread (from Costco or any store...and lots of different breads would work wonderfully...so don't feel too badly if Pugliese isn't your thing) diced and cooked on the stovetop over low-medium heat in a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkled with kosher salt, pepper, and garlic powder...I'm telling you...make A LOT!!!  My husband calls them flavor bombs, anyone who eats them is shocked at how tasty they are, and we all start popping them in our mouths like candy.  

They are crisp and toasty on the outside, and soft and chewy on the inside.  They are seriously out of this world, and to this day, I struggle to eat caesar salad without these croutons.

The cool crisp lettuce, the savory chicken, the creaminess of the cheese and dressing, all topped with the warm and chewy croutons...it's just out of this world.  Whether you have a great recipe of your own or venture out to try this one, I hope you have a chance to enjoy some chicken caesar salad soon!  Invite a friend over for lunch.  They'll be glad you did.

Many blessings to you all.  I've been meaning to update you as to my lack of posting lately.  My arthritis is back and giving me a run for my money.  I'll fill you in soon enough.  Until then, much love and happy eating.  Every day is better with a little something yummy to eat!

Blessings,




Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Colorful Button Flowers in House Plants

Love this idea...so cute, right?!  
Fun idea for a teacher, Mom, kids room, whimsical table
centerpiece, or grouped together for a fun and fresh impact.

What do you think?

image
PHOTO COURTESY OF JONES DESIGN COMPANY

Many blessings,


Thursday, May 12, 2011

So Fun!!! A Thoughtful Countdown of Surprises

Did you see this posted at Oh Happy Day?  What a great idea!  Check it out!


Head on over to Oh Happy Day for some great ideas to help someone you love feel special.  Little notes of love or encouragement...special little I.O.U.s or dates planned...several family members or friends sponsoring the envelopes...very little money spent...or even the possibility of a little surprise splurge to brighten their day.  So sweet...and who wouldn't love being encouraged and honored in this way!  




ALL IMAGES COURTESY OF OH HAPPY DAY


Blessings,

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday Worship: Unique Version of Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring in Japanese Forest

This is just too cool.  
Enjoy!


IMAGE CREDIT AND A BIT MORE BACKGROUND AT BLOG MAKEZINE



Continued prayers for all the people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan and all those suffering in the tornado swept south.  My heart goes out to you, my prayers are with you, and may God give you strength and courage to take one moment at a time.

Blessings,


I Love You Mom! Happy Mother's Day!

PHOTO COURTESY OF HANNA MARIA

Oh Mom, I couldn't love ya more.
You are amazing!

Thank you for making us feel like anything is possible...always
and for getting excited to share the little everyday miracles of life with us!

Happy Mother's Day to you,
and thank you for setting such a loving example of what it means to be a mother!

Big hugs and love from your friend and daughter,


Oh and Kathy, I echo these sentiments to you!  
To marry a man and gain another loving, inspiring, 
and encouraging Mom and woman in my life is not 
taken lightly.  I love you and am so grateful for you!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday Favorites: Snickers Ice Cream Bars



I hardly ever buy things not on my list.  I shop with a purpose.  I map out my meals, make a grocery list, and head to the store with a plan.  I stick to the plan...with the exception of fresh flowers, random sales, etc.  Now if you ask my husband, he might tell you otherwise.  But pay no mind to him.  :)  Granted, I will admit to having quite the chocolate stash on a consistant basis, but other than that, I don't often buy lots of treats or snacks from the "junk" isles.  All those things are pretty delicious, and it's hard to call them junk, but it's the truth.  Don't you think Jamie Oliver would agree?  Anyhow, it's just something that keeps me on track.  I try not to even walk down the isles if I mean business because the yummies and and sweets all start hollering my name..., "Take me home...I am harmless...it's all a lie...empty calories schmempty calories..."

But the other day I gave in and bought Snickers Ice Cream Bars.  Oh my.  Totally worth it.  What a treat.  My husband and I both talked about it after we each devoured savored every last little bite.  There's no denying...these bad boys are finger licking good...with an mmmmm mmmmm mmmmm (said while shaking your head back and forth...as Stevie Wonder would do).  Thank goodness the weather around here isn't even close hasn't quite reached the summer temperatures yet, as I might be tempted to buy more of these indulgences to keep in the freezer.  We'll get there.  At some point, I need to have something handy in the freezer to avoid the astronomical ice cream man mark up.  Yowza!  Oh well, we'll have our ice cream man jar of coins ready too!  All in good fun!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The New Frog Umbrella

Forgot to post our little tester session with Coop's new umbrella last week.  Worked like a charm!

I used to have this umbrella long ago...I even remember using it while in college. Yes I just said I used a frog umbrella while in college.  I was that kind of wild and crazy girl.  Watch out all you party girls...frog umbrella girl has you beat on wild and crazy!  :)  Hey, it was fun.  Anyhow, I wouldn't say it is the most sophisticated of rain gear, but it is definitely a hit around here with little buddy.  Fun and practical addition to the Easter basket for sure!



Please excuse the lighting in this photo.  I was snapping them so quickly and didn't quite have time to get all my settings just right.  Oops.  And just in case you missed it in my little Easter Recap and are interested, here is the Amazon link to our frog umbrella one more time...

Frog Umbrella



Happy Thursday to you,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

ER Visit, Woody and Buzz Fly High, and A Pinata...Our Weekend

WARNING: SUPER LONG POST!!!
Totally won't be offended if you just skip right through this one!!!  :)

Oh my, what a weekend!  It all started after a hopeful Friday morning, playing in the dirt and making worm friends.  Coop and I ate lunch (he wasn't all that hungry though), and he took a nap.  Upon waking up, he had a bit of a fever.  We snuggled on the couch, eating apples and watching a couple of his favorite shows.  This kid never gets sick, so I started to get a bit concerned.  His temperature got a little worse after a while, so I gave him some Motrin, and shortly, he was back to being his happy, active self...running around like crazy if I do say so myself.  Brian came home from work, we ate dinner, and my two men took a long walk to some bulldozers in a nearby neighborhood.  Coop came home saying that he was so tired and that he was ready for bed...he never says this.  Uh oh...medicine was wearing off...he was not feeling better.


His temperature skyrocketed.  We watched it carefully, and it got up to about 103/104.  Dangerous territory.  Seizure territory.  Scary territory.  We knew that because the walk-in clinics were all closed (past 9pm...lame!!!), the ER was our only option.  We were trying to give him some more medicine to bring his fever down after attempting cool washcloths, and he "got sick" all over me and the floor in the living room.  Totally gag worthy...sympathy puke worthy...but I held it in.  Sorry if that was too much of a visual.  Poor little guy.  I just wanted to trade places with him...he seemed a little nervous and not sure what to do...so flush...exhausted...crying (it was getting late).  As he was vomitting all over me, I kept trying to calm him by saying, "It's alright Cooper.  You're going to be okay.  Mommy and Daddy are here to help you.  It's going to be alright buddy."  He was sobbing and responded with, "No, I not okay."  It was heartbreaking.  He never did get the second dose of medicine down, was refusing to take more, and not looking well at all.     

We got ourselves ready to head out and called our nurse friend, and she recommended we take him in (as we thought we should).  You can't risk high temperatures in kids.  You just can't.  They are so dangerous.  We needed to find out the source of his high fever...to know whether or not it was serious...and we needed to get his temperature under control quickly.  Poor Coop, he just kept saying, "I tired.  I take a nap.  No hospital."  Sad.  Off we went.  The ride was a little nervewracking.  I was so nervous he was going to throw up or have a seizure...I was panicing on the inside, but trying to keep him calm in the mean time.  

I hadn't visited the emergency room in ages, and I always wondered what happened when parents took their kids to the hospital with a high fever.  Here we were, parked, and heading in.  We had no idea what we were in for...oh my...here's how it went.
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 
We arrived at the hospital about 10pm.

The nurses took Coop right away.  Took temp.  103.  Gave Tylenol.  Awesome folks.  Great company.  They helped us feel comfortable and showed a genuine concern and interest in Coop.

Then, we waited in waiting room for an hour to see if the medicine would bring his temperature down.

They took Coop's temperature again around 11:25pm.  99.  Going down.  Good.

They mentioned they might need a urine sample when we got called back, that depending on the doctor they might do a catheter. Yikes...and double yikes, yikes!  I didn't see that playing out very well for Coop or anyone else involved.  The boy is 2...and tired...and not feeling well.  Oh geez...

Waited in waiting room another 45 minutes or so.  Coop was acting totally normal as medicine was clearly working.  We were both trying to keep him busy...thank goodness he is a nice young man...he is 2 and not perfect of course, but I was just so thankful at that moment he was not being a whackadoodle.  

Then, he had to go potty.  I ran to the check in desk and asked for a urine specimen cup...I wanted to avoid a catheter experience at all costs.  Successful urine collection for Coop, and he announced it to the whole waiting room of folks as he and B emerged from the bathroom.  Finally, they called us back to see a doctor...around midnight or so.

We were led to a room.  The nurse came in, said hello, that she'd be our nurse, took urine sample, and said that a doctor would be right in.

We took several walks in the halls and trips to the bathroom.  Several nurses popped their head in the door, but not to check on Coop or say hello...only to steal supplies from the cupboards in our room.  Instead of a door to the room, we had a curtain, so I told Coop to look for shoes at the bottom of the curtain, and that would mean someone was coming in to help us.  For quite some time, no shoes came.

Coop asked, "Will it be a Mommy doctor or a Daddy doctor?"...his way of asking if the doctor was a man or woman.  He was hoping for a girl doctor.  I was beginning to wonder how he was going to handle all this.

About 2 hours of being in the room, I went to the desk to ask if there was any way of knowing how long until we'd be seen.  It felt like we had been forgotten.  I believe we had.  Our nurse, who had not come to check on us once since taking the urine two hours ago, said, "Oh, no one has come to see you?  A doctor signed up to see you guys, so someone should be in soon."  Her smile and friendliness did not seem genuine, and that was that.  I headed back to the room...a bit deflated...and not fully with it enough to stand up for the three of us.

At this point, Brian could hardly stay awake...he'd been awake roughly 21 hours.  We were all getting impatient.  Coop was SO ready to go home..."We go home now?  We go home now Mommy?"

A short wait later, the doctor came in.  Hardly concerned.  Asked a few questions about Cooper.  He was a bit arrogant, and without intending on judging him, it was impossible not to think that he thought of himself as Dr. McWonderful or something.  Ironically, we later learned from some inside sources that he was actually Dr. McInappropriateRelationshipsWithNurses...and not well respected amongst his peers.  Booooo!  Something seemed a little off.  Anyhow, from the moment he walked in, Coop began screaming...at the top of his lungs.   He was so done...and a little terrified.  This was not fun.

As I held my son tightly so that he wouldn't flail, the doctor checked him quickly.  He did not perform any type of test or anything.  Just said, it's probably viral.  Alternate Tylenol and Motrin to keep the fever down.  Then he pretty much just left.  Literally took about 5-10 minutes.  After being here this long, I could have told him that.

We gathered our things to leave...quite frustrated and exhausted...and then they stopped us in the hall.  We needed to head back to the room and wait to sign papers, and they wanted to give Coop Motrin.  Deep breath.  Good grief.

We waited about 10 more minutes.  Signed papers.  Held down our son so the nurse could give him Motrin (he continued screaming and flailing at this point).  She seemed annoyed...what did she expect?  That stressed me out.  Medicine taken, 3am, mission accomplished finally, get the heck out.  

Coop was going to be fine...I had the feeling all along that he would be...and that nothing serious was going on.  I tried to remain calm and thankful throughout this frustrating time.  As he took Cooper for a walk in the hals, Brian saw on the reader board (which displays the type of cases in the ER)...and one said sexual assault...and that put things right into perspective for us bigtime.  

Like I said, Coop was going to be just fine.  My opinion of the ER at this particular hospital...not so much.  We were home by about 3:30am.  Coop finally fell asleep by 4am...B and I about two minutes later.  What a night.  
.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  . 

Saturday morning, we all slept in a little.  Coop awoke with no fever and remained fever free all day.  He had regained his appetite and wanted to play.   He's so awesome!  Brian and I tried to keep up...we were so exhasuted! 

Since the sun came out to play this weekend, Coop gave his new kite a good test run.  We told him it wasn't windy enough, but he kept saying, "Maybe.  Let's try."  Good thing we listened to him; he had so much fun with his first kite experience.





Just loved it!!!


Then Sunday, after Coop had been fever free for more than 36 hours, we headed to our small group Cinco de Mayo party.  I woke up earlier that morning to sing on the worship team, and Brian stayed home with the Coopster just to be on the safe side.  Thankfully, being with our dear friends was a great way to end the long weekend and bring our focus back to God...back to gratitude...back to reality.  We are truly blessed and so thankful that Coop is strong and healthy...and a lame-o experience at the ER is really not much to complain about when it comes right down to it...what's going on in the bigger picture these days...the whole wide world if you will.  I should focus my prayers and energy on lifting others up...not complaining...that's for sure!


Chocolate Cupcakes were eaten.


Pinatas were beaten.


And, Cooper was happy with his loot.
We were so thankful to end on a high note.

Now I'm fighting a cold...go figure.  
Hopefully it will be the one time I get sick in the next couple years.
That's how it usually goes for me...thankfully!
Here's to lying low for a bit!

Oh, and if you even made it to the end of this post..and your name is not Mom or Dad...
I am humbled and amazed.  Thanks for caring enough to read!  You're neat!

I'm totally naive and wondering what the hospital bill is going to be like.  Hmmm...

Hope you are having a great week, and there are no ER visits in sight for you!

Blessings,





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