Monday, November 28, 2022

Rebecca's 16th birthday

 Happy Monday everyone! And a HUGE HAPPY BIRTHDAY shoutout to my daughter Rebecca! She turns 16-year-old today. How in the world am I the mom of a 16-year-old? 

How did she go from a newborn....



to a smart, artistic, musically inclined, funny, empathetic 16-year-old? 



She had a nice birthday weekend. On Friday night and Saturday, she helped to decorate our home for Christmas. I will share photos when we are all done. 

Sunday afternoon, we had a small party for her for family. My mom and niece and nephew couldn't make it as they are still sick. My dad came, as did my sister, Cecelia, and my brother Josh stopped by as well. We had subs, macaroni salad, chips, berry salad, and veggies and dip. 






She baked her own cake on Saturday and then I decorated it for her. She loved it. 



She had a nice time. 

Today, she has a friend over for the afternoon. She was supposed to have 2 friends over, but one developed a fever overnight so could not come. They are facetiming that friend though so that is nice. 

I still can't wrap my head around being a mom to a 16-year-old. When people hear she is 16, they ask when is she going to get her driver's license? She told me she wants to wait until Spring as she doesn't want to learn to drive in the snow. That is perfectly okay with me. 

For now, we shall just enjoy the newness of her being 16!  


Friday, November 25, 2022

Hosting Thanksgiving for the 1st Time

Happy Friday everyone from our laid back, still food coma induced, household! I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving if you celebrated. 

This is how my week went. Monday, I attended the funeral for my uncle. I am glad that I went, even though it was hard. It was good to see relatives that I haven't seen in years. It really drove home that family is the most important. Unfortunately, mom wasn't there as she was home sick with what we now know is COVID. Also, my niece and nephew were home sick as well. In the back of my mind, I was beginning to wonder if we were going to do Thanksgiving at home as we were supposed to go to Mom and Dad's house. 

On Tuesday, I had a very busy day, between work and other things that were needed to be done. I helped decorate our school cafeteria for Christmas. Rebecca and I had hair appointments and then we had church choir practice. During practice my dad called officially cancelling Thanksgiving and said he would save the 22+ pound turkey for Christmas. Moments after Dad called, my sister called. We decided on late Tuesday night to have Thanksgiving dinner here and Bill and I would host. We both felt that we needed to be with family. Mary and Cecilia would bring over some sides as well. I also texted my brother and his girlfriend and my other brother as well. 

So, Thanksgiving was here yesterday, and it was honestly a very wonderful celebration. It was a lot of work and cooking but totally worth it.  



Funny story, I had run out in the afternoon to buy a stock pot as all the pots I had were not big enough for all the potatoes. Thankfully, Big Lots was open, so Rebecca and I ran in and bought a pot to save the mashed potatoes. I guess it is the beginning of my collection of larger items to cook for a crowd. 



Our dinner was fabulous. I made the turkey breasts, homemade applesauce, mashed potatoes, gravy, and corn casserole and a chocolate pie. Cecilia and Mary brought green beans, creamed corn, rolls, stuffing and a pumpkin pie. It was all super yummy. 




My brother and his girlfriend stopped by to say hi and hang out for a bit, but they had another Thanksgiving they had to be at, so they left before dinner. My other brother overslept, so Mary and Ceal took him food when they were leaving here to head home. 

After dinner, we played "We're Still Good" a game that Rhett and Link from the YouTube show "Good Mythical Morning" created. It is a super fun game, and it was super fun to play with everyone. We followed that with pie! 



 

Today, the kids and I are just hanging out at home. Bill is working. I have done a little bit of shopping online but nothing major. Later tonight after Bill comes home from work, we will put our Christmas tree up and start decorating for Christmas. We are currently watching our 1st Christmas show of the season... "Mickey's Once Upon a Christmas." 

Well, I am off to fold some laundry and relax. I hope everyone is having a good day shopping, eating leftovers, relaxing, or doing whatever it is that you are doing!  

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Borrowing "My Week in W's"

Happy Saturday everyone! I am taking a break from doing laundry and puttering around the house to sit down and write. It has been a crazy week... it seems like I say that every week. LOL So I am going to borrow from SAM over at "Sam, Coffee, Money, & Thyme" and join in our her week in W's to try to summarize a little of what has been going on. 

What's Top of Mind:

One of my uncles passed away suddenly this past week and his funeral is Monday morning. I am going to go even though the last time I saw my Uncle David was probably 13 years ago at my Grandmother's funeral. But he was always around when I was growing up and he had a very hard life. He was young at only 59. It has been making me remember all the gatherings and regular Sunday dinners that we had with my Grandparents when I was young. 
  
 
Where I've been:

Work. This week I put in several extra hours as our freezers died at work last week. I have been going in early to pan up the frozen food needed that day. Also, yesterday was our all school Thanksgiving feast where we served the entire school, staff and volunteers family style. It was a very tiring day, but it warmed my heart to see everyone eating together and just feeling good. Next week we only have 2 days of work (I only have 1 since I am taking Monday off to go to the funeral) and then I am off for 6 days and I am ready for a break. 

Where I’m going: 
    
Nowhere today. Jacob was home from school sick yesterday with a fever and so I cancelled all of our weekend plans. He is back to 100% today, so I am thankful it was just a 24 hour bug. Praying no one else in the house gets it.  

What I'm eating:

Last night for dinner, after serving the all school Thanksgiving meal, I wasn't cooking dinner. So I ordered pizza. We were going to order from Pizza Hut, but their website wasn't working/loading so I decided to order from Papa Johns. We haven't had them in ages and the pizza was really good! Tonight, I am making Chicken and Wild Rice soup. Yummy! 
    
What I’m watching:

I haven't really watched much TV. There are several shows that I want to watch, but I can't watch them when the boys are up so that limits it. I would love to watch the new season of The Crown and I saw that Netflix now has the Where the Crawdads Sing movie. I loved the book and am interested to see the movie. Right now, I have the Michigan football game on and in a little bit we will watch the Ohio State football game.  

What I'm reading:

Nothing at the moment sadly. I did recently finish Dreamland by Nicholas Sparks.
 

He is one of my absolute favorite authors and I was not disappointed in this new release. It was a little different from his other books, but it was amazing. 

What I'm listening to:

The football game is on TV. The boys are playing in the living room-- Jacob on his phone and Benjamin is playing with Lego. I am waiting for the sound of my timer to go switch laundry. I have also been listening to Pentatonix Christmas music in my van.

What I'm planning: 

I'm planning what to wear to my uncle's funeral. I am planning on what I need to make for Thanksgiving dinner at my mom and dad's house. I'm planning Rebecca's 16th birthday party for family and trying to decide if we can do something on Monday after Thanksgiving which is her actual birthday with her friends. 

Who needs a good slap:

My boss. Last night my coworker texted me to tell me that she had to go back to work as our custodian texted her that our double door refrigerator was leaking water all over the floor and that the temperature gage was rising. She went in and with the help of our principal and custodian moved everything into the smaller fridge that we have. She texted our boss and his response was... well let it run over the weekend and we will see how it is Monday morning. Because it we all know it will magically fix itself over the weekend. Urgh. 

Who deserves a fist pump:

My hubby does. He has been working overtime lately to help fund something coming up in the Spring for Rebecca and I. He then comes home and helps around the house by doing dishes, putting the boys to bed, etc. Thursday night Jacob wanted to sleep on the couch since he had a fever and didn't feel good and as he didn't want to get Ben sick (they share a bedroom). Jacob started crying when Bill went to go to bed and ask his dad to stay downstairs with him. Bill slept on the tiny loveseat and barely got any sleep before going to work the next morning. He deserves the praise. 

What is making me smile:  

A chimpanzee reunited with her baby There has been a story about a chimpanzee who needed an emergency c-section and then vets had to take her baby for more care. 48 hours later the mom is reunited with her baby and I couldn't help but smile at the video.

So, there you have it. A little peek into my week. Thanks to SAM for letting me borrow your Saturday post idea. I hope everyone has a great weekend. If you are in the snowstorm area of New York, I pray for your safety. If you are dealing with cold weather like we are, I pray you are warm. What's been going on in your life. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Love it or Leave It

Happy Tuesday everyone! How are you doing today? I am doing okay. The weather today is gray and cloudy and cold. We are supposed to have snow showers over the next couple of days. It is okay with me. I really don't mind the cold that is like around the freezing mark. Now, I hate the cold that is closer to 0 degrees or below. 

Speaking of liking and not liking things, we did a taste test the other night of different Little Debbie Ice Creams.

We each tried them with our eyes closed and had to tell what flavor it was and what our ranking was. 


I was the only one who got all of them right by flavor. I really liked the Nutty Bars ice cream and the Pumpkin Delights ice cream was a close second to me. 



Everyone else really liked the Nutty Bars ice cream and hated the Pumpkin one. I felt like all the chocolate ones tasted very similar to each other and nothing like the actual Little Debbie's snack cakes. LOL 


Let's get into some more Love it or Leave it with
Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 Questions. Join in if you would like...

1. Coffee flavored or coffee plain? What is your favorite kind?

- Um... no coffee for me. Caffeine doesn't agree with me at all anymore. When I used to drink coffee type drinks it had to be cold frappes or Frappuccinos! 

2. A trip to the Caribbean or a trip to Spain? Why?

- I think that I would prefer a trip to the Caribbean as I am at home on a beach and LOVE the beach and ocean. That being said, if I was offered a trip to Spain, I would take it as well as I have never been to Europe and love Spanish culture.  

3. Goodies on your pizza or just plain?  What toppings would you love or leave?

- Really it depends on my mood. A good pan pizza with lots of cheese is yummy. Other times, I love a good pizza with pepperoni, sausage, banana peppers, green peppers, and onions. I would leave off mushrooms and olives always! 

4.   Dinner at a 5 star or dinner at Rosie's Diner known for home style cooking?

- I do a lot of homestyle cooking and usually we go to places that offer homestyle cooking, so I would choose to go to a 5 star restaurant where I have to dress up and really go all out. 

So, this post ended up being a love it or leave it type post! How would answer the questions? What Little Debbie ice cream do you think you would love, and which would you leave out? How would you answer Toni Taddeo's Tuesday 4 Questions? 

Monday, November 14, 2022

Optimistic Health Update

Happy Monday! Hope everyone had a good weekend. I had a good one. I thought I would hop on here to give an optimistic update on my health. 

Over the past couple of weeks, I have had a medication change for my blood pressure medicine. Both my nephrologist and my hematologist think that some of the issues from my blood numbers are due to being on lisinopril and hydrochlorothiazide. My nephrologist changed my medicine to another blood pressure medication that also has a water pill mixed in. She also prescribed an iron pill daily. 

My hematologist diagnosed me with anemia as well. She prescribed a complex B vitamin as well as I have low Vitamin B levels and low folate levels. 

So, the big question is, are these new medications helping with my exhaustion and my being out of breath? 

I can optimistically say yes, they are. I have not needed a nap in days. I have been able to do more around the house and have a resurgence of energy. 

Saturday, we decided to take a family walk on the bike path. I haven't been able to walk more than about 1.5 miles lately with an average of a 29-minute mile. Then I would be out of commission for a couple days. Well, Saturday I was feeling good and really wanted to make it to my favorite spot on the path, a metal bridge 1.5 miles down the path over the river. 



I am happy to say that I was able to walk there and back (so a 3.33 mile walk with a 23-minute mile average)! I did have some back pain during the last 1/4 mile, but overall, it felt AWESOME to be able to go back to the bridge. 




I have an echocardiogram scheduled for Wednesday morning to make sure that the issues that I had with my heart have resolved so we can say for sure that it is the medication that was causing my issues. Right now, though I am just grateful that I am feeling much better lately. 

So good news for this Monday! Anyone else have good news to share on this Monday?  

Friday, November 11, 2022

Things on Friday

Happy Friday everyone! Thank goodness it is Friday. Yesterday was a Monday Thursday at work. It was crazy. Our freezer at work died. Our handwashing sink backed up and then when they were putting industrial strength Drano in it, it backed up all over the floor. Thankfully it wasn't near the oven or our serving line. It was a day! Overall, though this hasn't been a bad week. 

I was able to see part of the lunar eclipse the other morning. I was up and stepped outside to see it. It was pretty neat to see. Unfortunately, I only had my phone camera, so not a very good picture. 



Bill and I went to vote together on Tuesday morning after dropping the kids off at school. The whole process took maybe 10 minutes. We headed to McDonald's for a breakfast date after. The elections may not have gone the way that we wanted but it is still our duty to vote. 




This week has been weird as Bill has been working second shift, instead of his usual first shift. He has been taking the kids to school for me, so my mornings have been a little relaxed (although I still get the kids up, make lunches, etc.). 

Yesterday the weather was perfect. It was in the mid 60s and sunny. I let the boys play on the school playground after I picked the boys up. I figure let them enjoy the day as today it is supposed to be raining (expected 2-3 inches of rain) and then tomorrow it will be highs in the low 40s for the next week. 

Yesterday, I had a follow up appointment with my hematologist. My blood work came back about the same. I am showing low on Vitamin B and Folate, so they suggest that I take a Super B Complex vitamin. I picked up 2 bottles at CVS yesterday and began to take it today. The hematologist agreed that my anemia and symptoms may be a result of the 2 medications that my nephrologist took me off of. They approved of the medicine change that my nephrologist made. So, we shall see what adding the Super B vitamin does. I do have to say that adding the iron and switching medicines, has helped my energy level. I have noticed a difference this week, with not being bone tired exhausted. I still get tired, but it is towards the end of the day and so somewhat normal. Hopefully, this is the change that I needed. 

Well, I need to get ready to head to work. I am hoping today is better than yesterday. Before I leave though, I will share the Ohio sky last night as I was picking Rebecca up from play practice. 



Have a great Friday everyone! 

 

Thursday, November 10, 2022

8 can chicken taco soup

Happy Thursday! Thursdays around here have unofficially become soup night. Now that it is fall and colder weather is (maybe) coming, I am trying to incorporate more soups into our diet as they are easy to make in the crockpot, typically a cheaper meal, and I can make them ahead of time if need be. The thing is though, I am also tired of the basic soups, so I have been on the lookout for new soups to try. 

Well, last Thursday I made a soup whose recipe I found on Facebook. It is for an 8 Can Chicken Taco Soup by the Recipe Critic. (The only difference that I did, was I used a packet of reduced sodium taco seasoning instead of homemade taco seasoning and I used reduced sodium canned items when I could.) 

I made it on the stovetop, and I started it after I picked Rebecca up from her play practice and got home around 6. We all sat down to eat at 6:30, so it was quick and honestly it was super yummy! We topped ours with shredded Mexican cheese and tortilla strips. 


I would highly recommend this as it is super easy and quick to make for those nights when you are tired. I know I will be adding it to our rotation. 

Anyone have any soup recipes to share? 
 

Monday, November 7, 2022

Moon, Thanks, and Menu for the week

 Happy Monday evening everyone! Has the time change affected you? It has me. I was awake almost every hour last night and it was not fun at all. The kids at work were squirrely today and I think it was a combination of the time change and tonight being a full moon. 

Speaking of the moon, Saturday night I was standing at my sink getting ready to do dishes and the sky with the moon and clouds just took my breath away. It was gorgeous. And within the space of 10 minutes the colors changed, and it was so cool to see. (Sorry if my phone camera photo isn't the best.) 




Thank you everyone for your comments on the laundry post. My kids do have some chores, like cleaning the litter boxes and feeding the cats, but I definitely feel better having them learning to do their own laundry. I think that part of the issue is that growing up, my mom didn't let us do any housework as she wanted things done her way. It is what it is. Today was Jacob's day to do laundry and he was excited to do it! 

I am thinking that maybe next month I will add on cooking lessons. Speaking of cooking, this week is all about semi easy meals as Bill is working long evening hours and many evenings it will be the kids and I for dinner. So, our menu this week is: 

Sunday: We had hamburger helper and peas and apple pie

Monday: We had meatloaf (that I had frozen at the end of September when I made too much. It turned out great reheated in the oven.), macaroni and cheese and french style green beans. 

Tuesday: Chicken nuggets, corn and apple slices

Wednesday: Italian sausage with peppers and onions, shells and cheese, and cut green beans

Thursday: Chili (from freezer) and grilled cheese

Friday: Pizza and fruit

Saturday: ??? 

This post is all over the place. Right now, the kids and I are watching "Frozen II" before bed and just relaxing. Hope everyone has a great night! 

What are you eating this week?     

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Windy Saturday and a new laundry routine

Happy Saturday everyone from a VERY windy section of Ohio! It is super windy here today and warm for this time of year. It is currently 73 degrees outside. It is cloudy right now but was sunny earlier. I think we are supposed to get some rain tonight but not sure. Just strange weather for this time of year. I am not complaining though as I have all the windows open and am loving the breeze. 

Today, Bill is at work and the kids and I are just spending the day at home. I am just puttering around the house. I have a crockpot full of apples cooking to turn into applesauce. I also made my first apple pie of the season using the apples we picked when we went apple picking



I have also been working on some laundry. After getting frustrated because laundry was piling up and Bill and I would spend all weekend doing laundry and still not catching up, I took to the internet for some research on best laundry systems for families with 5 people. I found a ton of ideas and then kind of came up with a system that I have been trying this week. A couple weeks ago, Bill and I saw our marriage counselor and one of the things she mentioned was why weren't the kids helping out more around the house? That resonated with me, and I thought, they are 10, 13 and almost 16. They can learn how to do laundry. So, I decided to try this new system. Basically, it is assigning each person a day of the week to do THEIR laundry, and then a day to do towels and sheets. This means that they take their laundry to the basement, wash, dry, fold and put away their laundry. I bought new hampers for the boys so they could keep their laundry seperated. 

Right now, our schedule looks something like this:

SUNDAY: Rest Day from laundry

MONDAY: Jacob

TUESDAY: Mom/Dad

WEDNESDAY: Rebecca

THURSDAY: Benjamin

FRIDAY: Mom/Dad

SATURDAY: Sheets and towels

The kids have seemed receptive (mostly) to doing this system. I will continue to help Ben and Jacob but making them do everything and I am just there to make sure they are doing it right. 



It is implementing the little systems that will hopefully take some of the pressure off of me and Bill to do everything around our house. Do you have systems in place for kids to help around the house? 

As for the rest of today, I have college football on (watching Ohio State) at the moment. I will have to take Rebecca to a birthday party/sleepover at her friend's house. And I am sure there is other things I will putter around and do. In fact, my timer is about to go off so I can go switch out towels in the laundry.  

What are you up today? Any fun fall plans today? Is it windy at your house?  

Thursday, November 3, 2022

Trick or treat and another health update

Happy Thursday everyone! It is a foggy, warmish day today here and I actually have a few minutes to sit down to write a post. I am going to see what I can accomplish in 30 minutes before I have to leave for work. 

So, Halloween came and went. I celebrated by wearing a jack-o-lantern shirt to work. 




It was raining off and on Monday but the weather cleared up for me to go see Benjamin's last Halloween parade at his elementary school. It is a year of lasts for us at this school as we have had kids there for the last 8 years. 


Halloween evening, Bill took the kids out trick or treating. This year's costumes were: 

- Santa


- A referee


- Stickman


The kids had fun trick or treating. They said they missed me going. I chose to stay home as my new medication that I am on wasn't having the best effects. I started swelling again, my blood pressure was up and my back and chest were hurting again. I felt that all the walking and standing around would be more detrimental to me than staying at home. After trick-or-treating, Bill went and picked up our traditional Wendy's meal that has become a tradition for us after trick-or-treating. 

The kids got a ton of candy and were happy with all their treats.


 

At work, I participated in a "Boo Bag" project. Basically, if you want to join, you get a small treat for everyone who has joined and place it in their boo bags in the teacher's lounge. Then on Halloween (or the day after) you get your bag to enjoy all the treats that were in there. I put small caramel drizzled granola bars in the bags. It was a fun way to celebrate. 




I mentioned that I was not reacting well to my new medication that the nephrologist put me on. I have been having swelling again in my legs/ankles and in my hands. I have gained 7 pounds in the last week without eating more or being less active than I am. My blood pressure was on the rise. I called the office and left a message with a nurse on Monday. The response that I got back was to double the dosage of the new medication to see if that helps. So that I what I started doing yesterday. I am hoping it helps the swelling as this new medication is a blood pressure medicine and a water pill all in one. I will have to say that adding the iron pill daily has helped my energy level tremendously. I am not as tired throughout the day as I was. So, I will take that as a win. 

Well, my time here is up. I have to get ready to head to work. I hope everyone has an awesome day! 

Monday, October 31, 2022

Sleepover, Apple Picking and 2022 Jack-o-Lanterns

Happy Halloween everyone! Today is shaping up to be a busy day. I have to go into work early today and then after work I will head to Benjamin's school for his LAST Halloween parade at his elementary school. I am hoping that the rain holds off. Then tonight, the kids want to go trick or treating so that will take some time. Thankfully, we are having Wendy's for dinner as is our tradition!! It is a busy day after a relaxing weekend. 

Speaking of the weekend, we were able to have some family fun as well. Thursday night, Bill and the boys decided to have a sleepover in the living room since there was no school or work the next day. (Rebecca and I slept in our own beds in our own rooms.)


 

Friday, we decided to have a family fun day as neither Bill nor I had to work, and the kids were off of school. The weather was gorgeous, so we decided to head out to the apple orchard to pick apples. This is a tradition that we try to do every year. We went to Legend Hills Orchard. Going on a weekday meant that there was hardly anyone else in the orchard and it was a nice time. We picked 2 huge bags of apples so that I can make crockpot applesauce and apple pies, along with having lots of apples for eating.








 

Then we headed to McDonald's for lunch so that Bill could get a McRib. He loves those sandwiches and since they say this is it's farewell tour, he had to get one. I took a bite of his and I am not a fan so I will not miss them. 



Friday evening, we carved our family pumpkins after dinner. The kids enjoy this activity. Personally, I like carving pumpkins, but cleaning it out first is so gross.





 

This year's jack-o-lanterns were:

a spider by Bill.


 

a sunflower by me. 



Forky (from Toy Story) by Benjamin.


 

a face by Jacob. 



and a flying ghost by Rebecca. 


I think they turned out really cute and look great on our porch.


 

Well, I need to finish this post up so I can take Ben to school and head to work. I hope everyone has a great Halloween and has more treats than tricks today.