I'm sick. Again. This time it's bronchitis. Or laryngitis, or something with a sore throat itis. It's also Child 3's birthday, poor thing. Happy birthday, Sweetie! Maybe next year I'll feel better.
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
So I did it. I pulled the trigger and went to see the allergist. She is very nice, and I like her. But so far, we still don't know what is making me sick because I am allergic to everything. Yep. I had a reaction to every single thing they tested me for. Every. Single. One.
For those of you keeping track, that includes grass, weeds, trees, dust mites, mold, and cats. Oh, and also dogs. I am allergic to The Dog. Figures. And cockroaches, too, but Husband says that isn't a problem since I'll never get close enough to one to have a reaction. I am very good at running from cockroaches.
But never fear--we are not giving up The Dog. We just have to keep her away from me, which as you know will be really really hard because to The Dog, I am way better than a brownie. You know what is not better than a brownie? Waiting for the blood tests to come back with the food results. So we'll see. Given the results today, I'm not too hopeful that brownies are in my future.
Sunday, October 27, 2013
Then when the headache faded, Child 3 and I started catching up on some TV shows that we missed, specifically the first season of Once Upon a Time. It's a confusing show and we missed some episodes and then all last season was a black hole because of Afghanistan and we didn't watch much except TLC. So now we're catching up and the beautiful thing about Netflix and Amazon and subscription services that let you watch shows whenever you want is that you can binge watch them all in a row and you don't even have to wait for the next episode to come on. It's the best invention to ever happen to TV. So we're watching Snow White get framed for murder and it's a lot of fun. Even Child 2 is hooked. It's just too bad we all have to go to work and school tomorrow.
So now I'm going back to bed. Just so you know, frozen gluten-free pumpkin pie is not better than a brownie. Nor is it even as good as real pumpkin pie. I need to figure out the crust thing because the one we tried tonight just won't do.
Saturday, October 26, 2013
Friday, October 25, 2013
Thursday, October 24, 2013
The children practiced stabbing me tonight. No, not with a knife, with my new epi pen. Or actually, the practice one that came with the kit. Apparently when your face swells up after eating pizza, your doctor freaks out a little and makes you carry around epinephrine. And you are no longer allowed to eat pizza even though Domino's said it was gluten free. And you have to take steroids which make you sick to your stomach, but since you're sick all the time anyway, that is not a big deal. The antihistamines are making me tired, though.
The prickly pear sculpture is coming along. We will start painting tomorrow. That's all I have the energy to write. Just so you know, oatmeal is not better than a brownie, and mashed potatoes with salami does not make a good lunch.
Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Tuesday, October 22, 2013
First, let me reiterate that there is no substitute for chocolate. You can make a gingersnap cookie with rice flour and if you put enough ginger in it, it won't taste like rice. But there is no such thing as "chocolate flavoring" without actual chocolate in it. And carob is not chocolate. It will never be chocolate and if you want it to be chocolate, it will fail you miserably. I know because I keep trying it over and over wishing it would somehow turn into chocolate, but it doesn't. This is a picture of carob. Does it look like chocolate to you? No. I thought so and it tastes exactly like it looks--completely icky and not chocolaty in the least.
Also, I can't eat white chocolate either, but I think that is because it always has milk in it. Oh, I also can't eat cheese now either or any dairy products including ice cream and milk shakes. So my only vice left is Fritos, and if someday I turn out to be allergic to those, too, I might just end it all. Now, I'm trying to think if salami and mashed potatoes would be an OK lunch because that is all we have in the house to eat that isn't full of dairy and I'm so very tired of eating rice for lunch. I ate rice pretty much at every meal in Africa and I am a little sick of it but it is the only thing I can be sure doesn't have wheat in it, so I will probably have it for lunch again tomorrow. Unless I can sneak in the kitchen and steal the last of the roast beef. Maybe if I go to bed now, I can be up before everyone else and the roast beef will be mine--all mine! (Maniacal laugh.)
Singing Katy Perry songs with kids at a children's hospital is better than a brownie. Every child needs a chance to roar and how awesome is it that these kids were able to be in a music video? And that girl in the purple T has got moves!
Monday, October 21, 2013
Today I was finally back to work and it was a lot of fun to be back but not so much fun to tackle three weeks of work. Not that I wasn't working when I was in Africa, but I wasn't doing my normal day-to-day stuff and it has piled up considerably. But I managed to chip at the mountain of e-mails and all in all it was an extremely productive day, especially when you consider that I got home later than normal and still made dinner. Salmon and Ratatouille and there isn't even a tiny bit left and it was a big piece of salmon. Child 2 was in charge of dinner, which meant I was the sous chef but still in charge of the kitchen. And I still have my own chore to do. I'm beginning to think that it was not a good idea to put myself on the chart because then I'm "helping" other people do their chores and still have my own. Plus all the parenting and housekeeping stuff I normally do. It's an inherently unfair system we have set up here. Sometimes, when I'm feeling particularly cranky, I go on strike. I tell everyone I quit and then I go to my room and eat chocolate. OK, that is what I used to do because I can't have chocolate any more. Or licorice. So now it's root beer barrels or the maple sugar candy that Sister 2 sent me that I hid from everyone and just finished off last week. But tonight I'm too tired to strike, so I'm just going to bed. Good Night.
But before I do, I have to mention that shopping in WalMart with a alligator on the loose is not better than a brownie. Shoppers were just minding their own business at a store in Florida, when this walked over to the doors. It's about 6 feet long, if you can't tell.
It actually triggered the sliding doors which opened, but quick thinking employees quickly locked them. I have no idea who was outside taking the video, but I certainly hope they had a telephoto lens. I wouldn't want to get too close to that thing. Unless it was made into a purse. Then I might even carry it around, but being chomped while trying to buy school supplies? No thank you.
Sunday, October 20, 2013
Did you know that NASA has a web site dedicated to the Wright brothers? And that one of them, I think it was Orville, basically founded NASA? Bet you didn't know that unless you actually are a rocket scientist and work at NASA. But why am I learning about lift when I have been out of school for decades? See, this is the problem. I hate projects. I suppose this one is better than the one where we had to make a beluga whale with moving parts that Husband totally failed at helping with and left me the entire thing. But I'm still doing most of the heavy lifting and I'm not a single parent any more and I am still not feeling all that great. (Although a lot better. No fever for days!)
So school projects are not better than a brownie, but perfectly cooked roast beef is which is what we had for dinner, made in my awesome roasting pan with my own home-made seasoning which is completely gluten and wheat free. I have discovered that maltodextrin, although made from wheat, can be processed enough so that it is declared gluten-free, but it is still made from wheat and makes me sick. Sigh. Also, BJ's sells gluten-free roasted chicken which only has salt and spices. Yippee! I knew I loved that store. But back to the roast beef--it was so good tonight that I had not only seconds, but thirds and I swear that if offered a piece of that beef three years ago before I was allergic to chocolate and wheat, I would have picked it over a brownie. It was that good. I must make it again soon. Thank goodness there was enough leftover for lunch tomorrow. I might be addicted.
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Anyway, the first year we were here, we just decorated our trunk with our usual fall/Halloween decorations--you know, sparkly ghost garlands, cute pumpkins, broom parking signs, etc. And we were so wrong we stood out like a sore thumb. Stupid novices, we were. What we didn't realize is that you need a theme to win. So last year, we did Christmas and we decorated our car like the North Pole and dressed up as elves and we totally would have placed if someone else didn't have the same exact idea, which they did. So this year, we are going all out and I am creating an original work of art in the form of a cardboard life-size prickly pear sculpture. Yes, a big, Texas-sized prickly pear and we had better win because I am sick to my stomach still from the Africa stomach disease I brought back, and the smell of permanent marker is making me sick, yet I am still cutting out prickly pear leaves with an exacto knife because we don't have any scissors that can cut through cardboard well. When it is finished, which it will by by Saturday if I have to make Husband stay up all night in order to finish it, (just kidding--it will be Child 1 who does the all-nighter) it will be by far the most original decoration there and if we don't place at least, I will be very, very disappointed. But whatever the case, I will memorialize that sculpture with lots of facebook posts and maybe even a picture on the blog. This is what a prickly pear looks like for those of you who have forgotten.
Friday, October 18, 2013
But it just looked like a regular moon, which is beautiful anyway, and an autumn walk in the moonlight is never a waste of time.
It was a short walk because I am still sick and every step is actually painful. So is breathing deeply, but I'll get over it. Soon, I hope.
I must be having a need to feel poorly about my cooking skills because we're watching Master Chef Junior. The kids are 8-13 and they all just made layer cakes from scratch. One girl said she made her mom's wedding cake at age 10. She is 12 now and an amazing chef in her own right. I have never made a three-layer cake from scratch with no recipe, let alone while on TV. Plus the chef who usually yells and throws food is really nice to the kids. I'm making Child 3 watch in hopes of inspiring her to make dinner tomorrow on her own tomorrow. I know; I'm an evil parent because she's not yet 11 but hey--if an 8 year old can deep fry sardines, then my 10 year old can make spaghetti. Also, the kids hug each other during elimination which is adorable.
Knocking over rock formations in a state park is not better than a brownie. Not in any way, and the Boy Scout "Leaders" who did it should lose their troops. Honestly, this is behavior we want our kids to model? Destroying 170 million year old structures? And the best part is that they filmed themselves doing it.
Thursday, October 17, 2013
Remember when I said that I almost died the first time I went to Asia because I got some horrible disease and the doctors didn't know what it was and it took me months to recover? Remember?
Well, that's what I caught in Africa. Only this time I knew what it was and so did the doctor. So I am on strong antibiotics and they are sort of working. But I'm still sick. So I'm going to bed with ear plugs because Husband Is watching Modern Family and it hurts to laugh.
Ginger ale for lunch and dinner is fun on occasion, but not better than a brownie.
Tuesday, October 15, 2013
I am sick. I think my stomach stayed behind in Africa on that really bumpy car ride. I can't tell if it's a bug, or just that I ate too much gluten while I was there. I tried really hard not to, but it's not always easy when you're traveling, especially in less developed countries.
So until the room stops spinning, I'm done blogging for today. Just so you know, gluten free soda crackers are definitely not better than a brownie.
Monday, October 14, 2013
The weird thing about the day, though, is that I was wearing pants that I don't remember. You see, I remember where and when I bought everything in my wardrobe. That blouse? I had it made in Shanghai the first year we were there. Those shoes? Zappos last year. This jacket? LLBean online two years ago and it's too big, which is a good thing. That skirt? Bali in a tourist shop. So you see, there isn't anything I don't remember purchasing because each purchase is deliberate. Except these jeans which I found in the bottom of my drawer this morning and completely do not remember ever buying. They are a brand I never buy because it isn't sold in most of the places I shop. And they have fancy back pockets which you would think I would remember. They fit great, though, so I can only conclude that the Denim Fairy came while I was in Africa and bestowed them on me. Because believe me if I could remember where I bought them I would go get another pair because they look great!
So this is a little bit of what Africa looked like. Just FYI, I went to Nigeria, Ghana, and Togo.
Sunday, October 13, 2013
So I'm back home and I'm still blogging on my phone because I am way, way too jet lagged to walk up the stairs to by bedroom and turn on my computer. I got back yesterday after flying overnight to Paris and connecting there back to DC. And before you get jealous abot the Paris thing, let me remind you that Charles Degaul Airport is not a very comfortable place to stay for five hours. And also, I am allergic to chocolate and wheat, so there was nothing to eat. Luckily, I still had some gluten free pretzels left and some peanut butter so I ate that with an orange for breakfast, along with some awful but supposedly healthy juice. It was a pretty sad meal for being in Paris.
So now I am completely exhausted. The children want to play a game tonight and I said I would if they can find a game where I don't have to do anything but lie on the couch. For instance, we could play hide and seek and I'll just lie here and count to 100 and then go find them in the morning. Or we could play the quiet game. I will so win unless I start snoring.
Speaking of snoring, Paris is also an awful place to be if you are allergic to perfume, which of course I am. I sneezed for five hours straight and had a runny nose a d watery eyes for the whole flight because apparently if you buy Parisian perfume in the duty free, you need to spray a lot of it on once you get on the plane. I still have a headache.
I'll try pictures of my trip tomorrow. Right now I need to lie here and pretend to play pictionary. I'll just guess with my eyes closed.
Wednesday, October 9, 2013
I kinda have internet so I'll kinda post, just so you know I'm alive. Africa is fun and amazing and has really bad WiFi. But today I had some true African expriences.
1. My flight left 30 minutes early for no apparent reason. I guess the pilot had things to do. Luckily, I was on it.
2. The car that drove me around has a stovepipe.
3. We saw some Guinea fowl on the "road" which no one in America would call a road.
4. I met some fellow bloggers at dinner and they were really nice and a lot of fun.
5. Apparently "eggplant" in this country means "fish." Good thing I'm not a vegetarian.
6. New friends are better than brownies.
Saturday, October 5, 2013
I'm finally back on the grid after being in a country with no WiFi. I didn't bring my computer on this trip in order to save the hassle, but that meant no internet for a week.
I'll keep this short because my tour guide is coming to take me to see the jungle. But let's just say that Bob Air did not disappoint. I've never been sprayed with insecticide by a flight attendant before, nor have I ever had to load my own checked bags onto the plane. But the 12 year old boy I sat next to was a delight. He had never seen a Kindle before, but man did he become good at Angry Birds quick.