Haunting most of the week has been a steadily growing case of H1N1 anxiety. I've been trying really hard to keep myself from being overly influenced by media hype, and generally creating a situation for myself where I am preoccupied with and panicked by something that is almost entirely out of my control . However, the case where a five year old died in the town where my parents live has been FREAKING ME OUT and I'm not being as successful keeping my mind off of it as I'd like. He had a mild case of asthma. Like a certain two year old girl who lives in my house. And my son's best friend from school went home from school yesterday, took a nap (which he never does) and woke up with a fever.
I won't bore you with all the details of phone calls and research I've done to track down information about the vaccine and its availability. Just know that what I should be doing today is packing so we can go to Cleveland for the weekend. (I have a lead on a H1N1 vaccine clinic there. Do you think I'm kidding?)
I am not even done with the laundry yet. But I've decided not to hold myself to too high a standard today, with the hope I can just make it through. Everything is Pass/Fail today, and I'm really hoping for the "C."
FAIL: Eat some hearty fiber cereal, so at least we'll FEEL healthy. I bought this at Trader Joe's, a store I love but that is not close to me. The cereal itself is a grains/puffs/twigs mix, slightly sweetened and is not that bad. It's the Whole Grain Drink I bought to eat it with that I am giving a big fat "F". I don't think I've mentioned here that one of the few bonuses to N's allergy diagnosis has been my own discovery of rice milk. I can't do dairy products myself, and anytime I had ever tried to substitute soymilk, I felt vaguely ill. I always assumed it was psychosomatic, but still, usually ate cold cereal with water on it. (I know. Gross.) But when N. was on rice milk, I tried it myself, and found I felt no odd tingling like I did with soy. So now I'm a rice milk convert, and eat cereal almost everyday. When I saw this Whole Grain drink at Trader Joe's alongside the other alternative milk products, I thought I would give it a try. Bad idea. It tastes like you would expect perfume to if you drank it. Dumped it right down the sink, without even trying to use it in some other way that might make it less offensive. It was that bad. Hope the TJ brand Rice Drink isn't as bad, b/c I bought two cartons of it.
FAIL: The huge pack of bendy straws I bought at the grocery store for $1.99. They are way thinner than the old ones I had, so that they will not puncture the foil of a drink yogurt top without bending and splitting. So irritating, yet I probably won't throw them out.
FAIL: My favorite knife, which has become very dull recently. I know I'm probably going to get cut badly with it soon, and chopping vegetables, a task I usually enjoy, has become a pain.
However, I have yet to figure out how I'm going to get it sharpened. Nowhere in my normal shopping radius offers this service, and what, I'm going to stick my 6 inch chef's knife in my purse along with the diapers and fruit snacks and take it into the mall with me, two kids in tow?
FAIL: Moose A. Moose singing "Believe in Spring" on the Preschool on Demand channel. This channel often gets left on in the background when the kids are romping around, and there's a loop of clips from the available programming. I'm sure my subconscious has it memorized. And isn't it time for spring to have come and gone?? How about a little ode to fall or something??
PASS: The Monster At the End of the Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover. One of my own personal favorites growing up, we have had this book for probably two years, and O. has always liked it. However, it had gotten lost in the jumble of books for quite a while and just re-emerged yesterday. Since then, we have probably read it at least twelve times. O. laughs hysterically every time. He's finally caught on to the humor, absurdity, and general naughtiness that the book encourages. He thinks it is hilarious to turn those pages, exactly as Grover is instructing him NOT to do. A delightful diversion.
PASS: Cherrybrook Kitchen Arthur's Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix. (yes, the PBS character is on the box) Cherrybrook Kitchen is a company that makes Peanut Free, Egg Free, Dairy Free bake mixes, and this is the one we've tried most recently. Just had to add a stick of butter and some water, and they cooked up really nicely, fluffy and not flat! The kids helped roll them and put them on the pans, and watched them bake as well. "Mom! The balls are almost flatted out! I think they are done!" Quite yummy, too.
PASS: Bungee cord and a roll of plastic craft twine for toys. O. has amused himself for good long stretches of time with these. The bungee cord is a tiny one, taken from his dad's tool box, and works well to create all sorts of traps and contraptions, or simply to connect two stuffed animals together. The twine was a finish line, necklace, and net in the half hour before N's nap today.
PASS: The prospect of some shows my husband and I will enjoy watching together stored up on the DVR. We've got House and Amazing Race and How I Met Your Mother and Top Chef waiting for us. To quote Barney Stinson: "Awesome!" And this evening, while we watch, Flash Forward, The Office, Grey's Anatomy, and Fringe will all magically be recorded. I heart television, and I'm not all that guilty about it. I mean, how awesome was that Sweet Caroline serenade by Puck last night on Glee?
INCOMPLETE: Roasted butternut squash. The house smells amazing because I cut up the one that O. picked out as his take home treat from the pumpkin farm field trip on Monday. You could have picked a small pumpkin, a gourd, or any squash. I think it's strange that this was his choice, but since it's one of my favorite foods, was delighted we could have it to eat this week. I peeled it, chunked it, and stuck it on a baking sheet for a 45 minute roast in the oven. I plan to add it to some pasta and sauteed onion for dinner. The reason the grade is still being withheld on this one is that ever since I cut it up and handled the seeds, I've been feeling like I'm having an allergic reaction. My esophagus is having spasms, and my eyes are itchy -- exactly the symptoms I have when I eat pumpkin seeds lately (Goodbye favorite post Jack O' lantern snack. Goodbye yummy pepita laced salad at Don Pablos.) Hoping it's just that I put shredded cheese on my sandwich today, and not the squash. To be safe, I took some of N's Benadryl. Benadryl usually knocks me out for a full day, so I thought maybe the children's dose would be better. Also, I realized it is expired, so why not use it up? (I know. Wrong for so many reasons. I'm feeling better, though.)
INCOMPLETE: My Kindle is broken. Acting very weird when I turned it on this morning in anticipation of taking it on our car trip tomorrow. Can't tell you how much this bummed me out. But... I called the customer support line, and after only a five minute conversation with a real person, a replacement is on its way. As long as it arrives tomorrow as promised, this will very much be a PASS. Great customer service is so hard to come by these days.
Okay. I may actually be standing in line at a health department two counties over tomorrow trying to get the kids vaccinated and imagine it will potentially take hours out of our day only to be possibly be turned away because we don't actually live in the county. (I recognize that this makes me sound crazy and desperate. But what else am I gonna do??) That means I HAVE to go pack.