Sunday, April 27, 2014

Newsfeed Conservation Act

     I'm being a bit lazy today, so instead of a true blog post, I'm just going to jot down all the things I would post as Facebook statuses.  You should thank me really.  I refrain from sharing all my randomness throughout the day because it would fill up everyone's newsfeed and be totally annoying.  So instead I blog.  You're welcome.

Aundraya  (5 minutes ago) "Since Monkey will be appearing as a black cat in her upcoming dance recital, I thought it'd be fun to let her watch the musical 'Cats'.  Bad idea.  The only time she gets off of all fours is to stand up and shimmy as she sings 'Jellicle Cats'."

Aundraya (3 minutes ago)  "Okay so my little 'Jellicle cat' is starting to scare the mess out of my actual cat."

Aundraya  (1 hour ago)  "Did I give birth to a boy and just not notice?  I sent Monkey outside to water the plants, only to walk out a few minute laters to find her standing next to the tree with her skirt around her ankles, peeing.  That's not what I had in mind when I said to water the plants!"

Aundraya  (58 minutes ago)  "In other news, I may have my daughter teach me the art of peeing standing up, because I was pretty impressed with her aim."

Aundraya  (3 hours ago)  "So I kinda crashed a crawfish boil at my friend's apartment complex that was for residents only.  I don't care!  It was all in the pursuit of mudbugs!!!  (and in pursuit of the great company too, of course)"

Aundraya (Yesterday)  "Today Monkey and I are going to the "Over the Hump" party, which celebrates being halfway done with deployment. Unfortunately my child is walking around saying she's going to the "hump party".

Aundraya (Yesterday)  "I tried to explain to Monkey that it's the "Over the Hump" party, and she looked at me with the saddest eyes ever, and asked, "The hump party is over?!"...Smh moment."

Aundraya (Yesterday)  "It's getting hotter outside, which means I'm breaking out the summer dresses.  Unfortunately I forgot to break out the razor too.  :-/ "

  Now aren't you glad I actively participate in the Newsfeed Conservation Act?  No, that's not really a thing.  I just wanted a cool title for this blog post.  I'm actually just trying to take a brain break before I get back to studying.  Only 2 1/2 weeks of this semester left!  Oh, and before I go, here's a recipe for you:

Strawberry Jam
This recipe comes from the Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving and yields about 4 pints.

2 quarts strawberries
6 cups sugar

Wash strawberries; drain.  Remove stems.  Crush strawberries one layer at a time.  Combine strawberries and sugar in a large sauce pot.  Slowly bring to a boil, stirring until sugar dissolves.  Cook rapidly to gelling point. 

*To test for gelling point, dip a cool, metal spoon into the boiling jelly.  Lift out a spoonful of the mixture; moving the spoon away from the steam.  Tip the spoon over a dish so the juice will drop off.  When the jelly mixture first begins to boil, the drops will be light and syrupy.  After continued boiling, the drops will become larger and will drop off the spoon in a sheet or flake.  The gelling point has been reached when the jelly sheets off the spoon.*

As mixture thickens, stir frequently to prevent sticking.  Remove from heat.  Skim foam if necessary. Ladle hot jam into hot jars, leaving 1/4 inch headspace.  Adjust two-piece lid.  Process 15 minutes in a boiling water-bath canner.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

"Hoppy" Easter

     I hope everyone is having a "Hoppy" Easter!  We certainly are.  This year things were a bit different; instead of making the trip back to Louisiana, Monkey and I celebrated at quietly at home.  We attended two Easter egg hunts this weekend, which was fun.  This morning the Easter Bunny left Monkey a basket full of bath time goodies, and she was extremely happy about that.  Then we got all dressed up and went to brunch with two of my favorite Navy wives.  When we got back home we talked about the true meaning of Easter.
     Friday we talked about the crucifixion.  I made a small cross out of some scrap wood I had in the garage, and I explained how they were used in ancient Rome to punish people who had done really bad things.  I had her help me nail three nails into the cross and explained how they used to nail people that way when they were bad or had done horrible things.  Then I asked Monkey if Jesus had done anything bad.  She said, "No".  So then I asked, "Why did He die on the cross if He didn't do anything bad?"  She replied, "To get rid of our sins".  Next we talked about sin, about what it is and about how everyone sins.  She wrote the word "sin" on her doodle pad, and I asked her to draw a picture of any particular sin; she chose to draw a picture of her hitting the cat.

     Next I told her to swipe the board clean, and I explained that just like she swiped away the picture, Jesus wiped our sins away on the cross.  She then drew a picture of how that made her feel.  It was a giant smiley face!  Then to sum it all up we learned John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life."


     Today we talked about the resurrection.  I had her help me act out the resurrection with her toys, and consequently her bunny is now named "Jesus".  Oops.  Oh well.  We talked about how the women went the tomb and found it empty and how Jesus conquered death so that we could have eternal life in Heaven.  Then we talked about how Jesus went up to Heaven to prepare a place for us.  It was a good talk, and she seemed to enjoy it.

     Of course, we didn't leave J out of the festivities.  As I mentioned in my last post, J recently received two care packages from us in the same day, and I was horrible and made him wait until Easter to open the second box (his words, not mine).  Well now that he's opened it, I think I'll share it with y'all.

     I lined this one in green construction paper, and aside from the small bit of grass, the eggs, and the bunny you see, I didn't do any decorating.  I left most of the package blank for Monkey to fill in this time.  That was a terrific idea, because I had a test to study for, and it took her quite a while to design the perfect Easter box for Daddy.  My only regret is that I didn't get a picture of her finished product.

     What I lacked in decoration on the outside, I made up for with creativity on the inside.  I had Monkey helps me stuff Easter eggs full of goodies.

     While she stuffed them, I wrote cheesy phrases on the outside of the eggs like, "Hoppy Easter", "SomeBunny loves/misses you, "Hop to see you soon", or "Love, your two chicks".  I am the queen of all things corny, so this was so much fun for me.  

     After stuffing the eggs, we filled our box with a few extra things such as Peeps, a giant Warhead Egg, and a book of devotionals for J.  Overall, I think it was a pretty good substitute for an Easter basket.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

We're Going Nuts Without You!

     One thing you have to deal with in deployments is the unpredictability of the mail delivery system.  I sent my husband a care package on March 15, and another one on April 1.  He received both of them today.  O.o  I don't understand that, but I'm just happy they made it there.  I'm going to share the first one with y'all today, but I'm saving the second one for Sunday.  It's his Easter package, so he's not allowed to open it yet.  In the meantime, here's our "Nuts without you" package:

      As usual I started by lining a flat rate box with orange construction paper.  I then cut out letters for the message on the inside of the lids.  I enlisted Monkey's help with the pictures.  I asked her to make crazy faces, and well, this is the result:

     I also included some pictures of Monkey all dressed up for her Superhero Party.  Next I added a few acorns and one Planter's nut man to tie it all together.

     Next was the fun part: filling the box.  I had a ton of ideas, some of which are included in the actual box, but then my husband messed up the theme by requesting his favorite pair of combat boots (how dare he!).  I ran out of room, but here's a list of ideas in case you want to make one yourself:

  • Planter's nuts 
  • Clif Bars
  • Peanut butter or Nutella (or both)
  • Peanut M&Ms
  • Snickers bars
  • Homemade granola (for a recipe, click here)
  • Peanut butter cookies
  • any Chex Mix with nuts (can even be homemade)
  • Mr. Goodbars
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Chocolate-covered sunflower seeds
     If y'all think of anything else, feel free to share.  


Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The Things She Does for Her Students

     I love Nursing school.  I have a couple of awesome teachers, and the class I'm in is filled with a variety of fun people from all different walks of life that just make learning fun.  I feel like I learn more in one day of class than I learned in an entire semester of my prereqs (with a few exceptions), and I'm excited to go to class every day.  And who wouldn't be with all the awesome things I get to do?  Take yesterday for example.  We were learning how to insert a catheter into a patient (no wait, I promise, it gets better), and everyone in my group was a tad nervous because one of our instructors was watching us.  No big deal, but this instructor is not shy about calling you out for crossing a sterile field.  It's understandable when you are risking major infection in your patient if you preform the procedure incorrectly, but understanding her motives does not make my hands shake any less when she comes to watch.  I also kind of love and fear asking her questions.  She's been a nurse for a long time, so I know she has a wealth of knowledge that she is more than willing to share, but I'm going to be seeing her again and again throughout this program, so I don't want to make myself look like an idiot by asking a stupid question.  Yesterday I took the risk anyway.

     After I finished up inserting the catheter into our dummy, I asked my teacher about the proper method to cover a female patient for this procedure.  We had watched a video on the subject, but that just made it look like some kind of funky origami with a sheet, and I was at a loss and wanted some clarification.  My teacher shook her head for a minute, and I thought I was mentally being put on her idiot list, but then she popped her head up and asked, "How much are you willing to pay me?"  Confused, I let out a nervous laugh, but before I could ask what she meant, she sighed, and said, "The things I do for my students", before hopping up into the bed in front of our dummy.  Utterly baffled, I just stared at her for a second as she hiked up her knees to assume the position (Ladies, think of the way you sit when visiting your Ob/Gyn).  She handed me the sheet and told me to get to it.  At this point the entire class was watching (and sniggering) as I wrapped one corner of the sheet around one leg, and secured it under her foot and then moved around to the other side to wrap that leg.  Just as she is explaining to me how the blanket now allows easy access to the vagina for catheter insertions, lifting the sheet for emphasis, our other teacher walks in the lab with a cry of, "Oh my WORD!  What is going on?" before she bursted into giggles at the sight of her fellow instructor.  The teacher on the bed just laughed and hopped down, and now I will never forget how to drape a female patient to provide privacy during a catheter insertion.

     I really don't know where to even go from here, so here's a recipe:

Chicken Tamale Casserole
from Gonna Want Seconds Blog

2 1/4 cup shredded Mexican Cheese Blend
1/3 cup milk
1 large egg
1 tsp ground cumin
1 can cream corn
1 box Jiffy corn muffin mix
1 (4 oz) can green chiles, chopped
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
2-3 cups cooked chicken, shredded
1/4 cup green onions, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 400.  Grease a 9x13" casserole dish.  Combine 1/4 cup cheese, milk, egg, cumin, cream corn, muffin mix, and green chiles in a large bowl.  Stir until moist.  Pour into casserole dish.  Bake for 15 minutes; pierce in several places with a fork.  Pour enchilada sauce over the top.  Top with chicken and 2 cups of cheese.  Return to oven and bake for 15 minutes more, or until cheese melts.  Remove from oven, and let sit 5 minutes.  Top with green onions before serving.