Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On the Tubes

Tales of the Bus Wednesday!

It's a typical day on the bus from downtown to Oakland in the morning, we're slowly making our way up 5th Avenue when all of a sudden, we get to a stoplight that is totally backed up.  3 buses in front of us, with some cars in between...the light ahead is turning green, but no one is going.  So the driver gets out to see what's going on, comes back a minute later and reports that it's going to be a bit of a wait, as someone had a seizure in the middle of the street and they were waiting on the paramedics to arrive.

People on the bus seemed to have 1 of 3 reactions:

Reaction #1 (aka-what I consider to be the normal reaction): Oh, I hope that man is ok.  Guess I'll just be a few minutes late to work, not much else I can do.

Reaction #2 (aka-what I consider to be the selfish person reaction, who clearly thinks the world revolves around them and only them): Oh my God, are you kidding me?  This is ridiculous.  I'm going to be late!  What a waste of my time.  Unbelievable.  Do you think we should just get off the bus and see if we can catch another one? (side note-some people actually did this...where they thought they were going to go, short of WALKING into Oakland, I'm not sure.  Needless to say, they were back on the bus within a minute, once they realized traffic was backed up for blocks and there was nowhere to go)

Reaction #3 (aka-the most absurd reaction by far, and of course, it happens to come from the guy sitting directly across from me, who was practically yelling these words during his 5 minute rant until the driver returned to the bus): You gotta be kidding me.  Yinz know the only reason he's doin' that is so he can go up to Mercy Hospital and be hooked up to the tubes to get the drugs, right?  I guarantee you that's what this is about.  He just wants the drugs, that's what it's always about.   I bet it was one of them guys from that Occupy Movement.  Yeah, he's trying to get himself on the tubes, that's all.

Remember dear readers, it's always about getting yourself "on the tubes".  

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Real men wear bowling shoes.

I'm from a small town, and there wasn't a whole lot to do there (though there's more now), but we were never really bored.  Why is that?  Because we had BOWLING, people!  And Eat N Park.  Because you always work up an appetite while bowling.

We decided to introduce Jake to the wonders of bowling last weekend and he loved it.  Or, he at least loved the shoes.  But he seemed to have fun with the game as well, it at least held his attention for the first 7 frames or so, then he was just about done.

Liam took in the whole situation from his stroller. 

I shouldn't even post this (especially after just admitted that I used to spend a lot of time bowling) but Jake beat me.  And we were all using bumpers.  I need to brush up on those bowling skills!

9 month update

I know it's such a cliche, but time is going by unbelievably's insane that Liam is over 9 months old!  Here are the stats from his check up last week:

Weight: 19 lbs, 12 oz (36th percentile)
Height: 29 inches (76th percentile!)
Head circumference:46 cm (can't remember the percentile, 60th, I think?)

Looking back at Jake's stats from this same check up, Liam has pretty much caught up with his big brother...Jake was 20 lbs even, and the exact same height.

Can you tell who is who? (rocking the same outfit!)

Liam's appointment went well; the best news is, his reflux seems to be improving (finally!) and the doctor said that we would most likely be able to discuss weaning off the meds at his 12 month appointment, if not before then.  We're so excited that he might finally get some relief.  His ear infection from the week before was halfway cleared up, one was fine, the other ear was still infected.  We just finished up the antibiotic on Tuesday and his sleep is getting better, so we're hoping it's totally gone now.

He had a few patches of eczema at his last appointment, and at that time, they told us to just try some aquaphor after his bath, which seemed to help most of the time until a week ago or so, when all of a sudden, it spread all over the place (his belly, back, neck elbows, knees, ankles) and looked so much worse than before.  We've now moved onto hydrocorisone cream twice/day and that does seem to be helping for now.

He's still an enthusiastic eater; we've gone through pretty much all of the purees at this point and there are none that he's rejected thus far (and he loves yogurt).  We started puffs and mum-mums a few weeks ago, he's a big fan of both.  Just this week we started giving him some diced up peas and carrots with dinner; he was a bit hesitant at first, I think they frustrated him since they were harder to pick up, but he's getting the hang of it.  I need to be better about giving him some table foods along with purees now that he's mastering the pincher grasp. 

He babbles like crazy, and we've heard both mama and dada, which always makes me smile whether it's actually directed at me or not. He's been more interested in books (instead of just being interested in chewing on them) and he especially loves the touch and feel ones that we have.  He really likes the activity table, or anything that lets him stand, really.

He's still not crawling yet; the doctor was a bit concerned about this, mainly because he seems to have no interest in moving in any way (he has only rolled a few times, doesn't scoot or anything like that, he's quite content to just sit and take everything in).  We don't need to worry about it just yet, he wants to give it a month and see if he makes any progress by then before making any decisions. He's also "graduating" from the Infant 1 room at daycare and moving up to the next room, so I'm thinking maybe he'll be inspired once he moves over there, watching all of the other kids move around. 

Happy 9 months, sweet's so much fun watching your little personality develop!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Recipe: Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

Another pinterest find!  Here is the original recipe.

Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup

2 chicken boneless skinless chicken breasts
2 cans Ro-Tel (I like the lime & cilantro, but the regular is fine)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn
1 onion, chopped (I just used dried minced onion)
2 cans low-sodium chicken broth
1-2 cups of water
1 Tbsp garlic powder*
1 Tbsp chile powder*
1 Tbsp ground cumin*
1 Tbsp dried cilantro*
*I didn't have all of the spices, so I just used a taco seasoning packet

tortilla chips
sour cream
shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Put chopped onion, cans of beans, rotel, corn, chicken broth, water, and spices in CrockPot and stir to mix. Put chicken breasts on top of mixture and make sure they're at least partly submerged in liquid. Cook on high 6-7 hours or low 8-9 hours. Before serving remove the chicken breasts from soup and shred, if needed, (sometimes they'll just fall apart on their own, but sometimes they need some help). Return chicken to CrockPot, stir to combine.

Top with chips and shredded cheese (I found that it was good to add in a few crumbled chips as I went along, that way they didn't get soggy)--enjoy!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Valentine's Day!

Remember when I commented in the last post that Brian was out of town all last week?  Yeah, he missed Valentine's Day. Do you want to know how he's making it up to me? We're watching Twilight: Breaking Dawn this weekend.  Nothing says romance like a vampire baby birth. 

But what's even better than blood sucking creatures on Valentine's Day?  Gifts from my littlest valentines :)

 Jake's school had a party, and he was so excited to open up all of the Valentines from his friends.  And of course, the grandparents spoiled the kiddos with some gifts, too!

And it wouldn't be Valentine's Day without some chocolate!  Jake and GG made some brownies that had cookies mixed in (genius, right?)

I hope everyone had a great Valentine's Day!

Oh, why hello there.

We're still alive!  Barely.  This blog has been majorly neglected recently, but I'm out of the kids-are-sick haze that I've been in for the past week or so.  Liam had a double ear infection and pink eye (ick!), then (of course) Jake got pink eye, too.  Liam was so miserable, he was up all night for days.  Oh, and did I mention that Brian was out of town for all of this?  Good timing for him, terrible for me! 

Fortunately, my mom was able to help out (THANK YOU, GG!) otherwise I can guarantee that I would have lost my mind.  Liam had his 9 month check up (I know, 9 months!  I'll do a full post on that later) and they rechecked his ears; one had totally cleared, the other was still infected.  Boo.  He has 2 more doses left of the Augmenten (I have no idea if I spelled that right--it's also absolutely nasty tasting and he hates taking it, can't say I blame him) so hopefully that other ear will clear up soon. 

Jake's pink eye is now cleared up as well....have you ever tried to put eye drops into a 4 year old?  It's kind of like wrestling a rabid monkey.   An alarmingly strong monkey.  2 grown adults pinning him down, and somehow he still rallies enough strength to avoid getting the drops IN his eye. 

I promise to catch up on posts's easier for me to blog now that my hands aren't raw from sanitizing them 9,856 times per day. 

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Do you have a dollar to spare?

If so, I know of some kids who could really use it.  They are the kids who are suffering from lymphloblastic leukemia.  It is the 13 year old, waiting on a liver transplant. They are the siblings of these children, who spend days, weeks, months at a time at the hospital, hoping for their brother or sister to get better.

If you have anything you can give....$1, $10, $ will help make the time those children have to spend in the hospital a little bit brighter.  The money at this particular time will go toward iPads, Xboxes, and  KINECT systems at both Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh and the pediatric unit at Allegheny General Hospital, as part of the Make Room for Kids Project, which you can read more about (and make your donation!) here:

And you can read more about the beginnings of the project here:

In total, they have raised over $86,000 from donations and corporate matching and have provided countless gaming systems, games, laptops, TV's and more.  While our stay at Children's Hospital back in July for Liam's viral meningitis was nowhere near anything like what these children and parents are going through, the hospital now has a special place in my heart. Not just because of the wonderful care that we received from everyone, but because of what I saw while I was there.

Liam had to have a spinal tap (twice), and I am not ashamed to admit that I'm still traumatized by the whole procedure (and I wasn't even in the room, but unfortunately could hear it anyway).  I think back to that with a lot of sadness, then realize that some kids are getting that done on a regular basis.  While I was in the hallway, trying so hard to not hear my baby cry while getting that procedure done, I saw a little boy getting prepped for radiation treatment.  He was wearing a steelers cap over his bald head, and his mother was standing beside his bed, holding his hand while a nurse talked them through what was going to happen, starting off with, "So I know you have the hang of this by now, buddy...." 

There are children there enduring the same thing every day.  Children who can't even leave their rooms at the hospital, let alone play with their friends or go to a playground.  So go!  Donate!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oh, rats.

Time for Tales of the Bus Wednesday!

Overheard on the CB radio:

Um, yeah, I got a rat in the back of my bus here.  What do you want me to do about it?

I bet even the rat had the decency to only take up one seat on that bus, and keep all of his little rat belongings on his lap.

Or, maybe he was just a refugee from Occupy Pittsburgh.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

You can't go back.

Are there times in your life that you look back on and think to yourself, "no...I can't go back to that place, I just can't bring myself to do it"?  You know, like the days before cell phones and DVR?

I feel the same way about my Kindle.  Which is surprising, because I resisted this newfangled gadget for a long time, wanting to hold on to my good old-fashioned books.  A big reason for this was because it was a rare occasion for me to actually buy books, I relied on the library for nearly all of my reading.  (I worked at our local library in high school, did you know that?  It was my very first job, I loved it, and have always felt a sense of loyalty to the library system) On top of the sense of loyalty, I'm also cheap frugal; the thought of forking over $10+ for a new book makes my stomach turn.

Fast forward to Liam being born, and my awesome coworkers decided to give something to ME for my hard work of giving birth...they went with the Kindle because of the new library-sharing capabilities it would soon have (and knowing about my frugal ways, gave me an amazon gift card so that I could buy books in the meantime)

So now, I'm at another one of those places in my life...a place where I look back on the past and wonder how I ever survived.  How did I lug a hardback book with me everywhere I went?  How did I manage to make the 1.5 block walk to the library every other week or so to drop off one book and pick up another?  How did I endure multiple paper cuts over the years from turning the pages too fast in my excitement to continue the story? 

I hope that the library sharing system continues to evolve and include more books, but it's been great so far (if you look at my list of books I've read from June 2011-present, nearly all of those have been from the library.  I think I have purchased 3 books from amazon, and one of those was part of their monthly special for 99 cents).  There's no going back now!

Thursday, February 2, 2012


Totally acceptable to put your kids in matching clothing, right?  Yes?  Good. 


YES!  My mom put us in matching shirts today!
The photo session quickly turned into mayhem...


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

I said I should write a book about it...

...but I think I'll just blog about it instead.  My book idea would have been based on my adventures riding the bus.  I have been using public transportation to and from work, nearly every day, for the past 8.5 years.  I prefer it this way: the main reason being the cost-effectiveness of using the bus (especially since I don't have to pay to ride, thanks to my Pitt ID), I don't have to deal with the headache of sitting in traffic, and it gives me some down time to read or just unwind from the day.

Even though it's my preferred method of transportation, it is certainly not without faults.  Late buses, crowded buses, having to stand at a bus stop in all kinds of not nice weather...but most of all, the faults tend to be due fellow passengers.

With that being said, I will be dedicating Wednesdays to tales of public transportation.  Some of these stories might be older, I've built up quite the collection of horror stories in the past 8.5 years, but they will make you scratch your head and wonder what is wrong with the world today, so they are still relevant.  Today's story is one that (sadly) occurs on a regular basis, including this morning.

Dear Fellow Passenger,

Your insistence on putting your work bag on the seat beside you is maddening and just flat out rude.  You are no more entitled to a seat on this bus than I am.  And your bag?  Not entitled to a seat at ALL.  As if it's not bad enough that you plop your bag down there (when this bus is jam packed, standing room only, the fact that you roll your eyes and sigh like I've asked you for a kidney when I politely ask you if I can sit there makes me want to slap you across the face and ask if you were raised in a barn.  Instead, I take the passive-aggressive route and give an exaggerated, "WOW, thank you soooooo much!" as I sit down.  With my bag IN my lap...because that's how it's done.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...