Saturday 9: Upside Down
Sunday Stealing: The Voice Post Meme

Merrily We Roll Along


On Thursday afternoon, I took Jack back to see Dr. A (whose name you can plainly see there on his uniform) to have his ears checked again. And yes, Doc is approximately 14 years old. I called him Doogie once or twice before, to his amusement.


Doc could still see bubbles of fluid in both of Jack's ears, which is why I'm surprised and happy to tell you that as of that very morning, Jack could hear clearly again! He didn't tell me this himself; I 'tested' him as I do/did every morning, and when I whispered his name from out of sight, he answered me! It was a joyous discovery. When I questioned him about his hearing, he seemed delighted to report that everything sounded normal again. Phew! And without a milligram of medication!


Jack didn't particularly like the exam... poor babe!


At that point, Jack commandeered my camera, so the next couple of shots are from him. 

This was probably the last time we will meet with Dr. A., because he and his family (wife and two kids) are moving to Italy. Such is life when you go to a military clinic: you get attached to your provider, develop a rapport over a year or three, and then either they or you move on to the next station, and you have to start all over again.

It's the second time since we've been here that I'm really sad to say good-bye to a great doctor. The first time was the doc we had when Jack was first born. Both were 'great' in that they took their time with the patients AND the parents, listened to what we had to say, and included our input in the treatment plans. Neither made me feel "lesser-than," because I don't happen to possess a medical degree. I appreciate that immensely.


I often make this face when one of the kids takes my picture. I don't know why; it's just a habit. And I hate having my picture taken from down below. My friend E taught me long ago that it's better to have your photo taken from slightly above; the result is more flattering. So when I don't like the angle, I make a face!

I look skinny though, huh?! Hee. This is Rob's Harley shirt that I'm wearing! And look, it's not supah-dupah tight, either! (My husband is a VERY thin man, so it's exciting to be able to wear his clothes!)


Jack is always curious about the things in the doctor's office, so it was no surprise when he pulled out the stirrups. After he lay down like this, I asked Doc to perform his Pap Smear. Doc snorted and says he avoids doing those at all costs!



Somewhere between the doctor visit and the following morning, my new camera got jacked up. Just the lens cover. Half of it won't open, and the other half won't shut! Awesome. I think I need to add a fund for repairing my old camera to the budget, somewhere, somehow. This new one is just a piece of crap; I hate it so.

Anyway, here's Jack eating a batch of scrambled eggs that HE made from start to finish, next to the plate of oatmeal chocolate chip cookies (from another mix that he found in the stockpile bin) that HE mixed, and near to the bowl of being-prepared pie crust that HE helped to measure and mix. He was a very busy boy in the kitchen on Friday, and I do declare that cooking and baking are now one of his favorite things to do. I can tell he takes pride in the results, too!


Of course, he had to help roll out the pie crust. That's always the kids' favorite job to do, isn't it? I showed him how to carefully wrap the dough around the rollilng pin and lay it out in the pie pan, to avoid breaking it. He did a perfect job!


Then he fluted the ege of the crust, after I showed him how to do it. He did the whole rest of the crust without help.


He did a nice job, don't you think?

I showed him how to pierce the crust with a fork to keep it from bubbling up, and he had a good time with that. See how he concentrates? I love his devotion to doing the job right.


He insisted he wanted a cup of coffee after that! The boy does like coffee... so I slipped him the decaf and brewed him up a cup, with sugar and cream. He drank two sips and decided he didn't like it. I'd have drunk it, but I can't have sugar, so it went to waste. *le sigh*

After a while, it was time to get the girls off the bus. We had to rush Jack right out to Chesapeake for a Cub Scout friend's birthday party after that, at a popular bouncy house place. I'd lined up some errands to run so that the girls wouldn't have to sit there and watch him having fun, because I didn't have a spare $16 to let them play, too. Sophia was really disappointed, so I promised her I'd take her sometime this summer.

After dropping Jacky off, we stopped at the FedEx shop so I could ship a package. It didn't cost me anything; it was for a mystery shopping project I'd done the week before. Chloë waited in the car and read her book; Sophia came inside with me so she could use the potty. I've been pricing papers, just to know what things cost in case I need them for home-schooling, so I was surprised when they told me that theirs cost $10 a ream! Uh, no.

Then we stopped over at Babies 'R' Us, because I knew they carried the Snikiddy brand of snacks, for which I had three "Free Product" coupons. Snikiddy is all-natural but not organic; I decided that in this case, it was close enough for me. "Natural" doesn't really mean anything, so I did my research on the company and decided it was okay to consume. But while we were at BRU, I was thrilled to find a wonderful array of organic foods and drinks at reasonable prices. I'd love to buy all our organic goods at the shop at the Farmer's Market, but she's very expensive, so I'm having to find deals where I can. The emphasis is still going to be on buying local, though.

Our last stop was at the TAPS near BRU, to see if they had the Daisy Leader book. Our local store didn't have it, so I was chagrined to find they were out of it at this one, too. Tha hell?! How am I supposed to know what to do if I don't have a book? I NEED my book. We spent another few minutes looking around at all the cool stuff, but again, I didn't want to spend any money that I didn't have, so we bought nothing. My creative juices really get flowing in a store like that, though!

Unfortunately, all these errands only took an hour, so we still had to go back and sit for another hour at the birthday party site. They had some toys in the waiting area, so that kept the girls busy for 20 minutes while I was able to do some knitting. I spent a quarter on a bouncy ball for them to roll around to each other, when they tired of the toys and limited books available. After that, it was all go-go-go, because every time I looked away for a second, Sophia had shucked her shoes and was in one of the bouncy structures!! Illegally. Inwardly, I was laughing, but of course I couldn't show that I was amused by her antics, or she'd take that as acceptance. So I kept the stern look on my face as I dragged her out and back to the waiting room, hating all the while that I didn't have that spare $16.

One time, Jack had climbed halfway up the highest structure and would neither go up nor down, so all the boys came rushing over to get me. An older boy, the birthday kid's older brother, had tried to rescue him, but he wanted Mama only. I tore over there and shoved his butt up to the top, and then we slid down together. I completely understand his reluctance; I am the same way. When we slid down the steep slide, I got that sick feeling in my stomach that thrills some people (Sophia-types like my sister, Stacey) but which I don't enjoy at all.

And of course, when I returned, Sophia was nowhere to be found... until I looked in a corner of the big warehouse, where she was happily bouncing away with a new friend. She is such a stinker!


After the bouncy party was over, we went back to the Farmer's Market for some supplies for dinner. I had promised a celebratory dinner for Rob, for getting his motorcycle license, but we still hadn't done that yet. I found one restaurant in the area that was reported to be "organic," Crocs at the beach, but when I called them, it turned out they only had "some produce" that was actually organic - not their whole menu. Suck. (Attention, entrepreneurs! I see a niche needing to be filled...) Jack had wanted to make pizza, so we decided to make that for Daddy's dinner, instead.

The stop at the organic market was meant just for some organic sauce for the pizza(s), but the kids talked me into some fresh fruit, including Chloë and Jack's kiwis, above. I tried a slice; it was definitely the most delicious kiwi I'd ever tasted! I also got some organic bananas from Ecuador, which just smell amazing, for more smoothies. Or something, I don't know. Oh, and a package of goat cheese for one of the pizzas, since we don't particularly care for Organic Valley's mozzarella cheese. (It tastes very dry, like cheddar. Which is fine, if you're expecting cheddar, but not if you're expecting traditional mozz. I'll just have to learn to make my own!)


We also stopped at the Creamery I'd mentioned in a previous post, to get some ice cream and that fresh cream top milk. Anything to fatten up my skinnies!  The milk is already gone; it was SO good. The ice cream was excellent, too, but we really didn't care for the mint chips in that flavor, so we'll probably not buy that flavor again. The strawberry, though... mmmmmm! It all tasted so good, and since this working Maryland dairy farm is the apparently the closest such one to this area, they consider themselves to be "local." In fact, earlier this morning, I signed up for their weekly delivery service, for milk, cheese, and such. Not their eggs; though; I'll continue to get those from Polyface Farms at the organic store. 

(Have I mentioned Polyface? If not, look it up - it's Joel Salatin's family farm. He's the guy Rob and I love from Food, Inc., and he's going to be giving two talks at the Homeschool Convention in a couple of weeks. I'm going to meet him!!!!)


By the time we got home and got the kitchen cleaned up so I could start dinner, it was past 8 o'clock, and Jack had no interest in helping me make the pizza. So I made it myself: organic dough, sauce and goat cheese - doesn't it look SO good? And it was. Especially after I re-cooked it; the dough was raw when I first served it. Oops. Jack and Sophie didn't care for the goat cheese, so Chloë ate theirs. I adore goat cheese, though. Yum!


For dessert, I pulled out the pie Jack and I had made earlier in the day. It's got a mostly-organic crust, with the fresh-picked strawberries on top. The cream filling is made of organic eggs, yogurt, and cream cheese, plus sugar and a little bit of Cool Whip. I had a little taste, and it was SO yummy. I wish I could have dove in, but I'd really have made myself sick.


Our neighbors to the right came home when I ran out to the car for something, so I mentioned that Jack had made a special strawberry pie, and would they like to try it? Of course they would, so I served some up for thme and brought it over. I made her promise to tell me what she thought of it, even if it wasn't good, because I can't eat it and don't want to make it again if it's yucky!

In the mail yesterday, I'd gotten a new game for the Wii, "Just Dance," along with a cursive writing workbook for Chloë. I paid $1.33 for both, after using my Swagbucks money for the rest! The Wii game turned out to be SO much fun - and a great workout! The kids and I took turns doing dances, and I danced along behind them when it wasn't my turn. I was sweating up a storm and feeling great.


The kids' dancing was so funny! I'm sure mine was as well, but of course I have no pictures of that. And I wouldn't show you if I did!


Poor Jack. He has inherited his father's dance skill - or lack thereof - but he sure tried!


Rob sat there like a bump on a log the whole time, refusing to play with us. He wouldn't even dance once! Butthead. :P


No, she's not drinking a beer - it's an organic root beer! Delicious. (I am loving this organic stuff; can you tell?!) But look at her feet! This kid is so bendy and flexible. She amazes me! I think it will be a good fit when she tries gymnastics again later this year. 

We danced well into the night, past 2300, and then I tried to go for a run around our lake. I got about a third of the way along when I just collapsed, unable to breathe. (It was embarrassing, because a man was fishing right there!) I tried to catch my breath so I could start running again, but I just couldn't... and I ended up throwing up violently. It was very upsetting. I'll have to take it more slowly... but I'm ready to fly like the wind!

On a positive ending note, I've lost 4 lbs since Thursday! I'm now well into my fabulous 50s - as in, I'm at 157.3 lbs! Yay!! Less than 7½ lbs until I reach my doctor's goal!!