Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Asthma attacks: a way to start a day

I'm home today and skipping work because aparently my lungs suck at their job too. If you haven't ever had one, count yourself lucky, because they hurt. My chest burns, it hurts to breathe in and out and you feel like you can't get enough air in no matter how deeply you try to breathe. The key is not to panic, which is a mighty hard thing to do, or else it makes the attack worse.

So as you might guess, waking up to an asthma attack at 5AM isn't the greatest wake up alarm. My head is still woozy and my chest still slightly burns. I have an appointment this afternoon because during my attack I remembered I didn't have a valid prescription anymore for my inhalers, because I never made my follow up visit... opps. Thankfully A. uses the same rescue inhaler so I bummed it off of his (the only time ever that I share meds, promise!).

 But it could be worse, I have a very, very mild form of asthma and honestly this is the first attack I've had in over six months. I'm considered to have well managed asthma. Even so, I'm taking the day easy. A. and I ate bagels on the couch and are now just relaxing in our jammies.

Hopefully I'll have something more exciting than an asthma attack to talk about later in the week.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Kids activities

So I recently posted about a latke round up which is good because it's now less than two weeks away. It's very easy to find recipes for fried food, a simple google search late at night will leave you hungry! Finding kids activities for Hannukah is just a smidgin harder but here are some ideas I hope to try with A. this year or in the future.

Hanukah countdown calender
So, yes, this is essentially an advent calender, just for Hannukah. I don't care, it's adorable. Children need a visual, concrete idea, to help with holidays. A. has his own menorah, actually two, and he likes counting the candles, but I like the idea of this streamer one. It's cute, it's simple and I like it. The only thing I would do different though is to use more durable supplies like ribbon and felt, so it could be used each year.

Felt Driedel Garland
I have an excess of felt right now from working on A.'s fabric Torah quiet book, so this looks like an excellent idea! I think sewing them could be a better bonding method but I like that this version is a no-sew one.

How freakin adorable is this? I think it would work on a platter that you could serve latkes on each year.

Pipe cleaner Star of Davids
I think making a bunch of these and hanging them from the windows with yarn would be cute. We have an electric menorah we put in the window already but these would be a good addition.

Recycled driedel "paper dolls"
I like that you make little people out of each driedel with whatever craft supplies you have on hand.

Hopefully with our full schedule we can try at least one of these out!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Clomid round 1: a bust?

Well... this first round of clomid seems to have been a bust. Normally, as if infertility can be normal, when you take clomid it should make you ovulate 5 to 9 days after your last dose. You can confirm this by your BBT charts, OPK sticks and other things I'm just going to gloss over.

So what happened to me between that time period? Nothing. I apparently don't like to play by the rules. My ovaries clearly think they are too cool. Nope. Nothing yet. Oh well... maybe this one will end up being a cycle I naturally ovulate anyways and it will still be a good cycle.

Plus through my endless Google searching I have read ovulation can show up later too while on clomid. But that's part of my problem, if it shows up, it's very late with a short luteal phase... so having ovulation late while taking clomid to me, means it didn't work and I enjoyed hot flashes, headaches, back aches and constantly blood noses just for shits and grins.

In the mean time however, I will remind myself that there are perks to not being pregnant. Just to name a few:
  • Drinking: once I know for sure, I will enjoy some peach schnapps
  • Peeing: as in, I don't have the urge to pee every 15 minutes, I can still hold it
  • Food: I can still eat any food I want without it making me want to hurl
  • Bedtime: I can stay awake past 7:30
  • Sushi: if I wanted to stray from my veggie ones for fish I still can
  • Caffene: I can drink as much as I can stand
  • Extreme sports: not that I'm gonna go sky diving really, but I like to know I could
  • Bitchiness: I can be one just to be one
Yay for me :)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

What am I thankful for this year?

There are many things to be thankful for this year. It goes without saying that friends, family, jobs, housing, food and love are among them. But what am I truly thankful for right now? Why Elmo and Youtube of course that allows A. to just watch one minute of Elmo versus watching a whole DVD.

Yes, even a little or maybe it's big by now, Elmo scandal, can't wreck that I'm thankful for the following teeth brushing song. A. loves this song so much he dances to it every time he plays the DVD Nana picked up for him (for free from Sam's Club, yay for free!). He can now even say the word teeth due to singing the song daily!

So enjoy this teeth brushing song and thank me later when it randomly pops into your head today during your Thanksgiving meal. Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

IEP time

We had A.'s IEP yesterday. It went really great. You know, as great that a meeting about your child and their special needs can go.

He still has a considerable delay in his speech. Whereas before they indicated how many months, 18 months on his last IEP, they didn't indicate this time. I wasn't sure if that was because it increased or stayed the same, I didn't even remember to ask.

Instead, the meeting focused on a new set of services A. now qualifies for: OT servies. He receives them already in his classroom but not one-on-one servies. Well now, he qualifies for services all by himself. Yay!

You see, I have been gently nagging mentioning his sensory issues with his new teacher since the 2nd day of school. I adore, puffy heart adore, his teacher this year. She is the perfect kind of special needs teacher. Young. Fun. Loving. Perfect. And she agreed to pass her concern along to the OT, who did a formal OT evaulation.

The final conclusion based on observations, formal testing and charts, A. has poor motor planning. Was I suprised? No, no, not at all. Poor motor planning is common with children with speech apraxia as well as children with SPD.

It's bitter sweet though, to be right. To know that certain things just seem off. As his mom, I'm happy he is getting more services that he does really need. I'm just sad that he needs them at all.

But saddness aside, that's a parent's job, to be your child's best advocate, to get them anything and everything that can help them be the best person they can be. And I know, he will be. A. will be an awesome, highly functioning, caring, quirky, Star Wars loving human being by the time he grows up.

He is already off to a great start :)

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Clomid: Packs a punch, to the head

I finally have gotten to the point where I started taking my first round of 50mg clomid. Yay for short 58 day cycles with help from Provera!

I knew that clomid came with side effects, all medication does. Some common side effects include mood swings, hot flashes, nausea and vomiting, bloating and oh, yeah, headaches. I had read to take it at night to lessen the side effects but aparently while my brain read that my body could have cared less. Nope, woke up Friday morning with the worst headache. It eventually went away around about an hour before work was done, so that was nice.

It's not that I'm complaining, that much. I have smiled my way through things much worse than headaches during and for pregnancies. No, this just serves as a reminder to myself that it's all worth it.

Because we make adorable babies :) Look how tiny and adorable A. was? Can't wait to make him a sibling!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Jewish Quiet Book: Cover and Back Cover

I talked about quiet book basics, planning and supplies and now I'm ready to show off the cover and back of A.'s fabric quiet book.

I brought him to the fabric store and we picked out the cover fabric together. Originally I was thinking a blue cover, as the colors of Israel are blue and white, but I just couldn't find anything that I loved. Then A. said he wanted a pink cover. I said okay and brought him near the pinks and oranges and they had this rainbow fabric in the quilting section. I adored it! It is a bit busy I suppose, but I loved it and A. agreed he liked all the colors on it.

I ended up using felt letters with sticking backing. I found them at Michael's, though I'm sure you could find them other places. They were $4 or $5 bucks for a pack of them but very worth it because cutting out letters is a PITA. I did end up sewing over the letters for stability as I worried that over time they might fall off, even with the sticky backing.

I ended up binding the pages with bias tape. I originally was going to bind it using the pillow case method (sew the wrong sides together, flip out and use the invisible stitch) but I loved the idea of bias tape. I also know that sewing bias tape like I did is not how it's actually used, I know, but I was actually using it simply as a pop of color on the edges. I also figured that if in the future I needed to repair a page, it will be easier to just seam rip out the bias tape then if I sewed or fused the book pages together.
Why did I start with the cover and back? They are the simplest! I am by no means a sewer. I fumble my way through sewing so I will not be including how I actually sewed the book, just the layouts and the templates.

If you need some basic brush ups on sewing I highly recommend the following tutorials:
I made each layout and template 7"x9". I figured this would be a good size for A.'s hands. Not huge but not too small that cutting out pieces would be too much of a pain. That being said, I wouldn't make my book any smaller and if A. was younger, I would have made it bigger so the final pieces are larger so there are fewer or no choking hazards.

Each photo is a jpeg format so if you're interested in using these for your own personal use, just right click and save it to your computer. Then add it into a Word document and stretch the graphic to whatever size you want your quiet book to be. Keep in mind that you want your template larger than the finished pieces will be to accommodate trimming and finishing edges!

Also, if you are going to be using a bonding material like Pellon Wonder Under you will need to reverse your templates for those pieces. This step is very important! This is thankfully very easy in Word by using the rotate horizontally tool.

So the cover layout and the template for this one is the one and the same. It is a jpeg format so if you're interested in using it for your own personal use, just right click and save it to your computer. Then add it into a Word document and stretch the graphic to whatever size you want your quiet book to be.

Up next, the inside pages!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Hanukkah 2012: Latke round up

I know I said I was going to follow a schedule... and maybe I will again after the holidays, but for the next little bit, what with the holidays and all, I'm just going to post randomly.
So I know that Thanksgiving hasn't even come or gone yet, but I'm not in charge this year so I'm already planning Hannukah. As you may know, Hanukkah is the celebration of lights and lasts for 8 days. It is actually a minor holiday in the overall picture of things but who doesn't love a holiday filled with candle lighting, fried foods and gambling?

This year, Hannukah starts on December 8 and lasts until the 16th. From the end of Hannukah this then gives me 3 days until A.'s birthday, 9 days till Christmas and 13 days till our five year wedding anniversary. Clearly we don't believe in spacing holiday or life events outs.

We are still figuring out how we celebrate Hannukah. It sounds silly. I mean, we light candles and say blessings, but what we do each of the 8 days, I'm still working on. So far what we have done in the past is, the first day we light candles and eat latkes for sure. The nights between, just light candles. And the last day we light candles and make jelly doughnuts called sufganiyot or ponchkes in Yiddish (my Catholic friends also use these to celebrate Fat Tuesday, yum!).

So with so many ideas to choose from, I thought I would round up some savory and sweet latke ideas to try this year. I don't know how many will actually be made or how they will turn out, but I can't wait to fry up some next month!
Potato latkes
I figured we should start with the basics. I love this website, Smitten Kitchen, and you'll see a few of her recipes show up on this round-up. She has fantastic recipes and her overview on latkes is a great place to start when making them!
Cheesy Sweet Potatoe Pancakes
I didn't use to like sweet potatoes but now I can't get enough of them! Just the idea of sweet potatoes fried up sounds so yummy I'm glad I don't have in the house!

Apple Latkes
So these are obvouisly on the sweet side of latkes, but the idea is fantastic. I think out of all of the latkes, A. would like these the best.
Butternut squash potato cakes
The boys really like butternut squash, I'm getting use to it. This might be a good way to ease into butternut squash.
So I think these look amazing and would probably fantastic with cheese sauce on top. I'm not sure anyone else would eat them, but perhaps I could make just one or two for myself to try out.

Cheese Latkes
I honestly had never even thought of this version. However, The Shiksa in the Kitchen explains exactly why these cheese latkes fit. I think I will personally skip the story for now for A. but they do sound yummy!
Mashed Potatoe Pancakes
My Mom reckonized these right away and said she grew up eating these. Essentially, instead of grating the potato like you do for latkes, you instead just used mashed up potatoes. I wonder if they could still be counted as latkes? Either way, they look yummy!

Zucchini fritters
I personally like zucchini but my father-in-law hates, hates, it and and I'm sure only myself, My Mom and my mother-in-law might try these. Everyone else would find a way to have no room left on their plates for these!

I am not a huge fan of carrots but even this one looks tasty! The carrot adds a nice color to it as well.

They all look so yummy, can't wait to start making some of these!