Thursday, July 12, 2012

Red, White, and a Little Bit Blue

So once again this summer, I feel like I am "behind" with my blogging. I know, it probably didn't affect too many people because I can't imagine too many people were worried by my lack of posts, right? And really, it's not that big of a deal because I have been busy doing what's important: making memories with the kids (and trying not to be a grouch in the process, if I am being completely honest, because sometimes I have all of these ideas and trying to do all of them and have fun at the same time ends up being kind of challenging at times.)

Also, in case anyone is wondering whey there haven't been more craft ideas lately, there are two reasons for this. The first one I mentioned. It is summer. We are enjoying life -- outdoors -- as much as possible. And the rest of the time? If Mia wants to do a "project," as she calls them, she comes up with her own almost every time, which is a welcome break, in a way. (And Logan does not like to get messy with paint and other crafty materials. Now dirt, sand, mud, ... totally another story. He's definitely a boy.)

Oh, and one more thing. I got my stitches out this morning so I am just now getting full usage from my left thumb (amazing how much I rely on that digit and never knew it until recently) after slicing into it with a serrated kitchen knife on July 3. I was attempting to cut a cantaloupe in half while apparently distracted by a couple of kids who were begging me to frost sugar cookies that weren't yet cool, and this was supposed to keep them occupied for a bit. This caused me to panic a bit. The first thing I did was call Brett to tell him that I might need him to come home a little early (it wasn't quite 3:30) since I cut myself and might need stitches. I was running it under water because I freaked myself out and couldn't think straight enough to remember what to do next. Thankfully, Brett reminded me to put pressure on it. See, that's why I keep him around, that and he is pretty good at folding laundry (even without being asked).

First, I tried a paper towel but it was sticking to the wound, so I spent the next half hour with a damp washcloth wrapped around the injured thumb, while continuing on with the important business of frosting star-shaped sugar cookies. Yes, I somehow figured out a way to hold a cookie in my bad hand and frost it at the same time. (Thankfully, it was my non-dominant hand that got hurt.) You didn't think I was going to let the kids down did you? So, Brett came home while we were finishing that up, and I was not nearly as worried once I realized the bleeding had stopped.

{These were supposed to have red popping candy on them like the ones in FamilyFun, but it turned out that the stuff we had at home was pink, so we just used red and blue sugars.}

Still, it didn't look the best, sort of purplish-reddish, and I wasn't really sure how deep it was so I wondered if it would get infected. So, I did what seemed logical at the time. I decided to do as many chores as humanly possible (three loads of laundry, dishes, cleaning the stove top, finally cutting that melon and putting it away, etc.) to see how this affected my day-to-day life. This, folks, is apparently how a stay-at-home-mom gauges the severity of an injury. I decided that getting it wet probably wasn't the best thing for healing purposes. Then, I showed my cut to Brett, and he informed me that it made him queasy just looking at it. So, obviously, I turned to my friend the Internet to determine the next course of action. When I Googled "how to tell if a cut needs stitches," two of the three first websites suggested that if I hadn't had a tetanus shot in over 5 years, I would want to get that and have the doctor examine the laceration at the same time to determine whether or not stitches were needed.

I decided I did not want to go to the ER to sit forever and wait while all of the crazy people who were undoubtedly setting themselves on fire (hey, it's been insanely dry lately, and fireworks are just plain dangerous, so of course it makes perfect sense for the state to legalize them this year...), so once I determined that the Urgent Care was open, that is where I went. I got there around 8:00 pm and was just leaving at 9:00 pm when they were closing. I will skip over the details of how I nearly passed out when I got the shot of lidocaine ... and just let you know that I was looking very festive for the 4th of July when I left (with two lovely blue stitches on my previously reddish thumb which was then wrapped in a yard or so of white gauze). Good thing I went when I did, because it turned out that they were closed the next day.

My sense of humor seemed to be intact during this ordeal. I remember apologizing about turning green and breaking out in a sweat, saying that I "always think I can do this." The nurse later asked me how much of the melon I had gotten cut, and I told her it was the first slice, and after I finally tasted it later in the night, it had turned out not to even have been worth cutting. Ha! I also remember telling her that I was glad that it had happened to me and not one of the kids. While walking out the door, I told the receptionist to have a nice holiday and thankfully didn't jinx us by informing her that I had gotten our holiday crisis out of the way early, so we were good, right? She agreed that we should be in the clear. (In an unrelated note, this was the last time I have had a break from the kids. I really know how to celebrate "me time," huh?)

After I got home, I thought it was a good thing that I had made and hung these paper stars before cutting myself.

The next day, I was determined to make these Lady Liberty crowns (from the June/July 2012 issue of FamilyFun Magazine), and fortunately, I was still able to do some crafting even with my thumb being useless. They turned out pretty well, too.

I was feeling ambitious after that, so I made these red, white, and blue strawberries using my Dove Chocolate Discoveries Chef Series white chocolate (with some help from the tempering unit). They looked good and more importantly they were very yummy.

Then, I made these red raspberry, strawberry, and blueberry parfaits for dinner. This was another idea from FamilyFun, but I couldn't find the starfruit for garnish, and ours aren't in fancy glasses. And mine look much messier. There is definitely a technique to this, but the article didn't tell what it was. The best we came up with was putting the Cool Whip into a baggie, snipping off the end, and piping in in. (I would have used my DCD pastry bag but then I would have had to wash it by hand and I wasn't really up for that with my injury, which I was trying to keep as dry as possible.)

At the fireworks, Mia gave us a running account of the names of the fireworks. So funny! Here are some of my transcribed notes. She mentions the "Cheer Colors," and then tells me that she already told me "all the kinds of fireworks," but after I asked her to tell me again (so I could try to get it recorded) she says that one is called a "Dribble Blop." She goes on to describe something "kind of like angels or fairies or something. It's just gold. It's beautiful!" The next part I caught was, "Wow! That was bright. That is called 'Bright Blossom.'" When I asked her to tell me about another type of firework she replied, "Well, the 'Puffball' ones are round and big." A bit later she says, "That was called a 'Gold Hanger'. I've never seen 'Gold Hangers' before." She concludes by saying, "That was a 'Cherry Tree.' I'm getting tired of telling you fireworks."

{How cute are we?}

{I had to include this one just for the look on her face.}

After looking at my thumb on Friday when I got to switch from gauze to a plain band-aid, I noted that it was red, white, and blue: white stripe where the band-aid had been, red "boo-boo," and blue stitches. So festive. And it was funny to see me at the beach, I am sure, with my latex glove secured with a rubber band which cut off circulation somewhat but did the trick for keeping the are dry. Fortunately, it healed well. I kept it amazingly dry despite a few showers, and one bath in cool vinegar water. I got sunburn in a few spots like my shoulder and upper thigh, and hilariously, parts of my tummy where I apparently did a lousy job of applying sunscreen. I was the only one in the family who had this problem so I will just go ahead and blame my injury and not the fact that it was the first time wearing a bikini in approximately forever. By the way, if you get a sunburn, a 15 minute soak in a lukewarm bath with 2 cups of apple cider vinegar really does help. I got that tip straight from Green Grandma's Vinegar Fridays. I think I took the glove off for this photo, but you can sort of see how I am holding it upward to prevent any possible wetness from Lake Michigan. So, it looks like I am giving a thumbs up for the fun we had with Daddy home for 5 whole days.

{Seeing these two together was my favorite thing about the beach.}

{Logan loved when Daddy picked him up...}

{Except that he kept losing his shoes!}

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