After a week of tummy flu in the house (of which I had the mildest case of six of us, feeling only nauseated) and another night of fitful sleep, "fog" is about the best word to describe my brain yesterday, or really all this past week. Nonetheless, I have kept busy with house projects the past several days -- sorting papers, organizing bookcases, repairing books, cleaning out the pantry cupboards and consolidating containers of baking supplies.
In a family this size, food seems to fly off our shelves. A mom's got to do what a mom's got to do, so off to Super Wal-Mart I went after lunch yesterday. (Thad went to Sam's Club for me in the morning, but I, suffering acute cabin fever, was determined to still get out of the house and go do the main grocery shopping!)
I reckon I did well enough there, but I realized as I drove away that I had forgotten to buy soft cotton training pants for Melody. (I had tried the plastic coated ones, and even written her name on them with permanent marker because she LOVES to see her name in print, but she complained that they were too scratchy and tight. My teenagers still remember wearing that kind and told me to have mercy on her. She didn't mind the Gerber cotton ones with the thick padding, but we had only three pair left over from Ben's training days -- not enough to make it through even a single day of potty training. Indeed, she wet three pair yesterday afternoon, and scored one in the potty. But I digress! Back to my errands...)
I had frozen foods in the car, so I decided to stop off at the house, unload the groceries, and take a quick trip to the local kids' consignment store and Dollar General to see if either had any decent cloth training pants. Joanna came along. I sent her over to the Family Produce Store to pick up some fresh fruits and veggies and went on my quest for undies, to no avail. At least we found cantaloupes for 99 cents (they were $2.50 at Wal-Mart) and cherries for $2.29 a pound ($3.99 at Wal-Mart), as well as some limes, sweet Italian peppers, orange peppers, and more. I love this place, which is owned by a Syrian family.
We decided to swing on over to nearby Target, where we found some pretty pink flowery princessy Gerber undies, and I bought a diet Pepsi to keep myself awake. A few blocks away from home, Joanna spotted a blue wicker rocking chair at someone's curb on East Boulevard. We've gotten some of our best furniture this way (including my very favorite recliner chair that I'm sitting in now), so she asked me to pull over. Then she wanted me to back up so she could get a better look. I heard a crunch. I pulled forward. I saw someone's hub cap behind us and I hoped we hadn't punctured a tire backing over it. The rocker that Joanna had seen turned out to be broken, so we drove home.
We found Lydia in the kitchen starting to prepare a gourmet meal of chicken parmigiana. I took some of the younger kids for a walk to keep them out of the way. Melody hearing a dog, chirped out, "Dogs barf!" No, dogs bark, KIDS barf, I thought, recalling how many of my own sick kids I'd had to clean after up this week.
While Lydia was whipping up her gourmet meal, Andrew decided to use the limes to make limeade to serve with dinner. After using our electric juicer and adding the sugar and water, he took a taste test. Uh oh... Tasted a little salty! Um, I guess that means that when I was cleaning out the pantry cupboard a few days ago, I mistook an unlabeled plastic container of salt -- and added it to the five pound canister of sugar! Oops! Fortunately I was able to scoop off the top few saltiest inches and dump them down the sink. There was still a little salty flavor in the next layer, so I measured out two more cups of it to make an apple sauce cake. We even chopped up some fresh cherries to add a little extra zest to an old recipe. It turned out really well, although the teenagers said I added too much flour which made it crumbly to serve. In my defense, I will say it is because the sugar was still a little too salty and I was trying to counteract it.
All in all, dinner was delicious. The chicken parmigiana was particularly yummy, though I must confess I made Lydia leave the spaghetti sauce off mine. (I've told you before what a picky eater I am. I just don't like the combination of chicken and tomatoes for some odd reason.) Lydia had also concocted a new dish of pasta, Greek vinaigrette salad dressing, and cream cheese. Scrumptious! And my apple/cherry cake was "moresome" (as my old college roommate would say). Don't ask me for the recipe -- I wasn't measuring most of the ingredients! But you do know there was sugar and salt in it, don't you?
After dinner Thad pulled me aside with a little question: "Did you hit a curb today? We're missing a hubcap!"
"Oh, um, uh... You see, it's on East Boulevard!"
You may think of me as a reasonably intelligent human being (at least I hope you do!), and most of the time I can pass for one. But there are these times when Mommy Brain strikes again. Did I even stop to think that the hubcap lying on a street I saw after I heard a crunch might be mine? And what's a little salt in the sugar?
I did it again this morning... Ben was up barfing in the middle of the night and came into our room to say it was all over his bed. (I vaguely remember hearing him and then Thad jumping out of bed, but I managed to roll over and go back to sleep while Thad cleaned it up. He's a champ! Naomi also got sick in the wee hours, but took care of herself. She's a champ, too!) Anyway, this morning, Ben needed a little something mild for breakfast and asked for buttered toast, which I made for him. Several minutes later he came in and asked, "Where's my toast?" Oops! I had absentmindedly served it to Carb Queen Melody, who, accustomed as she is to eating about three breakfasts a day anyway, certainly did not complain. But at least I didn't put his toast in the sugar canister or leave it on East Boulevard!
(P.S. Update on June 5: The tummy flu actually went on for another week and I got a bad case of it. Thad had to buy a new hub cap, because the one I left on East Boulevard was too damaged. On the bright side, Melody has done really well with her potty training! Yeah!)