Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Daily Dose...

A new update....let me know if you want/need access.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Quick Update

I ran into Gina today & she was wondering how my MIL is doing - so I thought I should update (Hi Gina! Boy that show at the library was WAY TOO LONG for my kiddos - sheesh!). Anyhooo....

Carolyn is making tremendous progress! She's out of the ICU & is actually moving 'down' a level of care tomorrow to another room. Yay! She is off the ventilator, off the feeding tube, & off something else, which I can't remember.

Yesterday I took the kids & she was very alert, responsive, smiled a lot & even said a few words. They're hard to understand because she still has the trach in, but some of them I could make out. Both kids sat on the bed with her (one at a time) & she had the best reactions/responses that the nurse said she's seen yet! I think I need to take them more often (it's sad but true, but it is a PITA taking both kids to the hospital by myself. Luckily Grandpa Roger was there to help out).

She does OT & PT at least once a day & they're really talking about getting her ready to move to the rehab facility. It's probably a couple of weeks off but those are such encouraging words! 4 weeks ago we really didn't know if she would recover at all...and so far she has done amazingly well!

We still *don't know* what the outcome will be - we know that the recovery road is a long & tough one & that we all have to have patience & lots of love. I'm so happy to know that she's still with us - in more ways than one & am so looking forward to her recovery!

She has a Caring Bridge site if anyone wants it - I try to post updates there when I have them. It always warms the heart when we see people are checking in & leaving messages. I'm sure Carolyn will enjoy getting those messages someday too!

Thanks for all your well wishes & prayers, I do believe they work!

Monday, July 25, 2011

In the Pursuit of Trivia


A couple weeks ago (yes, I'm terribly far behind in updates) a group of my good high school friends got together to play Trivial Pursuit. Ah yes, the nerdiness of my life continues as this is probably the most fun I could ever have at a bar.

I missed the "family" portion of the day, due to having to attend a funeral, BUT, was able to make it for the adult festivities.

Peder, Sarah, Laurie, Holly, Meigan & Jackie were all there (a couple of spouses/SO's too) to enjoy the classic 1984 (right?) version of the game. Many questions/answers had to be read/given with that caveat - "...in 1984" but it was a blast.

The only one we were missing was Kate. But I know it can be a long trek to Minneapolis - especially when you're sick! We missed you Kate!!


Laurie, her husband Pete & I were on the same team, which at first the others were opposed to. Laurie & I used to play TP every day after school while consuming massive amounts of diet coke & oreos. Ah high school! We didn't win, but we did pull a few random answers out of our...well, you know & it was so fun. Sadly, Laurie's daughter had gotten into the cards a few years earlier so they were no longer in numerical order (yes, Laurie & I also put all the cards into numerical order, something that still appeals to the Virgo in me).

I believe Peder, Sarah & Meigan won - well, we didn't actually *finish* the game, but we were close.

I wish that I lived closer because I would love to organize a monthly TP game. What a wonderful way to spend time with friends. By the end of the night, it was so dim in there (that's what I'm blaming it on, NOT age), it was hard for us to tell the colors - particularly orange & pink. Luckily for the flashlights on smart phones we were able to make it through!

Oh and if you don't know TOPPER was the big winner for the evening. I believe it was some TV show in the 50's involving some sort of whiskey bearing St. Bernard. Yeah, none of us had heard of it either but it kept making appearances in our game!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Homemade: Dishwasher Detergent


While continuing my kick of homemade, less chemical, more natural, cheaper cleaning alternatives, I came across a recipe for dishwasher detergent on Pinterest. While I didn't love that this recipe used a citric drink mix, I searched and found another that used straight up citric acid instead. The recipe (& an awesome DIY natural site) is here.

The Recipe:

1 C. Borax
1 C. Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (Sodium Carbonate)
1/2 C. Citric Acid
1/2 C. Kosher salt

You can use white vinegar as the rinse agent.

So far so good! We've had pretty good luck with this concoction. The glasses aren't as clear as I'd like them to be, so I think next time I'll add a little more citric acid. I also haven't used the vinegar yet as I've never used a rinsing agent, but I think I will from now on.

We mixed up the batch - enough to fill a 1 gallon ice cream tub. I think we'll have enough for a LOOOONG time. You only need to use 1 Tbsp per load.

The washing soda, borax (both great for homemade laundry soap) can be found in the laundry aisle at a grocery store (Cub had them), the kosher salt in the baking aisle & the citric acid was found at a local liquor store that sells brewing supplies. The cost for the citric was $4.50/lb. You can also buy it online at places like Amazon.

All in all, I guess this costs about $.05 a load! Sold!

Anyone else concocting their own homemade recipes?

Monday, July 18, 2011

This Week's Meal Plan!

Yay - trying to get back in the groove. Have GOT to be healthier & more organized...

Here goes:

What's Carrie Cooking



Fiesta Chicken
Hummus & Veggies
Honey-Fried Walleye
Chicken with Sweet Potatoes & Cauliflower

So Many Updates, So Little Time!

I have lots of fun things to blog about - an awesome Trivial Pursuit night with old friends, a week in Austin with my parents including Teddy Bear picnics, puppet shows, HEAT, kiddie pools, good food, puzzles & wine; my class reunion, coming home again...but right now a quick update about Carolyn.

We stopped to see her at the hospital last night. It has been 3 weeks ago today (!) that she had her hemorrhage. She is doing AMAZING. The doctor yesterday said that her progress is "tremendous." He was very upbeat about her recovery. She is now out of ICU & is off the ventilator. She has her eyes open & can make eye contact, hold hands, 'react' in general. She's still not speaking as the trach makes it virtually impossible for her to do so but she has mouthed words. These are amazing signs!! She is doing occupational & physical therapy already & will likely soon move into the rehab facility at Miller-Dwan.

We still don't know the extent of the damage that was done, but compared to what we were hearing a week ago, the prognosis is about a million times better.

Thank you everyone for your good wishes & prayers, I really do believe it all helps!