Friday, April 17, 2009

Another Friday

Some will say it's just another Friday or perhaps, those working and heading into a big weekend will comment, "TGIF." Thank goodness it's Friday. True enough perhaps whether you're still part of the working community or retired or whatever.

Thank goodness it's Friday in Blogland means finding the good things in life, being optimistic whenever, wherever possible, according the my friend, Shelly Tucker who started the "Only The Good Friday" blog event. Today, those who subscribe to this are to blog about things that make them or help them to keep a positive attitude.

I've had a lot of things going on in my life of late -and yet, I haven't really got that many things accomplished. Why is that? Mainly because for a little over a week now it's been a daily struggle to stay awake. Granted, Kurtis and his nighttime issues are responsible for one, maybe two of the days when I was extra tired but overall, of late, he's been doing much better with his sleep patterns. And even though he had me up for several hours Wednesday night into Thursday morning, the fact he was being extremely pleasant, wanting to converse (although I have to confess there's a whole heck of a lot of his vocabulary that none of us has figured out as yet) and generally being a little sweetheart. All too often, his wakeups in the middle of the night have been difficult to deal with as he would cry and scream much of the time till he'd finally fall back to sleep, exhausted. So, considering how considerate he was the other night on my eardrums, I'm counting this in the "Good" column.

This past Monday was a big event here for us and especially for Kurtis as it was his third birthday. I didn't get the pictures I took of him, with his cake and all downloaded till Thursday and I really don't have a clue what my holdup was on doing that either. Just the normal procrastination or forgetfulness I guess. But I have them now and ready to share a couple with you too!

Here's a little glimpse of the birthday cake I made him. I should have taken a picture of it before we cut into it but well, you all know by now I am more than a bit forgetful at times. It was a homemade "Scratch" cake and the name of the recipe is Wellesley Chocolate Cake. I don't know the significance in the name there but I will say this much, it's a very good chocolate cake recipe -easy, no sour cream or buttermilk or other ingredients one may not have on hand. I've never had a problem with this recipe at all. And the icing -beaten icing with two egg whites and one and a fourth cups of white corn syrup, heated to boiling and then poured slowly into the beaten egg whites and then whipped for about 7-8 minutes. Yummy and very, very gooey too!

He really was comical as he started out trying to use his fork to eat the cake and just couldn't manage to spear the cake and get it in his mouth. So he decided then to use the tried and true method -hand to cake and then to mouth, which worked great except for the crumbs and icing smeared all around his face as a result. But seeing the enjoyment on his face -all the money in the world wouldn't be enough payment for that pleasure!

It's been a boring week though with respect to mealtime as we had ham for dinner Sunday with way too much of it leftover then and how many different ways can you think of to fix leftover ham anyway? Adding to that problem is the fact that neither Kurtis nor Maya will eat much in the way of meats -mainly chicken fingers or various things with hamburger and pasta, macaroni and cheese, that kind of stuff so although Mandy, Bill and I did have some nice chef salad's using the ham one night this week, another night, Mandy heated up the ham, leftover potatoes and gravy but that still left a whole lot of ham that would go to waste if I didn't come up with a recipe for something else to use up some more of the ham.

Yesterday, I decided to make ham and bean soup -with a little potato tossed in, along with some leftover plain cooked noodles and a surprise -a little dabble of shredded cabbage meant mainly to be used for coleslaw. Because the ham I had cooked for dinner Sunday was boneless, it had very little broth to it so I also used some ham base to make the broth. Surprisingly enough, the soup turned out very good -Mandy loved it, I enjoyed it a lot too and even Kurtis and Maya both ate some of it -which was a bit of a huge surprise to me since they normally wouldn't touch something with that mixture of ingredients in it with a ten foot pole. (I never told anyone about having added the little bit of shredded cabbage, so mum's the word on that part!) But the fact that both of them actually tried something this different and even ate a little of it beyond one tiny taste, I really am counting that as a very good thing!

I think one of the reasons I may be so sleepy -really, really tired -the past week now is because of the medication I am taking. I decided last week that I definitely have to do something to try to stop smoking so I started taking the Chantix again. (I used it for about 2-3 weeks last year but had to discontinue it then because I got sick -totally unrelated illness -and was on two really powerful drugs for the other issue and was afraid of mixing the Chantix with them at that time.

I've given a lot of thought to giving up the cigarettes. I know, for my health alone, I should quit -actually should never have started in the first place but should certainly have never restarted after I quit for about 3-4 months a little over ten years ago. But all that is irrelevant, water under the bridge. Now that the government has increased the cost yet again, I have given even more thought to the idea of stopping. For someone like myself, who has smoked for 46 years now, quitting is no easy proposition, for sure. Cigarettes have become my closest friend in times of need. To any of you who have never tried smoking, never become close to being addicted, you won't understand that statement. Only those who have ever been addicted to nicotine and probably any other substance, would most likely be able to relate to that type of an attachment, but truly, that is how it feels. They've been my comfort zone. In times when I was in physical pain -especially when I broke my wrist and much later, when I had two herniated discs, a cigarette would soothe, take my mind off the pain almost as much as the pain killers I was taking did. They've also been a reliever/comforter with respect to other pain -of the emotional sort -during times of stress with my ex-husband, later with my kids, etc. And someone who has provided a form of comfort -care, almost -at times like that, well, it only adds to the difficulty.

I haven't quit completely -not as yet. I'm working my way up to that status. But I have cut my intake almost completely in half and that, for me, I take as a very good thing!

But in addition to the Chantix, because my nerves are also a bit frazzled due to my son's issues and that his preliminary hearing will be next Wednesday, I'm also taking Xanax to try to keep me on a slightly level plane there too. It does help -a lot -but I think the two combined are what's making me so darned sleepy all the time.

But then again -isn't that a good thing too? After all, if I'm sleeping, I can't be smoking, can I? Maybe the intent is to have the individual sleep away the early days of smoking cessation to help get over the terrible cravings involved there. Whatever the reason, I'll take it and try to enjoy all the extra nap time I'm getting in the process.

There is another slight drawback to all the extra sleeping thing though and that's my embroidery projects are taking a hit cause I can't stay awake long enough to make much progress on them. But, considering I'm not under a lot of pressure to get anything of those items finished quickly - Christmas is a good ways off ya know -I don't think it will suffer all that much, do you?

And finally, what would Easter have been if little girls didn't get a pretty new dress for the occasion -especially a pretty little girl like my Miss Maya? So, here's Maya, showing off her new Easter dress and really looking very much like a little princess in it too!
Okay -a slightly surprised little Easter Princess, perhaps?
And this was Kurt's reaction upon seeing his Easter basket with some candies in it but mostly little toys and some new tee shirts -stuff like that instead of just candy. Although he and Maya still managed to ingest more than enough candy and chocolate on Sunday that it threw both of them into being extra stimulated and massive meltdowns then ensued from each of them! The good there is the reminder of "everything in moderation!"

And that's pretty much what's been happening here this week. Enough that I think I have plenty of things listed here and lots and lots of others that can be counted as Only The Good, don't you?

Now, if you feel like joining in the "Only The Good Friday" event, stop by Shelly's place and sign up for it. It's a great way to turn things around in your mind to finding good in everything!

Hope you all had a great week and an even better one ahead.

Just remember one thing - "It's all good!"


Hammer said...

Good luck with the smoking cessation.

I knew a guy who quit a 40 year habit. He used those dum dum suckers for the mouth thing and the patch for the nicotine cravings.

I wish you the best. You will be happy you quit.

Maggie May said...

Didn't know you smoked but glad to hear you are well on the way to giving up.
All my family gave up smoking years ago. I think everyone benefited by it and being a non smoker I guess I benefited from the smoke free environment too.
Good luck with it. Keep on track.

Smalltown RN said...

So many things to comment on here. Where to begin.....being tired...when you first mentioned it I was worried that maybe you were anemic...but after reading about what you are taking regarding your medications...that all makes sense...and stress can be very draining..and with all your worry for your son...I am sure that is sleep when you can.

Smoking....I use to smoke....I quit 8 years ago when my youngest daughter was diagnosed with cancer...I just didn't see it as being right...her fighting cancer and me smoking...something wrong with that picture..for me anyhow...I quit...but I think I was ready to quit anyhow...the smoking was starting to feel like a ball and chain....I didn't smoke in the work I spent half my coffee breaks trying to make my way to the desiganted smoking was becoming like I said a ball and chain. I am glad that I did...I used the patch for 10 days but I found even the light dose I had to cut in half as it gave me a headache....oh but I loved my smokes...all the cool people wanted the scoop on anything...go to where the smokers are...but I am glad to hear that you are trying to quit...good for you.... he left handed or right handed? He started feeding himself with the fork with the right hand...but then...he used his left hand to feed the rest of the cake to himself...interesting don't you think.....thanks for the was so nice to hear your know...for some reason I thought you would have had a stronger accent...dont' ask me why....I just don't have much of an accent at all.

As for Mya's Easter outfit...I love know...I grew up having to wear the Easter bonnets and gloves ...and when my girls were little I had them in bonnets and gloves and lacey socks....I have some great photos of those days.
There are a lot of positive things in your post..and that is what it is all about....thank you for sharing my friend....

And keep up the great work with the stitch work....

Big hugs being sent your way....

terri said...

Happy Birthday to Kurtis! I'm going to write that frosting recipe down. Growing up we had a neighbor that would make that frosting and I've never had the recipe but I remember it being so good!

Mary said...


Congratulations on cutting your smoking in half. That's excellent. I do know that withdrawl can make you tired because of the stress. I have worked with people who were going through withdrawl and it seems they do sleep because of the stress on the body. So that along with the meds could be the reason you're sleeping so much.

Kurtis' cake looks delicious and made from scratch is extra good because it's made with love.

Meltdowns were a common occurence with Brandon on ALL holidays when he was younger. Your grands will get better as they age, I hope.

Take care, my friend. I hope your weather is as beautiful as ours has been the last two days and tomorrow is to be the same, then a cool down. 65 degrees suits me just fine.


Mrs4444 said...

You are a blessing to Kurtis and all of your family. Quitting smoking will ensure that you continue that blessing for many more years to come. I'll say a little prayer for you tonight :) P.S. The Relay for LIfe is tomorrow--Thanks again for helping me out!!

Travis said...

Happy Birthday to the little guy!

Anonymous said...

I'm a reformed smoker, probably the worst kind! I only smoked a few a day on a social level so I don't really understand how it difficult it must be for you, but good luck with it.

CJ xx

... Paige said...

I stopped smoking 6 years ago. It was cold turkey and something I decided out of the blue this one day.
I will tell you what it was like for me...
During the first 30 days I had one day of bitchiness. I had to redirect my mind at those times when I would normally be smoking. After a couple of months I started dreaming about it, which was weird.
I don't miss it at all I don't have to schedule my activities around cigs.

You can do this

fermicat said...

Quitting isn't easy but you are doing the right thing for yourself and your family. Hang in there!

Skittles said...

I didn't sleep more than 3 hours overnight and have my first cup of coffee sitting next to me, so I may not be coherent.

I knew some of this already so I'm glad to hear Kurtis is sleeping better.

Your body should be getting used to the med now. It usually takes me three-four days to get used to side effects. That's me though and I'm used to starting and stopping meds. That's an incoherent thought. UGH!

Happy late birthday to Kurtis!!!!

The cake looks yummy and I was thinking I should make a cake from scratch. Your frosting has too many steps for lazy old me. LOL! Um.. so next time you make one send me a piece please.

Ohhh.. I love making homemade soup and bean is a favorite. Until we go to bed and the fan is on Mike's side of the bed.

I would dice some up for scrambled eggs. Ham salad sandwiches. Ham in mac & cheese. Of course there's freezing some for later. :)

Part of the reason I couldn't sleep is because my smoker's cough keeps me a awake. I understand how attached we can become and not just on the nicotine. Shoot, I've smoked when I had pneumonia.

Maya makes a picture perfect princess. :)

Dianne said...

I can't remember the last time I had a nice night's sleep Jeni so I can relate - I'm sleepy all the time but somehow never all the way

I also relate to the smoking, I still do smoke and have no plans to quit until the pain from all the other stuff is dealt with - I am honest enough to admit it.

On to happier things - I bore myself with myself ;)

Happy Birthday Kurtis!! I'm glad you too a pic of the cake cut because the inside is as lucious as the outside - good baking!!

Suldog said...

What a fantastic-looking cake! I love chocolate cake. I want some NOW!!!