Thursday, August 23, 2012

Do Mommies Get Sick Days??

Ahhh...the summer cold. My kids got it recently, one after another. Who am I kidding? It happens all the time, actually! It only takes one visit to the church nursery, a play date with a kid who has the sniffles, or a harmless encounter on the playground and...BAM!!! My kids are sick...again. I've perfected the routine for when they are sick, though: Vick's Vapor Rub on the feet, (strangely more effective than the chest and for those tots under four, who can't have cough medicine yet, it's salvation in a pot!) crackers and juice, and a trash can stashed near the sofa for emergencies.
Normally, it's not so bad, a tummy bug or fever lasting a couple days, but the danger comes when I get it too. What's a mommy to do when the going gets tough? Lay in bed, nurse the illness while reading magazines, catching up on TV and sipping Diet 7-Up?? Hardly. Here's what we do...pop some Dayquil and move on, sisters! I don't know about you, but my hubby works hard for his vacation time and I am NOT about to have him stay home just to watch him hang around the house (and probably just annoy me. Let's be real). And there's karate, cooking class and library story times to get to! So no. There's no stopping the busy train of life.
But there are ways to make it a little easier. If you can, rest on the couch when possible and sleep while your little ones nap. They don't nap? They do today. They can play quietly in their rooms, read, or watch a TV show if that's what it takes to get a little shut-eye. Take that Dayquil every. four. hours. And then NyQuil too. Or, get to know my new BFF, TheraFlu. It's magical. Take that stuff early when the kids have gone to bed and sleep, sleep, sleep. It really is the best medicine! Have your hubby get up with the kids in the middle of the night, early in the morning...whenever. I'm sure you've been doing it for years. It's his turn. Do what you gotta do and then let the rest go. Your kid HAS to go to soccer practice or piano lessons? Fine. Take little Jr. but let the laundry go and order dinner in. If it takes getting sick to get a much-needed and well-deserved break, so be it! Stay strong, ladies. We have to take care of ourselves because we are ALWAYS last on the list of priorities, even when we are under the weather.
I remember days of sipping soup, having my hubby run out for medicine and crackers, and skipping out on work pre-kids, but those days are long gone. There's just no more skipping out. Sure, you could call your mom, a friend or a babysitter and have them look after your children until you are better but I imagine, for the majority of us, we wouldn't ask for help, probably couldn't justify paying for the help and wouldn't impose on a friend for our own sake. So take care of yourselves now and hopefully it will pay off later. Take your vitamins, eat your apple a day and stay hydrated. Make time to exercise and get plenty of rest. It will reap the greater return of a better immune system, less catching of colds, and a shorter sickness time altogether. Good luck out there! Keep this soup in the freezer for a rainy day!

Homemade Chicken Noodle Soup:
  • 2 tablespoons (2 turns around the pan) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 parsnip, peeled and chopped (omitted these...who buys parsnips?)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 cups good quality chicken stock
  • 1 pound (the average weight of 1 package) chicken breast tenders, diced
  • 1/2 pound wide egg noodles
  • A handful fresh parsley, chopped
  • A handful fresh dill, chopped

  • Directions

    Place a large pot over moderate heat and add extra-virgin olive oil. Work close to the stove and add vegetables to the pot as you chop, in the order they are listed.
    Add bay leaves and season vegetables with salt and pepper, to taste. Add stock to the pot and raise flame to bring liquid to a boil. Add diced chicken tenderloins (I cooked mine. Placing them in raw grosses me out), return soup to a boil, and reduce heat back to moderate. Cook chicken 2 minutes and add noodles. Cook soup an additional 6 minutes or until noodles are tender and remove soup from the heat.
    Stir in parsley and dill, remove bay leaves and serve. This is a thick soup. Add up to 2 cups of water if you like chicken soup with lots of broth.

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