Saturday, August 28, 2010

A Heartsent Afternoon

Today was my agency's annual party for all families who have used their services. In the past, it was called An Asian Afternoon, but now that my agency has so many domestic, African and European adoptions, it's now A Heartsent Afternoon.

We each bring a food dish from our adoptive countries and then there is a show afterward put on by one of the local Chinese dance troups.

Since I've been feeling bad this week, I wasn't going to go even though I really wanted to, but then I saw Catherine's referral day videos and just had to drag myself out and have some Apple Time. I'm very glad I went. I stopped at an Asian market on the way and bought a few food items since I wasn't able to cook, and it was sufficient.

There were free teddy bears for the kids so Apple now has a super soft golden teddy bear.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Revenge of the Dead Tooth

What do you get when you have the worse migraines ever for five straight days, a tooth ache that feels like three more teeth need root canals, and ear ache that throbs, and a sore stiff neck?

A flash infection along the nerves that started at the site of the root canal!

I had no idea that infections can run along nerves. I kept waiting for my face to swell and get tender or my gums to puff up or ulcerate or something, but no, the infection runs along the nerves throughout your head, spreading and travelling until you thing you'll pull a Tom Hanks on Castaway and yank out the offending teeth with your own ice skates or pliers. When those thoughts ran through my head and sounded reasonable this morning, I knew I needed to call the endodontist. They kindly gave me a prescription for antibiotics, offered me one for a narcotic pain killer starting with Vic, which I declined and I regret a little (I've never tried it and don't know if it will knock me out or loopy or what) and soon I will feel much better. Apparently, I'm in the luckly 20% this happens to.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Dead Tooth

I had a root canal yesterday. I haven't had a cavity since I was a kid (and only 2), but my wisdom teeth grew sideways on the bottom and one of them broke into the enamel of the molar next to it and the poor tooth got a cavity below the gumline. I was supposed to have the root canal done the month I was buying my house, but it stopped hurting, which I'm sure was God's blessing, so I didn't get it done. Suddenly, a week ago, it started throbbing in the middle of the night so I had to get it done. I was again blessed with the fact that no further decay had occurred during this time period of over a year.

The endodontist I was referred to also turned out to be extremely good and gentle. It was as pleasant an experience as it could possibly be. It seemed very high tech and totally cool (please forgive the California Valley Girl vernacular) and so interesting that I wished I could have watched in a mirror. I'm going to try and find an online video of a root canal to watch.

Psychologically, it was bizarre for me to have my tooth killed. I was reassured, however, once I saw how deeply the root was buried in my jaw bone. The first picture is the before x-ray. The tiny dots on the left of the tooth show where the gumline is. The second x-ray is after the procedure. The space in the middle of the tooth is cotton and the temporary filling is the solid white part. The cotton is for the dentist to use as a guide to stop drilling out the temp. filling so he doesn't disturb the permanent fillings in the root. My dentist thinks he can fill the tooth rather than crown it. I certainly hope so since the difference in price is about $800. I think the root of the tooth now looks like it's got Barbie legs in it.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Sunday, August 15, 2010

40 Months Down

However in the world did 40 months pass so quickly? Families expecting referrals this week have waited 51 months. Do I have only 11 months left or should I add an extra month for each month and give myself 22 more months? That's less than two years, coming to around June 2012.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Exciting Referrals

Each month now as referrals come out, there is more and more meaning in them for me as I watch families, whose blogs I've been following for over three years and some I've even met, find out who their child is. Next up is Buttercup, whose blog link you can find in the right side menu. One of these days, I'll be holding my breath in anticipation of "The Call," but for now, I'm very, very excited for all of my friends who are there right now.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Apple's First Mommy-Made Diaper

Step 1: Clean off sewing machine table.

Step 2: Cut fabric and begin assembly.

Step 3: Complete assembly and start to get excited.

Ahh, the finished product!

Okay, so it really took more steps that that. This diaper is a knock-off of a very expensive diapering system that is very popular right now. One of my daycare babies uses these and I've grown to like them a lot so I drafted a pattern from one and made the knock-off. I deliberately made an exact copy for this first diaper but for the rest I plan to simplify the inside pocket area. I will be using this diaper system along with my own PooPockets, which are a bit more eco-friendly.

More details on the knock-off diaper:
The diaper consists of two parts, the part that you see and a removable absorbent inner pad. The part of the diaper that you see has the outer (the nice lavender with the snaps) which is made of a thin waterproof fabric and is lined with an inner microfleece that will wick the wetness away from the baby to the inner absorbent pad that is inserted between these two layers. The whole diaper is used once, washed, then reused, but when laundered, you remove the inner pad. This makes it cleaner to wash and faster to dry. The outer is best hung to dry so the waterproof layer doesn't break down in the dryer. You can also add as many absorbent pad layers as needed, less for regular use and more during naps and at night. The snaps are used to change the size of the diaper. It is adjustable to three different lengths without getting too bulky.

PooPockets diaper are all cotton and used with a waterproof cover made of the same fabric as the above diaper. The only difference is that the cover can be used several times (unless soiled) before laundering since the diaper is changed each time. This means you only need a few covers, which are made with the high-tech polymer fabric, and then several cotton diapers, which are greener to produce and are biodegradable when no longer in use.

I've made hundreds of diapers over the years, for design purposes, sale, for fun, even for my hypothetical future child. But this particular diaper is the first I've made for Apple in particular.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Making Empanadas

I had empanadas for the first time last week when my employee brought them to work. Her mom made them (she's Filippina) but my assistant didn't have the recipe or really know how to make them and her mom wouldn't give her the "secret recipe." We decided to find a recipe online and make them ourselves and our first attempt turned out very, very well. We gave one to her mother who said they were better than her own! Now, I don't know the woman well enough to know if she's exaggerating or not, but they were truly delicious!

The recipe I used was not the one I found online, but what I did, exactly, to modify that one according to what I had in the way of ingredients on hand. You can put any filling inside meat, veggies, bean paste, fruit, etc. It's essentially a tiny turnover.

Chicken Pot Pie Empanadas a La K
2 1/2 c unbleached flour
3 tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c unsalted butter (1 stick)
1/2 c salted butter (1 stick)
3-4 tbs ice water

Egg Glaze:
1 egg
1 tbs water

1 lb. cooked chopped chicken seasoned to taste
1 c cooked peas
1 c grated cooked carrots
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
about 2 tbs water the chicken made when I cooked it

I used a Bosch mixer to mix the crust. Add all dry ingredients and mix. Chop the butter into 2 tbs. segments, add to dry ingredients and mix until it looks like coarse crumbs. Drizzle in iced water slowly, while mixing until it forms into a soft dough. It may not completely round up into a ball so feel it and see if it's pliable like play dough, if so, it's ready. Form it into a ball, cover with waxed paper and chill for 30 minutes.

Combine all filling ingredients.

Heat oven to 400*F.

Roll dough out with a rolling pin (I do it between two sheets of waxed paper) to less that 1/8" thick and cut out 3-4" circles. Spoon 1-2 tsp of filling into the center of each. Fold in half, sealing the edges. Using a fork, press the edges about 1/4" in or crimp and fold with your fingers to make a rippled edge. Place on waxed paper covered cookie sheet.

Combine the egg with water and lightly beat. Brush on the top surface.

Bake 20 minutes or until golder brown.

This crust is great for pies, too!