Tag Archives: sick

How to make chicken noodle soup from scratch when sick with the third cold in a row during the winter of DOOM

Step one: make bone broth
(Two days to two+ months prior)
Make fried chicken/bbq chicken/chicken roast. Save bones in fridge — make mental note not to feed broth to gluten-free friends if using fried chicken. Invent plausible explanation for denial of broth to gluten-free friends. Resolve not serve broth to outsiders. Pray to remember this resolve.
Save onion, celery, other veg ends in fridge or freezer, over course of week — make mental note not to let friends look in freezer and/or invent plausible cover story for storage of, essentially, trash.
Wake up feeling not quite as busy as usual. Toss bones and veggie scraps into pot, add extra celery; cover with water. Look into pot. Make mental note to not look into pot next time.
Take older child to school. Come home, nurse baby, watch Battlestar Galactica. Wonder if the Chief could get any sexier. Remember stove never got turned on. Watch next episode with sleeping baby in lap. Turn on stove.
Add spices.
Look at garlic, look at baby in sling: toss garlic cloves in whole, with skin. Try not to think about it.
Add more spices.
Let boil.
Sit down.
Hear broth boiling over, curse, swear baby to secrecy on both counts.
Get up, turn stove down.
Add more spices.
(Shift laundry, empty dishwasher.)
Sit down. Decide no, the Chief could not get any sexier. Make mental note to look up Chief/Lee slash. Never let anyone know this thought.
Make lunch.
Look at broth — curse, remove grey celery, add more water.
Eat lunch.
Taste broth, gag. Add salt. Taste broth. Glare at broth.
Bake chicken for dinner.
Add extra bones after dinner.
Debate leaving broth on stove overnight. Remember house’s lack of fire extinguisher. Turn broth off, put in fridge before bed.
Sleep. Dream of Chief/Lee.
Put pot back on stove in morning.
Add water throughout day as needed.
Adjust spices.
Admire deep red color of broth, then remember onion skins. Shrug.
Get bored waiting, turn stove off.
Scour kitchen for jars; spend half hour matching jars and lids. End up with two jars without lids, ten lids without jars. Glare at cabinets.
Strain broth into jars, 3/4 full. Put in fridge.
(Optional: empty ice cube trays, put broth in trays, freeze. Transfer to plastic bag when frozen.)
Next day: loosen lids, transfer to freezer. Pray for sturdy glass and no breakages.
Following day: check jars, give thanks, tighten lids. Do not make joke about overscrewed jarheads. Remember dream. Do not smirk.

Step two: Decide to make soup
(Day before)
Watch in dismay as entire house comes down with another cold, two days after FINALLY starting to feel better from the last. Do not go grocery shopping, because COLD OF DOOM.
Look in fridge, cry.
Look in freezer, whimper.
Pull out frozen thigh meat, last two tiny jars of broth.
Take box of tissues and bottle of water to bed.

Step three: Make soup
Engage partner in game of chicken and/or woe-is-me contest over who feels worse.
Pull out pot from cabinet. Wash pot, grumbling.
Set pot on stove to heat/dry.
Chop chicken into bite-ish sized pieces.
Remember empty pot on stove, curse.
Add dollop coconut oil.
Realize water had not entirely evaporated; place lid on pot to avoid oil explosions.
Give thanks for high burning point of coconut oil.
Toss chicken in pot as chopped.
Tell older child he may not taste the raw chicken.
Curse keeping him cooped up at home instead of sending to school.
Resolve to pretend not to notice next time he is sick.
Make mental note to investigate chloroform purchase.
Give child kiss; tell him to wash hands before coming back to help.
Stir chicken — turn up heat.
Add spices.
Wash knife and cutting board; yell at tell child not to add any further spices.
Chop onion; add; stir.
Add more spices while child is not looking.
Pull last four, previously-rejected carrots and remainder of celery stalk from fridge. Scrub carrots carrots. Bend celery; shrug, rinse. Chop all.
Add carrots, stir.
Let child add more spices.
Add cup of water, scrape bottom of pot. Pretend “browning” the chicken was on purpose.
Add celery, stir.
Go to fridge to pull out broth. Attempt to pour broth in. Realize broth is still frozen. Curse.
Yell at Tell child yes, that IS a bad word.
Spend ten minutes pouring boiling broth from pot into jars and out again to melt broth.
Wait until remaining frozen chunks of broth melt in pot.
Bring to boil.
Squish last half of garlic bulb; put in jar, hand jar to child to shake.
Teach child meaning of word “vigorous”. Listen to him say “I’m being VIGOROUS” ten thousand times to background of garlic shaking. Make mental note to buy another pair of noise canceling headphones.
Finish peeling garlic, mince finely.
Look at garlic; think that’s a lot of garlic. Remind self to think of it as chemical warfare against cold germs. Contemplate chopping more garlic. Remember noise. Decide against.
Add noodles to boiling soup.
Forget to add peas.
Add garlic. Repress urge to cackle evilly at imminent cold virus death. Resolve to check temperature after dinner.
Boil until noodles are done.
Leave clean up for partner.
Brag about cooking skills on social media.
Collapse into bed.

Quick hit on paid parental leave

The kid just threw up. And this is why we need universal paid parental leave.

No really.

The kid just threw up, and his preschool has a 24-hours-without-vomiting rule. Which means he can’t go to his (long) day of preschool tomorrow. Which means I lose 6 of my weekly 10 work hours this week. Because I have to stay home with the kid.1


I, being self-employed, don’t get any paid leave, so there’s no scrimping needed there2, whereas we’re saving every minute of The Man’s paid time off we can for after the baby comes.3 So he can’t take tomorrow off (not even for a half day) as he used to do regularly when the Boychick was sick.

Just one tiny example from a relatively-privileged family, but still: my kid threw up, and this is why we need universal paid parental leave.

  1. No, I can’t work while he’s home, even if I plant him in front of the TV. Ariel Gore wrote about distractability in How to Become a Famous Writer Before You’re Dead: when we can be distracted or interrupted, even if we’re not, we cannot really focus. Maybe not true for everyone, but absolutely true for me. This is yet another reason I do most of my writing at night, at the cost of my sleep (and thus why I’ve been doing so little writing recently, because sleep is, at this stage of pregnancy, far less sacrificeable).
  2. And not having a salary or a direct dollar-per-hour payback for my work — and, really, not getting paid much/anything for my work at the moment at all — it’s a lot easier on the budget to sacrifice my hours than his. This is not normally something we pay attention to, but when we’re trying to buy a house, pay the midwife, and save for the babymoon? Yeah, it does matter.
  3. And it still won’t be enough. With him having a “really great” salaried position, he’ll be able to go 40 hours in the hole on PTO, which means he’ll probably be paid for about 2 weeks off. And if we can, we’ll take another 2 off unpaid. I know to be able to do so, even potentially, is a sign we’re fucking privileged. But it’s still criminal that a new parent gets so little time.

100th post, and a call to de-lurk

So, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this, but I have this slight streak of perfectionism, combined with a crazy voice mental illness that likes to pick up and run with any slight hesitations or doubts that I might have, thereby leaving me paralyzed and unable to do so much as “any” much less “good enough” because then it wouldn’t be “perfect”.

Plus, we seem to have a virus, possibly of the porcine variety.

So, I say fuck that shit. Perfection is the enemy of good enough, so I’m going to cough and hack and spit in its general direction until it’s soaking the sheets in bed, addled by fever enough that it can’t block me from just putting up a damn post already, even if said post sort of sucks.

When I started this blog, well, I didn’t start it. I had the fabulous idea that Someone Should write a blog about the experience of being a feminist raising a boy child (little knowing that, um, it ain’t exactly a new idea), and came up with a catchy title for it, and went and registered it on Blogger. And did nothing.

Did I mention the perfectionism -> paralysis thing?

It wasn’t until a kick-ass writer friend of mine started her own fab (if under-updated) blog that I mentioned my idea to her, and she triple-dog-dared (ordered, actually) me to start posting to it, at which time I, snowed in (in Portland!) and with nothing better to do, put up an introductory post that set the bar so damn low that even I, tied up by perfectionism’s tendrils of doubt and self-flagellation, could trip over it.

Then I remembered a post I’d written elsewhere and put that up*, because I thought it was worth saving, and then wrote a fair amount of filler crap, and a couple interesting (if somewhat straw-based) posts, and got caught by the bug. I was going to Blog, give it the good college try (is this the right place to mention I’ve tried college no less than four times and have yet to graduate?), publish posts daily every two out of three days every other day frequently(ish).

And here we are.

I’m still just starting. I still swear I’m going to prune down my label list, make my own WordPress theme, buy a domain, and move the blog somewhere prettier and more functional. I still know I have so damn much to learn about my own privilege and prejudices, and needless to say I still have at least 90% left to go in this high-intensity-parenting gig.

But 100 posts? A sizable chunk of which are actually worth reading? That’s pretty cool.

So come celebrate with me. Leave a present: a comment, saying anything, just letting me know you read here, regularly or occasionally. Let me know what you like about the blog, let me know what you want to see in the future, say congrats or good job or keep trying. I know I’m crap at responding to comments, but I read every one, usually about 20 times. So drop a line. It’ll be your good deed for the day.

And now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go down some C and snuggle in bed with perfectionism. We’re both pretty miserable.

*Some of these posts contain language and comparisons I wouldn’t use now, like putting “bad mother” on par with “the n word” (both because, dude, so not in the same league, and because competing oppressions against each other is always a no-win enterprise). Entering the blogosphere, both in reading other blogs and writing out my own thoughts, has been educational and a growing experience in ways I had never anticipated, and that’s a large part of what has kept me going**.

**The rest, of course, being comments from readers, nudge nudge.

Lesson learned

1 sick child + last of birthday carrot cake + 3/4 very large orange + 1 lemon fish pill = first ever non-spitup vomiting.

Lesson learned.

Please chime in with your life lessons (especially as pertains to toddlers and/or food and/or illness) so others (eg me) may gain from your experience! Or so we can laugh, which lightens our load, or so we can commiserate, which lightens yours. You know you have a story or three to share.

Three hour naps, how I miss you…

There is so much I want to write about. Race and privilege; gender and privilege; cisgender and privilege; sexuality and passing; mental health and mental illness; fat parents and a skinny child; babywearing and the lack thereof; breastfeeding and its gradual decrease; and so, so many things about raising this Boychick who is such a bright beautiful light in my life and how I want to raise him up and celebrate him as the perfect being he is and how I almost feel I mustn’t because as a probably-straight, definitely white probably-male middle-class American he’s going to be heaped and heaped with ugly messages about his superiority for the rest of his life and how the hell do I counteract that; and so much more. There is a superabundance of topics I long to flesh out and share with you.

But we’re sick, and this weekend, when The Man and I are sick and I’ve been disabled by a migraine, the Boychick has decided to say farewell to his prior 2-3 hour naps and substitute them for 30-40 minute “naps” that give him energy for the afternoon and major crankiness for the evening, which we are simply not equipped to deal with, not having any energy ourselves, due to illness and a lack of time in which to relax and reenergize.

So, I had plans to get creative and write an Ode to the Nap, but now I must go tagteam with my coparent; between the two of us, we might be able to fake being 2/3 of a sane and healthy adult, at least long enough to get us all in bed and asleep.

Just don’t talk to me about the next week; I’m afraid I’ll start whimpering.