Breaking News

Well, well, well.  Bless Jacob’s bones.  Turns out his finger was broken.  Yes, that purple one that looked awful. (https://problemfreephilosophy.blog/2022/01/20/ouch/) We were hoping it was a bad sprain.  Maybe he jammed his finger.  After a month, though, the color was better but the swelling wasn’t.  We decided to get his primary care doctor to take a look.

When Dr. H came into the exam room, I asked, “is swelling normal at this point?”  “Not normal but is expected with a bad sprain.”  It was decided to see if Jacob would cooperate to have his hand x-rayed.

We explained that we were not able to ‘treat’ it with ice or compression as he recommended on January 11th. Jacob wouldn’t tolerate it.  An x-ray would hopefully show us why it was still swollen.  They were able to get a couple of good images.  Good in that we could see what was going on.  Bad in what we saw.  (We did not get a copy.) 

Dr. H walked in and said, “Jacob has a bad break in the joint.  I want y’all to see a hand specialist soon.  There may not be anything that can be done at this point but let’s find out.”   He showed us the x-ray and it was disturbing.  My heart sank.  For weeks we rocked along counting on the hand healing.  And it was.  Just not correctly. 

That afternoon we got a call for Jacob to see the said specialist at 8 the very next morning.  More x-rays were taken.  Jacob was a trooper again but not excited about his hand being touched and tugged on. 

While we waited in the exam room, Jacob spied some magazines.  He entertained himself flipping through those at the speed of light. 

Dr. J came in and began asking questions and sharing information.  “Jacob has a bad fracture.  It’s called a pilon fracture.  It involves the joint and both bones which are splayed out.  It is difficult to treat in a patient that is compliant.”  

He went on to say that he thought the best thing for Jacob was to do nothing.  And, proceeded to explain why:  one treatment option would involve wire traction that actually comes through the finger and protrudes through the skin on either side of the joint to help the finger line up correctly.  He knew, before we did, that Jacob wouldn’t be a candidate for that procedure.  The other option would be surgery to fuse the joint.  The recovery would be difficult.  Jacob would probably have to wear a cast for weeks.

As he spoke to us, he watched Jacob easily using the hand and maneuvering as he desired.  He put my angst to rest by assuring us that if we had brought Jacob in right after it happened, the treatment would have been the same – doing nothing was best for Jacob. 

The finger will probably never bend completely as it did before.  He will have a knot at that joint and the tissue will stay swollen a long, long time. 

A few days later, I googled pilon fractures.  They are more common in ankles than fingers.  Not a common occurrence in hands.  They are often severe and can cause long-term issues.  Very painful and debilitating.  

We’ve always said Jacob has a very high pain threshold.  As we listened to the doctor suggest we contact him if Jacob acts like it is hurting, we relay that we often don’t know and he rarely seems to be in pain.  The doctor simply said, ‘maybe he isn’t’.

I don’t have the answers but I do believe God designed Jacob’s nerve endings where he doesn’t feel pain as acutely.  What seems very painful and debilitating for most, probably isn’t for Jacob. 

Some days that finger seems more swollen than it was.  It looks like it should hurt.  So thankful he’s done better than I have all along.  Looks can be deceiving.

 

Speaking of Donuts

A couple of weeks ago, the OUCH! post included Jacob getting donuts as a sort of a ‘sorry you fell, hope these make you feel better’ move. 

I remembered there was another story to share about my fella that involved donuts.

In mid-December, a group of folks who have loved ones at Jacob’s Day Program provided a Christmas Brunch for the staff.  We’ve done something similar for several years as a thank you for the beautiful way they serve our families.  The morning of, I went inside to deliver the sweetbreads I had prepared.  Jacob wasn’t ready to get out yet so was hanging out in the van with his dad. 

All of the wonderful food was being set up in a small ‘break’ area just inside the main entrance.  I greeted a few of the other providers and before I knew it, Jacob had come in and eyed the layout.  Zeroed in on a stack of donut boxes.  I believe there were 8 dozen donuts to be enjoyed!!  I’m not exaggerating when I say, his mission for the morning was to dive into those donuts.  He was elbowing his way in and willing to knock down anyone that stepped in his path. 

He can’t (or won’t) understand ‘it’s for the staff’.  In this case, I’m sure he wasn’t listening to me or the others.  He was causing a commotion for sure!  Then quietly, S, one of the staff members, slipped in and quietly said, “Jacob, let’s go to the back, I will a donut for you.”  He heard that and trusted that she would do just what she promised! Bless her heart for getting his attention in the best way possible right then. 

I could relax as we drove away knowing his needs, (even if it was a sugar addiction) were being met.  I don’t know how many donuts he had before the day was over.  I do know he had his share as evidenced by the glaze on his clothes that afternoon. 

Next time, I’ll have a different plan when I drop off food so Jacob isn’t overwhelmed by all the off-limits snacks.

If you like sweetbreads, here’s a recipe for one of the kinds I took: 

SWEET POTATO BREAD

3 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup cooking oil
2 cups cooked and mashed sweet potatoes
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1 tsp allspice
1 cup chopped pecans
1 package chopped dates

Grease and flour four 1-pound metal coffee cans and set them aside. 

Preheat oven to 350F.

Using a mixer, stir the first five ingredients together well.  Add flour and spices.  Mix until combined.  Add pecans and dates and mix until combined.

Spoon equal amounts of batter into prepared cans.

Bake for about 1 hour until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Let cool for 10 minutes and then remove from cans to cool completely. 

NOTE: I am not sure if coffee is available in metal cans anymore.  If you’ve been around for decades, you might be using some for the storage of nuts and bolts like my dad did.  This should bake fine in aluminum loaf pans.  Just not as fun as a round slice!! Oh, and this bread freezes beautifully!

You don’t have to worry about Jacob elbowing his way to this.  He doesn’t care for sweet potato bread nearly as much as he does donuts!!! 

I think he has had a surprise of donuts 3 times in the past 3 weeks so he isn’t complaining!

And then yesterday Jacob’s Granny sent homemade cinnamon rolls. As soon as he saw them, he pointed to the plates and promptly ate three!!! Donuts. Cinnamon Rolls. He is definitely enjoying these special treats!!

P.S. The photos below were taken a few days ago, at the 3-week mark since the fall mentioned earlier. He is using his hand freely and doesn’t seem to be bothered but it is obviously still swollen. From what I’ve researched, the finger might be swollen for a long time. And looks like it might be crooked as we suspected.

Thank you all who expressed concern through the FB page, this blog, and private messages. It means the world to us to have others in our corner who care.

OUCH!

Jacob isn’t as steady on his feet as he once was.  He is still twirling constantly.  For most of his life, we, and others, were amazed at his balance.  He would never even appear dizzy.  Over the last couple of years, though, we’ve seen a twirl turn into a fall too much.  It is the main self-stimming behavior we see in Jacob. 

Recently, though, he wasn’t twirling when he fell.  He was reaching for his dad, missed and lost his balance, falling backward into a table and hitting the tile floor.  We both saw it happen.  He jumped up and started squeezing his hands as if that was what hurt.  I did think his hands took the force but his head also hit the table.  We looked him over then and didn’t see a mark of any sort.  Later, his dad noticed him favoring his right arm.  Twice before bed, I checked him over for evidence of the impact.  At bedtime, there were still no marks.  But, the next morning we saw this:

My heart just sank. I am sure that hand was throbbing. So swollen. We quickly sent photos through the portal to his doctor and tried scheduling an e-visit. Within minutes, MINUTES, his doctor called us. Switched to Facetime so he could get a look at Jacob’s hand. “It could be broken.” “He might have sprained it.” “Ligaments could have been over-stretched.” “His hand may look a little different when it heals.” Knowing the treatment for a broken figure is usually taping to the next was one of the treatments we were expecting. Icing was another plus something for pain.

Jacob tolerated icing for 15 minutes the first day. We were so pleased that he sat still and kept it wrapped in ice. The next tries were a different story. Wouldn’t allow ice for a minute and immediately took the compression wrap off. We were left with our only tools, prayers and pain meds.

A trip to the doctor might have involved an x-ray. That alone would have been very tricky to accomplish. Then referring to a specialist. We opted to watch it for a couple of days and call the doctor back if we needed him to take a look in person.  While I’d like to have known what was going on, as long as he was comfortable, that seemed to be the best route.

Jacob has always had a high threshold for pain.  In times like this, I’m able to not freak out over the ‘how bad that must hurt’.   We know the physical cues that indicate when something isn’t right.  In this case, we felt he was hurt but it didn’t appear outwardly for 18 hours. 

Our middle granddaughter was concerned—”how do you know when Jacob is in pain?”  Good question.  It is all about observation.  He will fidget more, maybe fuss, grimace, hands over face, etc.   You better believe I am watching very closely when I know something has happened. This one shocked me how swollen, how purple and red it was the next morning.

He did get some special treats he likes because, well he’d had an accident and this mom wanted him to feel pampered.  Donuts.  Donuts make everything better, right?  And chocolate milk.  He loves the stuff but doesn’t get it often.  Those two things were happily received!! 

Funny thing about Jacob is he doesn’t ‘milk it for all it’s worth’. He goes about his business not expecting any more than usual. (Which can be a lot on any given day.)

Ten days later, his hand is still not back to how it was before but looks much better. Thanks to prayers and pain meds, he isn’t bothered and we are relieved!! 

Twelve Days of Jacob

On the first day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
A long ride in the minivan

On the second day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the third day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the mini van

On the fourth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the fifth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the sixth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the seventh day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Seven cinnamon rolls
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the eighth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Eight hot dogs
Seven cinnamon rolls
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the ninth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Nine magazines
Eight hot dogs
Seven cinnamon rolls
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the tenth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Ten hours of sleep
Nine magazines
Eight hot dogs
Seven cinnamon rolls
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the eleventh day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Eleven videos
Ten hours of sleep
Nine magazines
Eight hot dogs
Seven cinnamon rolls
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan

On the twelfth day of Christmas
Sweet Jacob wanted from us
Twelve blinking lights
Eleven videos
Ten hours of sleep
Nine magazines
Eight hot dogs
Seven cinnamon rolls
Six mini Hershey’s
Five musical toys
Four charged batteries
Three silly songs
Two cards with stamps
And a long ride in the minivan
And a long ride in the minivan!

Hope you’ve enjoyed this peek into days with Jacob. It was fun writing it trying to incorporate many of his favorites. He doesn’t have high expectations this time of year like many of us humans do. A wish list that’s a mile long. I found one his brother did decades ago and every other line said MONEY! Jacob’s imaginary list takes the pressure off us. ‘Who needs money’ is what he’s thinking.

Whatever your wish list looks like or more importantly your list of needs, may this season bring you unseen riches of peace, love, and joy.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Isaiah 9:6

Merry Christmas from our family to yours!

Giving Thanks

When I look back at the last 12 months, we have had quite a few difficult things to work through.  Continued pandemic, two surgeries, a death in our family, health scares, a wreck…..

I found myself using the word ‘overwhelmed’ often.  Generally, I can take things as they come and make the best of them.  Hasn’t been as easy lately.

In the seasonal spirit of gratitude, here are some of the things that bring thankfulness to my heart:

1) My parents. I am who I am because of their example.
2) My siblings. My brother is two years younger than me and my sister is four years younger. Being the oldest is harder than it looks! Right, D?
3) My salvation. For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son …
4) My man. In 1974 he was too old for me (according to my daddy). Funny how by 1977, he wasn’t. He provides me security, wisdom, comfort, and many laughs!
5) My in-laws. They are both living in glory now but gave unconditionally over and over again.
6) Jacob. While it is not what I planned, being able to aim to meet his needs is my greatest privilege.
7) Josh. What a blessing to watch him marry, become a successful entrepreneur, and parent three girls.
8) Sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law. We may not always see eye-to-eye on topics but I know I can count on them. And it is super fun anytime we can have a game day!
9) Granddaughters. Nothing like ‘em! Oh, that I could see them every day!
10) Extended family– aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.
11) Friends—some go way, way back and some I’ve not known nearly as long. But, the blessing of friends cannot be overstated. Be a friend whenever you can.
12) My small group. Friends are friends forever when the Lord’s the Lord of them.
13) My Sunday School class and church family. We haven’t been able to go as much but it doesn’t mean they aren’t important.
14) Pets. We have two golden retrievers right now. They are our 3rd and 4th of that breed. Yes, there is hair, hair, and more hair. But in exchange, there are snuggles, silliness, lots of love, and bouncing excitement. Every single day those brown eyes light up mine.
15) Neighbors. There’s something special about knowing your neighbors. It takes effort but the reward is great.
16) Sitters. I cannot say enough about dependable sitters. They are a Godsend that makes our lives easier.
17) Jacob’s Day Program. We are so very grateful there is a place where he enjoys going!
18) Health. I’ve had a couple of scares in the last few months but nothing life-threatening. Grateful for that!
19) God’s provision. We have everything we need and more.
20) God’s protection. Nine days ago, a Fed Ex truck backed into the side of my moving vehicle. I didn’t see him, heard it first. While I was quite shaken, I sustained no injuries. Jacob was not with me which was a huge blessing because it hit on the side he rides. Mike was nearby so he got to the accident scene quickly. The vehicle is beyond repair from the damage but we have so much to be thankful for!
21) God’s peace. When I’m overwhelmed, I can call on the Prince of Peace. His spirit lives in me to bring calm to my chaos.
22) God’s promises. Having said goodbye to my dad just 4 months ago, I know that he is in heaven and I’ll see him again.
23) Prayer. God gives a way to talk to him and listen. It’s always the best thing to do in any situation.

If you find yourself alone today, reach out to someone else who may be alone as well.  If you are with friends and/or family, look around and count your blessings. 

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

James 1:17

God has been so good to me that my heart cannot help but overflow with thanksgiving! 

November photos from several years in the past to last week. The first one shows Jacob snoozing at his aunt and uncle’s house one Thanksgiving. It’s the only one I could find of him on that day. If there’s a crowd, he’d rather not be in the middle!

No Tricking Him

I like a challenge.  That’s part of why I enjoy being in the kitchen.  Trying new ingredients.  Taking risks.  Mastering anything new things doesn’t usually happen on the first attempt.  Progress happens when I make a mess of the first or fiftieth try.  Starting over if the first experiment doesn’t have the results I expected.   All in the name of learning.

A while back I experimented with two things I was sure Jacob would enjoy:  cinnamon rolls and donuts.   He turned his nose up and would have nothing to do with either.  Was offended I even offered.  I decided he was put off by the crazy colors.  Okay, I can deal with that.  He’s a purist. That’s cool.

Not to be thwarted, I was determined to try again.  Recently I made a batch of yeast dough.  Halved it and made a pan of cinnamon rolls and with the other, donuts and donut holes.  Simple. Glazed.

I was pretty excited about the process and the possibility that my lucky day had arrived.  Maybe I was about to win Jacob over. I wasn’t pleased with how ‘loose’ the dough was and the donuts wouldn’t have won any appearance awards. They tasted soooooooooooooooooo good!

I told my mom, Jacob’s Granny, about hoping Jacob would like the donut holes.  Surely, they were better than the two dozen I’ve purchased at Pillow Donuts.  I didn’t add any food coloring. Not a single sprinkle. Simple and glazed. That’s all. She asked if I had a white bag to put them in.  Why, yes, I did.

I carefully did so and closed the top.  Told Jacob that I had donut holes for him and to come to get some.  He came right away.  He touched the bag and wanted to see what was inside.  I took out two and put them on his plate.  He smelled and took a tiny bite.  And then handed it back to me.  Can you believe it? I was so sad.  His dad wasn’t.  More for him.

I felt a little devious pretending they were from the bakery.  But obviously not much.  He has me figured out.  

Texted Granny and her reply:  Now we know Jacob’s taste buds are very sharp!  Don’t try to trick Jacob.  I think he said,  ‘I like what I like!’

The next morning he did decide to sample a cinnamon roll and ended up eating three for breakfast.   Tiny victory.  I’ll take it. 

Granny is right.  We made them available to him multiple times to the same response.  How, oh how can he have such willpower?!?!?

Don’t try to sneak Nestle’s Quik in place of Chocolate Milk.  He won’t have it.

Jacob knows cheese. Some processed cheese works great for cheese toast. Don’t use the one that is better for a bologna and cheese sandwich. He knows and won’t have it.

Don’t try to sub Honey Wheat bread for Whole Wheat bread.  He won’t have it.

And certainly, don’t try to sneak in homemade donuts for those from a bakery.  He will not have it. 

His lack of appreciation for my kitchen experiments should be enough to make me put away the spatula.  His dad and I sure don’t ‘need’ the calories.  Our grands live too far away to get in on taste testing.  Our friends can only take so many macarons, meringues, and marshmallows.  While I’d love it if he got excited over something I’ve made for him, it’s okay that he’s not.  I’ll probably keep trying.  Who knows but one day he’ll change his mind. A mom can hope, right?  

In the meantime, good for Jacob for knowing what he likes!!!

Days Like This

Having a hard day? Do you ever find yourself in a slump?  Mama said there’d be days like this…

No one certain thing can explain the feeling.  Looking around it seems, life is good.  “I have so much to be thankful for.”  And yet, it was one of those days.

Saturday I woke up to the vivid recollection of a terrible dream.  Bordered on a nightmare.  As I sat at the kitchen table that morning, I told my husband, “last night I dreamed that Gracie died”.  My eyes filled with tears, as they are as I type this now.  Of all the dogs we’ve loved and lost, it was the first time I’ve dreamed such.  It was a sweet comfort, upon my waking, when she snuggled up to me that morning, kisses, and tail wagging to my hugging her around the neck.

Sometimes you can’t shake a dream. This one stuck with me.  Knowing the day would come when we’d have to say goodbye.  If you are a dog lover, life with them is never long enough.  And, often once the good-byes come, the next thought is “I can’t possibly go through this again.  It hurts too bad.”  And before you know it, you find yourself welcoming another into your heart.  The love outweighs the loss. 

This is the lamp. (He is obviously rearranging blankets when photo was taken.)

When Jacob’s Mamaw passed away in 2020, we brought some of her belongings into our home.  One was a lamp and I found a perfect spot for it in our living area. It reflected her personality and made me smile thinking about it being on her end table for many years.   The only problem was, the new place was in a space that Jacob passed by daily, and more than once, I saw him sliding the lamp or moving the table it was on.  His dad mentioned that I needed to find a new spot for the lamp.  That one day, it would get broken.  I knew it could happen but there wasn’t another spot that seemed just right.  I took a chance to enjoy it as long as I had it. 

It was always baffling to walk in and discover that Jacob had moved the table.  Sometimes a good 12 inches. It wasn’t all that large, it WAS heavy.  My dad made the one-of-a-kind tabletop.  He secured it to something that, if I remember right, was used at service stations in the tire changing/repair business.  HEAVY metal.  For some reason, Jacob enjoyed moving it.  Maybe testing his muscle strength. 

It was Sunday afternoon and I was engrossed in a book and heard Jacob playing in the den.  I had looked at him on the monitor and watched him chilling on the loveseat with his MP3 player at full volume.  Not a minute later, I heard a crash.  Jumped up to discover this:

My heart sank.  I didn’t yell. I didn’t fuss.  I got both dogs out of the room.  I took his loud MP3 player and calmly walked back to Jacob’s bedroom telling him to follow me.  He did.  Without a word about it, he knew I was upset.

My eyes filled with tears.  The day had come that Mike warned me about.  It was beyond repair.  I grabbed the broom, dustpan, and vacuum cleaner.  Slowly cleaned up the broken pieces. While I still had the memory, the lamp of Mrs. P’s would go in the garbage.  I enjoyed it until its unfortunate end.  Scolding Jacob would not have done one thing to help the situation. 

My mood was going downhill fast.  “This is why we can’t have nice things.  Jacob destroys them.”  “This is why we need leather furniture so spills can be wiped up easily.”  “This is why any carpet we have needs to be the color of dirt.”  blah, blah, blah

Days like this hit us all, I know this to be true.  The next day I was in the mood to rearrange, hoping to have Jacob’s approval of a new spot for the table.  One he wouldn’t be tempted to test his strength.  He walked through the room and studied the change.  For now, he seems to accept it.  I did quietly tell him that I was sad that he pushed the lamp off and to please try harder not to break things. 

I love this table made by my dad’s hands. It has nicks and is more distressed than it was years ago. It is a treasure and makes me appreciate the gift of memories and making new ones. 

A couple of days before the dream about Gracie, I had a dream about my dad. It was the first one that I’d had since he relocated to heaven. We were in a room that looked like rehab. He appeared to be doing great. He was telling me and my sister to remember something and she assured him we would, because she was recording it. Upon waking, I had no idea what I was supposed to remember. The memory was fleeting and I wondered and wondered what daddy was saying.

It could have been something like this: there will be good days and there will be hard days, always remember, God cares for you.

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

1 Peter 5:6-7

I hope you know the truth of God’s care.

Doctor, Doctor

Jacob’s sore toe needed medical attention. It’s not the first time we’ve been through this but it had been years.  I started ‘treating’ it with a prescription ointment that didn’t help.  Then switched to an over-the-counter, again, to no results.

I had noticed some redness around the nail and then a couple of days later, he was bruised and had a cut. Obviously had dropped something on his toe. That is one of the hard parts, not knowing what happened. But knowing enough to know it hurt. After several days, I realized, we needed his doctor to take a look.

Going to the doctor with Jacob is always a hassle.  It. Just. Is.  His long-time family physician is accommodating, kind, and does all the right things.  But, Jacob would rather not be there.   Fortunately for us, depending on the case, there have been times where a reply to a simple portal question we submitted was sufficient. 

Covid has brought some changes that have sure helped us.  One of those, that we took advantage of recently, was a video appointment. 

None of, getting Jacob ready and into the van.  Then convincing him to sit in his wheelchair to go into waiting area.  Standing on the scale for his weight is always hit or miss.  Taking blood pressure works sometimes.  It required both of us to be present which makes for a crowded exam room when it is the three of us and his doctor, plus sometimes the nurse and/or a resident shadowing. 

Instead of going through all of the above, Mike got a text when it was time to connect.  We Facetimed with Jacob’s doctor and he got a good look at Jacob’s toe.  He made a diagnosis and gave us instructions along with a prescription med to start. 

1) Daily, soak Jacob’s foot in a bucket of Epsom salt water for at least 10 minutes a day.  I smiled as the doctor was saying that because I knew there was about a 0% chance of accomplishing that simple task.  So we went with the nice soak in bathtub approach instead.

Then this happened:  I was running water in the tub and calling Jacob to come get in.  Our male golden heard the water running and hurried to the bathroom to join the party.  Before I could stop him, Lucas stepped right over into the Epsom salt bath.  Yes. He. Did.  Silly boy.  He didn’t want to get out but finally did with clean paws. 

You would have thought it was torture for Jacob to soak in the tub. Rather than relax and enjoy – some soaks he would just stand the entire time. Fine with us, mission accomplished with the toe. Other times, he’d decide to sit and enjoy. We’d have a timer to be sure we got at least ten minutes in. One evening, I texted his dad, ‘thirty minutes in tub and still chilling’. By then, he probably was as the water sure wasn’t warm anymore!

2) Continue to apply over-the-counter ointment I had already started.  Cover with band-aid.  Jacob wasn’t going to leave a band-aid on so we could either try to keep socks on him (which was unlikely) or take a chance that ointment would get on things around the house.  We took that chance and reapplied frequently.

I had to work fast to get medicine on the toe.  He would willingly put his foot in my lap but as soon as I’d move toward the toe, he would jerk it away.  Over and over and over.  I know he was afraid of pain. 

And, 3) Start on a 7-day round of an antibiotic.  A capsule big enough for a horse.  Jacob cannot swallow a capsule.  So, I emptied the contents into a spoonful of applesauce.  First dose, he took it pretty well with his regular cup of apple juice washing it down.  Second dose, he remembered how unpleasant the first one was so he ran from me.  And tried hiding in the pantry. I switched to sprinkling in a small amount of juice.  Cooperated but not well and worse the next time. 

Then it dawned on me that he LOVES chocolate milk but we do not have it often.  Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Trip to the store and we were good to go!  Next dose came in the form of antibiotic sprinkled on applesauce with the promise of chocolate milk and it was the winning combination.  We completed the medication with total compliance! 

After 7 days, there was definite improvement. 

So thankful for technology and a willing physician that made this much, much easier for us. 

And for chocolate milk.

Breakfast Pizza

When Jacob likes a certain food/dish/meal, he can REALLY put the food away. Although, from one day to the next, he may push something back as if he never wants to see it again. Keeps us guessing!

One of his favorites, that I make fairly often, is Breakfast Pizza. The recipe was first given to me by a friend in the early 90s. It was prepared in a 12-inch pizza pan. Once I discovered how much Jacob liked it, I made a couple of changes to simplify and started doubling the recipe to be sure we had leftovers to freeze or just for him to have for several days if the mood were to strike.

If you’ve gotten bored with the same meal or are adventurous and not afraid to try something new, your family might like this.  

Breakfast Pizza

1 lb. *precooked turkey sausage crumbles
2 pkg. refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
2 c. grated Cheddar Cheese
2 c. grated Mozzarella Cheese
12 eggs, beaten
1 c. whole milk
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp pepper

Line a 13″ x 18″ baking pan (half sheet) with **parchment paper.  Preheat oven to 375F.  
Separate crescent dough into rectangles and using fingers, press into pan to seal and form crust.  Bake for 5 minutes.  

Reduce oven temperature to 350F.  Sprinkle sausage and cheeses over dough.  Combine the remaining ingredients and pour over the sausage mixture.  Return to oven and bake for 30-35 minutes until eggs are set and starting to brown. 

Cut into squares and serve.    Yield:   24 squares

*I’ve found Jimmy Dean and Butterball make the turkey sausage crumbles. Probably prefer the Jimmy Dean brand but both work great.

**Tip:  The parchment paper step can be skipped.  From experience, I found using it, makes for fast clean-up as otherwise, egg and cheese baked in a pan, can be stubborn to remove.

When I cooked this last week, Jacob waited patiently for it to get done and cool enough to dig in. And then ate five squares as fast as I cut get one on his plate.

As I mentioned, the original recipe called for a smaller pan. Also, buying already cooked sausage wasn’t an option when it was printed but sure makes it quicker to put together:

1/2 lb. bulk pork sausage
1 pkg. refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
1 c. grated Cheddar Cheese
1 c. grated Mozzarella Cheese
6 eggs, beaten
1/2 c. whole milk
3/4 tsp oregano
1/8 tsp pepper

Cook sausage until browned; drain and set aside.  Separate crescent dough into 8 triangles; place triangles with points toward the center in a greased 12-inch pizza pan.  Press to seal and form a crust.  Bake at 375F for 5 minutes. 

Reduce oven temperature to 350F. Sprinkle sausage and cheeses over dough. Combine remaining ingredients and pour over the sausage mixture.  Bake for 25 to 35 minutes.  
Cut into triangles to serve, pizza style.  Yield: 8 slices

“Try it, you’ll like it.” At least, we think you will.

Is Honesty Always the Best Policy?

We have a definite bedtime routine for Jacob- 

Take meds.

Remind him to use the bathroom.

Pajamas on.

Get him to put toys away in his closet.

Check under bed for toys.

Also check around and under chair plus ottoman for toys.

Turn on fun lights.

Turn off strip that powers TV and VCR.

Turn off ceiling light at fixture.

Lock closet door. 

Once those are done, he listens to a Wheels on the Bus app on his kindle.  Sometimes for minutes and sometimes only seconds.  He’ll hand it back to us when he has had enough.

Say prayers.

Cover him up.

Turn off mirror ball lights.

Turn off window icicle lights.

Kiss him good night.

Leave the room, closing the door behind us.

The process is a nice routine for him.  The putting away all the toys and making it where he can’t turn his TV on, is to make sure he doesn’t watch TV all night or stay up playing with toys.  Every once in a while, we will forget to do something or miss a toy that gets left out. 

Sometimes a musical toy may be discovered shortly after it’s lights out for him because one of us will hear him playing.  Sometimes, one will be seen later on the video monitor or found the next morning either on his bed or nearby—thus explaining why he might be harder to wake up than usual. 

Last week as Mike was getting him to bed, a funny thing happened. They did their usual listen to the song and then Mike went to cover him up and Jacob leaned over the side of the bed, reached behind his chair and handed Mike this treehouse toy:

He knew he would be guilty of playing with it during the night and that it needed to be put in the closet and locked away. 

Bless his honest heart!!!  His dad had missed it in the clean swept to be sure toys were put away.  Jacob had spied it and knew he couldn’t be trusted. 

I wonder if he regretted it as his dad closed the door. Or could he have smiled knowing he did the right thing? 

I imagine he was asking himself, is honesty really, ALWAYS the best policy?