Sick Little Pickle

I’ve been pretty lucky on the sick-kid front, as they aren’t in daycare (aka germ repositories), but we did not luck out this go around. My tall, strong, sweetheart was knocked on her ass this afternoon by one hell of a cold (or something TBD). We went from playing outside in sandpiles and climbing on livestock panels to splashy, giggly bathtime, to featherbed-and-blanket nest in the living-room hammock and leave me the fuck alone. By dinner, she had a 100º fever and a surprisingly decent appetite. She’s such a little trooper. Then my husband, Superdad tonight, got home with toddler cough syrup and liquid Tylenol.


The hard part is that her sister still feels good.  I assume, in about 48 hours neither she nor I will feel good in the slightest, but maybe we’ll luck out. Anyway, the sprightly little fireball misses her friend and just doesn’t quite understand what “sick” means. Like, why is it a big deal today if we switch sippy cups, wtf, mom? What do you mean I can’t tackle her from the back of the couch? I tried to explain, but showing works best, so I said “Hey, Monkey, will you come help me take Leeloo’s temperature?” She runs over, “Tematur?” I put the thermometer under Leeloo’s arm as she snuggles her dad, “See Monkey? We have to check her temperature because sometimes, when people are sick they get a fever and it makes them hot.” Her eyes open big in recognition and concern “Leeloo hot?” “Yeah, Baby, Leeloo’s hot. See her temperature is 99.6 now; that’s a whole degree above what it normally is.” Monkey runs off to get Leeloo her juice. Toddlers are so smart and awesome and thoughtful and sweet.

So, the Tylenol brought it down a little bit. Yay. I’ll keep checking, and hopefully will not wake either of them up. Ha.

The point of this post, however, is what does one feed a sick little pickle with a fever, cough, and sore throat? Mom’s Magical Calorie-Bomb Baby Smoothie. Fuck yes. A more meaningful name would probably be Peanut Butter, Banana, and Chocolate Smoothie, but I gave it a cool name because it made it up when I was pregnant and had god-awful morning sickness for literally 28 weeks. I digress. I love it. Nauseous me loves it. Hypoglycemic me loves it. My kids fucking love it. Here’s how to make it.

Mom’s Magical Calorie-Bomb Baby Smoothie
Blender: I make this in a “personal smoothie-sized” blender, but it would obviously be fine in a full size too.
Banana (regular or frozen. Frozen makes it thicker)
2 TB peanut butter (smooth almond butter is fine if you’re no-peanut people)
2 TB Nesquik (powdered chocolate milk mix)
milk (I use whole milk, but anything’s fine, even almond, coconut, etc.)
2-5 ice cubes


Pour some milk, the banana, and some ice in the blender. Yep, the whole banana. I just broke that one in half.


Add the Nesquik and the peanut butter. I definitely vote for creamy peanut butter for this particular recipe. The Nesquik is more of a “to taste” kind of thing. I’m sure Ovaltine, Carnation Instant Breakfast, Chocolate Muscle Milk, or hell, Hershey’s chocolate syrup would all taste about the same. You’re just getting some extra nutrition from some of the options.

Blend. Check on it. Add more milk if you want it to be thinner. My girls like it thin enough to be easy to drink with a straw.


Et voilà.

Tinker with the ratios of ingredients or leave one of them out. It’s hard to fuck up so badly that it’s undrinkable. Enjoy.

I must go prepare for a day of sick pickle snuggles, Tylenol distribution, and toddler grumps.

XX Nic

Showing Love in Weird Places

Hey guys.  My husband works. I stay home with the kids. Just recently our schedules were completely different and he spent a semester at home with me, taking grad classes, not working, and it completely threw our dynamic off. I think it’s me. I guess I need to be able to define the role I need to fill to do it well. We were both stay at home students, which to me, meant we should contribute equally. Alas, that was not how it played out. Honestly, there was some serious tension in our relationship by the end. But, thank the gods, that situation is NO MORE, so I’m just going forget about that.

Now, I am the domestic goddess with my toddler minions, and I shall reign supreme over the realm of the home and fields and forests. It’s my world from the time he leaves before sunrise until he comes home late at night, and I am going to make it fucking beautiful, all with two wild little pixies in tow.

While I’m working on building some income from my freelance work, my husband is busting his ass so I can stay home with our girls: teaching math in a charter school, finishing his math ed. master’s, and tutoring for his university between teaching and class. He loves it, but during the week, he’s gone all the fucking time. Oh, he’s also working on his competition level heavy weightlifting.

I like to say “thank you, I love you” for working so hard out there so I can work hard here.  My ability to stay home with our children and homeschool as they get just a bit older is as, or more, important to him as it is to me. We’ve turned our lives upside down a couple times now so that I could stay with the kids. This last big change, with his new jobs this week is amazing. This kind of came out of nowhere, and it could not have happened at a better time. Regardless, we’re still adjusting.

Anyway, I digress. He’s gone long hours and his body, because of his weight training, has pretty strict nutritional needs. He needs a ton of protein, especially on workout days.  He needs some high-quality carbs, some high-protein dairy, some fruit, and usually some vegetables. He will make his own lunch, but it’s really, really sad. Or, he goes to Subway and pays like $12 for a roast chicken salad that leaves him hungry.

Therefore, I, like many women before me, do what I can to take care of my man with food. I’ll talk about breakfast in a separate post, but I handle that too. Brief summary there, though: eggs, vegetables, maybe bacon, coffee.

Tonight, as he was going to bed, I started making his lunch. I coudn’t find his lunch bag, which I assumed was in the car, but he says “Oh, just put it in a grocery sack, I can get it.” Which was nice. I was really happy for about 5 seconds, because it is cold as fuck out here tonight. Anyway, it hit me that I was trying to infuse this daily, mundane task with love, and that stuffing it in a grocery sack did not feel like a love-infusing task. I drug my crazy ass out to the car for the bag, and grabbed his coat for in the morning, and felt better about it.  I then marveled at the beauty of a clear, cold southern night, far out enough in the middle of fucking nowhere that the stars are beautiful. And tonight there’s the full moon, the blue moon, the supermoon, and the blood moon. This, a happy witchy woman doth make.

Back inside. I made two of his favorite sandwiches: fuck tons of turkey and swiss, on 12-grain bread, with dijon and mayo. I washed an apple. I bagged up mango slices and grapes. I sacrificed a beloved black cherry greek yogurt. I added a homemade blueberry muffin, which he probably won’t eat, but could, idk, trade for something? Whatever, it’s a fucking muffin.

I don’t want him to feel like it’s a big deal. I don’t want him to think I’m going out of my way. I’m really not. All I have to remember to do is buy the right stuff at the grocery store, wrap it up, and put it in a bag. I do hope he feels a little bit taken care of though.

Should I put a little note in the top? We’ll see.

XX Nic