middle of the night meanderings of my mind

well, shit.  it is now 3:11 am and I’ve been awake since 2:14.  experience tells me I have to get it off my chest or take drugs to get back to sleep, and since I’m already going to receive massive amounts of drugs in about 12 hours, I choose writing.

All I can think about right now is school.  I wonder how Open House went at my school, because I missed it.  Still on sick leave, and the thought of being in a small enclosed room with easily 30 to 40 parents and kids at a time (and that is “times” seven…I teach seven FULL classes…rather, I will teach seven classes when I get to return to the classroom…hopefully in mid to late September) made not only my oncologist nervous, but really, me too.  Too much of a a risk of infection just days before an infusion.

Heres what I missed:  I love meeting parents,even though I don’t always remember them all.  Is is so fun to see the kids bring their parents in, at the Junior High level many of the kids are still excited to introduce their moms and dads to their teachers, so you get to see first-hand “how far the apples fell from the tree”.  Some kids look so much like one of their parents it is uncanny, especially when their outward demeanor is seemingly unalike either parent.  Usually that means the parents are smart, successful, outgoing, and engaged in my brief 7 to 10 minute presentation.  In class their kids “hide” in a metaphoric sense….long hair over the eyes, less eye contact, little to no active involvement in discussions, etc…..  These are the kids who can be challenging, but I know I usually have a pretty good chance of drawing them out by the end of the 18 weeks (my classes are all semester classes).  I don’t know why, exactly, I have few theories, but I am certainly no psychologist, so I’ll spare your from my deep thoughts there.   But boy, did I feel like I really missed an opportunity not being there.  It makes for a long day, to teach all day, and then be at school until 8:30 or so, but it is so worth it.  It is often your best and only chance to make a good impression upon a parent, explain your teaching philosophy, grading methods , course content and classroom expectations.  Then if a kid goes home and whines about something in class, the parent should be better able to assess if it is just whining, or if they need to call me.  Sometimes there are legitimate misunderstandings that occur in class, and as a teacher I want to know that stuff, because if it was problematic with one kid, maybe other kids misunderstood something, too.  I know, I know, as much as I talk, I should be a master of communications, but I screw it up sometimes….hard to believe, huh! :^)

I also woke up thinking about recipes.  Specifically, cookie recipes.  I don’t usually like making cookies, but yesterday I made a fabulous batch of cookies…..in fact they were so good, I might just have to go eat one as soon as I finish this post.  Maybe that will be the insomnia cure….a big oatmeal mini-chocolate chip cookie with a warm glass of milk.  Yum.  Did you know that warm milks’ reputation as a good bedtime beverage has scientific foundation?  Something about the proteins in the milk when warmed act upon the sleep center of your brain.  If I am still alert, later I’ll look it up and edit this part of the post to be more specific about that.   Anyways about that cookie…..it was really exceptionally good considering that the recipe was “made over” to be more healthful…lower saturated fat content, higher fiber and more grams of protein, and I usually only “like” oatmeal cookies, but this one was really, really good!

I also made “Crispy Cereal Treats”, again another “made over” recipe for rice crispy treats.  Did you know that you do not have to use the normal half stick of butter when you make Rice Krispie treats?  I mean, butter is FABULOUS, but why waste those saturated fat calories in a recipe that hides it?  (I say, save the butter for toast or for a fabulous sauce for fish or sauteing a big batch of vegetables or for a great garlic bread….mixed with 3 parts olive oil to 1 part butter… of course with loads of minced garlic and a touch of basil and sea salt)  This particular Rice Krispie recipe calls for 1 T of butter and 1 T of canola oil, and still comes out GREAT!  It also adds more fiber by replacing a cup and a half of the relatively weak (nutritionally speaking) rice krispies with another high fiber cereal of your choice.  PLUS, adds more protein with roasted unsalted sunflower seeds.  Now I know some of you are cringing…thinking I’m ruining a perfectly good homemade staple of our culinary culture in the United States, but let me tell you, if my 8 year old likes it, well then it’s got to be OK .  Charlie is the kind of kid who visually inspects his food and has a “nose” like no one one I’ve ever met.  He can spot a “hidden vegetable” from a  mile away, and if an offending ingredient is suspected, he will immediately call me out on it, and he is right most of the time. 

The third thing I made was called “grab and go breakfast bars”.  They are a kind of a fruity granola kind of bar cookie.  Except I don’t really consider them a cookie in a true sense.  But I do consider them to be pretty good.  Now this recipe I have modified slightly, I add regular sized chocolate chips, and I do not completely reduce the dried fruit in with the grains in the food processor.  I do process them in the FP, but only to a level of mince/chopped, then pull them out of the FP, finish the recipe, ALL IN THE FOOD PROCESSOR (I love those kind of recipes, all made in the FP, fast and easy!!) and then I hand mix the fruit and chocolate chips into the mixture in the end.  This is such an EASY and incredibly healthful recipe.  A great low-fat and high fiber, high protein snack.  I’m going to get my husband to eat these when he complains theat he “doesn’t have time for breakfast”.  At least if I provide the alternative to morning nutrients, he doesn’t have the right to complain to me anyways.

NOW…if I have interested you enough in these recipes you have to either buy the book Mom’s Guide to Meal Makeovers by Janice Newell Bissex and Liz Weiss.  Their website states they “are registered dietitians and The Meal Makeover Moms. As two of the nation’s top experts on family nutrition, they’re on a mission to help busy families eat better… ”  Website location: http://www.mealmakeovermoms.com/    I think I have given the correct titles to their recipes so they should be easy enough to find!  Their website also has access to their blog, videos, recipes, recommended convenience food products, etc.  If you are interested in healthier cooking without losing the flavor this is my number one “go to” cookbook.  So far everything I have made from this book is good to excellent.

So now it is 4:32 am YIKES!  I am still wide awake, so I think I better go get some warm milk and try to get to sleep.  I need to wake up in just hours for my big day….LAST CHEMO INFUSION.  (Wish me well, and no bad reactions.)  Hopefully I don’t have too many horrible spelling or grammar errors becauseI’m going to post this writing without a final edit….I’ll do that in the morning.

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One Response to “middle of the night meanderings of my mind”

  1. Janice Says:

    Hi Kaylynne:

    Thanks for the mention of my cookbook – it’s good to read about the recipes you particularly enjoy! FYI, we made another rice krispie treat a few months ago with PB and chocolate that you might like. Check it out here: http://mealmakeovermoms.com/kitchen/2009/06/09/podcast-59-underweight-kids/. It will be in the next cookbook which Liz and I have been working on for several years and hope to finish in the next 6 months.

    Good luck with your last treatment today. I’m sending healing thoughts your way. Love your blog. Hang in there.

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