I felt fine yesterday. Really I did. Save for a few sniffles, there was nothing else going on. And then this morning happened. My throat was crazy sore and my glands were swollen to the point that even I could tell they were swollen (because usually I’m like “really? they’re swollen? who knew?”). I felt terrible, as the body aches were starting to set in along with an old-fashioned headache for good measure. As soon as I dropped the kids off at school, I didn’t pass Go, I didn’t collect $200, I didn’t even bother calling my doctor. I headed straight for the CVS Minute Clinic. They open at 8:30 and I was number two in line at 8:32. That’s how bad I felt.
I don’t think the greeting card section of their store will ever be quite the same. It was the only way to keep Madeline occupied for the 30 minute wait it took for me to be seen. Diagnosis? Strep. As the morning progressed, I felt worse and worse. The nurse practitioner asked me how bad the pain was on a scale of 1-5. I always think that’s a silly question, because it’s totally subjective and depends on what you’re comparing the pain to. I mean, really, compared to childbirth, it doesn’t even register. But as far as sore throat pain, it was totally up there.
I think there should be some sort of unwritten rule about single moms getting sick. It’s not like we have a pitch hitter or understudy to come and fill in for us as we’re down for the count. As the headache worsened, and we added some chills and a general overall zap of energy, I honestly wondered how I would get through the day. No school for Madeline. Jamie was off (her Masters’ graduation was today), and a l-o-n-g day loomed ahead. Madeline doesn’t exactly sit still or quietly. And then was the matter of picking up Nick and the other carpool kids, homework, dinner, bath, bed. I couldn’t even stand to look at food. We need some sort of Single Mom Network, where if someone has some time and is feeling 100%, they can help out someone who is sick, get them through the dinner/bath/bed routine, and then they can cash in the favor when they need an extra hand. Because I really needed it today.
Especially for dinnertime. The Ex never was a fan of leftovers, unless they were completely reinvented so much that they don’t resemble the original meal. But honestly, thank goodness for leftovers because it was my saving grace tonight. I made this Grilled Taco-Barbecue Chicken last night when we got home from the gym, and there was just enough leftover to get the kids through dinner. Of course, no one cooperated and there was lots of bickering, stalling and general loudness from about 3:30 until bedtime, and I was seriously counting down the minutes. But at least the leftovers meant I managed to avoid a quick dash through a drive-thru.
This recipe comes from the same Betty Crocker magazine that yesterday’s Greek-Style Tuna Salad comes from. The kids did all but inhale it, and given how crazysimple it is to make, that was welcome news. One word of caution, the accompanying Barbecue Sauce is insanely spicy. Luckily I left it on the side, so I didn’t ruin the kids’ pieces of chicken. This is a perfect recipe to cook up a batch of and freeze. You know, for those days when you are down for the count and just need to get through dinner. Or just because.
It’s now exactly 8:45 pm and as soon I hit publish, I’m hitting the hay. This is the earliest I’ve gone to bed
in forever since last Friday. But after everything that happened last week, it’s no wonder.
P.S. Excuse the lack of pictures on the chicken, but the ones I took last night were terrible. Just terrible. Nobody should be subjected to that.
Why is it so hard for dogs to actually aim for the dog bed? Don’t you think it would be more comfortable? Clearly they know something we don’t. He is walking a bit better, but still has trouble getting up from the floor, and making it up the stairs. It is definitely 1000% better than when he was down for the count last week, but he still has a long way to go.
Grilled Taco-Barbecue Chicken
Recipe courtesy of Betty Crocker
2 tablespoons Old El Paso® taco seasoning mix (from 1-oz package)
1 teaspoon dried oregano leaves
4 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1-1/4 lb) (I used breast tenders for even quicker cooking)
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1/2 cup barbecue sauce
1/4 cup chili sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1. Heat closed medium-size contact grill for 5 minutes. In shallow bowl, mix taco seasoning mix and oregano. Brush chicken with oil; coat with taco seasoning mixture. Place chicken on grill. Close grill. Grill 4 to 6 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).
2. Meanwhile, in 1-quart saucepan, heat barbecue sauce, chili sauce and cumin to boiling over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve sauce with chicken.
Oven Directions: Heat oven to 375°F. Line shallow baking pan with foil or spray with cooking spray. Place coated chicken in pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until juice of chicken is clear when center of thickest part is cut (170°F).