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5 Important Things to Know When You’re Sick

Dear Kid,

It is not easy being a mom when your kid is sick and you’re not near your kid.

Of course, it’s not easy being a sick kid, especially when your mom is nowhere around.

Fortunately, you (the sick kid) carry your immune system wherever you go. And fortunately it works pretty well most of the time.

Five important things every college kid (and every college kid's mom) should know about being sick when you're not home. DearKidLoveMom.comOccasionally something slips by and you get sick. This usually causes your immune system to kick itself in the butt and get working. Because chances are you have a virus and there’s not much in the way of treatment for viruses except letting the aforementioned immune system do its job.

Here are 5 Important Things to Know When You’re Sick and Mom Isn’t Around:

  1. Stay hydrated. Sometimes easier said than done. Water, apple juice, chicken soup, and tea are all good options.
  2. Take ibuprofen or acetaminophen. It will help ease the aches and pains and help you fight whatever fever you’ve got. (On the other hand, plenty of people say that a fever is your body’s way of creating an inhospitable environment for the virus.)
  3. Sleep. Again, easier said than done. But try. Napping is good.
  4. Toast. Take a few nibbles of toast if you can. Don’t overburden your system with a lot of food.
  5. Know you will survive. You may not feel like it is possible, but I promise you will live through this. It just has to run its course. And that can take a while.

We love you, kiddo. Feel better.

Love, Mom

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You Will Not Believe What We Ate In Bloomington Indiana (Go Hoosiers)

Dear Kid,

Continuing my attempt to eat enough calories to feed a small country in a single meal. Yesterday, Pi and I had lunch with one of her friends at a vegan/vegetarian restaurant.

It was absolutely delicious. But vegan does not mean low calorie. Nothing that starts with a mountain of sweet potato fries (with two dipping sauces) is low calorie. Even if it’s for the table to share (because tables don’t eat very much – ha).

Then, because why not, we went to a little coffee café for dessert.

Saying “dessert” in this case is like saying the Atlantic Ocean is a puddle.

We had a sundae that started with two kinds of ice cream (we chose honey and a chocolate loaded with all kinds of stuff), then added chocolate syrup, salted caramel, and whipped cream. And because there is no way that could be considered excessive, it was topped with a piece of to-die-for cheesecake, more whipped topping, more syrup and caramel and nuts. And two spoons.

Saying “dessert” in this case is like saying the Atlantic Ocean is a puddle. DearKidLoveMom.com

Again, stopping there seemed too conventional. So we added a piece of cinnamon pecan bread pudding with brandy sauce. And coffee. What’s dessert without French press brewed coffee? Black because A) that’s how I like coffee and B) I’m watching my calories. Watching them go right to my hips, anyway.

So we added a piece of cinnamon pecan bread pudding with brandy sauce. And coffee. What’s dessert without French press brewed coffee? Black because A) that’s how I like coffee and B) I’m watching my calories. Watching them go right to my hips, anyway. DearKidLoveMom.com

Since we were still full from lunch we took our time deciding about dinner, and eventually decided to try a Tibetan restaurant. I’d never had Tibetan food before. We thought we’d have light a light meal. Except not so much.

Dinner came with soup (excellent even though we had no idea what it was) and salad.

Then we had an order of momo (Tibetan dumplings) filled with mashed potato and different kinds of onions, served with soy sauce and hot sauce (the hot sauce wasn’t), and Kham Amdo Thugpa “a hearty stew made with handmade Tibetan noodles, daikon radish, onion, tomato, green onions, and cilantro.” Your choice of chicken, beef, or tofu (we chose chicken) and spice level 1-5 (we chose 2).

It was awesome. The spice level (2) would have killed Dad, but Pi and I thought it was perfect. Spicy goodness, set off perfectly by the not so spicy momos.

Then we rolled home. Can’t wait to see what we’re doing for brunch today…

Love, Mom

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And You Thought I Only Liked Rings On My Fingers…

Dear Kid,

Continuing new experiences, I went to a boxing match last night.

And had a good time.

There's more to boxing than hitting. There's not getting hit, for instance. ~George Foreman DearKidLoveMom.com

To be clear, it was Indiana University fraternity and sorority members fighting, the rounds fights were 3 one-minute rounds, and there was a lot of safety equipment. Even so, the medical team won most of the matches. Match called on account of excessive nose-bleeding and whatnot.

To me, boxing is like a ballet, except there's no music, no choreography, and the dancers hit each other. ~Jack Handey DearKidLoveMom.com

Coming in second was the charity the event was raising money for. We’re sure they talked about it because they had non-boxing people in the ring at one point, but it was far to noisy to tell what they were talking about.

Yes, girls can box. DearKidLoveMom.com

IU Sorority and Fraternity boxing fundraiser. DearKidLoveMom.com

The mobs (as mobs are wont to do) screamed for blood and victory (unclear in which order).

Lots and lots of people turned out for the boxing fundraiser at IU. DearKidLoveMom.com

It was an extremely orderly mob. IU Boxing. DearKidLoveMom.com

Pi decided she can represent her sorority in the fight next year. And before you ask, OF COURSE I’ll be here to watch her. I pointed out that perhaps trying to hit someone while they are trying to punch your face off might be a wee bit different than punching a heavy bag. She shrugged and said it was all about committing to the punch. 

Pi in the ring. Lord Love a Duck. Fortunately, I have a year to get used to the idea.

Love, Mom

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Guanaja Chocolate (You Need to Know About This)

Dear Kid,

Are you familiar with Guanaja (Gwa-na-ha) chocolate? Of course not. Because if you were, you would have undoubtedly shared such information with your mother and I only learned about Guanaja chocolate last weekend in Chicago.

Are you familiar with Guanaja (Gwa-na-ha) chocolate? Of course not. DearKidLoveMom.com

This is clearly a giant hole in my education. And—being the kind of mother I am—decided it would be wrong of me to let you suffer from the same ignorance gap.

So—obviously—I consulted My Friend the Internet.

If you were to head into the Caribbean and stop approximately 43 miles north of Honduras, you might (if you’d planned things carefully) find yourself on the island of Guanaja.

This might surprise you since not many people aim for Guanaja, but there are several excellent reasons to go there.

The first is that the ocean around Guanaja is home to a gorgeous and enormous coral reef. There are also several beautiful waterfalls. Watch carefully for traffic. In 2006 there were only 3 cars on the island, but by 2011 there were 40. By now there is doubtless a traffic jam.

Apparently (pre-traffic jam), Chris Columbus landed on Guanaja. Here he discovered cacao for the first time and immediately dropped peanut butter in favor of chocolate.

All this according to My Friend the Internet.

The thing is, when you ask MFtI for more information about Guanaja chocolate, you are immediately offered opportunities to purchase Guanaja chocolate. When you protest and suggest history, amount of exports, or any other darn fact is what you’re looking for, the Internet giggles and wipes chocolate off its chin.

The point is Guanaja chocolate exists. One usually speaks of it as 70% Guanaja. If you pronounce it correctly you can look smug and superior, even if you have no idea what you’re talking about.

And even though I have no idea what I’m talking about, I can say with certainty: Yum.

Love, Mom

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Chicago | The Trip Finale

Dear Kid,

While we ate our way from one end of Chicago to the other (and back again), we did a bit of shopping and sightseeing (just to break up the monotony of all the food).

We rode the trolley, the El, and taxis. We found the taxi drivers to be kind and interesting and the taxi fares to be….um, encompassing.

What exactly goes on in Chicago? Taxi prices Chi-town. DearKidLoveMom.com

Across the street from the hotel was the aforementioned patisserie, and a tea shop where we learned about different kinds of tea (shocker). And I purchased some new and interesting teas (even bigger shocker).

What a wonderful tea store. DearKidLoveMom.com

Wandering around, we found some really interesting statues.

Dad hanging out with his peeps. DearKidLoveMom.com

And the occasional dinosaur.

Sue the Dinosaur at the Field Museum. DearKidLoveMom.com

We also found some really expensive stores which will have to survive on someone else’s hard earned cash as we bought exactly nothing. At least nothing we couldn’t immediately eat.

Love, Mom

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Dateline: Chicago. I’m In A Sugar Coma

Dear Kid,

Dateline: Chicago.

I’m in a sugar coma.

According to Chicago native folklore (and by “native lore” I mean I saw it on a bag in a store here), the important things to do in Chi-town are 1. eat, 2. eat, 3. eat, 4. see the bean, 5. eat.

According to Chicago native folklore (and by “native lore” I mean I saw it on a bag in a store here), the important things to do in Chi-town are 1. eat, 2. eat, 3. eat, 4. see the bean, 5. eat. DearKidLoveMom.com

Because Dad and I are wild and crazy, we added 6. see Navy Pier and 7. the Field Museum, but other than that, the Wisdom of the Bag prevailed.

After breakfast on Saturday of our anniversary trip (temperature minus 4,783 degrees Fahrenheit—not including wind chill), we began with a visit to a patisserie for macarons. We chose balsamic fig (which turned out to be our favorite), coffee, and Guanaja chocolate. Yum. Then we rode the trolley to Navy Pier where we HAD to have Garrett Popcorn (yum—and orange colored fingers).

We chose balsamic fig (which turned out to be our favorite), coffee, and Guanaja chocolate. Yum. DearKidLoveMom.com

Our pre-lunch snack was at the Field Museum (where we also had lunch a few hours later because there is a limit to how much museum this girl can do without being fed and caffeinated).

Dinner (drinks, appetizers, entrees, and first dessert) was at Le Colonial, a very nice French Vietnamese restaurant.

By the time we finished dinner, the temperature had dropped a million or two degrees, so we walked (did I mention the high heels, skirt, and the temperature?) over to the new Water Tower where we planned to go to the Signature Lounge for Dessert 2. After we showed our IDs (yep, we were carded), we went up, up, up but in the lounge there is a limited dessert menu which did not include what we wanted. So we gazed at the view for a few minutes, passed on dessert, went down, down, down, and walked back to the hotel.

Most of the walk was along Miracle Mile. We had to walk there at night because we don’t earn enough to stroll there when the stores are open.

Dad was still dead set on finding Dessert 2. I was dead set on getting out of the cold and out of the 4 inch heels. We compromised by going back to the hotel and getting carryout dessert from the restaurant there. I chose banana bread pudding (shocker) and Dad got chocolate (bigger shock). I would have taken a photo but we pretty much snarfed them.

Tomorrow, I’m ordering a new wardrobe from Omar the Tent Maker.

Love, Mom

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