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Scattered Sundays

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I got my second shot on Thursday!! Woot, it’s all done and behind me now. In about two weeks, you’ll find me out in society licking ALL the doorknobs I want. 🙂

Knowing that I now have more freedom to go out and do things is pretty rad. But I almost feel like I don’t know how to be in group settings anymore with people who aren’t my family. I’m one broken extrovert. Will I just start spontaneously hugging strangers?

I’ll share my experience with Moderna’s shot #2 since I know a lot of people feel anxious about it. My experience won’t be the same as others, but all in all, I was 98% fine after that second shot. I’m not here to convince you to do anything; just to tell you how things went for me.

My older sister didn’t have any side effects, so like all little sisters throughout time, I decided to just copy what she did. 🙂 She told me she just focused on being super hydrated before and after her second dose. She had consumed 48 oz of Gatorade before the shot, but since I don’t like Gatorade, I turned to coconut water which is nature’s Gatorade.

My second dose was at 9 am, and before I went in for it, I had already consumed 38 oz of water and 16 oz of coconut water. I finished another 16 oz of coconut water on my drive home. I went for a walk when I got home (split into two parts since I had to pee…) and then pounded water for the rest of the day. By 4 pm I had consumed a gallon of fluids.

I have been sleeping like absolute crap over the last week. It’s been a nightmare. All the medical professionals that I know recommend Tylenol instead of Advil for 10-12 days post-vaccine. Tylenol usually does nothing for me but I took half of a Tylenol PM and went to bed by 9:30 that night.

Sadly, the “sleepy” portion of the Tylenol PM did nothing for me and I was up every 45-60 minutes. Please note, this has been my normal for the last week so it’s not related to the vaccine. I woke up at my normal time (4:50 am) and jumped in the shower.

I did feel a little dizzy with a slight headache when I was in the shower. Being a formerly very ill pregnant lady, I knew to turn the water temp down, and get out of there as soon as I could. I went and had a small snack after my shower, took two regular Tylenol for the headache, and was right as rain within 15 minutes.

As a life-long teeth grinder, I can tell you that the headache felt similar to me clenching my jaw all night. Which I probably was doing. Water and the Tylenol took care of it with no problem.

My arm was LESS sore with the second shot vs the first one. I always get that super sore arm feeling with the flu shot too, and this was no worse than that.

I never got: body aches, chills, fever, or joint pain. I know many people do have this experience (including Troy!), but I’m here to offer a perspective that it was fine for me. If I had felt like this while pregnant, it would have been my best ever day during that very barfy time.

To prepare for the chance that I might feel icky, I made a batch of Instant Pot Matzo Ball soup, bought a box of Wheat Thins (side note, I haven’t had Wheat Thins in years and OMG they’re so good), two liters of coconut water, and a bottled smoothie. I didn’t need any of it other than the coconut water. But you can bet your butt I’m enjoying those Wheat Thins with some Tillamook Extra-Sharp Cheddar.

It feels amazing and I am thankful to be fully vaccinated, but it also feels weird. I still don’t go anywhere, but I’m still wearing my mask when I pop into the post office or a restaurant. The parents wear masks at the preschool pick-up site, even though it is outside. I know CDC guidelines changed this week and I think I’ll just wait and see how that plays out.

I’m all for masks, but I’ve always found it a bit silly that they’re worn outside when social distancing is possible. I’ll take the boys to the state park and we’ll be hiking on a trail and come across people hiking solo with a mask on. I’m all for doing what makes you feel comfortable…but I’ve never been able to wrap my head around this usage.

I think the transition to “normalcy” is going to be like the first few months after your kid is fully potty-trained. For the last few years, you’ve been conditioned to pack a full diaper bag and plan around where you can access clean places to change them. But once they’re potty-trained, there is so much freedom and the world is now open to you.

I remember the first time Troy’s friend asked him for coffee and I begged him to pick a coffee shop with a deck so they could meet outside. It was February and he was not impressed with this request. He also gently reminded me that they were both vaccinated and preferred to not drink coffee while sitting in the sleet.

2 women smiling, one holding a cup

My Mother’s Day gift to my MIL: “Here a Mother’s day Mug from your son bought by your daughter-in-law”.

Within 90 minutes of finding out that the Pfizer vaccine was approved for 12-16-year-olds, we had an appointment for Jack to get his. A friend’s sister-in-law is a pediatric physician and was getting the shot for her kids, and that was enough for me! Actual doctors I know and trust who went to school for eight years… > your aunt on Facebook.

a boy making popcorn

Every stuffed cat remembers the first time they learned to make popcorn.

In addition to vaccine celebrations, we also found out that Bennett was accepted for open enrollment at Jack’s old elementary school! The school he is supposed to attend is much more convenient for us, but we love the academics and staff at this other school.

Since he will be open enrolled, we’re responsible for transportation. This was a lot trickier with Jack while I worked in an office location, but we made it work. Being self-employed is rough at times, but it does give us the flexibility to make choices.

In addition to it being a fantastic school, it’s also sooooo much closer than his current preschool/kindergarten. And it’s freeeeeeeeeee! I remember when Jack went to kindergarten and we no longer had to pay for full-time daycare and part-time preschool, we felt like we were RICH!

Back then we still had to pay $300 a month for full-day kindergarten (it was made free for everyone the following year. Of course.), and before and after school care. But it was such a relief when it came to our budget. I’m thrilled to be almost done paying for school and the gas to make a 40-minute roundtrip twice a day.

2 handmade mother's day cards

The boys and I spent some time outside at my sis’ one afternoon this week for a belated birthday visit for my nephew. I feel bad that we’re always going over there, but it’s what’s best for everyone. Our yard is tiny and is mainly a garden, but my sister has SO much outside space. 

My sweet little nephew has pretty bad asthma so we’re extra careful with him and his crappy lungs. As of now, we all hang out outside, but I’m looking forward to the day when we can be indoors again too. Soon. Soon!

a bouncehouse in a yard

This bounce house was our only “panic” purchase last spring and it’s been a good one. And yes, that is an old bed skirt on top for shade because my kids are pale yo.

This week I finished up the extensive application to volunteer as Bennett’s soccer coach. I gotta tell you…I now know why they have a hard time finding coaches. The process is SO CLUNKY. There are two different platforms you have to use, two separate instructions on how to upload things, you have to convert certificates to jpegs instead of a pdf because of upload limitations, etc. Clucky AF.

It also involved almost four hours of video training on concussions, sudden cardiac arrest, and child abuse. I know all of these are important. It’s just hard to find the motivation (and time!) to do it, knowing each kid will play about 5 minutes per game and then spend the rest of their time picking their noses.

I played soccer for years but stopped in junior high. I was fine, but never great. Jack is a wonderful player and is begging to help with the team. He’s so good with little kids (who aren’t related to him…) and the players would adore him.

This will be Jack’s final year of club soccer. I’m sure his team will keep going, but it is time for him to try out for select. If he wants to play in high school and potentially beyond, playing with a club team only 11 weeks per year is not ideal. He loves soccer and it is definitely “his sport”. 

a baby yoda on a bed wearing clothes

In the Garden This Week

Last week I mentioned that much of our strawberry patch had been decimated. This week I did a deeper dive into it (AKA, more weeding) and y’all, it’s a full-on Greek tragedy. 

The soil was in horrible condition, the strawberries were too crowded, and the weeds were atrocious. I’m going to fire my gardener and leave her a terrible review on Yelp. See if she ever works in my yard again! Ha.

Seriously though, the soil was ZAPPED. No wonder there was such extensive die-off of the berries. I truly only have myself to blame on that one. I spent almost two hours clearing out the rest of the weeds and hauling 5-gallon buckets of composted chicken poop to spread around the berry patch.

I had previously mentioned that I’m going to use pavers to raise this space at the end of the season, but I think I’m actually going to do something more like garden edging. Does anyone have any experience with a brand that they can share?

The space for our berries is really narrow, and if I don’t have to lose any of it to the bulk of pavers, I’d be a happy girl. It’s also a curved border, and I think we all know how terrible I am with those kinds of finish details.

I did pull out the strawberry towers during the weeding because they were now in the way of our apple trees. After thinking about it, I realized I don’t have any space to relocate them. But a friend is coming over on Tuesday to ask gardening questions and she wanted to learn how to build the towers. Instead, I can just hand them off to her and everyone is happy.

Some of the strawberries have tiny green berries on them. I can’t help but think they’d be a little further along if the soil they were in wasn’t so terrible. I’m the freaking worst!

strawberry plants in a planter

Our tomatoes are also ready to be planted, but in true “meh” fashion, they’re still in their pots anxiously waiting for me to get the show on the road. I went low-key this summer and only got 14 plants. Most years it is 16-22, but I think I’m just hoping to have enough to eat and give away this year.

Some years are canning and “hyper-squirrel” years. And some years are enjoy the harvest and give away what you can’t save. I think in our second summer of lockdown, it’s not good for anyone’s mental health to be in squirrel mode. But if I want, I can always freeze tomatoes if I feel called to do so.

Bennett was the first one to notice the flower buds on the raspberries. I feel like we typically get our first few raspberries in June(ish). I know the soil in the raspberry patch is also a hot mess, but I’m worried I can’t fight all the canes to get to it at this point.

I might just need to “make it rain” compost from the top down. You can catch footage of this on my reality show that captures the truly *exciting* life that I lead.

Our two mini drawf apple trees both have teeny baby apples on them. Nothing lasts forever with two boys around, so the actual amount we can harvest is much lower than the amount we start with. Both trees produce super tart apples, which sucks from a fresh eating standpoint, but makes awesome apple butter.


We have been an air fryer family for 4-5 years now and we’ll never go back. We even took our air fryer on our last vacation with us because the fully furnished kitchen didn’t have one.

Going into summer, the air fryer becomes an even more valuable worker in the kitchen. You can cook, bake, and reheat food without heating up your kitchen. Hollah!

As of the time of this post, our favorite air fryer is currently $20 off and you can get yours through this link.

What I’m Listening To This Week

Counterclock is back for season three and I am here for it! Season 3 is investigating the 1989 Pelly family murders in Indiana. If you’re a true crime fan, you have likely heard or read about this case before.

The podcast sets out to re-examine the facts of the case that led to Jeff Pelley’s conviction and follow leads that connect the victims to unsolved crimes in South Florida. (source)

What I’m Reading This Week

I finished Professional Troublemaker and loved it! I’m currently reading The Nightingale at the advice of some readers and friends. I recently finished The Great Alone by the same author and really loved it.

The Nightingale is also set during one of my favorite literary time periods – WWII. A few other books in that genre that I love – The Alice Network, Beneath a Scarlet Sky, Winter of the World, and All the Light We Cannot See.

As a reminder, the links above support a local small bookstore. If you choose to purchase through them, all earnings go directly to the bookstore. I also advocate for using the library, which is how I read 99.99% of my books!

Reader Spotlight of the Week

Long-time reader, Catherin left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Pretzel Dogs {Pin this recipe}:

These are a family favorite!!! We tend to use the pretzel dough recipe (same things just more dough) so that I make a batch of pretzel dogs and pretzels in one dinner. Bonus snacks with minimal extra effort = Win! Sarah’s recipes are so easy to follow and are just yummy!!

A hand dipping an air fryer pretzel dog into a bowl of mustard

On Sustainable Cooks This Week

Frozen Sweet Potato Fries in Air Fryer – These Frozen Sween Potato Fries in an Air Fryer are so deliciously crispy. Baked, not fried, this easy air fryer appetizer is simple to make and cooks in only 13 minutes. {Pin this recipe}

frozen sweet potato fries in an air fryer on a plate

Rose Lemonade – This delicious Rose Lemonade is an incredibly refreshing drink. Made with freshly squeezed lemons and culinary rose water, this is a unique beverage that the whole family will love. {Pin this recipe}

multiple glasses of rose lemonade with slices of lemon and rose petals on a white board

Strawberry Waffles – These fluffy Strawberry Waffles are a fun twist on a traditional waffle recipe. This simple fruit waffles recipe is light, crispy, and made from scratch. {Pin this recipe}

Strawberry waffles topped with sliced strawberries and whipped cream

The Five Most Popular Posts This Week

  1. How to Freeze Spinach – so many people are going to have awesome smoothies this winter!  {Pin this tutorial}
  2. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan/vegetarian as written, but you can make your version to your tastes.  {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Rice – we always have a bag of this in the freezer for quick meals. {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Pizza Rolls – the childhood favorite with none of the burns on the roof of your mouth.  {Pin this recipe}
  5. Air Fryer Home Fries – awesome for breakfast, side dishes, or a dinnertime scramble.  {Pin this recipe}

Meal Plan

Monday:: Takeout to support a local small business.

Tuesday:: Troy is making homemade pizza and air fryer asparagus.

Wednesday:: Creamy Tortellini Soup and salad from the garden.

Thursday:: Air Fryer Taquitos, a new recipe I am testing, and salad from the garden.

Friday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night.

Saturday:: Troy is making something he calls “enchiladas casserole” that I am excited to try. Plus salad from the garden.

Sunday:: Takeout to support a local small business.


What are you having this week?

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7 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Yahoo, thank you for the heads up on the Air Fryer, I bought one. I see all of your amazing recipes but didn’t think I needed not one more appliance. I was all in today and can’t wait to get mine!

  2. I thought that the gift to your mother-in-law was great, but that photo is hilarious!  Is it safe to assume that is Troy in the background, telling you how HE feels about that gift?
    I don’t get my second shot until the middle of August, then within about two weeks my kids (and their significant others) get theirs.  Hopefully by then there will be definitive proof that vaccinated people cannot still carry the virus and infect others (like toddlers who are ineligible for the vaccine, in our case)  I am looking forward to being able to meet friends at the mall for a tea again and to just be able to pop out to a store to grab something quick.  But, I think I will continue with my grocery pickups.  I only recently learned how great it is to have someone else collect your stuff so you just have to grab the bags and go! Totally worth the $3 fee!  At this particular store, I don’t tend to buy much produce or any of their meat, so my shopping list is easy to get right. And no impulse buys!  I still have to roam Costco, but I’m okay with that.  I usually find a little something (books or outfits) to pick up for my granddaughter at each visit!   I need Ontario to get out of lockdown though.  You can only purchase “essential” items in person and I dropped and shattered my glass water bottle a couple of weeks ago and want to go back to the Costco Contigo ones (spill-proof and one-hand use).  But water bottles are not ‘essential’, and they are not available on the website either.  I am reduced to using my old, grody “back up” bottle. (I am just so glad I hung on to it!!!!)
    I laughed at myself when I remembered that there is an age difference between your kids.  I was thinking that it will be nice having both kids at the same school.  Now, I realize that it would be really, really weird!

  3. RE: vaccinations. I’m at the, “Do not punish those of us fully vaccinated persons by requiring a face mask in your business.” At the moment I am not shopping at or frequenting stores that continue to require a face mask. 

    I also happen to live in a state that is part of the vaccination rate train caboose, and frankly I’m done caring. The anti-vaxxers, and then, the purposely unvaccinated never cared about the mask mandates in the first regard; and it is long past time for the rest of us to stop caring about them.

    RE: meal plans. Our meal plan for this week is topsy-turvy because Darling Husband is “traveling” overseas for meetings (Zoom), so we’ll be eating the evening meal at strange hours to accommodate his conference calls. In ordinary times I would be joining him and sharing fabulous IG snaps of sates; grilled skewered meats and Goreng in all its glory. But this week, I will be curled up on the sofa with a book while he is, “In Conference.”

  4. Ok, so air fryers. Do they replace a toaster oven? Our toaster oven is on its way out…
    Confession- I kinda like the IP, but I REALLY miss my crockpot. The only thing I’ve made in the IP that I can’t make in the CP is Hard boiled eggs. (And yogurt, but I only made that once.) I find I have more motivation and energy to cook in the morning, and the crockpot works better for that. Plus, the two humans that live with me are more likely to help with the crockpot.

    I am fully vaccinated now! The base just released new guidance allowing those that are fully vaccinated to go without masks. It’s awesome a d weird at the same time. We just got word that vaccines are open on base for 12+, so we will be making an appointment for Emma this week. She’s nervous about it, but in the long run being vaccinated will give her one less thing she has to stress about.

    My potted raspberries are going crazy. I really need to either repot them or supplement their soil, but I haven’t gotten around to it.

    Try not to be too hard on your gardener, she’s had a ton of stuff on her plate this year and I imagine she’s doing her best! In fact, I bet she deserves a raise or an award or something!

    • We had a toaster oven and an air fryer for about 3 months (in the old kitchen). Our counter space was precious and I realized I could do everything in the air fryer I could do in the toaster oven. But I couldn’t do everything in the toaster oven that I could in the air fryer. So the toaster was donated. Even better, the air fryer takes up less space.

      Hurray for your second shot and for Emma getting hers soon! Jack didn’t have any reactions other than the sore arm. And he’s not one to play down feeling poorly so I definitely believe him that he was fine. We’ll see about the second shot though. He has an orthodontist appointment the day after his second shot that I am trying to reschedule. Who wants people digging in their mouths when they don’t feel 100%?

      Will you be in this house long enough to transplant the raspberries? If not, I’d keep them in the pots and add some compost.

  5. I have not tried enough of your awesome recipes lately and need to master that air fryer.  Your comment about the transition from lockdown and toilet training needs to be published somewhere!   Still loving that gorgeous kitchen!  My first world problem this week is moving around everything to get to California when my deployed son finally comes home!  Poor guy missed all the usual liberties in Hawaii Australia Singapore and was stuck on that ship for 8 months.  You can bet he’s going to get a lot of Sarah’s cooking on leave!  

    • Hurray for your son returning! Being stuck on a ship for 8 months sounds miserable. I appreciate his service and am so thankful he’ll be back shoreside.