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Scattered Sundays

Bennett started t-ball this week, and Troy is his coach. They both seem excited! Bennett’s favorite part so far is wearing the cup and jockstrap and dancing around the house. Six-year-old boys never change. Ever.

Last weekend, Jack had two friends over for the first time in two years. We’ve had my nephew over, and some family friends that we love with two kids, but we hadn’t really deviated from that.

It felt so weird and normal. And it felt fantastic to hear them laughing and being silly. Though, I have decided three tween boys are called “A Funk”. Peeee-ew!

These boys have been Jack’s closest friends since the start of school. His friend group is changing (as it always does as we mature), and I’m so happy that these two are in his life. They were such great guests and a joy to have over.

One of the boys is a top-three state champion wrestler for his weight division. At one point Bennett jumped on him and was giving peak little brother energy. The kid let Bennett “pin” him and said “oh, Bennett you’re so strong, I can’t win”. He didn’t have to play along in any way, but I appreciated that he did.

The other boy finished our carton of milk after eating the cookies I made for them (which they were highly complimentary of). He threw the lid in the garbage, rinsed the carton, and asked me where the recycling was. I mean, seriously!

I texted the moms to compliment them on raising such nice young men. I only hope that my kids act like that when they are around other people.

First thing Monday morning, we took Bennett to the allergy doctor. She could hear his dry cough from the waiting room (it’s SO loud and makes everyone stabby) and had us fill out an asthma questionnaire as well as the allergy paperwork.

They did testing, and…he is allergic to nothing! Didn’t even react to grasses or trees. Meanwhile, if more than three people in my neighborhood mow their lawn on the same day, my eyes are swollen shut.

Oh, and to Bennett’s eternal relief, he is NOT ALLERGIC TO CATS. Maybe someday his lifelong dream of owning 20 cats can be realized. Assuming, of course, he never wants his dad or grandma to visit him as an adult.

She agreed with our pediatrician’s assessment that Bennett’s tonsils were “stupidly large”. We’re trying two things to get the dry cough under control. One, an inhaled steroid to see if that relaxes his airways. We’ve tried Albuterol but it doesn’t do anything for him.

After two weeks are up, if the steroid doesn’t work, we’re going to try kid’s Pepcid for a few weeks. Because his lungs are clear and there is no wheezing, we’re curious to see if he has some sort of reflux. And could that reflux be causing him to clear his throat in the form of a cough that’s so aggravating it makes you want to kick a wall?

Oh, and you know my hatred of the American healthcare system, so this rant will come as no surprise. The medication we’re trying for two weeks was $50 WITH INSURANCE. It would have been over $225 without it.

My heart freaking broke thinking that somewhere there were parents who were having to choose whether to feed their kids or heat their home over trying a medication to see if their kid would stop coughing. I hate this system. Unsubscribe. 1 star, do not recommend.

Next up: ENT on Tuesday morning. I walked in there with a look on my face that said “take out these tonsils or I will take them out myself”. Oh, and I also verbally said that, least they not be able to read expressions on my face.

For YEARS, Bennett has developed super high fevers every 6-8 weeks. I’ve jokingly called them his “period” because they’re so predictable and cause a week of grumpiness in our house. I know some people are team “let the fever run its course”, but his fevers get up to 104/105F and put in him the danger territory for fibril seizures. I am thankful for children’s Tylenol.

Two months ago, a reader (was it you, Melissa??) suggested that it was might be Familial Mediterranea Fever, and it looked somewhat similar to Bennett’s symptoms, but he never had GI issues or vomiting. Well, the ENT listened to everything I said about his illnesses and knew exactly what it was.

Bennett is textbook for PFAPA (Periodic Fever, Aphthous Stomatitis, Pharyngitis, Adenitis). Basically, if my child were an acronym, it would be this! It has been six long years of this, and to say I lost 30 pounds of weight off my shoulders to have a diagnosis would be an understatement. AT LAST!

So, here’s what we’re going to do for this PFAPA…we wait. We wait until he gets his next fever cycle and then we give him 1 dose of oral steroids. Just one wee little dose. And if that clears up most of his symptoms in about 24 hours, then we have proven the diagnosis.

Prolonged steroids are NOT a solution for PFAPA. In fact, they can often cause the fever cycles to come more often. Hard pass. Because those pesky adenoids are part of the cause of this, we rip them and the tonsils out. Hurray! Byyyyyye tonsils.

Best case scenario, we’re able to wait until summer to take those boogers out. I mean, he misses enough school with being sick, but 1-2 weeks of recovery is not ideal in the middle of the spring term. I’m willing to play the long game with this if we can.

One thing I mentioned to the doctor is that whenever he gets these fevers, no one else in the family catches them. Troy doesn’t have the best immune system, and we joke my nephew would have 10 kids if pregnancy was contagious. And yet, neither of them would catch whatever it was that Bennett was “fighting”. I mean, this kid sneezed in my mouth while sick and nada.

The doctor said that when he’s in these cycles, he is not contagious, shedding virus, etc. This was so validating for me to know that I wasn’t going crazy! Or as my friend Rachel joked, “validation that you don’t have Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy”. Amen.

Last week I got a bug up my butt to start adding more plants to our indoor space. If you’ve read this blog for long, you know that my plant knowledge is for outdoor plants/gardens. So I am dipping my toe into indoor plants, and walking a fine line between “this seems nice” and “my children will destroy this with Nerf darts”.

In the before times when we had new people over to the house, oftentimes they would ask if we had just moved in. Frankly, our decor is sparse. We’re not winning HGTV awards over here for inspired home decorating.

We have nothing on the walls anymore. At one point we had a photo wall up on the giant blank wall near our TV…only to find it was Jack’s absolute favorite place to bounce a ball against. OVER and OVER. Until we die.

And since most of our living space is made up of windows, there are limited other walls in which to display any artwork. If we um, actually had some. But we don’t.

I would love to get something to hang on the wall by our kitchen table but can’t find just the right thing for the space. I want something bright and colorful but also have to balance my wants with the maleness of this household.

This brings me back to plants. I can slowly add a plant here and there and see if it survives the onslaught of roughhousing that is the destroyer of things in the Cook household. I started small and added two little plants to the windowsills in our kitchen.

Both plants came with cute little white pots which would look wonderful if my house was already colorful. But it is not. So, I used some spray paint I already had and put one heavy coat on the pots. I think they turned out nicely and add a fun pop of color to the kitchen.

a teal flowerpot on a windowsill in a kitchen.

I got back late evening yesterday from my blogging conference in Chicago. I don’t have enough time to recap it all but will share about it more next week. TLDR: I had so much fun, I didn’t have to take care of anyone but myself, and it was so nice to be in a house with just chicks. 🙂

What I’m reading this week

I finally finished Empire of Pain and gaaaah it was depressing. It was an important read but one that made me want to cry and throw the book across the room.

Very few people in the states can say they don’t know someone who has been impacted by the opioid crisis, and this book traces the start of it to the release and aggressive marketing of OxyContin. It’s so sad and was entirely preventable.

With airport waiting time and two flights this week, I was able to get through some reading. First up: Apples Never Fall from Liane Moriarty. I haven’t read much by her before, except one of my favorite books in the last 10 year, What Alice Forgot.

I really liked Apples Never Fall. It was a great storyline with a lot of intrigues threaded throughout the entire book. It keeps going right until the very last page.


Long-time reader (and bestie), Anne left this five-star review on our Air Fryer Twice Baked Potatoes {Pin this recipe}:

This was easy and delicious!  My air fryer took about 48 minutes on 370 to bake the potato, but it was a giant potato (at altitude?  Does that matter?). Anyway, delicious!  Thank you!

a plate of air fryer twice baked potatoes topped with cheese, chopped bacon, and green onions


Air Fryer Cauliflower GnocchiCrispy and easy Air Fryer Cauliflower Gnocchi is a speedy weeknight dinner. Packed with flavor, this tasty fried gnocchi is a delicious gluten-free recipe you can make in under 20 minutes.  {Pin this recipe}

Mocha Frosting This is the best Mocha Frosting you’ll ever try! Smooth, creamy, and with the perfect kick of coffee, you’ll flip for this chocolate coffee buttercream. {Pin this recipe}

three chocolate cupcakes with espresso buttercream frosting

Air Fryer AsparagusOnce you taste Air Fryer Asparagus, you’ll never make it any other way! Deliciously tender and perfectly crisp, asparagus in the air fryer is a simple and speedy side dish. {Pin this recipe}

roasted air fryer asparagus on a grey plate with lemon wedges

Baked Brie With GarlicLooking for a delicious and easy savory appetizer? Baked Brie With Garlic is creamy, packed with flavor, and a sure-fire hit at your next party. {Pin this recipe}

a hand holding a cracker with a scoop of roasted garlic brie


  1. Air Fryer Egg Rolls – vegan and vegetarian as written but super customizable! On, and did you know you can FREEZE these? {Pin this recipe}
  2. Homemade Pizza Rolls – freezer-friendly too! Basically, I think everything should be frozen. {Pin this recipe}
  3. Instant Pot Garlic Butter Rice – so easy and so comforting! {Pin this recipe}
  4. Air Fryer Appetizers – because eating a few different appetizers and calling it dinner is pretty rad. {Pin these recipes}
  5. Air Fryer Pretzel Bites – one of my favorite air fryer recipes of all time! And these beautiful bites of dough are freezer-friendly too. {Pin this recipe}


Monday:: Instant Pot Zuppa Toscana, stovetop garlic bread, and salad.

Tuesday:: I’m photographing a new recipe and we’re eating it!

Wednesday:: Takeout to support a local small business and my sanity.

Thursday:: Troy is making tacos, Instant Pot Mexican Rice, and veggies.

Friday:: Air fryer hot dogs, organic tots, and veggies.

Saturday:: Popcorn, leftovers, and movie night. (moved from Friday due to tball)

Sunday:: Instant Pot Tortellini Soup and veggies.

What are you having this week?

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10 comments on “Scattered Sundays”

  1. Yup it was me. Glad you have a sort of answer for the fevers. For my son the mediterranean had to be grown out of, and he had a note to ensure the school nurse that he was not contagious with a fever. He sure missed a lot of school though. Every 6-8 weeks like clockwork. He went on gout medicine (colchicine) for it (????). Worked like a charm but WITH insurance was $100/month. Imagine w.o. Yup, our medical system is severely lacking.

    • The gout medicine is interesting! How long did he have to take it, and how is he now?

      I could get a note about Bennett not being contagious, but he’s so miserable and whiny when he has a fever and I love his teacher too much to ask her to deal with alllllll that.

  2. Oh man, getting to the bottom of what’s been causing those fevers is so amazing!

  3. Oh dear AHC.. disaster for everyone but the elite.. just imagine older folks with the bureaucratic mess that is Medicare and you get double the problems.. I feel bad for older folk trying to figure that whole mess out(me included). You’re lil potted plant looks adorable .. I hope it has a couple of friends nearby.. we don’t have indoor plants except for orchids.. but we make up for them outdoors.. tropical weather outside 🙂 Oh I bet it feels wonderful hearing laughter and friendship with the young ones.. and yes they’ve been raised respectfully just like your offspring.. happy heart to read about their manners. 

    • Disaster and a nightmare. Oh, I don’t have to imagine it for older people, I helped my parents through that system + disability from the state, etc. It’s designed to make people give up and give in. Hospice and a respectable death should be a human right. Not a privledge.

      So far, it’s just the two little plants. I’m trying to add more when I go into stores…which isn’t often!

  4. I absolutely agree with you about the American health care system.  My hubs and I are so very lucky to have good coverage.  The last time I picked up my prescription inhaler (asthma) the pharmacist remarked on it.  I was dumbfounded at the actual cost.  It shouldn’t be this way.

  5. What veggies do you eat with tacos? Trying to add more veggies and we do tacos weekly. Normally I just do beans. 

    • I typically just do a salad or something grilled that might be getting old in the crisper.

      Encurtido is supposed to go ON main dishes for the most part, but I happily eat it on the side in a bowl for multiple kinds of meals.