Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Our Family Olympics

The boys and I have been in the Olympics.  Bet you didn’t know that.  It was the winter of 1998.  The US team was in Nagano and we were in the Midwest.  The boys were really little, and the flu was making its rounds.  In our house that flu turned into a team sport, and we were the champs.  I’m talking Gold Medals, all.

At that time Husband traveled to NY one week every month for business.  It was during one of those trips that all h*ll (heck) broke loose at home.  Older Son was first.  He was so sick:  fever, unable to keep food or drink down, poor kid.  I took care of him, trying to lower the fever and keep him hydrated all while caring for the not-yet-sick child.  I was next, and Younger Son joined the team right behind me.  There were times I couldn’t even raise my head, let alone care for 2 kids in different stages of the stomach-flu-from-h*ll.  Those days I remember waking up midday with my cheek on the cool kitchen floor to see the boys sleeping on the floor too.  When I was at my worst I would rim the kitchen table (the boys could reach the edges only) with sippy cups of water and juice and with mini bagels spread with peanut butter, with crackers, cinnamon banana bread, with whatever I could think of that wouldn’t go bad that the boys could help themselves to through the day.

Cinnamon Banana Bread | | #recipe

Cinnamon Banana Bread

I don’t live anywhere near my family.  They are all on the East Coast and I’m in the Midwest.  We moved here 10 days after we got married.  My husband was in retail and retail was tanking on the East Coast.  He was recruited by a company here and I agreed to come out here for 2 years.  I didn't realize he meant dog years.

Shortly after purchasing our first home here, a Real Estate Agent made a cold-call to my home.  She was calling people in my neighborhood because she had a new listing and wanted to know if I had any family members looking for a house who might want to move close by.  I told her if she’d put in an ocean and a nice ski mountain I’d ask…

...So there was no family here to help us.  My Mom offered to come out but because you can’t get here directly from…well…anywhere, by the time she got here I figured I’d be minimally functional.  Friends tried to help in a “ding dong ditch” kind of way.  They’d put ginger ale or food or whatever they thought I might need in my front door, ring the bell, and then run for their lives.

In the end we conquered that sport.  It took time and effort and perseverance.  We were sore for days afterwards, but that’s the price an athlete pays. 

Years later, when the boys were in Elementary School, the Olympic Torch went through town. It was being passed from one runner to another nearby. I hadn’t given it much thought, maybe because it was winter and it was freezing out, or maybe because the kids were in school. Sometime during that morning I started to think about wanting the kids to see the torch. I went back and forth about taking them out of school but then I realized that as former Olympians, we probably had an obligation to be there. 

Olympic Torch | | #family
The (Salt Lake) Olympic torch
passed between runners not far from our home.

I’m sure Older Son & Younger Son were thrilled that I showed up at school and took them out in the middle of the day.  I know they didn’t even care that we were standing in a crowd on a street corner freezing and waiting for that exchange to happen.  My Olympians stood directly beside the 2 runners as that torch made its way through their home town, and that made it all worthwhile.  And if flu-fest ever becomes an official Olympic sport?  Sorry, we have no desire to relive those glory days.

Baking In A Tornado signature | | #MyGraphics

Cinnamon Banana Bread
Ingredients, Dusting:  
3 TBSP sugar mixed with 3/4 tsp cinnamon

Ingredients, Bread:
6 TBSP butter
1 1/2 cups sugar 
2 eggs
3 overripe bananas
1 cup sour cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour
2/3 cups cinnamon chips

Ingredients, Topping:
2 TBSP brown sugar
2 TBSP flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 TBSP butter

*Preheat oven to 325 degres.
*For the pans: Grease 2 loaf pans and dust with the cinnamon/sugar mixture.
*For the bread: Cream butter with sugar. Beat in the eggs, bananas, sour cream and vanilla.
*Mix in the cinnamon, salt, baking soda and flour. Stir in cinnamon chips.
*Divide into the pans.
*For topping: Mix the brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in the butter.
*Sprinkle the topping over both pans.
*Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until the top springs back to the touch. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing.


  1. Heh. Love this post. I too could have won a gold in this sport.

    1. Sad claim to fame but you take what you can get!

  2. I think it's great how you incorporate recipes to your posts, such a good and unique idea!

    1. Thanks for the comment. My kids give me plenty of opportunity to bake!

  3. What can I say? You're family was one of the greatest Olympians that ever lived.haha. You really have a unique style of blogging. I love it!

    1. Good to hear that you're laughing. If you're laughing, I'm succeeding!

  4. That's actually one sport I'd gladly decline. LOL. Great that you were able to share the torch passing experience with your boys. Great post. Found you through Menopausal Mother...and following

    1. So glad you came my way via my friend Menopausal Mother. I'll be visiting you as well.

  5. Except for the cool torch part, I swear that you are reliving my life. Flu among siblings ... been there, done that, discarded the pukey t-shirt.

    1. Oh yeah, I've thrown clothes into trash bags, rugs too. Just not worth it.

      I love that you always get me!

  6. Oh, man...I've been there too. All of us except my daughter were sick at the same time with an awful strain of flu. Some kind neighbor came and took my daughter to their house, but the rest of us were helpless. I don't think I slept on the kitchen floor though! You are all survivors!!!

    Yummy banana bread recipe, too. I've never put sour cream in banana bread, and can't wait to try it. Thanks, Karen.

    1. So difficult when the mom's sick. So heartbreaking when a kid's sick. But Mom AND the kids? That was a nightmare.


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