Saturday, November 9, 2013

Better get busy!

I know it's been a while - again - and I know I keep saying it, but I'm really trying to make an effort to schedule my blogging in.  There are SO MANY things I would love to share other than just on facebook, so many things I think could be helpful to others if only I could get them put in writing.

Many of my friends warn me that maybe I need to slow down a little bit and take a step back from some of the things I'm doing.  I know it would be crazy to bite off any more right now!  

My appointments for Baby are currently bi-weekly.  Can't believe Tuesday will put me at 20 weeks!!  19 more to go!!  It's no fun having gestational diabetes, pricking my finger 4 times a day (when I remember to do it!), taking pills 2 times per day, and closely monitoring my food (most of the time!! lol!!)  I'm having my A1C tested again on Monday.  My 2 hours post-meal blood sugars are coming back fine, but my fasting is still too high.  Doc said I may end up on insulin injections before the end of my pregnancy.  Because of the diabetes, I was also told that I will not be going to my due date, which is April 1.  If I don't go on my own before, I'm going to be induced during my 39th week.  That means March 25th or later.  Beau is really hoping for earlier.  She wants to share her birthday with her little "sister" on March 24.  (Or so she says - we're not finding out what we're having :) )  The concern of going to my due date is having too big of a baby.  Hopefully he/she isn't too big!!  And hopefully my VBAC goes without a hitch!  Monday afternoon my hubby and I are going in for my next ultrasound.  Can't wait to see the little stinker who's been kicking me :)

Homeschooling has been a little bit trying lately.  Scrappy has very interest in his spelling words, yet he loves trying to read to me.  Last weekend he read book 9 of Cat and Rat to me - such a proud Mommy moment!!  I try explaining that the more spelling words he learns, the more he's going to be able to read.  I don't spend much time focusing on sight words - I'd rather he knows how to spell them out.  We've also been working on basic addition and starting on subtraction.  He does really well with his shapes, colors, and number.  Sometimes, though, it's just hard to get him to focus because he is too busy wanting to do other things.  I try to get at least 20 minutes, if not an hour, of reading in most days.  I signed him up for the Book It! program through Pizza Hut.  We set a goal of 480 minutes per month, or 8 hours.  I've been working on a lot of hands-on learning stuff with him.  Last week we made butter from heavy cream.  It was a learning experience for both of us.

Got our heavy cream, jar, and lid.

Filling the jar about half full.

Making sure we have the right amount.

Put the lid on and shake, shake, shake!!
Our first attempt was with cold cream which, of course, resulted in - WHIPPED CREAM.  After shaking for 20 minutes, we realized we weren't getting any butter, so Google to the rescue! Missed one important step - the cream had to be brought to room temperature :)  Our next batch turned out better, although it still wasn't quite right, but was really good on bread with our goulash at supper time! 

We have a whole bunch of other fun projects we're planning on.  We're using the book Colonial Kids: An Activity Guide to Life in the New World for our current lessons. (Have I mentioned how much I LOVE the public library??)  I got about a dozen books about Thanksgiving, Pilgrims, and Colonial times, along with some other 'fun reading' books.  We try to get to the library about once a week, and this week we got the closest we ever have to the book limit.  We have 45 of a possible 50 books checked out!  To try to keep track of them, I try to return any we've read any time my husband or I will be going by the library.  I'm glad they have a drop box because they aren't open Friday or Saturday and only open a couple hours on Sunday.  I'm going to try to post more of these as we go!!

Of course, every week I still have my TOPS meetings.  And I LOVE my TOPS group :)  A few of my friends there are a little bit concerned about my lack of weight gain with this pregnancy.  Lack of weight gain?  I should say, with my weight LOSS.  At almost 20 weeks, I am down about 13 pounds right now.  My doctors aren't concerned since we have frequent ultrasounds.  I wouldn't be too sad if it keeps up either!  I'm less than 10 pounds from my lowest TOPS weight so far.  I'm going to try really hard to keep it off this time!  We have group walks scheduled 2x per week.  I try to get to them.  I hope to make it to more of them and hoping we get the stroller fixed.  One of the tires won't hold air, but I can't find the leak.  Hopefully hubby can fix it soon!

Every other week I'm busy with Girl Scouts still.  I'm a little disappointed with a few of the girls I have because it doesn't seem like they all want to be there and they don't want to put in the effort.  At the level I teach, the girls are responsible for completing their own badges.  They can do as many of as few badges as they want.

Then there's my business.  When I'm not doing one of the above (or even when I am), I'm usually working on something or another for work.  I'm really loving working for myself - REALLY for myself and not doing direct sales and only getting paid a fraction.  Plus at craft shows/vendor fairs, people want the instant gratification of getting their items immediately and I'm able to take custom orders so people get exactly what they want.  So far so good - I'm just hoping over the next couple shows I do that business takes off a little bit more.  I'm still working on building up my inventory a bit and feeling people out for what they are looking for and what is going to sell well.

Scrappy just finished these projects a few minutes ago.


I think it's time we do a bit of reading now.  Mama's gotta get some meal planning done too....

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Reminiscing

It seems that we've been doing a lot of this lately.  Reminiscing.  Thinking about and remembering the past.  One thing in particular.

Baden.

His name has been coming up a lot lately.  His birthday is a little over a month away.  So is the anniversary of his passing.  My Little Warrior would have been 2 this year.

Scrappy has been missing him a lot.  When we talk about the baby that we're expecting in the spring, he asks about Baden.  When is Baden coming home?  When do I get to play with Baden?  Is this baby going to be like Baden.  We spend time gently reminding him that no, Baden is not coming home.  This baby is not Baden.  This is a new little baby.  

When will I get to see Baden?   You will get to see him when you are much, much older.  When it is your time to go to heaven, you will get to see him and spend time with him and play with him.

At the gas station today, a lady I know asked how many kids I have now.  This is always a tricky question.  But I answer 3 with 1 on the way.  She told me how she couldn't imagine what we'd gone through, and about how many people have judged my husband and myself because of Baden's passing.  Because of our decision to end his suffering and take him off life support.  Until you're in that position, you never know what you'd do.  I didn't think we'd ever be able to.

But if you knew your child was suffering?  If you knew the next seizure could be the one that kills him?  That the doctors told you it was just a matter of time, because there was nothing more you could do for him?  You'd done everything, prayed every prayer for him, and he was only worsening, what would you do?

We did what we thought was the right thing.  We took him off life support.  If God wanted to take him to be an angel to watch over us, we would accept it and let him go with as little pain as possible.  If God had chosen to grant us a miracle, we would take that too.

Sometimes, I guess, we just have to trust that God knows what He is doing and has a plan for us.  We have to believe that there is a reason He decides to call our little ones back home before we are ready to let them go.

There isn't a day that goes by that I don't ask myself if we made the right decision.  I still feel awful that I made my husband decide when it was time, but I knew deep down I couldn't do it.  But I still have a million questions.

If we would have waited, would things have turned around?

If I hadn't signed to have the central line moved, would we still have lost him?

Should we have taken the doctors at their word, or should we have researched things further before saying yes (even though many of decisions were made split-second)?

Should we have said yes to the autopsy?

Is there anything we could have done differently? 

Could we have prevented this?

Is this Karma, or from not being as strong in my faith as I once was?

So many questions.  I wish someone had the answers.  I wish I knew things would not have come out differently - that this is how it was all supposed to come out in the end.  I know there is nothing I can do now to change the past, but I can honor my son by remembering him always and remember what a blessing he was in my life.

And I must forgive myself and let the guilt go.



The Angel with the Book of Life
Wrote down my baby's birth.
As he close the book, he said,
"Too beautiful for Earth."

Monday, September 16, 2013

Oh My! Monday

Today has not gotten off to a very good start :(  I have a list of things I would like to get accomplished, but so far, not so good.  About the only thing I've gotten done is Scrappy's treatments, but he's not being very cooperative about it.  We're supposed to go sign up for taekwondo today, but the way he's misbehaving, I told my husband that we may not.  We have to run to the bank and pick up Scrappy's MAC delivery before we do anything fun.  

Since today is Monday, Scrappy gets his new spelling list.  I really hope he catches on to this week's list as quickly as his did last week's.  He would walk around singing his spelling words and how to spell them - no, off, on, the, at.  I don't remember offhand what this week's list is. But he did get 100% on his spelling test!!

We took a little field trip over the weekend also.  About a week after our hometown electronics recycling day, our big old 32" TV died.  It's been sitting in the driveway since then.  I had seen an ad on TV saying that Refest was going on in Austin and they were offering electronics recycling for only $5!  Admission to Refest was free, and there would be stuff for the kids to do.

Of course, I didn't take my camera and couldn't find my phone (which had fallen to the bottom of my purse.  It is impossible to find anything in a CF Mama's purse since it's a walking pharmacy plus!)  Daddy managed to snap a few though!  The kids each got their pictures taken with their "environmental pledges."  These are supposed to be coming via email.  Scrappy said he's going to use less water.  Beau said she's going to walk more, use less water, and turn off the lights when she's not using them (which we've already had to call her out on! haha!)  We all got to hold a fox snake, even though we missed the snake and owl show since we were still waiting for the recycling line to move.  We did make if for part of the turtle show, which was pretty cool.  There was a baby turtle less than 24 hours old, a couple snappers, and a tortoise.  





I was a little bit disappointed by the "solar powered carnival" that was advertised - the rides consisted of 2 bounce houses and the refreshments available were only popcorn and lemonade.  Really glad we only bought $5 in tickets!  That got both kids into one bounce house and bought 2 popcorn and 2 lemonades.  We did buy some really good apple brats from one of the vendors though.

After a couple hours we headed home.  Hubby went to help a friend with a car project.  I had a sinus headache and pretty much napped the rest of the day away. 

Yesterday the kids started Sunday School again and Beau and I started Girl Scouts.  I am not looking too forward to this year because there is already a ton of drama taking place.  I really hope it doesn't continue because I honestly don't have the patience for it.  I don't need the drama in my life.  I'm seriously considering transferring my daughter to another troop if it continues.  I guess we'll see what happens...

Monday, September 9, 2013

Oh the pain!!!!

Beau started school last week - so far she's enjoying 5th grade!  I have yet to pick her up from school, just because of our busy schedules!  Grandma picked her up Tuesday and Friday since Opa and I were canning Tuesday, and I was flying solo on Friday.  Wednesday and Thursday a friend offered her a ride home, which was fine with me.

First day of 5th grade for Beau.  Scrappy already started Kindergarten, but we still needed the picture :)
He has his backpack because he brings his homework with to the cabin when we're canning.
Tuesday's project of 54 pints plus 1 quart salsa and 11 quarts applesauce 
I've been laid up pretty much since Friday night.  My canning partner in crime, my Opa, has been on vacation since Wednesday, so I've been left in charge of the 71 tomato plants in Opa's garden.
My Opa, getting ready to can :)
The only rule he gave me was "Don't let the tomatoes rot in the garden and go to waste."  Other than that he doesn't care what's done with them, as long as they're used.  Scrappy and I went out Friday morning and picked 5 buckets full of tomatoes.  When Beau came over after school, she picked 2 more buckets for me, plus a bucket of green beans.  My back was already starting to get sore, but I just kinda shook it off.  It's not uncommon to have a sore back when peeling tomatoes, especially with being pregnant too.  I did 35 quarts of canned and 2 gallons frozen tomatoes before I gave up for the day on Friday.


I figured I could sleep it off and I'd be feeling better on Saturday.  Beau got a hot pack for me, I took some Tylenol, and crashed hard.  Except on Saturday, I could barely stand up on my own.  It was miserable getting out of bed.  I managed to drag myself down the stairs without my knees collapsing, although they threatened to at every step.  A long, hot shower didn't help at all, so hubby ended up taking me to Urgent Care.  Of course, since I'm pregnant, they couldn't really do anything for me.  I was told to ice it, take Tylenol every 6 hours, I could use some muscle rub/Bengay/IcyHot, rest, and time.  He also reminded me "there is no cure for chronic back pain - there is only pain management."  I tried to lay in bed again, but that was the worst mistake of all.  The muscle spasms in my back were so severe I couldn't breathe.  It took me more than 10 minutes and the help of my husband and my daughter to help me get out bed again.  

I've spent the last 2 nights sleeping in my recliner, which isn't so bad.  It's pretty comfy and a lot easier to get out of!  Beau slept in the living room with me Saturday night, and my Gingy kitty slept on me.  Last night both Ginger and Abby were vying for spots on my lap.  Eventually they worked it out so they both could sleep on me - and that's 28 pounds of kitty!!  Ginger's not usually a people-friendly kitty, but especially lately she's been my lap kitty.

I supposed it's time to get Scrappy busy for the day and to get started on some school work with him. Here's a picture he drew as an assignment last week.  Of course, I told him to use crayons and the unlined paper, but (big surprise) my kids don't always listen.



Several friends attempted guesses at what this was.. no one was close.  I even had him explain it to me.  Our unit study was on owls, so I asked for a picture of an owl, an owl's home, and a picture of what an owl eats.  So this is an owl, standing on its nest full of eggs, with a snake hanging out of its mouth.  Do you see it now?

Diabetic Friendly Recipes #1

This recipe I have seen several times on Facebook in many variations posted by several different "sources" but have not been able to track down a single source for it.  It is really good and has no carbs!!

Oopsies
Ingredients:
3 eggs, separated
3.5 oz cream cheese (light)
pinch of salt
1 tsp cream of tartar


Separate the eggs, with the egg whites in one bowl and the egg yolks in another.  Whip the egg whites together with the salt until very stiff. You should be able to turn the bowl over without the egg whites moving.

Mix the egg yolks and the cream cheese well. If you choose, 1tsp of cream of tarter or baking powder (this makes the Oopsie more bread-like).

Gently fold the egg whites into the egg yolk mix – try to keep the air in the egg whites.

Put 6 large or 8 smaller oopsies on a baking tray.
Bake in the middle of the oven at 150° C (300° F) for about 25 minutes – until they turn golden.





This next recipe uses both fresh and frozen veggies because this is what I happened to have on hand.  If using all fresh or all frozen, the veggies can be all added at the same time.  1 c of soup counts as 1 carb choice.

Veggie Cheese Soup
1/2 red pepper, chopped
1/2 yellow pepper, chopped
1/4 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 large block American cheese, cut into cubes
2 c frozen broccoli
2 c frozen cauliflower
2 c peeled chopped carrots
8 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cups milk
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in soup pot.  Saute onion, garlic, and pepper until tender.  Add carrots and broth.  Bring to boil.  Add broccoli, cauliflower, cheese and milk.  Return to boil, reduce to simmer.  Cook approx 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and veggies are tender.


Another recipe from facebook.  Making this tonight and hopefully the kids will eat it.  Scrappy is helping me to make supper, so the next 3 recipes are the plan for supper:

Baked Cheesy Tomatoes
Ingredients:4 tomatoes, halved1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese1 oz reduced fat provolone cheese, shredded or Mozzarella1 tsp chopped fresh basil1 tsp chopped fresh oreganoSalt to tasteFreshly ground pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 450° F.Place tomatoes cut-side up on a baking sheet.Top with Parmesan, provolone, oregano, basil, salt and pepper.Bake until the tomatoes are tender, about 15 minutes.

Changes for this recipe:  Our oven goes into self-cleaning mode at 400, so we'll have to bake a little bit longer at a lower temp, like 375, but should still be ok!


Green Beans with Lemon and Garlic (From Foodnetwork.com)
Ingredients
2 pounds green beans, ends trimmed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon lemon zest
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions
Blanch green beans in a large stock pot of well salted boiling water until bright green in color and tender crisp, roughly 2 minutes. Drain and shock in a bowl of ice water to stop from cooking.

Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the oil and the butter. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the beans and continue to saute until coated in the butter and heated through, about 5 minutes. Add lemon zest and season with salt and pepper.

And our final side for this meal:

Zucchini Pasta  (from About.com!) (We will serve tossed with homemade spaghetti sauce)
  • Zucchini
  • Salt

Preparation:

1. Using a vegetable peeler, peel strips off zucchini, working your way around the squash. They can be as wide or as narrow as you like. Keep going until you reach the seeds (a few seeds won't matter, but you don't want it to be too seedy). You can also use a mandolin for this.

2. Put the zucchini strips in a colander or strainer, sprinkle a liberal amount of salt over them,and toss to coat. Use perhaps a quarter teaspoon of or a little more of salt for several cups of strips. Put the colander over a bowl and put a small plate on top to squeeze out the juice as it emerges. To speed things up, put some kind of weight on the plate such as a can of food. You can leave it like this for an hour, or up to 24 hours (they get more solid over time, but most of the action happens in the first hour). If you think of it, toss the strips with your fingers at some point to make sure the brine is well-distributed.

3. Rinse the salt off and either press the excess water out (you can just return it to the colander/plate setup) or spread the "noodles" out on a cotton dish towel (not terry cloth, or you may get lint.

4. The zucchini pasta is now ready. It doesn't really need cooking, but you can gently warm it up. Don't cook it too long, or it will stick together and/or become mushy - it's much more delicate than regular pasta. Enjoy!
I'll be sure to post how the meal actually turns out when it's done :)

Monday, September 2, 2013

The End of Summer

Tomorrow is the beginning of a new school year - and I must say I'm kinda glad!!  These two kids have had more than their fill of each other and are at each other's throats!  When they are only together a few hours a day, they seem to get along better.

We pretty much laid low here at home for the whole holiday weekend.  We finally moved in to the new addition on the house last weekend, so we spent this weekend working on little things around here.  Hubby moved a bunch of furniture around.  Our addition has a mudroom, half bathroom, and our new living room.  We will also have a new bedroom upstairs once the stairs get cut in.  Our old living room became our new dining room, and our old dining room is in the process of being converted into an office/craft room for me.  It will also be our classroom for homeschooling.

We had one super exciting thing happen today though.  Hubby found my wedding and engagement rings, which have been missing since before Baden was born!!  I swore he had put them somewhere, but he insisted he had given them to me.  When he was cleaning off the china hutch (which is too tall for me to reach), he found both of them, in the baggie, on top!  I was SO excited!!  I was positive they were lost forever!  It's still going to be 30 weeks until I can wear them, but at least now I know where it is.  I'm going to put them in my safety deposit box just so I don't have to worry about them until it's time to get them fixed.

I tried another new recipe today - made a low carb veggie cheese soup.  I'm working on a post with the diabetic-friendly recipes, so when I have a few, I'll post that :)  I was surprised, no one noticed the lack of potatoes or meat in the soup.  Hubby even went back for seconds!  Now THAT is a compliment!

I also spent quite a bit of time prepping food today.  We had picked up a box of snack sized baggies when we were at the store yesterday.  In addition to chopping veggies for stir fry tomorrow, I prepped snacks for the kids.  I measured out (a little less than a whole serving) of pretzel sticks into baggies, and Cheez-its.  I prepped bags of green and purple grapes and put into the freezer.  Grapes are great frozen, and if packed for lunch, should be thawed by lunchtime.  I sliced up strawberries for the fridge, and make our own pudding cups in Gladware containers.  The package said 6 servings, which I easily split into 8, and cost about the same to make as it would be to buy a 4 pack of pre-made cups.  Yogurt was on sale, so we picked up a bunch of those along with some string cheese.  I explained to the kids that these snacks are not just "whenever" snacks - they are for snack break, after school snacks, or to pack with lunches.  They need to ask before just helping themselves (which is the habit that Scrappy somehow got into lately and I'm trying to break!)  We'll see how it goes. 

I suppose I should get to bed early since the kids are in bed and will be needing to get up early.  Night!!

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Mi Vida Loca!!!

My crazy life - it's the name of the game.  I don't know what I'd do if it wasn't crazy - and crazy busy!!

I am homeschooling Scrappy this year, and probably the next few years, because of his Cystic Fibrosis.  We are on Week 3, although we don't have a super strict schedule right now since it is canning season.  And canning we have been!! 


Scrappy doing his vest treatments

Salsa!!

Peeling apples in between swimming

Just this last week, we did 27 pints and 14 quarts of applesauce, 21 quarts of whole tomatoes, 4 quarts of tomato juice, and 55 pints of salsa.  I still want to do another batch of applesauce, which I was hoping to do this weekend, but now I'm not so sure about.  I have all next week too..

School starts on Tuesday for Beau.  We decided it was better for Scrappy to start a little earlier than everyone else because he's going to get a couple weeks of for spring break, which Beau only gets a few days.  But once our new little bundle of joy arrives, I'm going to need a little break from home school.

Yup, that's right! We're expecting!!  We originally figured my due date to be March 27, but Dr White said I'm measuring a little bit small, putting my due date closer to April 10.  I have an ultrasound coming up on Sept 24 and she thinks we'll have a better idea then on my due date.  Unfortunately we've already found that my blood sugars are running high again, which means a bunch of finger pricking and changing eating habits.  I guess it's not so bad, since I lost weight once I got on track last time, but it's a huge change away from the pasta-based meals that are so easy to go to and depend on.  So my next series of recipe posts will be diabetic friendly ones.

My business has also launched.  Mama's Gift Corner is all about homemade, hand made gifts.  Since I've been canning, I haven't been doing as much work as I had before, but it's only for a few weeks.  I want to get my inventory built up before the fall craft shows start so I can hopefully get into a few and start selling!!

Well, I need to get some breakfast.  Have a great day!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Where had the time gone??

Wow - I didn't realize it has been so long since my last post!!  I guess things have just be so chaotic, that it kinda slipped away.  

Let's see, Scrappy had surgery this spring, spent 6 days in the hospital, then decided not to poop for 3 weeks, so spent another 4 days in the hospital for that.  We had to change his meds and add a few others to keep him going so he doesn't get bound up again.  We spent 2 weeks in swimming lessons.  I discovered my Scrappers is quite the little fishy!!!  He passed Aquatots with flying colors!!!  He's been swimming every chance he gets at the cabin.  He's been pretty active this summer.  I can't believe my "baby" is 5!!!!

Beau turned 10 in March and just finished 4th grade. She's been playing baseball again this summer, which I have been assistant coaching.  Baseball actually ends this weekend with our tournament on Saturday.  Beyond that, she's been helping around the house - or is supposed to be.

We also have 2 family reunions on Saturday, so it's going to be a bit chaotic.  I was also elected president of my TOPS chapter in March, so I've been pretty busy with running the meetings and trying to change things up and bring more life to our chapter.  

On Aug 1 I will be opening my own business.  I'm sure nervous about it and can't believe it's only a week away!!  I'm still setting up the website and have a few miscellaneous things to do, like find a tote that some of my stuff is stashed in, but I'm hoping for the best.  Once the website is up and running, I'll post more about it.  I'm also considering entering a few of my 'projects' in our local county fair.  There's no entry fee, and it could only help business to get word out there, right?

Things are just kinda overwhelming still right now.  We're still working on the house.  Yeah, I'm not happy about that.  We really need to get a push on that.  But most of what is left to do my hubby can do. 

There's also a very big announcement coming up VERY SOON.... I'm hoping to be able to post more about it tomorrow.  But in the meantime, I could use all the prayers I can get....

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Our Busy Life

I haven't been able to update much lately.  Part of it has been time constraints - absolute chaos in our home.  Part of it is issues with my computer.  Fortunately we'll be getting our tax refund back the end of this week, so I'll be able to take it in to the shop.  From the sounds of it, the fan needs to be replaced.  It's making an awful noise, gets warm, and shuts down.  I'm very glad I have a friend that only lives 30 minutes away that is a pro with computers! 

So here's a little bit of what's been going on lately:

Beau entered into the school Science Fair.  She's been asking me what would happen if plants were watered with milk instead of water, so I suggested she do that for her project.  She grew 3 bean plants from seed watering them with regular water, and 3 plants from seed watering them with 2% milk.  She did all the work herself, other than Mom doing a little proofreading and helping to print the information and pictures out.



She didn't get many pictures of her project since most of them came out blurry.  But it's something to we learned for next year. 



We didn't know she could bring with some actual plants, but now we know that for the future too.  We're proud of the work she did.  She even earned a blue ribbon!  Daddy was busy working on the house and trying to corral Scrappy, but Nana and Papa made it in time for the awards ceremony.


She's already planning what she wants to do for next year's Science Fair.  I told her she needs to do her board before last minute, since she was up until 11:30pm working on that... but I wasn't going to do it for her.

We also had doctor's appointments for both kids on Feb 18 to follow up on Beau's cough and Scrappy's quarterly CF checkup. It was a long day... the kids had to fast, we got there at 6:45am and didn't get out of there until 5:15pm. (Well, we had a little bit of time to make a flooring run and ate a picnic in the van for lunch before heading back to more appointments.) I am very lucky to have such good kids to make it through such a long day!!  Somehow, Beau didn't make it into any of the pictures though :(  We let Scrappy stay in his jammies for most of the morning so he could snooze on the way..






They are pretty sure her ongoing cough is a combination of habitual coughing, acid reflux, and mild dehydration.  She hates that we have to monitor her fluid input and output. "Mom, it's embarrassing!" Haha.  If she only knew what's to come!

Scrappy's appointment went pretty well.  His weight hasn't changed, his lung xrays were clear, but his culture came back with excess of haemophilus influenza.  He normally cultures it, but it was a little more than normal, so he's on a 2 week round of Bactrim.  Unfortunately he hasn't figured out how to spit out what he coughs up, so he's throwing up some of that right now.  It looks like it's going to be a full day of snuggling today!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting the Kids Involved

As many moms do, I often find myself wrapped up in my daily routines.  I feel guilty that I don't spend as much time doing fun activities with my kids as I would like to.  I have been making more of an effort to do that lately, and to do it inexpensively.  I have been reading books and blogs on the topic and taking notes on what does and doesn't work for my family.

Beau often asks for a hot breakfast in the winter.  We have accrued about 15-20 boxes of cold cereal because of WIC, which she is usually OK with during the rest of the year.  I've said it before and I'll say it again - I am not a morning person.  Unless it's something easy - or unless I've been up for an hour already and had my morning coffee - I don't usually cook.

I found a great solution for breakfast!  And it gives Beau a feeling of responsibility by allowing her to do a little more cooking.  She's quite responsible and careful, and if she has any questions she's sure to ask.  I used a "universal muffin" recipe and figured measurements to use some oatmeal I had in the cupboard.  I based the rest on what my family likes.  Their favorites are blueberry, oatmeal raisin, and chocolate chip.  I've expanded on the chocolate chip a bit by adding about 1/3 cup of peanut butter to it.  We only have crunchy on hand, but that adds a little extra texture too.  This week I also figured up lemon poppy seed muffins with chia seeds added.


The kids helped me with this.  Scrappy and I measured and mixed up all of the dry ingredients.....




.... while Beau measured and mixed up the liquids. 



I found quart jars are just the right size for the dry stuff, while the pints work great for the wet. 




When it's all mixed up, it makes a dozen regular muffins in 20 minutes or 2 dozen mini muffins in about 13 minutes.  (Even hubby usually gets time to eat a couple before he leaves.  We've been doing mini's most mornings because those seem to be the better size for Scrappy.)  Now, in the mornings, Beau knows she can turn the oven on to 350, grab a jar out of the cupboard and one out of the fridge (all are labeled so we know which liquids go to which dry.... we've been doing 3 at a time and don't make more until all 3 are gone, which has been working well), mix the 2 together, and there's breakfast!

The kids also asked for some dessert that evening.  Since I had all the mess out anyway, I decided to keep going.  We made "rocky road" brownies with a box of fudge brownie mix I had found in the cupboard.  We added about a cup of mini marshmallows, half a cup of chocolate chips, and a quarter cup of pecans to the mix.  After it had baked, it was hard to tell there were chocolate chips in there, and the marshmallows had caramelized and seemed to have risen to the top of the mix. But they were still really good!!!!

Since I had soup on the menu for a few days later, I also made a starter for sourdough bread.  That sounded like it would be good with soup.  It was my first time, and I didn't realize that it would rise and bubble up so much.  It overflowed and made a mess on top of my microwave!  At least it was sitting on top of a towel.  I thought the end result was pretty good even though my hubby said it didn't taste like sourdough.  I guess that means Beau and I will have to eat it then!


Scrappy has his Valentine's party at daycare tomorrow. (He currently goes to my neighbor's daycare on Thursday mornings when I have my TOPS meetings.)  He wanted to make his gifts and cards, which worked out pretty well.  He wanted to make "big crayons" for his friends.  (Beau has a Crayola crayon maker that she got for Christmas a few years ago, but I decided to try someone else's method and made them in an old muffin tin.  It was a lot easier than the crayon maker!!) 



I found some outlines online, printed and cut them apart, and he decorated them. 

We were very happy with the final product of the crayons!




He's happy too.  I can't wait to see what his friends think :)

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Thundersnow?

We have been experiencing quite the Minnesota winter this year!!!  Temps ranging from -20 to 45 within a day!  Thunder, lighting, snow, rain, ice - all in the same day.  Sunday morning, hubby took a couple movies back to the library for me, then went to the grocery store to pick up a few things before the weather got too bad....

It was worse than he thought. 

I was sitting in the recliner, and I heard this terrible screeching sound.  Beau looked out the window and told me "Daddy's stuck!"  I went to look, and sure enough, he had the tires spinning on our GMC Safari and wasn't making any progress up the driveway until he slid to the grass.  When I went out with some ice melt, he told me that was his second trip up the driveway.  The first trip up, he parked the van.  It then slid down the driveway and into the road - in park! Scary stuff!!  I was ice skating across the grass, the driveway, and the sidewalk.  (Of course, in normal Minnesota fashion, school was only 2 hours late on Monday.)

Garland and Christmas lights on our front railing - coated in ice
 
Our front yard - completely covered in ice!

The kids and I hung out in the house while hubby worked on stuff in the addition.  I'm happy to report that we have drywall up!  All the walls are about half covered so far.  It's looking like a real house!!



I don't know why I didn't think about it before, but I finally decided to make homemade pudding pops.  I had bought a large pack of craft sticks (300 or so) for $1.  I also has small paper cups from an interesting attempt at making Jello shots (no one told me I had to add WATER with the alcohol!) so I figured, why not?  In the cupboards I found both chocolate and vanilla - great combo, right?






2 boxes made 15 pudding pops if the glasses are filled most of the way.  I've learned that Scrappy likes them, but can't finish a whole one.  Next time I'll need to make some half size.  Beau liked them so much, she asked if I could make them for when she needs to take treats for Girl Scouts, which will also make them her birthday treats.  We're going to try some combinations of chocolate and banana also.  One thing I did notice is they didn't freeze very well in our fridge-freezer.  When we put them in the chest freezer, they froze solid.


Today Beau had a little bit of embarassment at school today.  She split her pants right up the front.  Who knows how she did it - she's not even sure.  I have been warning her that her jeans seem to be looking a little small lately, even though she thinks they fit.  I took her a pair of pants, then went shopping at my favorite consignment store after school.  I find it almost impossible to buy her most clothing without her with me trying them on.  I think she tried on 8-10 pairs of jeans today before she found one that fit.  She had been wearing 12s and 14s, but none of those she tried on fit.  They were too big or too small.  I found some 'Junior' sized and figured, why not?  Turns out, she fits a 'Junior' size 4!  I let her get 2 pairs.  They were marked with white tags - which happen to be the 50% off tags for this month.  Scrappy wanted to check some stuff out for him too.  I usually browse for upcoming sizes for him while we're there.  Unfortunately there weren't any jeans in the next size for him, but he did score 3 new pairs of jammies on the $1 rack.  My grand total for Beau's 2 pairs of (name brand) jeans and Scrappy's 3 pairs of jammies: $0.62.  The rest was paid for with the credit we earned from consigning the kids' outgrown clothes.  I had also asked about buttons since I will be needing them for some upcoming projects.  She didn't have any, but said to ask every time I come in.  She did suggest I contact our local tailor shop.  Turns out, they have a bunch of them from past projects and will part with them!  I asked how much they'd be and was told it depends on how many I want.  A few would be free.  I asked for a couple dozen and was told $1, maybe $2.  A lot better than the store's rates!  And all I had to do was ask.


And now to leave with something cute.  This is a little project that I started - and almost completed - tonight.  I didn't cut the button holes because I don't have a button for it yet and don't want to cut it too big...  I'm hoping the recipient really likes it!!

My first scrapwork apron :)