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 :)