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!