My World Is Upside Down

This seems like the place to share all my feelings… being my blog and all… But I’m not ready. Instead I’m just going to give you this link. Please help if you can. Pray if you can’t.

http://www.youcaring.com/other/bring-our-kids-home/240996

Spring Treats

 

So a couple days ago I decided to make some “spa water.” I was chopping fruit for the dehydrator anyway. This is the flavor combination I came up with. Cucumber watermelon strawberry lime and mint. Decided we needed something without sugar  but less boring to drink around the house. I also decided to order some water kefir grains on Amazon. My SIL is in love with fermenting things and she suggested I try it after we talked about how I needed to get started with kombucha again. She’s mailing me another SCOBY, and last night I got a shipping notice for the kefir.

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Dehydrate all the things! Here’s my beautiful dehydrator full of apples, strawberries and watermelon. The apples are destined for other places (snack mix) but the watermelon is for eating plain like candy. The strawberries already ended up being eaten along with some yogurt, but I originally planned to use them for granola bars.

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And here’s the finished product:

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That’s all for the “pretty” stuff. Bright and early my MIL texted my husband that the goats (and she herself) have cryptospiridiosis. Ok, so not so bright, considering it was before sunrise, but definitely early. She’s VERY concerned. Although in a healthy person, a few weeks (up to a few months) of diarrhea is inconvenient, it’s not really something to be too worried about. And eventually the parasite is expelled on its own. In an immunocompromised person (such as someone with Celiac or Autoimmune Heptatitis) or someone taking corticosteriods or immunosuppressants, the parasite can be quite persistent. It can be impossible to get rid of, and will eventually deprive them of nutrients and hydration to the point of death. On the bright side… K doesn’t seem infected. Although M does. So all the kids are being secluded from each other today. We need to pick up hydrogen peroxide and wormwood. Thankfully, we have a WCV scheduled for M tomorrow. So we’ll get everyone checked out then. And perhaps they’ll say it’s nothing?

Whole 30 Weekending

 

 

 

 

 

I occasionally enjoy reading other blogs. One of my favorites (although my husband doesn’t understand the appeal) is The Bloggess. And the other day I went into my kitchen to find this beautiful practical joke from my husband. I love that man.

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It’s been sunny here in Washington. We decided to make the most of our 3 day weekend. Friday we went to the dentist to get K’s cap put back on her tooth. Then we went up north to run a few errands and had lunch at Famous Dave’s. You can make this Whole30 by ordering what I did… The Cedar Plank Salmon (no sauce) with steamed broccoli and grilled pineapple. Just make sure not to get any bbq or honey. 😉 My middle son tore into his hunk of bone-in chicken like a real caveman.

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Picture above is Saturday’s “brunch.” Scrambled eggs with tarragon, smoked salmon and red onion. This was good. The kids really enjoyed it. Saturday we went out for a paleo picnic at the park. I brought more smoked salmon, mesquite smoked turkey, grapes, strawberries, raspberries, baby carrots, hummus, and the kids picked out their own drinks. VitaCoco (coconut water) in pineapple and lemonade flavors. Pictured below is an example of Whole30 stir-fry, in case you aren’t planning a picnic. Don’t use soy sauce. Because I haven’t dropped into Whole Foods for coconut aminos, I made this using thai fish sauce and balsamic vinegar. Sounds weird, but believe me. Top it with a little homemade chili garlic sauce and you wont even know the difference!

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After our picnic, we went to the mall and let the kids drive around on one of the “zoomers” that they rent out at a kiosk inside. They chose the dinosaur and had an absolute blast for the next 30 minutes. And we finished up the day by grocery shopping. And I’m pretty excited to make a few of the things I’ve got saved to my Pinterest boards. Strawberry banana granola bars, apple pie trail mix, fruit snacks… We didn’t pick up any processed goodies for the kids this month. I’m considering making the kids some paleo themed shirts. I’ve got some great ideas. I’ll post them up when I’m done, and of course, because I’m nice, I’ll be willing to make and ship some to anyone who is interested at cost. Because profit is lame. 😉

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Sunday morning we went to church. Which we do every week. It was Palm Sunday and our church was having baptisms. Pastor Kevin preached on The  Bystander Effect as part of his There Is More series. It was a good one. K decided to get baptised, and now I plan to sit down with her during our Bible lessons and make sure she truly understands the importance of her life decision. At only 7, it seems like a 50/50 chance she only did it because she knows Jesus did. After church, our goal was to have a relaxing day in. Our water heater, however, had other plans. And the stupid bottom rusted out at water shot out from anywhere it could possibly escape and has flooded my laundry room. I’m still waiting for a call from  the people who are supposed to replace it. Thankfully, this happened right after I had finished all my husband’s work laundry, and washed the dishes before dinner. The dinner dishes will just have to be done with boiled water (after I’m done with this post.) And I wanted to share one of the AMAZING paleo dinner discoveries I’ve had. Even my kids loved it. Bacon Beef Butternut Squash from The Civilized Caveman. I like this so much, I’m going to post the recipe right here with the modifications I made. DON’T use the cheap packaged bacon. It’ll be too greasy. Grab it from the butcher. Or a Applegate bacon will work. It’s usually reasonably priced at Fred Meyer.

Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Cut squash in half and scrape out the seeds
  3. Place face down in a pyrex dish with 1/2 inch of hot water and cook for 30 minutes
  4. While its in the oven, cook the bacon in a pan until crispy, set aside and leave the bacon fat in the pan
  5. Add 2 of the sliced onions and celery to the pan and then add the beef
  6. Season with salt and pepper to taste and your cinnamon
  7. Continue stirring until the beef is finished, remove from heat and place in a bowl
  8. Remove the squash from the oven, when you can handle it scrape out some of the guts, leaving ~1/4 inch of squash, add squash to bowl with meat
  9. Crumble your bacon and add that to the bowl as well
  10. Mix well and then stuff your squashes with the beef mixture and place back in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes
  11. While your squash are baking, add your reserved onion to your sauté pan (drained, add 1 TBS olive oil… or keep just 1 TBS of animal fat) and cook them over low heat with your balsamic to caramelize them
  12. Remove squash from oven, top with caramelized onions and Enjoy!

Whole 9 Life

My SIL introduced me to Whole30 last year and it really worked wonders for our family. And I’m getting super excited to start our second one after we do our grocery shopping. Which will be next week some time. This weekend we’re going to have to go pick up some meds for K. That mail order stuff was so annoying I have honestly decided it is more worth it to drive up north once or twice a month. It’d be something else if her meds weren’t compounded or were more readily available at pharmacies in child-sized doses… or if her insurance would do more than one month supply at a time… But no. That would be too easy. The worst part being that now they’ve staggered our refill schedule by taking their sweet time filling and sending prescriptions. So I’m not even sure I’ll be able to pick them all up. I’m calling today so wish me luck. Tangent. Sorry. My point being… Since we’ll be up in a more metropolitan area, we’ll be stopping into Whole Foods and Uwajimaya to look for a few things I just can’t seem to find locally. And maybe hit TJs on the way home for some Kerry Gold. It’s seriously so much cheaper there that I’m questioning how grocery stores determine prices in the first place…

I’m stock piling Whole30 friendly recipes on Pinterest. Pinterest is my addiction. You know… besides coffee. And the scale. I admit it… I stepped on the scale again today. But it was down 5.5 lbs so I’m ok with that. I imagine it’s mostly water weight but whatever. Down is down! I don’t know if it is working out or my love of new foods but it’s improving my mood. I can’t wait to go shopping, stuff my fridge full of good food and just get cooking. Although I may have to resist the temptation to make Nom Nom Paleo Cracklin’ Chicken several times a month. I made roasted broccoli (or cauliflower) with Whole30 friendly homemade chili garlic sauce, olive oil and a pinch of Himalayan sea salt… Seriously. My favorite meal ever. The trick to softer oven roasted broccoli, btw, is to toss a TBS of water on the pan halfway through. My family doesn’t like their broccoli crunchy.

Anyway, because of this lifestyle change, I’ve been checking out prices on meat. I’ve looked at stores, farmer’s markets, farms, and butchers… And I’ve seriously decided I ought to raise my own meat. I’m currently working on getting my husband on board and just hoarding information on (you guessed it) Pinterest. Eventually I’d like to have a couple goats, ducks and chickens. Maybe a cow one day. But for now I’d like to start gardening and then raising some rabbits for meat. If you know me, you know I tend to just kill plants. So that’ll be the hard part. Rabbits will be easy. Not so much the killing. That’ll take some getting used to. I’m looking into New Zealand Whites. My daughter will be happy to have the breeders… as long as she doesn’t realize we’re killing the others.

Raw

In addition to my usual household chores, I’ve spent a chunk of my morning researching raw milk. My SIL shared an article on the health benefits of raw milk. And it got me looking into local sources and prices. I’m pretty sure in the process I stumbled across my neighbor’s blog… apparently having written a post on the subject a couple years ago. Not that I know my neighbors. I live in the ghetto and tend to avoid people anyway because of my crippling social anxiety and awkwardness. Something I’m pretty sure is well masked by my cheerful, extroverted nature over the computer. I may not be cheerful. I might be sarcastic. But I think I’m nice, and I guess that’s what really matters. Anyway, I talked to my SIL about it a bit and think I might try convincing my husband that it’s worth working a trip to Tenino into the budget to get raw milk for drinking, and still using the store bought stuff for cooking. There are some local farms and stores that offer it, but $10-11 a gallon for a family of 5 is a bit much. Considering we’re making it just within our budget (if that) most months on just our usual food expenses. I’ve been sneaking us away from eating ANY processed foods (organic or gluten free included) and from grains. And since the higher the quality your meat and veggies, the more they cost, and our family is growing (the individuals, not the size of our family) our costs have, predictably, increased some.

Today I am wearing my new bra, to test out its comfort for all day wear, before doing a comprehensive review of it. Sneak peak of the review: I love this bra. Although my kids are kind of surprised to see me about the house in street clothes. I’m one of those stay at home moms who spends 90% of her days at home in pajamas. I’m a shut in. What difference does it make? Haha. I know Fly Lady would disagree, from what I’ve heard from friends. But it works for me. Especially since my wardrobe is pretty small. What if I waste a good outfit on a day I do nothing and can’t use it on the weekend?

Oh, back to the raw milk thing… Apparently there is a coffee shop in Port Townsend that serves raw milk by the glass for drinking, and in their cappuccinos and lattes. Mr. Music and I were just talking about maybe day tripping to PT soon with the kidlets anyway. You know where I’m totally going when we do. Since my littles (especially A) love Grandma’s raw goat milk, I’m pretty sure raw cow’s milk will seem like a real treat.

K’s cellcept FINALLY came in the mail yesterday. We switched to using a mail order pharmacy. It’s about the most annoying process in the entire world. And I’m pretty sure it’s staffed by morons. But it’s finally sorted out. I’m going to stick it out for now… but if they have problems with refills, we’re going back to driving to Seattle once a month. Because this is just ridiculous. Anyway, the cellcept. It came in a powder instead of a liquid. My husband informs me that shipping liquid medications has different regulations and they probably chose to do this because it’s cheaper. I’m ok with that, although I was surprised. The problem is the instructions. “Pour approximately 94ml of water into a graduated cylinder…”  Wait…. What? Who honestly keeps a graduated cylinder around? So I had to convert ml to oz to tbs before I could mix them. Overall, I’m just thankful it arrived just as we’d run out of the other bottle.

I’m Back

I’m back. Probably. For now. I knew this would happen. I’m the least reliable blogger. I’ve been meaning to update since Christmas pretty much and just have NOT made the time. Since it is pump day, I should at least mention that I did get some awesome pumps for Christmas. Although I haven’t worn them out of the house yet for obvious reasons. My husband bought me Christian Louboutins. The Bianca. And since I live in the great wet PNW, I haven’t let them venture past my front door. I don’t want to get into a big update-y post. But I think there are a few things to note… K has gotten significantly better at reading. M is a math whiz with great hand writing. And A is picking up on some math and sight words along with his siblings. He’s still mostly interested in coloring and singing, but what can you expect? We are considering sending the older two to a Christian school next year.

Everyone had birthdays over the last month. We’re having a party Sunday at our house. It’s set up to be quite some fun for the kids. Though I don’t have anything in mind for entertaining the parents… Oh well. We’ll pick up some snacks and just hang out.

For Valentine’s Day, I entered a contest by my favorite bra maker… and won. Which was a bit of a surprise for me… Giveaways are not usually my thing. I enter them but I have the creative capacity of a teaspoon generally speaking so I wasn’t expecting to win a contest. I got my shipping notification the other day. And in a week or two, I will have a new bra. For free. Awesome, IMHO. I also decided to try a second Polish bra company, just based on options for variety and great reviews. This I’m less sure will end up being a good fit. New company, new style (plunge instead of my favored half cup) and European sizing… Let’s call this a little adventure. That shipped yesterday. If there’s any interest, I can review both bras (although I’m not one of the people you’re going to see on the internet in her bra) after they get here. Actually, considering I don’t have a consistent readership as far as I know… I shouldn’t probably ask for interest. I’ll just review them and maybe people will stumble across the post and it’ll be helpful…

And ending my post with prayer requests…

The brakes on our car went out. We need a solution for that. A speedy one, I mean.

My husband just had a job interview… I’d like them to offer it to him with a nice salary.

And K’s numbers were up after her last labs… Let’s hope for the increase in her cellcept to bring them back down. And for remissions, while we’re at it. Her next appt is complete with an ultrasound. Hopefully things look good. That’s not until May, but I’ll keep you all posted.

Sick Day

We have a sick day going. The kids have been doing well up to this point. We found the 10 Commandment Boogie by Go Fish and have been working our way through memorizing them. And we added body parts and counting to 10 to the list of things the kids can do in Chinese. Plus a few more songs. A was singing Wo De Peng You Zai Na Li the other night in bed. I couldn’t figure out why he kept calling our number magnets “E” and “R” and then I realized he was just using them in Chinese. 1- Yi and 2- Er.

As far as our sick day goes, A woke up with a cold yesterday. Which isn’t particularly unusual. They are small kids. It happens. The unusual thing is that K is sick too. I know she has a chronic illness for which we keep her immune system suppressed… But she NEVER gets sick. I can count the number of times  she has had the sniffles in the last 6.5 years on one hand. I have to admit to a mild fear at the knowledge that she is sick. Migraine. Fever. Nausea. This is new territory with K. Honestly, our family hasn’t had the flu except when I got it while pregnant with A. We don’t do really sick. I’m hoping a little tylenol and a day in my bed will sort her out.