Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The Bunny Picture

I realized that I forgot to share this picture.  I must share it, because I shared all the other ones from the older two boys and I can not leave out the Little Monkey (poor kid has practically no baby book).

The Little Monkey did pretty well.  He kind of liked the bunny.  He was kind of wary.  I don't blame him.  I mean it is a giant, slightly scary looking bunny.

I wanted to get there at 10 a.m. right when the bunny started but we were running behind (as usual) and got there around 10:20 a.m.  I was surprised to see a line waiting and no bunny.  Could he be on break already?  I know the bunny tends to get hot due to all that fur, but it had only been 20 minutes.

No he wasn't on break.  Turns out that the bunny was a no show.  The young man working that day was visibly upset and couldn't get a hold of the bunny nor his supervisor.  So we left and went shopping, had lunch, and just walked around.  Two hours later, the bunny was ready.  The bunny seemed familiar to me.  Turns out the young man from the morning ended up being the bunny.  You can see the shoe string of his Jordan sneakers hanging out of the bunny foot.  At this point the line was fairly long and Little Monkey started melting down.

But it all worked out in the end.  We got the picture and the older boys were good sports to be in the picture too.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Spring Is Here

Spring is finally here.  We've had a lot of rain lately but we've also has some sunny days with mild temperatures.  I noticed this morning that the daffodils are up and our trees are starting to leaf.  It was also warm enough to take the Little Monkey for a walk this morning right after drop off.

Speaking of drop off, today was the end of spring break for the older boys.  They were not happy to be back in school.  But I reminded them that they only have about 2 months left and it will be summer break.  I told them to finish strong.

Baseball is beginning too.  They've had practice for a several weeks (a couple months for Older Boy), but games should start tonight.  Hoo-Raw.  I like baseball.  I do.  But this time of year with both boys playing and multiple games each week, it really gets to be tough.  And it would be one thing if the games were HERE but they aren't always.  Middle Man's game is 45 minutes from here tonight.  And they usually have to be there between 5-5:30 so that means we are rushing a lot after school.

It makes meal planning and snack planning a must.  Middle Man will eat anything before a game.  Older Boy eats lightly before the game.  They both eat a ton after the game which could be 8:30-9:00 at night.  I try to keep things like fruit, veggies, dip, gf pretzels, granola bars, etc. on hand.  And the slow cooker will get used a lot more this time of year.

This weeks meal plan is as follows:

Friday:  Fend For Yourself

Saturday:  Greek Burgers (from Gwen's Nest), steamed veggies, salad

Sunday:  Roasted Whole Chicken, Corn, Mashed Potatoes (for the guys), Salad (for me)

Monday:  Chicken Fajitas I'm using this recipe but throwing mine in the slow cooker on low for 6-7 hours.

Tuesday:  Cheeseburger Soup

Wednesday:  Slow Cooker Ham and Lentil Soup

Thursday:  Clean Up Day

Lunches:  Left overs, salads, sandwiches

Breakfast:  Fruit, yogurt, smoothies, turkey sausage and omelets (for Older Boy)

I hope this holds everybody.  These guys can EAT.

Have a wonderful week ahead and Play Ball :)

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

Holy Wednesday And The First Of April

Happy April First!!

I'm glad that March is done.  It really wasn't the best of months.  We lost a family member on March 13th.  It was unexpected and it's not been easy.  We know he is Home, but our hearts are sad.  Please keep our family in your prayers.

Lent just flew right by.  I can't believe that Sunday is Easter.  In light of the recent events, we are having a very low key Easter this year.

The boys started spring break today.  And two of the three of them got up at 6:30 am.  No rest for the weary in this house.

I want to take the Little Monkey to see the Easter Bunny today.  He seems a little hesitant so I've been trying to prep him.  I asked him this morning if he was going to sit on the bunny's lap and give him a hug.  And he said "No, I no think so.  I just give him a high five and a rock".  I'm pretty sure this isn't going to go well.

I'm feeling really behind on all my Easter prep this year.  I don't even have my grocery list made out yet and I have no idea where the plastic eggs are or what I'm going to fill them with.

At least I got my allergy friendly eggs to dye and my allergy friendly chocolate.  I'm sure everything else will fall into place.

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Cue The Stomach Virus And Sharing Some Food Allergy News

Little Monkey started with a stomach bug on Monday.  Anyone who has ever had a toddler with a stomach bug knows that it's so not good.  Not Good At All.  I will spare you details.  By Wednesday, Older Boy came down with a less evil version of it.

I think they are on the mend.  I hope.  Fingers crossed.

Needless to say that everything I had planned for this week, got pushed to next week.  Except Older Boy's eye doctor appointment.  I kept that yesterday afternoon because he was feeling better.  The Little Monkey seemed to be feeling better too.  Until we got there.  Luckily we stayed in the car so all of the nastiness was confined there.  And the car battery died while we were there.  Luckily my parents came to the rescue and I also have AAA.  I don't believe in superstitions, but yesterday was Friday the 13th.  Just sayin.

Middle Man and Hubs were supposed to go to Boy Scout camp over this weekend.  But plans changed.  Because they weren't going to be here I didn't have much of a menu plan for the weekend so I'm currently revamping that.  Luckily I'm a food stockpiler so I have plenty here to cook.  I also had a bunch of food bought for them to take to camp (due to the food allergies Middle Man takes his own) so I have that to pick from too.

Speaking of food allergies, there has been quite a bit of information shared lately about food allergies and new recommendations.  Some of it hasn't been well received by the food allergy community.

The LEAP Study posted in the NEJM ruffled quite a few feathers.  The first reports of it seemed to suggest that giving peanut allergic children small amounts of peanuts at an early age would prevent the allergy.  But the more explanations that are given show that the original reports did not share all the information.  Those children in the study did not have a peanut allergy but had a strong family history of peanut allergies so were more predisposed to also have peanut allergies.  Skin testing was false for the allergy and anyone who tested positive via skin testing was taken out of the study.  So in other words, DO NOT FEED ANY AMOUNT OF PEANUTS/PEANUT PRODUCTS TO ANYONE WITH A PEANUT ALLERGY.  It will not cure them.  All of the "trials" were done under doctor supervision and only with patients that met certain criteria.  I'm not sure how helpful the study is to those of us who already have a peanut allergy, but only time will tell.  It was also suggested by Robyn O'Brien that the National Peanut Board may have funded some of the study.  Of course THAT didn't sit well with anyone either.  I do not know if that information is correct (although I find Robyn to be a trustworthy source and have followed her for years), but if it is, it certainly shines a dim light on the study.

My heart if broken for Scott Johnson's Family.  This is every food allergy parents worst nightmare.  I'm sending up prayers for his family, friends and community.

Please, Please, remember your epinephrine auto-injectors.  Please.  If you wait too long to use them, they will not work or they will not work well.  It's important to use them immediately.  We learned the hard way on this one and almost lost our son.  And I know it's easy to forget to take them.  We've done it and have had to turn around and go back for them.  We always leave through the same door and I put this sign right above the door knob.  We try to remember to ask "Who has epinephrine?" before we pull out of the garage.  Luckily, we've not gotten too far without remembering. But I know it happens.  But please, try not to leave without it.

For more information see:

LEAP, Learning Early About Peanut Allergies

LEAP study presented at AAAAI Convention

Breaking Down The LEAP Study (from Asthma Allergies Children)

Some thoughts (similar to my own) from POKWASPA

(and if you Google LEAP Study most of the headlines are "Feeding infants peanuts early reduces peanut allergy risk"...  I wish I had a dislike button for that... )

What are your thoughts??

Wednesday, March 04, 2015

I Heard Birds Today!!

I heard them.  Actual birds were chirping in my back yard.  Dear Spring, please hurry!!

Hearing those birds made me so happy.  The end is near (end of winter that is).

Yes, I'm giddy.  I'm sure these will be the same birds that I shake my fist at come June when they keep pooping on my deck, but for now I LOVE THEM.

And I'm finally feeling better.  It's not 100%, but I'm functioning so I'll take it.

I can't believe we are into March already.  But clearly I'm glad that warmer weather is coming.

For the most part we are just plodding along here.  It's just every day life.  Living the dream.

Middle Man's asthma is still not completely under control.  We increased his medication at his last appointment a few weeks ago.  But he's still coughing a lot.  Spring is a bad time for him.  It's when his environmental allergies really get the best of him.  I think I'll have him start his nose spray in a week or so.

The last 2 weeks at school were all testing.  So homework has been fairly light.  Testing is almost over (Iowa's and COGATS) so I'm expecting for the big homework dump to happen real soon.  I'm really unhappy that school gets such a delay due to these tests.  Playing catch up is really hard on the kids (and I'm sure it's no fun for the teachers either).

I have not started spring cleaning.  Right before my last bout of bed ridden illness, I had the house in good shape so that I could miss some of my regularly scheduled cleaning for some deeper spring cleaning.  Being in bed for a few weeks blew that out of the water.  So I'm slowly trying to get caught up.  I did scrub some grout on the main level floor the other day, but I only got about 3/4 of it done.  It looks so much better.  Having almost white grout on the floor of the main level would not be my personal choice, but that's how it was when we moved it.  I'm too chicken to try and stain/paint it myself and I got an estimate for cleaning and sealing it and it was $1200.  I'll stick with my tooth brush and cleaning solution (Dawn and hydrogen peroxide ), thank you very much.

The Little Monkey is still going to his Parent and Toddler class once a week.  He really loves it.  It's funny how much they learn and absorb at this age.  He's like a little sponge.  Now if I could just get him interested in potty training.  He's just not there yet.

So that's about all that is going on here.

Have a blessed week and sending warm, sunny thoughts your way.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Ash Wednesday: Lent Begins

Happy Ash Wednesday!

I can't believe I'm saying this, but I'm still sick.  I went back to Urgent Care last Thursday because I now have a yucky cough.  They did a chest X-Ray.  No pneumonia, so I got an inhaler.  I finished my antibiotics on Friday.  I was in bed most of the day Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday and most of the day on Monday (the kids were off of school Friday and Monday).  Monday I had an appointment with my doctor for a blood pressure check and luckily he was the one working at Urgent Care on Thursday so he knew my situation.  So I'm on antibiotic #2.  I'm moving around better but still feel pretty poorly.  Sigh...  I know it could be worse, but I'm over it.

Monday was not my best day.  I noticed that the furnace had gone out.  So I went down to the basement to take a look at it, and because I'm sick and so stuffed up, I couldn't tell for sure but I thought I smelled natural gas.  But I didn't really know.  So I called Hubs and said "What should I do"?  He left work right then and there and told me to get the kids out of the house and call the fire department because they could come and check it.  So I called the non emergency number of our fire department and explained to them that I don't know if I really smell gas because I can't really smell anything.  They said to call 911 and they could come out.  So I did.  And they did.  And there wasn't any natural gas.  And they fixed my furnace.  It turns out that the output to the furnace froze up and there was a big snow/ice ball hanging off of it.  And since the furnace could output, it shut down.  They knocked the ice off of it and made sure that we didn't have any carbon monoxide in the house.  I felt bad that I bothered them, but they were really nice about it.

It's so cold here.  It's 13 degrees right now, and we are supposed to get wind chills in the -25 range Thursday into Friday.  I have a feeling the kids will be off of school again on Friday.

So my menu plan for this week kind of went out the window.  The guys were on their own Saturday and Sunday.  I just didn't have it in me to cook.

Fri - Baked Salmon and Veggie (I did make this because all I had to do was put it in oven and go lie down)

Saturday - I think they did hamburgers

Sunday - I don't really know what they made for dinner

Monday - GF pasta with spinach sauteed in olive and garlic (Hubs Byzantine Catholic lent starts)

Tuesday - Shrove Tuesday:  We had GF pancakes and bacon

Wednesday - Day for strict fast and abstinence for Catholics:  Cabbage Fried Rice

Thursday - Chicken Tortilla Soup

Have I mentioned that I'm done with winter?

I really want to start my spring cleaning, but it's going to have to wait until I feel better.

Have a wonderful Wednesday!!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Lent 2015

Lent is only 5 days away.  I'm still sick and in bed so I've had a lot of time to ponder how I'm going to spend the Lenten season this year.  It's still a work in progress but here are things I'm working on right now:

Lent 2015:

1.  Eat gluten free

2.  Read Catholic Books

3.  Pray rosary daily

4.  Limit on line time:  morning/afternoon

5.  No snacks in between meals

I'm thinking of adding to this, but this is what I have right now.

Why Gluten Free?  Because my son is allergic to wheat, rye, barley, oat, egg, peanut and tree nut.  I don't really eat most of those things (eggs sometimes) but giving up wheat will be really hard for me.  It's a penance for sure.  And it supports my son.  So Win-Win. there.

I mentioned in my last post that I've been hoarding books.  Most of them are Catholic in nature.  I'm going to get through some of those this Lenten season.

I love praying the rosary, but I don't make time for it.  I just don't.  And I don't know why.  I'm hoping to create a new habit here.

Limiting on line time speaks for itself.  I still need Facebook to keep up to date on the latest food allergy information but I don't need to be on it all day (but I am currently because I'm sick and bored.  Another habit to break).

No snacks in between meals.  Another difficult penance for me.  Should I add donating the money I save by not eating snacks to charity?  I'm thinking that might work too.

So I'm ready.  I love Lent.  I think I love it as much or even more than the Advent/Christmas season.  Lent is a season that really helps me to be aware daily of my faith.  It's a growing season for me.  

What are you doing for Lent?

For more suggestions and information see the following:

Lentsanity app:  This app will remind you of meatless days, send daily reflections and more.

10 tips for Lent from Pope Francis

These 40 Days from National Catholic Register

Recipes for Lent/Passover on my Pinterest page