Thursday, March 28, 2013

My little helpers

Teagan always loved helping me clean.  I have many photos and videos of her wiping her high chair tray and other surfaces with wipes since she was around a year old.  Now, whenever she sees me scrubbing, she wants to scrub too.  She doesn't do a terrible job either.  When I give her a vacuum she targets the dust bunnies, when I give her a wipe she targets the dirt spots.  I might as well enjoy the help so I let her scrub (soak the kitchen floor with slightly soapy water).

*****Don't mind the filthy stainless steel, I hate stainless steel appliances for this very reason.



Nathan usually prefers to watch me clean or prevent me from cleaning so I was thrilled when he wanted to help.  I will never turn down any offer to help, especially from these two kids.





They mostly just wet surfaces but they were not in my way, they were not making another area dirty, and I could just follow their wet paths with a dry rag.  And although the floor was never squeaky clean, there was a vast improvement and they had fun helping.  And since anything involving water usually ends like this, I leave you photos of Teagan trying to swim, in a corningware dish.




Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Ready for Spring

Spring has still not sprung, and until now we have been very patient.

These photos were from March 14th and it was freezing, factoring in windchill I am sure it was in the low 20s.





Yea, we should have been dressed warmer.  I didn't realize how cold it was for mid March until we were outside getting strange looks from our neighbors.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

a laundry routine that works for me, finally

I'm so sick of letting my laundry pile up until it transforms into a big cloth monster.  Then all in one day I usually do load after load until it is all "clean".  It goes something like this: wash, dry that load, start a new load, dump clean dry laundry on bedroom floor, continue the wash, dry, dump until dirty laundry monster becomes a clean laundry monster.  Live out of the clean laundry heap until I feel motivated to fold or hang, and put away (always optional).

I am so sick of this routine.  We are blessed with so much clothing and are equally blessed with enormous piles of both clean and dirty laundry.  Now that I am no longer hanging cloth diapers to dry, I think I forgot to mention both kids are now wearing underpants full time {Woohoo!}, we have plenty of space to hang clothing in our laundry room.

Initially the change in routine developed out of necessity - to save energy and reduce our expenses, but now I am realizing that hang drying all of our laundry is way more than a cheaper electric/gas bill.  It means that clean monster pile of laundry on our bedroom floor disappears. Since we have plenty of clothing to choose from, we are really in no hurry for anything to dry, with the exception of sheets and underpants {there are still some accidents}.

So now, once a day or once every other day, I will wash a full load of laundry on cold {I only used hot for cloth diapers}, when I have a chance during the day, I will hang everything in the laundry room to dry, if there is clean dry laundry I will gather the hangers and bring to their respective rooms.  Life changing, simple, exactly what I needed. Most of our clothing ends up on hangers anyway, {with the exception of Jay's clothing which goes in his enormous armoire and Teagan's clothing, since she has a pretty decent sized dresser}.  Almost all of Nathan's clothing needs to be hung.

Friday, March 15, 2013

The final appointment

This past week was Nathan's last follow up appointment at the feeding and swallowing center.

I found it impossible to continue with the 4 structured meals a day so I'm very pleased that they managed to tweak the volume of each meal so I could do 3 meals instead.

His current meal is: 20 bites chewable, 10 bites mashed, 1.5 ounce purée, followed by 2 ounces pediasure 1.5 and however many enzymes. His 3rd meal we can follow with 3-4 ounces yet I have yet to remember this.

I've been trying to keep a good variety of foods but Nathan is very good at limiting himself. He eats certain foods very well and makes my life a living hell for other foods.

I prefer to feed him at home because even though he still gives me a hard time, he is much more cooperative than if I were to feed him elsewhere. Essentially I am confined to my house or close proximity to the house. I can't comfortably go farther away from our home than would allow me to get back for next meal.

I'd say there is still much room for improvement yet he has had his final appointment at this center. As of March 31st, St Joe's loses their contract with United Healthcare which means we will be cut off. I can't switch insurances because keeping his pulmonologist is much more of a priority, we travel a nice distance for him and it is for a reason.

I'm sure we will find a new center but I can't worry about it right now. I've got to just keep on keeping on. My goal is to maintain his progress thus far.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Homemade Almond Butter

I am having a love affair with everything almond. I've been making my own almond milk for a while didn't start branching out until I decided I needed to do something with the almond pulp that was left over from making the almond milk. I didn't use the almond pulp to make almond butter, that's just an unrelated aside.

Almond butter from the store is expensive.  Almonds aren't cheap either but I buy a pound of almonds for about $7.00. and use 3/4 of the bag to make a huge jar of almond butter, with an ingredient list of just almonds.

I didn't use raw almonds for the almond butter because by the time you get done processing it into almond butter the almonds are cooked anyway.

Supplies/Ingredients needed:

3 cups almonds

Food processor

It really is quite simple.  Measure 3 cups of almonds into a food processor.



I pulsed the food processor in the beginning to get past the whole almond stage.  Forewarning, it is loud!



I periodically opened the lid to push the almonds down and to take photos.



It seemed like nothing was going to happen until about ten minutes of processing when it started to get thicker and less powdery and eventually creamy.





I added a very tiny bit of sea salt but I don't mind the plain almond taste either.  3 cups of almonds in a wide mouth pint sized mason jar - and it is delicious.

Monday, March 4, 2013

The day when one just wasn't enough

Today was difficult.

Lunch was particularly difficult.

Saturday morning, we ditched the pull-ups and decided it was time for potty training boot camp. This entailed me following Teagan around like a shadow all day Saturday and Sunday.

Jay took control of Nathan's meals for the weekend so I could consistently catch any accidents.

So back to this afternoon. I began to feed Nathan his lunch - it was cubed watermelon, mashed chicken nugget, and puréed carrot, all of which he had been accustomed to eating.

But today he decided to act like chicken was poisoning him. He always tells me he doesn't like chicken but he always opens and chews it regardless. Today I had to be hardcore, holding his hands down, following his mouth with the spoon as he whipped his head back and forth screaming, waiting for the opportunity to go in. There was gagging and after many unsuccessful bites I moved on.

Oh but the hard part was trying to do all of the above and monitor Teagan at the same time - to catch any accidents and reinforce the potty training advancements from the two days prior.

I am almost certain she would have pooped her underwear if she were not constipated. Sorry Teagan, I know, TMI, but my mom did it to me too.

Thankfully, that was the most difficult part of my day. That chicken nugget that Nathan refused vehemently, I puréed into a tiny bit of applesauce for his next meal. Mama always wins in the end. {grin}