Thursday, January 26, 2012

Not the Last Time

Earlier this week we ended up at the doctor's office for an urgent, unexpected appointment.

It had already been a long day. We had all gone in to the chiropractor since Hubby had a pinched nerve in his neck. The consult and appointment took much longer than anticipated so it was nearly dinnertime by the time we were heading home. We toyed with the idea of going out to eat, but, given our recent misadventures getting pho and the fact that we are trying very hard to stick to our budget, we decided against it. We had spaghetti sauce in the refrigerator and just needed to boil some noodles anyway.

As Hubby started getting dinner ready I went out and tried to make room in our garbage and recycle bins for this week's stuff. We didn't get a pick-up last week because of the snow and we downgraded our garbage service late last year, so it was a tight squeeze.

I came back inside and heard Beanie screaming. Like screaming, crying, and gagging. She has been extra emotional lately so this isn't all out of the ordinary, but my first thought was, What the hell is going on? Hubby said they had been having a hard time sharing and were working at taking turns on the trampoline. I went over to the playroom and Beanie was on the trampoline, holding her head, and crying. Bubby was throwing play tea cups and dishes at her. I hollered at him to stop while I washed off my garbage-y hands and told Beanie to come over. As I walked toward her I saw it.

A huge goose egg above her left eye. It had swollen up quite immediately. It was already all shades of purple and red. Apparently Bubby had some good aim and connection this time around (I'm guessing with a wooden block or some of the wood play food). I grabbed some ice from the freezer and put it on her forehead. She was not thrilled with that (AT ALL), but we stuck with it. Glenn took over ice duty and I called the doctor.

We'd had head bumps in the past, but this one was a lot worse. And big. After talking to the nurse we decided to go in. The things we needed to watch for (including Beanie being extra emotional or cranky -- she's 4 1/2!!) were not something I wanted to guess on this time. Glenn called in to work and we headed to the pediatrician's office.

We didn't get to see our normal pediatrician and the one we saw was so weird. She talked in this weird I'm-talking-to-a-three-month-old-baby silly voice. "Do you have a boo-boo? Does it hurt?" I wish I could describe her tone of voice in a blog post because even Beanie looked at her like she was nuts.

Went through all the little tests to make sure things were fine neurologically (they were) and headed back home. She let me ice her forehead a bit more and, luckily, the swelling went down fairly quickly. She still has a bit of a bump and a big shiner on her forehead, but I get the feeling she's been enjoying telling her preschool friends how she got it.

I'm sure this will not be the last time one of the kids injures the other, so I'll just take a deep breath and hope the next time doesn't come too soon.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

It's Been a Long Week.

We've had snow on the ground for the last week. That is a big deal around Seattle. Nine inches of the white stuff at our house. The last week has been a bit difficult. No preschool. No gym class. No playdates (which it seems that nearly every playdate we've had scheduled for the last six weeks or so has been cancelled due to illness on someone's part). The hubby took my car to work every day. Not that I would've gone anywhere anyway, but we were stuck. Cabin fever overload.

I'm sure it didn't help that I am on an increased dose of meds, but not really feeling the full effect yet. It didn't help that Hubby still had to work every day. I tried to remind myself of this when I kept seeing Facebook posts about how people were getting so much accomplished on these snow days -- housecleaning, baking, fun outside, etc; I tried to remember that many of them had an extra set of hands at home all week. It didn't help that the kids were (are) sick. AGAIN.

The hubby took Beanie out for a Daddy-Daughter date today. I took a nice long nap with Bubby. I still have the strong urge to get out of the house by myself for a few hours. Maybe tomorrow? Our neighborhood is still pretty slushy and yucky and yesterday we had difficulty coming up the one side of the hill. The Camry hasn't left the driveway in over a week and it's still covered in a blanket of slushy snow.

I tried to keep in mind that I was feeling quite cooped up and that it was surely harder for the kiddos.

Luckily we've had power the whole time. Quite a few friends have been without power, some for days. So -- knock on wood -- at least we have that.

And it's almost a new week. I'm thinking of deactivating my Facebook account for awhile again. I just feel like I'm stuck in this distracted place. Maybe I just need to set (and enforce) some restrictions after this hectic week and get back to being balanced and where I want to be.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Plan Monday: 01/16

Seems like as good a week as any to post up my menu plan. I actually have links to every meal, so that's nice to share. I'm glad we planned and shopped already because we have quite a bit of snow on the ground and more is expected later today.

Sunday: Meatloaf muffins with mashed potatoes (made with almond milk and coconut spread) and green salad.

Meatloaf muffins
(Meatless) Monday: Black Bean & Quinoa Burgers

Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers

Tuesday: Sweet & Sour Chicken with pineapple & green pepper. Served over rice. (Been wanting to try this since I saw it on Pinterest)

Wednesday: Italian Minestrone Soup (crockpot)

Thursday: Indonesian Chicken (crockpot)

Indonesian Chicken

Friday: Sloppy Joes (we use the whole can of tomato paste because we like them thicker)

Saturday: Date Night!! Applegate Farms hot dogs and fresh fruit for the kiddos. (After trying these we have decided we will never eat another kind of hotdog again!!)

***Visit I'm an Organizing Junkie for more menu ideas.***

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Sunday Surf: 01/15

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!
For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.
Happy Surfing!


Well, we have about five or six inches of snow here so it's been a quiet (and fun) weekend. Beanie is very excited about all the snow. Bubby enjoys looking at it, but is a little intimidated trying to trudge around in so much snow. He's quite happy to be carried around and look at it though.

  • My Secret Life -- I loved this post on cutting out distractions and getting back to what's important. I've been making my time in the playroom "hands free" and am trying hard to move towards that in all my time with the kids.
  • Unwind -- This post about parenting and marriage really, really spoke to me. Like I cried reading it. Hubby and I went on a date last night. I wish we could find a way to go on more. Baby steps.
  • Did you check out the Carnival of Natural Parenting? It was all about experimenting with green living and I loved reading through the posts. Since the carnival I've been using a homemade facial scrub every day and I will never ever go back to using a commercial one. My skin feels so nice!

Secular Parenting


Well, that's all. Happy reading!

Saturday, January 14, 2012


I don't know what it is, but I've really been wanting to cheat on our diet lately.

It's usually not a big deal. I have never knowingly eaten anything that I knew could upset Bubby's tummy. I have been strict. I've missed things, sure, but knowing that my son feels 100% better (and, really, that I do too) makes it more than worth it.

Lately though? Things that are off limits have been sounding pretty damn good. Like when the hubby got some chocolate peppermint topped cheesecake for his treat on his night off. Or some yummy fresh baked sourdough bread. Brie. An apple fritter. I could really go for one (or all) of those right now.

It's weird. I usually don't miss things. I did for a short bit after each one of our unsuccessful reintroductions, but when I haven't had it for awhile it usually doesn't matter. It's usually the dairy too, since I felt like crap when we tried to reintroduce the wheat.

If you're on a restricted diet, do you ever find yourself craving things that are off-limits? Do you cheat? Do you just push through until the cravings go away?

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

All you need is....vinegar!

Welcome to the January Carnival of Natural Parenting: Experiments in Natural Family Living

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have reported on weeklong trials to make their lives a little greener. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.


My cleaning cabinet has been cleaned out and restocked with just one product.

Image Credit: lisaclarke on Flickr


The hubby would tell you that I've been toying with the idea of trying vinegar for cleaning for awhile. We'd switched to greener cleaners after having kids, and I figured what would be lost by trying out some vinegar? My mom used it a bit when I was little. It's safe for the kids. It doesn't smell (or at least doesn't make my house smell like it took a chemical bath). It's cheap.

When we ran out of our Method lavender spray, I rinsed out the bottle and filled it with (roughly) equal parts of vinegar and water and a bit of grapefruit seed extract (leftover from our recurrent bout of thrush in 2010). At first Hubby complained of the smell, but later I added some orange essential oil and it definitely cut down the vinegar smell. But, really, who wouldn't rather smell vinegar than some of those commercial cleaners?

I've used the vinegar spray on just about every surface in the house. It works great. The only time I noticed a slight problem was when I went to clean the mirror; it looked pretty streaky as I wiped (I'm guessing from the orange oil), but once it dried up it looked great.

One thing is for sure; I will never be buying a $3 or $4 bottle of cleaner at the store again. Considering the cost of a gallon of vinegar and the fact that it'll clean just about anything, I can't imagine coming to another conclusion.

I'd like to get a couple more spray bottles. One for just vinegar and another for a yet-to-be-determined concoction.

The other small change we made last month was trying to use rags instead of paper towels. We've had a stack of rags for the kitchen and other cleaning, but we often used paper towels for cleanups anyway. I've been trying to be more mindful and use the rags when cleaning off the counters, tables, and etc. That's what they are there for, right?

I'm still kind of new to this, so do you have any great "recipes" for cleaners? What do you use to clean in the kitchen? bathroom? windows?


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Sunday Surf: 01/08

Sunday Surf with Authentic Parenting and Hobo MamaI'm joining Authentic Parenting and Hobo Mama for Sunday Surf. Share your best reading of the week, and link up your post at either blog!
For more great reading, visit Hobo Mama or Authentic Parenting for the latest Sunday Surf and linky.
Happy Surfing!

Slowly but surely I've been getting back in to reading online and this week I've read some good things.

  • The 5 Building Blocks to Raising Resilient Children -- "We often think our job is to protect our children from tough situations, but in fact, our protection is only protecting us. We don't want to deal with their anger, sadness, and fear. In many cases, we were not allowed these feelings as children so we don't know how to manage our children's feelings. It's easier if they don't have them. When we overly protect our children and try to make them happy, we inadvertently reduce their ability to cope with life's inevitable frustrations and situations beyond their control."
  • 25 Rules for Mothers of Sons -- This post, and its counterpart for Fathers of Daughters, has been pinned and repinned on Pinterest. I don't necessarily like how they are targeted towards sons or daughters as I think these are good "rules" for all.
  • 10 Commitments That Will Make You a Better Parent -- LOVE this post! "Being a parent is tough.  Most of us feel like we could do a better job, but resolving to be more patient rarely works.  That's because sometimes the first step to being a better parent is actually about how we treat ourselves.  We can only give what we have inside. "
Food & Diet

Mental Health
    • The Fight Goes On -- One of the most honest posts about depression I have ever read. (warning: could be triggering for some)

    Happy reading :)

    Friday, January 6, 2012


    The hubby always laughs when I sing the following song:

    Coffee is not for me.
    It's a drink some people wake up with,
    That it makes you nervous is no myth.
    Slaves to the coffee cup,
    They can't give coffee up."

    I laugh too.

    It's sort of an inside joke with us.

    The shocking part is that I learned this song in fifth grade choir. Wow.

    I've been tired lately. So tired. Like drag my behind around all day and then lay in bed at night unable to sleep. Damn insomia. I'm sure part of it is the building stress we have going on right now. Part of it is the dreary, dark Pacific Northwest winter. Part of it is increased anxiety (and that is probably from reason #1).

    For awhile I was drinking a lot of coffee. I used to try and skip my morning cup of joe if I thought I'd have an afternoon espresso. Lately it's been a cup in the morning (and, of course, a cup in the morning is really never one 8oz cup) and a good, strong homemade espresso in the afternoon.

    The last few days I've skipped the cup of joe in the morning AND the afternoon espresso. Granted, I have had a nice cup of tea in the morning so I'm not really getting rid of caffeine, but I feel so much better. I was worried I'd be really tired or have a headache or something, but, surprisingly, I felt pretty good all day. I think I'll stick with the tea in the morning thing and see how it goes.

    I'm not going to give up my afternoon espresso here and there though. Hubby makes a damn good espresso and it's a nice little treat in the afternoons. I'll just try to make it a sometimes thing rather than an every day thing.

    ***Wrote this yesterday to publish today & I did have a small cup of coffee this morning to start hubby's long weekend. Maybe I'll try to go a week straight with tea in the mornings and see how I feel???***

    Sunday, January 1, 2012

    Finding my Voice.

    Ooh, my first post of 2012.

    A clean slate.

    A fresh start.

    Something earth shattering or post-worthy or...

    ....just a post.

    Just some randomness.

    Just something to get me back in to writing.

    Yes. That's all.

    Today was a good start to the year. I got a lot accomplished. I vacuumed and dusted the master bedroom which may not sound like a lot unless you've seen my master bedroom in the recent past. We worked through the daily chores for the most part (and I'll post up my little spreadsheet later because a few people have expressed interest in seeing it). We had breakfast for dinner and I made extra waffles to freeze (used olive oil in my recipe because we're trying to get away from using canola oil and I think the taste was too strong -- I'd love to use coconut oil, but it's so expensive! Maybe half and half next time??) It was a gorgeous day and we played baseball outside a bit with the kids. I had wanted to go for a short walk with the kiddos, but Beanie has been chomping at the bit to play baseball since we cleaned out the last bit of stuff from storage at my sister's (including, of course, a bat, ball and mitt my dad had gotten for Beanie ages ago).

    I started reading Freedom Through Frugality and I'm enjoying it. We've had to be pretty darn frugal by necessity, but the book does have some good ideas. We're already using many of them, but one we'll definitely be putting into practice this year is having a vegetable garden and canning/preserving. I don't know much about gardening, but I'm eager to learn and I received an organic gardening book that I'm itching to read through. I have a laundry list of things I'd like to plant -- carrots, squash, broccoli, peas, spinach, tomatoes, peppers, berries, and more -- but I want to start with some easy planting since I sort of have a brown thumb. Or, at least I did in the past. I really enjoyed cleaning out the garden space and I'm looking forward to having my own garden and taking care of it, so maybe that will help.

    The four-year old is quiet (and hopefully finally asleep) and everyone else is already snoozing, so I'm off to read and wind down for bed. I'd like to add some fiction to my before-bed reading...any recommendations?