Friday, January 29, 2010

After the Allergy

Well, it's been a little over a month since Witt's allergy testing came back negative on all accounts. We did the live test for milk at the doctor's office and have been *trying* to introduce eggs to him at home. He's done find with eggs baked into foods, but won't eat straight eggs to save his life! LOL!

I've scrambled eggs, I've sunny-side-uped 'em, I've over-mediumed 'em, I've hard boiled them... I've even green eggs and hammed them! I finally got a very, very small amount in him by putting them in fried rice.

At least I know that he can have them baked in, as that is where the most exposure will probably come in and I know that even if he's offered straight eggs, he won't touch them! LOL! So for now, it's all good.

We'll do a home test for peanut after he is three in May.

Now, even though he is doing beautifully and hasn't had any reactions to speak of, milk is still the first thing that crosses my mind when someone mentions an outing with food. Granted, the response time to that thought is decreasing. It is becoming *a little* easier to bypass that thought; however, I do still watch him when I know he's been given a significant amount of dairy. and I do still carry Benedryl and an epi-pen in my purse.

However, I must admit that I finally had a breakthrough this past Wednesday night. Our congregation was having a pizza dinner before Wednesday night bible study and we joined them. (Of course, we would never have gone before and then I would have verified that all the kids in Witt's class that did eat pizza had washed their hands.)

Joining them for pizza was not the breakthrough. The breakthrough came when I realized Witt had been running around playing for a good 10 minutes with all the cheese pizza eating kids and I hadn't given it a seconds thought.

He was having a good time. He was laughing, giggling, running, and tumbling all over the cheese pizza eating kids. And he was safe.

My baby was SAFE! :)

This is the stuff my dreams have been made of for the last couple of years! For my child to eat a piece of pizza or a chocolate chip cookie dunked in milk, to play with other children and not worry what's on their hands... simply put, for him to be just another kid.

Part of me doesn't want to post things like this because my heart still goes out to all the other allergy moms that dream of the same things. I want to be thankful and grateful without being disrespectful.

I don't know why God blessed us with the removal of Witt's allergies. I'm just so thankful that he did.

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

My Man

Q: What's better than watching a man chop wood?

A: Watching a man that takes the time to teach his son how to chop wood. :)

BONUS ANSWER: And then watching that man use the fruits of their labor to cook lunch! {big grin!!}

pictures from October 2009

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Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Look, Mommy! I Made You a Compost Bin!

(Made by Nathan, age 4)

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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tiny Talk Tuesday

Third tooth was pulled by Daddy using a string on Christmas Day!

Will, age 7, on how to get out of going to bed on time:

"Dad, are you sure you can't read us a Bible story before bed? You know, God is more important than sleep."

Yes, he got a story before bed last night. :)


He dressed himself: mom's sock, camo shorts, red Elmo sweatshirt

Nathan, age 4, on how to answer every request that requires something of him:

"Nevahhhhhh!" (Never!)


Driving Great-Granddaddy's tractor!

Witt, age 2, on how to be a gentlemen:

"Me hep you"

as he unloads the wash into the dryer, unloads the plastics from the dishwasher, or as he demands to be the one to hold the door open for me.

and then of course there is also the ever present,
"No! Me do it!"
as he tries to be as big as his brothers. :)

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Friday, January 15, 2010

Resolutions: Everything Else

  • Get my behind off this chair in front of the computer, take care of my family, myself, my home, and enjoy the life that God has given us!

If I can do that... everything should just fall into place! ;)

For my easier resolutions:

Resolutions: Reading

Resolutions: Make-It-Yourself Foods

Resolutions: Glass and Stainless Steel

Resolutions: HFCS and MSG

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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Lightening the Mood: Please Leave Me A Comment Today

Pick the month you were born:

January-------I kicked
February------I loved
March----------I karate chopped
April------------I licked
May------------I jumped on
June-----------I smelled
July------------I did the Macarena With
August--------I had lunch with
September----I danced with
October-------I sang to
November-----I yelled at
December-----I ran over

Pick the day (number) you were born on:
1-------a birdbath
2-------a monster
3-------a phone
4-------a fork
5-------a snowman
6-------a gangster
7-------my mobile phone
8-------my dog
9-------my best friends' boyfriend
10-------my neighbor
11-------my science teacher
12-------a banana
13-------a fireman
14-------a stuffed animal
15-------a goat
16-------a pickle
17-------your mom
18-------a spoon
19------- a smurf
20-------a baseball bat
21-------a ninja
22-------Chuck Norris
23-------a noodle
24-------a squirrel
25-------a football player
26-------my sister
27-------my brother
28-------an iPod
29-------a surfer
30-------a homeless guy
31-------a llama

What is the last number of the year you were born:
1--------- In my car
2 --------- On your car
3 --------- In a hole
4 --------- Under your bed
5 --------- Riding a Motorcycle
6 --------- sliding down a hill
7 --------- in an elevator
8---------- at the dinner table
9 -------- In line at the bank
0 -------- in your bathroom

Pick the color of shirt you are wearing:
White---------because I'm cool like that
Black---------because that's how I roll.
Pink-----------because I'm NOT crazy.
Red-----------because the voices told me to.
Blue-----------because I'm sexy and I do what I want
Green---------because I think I need some serious help.
Purple---------because I'm AWESOME!
Gray----------because Big Bird said to and he's my leader.
Yellow---------because someone offered me 1,000,000 dollars
Orange--------because my family thinks I'm stupid anyway.
Brown---------because I CAN.
Other----------because I'm a Ninja!
None----------because I can't control myself!

Now type out the sentence you made, in the comments!

I can't wait to see what you get stuck with!


I licked an iPod Riding a Motorcycle because I'm sexy and I do what I want.

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Saturday, January 9, 2010

Resolutions: Reading

I want to read more books this year. I want to spend less time in front of the computer. Thanks to PaperbackSwap, I have lots of fun books waiting to be read! - Book Club to Swap, Trade & Exchange Books for Free.

In 2010, I want to

  • read every children's book in the house. I'm tired of reading the same ones over and over and over again. It's time introduce some "new blood" into our reading routine! :)
  • reread Mitten Strings for God. I have been working on my 2008 (yes, 2008) blog book and rereading my Simple & Slow Friday posts. I had forgotten how much I really enjoy that book and how it puts my role as a mother into perspective. A MUST READ!
  • Lies Women Believe. I don't know that I'll finish this or not, I'll have to wait and see what it's really all about. I'm very sensitive to *Christian* books. If I don't agree with an author's use of words right off the bat, I generally don't finish the book. I'm very conservative in my beliefs.
  • finish Nourishing Traditions. I'm 3/4 through. I started this January 2008 and this book has totally changed to way I view food. HIGHLY recommended!

My reward for reading these books? To purchase Eat Fat, Lose Weight. (Unless I earn enough Swagbucks to get it free first!)

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Resolutions: Make It Yourself Foods

There are a few foods that I want to learn how to make this year, many of which have to do with fermenting. For more information on why/how fermented foods are good for your digestion, a good place to start out would be at Food Renegade or for a little more in-depth article on lacto-fermentation (which does not necessarily contain dairy, btw) visit The Weston A. Price Foundation.

To make life easy, I'm just going to list out some of the foods I want to learn how to make at home this year.

[EDIT - I knew there were some things I forgot! I also want to try recipes and find a family favorite for:

  • spaghetti sauce
  • salsa
  • tomato sauce
  • mayonnaise
  • Alfredo sauce
I'm sure there are more things I'm forgetting, but this is a good starting place! :) End EDIT.]

Another exciting thing I get to do this year will be to grind my own grain!!! Remember I said Santa was good to me? Well... boy was he ever!! I received a Nutrimill for Christmas!! I've got a 25 pound bag of organic, soft white wheat berries ready to go as soon as I recover from the hustle and bustle of the holidays! (Hopefully any day now! LOL!) Maybe I'll start with some soaked waffles! :) YUM!

I think there's going to be lots of *science* experiments going on in my kitchen this year! Can't wait for the fun to start!

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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Resolutions: Glass and Stainless Steel

I've been working on this one since last year and we've really cut down on the plastics in our kitchen. We no longer store food in plastic containers. We use glass with BPA-free lids. Granted, we still do use plastic bags, but I'm happy for the baby step of the plastic containers being gone. :)

One of my Christmas wishes was to replace my plastic cooking utensils with stainless steel ones. Oh... Santa was very good to me!!! I received a spaghetti spoon, two spatulas, several different sized strainers, a pizza cutter, an apple corer, and a ladle. As an added bonus, I got a cafetiere and a small stove top coffee maker (mostly just for boiling water for my tea). How fun is that!?!

I also received a SS bakeware set (2 pizza pans, 1 cookie sheet, 1 pie pan, and 2 cake pans). I will be removing the aluminum bakeware that I've been using for years.

Although there isn't a solid case against aluminum cookware, here's a test I suggest you try: Take 1 aluminum pot and boil water in it for 5 minutes. Take 1 Stainless steel pot and boil water in it for 5 minutes. Take a spoon-full of each water (blow on it first, of course) and taste it. The SS water tastes like water. The aluminum water tastes like... aluminum. Yuck. Not an added flavor I want in my food.
My MIL gave me a set of large glass mixing bowls with BPA-free lids, too! I had a great Christmas! (I'll talk more about my "big" gift in another post.)

So with all this changes, I've got one more large section to tackle: kids plates, bowls, and cups. Blech. What a mess of plastic there. I don't even know what "number" the plastic is on most things. I'm assuming it's food safe, but I know several aren't microwave safe. (Although that doesn't matter because I don't have a microwave anymore.) I do worry about putting hot food on their plastic plates though. Does something harmful leech in? I really don't know.

Part of my aversion to plastic is obviously the health side of it. The other side is just that it is not aesthetically pleasing to me. I *want* to get rid of it.

Here's my plan for the year:

  • change their plastic plates to stainless steel or stoneware (I LOVE this set, but think my kids are probably too old for it now.)

  • GET RID OF THE SIPPY CUPS! All of my kids (yes, my 7 year old too!) drink from sippy cups. It's just time for the switch to "careful cups". (Nathan started calling cups without lids "careful cups" because we would always tell him to be careful while drinking from them. The name just stuck!) I hate the top, the valve, and the non-numbered plastic cups. Plus, the boys have warm chocolate milk every morning and I'm sure there was a disclaimer on the package regarding warm beverages not being used in sippy cups. :P
  • Just for fun, I'd love to add these glass straws to my kitchen! Aren't they cute?!!! (You can see them in action over at Green and Crunchy!) We don't use a lot of straws, though, so this would totally be a fun luxury! :)
  • Add a few more bakeware pieces. I'd like another cookie sheet, two jelly roll pans, and some muffin pans. Not that I'll get these all this year, but it's what's on my wish list.

With all this stainless steel stuff coming in, I jokingly said to Jeff, "You know... I'm gonna want a SS kitchen when we finally build a house. I'll need it to match all my fun kitchen gadgets."

His reply? Something along the lines of, "You found out my little secret! I was getting all this stuff to build my case for a matching SS kitchen!"

LOL! Great minds think alike. :)

As a side note, I read the other day that stainless steel might not be as safe as once thought. Enameled pans are supposed to best; however, at some point you just have to make a decision and make choices. Plus, living in the real world with financial restrictions I can't go changing my entire kitchen over whenever "they" say something is bad. We just have to do the best we can within the limitations we're under and with the knowledge we have. Period.

So, what do you cook/bake with?

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Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Resolutions: HFCS and MSG

This month I'm planning on getting my resolutions in order. Like last year's resolutions, I have a variety of areas I want to work on. More baby steps. This year, though, I have a much broader direction that I can go in now that Witt has outgrown his milk allergy (Praise be to God!). I'm planning on doing several smaller posts for each of the areas I want to work on.

This post is about the High Fructose Corn Syrup and Monosodium Glutamate in my kitchen.

When HFCS is ingested, it travels straight to the liver which turns the sugary liquid into fat, and unlike other carbohydrates HFCS does not cause the pancreas to produce insulin; which acts as a hunger quenching signal to the brain. So we get stuck in a vicious cycle, eating food that gets immediately stored as fat and never feeling full.

MSG has now been implicated in a number of the neurodegenerative diseases, including ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, multiple sclerosis and Huntington's disease.

Update: I'll be avoiding agave nectar, too.

Are these the worst offenders in processed foods? I really have no idea, but these are the baby steps I'm taking. I've picked two items that I am going to try to eliminate from our home as best I can. This may mean buying a different brand or learning how to make the item from scratch myself. I'm truly hoping to do more cooking. :) Plus, in removing foods with HFCS and MSG several other bad-for-you ingredients will probably be eliminated as well.

So this morning, I went through my kitchen. Being after the holidays, my kitchen pantry is probably more full of convenient, pre-packaged foods than any time during the rest of the year. Here's the list of what I found:


Ke.ebler Club Crackers: Original and Multigrain

Va.n Camp's Pork & Beans's Concord Grape Jelly

Nab.isco Original Premium Saltines

Generic Animal Crackers

Nab.isco Honey Graham Crackers Whole Wheat Crackers

Nab.isco Oreos Worcestershire Sauce

Hers.hey's Chocolate Syrup


Old El Pas.o Enchilada Sauce

dale's Seasoning

Lip.ton Onion soup mix

Taco. Bell Taco Seasoning

Tennessee Pr.ide Sausage Patties

Not too bad actually. Looks like I need to learn how to make some crackers! LOL! However, I'm not starting with the crackers because that's not what we eat the most of. The two biggies on those lists are the Her.shey's syrup and the sausage patties. Those two are consumed on a regular basis.

I've got organic cocoa coming from my food buying club this week so I'll be testing out recipes (like these) on the chocolate syrup soon.

The sausage patties are gonna be a tough one. Will loves these. He's my picky eater. These are the only brand he likes. More thinking to do on this one and probably a lot of cooking, too! :)

How about you? Is your family choosing to reduce or exclude any foods, preservatives or additives? What's your action plan for 2010?

Oh, and btw... Got any recipes for sausage or chocolate syrup? :)

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