Monday, April 7, 2014

Project Life Week 11

Here is Week 11.  I didn't take very many photos this week, with Maddie getting out of the hospital and Wolfie immediately getting the stomach flu.  We did enjoy the warmer weather by sitting outside a lot.  Maddie made a clear wallet out of packing tape.  The kid is the craftiest kid I've ever met.  Week 12 will be coming soon...Maddie has my office looking like a craft closet blew up.  I have no workspace.  How else am I supposed to let him entertain himself?  He's banned from running around and playing.  Have a great day!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Spring Break...Finally

We are finally on Spring Break.  I have been completely exhausted these past couple of weeks.  I slept until 10 a.m. yesterday and finally felt like a normal person.  I have so much stuff to do this week.  My todo list is sitting at 22 items right now.  I'm sure I will be adding to it.

We did take Maddie to the Nephrologist on Wednesday.  He told us Maddie could resume normal activities and the blood in his urine could last for several months.  Erik heard up to a year.  I didn't hear that.  Anyhow, Maddie ran around like an idiot, yesterday.  I told him to settle down.  He had a ton more blood in his urine.  He also woke up with swollen eyes and I nearly fainted.  I mean literally, I told Erik I was going to throw up.  I lay down on the closet floor and broke out into a cold sweat.  Luckily, the swelling went down and his weight was okay.  I think it was really just allergies this time. so he's resigned to the couch right now.  I'm so tired of this blood.  There is nothing we can do to treat it.  I just want him to return to normal.  That's all.  

As a fun fact, our dishwasher broke.  It doesn't do anything.  It doesn't light up, nothing.  Not only that, it decided to stop mid-cycle.  So it was full of dishes and water.  We had to unhook everything and dump the water and rewash all of the dishes plus the dinner dishes too.

See that water running?  Erik told me not to use the sink while the dishwasher was out because it would flood the cabinet.  Well guess who turned it on to wash his hands?  Erik.  After taking the picture I asked him, "Didn't you say not to turn the water on?"  So needless to say, the cabinet was slightly flooded.  There are dishes and things all over my kitchen floor while the cabinet dries.  So, I guess that's it.  I'm off to try and scratch some of these twenty items off my list.  Have a good Sunday!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Document, Document, Document....

This post is coming about for a couple of reasons.

1.  Project Life:  You are documenting your life on a weekly basis.  Since I worked on a few weeks yesterday, I remember how much fun it is.  I also remember how important it is to document things as they happen.
2.  I am reading Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand.  It's the story of Louis Zamperini.  It reminds me so much of my grandfather, and I am so grateful that I heard his stories of his time during the war.  I am so grateful that the man took pictures of everything.  We have so many photos of his WWII experience.  Now, it's time for me to document them and write them down.  Otherwise, they will be lost forever.  As soon as I can get a few photos, I will post them for you.

3.  My fellow blogger Nat posted about having tons of photos with no description.  That is another thing I am so grateful for.  My grandfather labeled almost every. single. photo he ever took.  It includes names and places and dates.  In the digital age, photos are no longer in boxes, but stored on the computer.  That's why, it so important to print them out and scrapbook them, or put them into a digital album using Shutterfly or other resource.  Printing them online into a photo book is very easy, and then the pictures are documented with the who, what, when, where, and why.  If you're not into scrapbooking, throw them in an album with a quick description.  If that's too much, when you print them, write on the back of the photo with the information.  My grandfather's pictures are from the 1940s and I'm sure he did not use an acid and lignin free pen, but the pictures are just fine and the information is still there.

So, in summation, document, document, document.  A picture is worth a thousand words...label those pictures with just a few of them.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Project Life Week 10

Here it is finally...

I have Week 11 finished too, and I will post it later this week.  

Have a great day!

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Composting, Gardening, and all that Jazz

As a disclaimer, I am no gardening expert.  I'm just a regular girl who gardens.  We've had a garden for about 8 years now.

I am part of a cooking group on FB where we share recipes and cooking tips.  Recently the subject of composting was brought up.  I know I've written about here before, but alas I can't find the post.  So, I thought I would go ahead and write a new one.  As most of you know, we plant a garden every year.  This winter, we did not do a winter garden because we decided we were going to expand the garden this spring.  Erik did work on that.  So we have a much larger area to work with.

So this picture was before we started planting.  This year, we had enough compost to cover the entire area.  We also added about 10-15 bags of steer maneur.  I mixed the first ten, and Erik decided we needed more.  I'm not sure how much more he added.  We also added an organic potting mix to only the areas that were getting planted.

I hope to have almost everything planted this next week.  It's just hard to get out to buy plants and seeds with Maddie being sick.  April 1 is usually when we plant.  Erik did start green beens and carrots a few weeks ago.

Onions are in the front, carrots along the sides of the path, and green beans along the wall where the wire fence is.  In the front is a herb garden.  That's Rosemary in the middle.

Moving on to Composting.  It's really very simple to do.  We bought a compost bin about two years ago.  It's the one on the right.  My friend, Pam, gave us the one on the left when she moved.  So, now we have two.  That one has trays in it.  We put everything in our composter:  egg shells, fruit peels, vegetable waste, paper towels (not those I used cleanser on), newspaper, coffee grounds, grass clippings, etc.  Do not put meat, bones, etc. in there. They will rot and it will not be pleasant.  Also, don't put anything with salt in the compost.  It will halt the breakdown of the compost.  The one on the right can be turned around to mix the compost.  That will need to be done every so often.  Maybe every two weeks, depending on weather.  The one of the left, will need to be turned with a shovel, I think...

I would strongly suggest getting a compost starter.  This is what we used.  We use it off and on through the year as well if we notice things aren't breaking down.  You will also need to monitor you compost for moisture.  It should be a little moist.  You can add water if you need to.

To get started, first purchase a bin.  You can build your own, if you wish.  I think you can get a big bin for around $80 at SAMs or Lowes.  I like the one we have on the right.  This is the first season we will be using the one on the left so I will see how I like it.  Next, just start adding stuff to it.  If you have grass, you might want to start with the clippings and add vegetable waste too.  Once you have some stuff in there, add the Compost Starter.  If it looks dry, add a little water.  I keep a little bin in the house to put vegetable waste, coffee grounds, etc in.

You can buy a bucket online, such as this, if you wish.  One day, I'll get around to getting one.  They are affordable.  About $30 or so.

So, there you have it.  That's a quick breakdown.  I hope you found it helpful, and it made sense. Ha.  I will continue to post about our garden throughout the year.  If anyone has any questions, let me know.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Back to Square One

 So, we had a setback.  You might remember my previous post where I told you all that Maddie's urine came back normal.  He was doing well!  On Tuesday, he started showing visible blood in his urine.  It looks like Coca Cola.  I'm not trying to gross you out, I'm just telling you incase something like that ever happens to you, or your child.  He also didn't tell me until after school.  He had it two or three times at school, and didn't tell anyone.  We took him to the ER.  The ER felt that it wasn't an emergency, but that he needed to see his regular doctor in the morning.  Our doctor has been WONDERFUL.  He's not the kid's regular pediatrician, but another one from his office.  Our pediatrician is on hiatus :(  Anyhow, he consulted with the Nephrologist to come up with a medical plan.  As of now, Maddie is on bed rest, and homebound.  School will be determined on a weekly basis.  A home healthcare nurse will be coming daily to check his blood pressure and weight.  We will see the Nephrologist on Tuesday.  Yesterday, Erik pulled his mattress out of his room and put it on the living room floor.  He had a whole little realm in there.

He's enjoying his shows, doing simple crafts, and hanging out with the dogs.  I will keep you guys posted.  And again, I can't believe how well he is taking this.  I am so proud of him.  Also, he loves Duck Dynasty and Full House. Hahaha.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Real Food Update...A few Tried and True Recipes

***Pretend you see a picture***

It's been a while since I've updated about our family's adventure with our RF Diet.  I can't express how glad I am that we were on a Real Food Diet before Maddie got sick.  When his Nephrologist told us he had to be on a low sodium diet, he told us that we would have to cut out all processed foods.  I told the Doctor we didn't eat processed foods or have many of them in our home.  He expressed that we should not feed him hamburgers or hotdogs or food from McDonalds.  I told him we don't eat processed foods or go to Mc Donalds hardly at all.  We do, but it's a rarity.

Anyhow, after having to read food labels, because let's face it I didn't before, I have learned so much about Sodium.  I never read the labels unless I wanted to find out what the ingredients were.  I suppose that after Maddie is off of his restricted diet, I won't be reading them that often.  Let me just tell you, there is a lot of Sodium in our food.  A lot.  Maddie's restricted diet allows for 150mg of Sodium per snack and 500mg per meal.  Just out of curiosity, I checked the Kraft Mac and Cheese food label.  I gave the kids Mac and Cheese almost once a weekend before our real food diet.  There are 580mg per one cup serving.  I would say he would eat between one and a half to two cups.  That's a lot of Sodium.

Eating out, has been nearly impossible.  It's not like we do it very often, but we ran out of food last week.  How dare I only purchase 1.5 pounds of ground beef for a family meal.  Apparently, we are up to 2 pounds a meal if we want left overs. So, we decided to try and order some food.  We thought that the Corner Bakery or McCallister's would be good choice.  Many of the food items on the menu were over 1000mg of Sodium on the kids menu.  We thought let's order pizza.  Once slice of the Veggie Lovers Pizza, Thin Crust from Papa Johns contains over 500mg of Sodium.  We ended up getting food from a Mexican Restaurant that delivers, and making Maddie his own meal at home.  He was okay with that.  I can't tell you how proud I am of him.  So I guess what I've learned is no wonder so many people in this country have Heart Disease or High Blood Pressure.  Many of our foods are loaded with Sodium.  The other thing is that I can't be more thankful for is making most of all of our foods.  There is a huge peace of mind in knowing what is exactly in your food because you made it yourself.

Okay, so I'm stepping off of my soapbox now.  I also wanted to tell you that we had salad the other night and most dressings have a ton of sodium.  I bought the lowest sodium dressing I could find.  2 tablespoons had over 250mg.  So, I put four in for our entire family's salad.  That thing needed dressing.  I'm not kidding you.  But the kids ate it like nothing.  There were no complaints, none.  They were basically eating spinach, eggs, tomatoes, carrots, etc. dry with no dressing.  I was hoping they would complain so I could add some more dressing to MY salad.  That's when I thought, geez this Real Food thing is working.

I wanted to share with you a few recipes that I LOVE.  That my boys LOVE from the 100 Days of Real Food Website.

My most favorite thing in the world:  Taco Salad.  I love her recipe!

Super Easy and delicious Chicken Recipes.  The kids have loved them too!

Slow Cooker Chicken

Lemon Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower  This was the first time the kids ate cauliflower.  They loved it.

And a must use recipe for Chicken Stock.  I cook whole chickens at least every other week so I can make the stock.  We use the stock for soups, rice, etc.

Don't forget the Whole Wheat Pizza Crust.  I can't wait to start making homemade pizza again after Maddie is off his diet.

Also, these Sloppy Joes were really good.  Not my grandmother's recipe of course, but hers calls for a whole bottle of ketchup...not exactly low sodium.  The boys didn't notice a difference and they didn't say a word about the carrots.  I used a whole onion, a whole bell pepper (recipe does not call for it), and eyed the celery.  I also used sugar instead of honey.  No Salt of course but I did add it when I ate my lunch at school the next day.  Do not tell anyone.

Anyhow, that's all I have for now.  Have a great evening!


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