Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Our Health

A first hand update.  *;o)
Red started having some minor chest pains the beginning of last week, mostly in the evening, and it reached its peak on Thurs.  He said the pain, on a level of 1-10, 10 being dire pain, was a 1 or 2 until Thurs., which was a 3, and then back to a 1 or 2 in the evenings.  He rested a lot during our trip to his parents Thurs.- Sat. and made sure to eat less food, more healthy.
For those who don't know, his grandpa had heart problems in his 20's.  That's kinda why he's nervous about his heart.
Saturday night he came in the back room as I was dressing our new guest bed, held Rusty while I worked, and then told me he wanted to go to the urgent care. As they were all closed by then we ended up going on Sunday while my mom and aunt watched the kiddos.  The doctor there said something about high blood pressure and found something on the EKG that said something about his right branch and disconnect, which can be normal for some people, but wanted him to go to ER just in case.  So we did.  They did another EKG, blood tests, and a chest x-ray, while hooking him up to oxygen.  It was NO fun seeing him hooked up to monitors and a breathing tube, which was all just protocol.  The EKG said the same thing as the other one and in all the tests, after waiting like 5 hours for the results, there wasn't anything pointing to blood clots or heart attack so they let him go and asked him to see a cardiologist to follow up in a couple days.  He has an appointment for tomorrow after his route canal (2nd this month).


I've been battling arthritis for at least 5 years now.  No, it wasn't diagnosed by a doctor, but it isn't carpal tunnel and I have all the symptoms.  The rheumatologist I saw prior to getting married told me I may have early stages of lupus or rheumatoid arthritis (though it wasn't showing up in blood tests and x-rays showed nothing).  He said it may get worse, may get better, or just stay the same, with 1/3 chance of each.  (So basically he told me nothing).  With the pregnancies the arthritis has been dormant for the most part, but with the hormones faded it's back with avengence.  I've been getting little nodules on my knuckles (cartilidge build up), my hands and feet feel swollen in the morning and late at night, I feel like my hands aren't connected most times...It's gone from sharp pains when my wrists are turned a certain way and has added throbbing.  My thumbs have had sharp pains at night and in the morning to where I can't pick Rusty up with them, I have to grab him by my arms.  Though most of the pain is in my wrists and hands, my elbows have had sharp pains as well.

If any of you have noticed I'm missing my wedding ring, this is why.  It doesn't go over my knuckle and with swollen hands in the morning, I thought it best to keep it off.

Getting old bites!  We covet your prayers!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Field Trip: Nature Center

We checked out the local nature center on Saturday.  Red's been wanting to visit it for a while now.  It was perfect weather!





What a Great Big Sister!

I was in the other room for a while working on the mei tai. Karrots kept coming in to check on me and things seemed quite quiet out front. Eventually she came in and said "baby asleep!" Sure enough, I went out front and there he was:

covered up by his big sister...what a sweetheart!  Cookie points for her!!

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Love My Neighbors!

Seriously...what would I do without them?  The many rescues and help they've offered...So, I handed out goody bags to let them know how much I appreciate them.  Then today one of our neighbors comes by with a gift bag full of ginger snaps and this:

With my jacked up wrists I had gone over there once and asked if the man of the house was in to help me open up a jar of spaghetti sauce.  He wasn't, but his wife, who is supposedly seriously sick, is able to open the jar no problem.  (Now you see why I doubt her illness?)  Thus I received a jar opener with a note: This is for you **  Hahaha!

Thanks guys!  You made my day!!  Now I can stop bothering you with my trifling jars!

Mei Tai

A little update on my latest project...

Did you notice??  That's right - the straps are way too short!  I don't know if I just didn't understand the directions or if they weren't written well, but I made the straps like 24" and they should've been at least double that.  I figured that out after I looked up youtube videos on how to wear a mei tai.  Ah well!  You live/sew you learn!

Now to extend them...
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Saturday, December 12, 2009

Christmas Goodiness

Our goodie bags this year are stuffed with a couple new recipes.  I went to allrecipes.com and found recipes for peanut brittle (ya ya, it has corn syrup in it!) and peppermint fudge.

Since I was new to candy making I tried a couple different peanut brittle recipes.  The first was Mom's Best Peanut Brittle.  With my first batch I didn't have a proper thermometer and didn't cook it long enough so it never hardened.  BUT today my dad dropped off a deep fryer thermometer that went beyond 300 degrees and the final product resembled what I knew to be brittle.

Here are a couple pictures:

It gets a darker shade of brown as it gets closer to 300

Finished product

I don't know why it says to use a large cookie sheet when it doesn't fill it.

I also found a Microwave Oven Peanut Brittle recipe. It was WAY easier and tasted just as good, if not better (since it has more peanuts).  The big difference?  No added water and a little vanilla.

If you're gonna try a peanut brittle, here are a couple tips:
  • Make sure your thermometer goes up to 300 before starting.  I figured we had a meat thermometer, what's the difference?!  well, that only goes up to 220.
  • It took like 16 mins. to get the sugar/peanut mix up to 300 degrees.  It went a little faster  going up in temperature near 250 after dragging on at 200. 
  • Have things measured out beforehand.  This was a tip on one of the recipes that definitely helped.

The next recipe, Peppermint Chocolate Fudge, was super simple.  I used Lechera instead of the brand mentioned and, of course, it's still delicious.

Along with the new recipes we're putting in a few family favorites, including a block of Abuelita's chocolate, a candy cane, some homemade chocolate chip cookies (my grandma's recipe), pumpkin chocolate chip cookies, and a kit for making holiday wassail.

Note the burnt chocolate chips cookies in the background...hence only a few in each bag...

Wassail kit: spices (1 Tbsp cloves, allspice, redhots, and 2 cinnamon sticks) in a cheesecloth, a bag of tea, and a recipe card - just add equal parts apple cider and pineapple juice!

I can't wait to share all of our homemade goodies with our friends!  WAAAY better than some expensive sweater they'll never wear, right?!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Too Smart?

Monday was a long day for the kids and I...or at least it felt that way at the end.  We didn't go anywhere, but stuck around the house to get laundry and stuff done.

Sometime after the sun went down and the rain died down a bit, I stepped out into the garage to change the loads of laundry out, closing the door behind me to ensure the little ones didn't get in and utilize their curiosity in daddy's garage.  After putting the diapers in the wash I turned to go back in the house and...it was locked!!  Low and behold my daughter had used her new found habit of dragging her chair/stool around with her and getting up to do mommy things...like locking the door to the garage.

Luckily we have a little kitty door so I could see the kids and knew they were safe and sound (or should I say sounding?) on the other side.  Screaming Rusty kept attempting to get through the little doorway, but didn't fit.  After yelling at Karrots to unlock the door didn't work I attempted to calmly talk her through undoing what she'd done because if she could figure out how to lock it then she should be able to unlock it, right?  But, "stand on the chair and turn the nob, honey!"  was translated "sit on your chair and scream and cry" in her little head.  Poor girl!  I know she had no clue that doing something so simple would separate her and her brother from mommy.

Red was on his way home at this point, but wouldn't be home for like an hour.  So I grabbed his hiking boots (the only shoes I could find) and ran across the street seeking any help they could give.  "Anyone here know how to break into a house?!"  One of the guys came over and with the help of an extendable mirror and stick was able to unlock the door.  The whole time, whenever he pulled his arm in from the kitty door, poor Rusty would push his head against it screaming.  It broke his heart.  Our neighbor wondered how I could be so calm...(well, I already went through the frustration phase, I guess.)

Praise God the kids were okay and that we have helpful neighbors!!

I think I'll be hiding her stepping stools from now on...

New Sewing Project

Lately Rusty's been extremely clingy.  Whether it's teething or something else, it's getting difficult to get things done.  I trip over him in the kitchen, get pantsed by him when getting ready for my day, and my wrists are acting up. 

Thus, a new project.  Over at Raising Arrows Amy had a post on the homemade wraps she's made and I noticed she has a baby on her back with the Mei Tai.  Perfect!  Thankfully she linked to the website with the pattern she used.

Now to find the perfect fabric and test my skills...

I'm also working on making some throw pillows for my SIL for Christmas.  I found an instructional online for the cases and another one on making them on a budget and have already made three of them.  I'll try to remember pictures after she gets them for Christmas...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving 2009

This year we were able to spend Thanksgiving with both sets of the kids' grandparents up to Red's parents'. Yummy food, good company...good times!!

Grammy's tradition on letting them pick their animal plate

Papa carving the turkey

I made these: mashed organic yukon golden potatoes

 ...and the salad in the back - spring mix with pecans and craisin and a homemade mustard vinaigrette dressing



My parents left the next morning.  Friday we spent some time at Carr's showing the kids their chickens.

 cousins and chickens

 Marc and her show bird


 Karrots holding one of the chickens.  She kept cuddling her cheek to it.


Collecting souvenirs

In the afternoon, the girls all went out and looked for clothes for our family picture coming up after Christmas then we all met up again for another feast of leftovers.  (My stomach is still recovering!!)

 Carr's $6 turkey butter she forgot to bring to their Thanksgiving dinner so we had it for leftovers the next night

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Two Birthdays and a Wedding

All in one day!  AND Big Red was gone helping a friend for half of it.  (He told his friend earlier in the week he didn't think we were doing anything - when he found out he figured as long as he was there for the wedding he was good!)

This little boy turned three.  His parents were pregnant at our wedding three years ago and had him like the day after so he and Karrots are 9 months apart.  *:o)

His mommy made the cupcakes.  Didn't she do a great job??!!

Birthday boy #2 is just 3 months younger than Karrots.  His little brother is 3 months younger than Rusty.  It was fun being pregnant the same time as their mom.  His theme was construction zone.

Karrots in her construction hat.

Had to leave early but got all kinds of goodies...I thought HE was supposed to get the gifts!  We got cookies, a huge goodie bag, the cupcake, and construction hat.  Thanks guys!

The wedding we went to was for a girlfriend I've known since elementary school.  I found her on facebook like a month ago!  We got to drop the kiddos off with grammy and head on out to our old stomping ground, Olvera Street. 

She was gorgeous!!

LOVED it!  They had a mariachi band outside the church after the ceremony and once everyone was ready they lead us over to the reception at Union Station.  The band continued to play for an hour of drinks on snacks and then lead us into the dinner where they got up on a balcony and continued to play.  What a great way to lead things!

 Cake topper...cute!

The bride and I...

Monday, November 9, 2009

Pesto Grilled Cheese

A new lunch favorite! I got tired of just plain old melted cheese and added tomato, pesto sauce and onion.

Also, a quick tip from our family to yours, we cook ours with mayonaise instead of butter on the outside. It grills the bread perfectly!!

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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thankful Thursday

  • I don't look like a boy! (See previous post.)
  • I'm only experiencing cold symptoms - NOT the swine flu!
  • Our kids' fevers have never lasted more than 24 hours.
  • My hubby can fix cars!
  • A dutch oven!  I've been wanting one for years and finally saw one at Cost Plus World Market that just dropped to $60 and I had a coupon for an additional $20 off! 
  • Great neighbors!  We're hoping to have our next door neighbor and his girlfriend over for dinner soon.  I love it!
  • I love cooking!  I couldn't imagine eating out all the time (for health AND pocketbook) or having to eat something I didn't enjoy making.
  • Crockpots and allrecipes.com - I made corned beef and cabbage last night from one of their recipes.  DELICOUS!  It's awesome because we've been trying not to eat piggy and that cuts out an old family favorite crockpot recipe for saurbraten.  This is the perfect alternative!
  • I only have one more Christmas gift to get!  AND most of the wrapping is done!  (That's right...I'm anal to get it done early!)
  • The option of non-chlorine disposable diapers!  The velcro in the BumGenius ones are destroying my fingers because my hands have been so dry lately.  
  • Vitamin City!  Their customer service stinks but their prices are cheaper than most other places!  1/2 gallon of raw milk for $5, Earth's Best diapers for $10, Earth's Best crackers/cookies for $1.49 (Babies R Us just had a sale on them 3 for $5...I got ripped off!).
  • Walmart - one stop shop for everything but groceries.  PLUS their fabric is a great price!!
  • Karrots learned to put her shoes on!
  • Organic Toaster Pastries!  Costco sells them - a healthy alternative to pop tarts!  WAAY easy in the morning.
  • Sleep.  Could you imagine never being able to or having to rest?
  • Got to see my aunt this weekend!
  • Great in-laws!  My parents and our family-of-four are having Thanksgiving with RED's family!  This is a common theme with them.  Usually his parents have it with his sister's family, her inlaws and her hubby's wife's parents.  That's right - 3x the in-laws! And they get along!

New Me!

Hacked most of my hair off!! Hopefully the kids can't reach it now! Hopefully it'll be easy to style this short, too, as I don't have a lot of time to put into it.

Fresh out of the salon

After I styled it...as I can NEVER do what my stylist does

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