Friday, April 29, 2011

Testing Testing...

Is this thing on? Cuz I've got some stuff to SAY.

Jack's annual appointment with his allergist was today. First, Jack was a total SUPERSTAAH. Past appointments have always resulted in tears. The anticipation, the sitting, the waiting, the pricking....too much to deal with. This morning he was nervous, wiggly, and shy but he was patient while we talked with the allergist, counted the pricks while the prick lady did her work, colored for fifteen minutes while the wheals flared, got measured and cleaned, and waited patiently again while we went over all the results.


This is what a skin prick test can look like. On the very left we have egg, milk, and peanut (the biggun). Column 2 contains soy, column 3 contains tree nuts, and column 4 contains grape. Down below they do a histamine prick, if a wheal doesn't form then it means the test is faulty (or something) and a saline prick. The saline prick shows a teensy bit, like some of the other pricks, which lets you know that the other pricks aren't necessarily "positive", just ticked "pricked".


Here are the results compared with the results from last year! Let me draw your attention to egg and milk which went from 20/40 to 6/32 and 18/35 to 5/21!!! Our allergist was so pleased with the progress that she expressed that she is confident that he is outgrowing these two allergies and after next year's test, it's likely we'll be able to move forward with an in office food challenge for egg and milk. Peanut stayed the same. It's still epi pen territory and getting less likely that he'll outgrow it. But you just never know.

Tree nuts were all small enough that she labeled them as "negative". Soy, corn, and grape, too. All signs point to a maturing, balancing immune system. We're still advised to avoid tree nuts because there is risk of cross contamination with peanut. Oh and there's finally a generic available for the epi pen (less $$!), the packaging is less bulky, AND it has a significantly longer shelf life.



To celebrate, we played games at Chuck E. Cheese's - I know RIGHT!?!?!? He has long been begging to go. They went absolutely bananas and (because it was 10 am on a weekday) I actually had some fun.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lil' garden

Watch me grow...

tomatoes, cucumbers, eggplant, herbs...

some squash, planting more soon.

flowers, cabbages, and one lone artichoke plant.

Rocky is a big fan...

all you can eat salad bar, yo.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Cinemaphobia

Summer of 2009, Jack decided (vehemently) that he was afraid of movie theaters. "It's TOO DARK and it's TOO LOUD". And really, it is. I couldn't blame him. And since going to the movies isn't a necessary life skill or anything, we just sort of shelved that idea. Justin took Harvey to see Toy Story 3 last summer, Jack insisted "you go, I'll stay at home". We told him he could bring a flashlight and cover his ears if it got too loud, "no, you go, I'll stay at home".

Easter has obviously been the conversation topic of choice these last couple of weeks. Having seen a preview for the movie "Hop" I mentioned that the Easter Bunny poops jelly beans. The boys lost. it. Jack went around telling everyone who would listen about the Easter Bunny's digestive functions. I decided, on Friday, to show Jack the preview for "Hop" on youtube. I love youtube. He was fixated captivated.

Candy everywhere, btw.

Jack's become far more reasonable since '09 (der) so I tried bargaining with him. "If we see the movie, in the movie theater, you can bring a flashlight and we'll pack snacks, blahblahblah" He was sort of buying it. I told him it'd been a long time since he tried going and maybe if he tried it, like Green Eggs and Ham, he would find out that he likes it. OMGhetotallyboughtit.

He did whine a bit upon entering, and covered his ears. He adjusted really quickly and before I knew it he was laughing at the slapstick (his favorite) and dorking around in his folding theater seat. Awesome. Harvey gagged on a lolli pop and puked in my hand, played musical chairs, and got bored about an hour in so I took him out to pretend play video games. Soon after that, the nemesis chick grew freaky Easter Bunny fangs and Jack yelled "I gotta get out of here!" The pitter patter of his feet was followed by audience laughter (sorry peeps) and he is already excited about Cars 2 this summer, so he wasn't traumatized. Goodbye cinemaphobia, hello nice break for mama when the heatwaves hit!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekend Update

Life has been getting in the way of this here blog. On Saturday I was on the phone with my dad when he mentioned visiting the next day:

Me: Jack, you want Grandpa and Grandma to come visit tomorrow?
Jack: Yeah, and tell him to bring his tiny white beard.
Grandpa: I did just trim it.

I went to a girlie brunch and Justin took the boys to In N Out. And, as always, Jack begged to eat inside. Dad agreed and boy is Jack HAPPY.

My kids are cute.

The rest of my blog neglect can be summed up by these two facts: 1) gardening and 2) one helluva homeopathic healing reaction. Here's Rudi during our last phone consult:

Rudi: You may feel as if you've been poisoned after the next remedy.
Me: uh huh yeah okay well then mmm hmm.

Enter day 12 after taking my remedy (for antibiotics) and I wake in the night positive I have food poisoning. I'm dizzy, sick, and experiencing all unmentionable symptoms of said condition. Oh, who am I kidding, like I never mention pewping on here? Okay so then I'm having flashbacks of a nasty bout of salmonella I had years ago and the 105 fever and horse pill, wipe out all the beneficial bacteria in your gut, antibiotics I ended up having to take. So I reach for the antibiotics that I never took after my surgery (prophylactic antibiotics? are you serious?) and google whether or not they're appropriate for food borne bacterial issues. Yes, they are. Then my hippie tendencies kick in and I opt for probiotics, lots of fluids, and rest.

It hits me later. I'm in the healing reaction period. I took a remedy for antibiotics, which had each time given Jack diarrhea. Whoa, dudes, I even reached for antibiotics to cure my like meets like reaction. Coincidence or voodoo or a figment of my imagination? Doesn't really matter but I'm all better, though emotional, and am that much more of a believer in this whole homeopathic journey. Maybe someday I'll get the hang of it all.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Minimalism vs. Consumerism

Alternate title: Stop Buying Crap


I'm being pulled into the enigma that is known as living a minimalistic lifestyle. WAIT, DON'T GO - IT'S LESS BORING THAN IT SOUNDS. Minimalism can be defined in as many ways as there are practicing individuals. For me, the first step is to shift the consumerist behaviors of my family. Less purchased, less wasted. More time enjoying a simple life with my husband and kids, learning to be content and not needing to buy things all the time, living with fewer possessions but more time to do the things we love. Finding fulfillment in that which is truly important to us, without the distraction of stuff, or a need for it.

I have been in desire of an orderly environment for as long as I can remember. A clear space clears my mind. So, this isn't just a whim of spring cleaning - it's a cutthroat analysis of what we truly need. Opening our living space, our emotional space, and our spiritual space to opportunity. When I see my child throwing an epic cow over a meaningless piece of crap toy, I cringe. When I hear Jack proclaim that he NEEDS something, and then assure himself that "it will come in the mail tomorrow", I feel responsible. When I pull clothing from my closet that still has tags on it, as well as a thin layer of dust, I feel like an a-hole. We are capable and designed for so much more. But we are distracted by a culture programing us toward consumerism and instant gratification.

I suppose a distracted, greedy flock of
sheeple is less demanding of quality.


I'm working my way through our home, finding goods that can be donated, opening space for more organization and less chaos. I'm having deep conversations about this with my children who have no understanding of families that are in need. How did I let that happen? Well, I've been distracted by our own needs. And that is a shame. Ba-a-a-a-d sheep.

My minimalism doesn't mean I have to live out of a backpack or go without nice things. But it does mean using and caring for the stuff I choose to own. It means living mindfully. If it sounds like a pain in the ass, especially the declutter portion, focus on one small piece at a time. Find a room or space (A DRAWER FOR CRYING OUT LOUD) that can be easily minimized. I started in our dining room, where there wasn't any clutter. I removed a few items that belonged somewhere else, re-evaluated some choices, wiped things down, and opened the windows. It made such an emotional difference that I was inspired to move into other areas of our home.

Minimalism doesn’t need any one set of rules or type of environment. There are no prerequisites for minimalism. Do it however you want, however you can, wherever you want.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Coming up for air...

...AND FOOD.

Still busy with my stuff. It feels good to be productive. My toe (while still half numb, GROSS I KNOW) is getting bendy and functional again. Oh yeah, and it was a tumor. A TUMOR was lurking in there all this time. Benign and all that good stuff so everyone (me) can just CALM DOWN. Treatment for this particular brand of tumor is meticulous removal, and my podiatrist hauled me into his office just to assure me that he's confident he got it all.

Since I'm sure you're starving after reading all about my tumor foot, here's a cyber taste of my awesome lunch:

Onion bagel, cream cheese (omg), avocado, s & p

Dipped in tomato bisque. Duh.

And since that wasn't even CLOSE to allergen friendly, here's a recipe that totally is. An easy junk in a bowl meal that we threw together this weekend.

Dirrrty Rice

1 cup rice of your choosing
2 cups good broth
1/2 lb ground lamb
2 or 3 diced carrots
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons dried herbs

I think you can figure out the rest, but just in case... Cook the rice in the broth. While that's doin' it's thang, heat olive oil and throw in your carrots. Once they're beginning to soften, add lamb and herbs. Combine with rice, eat. Fed the four of us. And I may or may not have eaten three bowls.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Sorry, blog.

I'm busy doing some stuff with some stuff. AND YEAH I HAVE SO MUCH TO SAY ABOUT THIS. But, again, I'm sort of in motion right now. Here's a hint:


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Screw cake.

But only when something better comes along. Someone had a birthday yesterday. It was ME. Without being too annoying about it, here's how I celebrated.

Sweetly glazed tart fresh fruit, light buttery custard, rich
chocolate, and a flaky sugar coated crust? UH HUH.

And flowers are sure nice, too.

Oh and I played with my pancake recipe this morning!
Gotta stretch out the tum for tomorrow's birthday brunch.

Banana Brown Sugar Pancakes

1 smashed banana
1 cup hemp milk
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 cup buckwheat flour (or flour of your choosing)
1/2 tsp baking soda

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We're surviving Spring Break.

Yesterday I posted popsicles. Today, the clouds are spitting on us. No big deal, though. My aunt Jodie paid us a visit, an event the boys (and I) rank with Christmas (they) and bedtime (I). Early in the day I threatened "if you don't stop fighting, Jodie won't come over"........and they stopped. Being that my birthday is this Friday, she came bearing gifts. She knows and spoils me well. LOOKIE:

A fancy new bag (in background), truffles, tea, nag champa, vanilla
grapefruit soap, a sandlewood candle, and chocolate wine.

That's right, I said CHOCOLATE WINE.

We played outside, dodging raindrops on scooters, watched Tangled, and made Sunflower Cookies for the second day in a row. Yesterday's batch was snarfed up by us and our playdate playmates. Today, Jack went a little heavy on the hemp milk and I'll be.....he improved perfection. They were the slightest bit chewier.

Nom.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Popsicle


We had our first heat wave of the year, this past week. The kind of heat that hits early in the morning and has you dozing off with bare feet, seeking the breeze of an open window. I forget, every winter, what a warm night feels like. And then I remember popsicles.

Oh the nutrition you can sneak into an unsuspecting child's popsicle. I'm not a huge "sneaker into", my sensitive kiddo has too finicky a palate to get away with much. But, this is a pretty healthy popsicle, and I've even successfully blended spinach into them.

Here's what we threw into ours.

You can eyeball those ingredients, Jack did.

Rocket molds up the ante a bit, too.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Lamb with Baby Bok Choy

Over rice. I strongly considered quinoa, but it had been a while since I served the boys some white rice (which they love). I chose organic basmati. Sear seasoned lamb tips and then stir fry baby bok choy and minced garlic in the lamb's leftover juices. For a boost in flavor, cook rice in a rich broth. The smell will have lurking fingers (big and small) grabbing at your photo op.


The lamb was aromatic and greatly pleased the husband. I, however, most enjoyed the baby bok choy. Which, to the lamb's credit, wouldn't have been as flavorful without those gamy juices as their seasoning. The boys mostly ate rice. A little something for everyone in this meal, Jack Sprat family that we are.


And now, I'll irritate you with a taste of our dinner table behavior. I suppose it qualifies as cute, in small doses.