Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

  • 2:00 am today, dog is sick.  Tries to puke on cream colored carpet so I toss him (with love) into our hard floored bathroom.  I take care of the mess, let him out, give him bread to settle his tummy and we go back to bed.
  • 3:00 am today, older son is sick.  Pukes in bathroom sink til full.  That hole at the top of your sink that prevents it from overflowing?  It's called a porcelator, and mine is now disgusting inside.  Nathan was also disgusting so he took a quick bath and came out smelling like my little boy.  Drank some water, ate a saltine and two chewable kids pepto tabs.  Sound asleep until...
  • 3:40 am today, older son sick again.  Made it to the toilet this time - yay!  Oh look, pink saltines.  He no longer smells as fresh.
  • 4:30 am today, older son sick...  Repeat every 30 minutes until 9:30 am or so.

In celebration of this morning's lack of wellness, here's a list, in no particular order, of wellness products on my mind.
  • DoTerra Oils!  Neighbor Kathy across the street has become an independent consultant for them and I really like the idea of wellness via herbal cures and aromatherapy.  I gave her a call and she hooked me up with a few drops of DigestZen heavily diluted with water for Nathan.  He kept it down for about 15 minutes, but that was the last episode he had today!  Kathy also gave me a few drops of OnGuard and peppermint oil that I rubbed on his feet and now he spells amazing!  Seriously, I could hang his socks on my tree and guests would ask what smells so wonderful.
  • Lemon Water!  Yay vitamin C!  Yes, it's acidic, but it has an alkalizing effect when digested, making your body less hospitable to viruses and bacteria and creepy crawlers.  Here's a list of 10 reasons why you should drink lemon water, but seriously, just google 'lemon water' and you'll get all sorts of responses.  And I can get a bag of ten, admittedly small, lemons from Walmart for less than $2.
  • Probiotics!  Intestines are easy to forget about, but whoa nelly if you neglect them.  If you've neglected your gut, taking probiotic supplements can help alleviate skin problems, boost the immune system, improve digestion, alleviate hay fever and asthma.  Supplement your diet, or just eat some yogurt.
  • Chocolate!  It makes me happy!  It has antioxidants to keep me healthy!  It's yummy! (I'm ignoring the fat and sugar demons)
  • Red wine!  See chocolate, minus the fat and sugar demons, plus alcohol demons.
  • Larabars!  Grain free, and some varieties contain chocolate - whoopee!  I found out in 2009 that eliminating grains from my diet (I tested wheat, corn, rice, oats) made me feel worlds better.  So what to snack on...  Larabars!  I brought along about 20 varieties on a cross Iowa bike ride that year, so I was able to taste test a bunch.  Peanut butter cookie is my favorite.  I'm also averse to soy, and these are soy-free as well.  Good stuff!  
  • Red meat!  B vitamins, niacin, iron, zinc and loads of protein in a delicious mouth-watering package.
  • Sunshine!  Thank you Mr. John Denver.  Sunshine on my shoulders DOES make me happy, and it does look so lovely on the water.  And that vitamin D boost does wonders for me, too.
  • Bleach wipes!  Just in case Nathan's illness is a bug and not food poisoning, I wiped most of my hard surfaces down with these.  Am I helping to create superbugs?  No, I'm trying to keep my family healthy and any bugs that get past the wipes have to deal with our lemony-scented bodies.  Good luck jerk-bugs.

I'm wondering what wellness tricks are out there that I haven't heard of yet...  If you've got a good one, please leave it in the comments.

We finished a few projects and started a few more in the past weeks.  The tables Scott and I refurbished:
The black coffee table, the motley sofa table
We got both of these from the local Deseret Industries (just like Goodwill), for I think $10 each.  The black table was covered in gunk, and the sofa table had a really bad paint job, bad color and bad technique.  A little sanding, stain, paint, polyurethane and they are beautiful!

I saw a post in another blog about a homemade garland made of paper circles and thought it would be wonderful made with the Sunday Comics.  A lot of cutting, and a lot of glue dots, later I have this pretty garland.  Nathan did almost all of the assembly, I was the worker bee cutting dozens of little 2" circles.
The comics garland

Fireplace mantle.  Dog butt.

And I loved this, my lima bean wreath!  I got the idea at All Things Thrifty.  I accidentally used large limas instead of baby limas.  I think it still looks so pretty.

The house with outside Christmas decor.  Love it!  Can't see it here, but the baby trees out front are covered with colorful ornaments.

The big projects in progress:

  • Stockings for family.  How to embroider their darling faces onto the stockings...?
  • Paint first floor bath.
  • How to get the puke smell out of my nose.

Thanks and God bless!

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Packing, day 2 and the morning after (Not really)

November 24, 2011
I had started typing this on the drive from Wisconsin to Utah, I think we were somewhere in Missouri, and my thumb kept hitting the mousepad on the netbook, making the mouse jump around from one random place on the page to another, making my train of thought look more scattered than it already is, so I gave up and haven't really thought about this blog since then, except in passing when doing something either extremely fun or extremely annoying, but in either case I was too engrossed in the moment to actually type anything.  So, here I am now.  Getting out of doing Post-Thanksgiving-Feast dish clean up.  And me having made sooo many of those dirty dishes to begin with.  These are a few of the recipes I abused my family with this year:
  • Asparagus with homemade hollandaise sauce (3 eggs, 7T butter, 5t lemon juice, 3T water, salt and pepper to taste.  So simple.  So delicious.)
  • Candied sweet potatoes (recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens pink plaid cookbook.  Just like Grandma Dorothy used to make.)
  • Classic green bean casserole.
  • Nutella pumpkin pie (many thanks to ZEPHYRcakes for the idea! Check out her beautiful cookies on etsy here.  I haven't eaten any of her cookies, but if I were lucky enough to get one, I would sit and stare at it so entranced by it's beauty that I would forget to eat it.  For a little while at least.  Seriously, beautiful noms.)
  • Dog birthday cake
Yes, dog birthday cake.  Jake asks a lot of questions, one of the more recent being "When is Chunk Chunk's birthday?"  Now, I could look this up, but I know it is at the end of November, so I told him it is on Thanksgiving, to which Jake excitedly asks if we can make Chunky a birthday cake.  Pleeeeasssse?  Dear husband would tell you that I spoil my children rotten, so of course I made a cake (the peanut butter carrot cake here).  It was made with peanut butter, honey, shredded carrots and other standard cake ingredients (flour, baking soda, etc.), and was perfectly palatable, but the recipe called for pureed cottage cheese as frosting.  Um...  Blech!  So I left off the frosting, made a frozen peanut butter bone for decoration, and served it up with other desserts tonight, alongside a big bowl of homemade whipped cream.  We sang 'Happy Birthday' to Chunk, the boys blew out Chunk's candle and then he got to open his present, a plastic chew toy with a puppy treat baked in the middle of it.
Chunk's cake on Jake's plate

Oh, yeah, he got a piece of cake, without whipped cream, despite his crazy behavior this week.  At one point he stole Jake's toothbrush and chewed it to bits.  I scolded him and shooed him away, but instead of skulking off as I picked up plastic Spongebob toothbrush pieces, he grabbed Jake's toothpaste and took off with it.  So I chased him down, got him to drop the toothpaste, but as I was cleaning up toothpaste he ran by with MY toothpaste.  If he really wanted to chew it up, he could have done that in my bathroom, so you KNOW he only wanted to tease me.  Honestly, I love a sense of humor, but whatever happened to the concept of dog as loyal companion?  Maybe if I read some Lassie bedtime stories to the boys, Chunk will get the hint.

This was our nuclear family's first Thanksgiving away from extended family, aunts and uncles and cousins and grandmothers and such.  Kind of a bummer (BIG), but the boys played football with the neighbors, and of course we had our feast and Chunk's birthday celebration, so it wasn't an awful day, but I couldn't stop mentally comparing it to Thanksgivings of my childhood, or even of the past year or two with extended family members gathered around telling stories and all the little cousins playing and bonding and making memories that will be with them forever.  I have to remember that my boys' memories will just be different, but no less wonderful.  Nate almost scored a touchdown during the neighborhood game, and spent a lot of time at the skate park working on his ollie.  Jake hung out with the neighbors a bunch, and helped with the cooking (a little).  

Speaking of cooking, I've been going crazy with the baking lately, but I've also been making a point of sending home baked goods to school with the boys for snack every day.  This week, it was three kinds of muffins: banana, oatmeal and anise (recipes from the pink plaid cookbook again).  The anise were supposed to be poppy seed, but when I got to the point of adding seeds, I couldn't find em, so I added anise seeds and a splash of anise extract.  Really yummy.  Last week was chocolate cookies with white chocolate chips.  Easiest recipe ever:
  • 1 box cake mix
  • 1 small can pumpkin
That's it.  Mix together and bake as cookies, or muffins, or mini muffins in a 350 degree oven til firm.  It was actually a double batch last week, two boxes of devil's food cake, large can of pumpkin, stirred in white chocolate chips, made a bundt cake with half the batter and cookies with the other half.  The cake is in the freezer right now and I'll probably pull it out some December day when the boys are driving me crazy.  About a month ago I used yellow cake mix, pumpkin pie spices and butterscotch chips to make pumpkin spice cookies and Nathan, my pickier eater, gobbled them up.  The person I got the recipe from said they are a happy weight watcher's cookie, too, though she's a skinny minnie mother of three who doesn't need to lose any weight, though maybe this is one of her tricks to staying so thin.  That is definitely one of the differences between where we used to live and where we live now - the people are all really thin and healthy out here.  Maybe it's the west coast influence, or maybe it's a mormon thing.  

I'll sign off with ZEPHYRcakes Nutella pie recipe.  I doubled the pie recipe, poured half the batter into a plain graham crust, then added Nutella to the remaining pie batter and poured it into a chocolate crust (used this recipe) that I had topped with a thin layer of Nutella.

Nutella Pumpkin Pie
1 can pumpkin puree (small one)
2 eggs
2t pumpkin pie spice
1t salt
1/3c nutella
4oz cream cheese

1 - 9" pie shell, or 2 6" deep dish pie shells (what I did)

-beat the crap out of the cream cheese, like softy softy softy - in a mixer or with a hand mixer- scrape it like 45 times to make sure lumps are out
-add 1/2 pumpkin puree to mixer - med speed to fully incorporate
-in separate bowl combine everything else BUT the eggs
-add the cream cheese/pumpkin mix to the other mix - fully incorporate
-beat eggs in a separate bowl - beat like hell - then add egg to big mix

Bake @ 425 for5 minutes to start, then drop to 350 for another 40 minutes or so. Check it by either tapping the side of the pie pan, there can be a little jiggle in the direct center, but if there is anything more keep it in the oven.

Regular crust, chocolate crust with a nutella layer.  Drool.
We didn't even cut into the regular pie until pumpkintella was gone.

Next time, I'll try to post pictures of the fun things we've been up to (refinishing tables, making garland) and a picture of the dog cake (uploaded 12/14/11).  It was a first for me so I'm pretty proud of it.  Oh, I almost forgot about the grape drank cupcakes, aka "purple whatevers"!  Check them out here at bake and destroy, but I used one whole packet of grape kool-aid for the cupcakes and one for the frosting.  Double kool-aid = double mind blowing awesomeness.  I've been baking a lot these past several months...

And one last thought.  For real this time.  I saw this somewhere and copied it and now I don't remember where it came from, but it speaks to me.  Enjoy, Happy Thanksgiving, and God bless!

In this home, we do second chances.  
We do grace.  
We do real.  
We do mistakes.  
We do I'm sorrys.  
We do loud really well.  
We do hugs.  
We do family.  
We do love.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Packing, Day 1

The reality of the move to Utah hit home hard today. The movers, correction *packers*, showed up at 8am and I still hadn't finished cleaning up from the party from the night before. Many thanks to cousle Matt for sweeping the broken water balloons and errant cupcake sprinkles up off the patio Sunday night. A cupcake topping bar sounded like such a good idea...

So while I cleaned up gift wrap and did dishes and laundry, a team of two packed our basement in about two hours. They moved onto the first floor, packing framed family photos and artwork and a cool clock, while I had lunch with a friend and ran the last of the game contraband back to the library. Then shredding... I wonder how many people still have income taxes they paper-filed 20 years ago. Scott and I both do, well did, until I shredded 3 large garbage bags full of paperwork we kept for no good reason. Taxes from 1990, results from college final exams (also from the 90's), paperwork from my first house purchased in the late 90s, paperwork from old pets (a vet bill from 2001)... Some things I re-filed - questionnaires Scott and I filled out in the pre-wedding class required by the church, love notes from my children, car titles (the boat title is still missing, however).

I've heard the same story multiple times now of movers who packed garbage cans full of garbage, so I think we'll avoid that problem, but I think we discovered a new one. In their zeal, the movers packed the remotes for the TV, DVD player, sound system and cable box, and all our Wii games and controllers. Friend Brenda thought this was hilarious, saying that we might even have to talk to each other, har har, but we need to return the cable remote and box. This is real money, folks! And I wanted to have the Wii at our Utah apartment for those times when we really don't want to talk to each other. Oh well, lesson learned and funny life story gained.

The boys' last baseball game with their Wisconsin team was tonight. The coach called out to everyone that this was the Deischel boys' last game, thanked them for their efforts, then had everyone shake Nathan's and Jake's hands. Jake thought it was a perfect opportunity to say "Pledge of allegience" to each boy that shook his hand, much better than his declaration yesterday that the water balloon he put in his pants smelled like his balls. I have no idea what it would be like to have a daughter, but I can't imagine it would be better than this.

And today was my first day of unemployment! Well, first day without tax paying, income producing employment. Not sure how I feel about this yet. As a member of the salaried workforce, there's security in knowing that the work you do contributes to a larger goal and that you're part of a larger movement to GET THINGS DONE. Laundry, dishes, packing, shredding, cleaning... I don't see how that fits into a larger movement, yet. Does it?

Tomorrow, the rest of the first floor and the entire second floor gets packed, we sign closing papers on the house we're selling, and the dog gets to go to the vet. 'Gets to go' because any trip in the car is a not-to-be-missed treat in his book. He rode in the van this morning to drop the boys off at summer school and I swear I heard him say 'Whee!' at least three times. And we need to set aside the items we'll need over the next 6 weeks. Really. A. Drag. I've called a few things out, but my follow through lately has been lacking. Pretty sure it's my subconscious screaming out "Change is bad! Don't leave the midwest!" but I'll try to get some things set aside... For those times we don't want to talk to each other, but still want to snuggle through.