January is birthday month for Markus and me, so we had parties (even a surprise dinner with friends put together by my hubby!). Auntie Manda came and cooked us a Hungarian meal, we went to the St. Paul Winter Carnival to see the snow and ice sculptures (boy, was that a cold night!) and apparently we had a tea party, too.
Natural Remedies June 12, 2013
Anyone who knows me probably thinks I’m a bit crunchy. Not all-the-way crunchy (no cloth diapers yet), but at least a little. As a result, I get into homeopathic remedies for our family’s little aches and pains and colds and flus. Since some of them have proven to be quite useful this past year, I thought I’d share!
Homemade Neosporin – for this I have just used tea tree oil slightly diluted with water or coconut oil.
Homemade Cold Remedy (My kids even drink it! Seen below…sorry for the bad pic.)
Some that I haven’t yet tried but are on the list just in case are:
Cuddling with Daddy April 18, 2013
Living with Less Inflammation April 16, 2013
In Spring of 2011, my husband and I decided to do an elimination diet. We also found out that most folks (like us before we decided to do one) don’t understand what an elimination diet is. While Tom and Ali give a very nice overview of their elimination diet plan here, I can tell you a few things about it:
1. An elimination diet is designed to help you recognize any food sensitivities you might have.
2. An elimination diet is not easy and will require time and dollars and sacrificing things you want to eat.
3. An elimination diet will, in the long run, help you avoid foods that cause inflammation in your body (and these are different for everyone).
To say it was an undertaking is an understatement. I cooked for probably an average of 2 hours per day. But we lived to tell the tale, and I highly recommend the process. After going through the entire diet, there were still several foods I was “iffy” about…couldn’t decide if I had really reacted to them. So this February we did the entire thing again! Call us crazy, but it was helpful. I indeed tested sensitive to bananas and potatoes. And things that I’m still not sure about are yeast and gluten. My reaction wasn’t very strong, but I feel like there was a reaction there. So who knows? Someday we may need to do it again.
This elimination diet also has a couple pleasant side effects:
1. I feel better than in any other time of my life physically and mentally. Even though I have been struggling with insomnia for over three years, when I eat like this I still have enough energy to tackle the day.
2. Weight loss. Unless you were already eating a ton of veggies, legumes and gluten-free grains, you will be full (there is no caloric restriction on this diet) and shed weight. The first time around I lost about 5 lbs and my husband around 9. This time I shed 8 lbs and my husband 11! Without really trying!
Even if you have no interest in the elimination diet, I cannot recommend enough the cookbook in which it is found. Tom has a Master’s in nutrition and certification in functional medicine. Ali also has a degree in nutrition and is a cooking instructor (it shows….her way with spices and food combinations is amazing). We have only found two recipes in the entire book (and we’ve probably tried over 100 of them) that we didn’t like. That is better than any other cookbook or website’s record for our family! They recently came out with a second cookbook full of more gluten-free, egg-free and dairy-free recipes, and I bought that, too. I’ve already found several winners in there as well.
Eating healthy takes dedication and time to adjust, but in the long run, it’s worth it. As Hippocrates said, “Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Giving our bodies the proper fuel will help them to function optimally.
Anja, 5 1/2 April 2, 2013
So it’s been a month since you turned 5 1/2, my sweet, but I don’t think you’ve changed enough in those weeks that this is too late to post.
Anja, at 5 1/2, you:
- Are a sensitive soul. Always have been, and I think, probably always will be. God is teaching me how to care for your heart, but I think many times I fail, since I’m cut from different cloth.
- Are a story-teller. Just today you started reciting to me a dinosaur alphabet book that you had made up in your brain. It was quite good!
- Are an illustrator. Pictures are your love language. If you are planning to see someone, you often will sit down and make them a drawing so you have a gift to give them when they arrive.
- Eat so well. You rarely complain about something on your plate, and even if you do, you usually eat it anyway.
- Are still super-tall and thin. Off the charts for height and around 50th percentile for weight. Pants are hard to buy for you, because if they are long enough, I have to cinch the adjustable waist so tight that they wrinkle up around your middle. Could be worse problems, though!
- Love to learn. You come home from school and then give me a list of the things you would like me to “homeschool you.”
- Lean toward introversion. I never would have said this a year ago, but I am seeing that in order to interact well socially, you need some processing time by yourself, usually spent talking through things with your toys. I am a student of you kids, and I learn something new about you often!
- Are still a great sharer. You will happily hand over your favorite toy to someone because you love sharing. I think you get it from your daddy, who also loves other people to take part in something he enjoys.
- Try to mother your brother. While it’s cute when you play teacher with him and he wants to join in your creative play and take direction, I draw the line at you trying to discipline him and boss him around. Someday those skills may come in handy, though!
- Have more tears than I know what to do with. I am the stoic one of my family of origin (which isn’t saying much!), and I never anticipated a daughter who wears her heart so visibly. I am still learning how to do the right thing with your emotions, so have patience with me, little one!
- Are so, so bubbly. Your enthusiasm can get you in trouble when you can’t control it physically, but you’ve gotten better at that, too, as you’ve aged. I love watching your excitement come bursting out of you when you discover something new.
- Have a sassy attitude sometimes. This isn’t something we encourage around here, so we’re working on this one together.
- Love God and desire to please Him. You really get upset at your inability to have control over your sin sometimes, and I can totally relate! It’s the whole Romans 7 conundrum, and we will never have full victory this side of heaven, but I will do battle for you in prayer.
- Are reading! Not chapter books yet, but lots of words, and you’re great at sounding them out. A big push in this area was the Dick and Jane treasury. They’re adorably old-school, and they gave you confidence to keep at it when you were struggling.
- Are so much more adaptable than you used to be! We were in a new environment last week with a bunch of other kids your age, and you showed no hesitation at all to jump in and participate. Two years ago you would’ve been crying and overwhelmed at the idea, but you have sure grown socially and emotionally.
- Like math and “Learning Choice” (basically free play) the best at school. Your teacher said you really have a great grasp on science concepts as well. You may just follow in your analytically-minded Daddy’s footsteps in that area, too. Surprise, surprise…
Anja, it is such a pleasure to be your mama. You are getting so big and the years go so quickly. I will take every cuddle I can get!
Markus’s Burger Ka-chow! 3rd birthday party February 4, 2013
Markus wanted a “Lightning McQueen and Mater” birthday party, so we incorporated those characters with an idea he came up with last spring. We had just watched the first Cars movie as a family, and he said over the course of several weeks that he planned to open his own restaurant called “Burger Ka-Chow!” and it would serve burgers, fries and ketchup. We thought that a pretty good business plan for a 2-yr-old, and the idea stuck with me as I planned his birthday party this year. It was his very own Burger Ka-Chow! restaurant.
Husband and I spent a week secretly working on these guys in our laundry room. Markus was surprised to find Lightning and Mater big enough for him to sit in. They were inspired by this post. We weren’t expecting any other children than mine, and I didn’t have the time or energy to make a whole fleet of cars, so we just poured our creativity into these two.
The rest of the decor was simple, and the menu included burgers, fries, AND ketchup.
Anja added this sweet little picture she drew of Mater towing Lightning McQueen.
My mom had an old Wilton car-shaped cake pan from my brother’s birthday in the ’80s, so we souped him up a little to look like Lightning McQueen.
Happy birthday, Little Man!
Markus, 3 years January 13, 2013
We had a lovely weekend celebrating our newly-minted 3-yr-old. Markus, at 3 years, you:
- Have some catch phrases. One of my favorites is when you hear the car downshift as we’re picking up speed and yell “Yeah, Daddy! Put your motor up!”
- Pretend you are Spiderman and “Buzz the Lightyear” (as you call him) often. But we also find you in a tutu and cape combo when you’re playing with Anja. For some reason you think that playing any role requires stripping down to at least your pull-up if not farther…
- Are into Cars, dinosaurs, toy story, tools, cars and trucks, and puzzles.
- Have a vocabulary that surprises me. You and Anja were having a conversation in the car the other day about dinosaurs and why they aren’t around anymore. You said, “Anja, they died from disease.” I didn’t know you knew what disease is.
- Love riding on things. You got a scooter and a Big Wheel for Christmas and your birthday, and you have already been practicing with them around the house.
- Don’t go to bed very well. You need a drink and Chapstick (which you call “chopstick”) and then you just get out about 15 more times for effect no matter how many of your “guys” or privileges you lose or how many times you are disciplined.
- Still don’t do #2 in the potty. You’ve been pee-trained for 10 months. If I knew how to help you I would do it, so why don’t you just tell me?
- Like to fight with swords. You got one for Christmas and have no problem going boldly up to someone and stabbing them. Yikes!
- Talk about Jesus with more clarity. You are very aware that he died on the cross for our sins and tell us that almost daily. Which is fine, because I can always use that reminder. You ask for help starting prayers at meal and bedtime even though you know exactly what you want to say.
- Like to cuddle with Daddy or come and sleep with him in the mornings. You’ll wake up and come shuffle under the covers with him and he’ll find you there when he wakes. Mama gets more cuddles when you’re awake, like just after a nap or while we read together, but we’re glad you are still a cuddler.
- Are getting more adventurous with foods. You’ll eat a pile of raw spinach off your plate and most veggies and fruits without complaint. We do have to be careful how much we give you of anything because you still spit up if you’ve eaten too much. Ew. You still don’t like potatoes or tomatoes. Your favorite food group is fruit (grapes, especially).
- Are getting taller but still have short legs. You can’t reach the pedals on any of your bikes/trikes yet and you’re in 2T pants while your upper body is a solid 3T.
- Are starting to help with chores. You unload silverware from the dishwasher and carry laundry downstairs in addition to trying to keep your room clean and toys picked up from main areas of the house.
- Enjoy drawing and coloring, but you still don’t make much more than scribbles or the occasional circle. That said, hearing your description of what you drew is usually quite entertaining.
- Are getting more independent in your self-care. You can wash your own hands (though it requires climbing onto the bathroom counter so you can reach) and put on your own clothes most of the time. When you feel like it you can even do your own shoes and coat.
- Like to tease and taunt your sister. She doesn’t respond well to that (imagine that!). But you seem to enjoy getting under her skin. But the two of you play fairly well together sometimes, too, especially when she is allowed to make all the decisions about what you’ll play.
- Have stopped screaming so much. I tried a treat reward system and it took less than a week to get it under control. We are thankful.
- Like to climb and jump and gallop and almost anything that involves wiggling your body. We often get the comment that you are “all boy.” True.
We are blessed to have such an active, healthy, loving, passionate boy. We love you, Markus!
Disney on Ice Giveaway Winner! December 1, 2012
I used good ol’ Random Integer Generator to choose our winner again, and it was entry #2, Kay! Congratulations, Kay! Hope you enjoy the show!
Giveaway! Disney on Ice at the Xcel Energy Center November 25, 2012
It’s giveaway time again, friends! This is a super-fun event. We have gone the last two years and loved it. And my children have only seen two Disney movies! They know about the other characters, though, and love watching them on the ice. I have a four-pack of tickets to opening night (Thursday, Dec. 6) of Disney on Ice Celebrates 100 Years of Magic.
To enter, simply leave a comment and a valid email address so I can contact you if you win! Enter by midnight on Friday, Nov. 30, and I will announce the winner on Saturday, Dec. 1.
Join the celebration as 65 of Disney’s unforgettable characters from 18 beloved stories come to life in Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic! You’ll be captivated by the one and only Mickey Mouse, the irresistible Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Pinocchio and all the Disney Princesses. Be thrilled by exciting moments from The Lion King; Mulan; and Disney/Pixar’s Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Toy Story films; in a skating spectacular filled with magical Disney moments you’ll remember forever as Disney On Ice celebrates 100 Years of Magic!
Dates: Dec. 6-9, 2012
Tickets: $18 / $24 / $46 / $69 – Opening Night Tickets Just $11!
Tickets are available at the Xcel Energy Center Box Office, Ticketmaster Ticket Centers, by calling 800-745-3000 or online at www.ticketmaster.com. To charge by phone using Ticketmaster TDD/TTY, call800-359-2525. Certain fees may apply. (Groups 12+ call 651-312-3486.
Disclosure: Feld Entertainment, Inc. also provided me with a pack of four tickets to help circulate information about this event.