Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Poor Violet

Poor Violet still is struggling with her cold. She only will sleep when you hold her and hung out in the sling with me most of the day (see above). After Daddy gave her nose a once over with saline solution the bulb aspirator, she was so tired she fell right asleep on his shoulder.

Annabelle's room is next to Violet's so she has been having problems sleeping since Violet cries all the time. Last night, Annabelle told us that she uses two pillows now. Then she demonstrated that when Violet cries, Annabelle puts one pillow over her head and holds it down on her ears.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Violet's First Bad Cold

All the girls have the sniffles right now, but it has really hit Violet hard. She just can't breath out of her nose, which makes it really difficult for her to sleep. She just wants to be permanently attached to Mommy with her head on my shoulder. She woke up last night about 10 times and now her voice is hoarse from all of the crying.

Despite being sick, she is still a sweetie and has been doing some really cute things. This morning after I put each sock and shoe on her she singed "thank you." She also likes to build with the new blocks that Aunt April and Uncle Curtis gave her. After she stacks each bock she claps for herself and says "Yay."

Here she is eating a freezer pop she had for a snack to help her sore throat:

In her high chair again at dinner signing "thank you" after I gave her some more food:

Kettle Korn: Ricky Style

I got my husband a Whirly Pop for his birthday this year. Since then, he has been making the best Kettle Korn. It is sweet and salty- my favorite combination. The good news is it is all allowed ingredients on my low iodine diet (popcorn, canola oil, sugar, kosher salt). Our favorite thing to do after we put the kids to bed is chat in the kitchen while he pops the popcorn and then go downstairs and watch a pre-recorded TV show.

Here he is popping the popcorn (you crank the handle to stir the popcorn so it doesn't burn). Notice he is simultaneously playing a game on his Iphone, stinker.

Mixing in the kosher salt and sorting out any unpopped kernals:

Monday, December 29, 2008

Our Christmas Gifts

For Christmas gifts we made these hot chocolate ice cream cones for gifts. I always try to find something fun that we can make to give to teachers and friends to let them know how much we appreciate them. These were a big hit this year and I might even make them again next year.

They make 3 servings of hot chocolate. The girls had a great time helping me make these. Annabelle was in charge of the chocolate chips and Aliah added the marshmallows. Violet signed "more" a lot to get her fill of chocolate chips and marshmallows while we were assembling.

We made 50 of them:

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Low Iodine Diet

Today I made my big shopping trip for food for my low iodine diet that I start tomorrow. I know that most of you regulars really don't give a woop, but Ricky told me I should blog about my successful shopping trip for other thyroid cancer patients. When I did this diet last May, I was really overwhelmed and frustrated. So my goal is that someone else who Googles low iodine diet can find some ideas here.

Thyroid cancer patients must "starve" their bodies of iodine before treatment or a whole body scan. The thyroid gland (and thyroid cancer cells) is the only organ that absorbs iodine. The theory is that the more starved your body is of iodine, the better your body will uptake the radio-active iodine for treatment or a scan.

So when you are on this diet, anything processed with salt is off limits. So that means you make everything from scratch. Other restrictions include: no milk or dairy products, egg yolks, sea food, chocolate, canned foods, or meats with added solutions. That covers the big things. I can add my own salt, as long as it is kosher salt. If you like to cook, like I do and have the time, following this diet is bearable. You just have to do a lot of planning so that you use allowed ingredients.

Here are some of my finds from Hyvee that will make my life easier the next 2 weeks. Most of these will travel well when I am gone for the weekend with my friends.
Apple chips and potato chips:

Bible Bread Crackers and Unsalted Rice Cakes:

Unsalted Peanut and Almond Butters:

Unsalted tomato products (I was super excited to find unsalted ketchup for the first time):

Berry Sorbet:

And last but not least granola- yay!

I am trying many new low-iodine recipes and will post some over the next two weeks. Off I go to make some low-iodine bread (without my bread maker this time).

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Snow= Toddler Treat

This morning the big girls were coming in from playing outside. Violet, as usual was in the middle of things. As the girls were peeling their layers off, Aliah started yelling to let me know something was wrong. Violet had managed to swipe some snow and was eating it as fast as she could!

Did Santa Come Yet?

This morning after my spin on the treadmill, I was in the kitchen baking at 6:30. Annabelle heard me and from her room she yelled, "Did Santa come yet?" I told her no, he comes tomorrow. "But it is tomorrow!" she replied.

So I asked Annabelle if she wanted to help me bake the muffins to help ease her disappointment. We made a low-iodine version of Whole Wheat Banana Blueberry Muffins so that I could freeze some for my special diet that starts next week. They were super yummy and healthy, with canola oil and applesauce in them. Annabelle helped me scoop them out with my giant muffin scoop that I got for Christmas last year:

The finished product:

Aliah getting her muffin prepared with butter:

Daddy and his girls. We served him breakfast in bed, but he came out to the table to eat with us:

Hot wassel- Mom's special recipe- yummy:

Violet thought her muffin and cheesy eggs were mm-mm-good:

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Let's Go Swimming!

This week Ricky took the whole week off work. He has been spending a lot of time in his workshop building a new workbench. We have also been trying to do some fun family things together. Saturday, Ricky took the big girls to the movie. It was Annabelle's first time at a theater and after she learned she wasn't supposed to talk the whole time she did great.

Last night, our wonderful babysitter April and her sister Jenny babysat for us. It was a treat to have April home from college and a night out without the kids. Plus, the girls were super excited to see April and Jenny.

Today we went to the Lawrence Aquatic Center after naps. Here are some pictures of the girls in the car on our way. Aliah and Annabelle are taking synchronized bites of their cheese crackers:

Violet wondering what all the fuss is about:

Once we got to the Aquatic Center my camera fogged over. But I salvaged a few pictures in Photoshop:

Aliah wore her life jacket at her request. She dog paddles all over the pool in it and likes the independence it grants her. Annabelle told her "I'm not wearing my life jacket since I know how to swim. I know how to swim and you don't, isn't that neat?" Maybe this summer will be Aliah's year in the pool.

Here Aliah is attempting to walk across the lily pads. There was an older boy who monkeyed his way across them in nothing flat. So the girls thought it looked fun, not realizing how much skill is involved. But it is too challenging for now.

Everyone was ravenous after expending so much energy swimming, showering and getting dressed so we stopped at Jason's Deli on the way home. The night ended with an ice cream cone for all and we came home and hit the sack. What a fun day!

A Play Dough Make Over

This morning the girls got out their play dough. I took a look at the play dough basket and realized that it was old and crusty and in dire need of a make over. So I got the kool aid packets out and the girls helped me make new play dough. They measured out all of the ingredients and instead of kneading by hand, I used my trusty ol' Kitchen Aid mixer. Even the play dough tools took a spin in the dishwasher so now everything is as good as new.

Out with the old:

In with the new- Aliah choose pink or cherry flavor:

Annabelle choose grape:

Annabelle can't have her picture taken without doing a goofy face:

Here is the recipe I used:

Play Dough
• 2 1/2 cups flour
• 1/2 cup salt
• 4 tablespoons cream of tartar
• 2 packages unsweetened Kool-Aid powdered drink mix
• 2 cups boiling water
• 3 tablespoons oil

Mix flour, salt, cream of tartar, Kool-Aid and oil until blended.
Add boiling water, mix with spoon until cool enough to knead.
Continue kneading until color is blended (or skip the kneading
and use your stand mixer like I did). Store in air tight bag.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Jingle Bells by Annabelle

Annabelle loves to sing. Here she is singing Jingle Bells while Violet rides on the "one horse." Enjoy and Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 19, 2008

My Gift to My Friends

This morning I gave my girlfriends their Christmas present- a morning without their kids! I hired a babysitter to help me out and prepared for the possible dozen kids to show up. As it turned out, a few couldn't make it, so we had a much more manageable number. We had a great time and I believe that everyone went home ready for a big nap. Kelley came back from the salon with a new look, Jess had a 2 hour appointment with her midwife, and Michelle got her Christmas shopping done in the 4 1/2 hours they were gone. Here are the kids eating lunch:

Here are some pictures of Violet from last night modeling her sunglasses:

Aliah Showing off Her New Strings

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Cookie Decorating Party

Last week, the girls and I made cookies and met our friends at the community room for a big cookie decorating party. Above the girls are measuring ingredients when we were baking the cookies.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Ronnie Freeman- Live!

Last week my friend Sherry invited me to a Point of Grace Concert. It was a great concert, but I actually enjoyed Ronnie Freeman, who is touring with them right now more. Here is a video of his latest release, Good Speaking. He wrote this song. You may have heard Mandisa performing it also.