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Monday, February 27, 2012

February 3-in-30 Final Update

3in30 Challenge

Here is how I did on my February goals!
1) Create and stick to a weekly laundry schedule.  I will consider this a partial success! I have the laundry schedule completed and I think I'm pretty much happy with it.  I will likely tweak it here and there.  For the last 2 weeks I will say that I roughly stuck to it.  Definitely not every night, but enough of the time.  I really like that the schedule give me something to focus on instead of just procrastinating until it is out of control.  I plan to continue and expand on this goal in March.
2) Organize, sort & tag for my March consignment sale.  I have a good amount completely, but really wanted to be finished by the end of February.  That did not happen, but I do have about 2 1/2 weeks left before my sale so we're down to crunch time.  
3) Try some fun new menu options for me & Summer.  This was definitely my favorite goal and once I got my new oven, I really did try some great things for both of us.  For Summer, I made oven fried corn chip chicken with a homemade honey mustard and invited over my in-laws for dinner.  Verdict = delicious!  She has also been enjoying her special grilled "cheese" made with daiya shreds (looks like shredded cheese but is vegan, so no dairy!).  And this past weekend, I got a donut maker and made dairy free vanilla frosted donuts. We've also been bringing healthier snack options into the house, like more fruit, etc. which by default is dairy free.  I have been a little lax on this lately because I hate constantly going to the food store, etc., so I'm really happy that I'm getting back into this.  For me... I've been eating a lot more fruits and vegetables and experimenting with some new ways to make them.  I'm really trying to cut out a lot of the fatty foods, especially meat because I'm in far less pain with my gallbladder issues when I watch what I'm eating.  Good news in it is coming out on March 19th, but I would really like to stick with my diet changes. 

Overall, I would rate this month much more successful than last... hopefully March will be even better (although my goals will have to be a little different since I'll be recooperating from surgery for 2 weeks). 

Sunday, February 12, 2012

February is chugging along...

3in30 Challenge

Well this week was certainly interesting in the haztwins family...  Jim had the week off for home renovations.  Don't worry for those of you who know him very well, he was not actually performing the renovations just supervising.  We got new doors, new floors and a new oven!  Pictures to come soon.  Anyway this week was a bit challenging for accomplishing my goals, but I think I did pretty well. 

1) Create and stick to a weekly laundry schedule. - The laundry schedule has been created and a lot of laundry has been done.  This week I'm hoping to actually stick to the schedule and do a little bit of laundry each night. 
2) Organize, sort & tag for my March consignment sale. - I have not done this at all this week, but next weekend is pretty much blocked out for this purpose.  My husband is even planning to take the kids on an excursion on his own to assist. 
3) Try some fun new menu options for me & Summer. - Slightly challenging since I got my new oven on Tuesday and then had my dining room table and entertainment center packed into my kitchen for my new floors to be done... so I could not exactly get to it.  However, I was determined.  I found a recipe online from a mom that created a dairy-free and gluten-free cookbook for her children.  I wanted to try one of the recipes before I decide to buy the cookbook.  One of Summie's favorite things is chicken nuggets and since most breadcrumbs have milk as an ingredient this is a difficulty.  So we made oven fried fritos chicken with homemade honey mustard sauce.  The kids were so excited to help me crush up the corn chips and watch me make the chicken.  We invited over my in-laws who had watched the kids most of the day so we could put the furniture back.  And everyone agreed that it was delicious!  Now that I have a functional oven after 3 weeks, I'm so excited to try more new things. 
http://blogs.babble.com/family-kitchen/2010/09/30/silvana-nardones-gluten-dairy-free-oven-fried-frito-chicken-fingers/

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A life without... DAIRY???

Summer has had cradle cap basically her whole life.  I really never thought much of it when she was a baby, because it just seemed like one of those things you go through with babies.  And let's face it... there were two of those sweet little babies, not just one.  We were dealing with making 16 bottles a day, changing 20 or more diapers a day, a little cradle cap wasn't going to get us down.  It took my baby girl quite some time to get big girl hair.  When it was still short and baby fine I was able to use baby oil to help the cradle cap, but it never entirely went away.  As she's gotten older, it has gotten completely out of control.  She has also suffered from chronic sinusitis and ear infections, resulting in surgery to insert tubes in her ears and to remove her adenoids.  The ear infections stopped, but the sinus infections did not.  Another strange happening in her life, sporadic exorcist style vomits.  I had asked the doctor several times about this, but because it was one time here and one time there... they thought nothing of it.
Last year, everyone that I came into contact with  told me that she was constantly sick because they has just begun daycare and that this winter would be much better.  Well September hit and guess what she was sick again and the antibiotics weren't taking away the disgusting ooze streaming constantly from her nose. In November we entered the world of allergies and asthma and began to get answers to the problems that were plaguing both Summer and Cole since they were babies.  Summer was diagnosed with allergies and Cole with allergies and asthma.  I was hoping that we would learn what their specific allergies were, but our allergist explained to me that at their age there are many false negatives and he preferred not to put them through the testing so young. One day I was reading an article in my Parents magazine about dealing with and understanding food allergies.  The article spoke to me when it said that a lot of food allergies are initially dismissed by parents and doctors as common ailments and one of the examples was CRADLE CAP!  Well for anyone who knows my obsession with google... I went GOOGLE CRAZY.  Trying to find any information that I could to connect Summer's symptoms with a food allergy.  The most common one that kept reappearing in my research was DAIRY. 
At our next allergist appointment after discussing how much better the kids were now doing with our daily medication cycle, I raised my concern about a possible allergy to dairy for Summer.  The doctor examined her scalp and said oh that's just cradle cap... and I imploded. I tried to rebuttal with the fact that I had tried every suggestion for cradle cap and had not been able to make any sort of headway, but it was no use.  He continued with his stance that even if there was an outside chance that she did have a food allergy that she was too young to be subjected to allergy tested.  He wrote her a prescription for a stronger shampoo and said that should do the trick and sent us on our merry way. 
A good friend encouraged me to just stop the milk anyway, but I decided that I would try the shampoo for 1 month.  Plus it was almost Christmas and the thought of attempting to go through the holiday festivities reading every label and telling a 3 year old that she couldn't eat her favorite things (having no idea how she'd react to this) made me cringe. 
Guess what? The shampoo didn't work!!!!!!!
On January 23rd, Summer went dairy free.  I had a talk with her that she wasn't going to be able to eat anything with milk, butter or cheese in it.  I wasn't quite sure if she got it until the next morning I heard her screaming at Jim as he was making her eggs for breakfast as he attempted to let me sleep in.  "But. Mommy. Said. I. Can't. Have. BUTTER!!!!!" she bellowed!  Um... yup... I'd say she got it.  I told myself we'd do this hardcore for 2 weeks to see if there was an improvement.  Nothing with even the hint of milk in it if possible. 
And Guess what???? It's WORKING!!!!!
After just one week on her new diet there was a dramatic improvement with her scalp.  Now after 3 weeks, she told me that it doesn't itch anymore!!!! (I almost cried like a baby when she said that to me).  It is still taking time to heal completely and scrub all of those stubborn flakes off of there, but I can't even tell you how much better it is getting every day.  I've start pulling back on her oral and nasal allergy medications as well, but not sure if she can handle giving those up yet completely.  We are almost due for a recheck with the allergist in a few weeks.  After taking to another mother who takes her kids to the same practice, I have rescheduled my appointment with the other doctor.  I've been told his philosophies are different, so we will give him a try. 
I'm now giving this my all to find Summer alternative foods to enjoy.  I've had some great finds from another mom that does dairy free.  Even a shredded "cheese" to make pizza and mac n' cheese with.  While it is challenging to find things that don't have any milk... I am so proud of my little girl.  She doesn't cry or get upset if I tell  her she can't have something that she wants.  She knows that she can't have anything with milk and if I tell her something contains it, she doesn't want to eat it anymore. 

Friday, February 3, 2012

February Goals

3in30 Challenge

I truly can't believe that it is February already.  I didn't make out so well with my January goals, but I am hanging in there and trying again!

1) Create and stick to a weekly laundry schedule.  Laundry is beyond out of control and I find myself completely overwhelmed with how to make a dent in it.  I can't just try to catch up on the weekends and the occassional after work load, especially when we are always running here and there on the weekends. 
2) Organize, sort & tag for my March consignment sale.  I need to see if anything from last year will still fit the kids and work on getting the rest ready for the sale. 
3) Try some fun new menu options for me & Summer.  Summer is currently on a dairy free diet (more on reasons for that later) and I am working on a very low fat diet due to my recent gallstone diagnosis. 

There they are... short sweet and I am optimistic that they will get accomplished this month!  Wish me luck!