Mom Gets Sick Too!

file0002037778834.jpgI’ve been sort of dark on the blog lately because we’ve all been sick.  A few weeks back it started with Miss Bitty. She had a tummy bug, then went right into a cold.

Then Henry got a mild case of the sniffles, and then about a week ago, I felt like I got hit by a truck. Body ache, fever, ears killing me, headache, sore throat, you name it. And of course, just in time for Spring Break! What’s a mom to do?

After calling the nurses line, they told me that if I wasn’t feeling better after 2 weeks to call back in for an appointment or go to Urgent Care. So, it was time to whip out the home remedies:

  • A little DIY-Made a batch of Honey Lemon Ginger syrup. And chucked it diluted with boiling water like a boss.
  • Set up the humidifier next to my side of the bed.
  • REST!! Encouraged the kids to have snuggle time with me in the afternoon (climb onto a big pile of pillows and blankets and watch a movie). Bitty napped, Henry snuggled me and told me it was ok. He fell asleep and I did too.
  • Took my vitamins and other daily meds (A lot of times when you get sick, you forget your daily maintenance stuff).
  • I tried a new medicine, Boiron Oscillococcinum. I met with the people from Boiron at Influential Summit and they hooked me up with some samples of their products. I’m always willing to try something new.  I’m not saying it’s the reason I feel a lot better, but it probably didn’t hurt! I took it in the morning. And at night, I went with a night time medicine to help me get to sleep. I also filled in my cough needs with A bottle of Boiron Chestal. It’s an awesome cough syrup made with honey.  Combined with my Honey Lemon Ginger Tea, my throat felt much better in just a few days.
  • Went to bed early. Not like 7pm early, but 9:30-10pm early- It’s all abut baby steps!
  • Gave myself some grace. It’s ok for mom’s to get sick too. It’s ok not to run the vacuum 3 times a day, or wash laundry every day, or do 2 loads of dishes when you feel like your head is going to pop off and float away and you are dripping in sweat while you have chills. The kids will survive if they have a dinner of snacks (applesauce pouches, Cheese sticks, croissants, celery sticks with PB cups, and a popsicle for dessert). For the record, I served them on cafeteria style trays like these. These kind of meals are always way more of a hit with kids then when I spend hours making them something.
  • Hydrate-Drank a lot of water and tea.
  • Declined social events- As much as we love our friends, we stayed home a lot this week. We skipped a lot of our usual Easter-time events and focused on being healthy.
  • Leaned on Hubs for support. As always, he made me dinner, went to the grocery store, gave me medicine, and sent me to bed when I needed it.

Commiserate with me! I want to hear about how you cope with being sick!

Meal Plan Monday 3/26/18

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Well, Bitty gave me her cooties, so I’ve been sick for the past week, hence the lack of blog updates.

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Chicken Soup and Grilled Cheese (I’m still tired/sick, so I’m taking it easy)

Tuesday:

  • D:Bean, Rice, cheese, and veggie bowls

Weds:

  • D: 5 way grilled cheese (that’s a grilled cheese with 5 kinds of cheese) and tomato soup

Thursday:

  • D:  Turkey Burgers on a bed of greens

Friday:

  • D: Meatballs and sauce (I’m not sure what kind, we’ve got a lot of different types in the pantry right now), steamed veggies.

Saturday:

  • D: Henry’s Birthday Party is this day, so we’ll probably eating party leftovers.

Sunday:

  • D: The time honored LEFTOVER BUFFET!

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).

Two New Exhibits at Lego SEA LIFE® Aquarium

I’m stoked that the kids and I are feeling better! It’s spring break for the next two weeks and there are two new exhibits at Lego SEA LIFE® Aquarium!SeaLife_0315.JPGSeaLife_0301.JPG

On our next visit, we can take a splash in the ocean without ever getting wet and become a shark explorer at SEA LIFE® aquarium’s two newest exhibits: Sea at Night and Shark Mission!  Open just in time for spring break, both exhibits allow guests to learn about marine life in a fun and interactive way.

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Sea at Night invites guests to jump, leap and “splash” into simulated bioluminescent waves that react to their footsteps.  The reaction created by the guests’ movements demonstrates the effect of a glowing tide similar to ones often seen along the Pacific coastline.

Shark Mission allows kids to come face to fin with six different species of sharks and rays on three giant touch screens.  Young explorers can learn about anatomy, conservation and other cool facts through interactive activities and games.  Guests can also hold a shark’s tooth, learn about shark skin and eggs, plus step into a shark cage.

Sea at Night and Shark Mission are open now for guests to explore at SEA LIFE aquarium.  For more information, visit the Legoland website.

Screen Shot 2018-03-26 at 10.43.29 AM.pngDon’t forget to check your local Denny’s location for a Kid’s Go Free Coupons! I found these at our local Denny’s!

Recipe: Colonial Chowder

stemarie_1650sfortentrance.JPGMy mom found this recipe in a local paper years ago in a column called “Making it Light”. The basic gist of the weekly article was to take crazy fat and calorie laden recipes healthy.

The problem becomes that that a lot of the changes that are made are so super drastic that the food no longer resembles the original recipe.  Since both recipes are published within the article, my mom was able to combine parts of each recipe to make something tasty and healthier than the original. I don’t have a link or a photo of the article or the original recipe, since it’s been over 20 years.

Without Further Adieu…. Colonial Chowder

Ingredients:

  • 2 T. Butter
  • 4 slices of bacon, finely diced (or you can use 1/2 cup of pre-cooked bacon crumbles)
  • 1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite size pieces
  • 1 large yellow onions, diced
  • 4 ribs of celery, diced
  • 3 large carrots, diced
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp. of each of the following: basil, oregano, thyme, sage
  •  Bay leaves (I usually use 2-3)
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1.5 cup frozen corn, or 1 can rinsed and drained salt free corn kernels
  • 1 can cream-style corn
  • 1 can evaporated milk
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
Directions:
  1. In a large stock pot, melt 1 T. butter, and cook bacon.
  2. Add chicken and cook chicken until no longer pink.
  3. Add onions, and cook until translucent (about 5 minutes)
  4. Add remaining carrots, celery, potatoes, and chicken broth. Cook over medium heat, until potatoes are soft.
  5. Add both types of corn, and milk. Cook over medium/low for about 20-30 minutes.
  6. Add Salt and pepper as needed. Serve with Cheddar biscuits.

This recipe serves 8-10, freezes well, and makes great leftovers!

This recipe is naturally gluten free. It cannot be made vegetarian/vegan.

Meal Plan Monday 3/19/18

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Bitty Bird has been sick for the past week and I’m hoping that it clears up soon. We’ve been cooped up into the house, and I want to take the kids to the park!

I’m just posting dinners for our meal plan. The kiddos lately have been having protein pancakes (I like Kodiak Cakes mix- it’s yummy and very versatile) with butter and Peanut butter. Hubs likes Oatmeal (my recipe for an easy almost instant oatmeal mix can be found here) if he’s got time, otherwise he and I have protein shakes. We mix it up, and have different flavors and mix in all kinds of stuff into our shakes, so as not to get bored. Here area few of our favorite recipes.

Lunches for Lil’ Man are usually Peanut butter and crackers, fruit, milk, a protein muffin (aka a kid cupcake), and applesauce cup. He takes his lunch every day! Hubs usually has a protein shake or I pack him leftovers or a frozen entree.

Bitty Bird and I usually have leftovers from the night before, or soup, sandwiches, quesadillas. She eats almost anything!

Monday:

  • D: Grilled Chicken and veggie skewers

Tuesday:

  • D: Frittata and fruit salad

Weds:

  • D: Colonial Chowder and cheese biscuits (I’ll be posting these recipes this week)

Thursday:

  • D: Been, Rice, cheese, and veggie bowls – Think Chipotle Bowls at home. 

Friday:

  • D: Turkey Meatloaf, mashed potatoes/cauliflower, and fruit

Saturday:

  • D: Henry has been asking to go out for dinner, so maybe Souplantation (one of his favs).

Sunday:

  • D: Chef Salad/leftover buffet. I love chef salad because you can just put whatever you’ve got in the fridge in the salad.

The menu may change, as  I pull stuff out of the pantry to rotate what we’ve got (I am trying to cut down on waste, and put the older stuff up front to get eaten first).

Free $5 Target Gift Card from Recyclebank

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If you’ve not joined Recyclebank, now here is your chance to do, spread the love, and score some $5 Target Gift Cards!

Here’s How the Awesome Neighbor Referral Program Works:

  • Use the social share buttons below or copy your personal referral URL and use it in an email you send to your neighbors.
  • You’ll earn a $5 Target gift card for every neighbor you get to sign up for our Recycling Rewards Program. If a neighbor signs up but isn’t eligible to get rewarded for recycling at home, you’ll still earn 25 points per referral.
  • Check your mailbox: every time we confirm one of your referrals, we’ll mail the gift card to you.

If you are new to Recyclebank, check out my post here that goes over all the ways you can earn points, save money, and the environment.

Chocolate Chip Protein Cookies!

img_8846.jpgI know today is Pi Day, but Henry doesn’t really like pie (except Cheesecake), and I’m always looking for ways to get more protein into my buddy. He has a lot of food aversions, so most meat is a no-go (I don’t really count the occasional chicken nugget he inhales), same with beans, lentils, peas, and most other traditional sources of protein.

And who doesn’t love chocolate chips cookies…..

On the Back of the Kodiak Cakes Power Cakes mix I noticed that they say you can swap their mix  1 for 1 with flour, leavening, and salt in any baking recipe. Challenge accepted!

I turned to my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe, the one on the back of the Tollhouse Chips Bag.

Making a few modifications based on what we had in the house, and we were ready to bake!

Here is the Original Recipe. One thing I really recommend is to cream the butter (basically use the electric mixer to “fluff up” the butter) for 30 seconds to a minute before adding the sugars.

IMG_8851.jpgIngredients:

  • 2 1/4 cups Kodiak Cakes Mix
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar or Splenda (I used baking Splenda)
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups Nestlé Toll House Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels

 

 

 

 

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Cookie Dough

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Directions:

  1. Cream the butter for 30 seconds to a minute.
  2. Add Sugars and mix until combined.
  3. Add eggs one at a time, and mix completely before adding second egg.
  4. Add vanilla, Kodiak Cakes mix, blend until dough forms.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips.
  6. Spoon 1 Tbs. blobs onto a greased cookie sheet or a silicone cooking pad on a cookie sheet. I love Sil pads.
  7. Bake at 375 for 8-10 minutes.

Here are the calorie stats for the entire batch of cookies and per serving, which is 2 cookies. I serve Henry 2 of these with an 8 ounce glass of milk. So the total protein for his snack is 12 grams.

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This recipe makes 5 dozen cookies.

Do you have a secret to getting your kids to eat more protein?