Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Feeding Herself

Addison pretty much exclusively feeds herself. She doesn't eat a whole lot sometimes and it is kind of game to figure out how to get enough food into her. Currently she loves eating anything that comes inside a container. Her tray is often filled with plastic baggies, little cups, small Tupperware, or anything else I can think of.

My motto: whatever works!

PS This is Addison pre fun skin condition. Go UTES!

Puree Pumpkin

Remember how we grew our own pumpkins this year? Then remember how we picked them? Well they've been decorating our house since early October and when we unveiled Christmas it was time to use them up. I hate wasting stuff and I hate paying for canned pumpkin (all these pumpkins came from a $1 seed packet). Canned pumpkin is more than $1 for the 15 oz can and about $2 for the 29 oz can. So today I'm going to show you how to make your own puree.

Because I can.

First, it isn't recommended that you can puree and I think it's too much work to can chunks because it's hard to cut up and peel a pumpkin. So - the time efficient, and easiest way - freeze it. Start by rinsing your pumpkins (and feel good they are totally organic, come from you yard, and have no pesticides). Place as many as will fit on a cookie sheet and stab them with a knife. Then bake them at 275 until they are soft. If you forget them in your oven it's no big deal, the softer the better. I baked mine for about 2 hours but they were probably done after about 90 minutes.

When you pull them out of the oven the stem will just being falling off, they will be sagging, and the skin just peels away. I just used my hands to pull the pumpkin into two pieces. It is very easy to handle - like cooked squash. I prefer long baking to cutting and cooking in a pan with water hands down! I have done it the other way and it's hard to slice and gut the raw pumpkin, it ends up watery from the water needed to add to cook, and in my opinion it looses flavor. I don't like the steaming way either because I just want to deal with easy to handle pumpkin - so bake it, bake it, bake it!

Scrape out the seeds (and collect to bake if desired because they aren't stringy like raw seeds). Then add the meat to your food processor or blender. I prefer the blender but this is the batch I did in the food processor. Add enough water that it will puree into the consistency that you want. I added about 2 cups per blender-full.

In doing several batches I realized that it is easiest to put the plastic bag into a cup with the edges folded down and place it on the top of my scale. I then measured a cup (8 oz is a liquid cup and since pumpkin isn't liquid I first measured how many ounces it took to fill my actual measuring cup. You know a cup of flour would weigh less than a cup of pumpkin because a cup refers to spacial quality not weight...blah, blah, blah. With my water content it is about 9 oz of pumpkin per cup.) I poured 9 oz into each pre-labeled ziploc bag and laid them flat in my freezer.

After they were all frozen they stand up like a bookcase. I got 24 cups of pumpkin from 4 pumpkins. I was then kind of tired of the process and that is probably all we'll use before next year so I gave the other pumpkins away. Totally a money saver - not only for our family but enough abundance to share!

- if you add too much water you can drain the pumpkin to the desired consistency using a strainer and then freeze it
- I freeze them in 1 cup amounts because it seems that most recipes call for 1 cup not a 15 oz can or 29 oz
- to use just thaw on the counter or in microwave and put it in stuff, the flavor isn't quite the same as canned so I spice my recipes a little more generously when using home grown pumpkins (it's because store canned "pumpkin" isn't actually pumpkin it is usually squash)
- we use it to make cookies, bread, pumpkin alfredo, waffles, or as an addition to oatmeal or cream-of-wheat - the possibilities are endless
- I don't plant baking pumpkins and I don't notice a flavor difference enough to justify the price difference - all these pumpkins came from one seed packet from the end cap at Smiths

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Coming Up

It's our Christmas Concert! Everyone is Welcome so please come!

PS Thanks Kara for the wording - I borrowed.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Day 5 - The End of the Chronicle

This is the face that just breaks your heart - mom how many more days of this!?!?

We took Addison to the pediatrician yesterday and it turns out that she doesn't have hives. She has Erythema multiforme. The doctor took one look at her and exclaimed, "she doesn't have hives". Well isn't that nice - I've been trying to be patient and let them go away and not be some overly sensitive first-time parent and we're treating the wrong thing! AWESOME!

However, the facts on this new thing are that Erythema multiforme goes away on its own without treatment (in 2-3 weeks) - and there isn't much they can do for this either. Erythema multiforme is a hypersensitive reaction to an infection or medication that causes red, target-shaped or "bulls-eye" patches or sores on the skin. They start as red sores, hollow out to have a white blister looking middle, and then turn blackish-blue as they fade away (only to reappear (and appear, and appear, and appear) elsewhere).

It's not contagious - but it sure looks awful. And truthfully, if I saw a child looking like that in public I would think to myself that said child should be at home, cloistered, sequestered, and not infecting the whole world.

She is miserable, not sleeping well, not eating much, and who can blame her? I'm going to stop with the daily chronicle unless we have something new to chat about. Currently her hands and feet are so swollen and painful that she has a hard time picking things up and whimpers if she walks too much on her feet. This is supposed to end sooner than the rash so that's a good thing. Thanks for all your concern and hopefully we'll still get to do fun December stuff and she starts feeling better soon. If not, at least she's young enough to not have bad memories or feel like she's missing out.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Productive Weekend

Oliver's parents watched Addison Friday night til Saturday morning so that we could finish our Christmas shopping. Not only were we able to finish all our shopping - but we spontaneously bought a live Christmas tree, lit it, and got it decorated. Having a few hours without the baby makes a world of different for our productivity. I love that our house is all decorated and our shopping is all done - now we can spend December focusing on the true things that radiate about Christmas.

I hope you all are enjoying a wonderful start to your season as well.

On A Happier Note

I made something I saw on Pinterest (and it only cost $2)!

If you want some free evergreen just head to the Home Depot. In the fresh tree cut section they have a full cart of evergreen they just giveaway. When you buy a tree from them they cut off the bottom branches so that you can fit your tree in your tree stand - all those bottom branches that people don't want are yours for the taking. Yep, it's AWESOME!

In Case You Thought It Couldn't Get Any Worse

We actually didn't think it could either - but we were mistaken. What these pictures don't show is that her skin is bluish-purple in between the places where she has hives. Mostly purplish-blue on her back, knees, and arms.

She is still has a wonderfully happy disposition and is playing, running, and laughing - she looks awful though and is kind of fussy late in the day. I would be A GAZILLION TIMES WORSE if I looked anything like this so I have no complaints at all.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The War Goes On

Addison has been her happy go lucky self. As you can see, the swelling around her eye has diminished, and she's having no trouble getting into everything and playing and laughing and running. You can see how they have started to creep down her arm and around her wrist.

By the end of the second afternoon the hives were migrating all over her body and still holding on strong.

I gave her a bath to try to help with the itching and then lathered her up with calamine lotion. She's just been running all over and playing like a painted war chief.

Hopefully tomorrow will be better but we have been very blessed to have the happiest baby in regards to the whole situation.

Maybe It's Not A Better Morning

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Turkey Day

So our day started like all other morning. Addison woke up and ate an apple, a yogurt, and some cheerios. Upon realizing that her dad was eating without her she got back up to the counter to have her second helping of breakfast. (Which will be followed by a morning snack, first lunch, second lunch, an afternoon snack, and dinner - but that's a post for another day).

Since I had already baked our cranberry apple pie for dinner (and that was all we were assigned) we decided to take advantage of the clear and beautiful morning and get our lights hung. Thanksgiving in the 50s is heavenly! Addison walked around the yard and talked to her dad who was up on the roof stringing lights.

She also spent a good 20 minutes following the neighborhood cat everywhere. She would talk to it and point at it and run after it - and couldn't understand why it wouldn't say hi in return.

It was after this fun time that I decided to take Addison in for a nap and I noticed that she was starting to get a hive on her neck. I went back outside to ask Oliver if he had noticed and he said that he thought he saw it when she woke up but wondered if I'd given her a hickey. It was just small on the back of her neck so I called my MIL and she said we could still come for dinner and she would look at it when we got there (she's a nurse).

Well it had grown and was spreading to Addison's armpits and back by the time she woke from her nap so we went up to Oliver's parents house, dropped of our Thanksgiving contribution, had Heidi take a peek, and then decided to take her to the kidscare. Well, there were 2 kidscares open on Thanksgiving in the Salt Lake Area - one in Bountiful and on in Murray. I called both and it was a 90 minute wait in Murray or I could make an appointment with no wait in Bountiful. So we headed to Bountiful and here is Addison waiting for less than 3 minutes in the waiting room - and a few pics of her hives when we got to kidscare.

The pediatrician asked if she'd eaten anything new, was on any meds, antibiotics, breathing weird, fever, new soap, etc, etc, etc. Nope to all of the above. So the only thing she could say is that Addison's body has developed hives in order to fight whatever virus she might have. She said that if they started itching she could take benadryl and if she started having a fever or any other symptoms to see our doctor. She said that we could go back to our family party because the hives weren't contagious as long as there were no sick people or brand new babies.

So we headed back to our Thanksgiving feast and Addison was her happy playful-self. She played with her 2nd cousins (from the Lyon side of our family) and had a great time eating and running around. I really can't tell you how wonderful the weather was! As you can see from the pictures the hives on her neck were starting to bother her and she kept scratching them. It's a good thing I had been inspired to cut all her nails that morning.

After playing the yard for awhile I tried to head out and buy some Benadryl for her but the grocery store had closed at 4 and then Walgreens closed at 6 - so we headed home because we had some in our own medicine cabinet. These last pictures are what Addison looked like right before she went to bed at 6:30 pm tonight. See how much worse the hives have spread on her back since kidscare?!? We'll see how she looks in the morning...but it is getting WORSE!

All things considered - we actually had a very night Thanksgiving. It's my favorite meal of the year - and this year didn't disappoint. It was great to see a small part of the Lyon family and I was truly thankful for the kidscare staff that sacrifice to be away from their families on such a special holiday to help out families in need.

There is always so much to be Thankful for...I can't even begin to list all of my blessings. But I hope you all enjoyed a wonderful, family-filled holiday.

PS Yes, I made Addison's shirt - I'm going to make myself a button that says - "Yes I actually made something I pinned" :) I am thankful for Pinterest!