Momma Needs a Time-Out

September 1, 2009 at 10:10 am | Posted in Homemaking, Kanoa Family Update, Random Nothings | 1 Comment
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It’s inevitable.

Sometimes you just need a time-out.

 

This week has not started off well.

Judah is in the worst stage of teething…with four teeth getting ready to erupt at any moment.

The girls are being girls…fussing and arguing and trying my patience.

Manly is in Hilo for a long week…he won’t be home until late Saturday night.

My bathroom sink is PLUGGED…and no amount of Liquid Draino is going to help.

Ants are very slowly taking over this house…and are surprisingly chemical-resistant.

Jackson the chameleon eats way too many crickets…and the pet store is out of large ones till Thursday.

The laundry pile magically replenishes itself every time I do a load…as does the dirty dishes pile.

 

There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done…and even if there were, I wouldn’t have the energy to make use of them.

 

So…I’m giving myself a blogging time-out.

It’s one less thing for my poor brain to deal with.

I will return later this week renewed and refreshed and ready to start again…I hope.

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Friday Funday at the Beach

August 28, 2009 at 1:20 pm | Posted in Family Photos, Friday Funday | 1 Comment
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Today was a beautiful, sunny day.

My sister and I packed the kids in the truck…

and headed off to Ala Moana beach.

gracie sand

We played in the sand.

Splashed in the ocean.

emma netHunted for seashells.

Judah ate his first handful of sand.

Momma found a centipede on her leg!

judahIt was a lovely morning.

Thrifty Thursday: Crayon Cuties

August 27, 2009 at 11:52 am | Posted in Kids Arts & Crafts, Recycling, Thrifty Thursday | 4 Comments
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Kids love crayons. They like to color on walls, on furniture, on everything! Kids also tend to break crayons, and I’ve noticed that a broken crayon isn’t nearly as appealing to a child as an unbroken one. In my classrooms, I would always end the year with a GIANT bin of broken, paperless crayons that had been ignored by my preschoolers. And like most preschools, we were encouraged to reduce, reuse, and recycle our materials as much as possible to keep our budget in line. So I would chip the broken crayons up, combine them in multi-colored piles, and melt them in mini-muffin tins to create brand-new crayon cuties. The children always loved them! 

BENEFITS OF CHUBBY CRAYONS:

  • Helps to develop fine motor muscles in the hands, which are important for pre-writing
  • Prevents pre-writers from “fisting” crayons, forcing them to use finger grips instead
  • Easy for even the smallest artists to grasp and pull across paper

Making your own Crayon Cuties:

1. Gather up any broken crayons you have around the house.

step 1

2. Peel off crayon papers and break into small pieces.

step 23. Place broken crayons in mini-muffin tins in solid or varied colors.

step 34. Bake in 300 degree oven for 5 minutes, or until wax is completely melted.

step 45. Immediately place in the freezer and allow to cool completely before removing from tins. Enjoy!

step 5

White Mouse Design Giveaway

August 27, 2009 at 7:47 am | Posted in Random Nothings | Leave a comment
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I love blog giveaways.

Love, love, LOVE!

You can enter to win a cute-as-a-button whale party kit by entering the contest at Haute Tot & Baby Couture. Just click here!

Devotional: The Power of a Praying Wife

August 26, 2009 at 9:13 pm | Posted in devotional, Marriage | Leave a comment
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Well, I gave it a go.

I tried really hard.

I did read the whole book.

But I just didn’t respond to it the way I thought I would. I wasn’t hugely inspired. I didn’t feel miraculous change. Towards the middle, I started wishing it were over. And that almost never happens when I read a book. Usually, when I hit the middle I start getting anxious because it means the end is near! It’s not that this was a horrible devotional…that’s not it at all. It was wonderfully written with tons of useful information. It was biblically based, full of scripture and written in a way that its very easy to follow.

My problem with this devotional was simply this: it is full of anecdotes from the author’s marriage BEFORE God healed it. It almost seemed as if it is intended for troubled marriages, and the relevance and urgency is lost if your marriage is healthy and thriving. Now, I’m not claiming to have a perfect marriage…but my husband and I do, for the most part, have very few problems (praise the Lord!). It was really hard for me to relate to the anecdotal support the author offers in her book.

On the positive side: The scriptural references and sample prayers were excellent resources.

I do, however, highly recommend Stormie Omartian’s The Power of a Praying Parent. I found it very comforting, empowering and insightful.

Wikiwiki Wednesday: German Apple Oven Pancake

August 26, 2009 at 2:18 pm | Posted in Recipes, Wikiwiki Wednesday | 2 Comments
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So yesterday I wrote about making pancakes using brown rice flour for my wheat-intolerant son. They were  great pancakes for a first time try…but if you REALLY want something yummy and comforting, this apple oven pancake is for you. I make it mostly for me and my husband, and it truly is quick and easy. No standing at the stove flipping, stacking, buttering, cutting, repeat…just slice, mix, pour and bake.

Simple.

Easy.

Yumza.

apple-pancake-3German Apple Oven Pancake

serves 4

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 tart apples, peeled, cored and sliced very thin
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 3/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted

PREPARATION:

  1. Heat oven to 425 degrees. Put a cast-iron or oven proof 9″ skillet in the oven with 2 tbs. of the butter. 
  2. In a bowl, combine the apple slices with brown sugar and cinnamon, making sure apples are coated.
  3. In another bowl, mix flour with salt.
  4. In a large cup, whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and remaining 1 tbs. butter.
  5. Combine wet and dry ingredients.
  6. Remove pan from oven, swirl butter to cover entire bottom. Arrange the apple slices over the bottom of the pan. Pour batter over the apple slices.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes until puffy and lightly brown.

NOTE: DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN DURING BAKING. IT WILL CAUSE PANCAKE TO FALL FLAT.

Try-It Tuesday: Brown Rice Flour

August 25, 2009 at 8:31 am | Posted in Homemaking, Natural Living, Parenting, Recipes, Try-It Tuesday, Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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brown rice flourMy son Judah is 8 months old and has a wheat allergy. This hasn’t been confirmed by an allergist, but I kept track of the foods I’d introduced and noticed a pattern of rash forming after eating foods containing wheat flour. Since removing all wheat products from his diet, he’s been rash free.

Judah is at the age where he notices everything his big sisters are eating and desperately wants to eat it too. Pasta, bread, pancakes…we are definitely a family that enjoys it’s carbs. My intention is to gradually remove wheat from all of our diets and replace it with an alternative grain. 

Brown rice flour is the first alternative I will be trying. I chose it rather blindly when I happened to run into the health foods market, but I figured that I love brown rice and so does Judah, so it can’t be that bad, right? I purchased a package of Bob’s Red Mill Organic Brown Rice Flour ($5.48 for a 24 oz. package. It’s cheaper online!)

When we got home I went online and started doing some research on how to use it as a wheat flour substitute. Here are some things that I discovered:

 

  • Brown Rice Flour is milled from unpolished brown rice and has a higher nutrient value than white rice flour
  • this flour contains bran and has a shorter shelf life than other flours; it should be refrigerated
  • it is best to combine brown rice flour with several other flours to avoid a grainy texture
  • excellent source of protein, fiber, and minerals such as magnesium and selenium

BAKING WITH BROWN RICE FLOUR:

  • replace up to 1/4 of any wheat flour with brown rice flour
  • baked goods made with rice flour tend to be crumbly, so consider substituting a mixture of one part arrowroot or other thickener plus four parts rice flour
  • adding more eggs is another way to reduce crumbliness
  • since rice flour absorbs more moisture, you may need to add more liquid to recipe
  • FOR YEAST BREADS: replace up to 1/5 of the wheat flour in a bread recipe, and try increasing the yeast so that the bread rises more

Try-It Recipe: Brown Rice Pancakes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 1/4 cup buttermilk
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 tbsp honey, fruit juice concentrate or sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups brown rice flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda

PREPARATION

1. Beat egg until frothy.

2. Add buttermilk, oil, and honey and beat until well blended.

3. In another bowl mix brown rice flour and the remaining dry ingredients.

4. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the liquids. Stir until well blended. Do not over stir. Batter will be stightly lumpy.

5. Lightly grease a frying pan and fry pancakes.

cooking pancakesFrying on the griddle

cooked pancakeBrowns nicely!

judah eatingJudah loved them!

Momma’s Verdict:

The pancakes turned out very nicely. They were quite crumbly, so I will be sure to add additional liquid next time–I’m thinking plain yogurt would be a good thing to add. I also may try to add a thickener such as cornstarch or arrowroot. My two girls didn’t notice the difference between these and their regular pancakes…and that’s saying something! I froze the leftovers so I am curious to see how they will thaw and reheat for another quick breakfast.

 

 

The Trials of Teething

August 24, 2009 at 3:34 pm | Posted in Natural Living, Parenting | 2 Comments
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Teething is no fun.

Any mom will tell you that!

My own three kids have handled teething in very different ways.

Emma was grumpy but responded well to frozen washcloths and ice cubes in mesh feeder.

Gracie was as happy as a baby could be…no fussing, just EXCESSIVE drooling.

Judah is miserable.

I mean MISERABLE.

When it first began about 2 months ago I was shocked at how Judah went from a happy, content, peaceful baby to a screaming, crying, didn’t-want-to-nurse-or-sleep baby. I was flabbergasted! We had four solid days of utter fussiness. No sleep. Engorged momma. Hungry baby. I tried Orajel, but it did nothing to soothe him. In fact, the first time I put it on his mouth he swallowed some and started to gag as if he were choking! The only thing it did was numb his gums enough to allow him to latch on without pain, but a few minutes into the nursing it would wear off, leaving me with a screaming, starving baby. 

Strangely enough, after four days it stopped. The tooth was just at the surface, and I guess it was enough to lessen the pain he had been experiencing. At the time, a friend of mine recommended a homeopathic product made by Hylands, but I was unable to find it anywhere in Honolulu. And since the pain had passed, I forgot all about it.

This past week it began again.

Crying.

Fussing.

Restlessness.

And luckily, while on a shopping romp at Walgreens, I found the product that she suggested.

ttabs-newI used them last night for the first time…3 tabs under his tongue. They dissolve immediately and are tasteless. And they seemed to work right away! Judah was much calmer, he nursed better at bedtime with less pulling off and crying. I am so relieved to have found them!

Read more about Hyland’s Teething Tablets here.

Malama Monday: Skin Care for the Confused

August 24, 2009 at 12:16 pm | Posted in Malama Monday, Natural Living | 2 Comments
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I have confused skin. 

It thinks it’s going through puberty, yet it is developing it’s first little wrinkles at the same time.

I never had problems with acne until I started having babies. Something just went haywire and now I’m an almost thirty-year-old with temperamental, irritated, blotchy skin.

*Sigh*

I’ve tried many different face washes, serums, lotions, potions, magic drying solution…the list could go on forever! And nothing works. In fact, my newest attempt at finding a good face wash ended up in the worst breakout yet, caused by a little ingredient that was mentioned in the very finest of fine print…sulphur. I am terribly allergic to sulphur! So I had an allergic reaction on top of the acne that was already painfully spreading across my face. 

After much thought I came to a realization…I’ve been using chemicals to clean my skin. I use all natural stuff for the babies and we eat organic and local as much as possible. Somehow that awareness had not translated into a more natural, healthy skin care regiment for momma.

After that quick, “DUH!” moment, I found this new line from Burt’s Bees. I’ve been a fan of their products FOREVER and am so glad they are making skin care for gals like me!

Burts-Bees-Natural-Acne-Solutions-Free-Sample-300x274I found it at Walgreen’s and also saw it at Down To Earth markets here in Honolulu. I’ve been using the Purifying Gel Cleanser for three days and it has done MIRACULOUS work so far. No redness, no drying, less pimples. I’m amazed. The Burt’s Bees Acne Solutions series uses salicylic acid derived from willow bark. As with all of their products, the washes, serums and gels are almost 100% natural and packaged in recycled/recyclable bottles.

In addition to the Acne Solutions wash, I’ve been using witch hazel as a toner. It was on sale at Walgreen’s this weekend for $1.99 for a gigantic bottle! Witch hazel has many medicinal properties and has myriad uses, including:

 

  • astringent for skin– acne, cuts, scrapes, contusions
  • temporarily tighten and soothe aching varicose veins
  • relieve the pain of hemorrhoids 
  • a throat gargle of witch hazel, myrrh, and cloves reduces the pain of an uncomfortable sore throat (DO NOT USE THE DRUGSTORE VARIETY. A tincture should be made using fresh herbs.)
  • a cotton swab dipped in a witch hazel, goldenseal, and calendula tea and applied to the outer ear is useful in treating swimmer’s ear

 

 


Quick Update

August 24, 2009 at 11:33 am | Posted in Kanoa Family Update | Leave a comment

We’ve been busy busy busy as usual…

 

Emma is now the proud caretaker of Jackson, the chameleon. 

emma

Gracie has been busy drawing and coloring and trying to stop being messy. (“I can do it, momma, really!)

grace

Judah is cutting four teeth simultaneously…two top and two bottom…so we have been dealing with grumpy baby and nursing issues.

judah

Daddy is in football season so his visits home have become shorter and shorter. We’re praying for a new home in Hilo so we can move over already!

Momma is starting to plan Judah’s first birthday party and just thought of the most awesome theme ever!
But she can’t share it with ya’ll for fear of copy-cats. 🙂

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