Monday, January 30, 2012


I know it's Monday and I said I would be posting my menu on Mondays.  This week, I'm not going to.  Instead, I thought I'd share a little bit of our reflux story and give some advice to those going through something similar.  I recently talked with a friend about it and felt it would be good to write it all out here too. 

Our Story:
We started noticing something was off with Sweet T when he was just a couple months old.  He spit up an average amount, slept GREAT, wasn't fussy, and was a big baby.  Nothing indicated reflux at all, until he started have episodes where he looked like he was choking.  I took him to the doctor, who at first didn't think it was anything major.  Maybe a little cold or something.  Then it started getting worse where he wouldn't breathe for a second, so I called again, and they said it was most likely silent reflux.  We started on some over the counter meds immediately, and this momma freaked!  My baby would literally stop breathing.  Can you imagine trying to sleep when your child did something like that?  It was scary.  And it got worse.  Those meds worked for about a month and a half, but by 3 1/2 months, we needed something stronger.  So we switched to Zantac.  It works for some kids, but not for T.  It didn't work AT ALL!  In fact, two weeks later we were back in his doctors office to figure something else out.  By this point, it was BAD.  REALLY BAD!  He would stop breathing for extended periods of time.  His pedi told us to switch to Prevacid.  After leaving the doctor's office, we had a scary 10 minute drive to meet my parents at a local restaurant.  T stopped breathing several times.  I remember thinking, "what if he doesn't start breathing again?"  At the restaurant, he had another episode.  This time, he turned blue and fainted.  Several times.  You can imagine what that did to his daddy and me!  HEART ATTACK!!!  We rushed him to the ER (which was thankfully really close by), where they put us in the cardiac room.  They said since he stopped breathing, turned blue, and fainted, he needed that room.  They ran tons of tests, pricked him several times, couldn't get that stupid IV in! and ran some X-rays.  It was every mother's nightmare and I remember it vividly.  After several hours, the ER doctor dismissed us and said to see our pedi the next day.  There was nothing else wrong with him.  His blue and fainting episode was simply reflux.  Turns out with some babies, they are able to close their throats to keep the acid down, because the acid burns so badly.  That's what T was doing.  We did not sleep well after that.  T was in our room for months because of it.  We were afraid to leave him with baby sitters, refused to put him in the nursery at church, and even when we started to a while later, I made sure to explain very carefully how to turn him upside down and smack his back if he stopped breathing.  I always made sure to throw in the "he turned blue and fainted" part just to make sure they watched him close enough.  And then I shook the entire service wondering if they would catch it if it happened.  Even with the prevacid, he would occasionally stop breathing.  It was nowhere near as bad, but still happened regularly.  My grandma is scarred from seeing it happen once.  She seriously cries even now when she talks about it.  As you can imagine, I've done tons of research and have lots of experience with reflux.  In fact, Little L had reflux too.  His was the more traditional type.  He didn't sleep, was SUPER fussy, spit up all over the place, you know, that type of fun.  They are both awful.  One is scary, one is frustrating (who likes to be up all hours of the night every night because your child is in too much pain to sleep?).  As if I don't have enough info in my brain, I've discussed this with a friend of mine who also has two reflux babies.  Her first was like L, her second is like T.  Together, we could teach classes.  Or... write a blog post about it :-D

Tips on how to help a reflux baby:
-Eating Right- Many babies have a hard time digesting dairy and you will probably find that cutting dairy out of your diet makes a world of difference (I'm assuming you're breast feeding, because Breast is Best).  Cutting spicy foods, tomato products, and caffeine will help too.  L's biggest issue was wheat.  When I cut gluten out of my diet, his milk allergy cleared up, and so did his reflux.  He was able to stop his meds months before T did!
-Speaking of feedings, small, frequent meals are best.  If you're anything like me, this one is HARD.  I'm not really a big fan of breast feeding.  I do it because I honestly believe it's best for them and would be selfish if I didn't.  I may not be the best momma ever, but I try really, really hard to put their needs above my wants.  Anyway, back to the topic :-).  You might feel like you feed baby, change a diaper, get a half hour nap, then have to feed baby again.  It's exhausting, but really does help!  And how's your let down?  Strong?  I'm sure it is.  That could be part of the problem too.  If you have a really strong and fast let down, let the milk spray in to a burp cloth or wash cloth until it stops spraying, then let baby re-latch and finish the meal.  My friend said her daughter does best being upright while nursing.  If you bottle feed, you want your baby upright too.
-In fact, that leads us to the next point.  Baby should be upright as much as possible.  Both of my boys slept in their car seats for a while.  L was in there for what seemed like forever!  He needed to be sitting up like that, though.  Laying down flat makes it so much worse.  Do you have a moby wrap?  If not, it might be worth buying one so you can have baby upright in there while you go about your day.  Hands free AND helpful! Alright!
-Burp baby often.  Feed for 5 or 10 minutes and then burp.  And burp the correct way.  Don't just put baby against your shoulder.  It doesn't do much.  You need to put a little bit of pressure on baby's tummy.  If you insist on burping over your shoulder, put baby's tummy on your shoulder with his hands down your back.  I always felt like my babies were going to fall, so I didn't use this method.  I preferred to have my boys sit on my lap with their heads supported between my thumb and first finger.  Here's a picture of J burping L like this (but L was trying so hard to lift his head, so it's not the best example ever)

With them leaning forward like that, pat their backs nice and hard (not too hard, but enough to get that air out).  Some people find it helpful to put baby on their lap and bounce.  This didn't work well for us, but it might work better for you.
-Tummy time is important for reflux babies, but not right after a meal.  Wait AT LEAST a half hour!
-Some people find Hazel wood necklaces helpful.  I honestly didn't even try them and my friend said it did absolutely nothing for her kiddos.  They are expensive, but if you feel so inclined, give it a try.  I wouldn't have high hopes, though.
-Another thing I just recently learned (thanks to my friend!) is that Papaya is supposed to help a lot.  Don't like the taste?  I think they have vitamins or pills.

So, there ya go!  I might add to this if I think of anything, or if my super informed friend has anything to add.  If I have any readers with suggestions or comments, please feel free to let me know!  Reflux is an awful, awful thing and it would be wonderful for you to share!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Menu Monday, Jan 23. and Buckwheat Cookies

I'm kind of slacking off this week.  I know I shouldn't, but I'm doing it anyway.  I have meals planned, but no sides to go with them.  I'll just grab something out of the freezer each day I guess. 

Breakfast: waffles, eggs, bananas, cereal on the days we eat eggs, and I'm going to make some gf chocolate chip muffins
Snack: same ol' same ol'  Fruit (I have a few apples, clementines and grapes left from last week.)
Lunch: hopefully leftovers most days.  I also have some lunch meat and some bread in the freezer.
Snack: raisins, fruit snacks, cookies (which I haven't baked yet but hopefully will)
Dinner: Pizza with Bob's Red Mill's pizza dough mix, Tater tot casserole, Potato Soup, and French Onion Pork chops.  J's birthday is this week.  His last birthday in his 20's.  I think we're planning to go out for it.

For this week's recipe, I'm going to post my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Actually, I'm going to post the link to it,  It's from the Gluten Free Goddess.  HERE ya go!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Home Binder Week One

I know it's nothing fancy, but here is my weekly chore chart after the first week!  As you can see, I did really well in some areas, and not so great in others.  I wish I could say this week is off to a better start, but it pretty much looks very similar to this :)  I am planning to use this blog to keep myself accountable by posting an update every week on how I did, and then again at the end of the month when I have done my monthly chores.  T did a VERY good job at his chore chart last week.  I was very proud of him.  He also asked if he could vacuum his own room.  We vacuumed first and then let him have his turn.  He was very proud of himself and I was too!  He's becoming such a responsible young man :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Menu Monday + a recipefor Taco Seasoning

I thought it would be nice to include a little recipe for the taco seasoning I've started making, just so I have it written down somewhere easy to get to.  But first, this week's menu :)

Breakfast: waffles x 2, eggs and cereal x 3, pancakes x 2.  As always, a banana and chocolate milk. 
Morning snack: apples, clementines, and grapes.
Lunch: leftovers x 4, lunch meat x 3.  I am going to try to make some bread to go with our lunch meat this week.  We will either have yogurt or string cheese, and then some type of snack like rice cakes or animal cookies (they are chocolate and my favorite gf cookie from the store.  mmm....)
Afternoon snack: raisins, apple sauce, yogurt, or string cheese
Dinner: Tacos (we like cheese and salsa on our tacos, but nothing else.  No other sides with this meal), meatloaf and peas, pulled bbq chicken with corn bread and salads, and brown sugar ham with potatoes and green beans.

You may have noticed that I only have four meals planned for dinner.  That's because my sister cooks for us once a week, we don't usually eat dinner on Sundays because we eat a big, late lunch after church, and then I leave one day open just in case we end up at my parents house for a meal or we feel like going out to eat.  I don't like to eat alone if J is working late, so we eat with my parents on those days. 

Ok, now for my pinterest taco seasoning find :)  I used parts of two different recipes, this and this.  Here's what I did:

1/2 cup chili powder
1/4 cup onion powder
1/8 cup ground cumin
1 tablespoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon sea salt
That is the recipe on the second link above.  Then I added in about 1 t of crushed red pepper flakes (from the first link above) because we like things a little more spicy.  We use about 2 TBS, but I'm not sure exactly how much since I just sprinkle it on there.  It's really not spicy, but has a really yummy taste.  Even my picky boys like it!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Productive Day!

Today has been productive.  The kids and I have been going upstairs to do "chores" after breakfast each morning.  I find this works really well for us!  It's a lot easier to have a set time to go make our beds.  T has started sleeping on top of his covers so he doesn't have to do it the next morning.  Silly, smart boy!  He loves his new chore chart.  Getting those smily faces is a huge motivation for him.  I've been using my grown up version of a chore chart today, too.  I like crossing off too :)  So far today, I've made my bed, run and emptied the dish washer, a load of laundry (actually, it's in the dryer.  I still need to fold and put away...about 4 loads...), the diapers, and exercised.  All that's left is to wipe down my kitchen, sweep, clear the clutter (toys, mostly) and go to Awana at church tonight!

J and I have started encouraging each other to eat better and drink more water.  Throughout the day, we've sent texts sharing what we've had.  Knowing that he planned to keep me accountable has helped me not to snack as much as I usually do (although, I'm not that much of a snacker.  We only have so many gf snacks here).  I put a little section on my daily plan sheet for my cross off how many cups of water I've had during the day.  It's 3 pm and so far, I've had 5 cups.  Working on #6 now.  For exercise, my wonderful sister came over and did Pilates with me.  I didn't think it would be THAT challenging, but I was wrong.  My legs are still burning!  My abs are already feeling tight too. 

L seems to be coming down with something.  His little voice is hoarse.  Poor guy!  He's been coughing, too.  Not much, but enough.  Last night he had a ton of congestion in his chest, and he's starting to feel warm.  He doesn't have a high fever or anything, but he's warmer than usual.  We just can't stay healthy for more than a week or two at a time.  This whole cold and flu stuff is really getting old!

Now that I've written about how productive I've been, it's time to get busy again.  But first, a little note from my Little L:

x ggggggggwegwe4ghwxc/'sssssssssss.        .

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

First run of the new year! First run in months...

It's been a while since I've last exercised.  Sure, I chase two little boys all day long and go for nice walks occasionally, but I haven't done anything to really get me moving in several months.  I've been thinking about running a lot lately.  It's not really something I enjoy, but I loved the way I felt last spring when I went often.  So I decided it was time to start that up again.  Not so easy since I HATE HATE HATE the cold!!!  We don't have to room (or finances...) to buy a treadmill, but thankfully my parents have one and they live close by!  I finally forced myself to take advantage of it!  I took the boys over there for lunch, then let them nap there.  T does fine with that, but L struggles sleeping anywhere other than his crib.  He's like his daddy and needs his routine.  Anyway, after spending a long, long time trying to get the stinker down, he finally fell asleep.  That gave me enough time to walk for 5 minutes, run for 25, and then walk for another 5 minutes at the end before T woke up.  My goal was to run for 30, but I just couldn't do the last 5 minutes.  It's ok, though.  I'm still really proud of myself for running that long without stopping.  Especially since it's been so long.  My goal is to do that often.  I'm guessing my mom will start charging me for child care ;) but at least I will feel better...and hopefully lose some of this pudge going on in my tummy. 

Another exciting thing that happened today related to my goals for the year: I finished putting my home binder together!  Took some of the pages to get laminated and it's all set for tomorrow.  Yay!

Monday, January 9, 2012

First Menu Monday!

Here's my first weekly mean plan :)  I have been doing a dinner plan for a while now, but this is the first time I've planned all foods. 

Breakfast: Banana every day, eggs X 4 (we're big egg people.  It's just so easy and quick!) Pancakes X2, and waffles.
Snack: apples X 2, Orange X 2, apple sauce X 2, and snacks at church
Lunch: leftover chicken nachos, lunch meat with fruit snacks and string cheese, lunch meat with fruit snacks and yogurt, leftover creamy chicken with chips and string cheese, out with mom, and I still don't have a plan for Saturday.
Snack: raisins and dried strawberries, cookies and yogurt, raisins and string cheese, cookies, chips
Dinner: Leftovers, Stacy cooks,Creamy Italian Chicken with rice and broccoli, Brinner (eggs, gf toast, bacon, potatoes), Bacon wrapped chicken with peas and rolls, leftovers.

I realize that this isn't the healthiest of menu plans, especially our snacks.  But I figure once I have this whole menu planning under control, I can start working on making healthier choices.  One thing at a time here.  If anyone would like to post YOUR weekly menu, I'd love to see it!  I'm feeling slightly overwhelmed trying to figure this out and would love to copy some of your meals :)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Home Binder

I've been reading more and more about something called a Home Binder.  It is basically the more organized list of things that need to be done to manage a home.  At first, I thought people who used those were crazy obsessive with cleaning and organizing.  But now, I'm starting to see that maybe they are people like me...people who have no direction, need to see something plain and clear right in front of them, and people who lose everything if it's not together in a binder ;)  So the past few days, I've been researching and trying to figure out what exactly a home binder needs, or more specifically, what MY family needs.  I need it to be simple.  I really like simple.  It has to have a check list because I just really like to cross things off.  It makes me feel happy and productive, lol.  I have been looking around the Money Saving Mom web site and really like a lot of her ideas.  I've also been looking at Iheart Organizing's ideas and others I've found at random places and I've been picking and choosing things that might work for me.  So, here's what I have planned so far.  It's broken into 7 sections, I will use those nifty dividers with pockets to separate the sections.

1- A page with our last name and a Bible verse.  J things I am crazy but I think it's cute.  It's for our family and it's to help me to be a better house keeper, two things that are important to me and to make me more like the Proverb's 31 woman.  It's the very reason for this binder, and it's going in there first thing ;)

2- A list of important phone numbers.  This will include our doctors (pediatrician, primary care, obgyn, dentist, eye doctor...) all of their numbers need to be in an easy place for me to find.  Our cell phones, J's work phone, family members numbers, church, neighbors, and any other number that I feel is important to have handy.

3. Next will be a list of every single chapter in the Bible.  J and I have decided to start reading and try to get through the whole thing.  We are not planning to do it in a year, but we want to do it.  When we read a chapter, we will cross it off.  Yay!  I've already said how excited I get about crossing things off my list!

4. A calendar.  Self explanatory.

5. Here's where the crazy obsessive comes in.  I plan to have a detailed list of all the chores I want done over a year.  This section will have three pages.  One will be a list of the whole year, broken into daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, and yearly sections.  I want it all on one page.  Another page will be a detailed list of weekly chores.  This will have my daily chores and weekly chores, and I will cross the weekly chores off as I do them.  More crossing things off!  I love it!  I am not planning to have certain days to do certain chores.  Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to clean the bathrooms, I'd rather clean my appliances.  Whatever day I do things doesn't really matter to me, all that matters is they get done.  The last part of this section will be a daily to do list.  This will have my daily chores, any extra errands or chores that need done, and a detailed menu for that day.  I also get to check things off this list :) 

6. Speaking of a detailed menu, this year I'm planning to become more organized with my menu too.  Last year I planned out dinners.  It helped a lot!  But I often find myself wondering what we will eat for lunch, or I search for something to give the boys as snacks and wonder, "have they had this too much lately?"  If I had a list of breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, and dinner, I know exactly what to give them, when!  It's going to be great!  I hope... 

7. My last section.  It's going to be a list of all the bills we pay, the dates they are due, and I'll keep my check book in one of those cool little pockets on the dividers I want to get.  Most of our bills are paid automatically, but I still want to write down exactly when they are due. 

Ok, so that's it!  It's been a little overwhelming trying to figure out what exactly I want, but now that I've pretty much got it, I'm excited.  I still have to finalize my list of chores (pretty much everything in section 5), but other than that, I've got it ready to put together!

Kids are waking up.  I finished this blog at the perfect time :) 

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Happy New Year!

It has been about a year since I started this blog.  The reason I started it was to try to keep myself accountable in the goals I set for the new year.  How has 2011 gone by so fast???  I was not able to keep up with this blog as I had wanted, but I really think it helped me to clearly see where I was headed.  I had my daily topics, Monday madness had to do with my crazy boys was to help me be a better mother (more patient, loving, and wise).  Tasty Tuesday had to do with saving money and taking care of our home (I was trying to eat out less), Wednesday's walk with God was to help me in my devotionals and relationship with Him.  Thoroughly clean Thursday was the area I really wanted to change this past year...I wanted to learn to keep a clean house!  And last was Friday's looking good, which was to help me exercise and stay on top of my hair and clothes and things.  Honestly, I totally fell off the wagon on this one.  There are so many days where I stay in my comfy sweats and never get dressed. 

Overall, I think keeping this blog has helped me stay focused on the things I was trying to change.  I am really hoping to do a better job at posting so that I can keep moving on these goals.  I still have such a long way to go.  J and I have set specific goals for 2012 and I had planned on posting them here, but in normal Linda fashion, I lost our list.  2012 is off to a good start, right?  Lol!  I have not decided yet if I am going to continue to do daily themes, or if I'm going to throw that out the window. I am pretty sure I will have some daily themes, but probably not a theme for every day.  I kind of felt tied to that and like I couldn't post what was on my mind because it wasn't that day's theme.  Right now, I'm thinking I will do at least Menu Monday, to help keep me accountable to creating a weekly menu complete with breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner.  I will probably keep Wednesday's walk with God too.  I like having a day to share what God has been teaching me.  Other than that, I'm not sure.  I guess we'll see :)

I hope you all are off to a wonderful start of the year.  God has big plans for us this coming year!  I can't wait to see what's in store!