Friday, November 29, 2013

Chicken Pot Pie: more comfort food

So, I hope you had an amazing Thanksgiving! I had this recipe ready a while ago, but thought I'd share today since you may be trying to use up your leftover turkey today. My family generally eats hot turkey sandwiches every day until the turkey is gone. mmm...

Anyway, chicken pot pie is one of those great clean-out-the-fridge type recipes that also leaves me warm and fuzzy inside. Growing up, I always loved those Banquet single serving pot pies. I seriously thought those were a treat. Now that I'm all grown up (according to some), I make the full version. Every time is a little different, because I rarely buy vegetable specifically for this. Those one thing that remains the same is the crust. I love a good pie crust. Right now, this recipe by Rivvka of Not Derby Pie is my absolute favorite. I've been holding on to this one for about 2-1/2 years now! This crust is definitely good enough to eat on its own.

Anyway, here's how I made my chicken pot pie last time:

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

#BlackFriday Deals

If you follow these companies, then you may have already seen their Black Friday weekend sales ads, but I would love and appreciate if you choose to shop them through one of my affilliate links below!

Diaper Junction seems to be pulling out all the stops this year. Follow their Facebook page, if you weren't already, to be included in some pretty phenomenal giveaways all weekend. They have a HUGE list of sales planned for this weekend, and you get a $25 store credit if you spend $75. 

In case your interest was piqued by my review of the GroVia hybrid, you should definitely follow suit and take advantage of their deals! This deal is valid at all participating retailers, including (but not limited to) Diaper Junction, Kelly's Closet, and Sweetbottoms Baby.

One shop that I've done most of my cloth diapers shopping through is Sweetbottoms Baby. I love how every package looks like a present, and who doesn't love free shipping, right? They're having some awesome sales this weekend, and check out these freebie deals to boot: 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Finally Sleeping Again

Wow, has the past few weeks been crazy. N got a cold back in October... early October. It seemed like a simple cold - congestion, sniffles, cough. After about 2 weeks, we went to the doctor to see why it was hanging around so long and to be sure she didn't have an ear infection. Oddly, there was no sign of any bacterial infections, so the doctor prescribed some liquid loratadine (generic Claritin, ie allergy med). He said either she'd gotten back-to-back viral infections or it was actually allergies, but to come back in a week if her symptoms didn't improve.

Needless to say, we were back in a week. The doctor proclaimed N to be allergy free because the meds didn't help. He said she just needed more time to work through whatever viruses she was dealing with. They took a urine sample just in case (and THANK GOODNESS N IS POTTY TRAINED so that was possible), although that didn't turn up anything. The doctor said to come back in another two weeks if nothing improved, and then they would do blood work. Blood work on my baby.

So, when we were T-2 days to having to draw blood, and N was still not improving, I went for a second opinion. To be honest, she was getting even worse.

Diagnosis: bronchial spasms, due in part to allergies. Treatment: continued use of loratadine, in addition to using a humidifier at night, cough syrup at bedtime, and a once daily dose of liquid albuterol each morning. Albuterol - that's the same medication that's in my inhaler.

N may not always have asthma, but she's suffering from it right now. But since she's finally been diagnosed properly, we're getting to sleep for more than 2 hour stretches at a time. It was heartbreaking the way she would cough in the middle of the night, gasping and crying. It is such a huge relief for her to sleep straight through until 4 or 5 in the morning without coughing now. Eventually, I'm sure she'll be sleeping through the night again.

And now that I am somewhat more rested as well, I should work on that back-log of blog posts I was bragging about.

Have you or your kids ever suffered from illness that wasn't diagnosed right away? Was it relief or added anxiety that accompanied your diagnosis? And if you've gone a prolonged period of time with serious sleep deprivation, how did you manage to recover? 

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Sunday, November 10, 2013

Holiday Gift Guide: Expectant Moms

This year, I thought it would be fun to put together a few gift guides. None of these posts are sponsored, and I cannot guarantee that your loved one will share the same taste in gifts as me, but at least it might get your wheels spinning and in the right direction. Each gift guide post will focus on one type of recipient, and what I would want if that recipient were me. Some posts may contain affiliate links. Be sure to check out my gift guides for Family Gifts as well as Running Moms

For the expectant mom, I had a long, long list that I've managed to cut back to 10 things. These could also be excellent (by my standards) gift ideas for baby showers and "just because."

In no particular order, for the most part:

1. A decent body pillow. Some are better than others, and I am by no means giving my endorsement to any particular one. I just know that I prefer a body pillow with some substance that won't go completely flat within the first month of use. They come in all sorts of shapes these days, I don't think that matters so much. I just like the extra support for my belly and my hips.

2. Pregnancy massage and/or chiropractic adjustment. Obviously, this is something you want to see an experienced professional about. I just know I get a LOT of aches and pains during pregnancy. My hips may not lie, but they do not do anything that feels natural or good.

3. A nice water bottle. This may seem silly or odd to some of you. For me, it would be greatly appreciated. Dehydration causes a lot of issues during pregnancy from serious headaches to pre-term contractions. It's been my experience that having a nice water bottle (or two) handy makes me more likely to actually drink as much water as I should.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

The Mother of All Meltdowns: review & giveaway (closed)

I was recently contacted by Crystal Ponti of MommiFried to see if I would be interested in doing a review of her new book The Mother of All Meltdowns.  As if I'd turn down the opportunity to do another book review.

If you've never had a meltdown as a parent, you have some deep feelings of jealousy aimed at you from me. I have definitely lost control when it's come to my kids. Before I even became a parent, and I've told this story before, an older first-time-mom told me "It doesn't matter how old you are, that baby will bring you to your knees in tears at some point." That sentiment has carried me through some tough times. There is something comforting in knowing you are not alone.

Reading the stories of these 30 bloggers about how they've all lost control in different ways, how they've all come out the other side, and how they can now recognize moms in similar situations - it's comforting. I'm not the only one who occasionally locks myself in the bathroom for a moment of quiet and privacy? I'm not the only one who cried because my toddler/preschooler/etc. was mean to me? I'm not completely out of my mind for wanting someone to just DO WHAT I ASK? It's comforting. And entertaining. It's always easier to laugh when you're not the one in the thick of it, right?

Monday, November 4, 2013

Howloween at the Zoo: scavenger hunt at the Oregon Zoo

As a fun treat for Halloween, we were given the opportunity to attend the Howloween at the Zoo scavenger hunt this year. The Saturday before Halloween, the kids dressed in their costumes, and we spent the morning learning about different animals at the zoo, collecting stamps as we figured out our clues.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Plans Well Made

I'm still blogging. I actually have quite a few fun posts planned out, so be sure to come back to check it out. I have lots of reviews, a giveaway, and even some cloth diaper related laundry tips. Fun, right? I hope so.

In the mean time, I've sort of been in recovery mode again. We lost my uncle recently, and we're all still reeling a little from it. If you follow me on Twitter, you may remember that he's been in and out of the hospital pretty regularly with liver issues.

For a while they thought it was hemalytic anemia. All testing indicating that was the case, until they got to the final, definitive test which ruled it out. They never did figure out what was shredding his blood cells. If you ignored that one point, it was just a failing liver. A failing liver, and eventually failing kidneys, labored breathing...

In the end, they decided to test him to see if he would qualify for a liver transplant. When he went into the hospital, he was unofficially told he was "too healthy" to get a new liver yet. A week later, he was too weak and was rejected as a candidate. At that point, he was in such a deteriorated state, and in so much pain, they reduced his care plan to "comfort measures" only.

The hardest part is feeling like I have absolutely no idea how to help my cousins. They're only 17 and 19.

So that's what I've been carrying around. Among other things. So I'll be working on keeping this space for happier thoughts and events.

What happy thoughts can you share with me today?

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