The joys and sorrows of a stay-at-home mom, wife, home economist and woman.

Somehow, months seem to keep going by without me having time to blog here. (Although I am trying to keep a pretty consistent schedule on my recipe blog, Created To Be Paleo.) But I have a few moments, while Daddy is taking a much needed break and watching Top Gear with Jonathan while Aurora naps.

Speaking of Aurora, my sweet baby girl is 21 months old. Almost 2! She is a delight, but still a very difficult, resource-intensive child. We got wonderful news from her endocrinologist in regards to her Central Precocious Puberty. Her bone age was pretty much normal for her age, and her breasts have decreased in mass and size. She is, of course,  very tall for her age- she has shot off the growth chart, but we’ll take it! So basically it seems like her CPP is in remission. We are so thankful, because we went into this appointment prepared to make the decision to start treatment with Supprelin. (A surgical implant that she would have to have every year until actual puberty starts that would artificially slow down her growth.) So for now, we don’t have to see her endo for at least a year, unless we see any change. We will continue to get her bone age x-rays done periodically just to keep track of that. But we are so, so thrilled!

Aurora making a craftSuch a cutie!

Unfortunately, we haven’t had as much luck figuring out all of her food allergy/ GI issues. She still reacts with hives and rashes to a lot of foods, lots of diarrhea alternating with constipation, and undigested food in her stool, frequent diaper rashes, and she is very, very irritable and seems to often be in pain.  She is still reacting to a lot of foods, and wakes up almost every morning saying “ouchie” before she says “mama.” It is so sad to see her so obviously in pain so much of the time. There are multiple times in a week where she just screams in pain for 20 minutes to 2 hour stretches, and can’t be comforted. And we have started weaning (more about that below), so I don’t have the easy out of nursing her for comfort any more. We are still working and praying and hoping.

Jonathan loves a good mud puddle!

We took both kids to see a naturopath MD a few months ago and did a bunch of tests on them, and now we are working with our nutritionist, Andrea, to try and find some healing. Jonathan’s tests showed some interesting results- a lot of nutritional deficiencies, despite having a very varied, whole-foods based diet. (Not surprising, since we can see food eaten 2 hours previously show up in both kids’ stools.) And for some reason, his brain chemistry is out of whack. The Dr said it was like he is driving down the highway with the accelerator and brakes mashed to the floorboard at the same time. So we are trying to meet some of those deficiencies and hopefully discover the underlying cause(s), and heal his gut and immune system. In the mean time, he is a very active little boy who loves trains, cars and trucks, and reading.

Reading the Sunday paper.

I also saw the naturopath because I have been struggling for a while with fatigue, my own food allergies, arthritis, and some other autoimmune issues. Among other things, my testing showed that I have pretty significant Adrenal Fatigue and Chronic Lyme Disease. (Which means at some point in the past I had Lyme Disease, and now I have the autoimmune after-effects of it.) Not sure what we are going to do about treatment for me, but it became obvious that it is time to wean Aurora so that I can start taking care of my health and well-being. I have also gained 30 pounds in the last 4-5 months, despite no change in my diet and staying pretty active, so that points to my cortisol regulation being out of balance for sure. There are a lot of things that I could be doing to support myself, but because I am still nursing and avoiding all of Aurora’s allergens in addition to my own, and because Aurora is so reactive, it seemed like God made it pretty clear that now is the time to wean. Of course, it is going very, very slowly, because neither of us are really ready to wean yet. Tonight will be the first time I don’t nurse her before bed time. We’ll see how that goes!

Benjamin is doing fairly well overall, although he has been experiencing a lot of dizziness. He had a CT scan this week, so we’ll see if it is anything to worry about, or if it is just a sinus infection like our family doctor suspects. Mostly, he is very, very stressed. He quit his job in June to start his own software consulting firm, which is going really well, but he is in a place where he really has more work than he can handle. But it is just a brief season (I hope!) and I am very proud of him. It is really exciting to see that the work he is doing developing mobile evangelism apps is already having lasting effect for God’s kingdom.

Now on to some cuteness!

The weekend before Halloween, we went over to my parents’ house to celebrate my brother, Eric’s, birthday and say farewell to him. (He got a new job in PA, so the whole family is moving.) While we were there, the kids painted some pumpkins with my nieces.

Jonathan took it pretty seriously.

Jonathan took it pretty seriously.

Painting pumpkins

All the kids had fun.

Or not.

Jonathan's favorite part!

Aurora had a lot of fun with the paints too.

Aurora had a lot of fun with the paints too.

Adding her own special touch to her cousin Allyson's pumpkin.

Adding her own special touch to her cousin Allyson's pumpkin.

Love her chubby little hand.

Love her chubby little hand.

A rare picture of my brother, Eric.

A rare picture of my brother, Eric.

For Halloween, Jonathan wanted to be a fishy, and he had to be his favorite color, green. I was really pleased with how it turned out, since I totally winged it! Aurora wore a clown costume that my mom made for one of my niece’s years ago. I never got time to make the costume I wanted for her, Vintage Strawberry Shortcake. Guess I’ll save it for next year!

Hugs

Hugs before heading out.

Jonathan, the fish.

Jonathan, the green and orange fish.

Our sweet little clown.

Our sweet little clown. Her favorite part was putting things in her little basket.

I was really pleased with how his costume turned out.

I was really pleased with how his costume turned out.

The family (1)

The whole family (1)

The family (2)

The whole family (2). Have you ever noticed how hard it is to get a really good family picture with little kids? Never once does everyone look the same direction and look moderately happy.

Auntie Ruth & Grandpa

Auntie Ruth & Grandpa came Trick or Treating with us.

Love you all!

 

 

 

I’m so excited to announce my new blog, Created To Be Paleo. The focus will be on how we eat and live a Paleo lifestyle with a family full of food allergies. I hope you will join me over there often!

Created To Be Paleo

And I am really hoping that this will allow me to keep Honey’s Musings a personal blog, a place to share what is going on in our lives and hearts, and as always, lots of cute pictures of my kiddos!

One of Jonathan’s favorite breakfast selections, along with apples and almond butter and bacon, are these Apple-Cinnamon Muffins. (Of course, he likes his plain.)

I did a little bit of tinkering and came up with a delicious, rich variation on the recipe: Double Chocolate Paleo Muffins. They are so good, such a delicious dark chocolately treat, sweet enough to stand in for a birthday cake, but also good for a delicious quick breakfast. (I used this recipe for the cupcakes at Aurora’s first birthday party. She couldn’t have them, but she loved her banana “ice cream” instead.)

I always make a double batch and freeze them for another day.

Double Chocolate Paleo Muffins
2 cups blanched almond flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 cup arrowroot powder
1/4 cup cocoa podwer
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
1/4 cup light olive oil (or coconut oil)
1/4 cup raw local honey
1 ripe mashed banana
3-5 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp vanilla
1/2 cup (or more) vegan/ dairy-free chocolate chips (amazingly enough, Costco brand chocolate chips are really clean)

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Line 10-12 muffin cups with paper liners.
2. In a mixing bowl, combine oil, honey, banana, water and vanilla. Mix until well combined.
3. Add dry ingredients to wet mixture, and mix thoroughly.
4. Gently fold in chocolate chips.
5. Spoon into muffin tins.
6. Bake 23-26 minutes, until the muffin tops are done and a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
7. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

Yield: 12 muffins

Last Friday the kids, Nena (Benjamin’s Mom) and I, as well as a few friends from our church, had the opportunity to attend a Locally-Made Farm Day. We visited Diana’s farm in Chuluota, FL, which is a lovely small hobby farm, with an amazing house, pool, and grounds. Diana is the Weston A. Price Foundation’s Orlando Chapter Leader, and she runs the Amish food co-op that we occasionally buy from.

Here are some of the highlights of our day.


Aurora really loved seeing all of the animals.


Jonathan was looking into the cow pasture.


We were able to see Diana milk one of her goats. She also keeps chicken, cows, and a horse.


Jonathan and Nena.


Mommy and Aurora.


Aurora had a lot of fun playing in this cute little potting shed.


Jonathan’s best friend, Jonah, came with his mom. He was thrilled to see all of the animals. His mom says he watches his farm DVD every day!


All the kids wanted to play in the beautiful pool. A few minutes after this Aurora tried to drown herself, but she sure had fun doing it!


Another friend, Delia, came with her brother Avynn and their mom. Delia was in seventh heaven with a cuddly kitty. She always tries to cuddle with our cat, Flopper, but he disappears.

Like I said, the house and grounds were absolutely gorgeous. They could easily be found in Beautiful Home magazine. I could live in her kitchen and be perfectly content! The whole property was filled with sweet little touches that made it a beautiful, authentic and welcoming home and farm.

It was such a lot of fun to go enjoy the beautiful day with my children and some of our friends. And it was really neat to see a small working farm, and to meet some like-minded people. There was a woman there who makes fresh goat cheese for her family and her daughter had made herbal tea to sell. (I had a little taste and it was so sweet and delicious. If only I could actually tolerate goat’s milk.) Another woman gave a demonstration on making fermented sauerkraut and kimchee, and a master gardener shared some tips. It was a little difficult to enjoy the demonstrations, because I was constantly chasing my little troublemakers, but it was a great time.

On a side not, I can’t believe it has been almost 4 months since my last post! But I hope to spend a bit more time here in the near future- such a lot to share! The kids are growing and changing so quickly, also surprising us and keeping us on our toes. We just finished a bathroom renovation that I’m dying to show off. Benjamin is leaving his job of more than 12 years at the end of the month to start his own Software Consulting business. And we are still jumping through hoops trying to figure out the kids’ food allergies/GI symptoms, and of course, Aurora’s Central Precocious Puberty.

Sunday (Feb 3rd) was a big day for our precious little girl, Aurora Joy.

She was dedicated to the Lord at our church, Vista Community, by our care Pastor, Greg Riggs. We were so happy to be joined by both sets of grandparents, and her aunts, uncle, and cousins as we pledged along with our church congregation to do our best to raise our daughter to know, love, and follow God.

And then we came home to celebrate her first birthday with all of her loving family surrounding her (after a quick cat nap, of course!)


Big smiles from the birthday girl in the dress, pinafore and button mommy stayed up until after midnight the night before finishing; Double Chocolate Paleo Muffins made with Mommy’s recipe (that Aurora couldn’t eat!); Having fun playing with her feet; We kept the decorations simple and sweet! (We never even managed to blow up the balloons.); All smiles while enjoying her birthday “cake”; A close up of her adorable pinafore- a lot of love and time went into her outfit for the day.


Opening gifts. Big brother, Jonathan, loved helping her! Although she certainly enjoyed the tissue paper!


I was so excited to give her a crib for her doll (which I gave her for Christmas). She isn’t as excited… yet! Jonathan and Aurora both really enjoy playing with the wooden dollhouse Benjamin’s parents got her. It’s pretty neat, because you can reconfigure it into different setups.


Cake time! Because of her food allergies, we couldn’t do a traditional birthday cake. So we made her banana “ice cream” topped with caramelized bananas. She really loved it!

We are so in love with this precious, sweet girl. It is amazing and awe inspiring how much she has already changed and grown in her first year, and we love seeing her very strong personality developing. We are definitely looking forward to seeing what the next year brings.