Seven Quick Takes: Friday July, 12

1. Is it Friday again already? This summer is just flying along. I was really hoping to get into some sort of schedule of “normal” life once we were back from vacation, but the days just keep on flying by and the week goes by and life it still very unscheduled (except for the kids naps and bedtimes). Oh well, that is the way of summer I suppose and I am doing most things I want to do each day, just in an unstructured sort of way.

2. Speaking of Summer, I am never going to complain about how hot it is outside. I am going to savor how hot it is soak it up and enjoy the lack of snow and negative temperatures. Then I am going inside and going to enjoy our nice cool air conditioned house, which we just had a repairman out to fix some leaks in the A/C unit and give us some nice new refrigerant. I guess the house inspector was serious when he told us that he ha no idea what condition the A/C was in since we had the house inspected in February. We also took that risk with the roof. Fortunately, for us the roof was recently redone… I think roofs (I really want to say “rooves” here) cost more than an A/C tune-up.

3. And now that we are on the topic of the house; the basement is now dry. We had a contractor come out and look at he damage and now he has to write up his report and then send it to the insurance company and when they give the go-ahead we can get some work started on making our basement finished again. Yay!

4. We had our house blessed this week. Our pastor came over for lunch and then he exorcised salt and blessed water to make it Holy Water (using the EF blessings). He then mixed them together and sprinkled the holy water and salt about the house and prayed the old rite (Extraordinary Form) house blessing. I love being Catholic and having our house blessed, I wish I could find the prayers online somewhere to share. If you have not had a house blessing, I highly recommend it, especially in the old rite with all the exorcism prayers.

5. I had a milk stout for the first time yesterday. Here is what Wikipedia says about it:

“Milk stout (also called sweet stout or cream stout) is a stout containing lactose, a sugar derived from milk. Because lactose is unfermentable by beer yeast, it adds sweetness, body, and calories to the finished beer. Milk stout was claimed to be nutritious, and was given to nursing mothers,[17] along with other stouts, such as Guinness.[18] The classic surviving example of milk stout is Mackeson’s,[19] for which the original brewers claimed that “each pint contains the energising carbohydrates of 10 ounces of pure dairy milk”. In the period just after the Second World War when rationing was in place, the British government required brewers to remove the word “milk” from labels and adverts, and any imagery associated with milk.[20]

I think it did have a milk texture to it, if that make any sense. But you know it was pretty good, and I am a fan of stouts. For mothers who like beer, this is a traditional first post-partum drink, you know? Why not? Milk makes milk, right? (I know, I know, but it is fun to joke about it.) Though I have heard from lactation consultants that beer supposedly helps with lactation.

6. We had T and his family over for dinner last night, which is why I started my quick takes on Friday and am finishing them Saturday morning. They are the family we rented from last year and now they are back! I think it is appropriate that our first dinner party in the new house is with them We all had a very good time and their six year old categorized us among the “cool families”; I think we have made it. It is only downhilll from here.

7. Have you read my latest post on Truth and Charity, The Necessity of Christian Friendships in the Real World? You should. 🙂

For more Quick Takes head on over to Jen’s Conversion Diary.

Easter Cooking

Like the women followers of Jesus prepared spices and ointments for the body of Christ as He was in the tomb on Holy Saturday, we all prepare for Easter celebrations. Today I made the traditional bread/cookie of M’s Greek ancestors (He is 1/8). The spelling I am finding online is Koulourakia; though all the recipes I have found are with vanilla flavor and his family recipe uses ginger. I am pretty happy with how braided nest turned out. I won’t share the recipe because it might be top secret for family only?

The twists are the traditional cookie shape.

Seven Quicktakes Friday-March 15

1. Beware the Ides of March! G is four today (yesterday)! I have been a mother of an out of the womb child for four years. Can you believe it?

2. We went out for dinner on Sunday to celebrate the new house (which appraised properly and now we just have to wait for closing, yay!). M and I both ordered drinks, and we got carded. Us with our three kids got carded. I guess we still look young. Yay!

3. Yesterday (Thursday) was M’s birthday. This is the dinner he requested. He may or may not have eaten all of that pasta. That was the serving dish, but there was more in the pot and he had seconds… That is goat cheese. G says that she likes goat cheese because it is “soooo creamy.”

4. I also made this cake for M.

It has dark chocolate and coffee in it.

And almond crust with chocolate ganache on top.

And tofu. It was really good and almost vegan, except I used real butter and milk. It goes really well with breakfast, as breakfast, or as second breakfast. 

5. M said I could get this for the new house. 


I bet I could convince G to use it and her help would actually be effective.

6. My mom is in town and is coloring with G. G is having my mom draw Noah’s Ark. 

G: “Draw people drowning!”
Mom: “It has been raining for so long there aren’t any other people around.”
L: “Draw people drowning!!!!”

My kids are entirely normal. I promise.

7. I am throwing a birthday party with friends for G. I think it is going to be pretty lame from the kids perspective. There is no theme or decorations. M is at the store right now getting a few balloons, but no helium. There has been speculation that Fr. Z does birthday parties among our friends in St. Paul, but we forgot to invite him. 

Head over to Jen’s for more Quick Takes.

Random Tuesday Post Because I Have Time to Blog

I like to write nice, neat, and tidy blog posts and I have been sitting at the computer for an hour waiting for the baby to be ready for her nap so that I can put her to bed and write something. She is almost ready and I have accomplished commenting on and checking Facebook a billion times, reading a few short emails, and finally getting L to stay in her bed and go to sleep…

Now I will entertain myself by writing a narrative:

G comes out of her quiet time a few minutes after L has fallen asleep telling me that she has to go to the bathroom. I send her in and tell her to be quiet and not wake her sister who is on the other side of the wall from the bathroom. About 10 seconds later I hear a huge crash and G start to yell/cry (not exactly quiet, huh?). I rush to the bathroom, primarily to get her silent, secondarily to find out what is wrong. She had fallen into the bathtub while climbing on the toliet. I really don’t want to know exactly how it came about and work on calming her down, praying that L is not woken up. G asks me why I came running into her when she fell, and I explain that I love her and that she is my precious child and I don’t want her to be hurting. I have been trying to emphasize to the children how they are loved lately since I realized that when I am stressed I forget to do that. She appreciates what I say and gives me a hug. We get her off the toliet and I carry her back downstairs.

After I come back up I start to write this and the baby is finally ready to go to sleep. It is great when I just be patient and wait for her nap to overtake her because then I can get her sound asleep within 10 minutes as opposed to 45 minutes. I pick her up to go to the bedroom, but pause a moment to watch the college student from the house next door attempt to drive is little blue Mini Cooper down our unplowed-8inches-deep-in-snow street. I leave him with his wheels spinning. I change the baby, rock her, and nurse her. She is out like a light. I lay her down and slip out of the room. G comes up to ask how much longer she has of quiet time. I tell her and then come back to my seat on the couch. The Mini Cooper is gone; I guess he made it. Maybe I will have 45 minutes of silence or so. It is golden I tell you.

Tonight I am making a new recipe. We are meatless again this Lent. I think I am going to combine this and this one. I hope it will be enough food though. M shoveled snow and is walking to and from school up hill both ways in snow from work today (1.5 miles each way). He is going to be hungry! I am trying to think of a way of supplementing the meal from the empty refrigerator. I am supposed to go to the store tomorrow. The snow-plow just ineffectively went barreling down our street. I really wonder why they don’t plow this city and still have school when most of the other schools cancel. I am really hoping that we get that house in West St. Paul we put an offer on yesterday. I am trying not to give up on finding a good house. The first one we offered on was not right for us after the inspection made us realize we know nothing about houses. The second offer was outbid, and this one has not been responded to for longer than a normal offer is out. At any rate, hopefully we will know soon. No response is better than a negative one right? Anyway, I will tell you all about the house we finally settle on once there is an offer, acceptance, and positive inspection…

I think I have said enough for today. Have a happy Tuesday. 🙂

Weird Food Allergies

Photo by publicdomainphotos.

G has been developing some interesting food allergies in the past year. Last May she had hives on her arms and legs after eating watermelon. We tested it again a few weeks later and the same reaction occurred. In October she had a rash around her mouth after eating roasted squash, but did not seem to have problems with pumpkin pie or bread. Over Christmas travels she threw up for four hours after eating half a banana. In fact she never has liked bananas. Or she would be interested and take a bite and then not want anymore. Today she had two small banana muffins and vomited her whole lunch two hours later.

A little googling told me this about banana allergies:

Mouth Itching (I think she has been having this reaction to years.)

The allergy symptom of itching in the mouth area may affect the lips, tongue and throat. Itching sensations may spread to the eyes and skin. In discussing these problems with their doctors, patients should disclose additional known allergies, which can aid in diagnosis.
The Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports that many patients who get seasonal allergic reactions to ragweed or contact allergies to latex also have banana allergies. Mouth itching may be more intense during ragweed season, when patients’ sensitivities are high.

Swelling (Have not noticed this.)

The inflammation that causes itching usually brings swelling to the same areas of the body. As the Mayo Clinic notes, itching and swelling symptoms from bananas in ragweed hay fever patients may comprise the extent of their health problems. Symptoms limited to the mouth are called oral allergy syndrome.
A greater reaction may raise welts on the skin, creating a red rash or hives. A severe allergic reaction to bananas can prompt the eyes and face to swell acutely, causing pain and tenderness and making it difficult for patients to see.

Respiratory Symptoms (This is a scary reaction, though I have not noticed this in her either.)

This inflammation may constrict the airways when swelling affects the throat, tongue and sinus areas under the eyes. The University of Maryland Medical Center relates that this condition may create difficulty in swallowing or breathing. These allergy symptoms can escalate to dangerous levels when combined with an adverse cardiovascular response.

Sudden Shock (EEK!)

Banana allergies become serious when the immune system mistakenly triggers a decrease in blood pressure. As respiratory problems restrict blood oxygen levels, anaphylaxis progresses toward shock, the Nemours Foundation reports. Serious allergy symptoms that require immediate paramedic assistance include a weak or racing pulse, light-headedness and sudden loss of consciousness.

Abdominal Pain (The clear sign of her allergy.)

Banana allergies cause a variety of gastrointestinal symptoms that often begin with nausea, notes the University of Maryland Medical Center. Stomach pain and cramping may take place shortly after eating bananas, as digestion begins. In some patients, however, allergic reactions to bananas provoke almost immediate vomiting or diarrhea.

Another site says that the abdominal symptoms are latex related. I guess we should be careful about latex for her as well.

The weird thing is that we called her doctor after the throwing up episode at Christmas and she did not think it could be allergies. But I guess bananas cause weird reactions. No more bananas for G not even in the cooked form. The only positive thing I can draw from this information is that we are not at the beginning of a plague of the stomach flu, but simply dealing with an allergic reaction.