Thursday, December 4, 2014

Owen & a long time coming update!


It's been quite a while since I updated on Owen's journey with Microtia & Atresia.  I always have to remind myself of when he was born and I was sitting in the hospital room I would be SO happy to come across blogs of other moms who were documenting their journey... and I would become so frustrated when the trail of posts would just STOP. 

There was always chapter 1. Making decisions. The surgeries.

But what about chapter 2? How were the kids doing now? How did they do in school? How did the post-op go?

So, I will keep writing for those that are googling for the first time. Momma's still in the hospital bed, I got you covered. :)

After the initial couple months of obsession, Owen's ear just became what it was- the smallest part of his make up and not a major topic of discussion in our house.  What happened was Owen emerged as the charismatic, all-encompassing Owen that that we all know and love. With more than enough personality enough to fill a room his ear is just a side note.  An interesting detail in a far more interesting kid.

He's busy eating snacks, I'm busy kissing boo-boo's, daddy is busy doing the morning school drop off grind.  And in between there's a lot of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, potty training and snuggles. Owen has always loved a good hug.

So, there's not too much to report for the last two years.  The first couple months of Owen's life were about exploring options.  Then it was all just about being a family. And, somehow, here we are- that time where surgery dates are being set and the wheels are in motion.  The two years flew by.  And so now, for another small season of life, let's talk about the ear again as we embark into chapter 2.

Owen has medpor reconstruction surgery set for late 2015 with Dr. Lewin out in California.  Its been booked for over a year.  Long-standing appointment. You have to book early!  We had the opportunity to meet Dr. Lewin last year at a Microtia family picnic.  I felt drawn to her immediately.  I had the gut instinct she is the surgeon for Owen. Follow up phone consultations only confirmed this for me.  I also got to meet some of the little guys and gals who had an ear made for them by Dr. Lewin.  They looked absolutely amazing!

We are currently in the process of deciding if atresia repair (building an ear canal) is a good option.  He had a CT scan in October to determine if he is a candidate, and on a scale of 1-10, he scored an 8.  Which is a great score!  This score essentially translates into an 80% chance of restoring normal hearing.  Isn't that amazing?

(Side note, Owen did amazing for the CT scan. He stayed so still, no crying, and no drugs needed to knock him out!)

Anyways, we are in the middle of consulting with the Dr's in California to see if we want to go ahead and commit to the surgery.  If we do we are hoping it will happen during June or July of 2015.  Giving him 6 months to heal and medpor following that in Dec.

Once we have that piece locked into place- we can plan all the details, where to stay, flight arrnagements, coordinating the schedules for our other 2 kids. 

2015 is a big yEAR!

hehe, see what I did there? ;)

More to come soon!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Post-Partum Piyo Results!

After baby number 1 & 2 I spent a long time wishing away the baby weight (and was somehow was angry that my method was't working!)  I had a lot of high hopes but not a lot of hard work.

Finally, after baby number 3 I have learned I just simply need to get the work done.  Slow and consistent progress IS progress.  I may not be where I plan to be...but I am moving in the right direction.

I'm excited to share my results from PiYo.  I finished  the entire program about 3 weeks ago- so proud to say I did not miss a workout.  To be honest, the scale didn't shift drastically, but I can see the results starting to come through! 

So exciting to know I am on a path that will get me where I want to be in a healthy & fun way.  PiYo was such a great program for low impact, strength & flexibility training.  A perfect program for a postpartum momma.

Well, without further delay....Here are some of my results so far!  

Stay tuned.  

This isn't my final"after" -- I'm chasing down my goals!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Quinoa + Bison Stuffed Bell Peppers

This recipe was spurred by a quick need to get dinner prepped, not a very stocked fridge, and a lot of bell peppers on hand!  Luckily for me, I had just what I needed to pull this easy dinner off.

1.When I say that my fridge wasn't too stocked up- I meant it.  No ground beef on hand so bison meat it is! (...whaaa?  Don't worry, it tasted good and is super lean & healthy!) First, I browned the bison meat in a skillet and drained, then I added diced tomatoes, chopped fresh spinach, about 4 cloves of fresh minced garlic and garlic salt & red pepper flakes to taste.

2. OK, confession. The pantry was not very stocked either.  (Apparently, this lady needs to hit the supermarket in my spare time).  Instead of brown rice to add as a filling I made a cup of quinoa.  I prepared it separately, and kept it simple, following the directions on the package and then I added the cook quinoa to the skillet.  I washed the peppers and trimmed off the tops and then filled the peppers with the really good-smelling skillet concoction.

3.  For good measure I added one slice of provolone to the top of each pepper.   Because cheese is a miracle worker and has saved many a dish in my kitchen!  I added a little water in the bottom of the pan (by the way, I am SO not kitchen savvy- I know this is not a pan.  What is this thing?  A oven safe bowl? A dutch oven?) and covered loosely with aluminum foil.  I popped it in a preheated oven set to 375 and cooked for about 40 minutes until....

4. ....the cheese is nice and melty, the peppers have softened and the house smells like "Mmmmmm, mmm, good." (aka garlicky goodness).  Nom nom.

Not going to lie, the boys were a little hesitant to give the peppers a go.  But once they had a bite they ate their supper pretty well for the night.  I would go ahead and call this Jamin-and-Owen-approved!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

A Happy Halloween!

About a week and a half ago I hosted for my boys (and a new little TinkerBell) their annual Halloween party.  Somehow, I became the crazy Pinterest mom for this holidayy,  I admit it's a little bit over the top, a little bit stressful...but really, it's mostly just fun.  It's worth it for a once a year festivity and the boys look forward to it for WEEKS.  

By the way, how much do you love our themed costumes?  How long do you think I have before the boys realize they don't have to match mom and family??  

I hope it's not next year, because I have a pretty sweet circus theme lined up. 

This year, I decided to not serve a full dinner as I had in Halloweens past.  I wanted to have just some themed snacks and finger foods on hand for everyone.  I also wanted some healthier options since it would be candy galore for the kids later in the night.

This years spread:

Spooky Handed Punch
Make punch of choice and for the hands--> fill non-powdered latex gloves with water, tie the ends and freeze overnight.  Be sure not to overfill with water, the fingers should be able to bend before you toss in the freezer.
When its time to start the party carefully cut off the latex and add ice cubes to punch bowl.
Timing is everything!  They melt after about 15-20 minutes.  I made for hands so I could add more ice when needed.

Here's a little preview of the table.

Another table shot of the food and decor.

For this seven layer taco dip I simply added sour cream to a sandwich bag, cut a small hole in the corner and used it to decorate the web.  For the spiders I slices large olives into spider bodies & legs.

 This one was supposed to be Frankenstein.  But we will just call it spooky vegetable man.

This was my personal favorite.  Clementine's pumpkins with celery stems.  Simple and cute.

I hope you all had a fun & spooky Halloween! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Breakfast on the fly

I am often inspired by Pinterest but that doesn't always mean I am acting on my pins.  Actually, what I do is pin and pin and pin some more dreaming of that one day I can become Martha Stewart.

Well, with going back to work this Friday and with a 6:50 am punch in time I need to plan ahead our breakfast schedule for me, the hubs & the kids.  It's already a 5 am wake up call to workout, gets kids dressed, and the morning routine- and that's WITHOUT cooking breakfast and, well,  I refuse to get up any earlier!

So today I got to experimenting & Pinteresting and I finally decided to try out these muffin pan eggs that I have been pinning for ages!

Step 1: Get your eggs and any ingredients you would like mixed into your scramble.  Today I used cherry tomatoes halved, chopped spinach, a little feta cheese and portobello mushrooms (only in half, my hubby isn't a fan---weirdo!).

1. I sprayed the muffin tin with olive oil to prevent the dreaded sticking.

2.  Add your mix-in's to the muffin pan, I filled each up about halfway.

3. It took me 14 mixed eggs to fill 12 large muffin tins.  I mixed up the eggs in a large measuring cup an poured right over the mix-ins in the tin. 

4. After adding in the eggs I sprinkled each cup with a little bit of garlic salt.

5. Cook your muffin eggs in a preheated 350 oven.  These cooked for 27 minutes to get a little golden on top and cooked throughout.

After I was done with the eggs I baked up some turkey bacon and rationed out the eggs and bacon into individual baggies for each serving.

When we are ready to eat these in the morning we can just grab the baggie, dump onto a plate and after  we send them on a 30 second vacay to the microwave these little guys are all ready to go!

And of course I had to taste test one baggy today for lunch to make sure they were decent and worthy of being made again.  Super delish and super easy for a healthy breakfast on the fly.

Pinning gone right.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Easy Kid Snack!

Sometimes, I overthink it, and totally stress about what to feed my kids day in and day out during the summer.

Of course, inspired by Pinterest, I was excited about the idea of kid-friendly sushi.  I decided to save the Swedish Fish & Fruit roll-up variety for another time and hit the pantry for a kid-friendly snack this morning.

1.  Simple ingredients-  Kids like PB, bread (in this case whole wheat soft taco shells), banana, and I decided to add some sunflower seeds in there for some crunch.

2. Smear on some of the PB goodness, sprinkle whatever healthy seeds you have on hand (for a sweeter variety I bet a few mini chocolate chips would be a crowd-pleaser as well), and banana.

3. Wrap it all up (you can use an extra little swipe of PB as a glue to keep it all together) and then slice it up into little "sushi rolls."

My kids LOVED it.

Simple and easy summertime snack or lunch.  I may have made one for me too.  I do ten to get food jealous ;)

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cilantro Lime Quinoa Recipe!


I found a recipe on Pinterest when looking up creative ways to make quinoa and spiced it up a little to make my own version of a Cilantro Lime Quinoa Salad.

I haven't had much success in the past making this stuff- it always seemed a little bland, but this one was definitely zestier!

1 cup Quinoa
1 carotn grape tomatoes
1 can of drained black beans
green onions (i used 6 but really to taste)
Cilantro to taste
2 limes
1/2 cup olive oil
red pepper flakes to taste
salt & pepper to taste
1 avocado


1. Cook one cup of quinoa according to directions on package, set aside to cool.

2.  Halve grape tomatoes, drain black beans, chop green onions & cilantro,

3. Mix sauce together- olive oil, juice of two limes, red pepper flakes, cumin and salt to taste

4.  Add tomatoes, black beans, green onions and cilantro to quinoa.

5. Pour dressing mixture over quinoa and stir up ingredients to coat.

6. Cut up avocado and gently stir into quinoa mix.  Give it a taste and add any additional seasonings to taste.

7. Viola! A zesty quinoa salad- serve chilled! And with some extra lime slices! :)

Super Healthy and easy to make!