Saturday, November 28, 2009

Pioneer Woman

I got my copy of the cookbook today so that I only have to stand in one line at the signing on Thursday night!

Chuys parade

Samba ladies

Chuys parade

Joe McDermot

Chuys parade

Chuys parade

Thursday, November 26, 2009


Happy "Be Thankful For Your Bountiful Blessings" Day to everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

no hike but lots of bike

Vacation day 3 had no hiking but it did have lots of stretching and running (1 mile) and playing for 3 hours at PE. That was followed by an hour of bike riding.

I gave blood at the new South Austin Donation Center where I got a t-shirt and a $50 gift certificate to a local jewelers. I finally bought the massive amounts of fleece needed to make a REAL king-sized blanket - one that actually still covers everyone in the bed when they are in the bed instead of exposing your backside to the cold air in the room. And I got the little bit of groceries needed to complete my portion of Thanksgiving dinner which'll be at Christi's new house this year.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Vacation hike day 2

Barton Creek Greenbelt


Sprint Picture Mail has been down all day so our hike picture has yet to post from my phone. It'll be here eventually.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Chicken and dumplings

As I was making tonight's dinner I thought "I really need to take pictures of this" but I didn't!
I adapted a recipe (shock!) from my church's cook book for Chicken & Dumplings. Since it was just the kids and me eating dinner I just used 2 thawed skin-on, bone-in thighs instead of a whole fryer, although I did debone them. Instead of boiling the chicken, I cooked them over med-high heat with a tiny bit of oil in the 4-quart stainless sauce pan. I had seasoned them with Adobo seasoning before I put them in the pan and added ground pepper on the side without skin. I cut up the bones into 3 pieces each and fried them up too to add extra flavor to the broth that I'd be making after the chicken was done cooking. When the chicken was done I put a thigh in each of the kids' bowls (pasta bowls not soup bowls) and set to work on the broth. I added a cup of frozen homemade concentrated chicken broth to the pan on the stove, being careful to get all the flavorful crusty brown bits scrapped off of the bottom from the frying of the chicken. After that I added about 4 or 5 cups of water and a tsp of minced garlic, then brought it all to a boil. While I waited for the broth to heat up I measured out a cup of flour, added in 1/4 a tsp less of salt than the recipe called for and added in a 1/2 tsp of poultry seasoning that the recipe didn't call for. Once the broth was boiling I took 1 cup of the broth and added it to my flour, stirred it up and was going to follow the recipe and roll it out thin on a floured surface. Then I remembered that I like my dumplings in balls so instead of cut flat dumplings I did drop dumplings - grabbing a kid-sized ball of dough with my fork and dropping it into the boiling broth. 10 minutes later dinner was ready and the kids loved it!
Of course Paul was meated out before he finished his thigh but both of them ate all 5 of their dumplings and sucked down the broth. I just had broth and dumplings. There was both broth and dumplings left over so I stored them separately so the dumplings wouldn't dissolve from being in the broth all night. The broth was great so I'm going to add some carrots, onions, corn and ayote to it tomorrow to turn in into more of a soup and then add in the remaining dumplings.
I'm looking forward to it and maybe I'll remember to actually take the pictures instead of just think about it!

More hiking

Day 2 of vacation will be spent hiking the Barton Creek Greenbelt. I'm glad the kids are big enough to carry their own daypacks! Too bad the old dog can't join us!

Day one of vacation

Wilderness hike across the street

Sunday, November 22, 2009


Asian Noodle Soup

Friday, November 20, 2009


I decided today that we're going to have a school vacation for the next week. Other than the 3 hours of PE on Wed and the 4 hours at the park on Friday, there will be no school activities until Monday the 30th.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Flying with metal water bottles

It is perfectly A-OK with the TSA to fly with a metal water bottle (or as my husband calls it "a water carrying system"). The qualifications are that it HAS to be empty, the lid has to be off of it, and you have to have it out of your bag and in the bin when going through the security check points.
I flew last month with my 40 ounce stainless steel Kleen Kanteen and had no problems at all! So happy travels in these next two months of traveling craziness!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday at the park

Found in Translation

Giselle has finished the Spanish book that she was working on for the last 4 months. So we've now moved on to the next level and are translating the songs that we listen to. One song a week. This is the first week and here is our first song.

Andar Conmigo by Julieta Venegas

Hay tanto que quiero contarte
hay tanto que quiero saber de ti,
ya podemos empezar poco a poco
cuéntame que te trae por aquí.

No te asustes de decirme la verdad
eso nunca puede estar así tan mal
yo también tengo secretos para darte
y que sepas que no me sirven mas.

Hay tantos caminos por andar...

Dime si tú quisieras andar conmigo oh, oh, oh...
Cuéntame si quisieras andar conmigo oh, oh, oh...

Estoy ansiosa por soltarlo todo
desde el principio hasta llegar al día de hoy;
una historia tengo en mi para entregarte,
una historia todavía sin final

Podríamos decirnos cualquier cosa
incluso darnos para siempre un siempre no,
pero ahora frente a frente aquí sentados
festejemos que la vida nos cruzo.

Hay tantos caminos por andar...

Dime si tú quisieras andar conmigo oh, oh, oh...
Cuéntame si quisieras andar conmigo oh, oh, oh...

Si quisieras andar conmigo...

Translated by Google:

There is so much I want to tell
There is so much I want to hear from you,
we can start small
tell me what brings you here.

Do not be afraid to tell me the truth
that can never be so so bad
I also have secrets to give you
and know that I serve more.

There are many ways to go ...
Tell me if you would walk with me oh, oh, oh ...
Tell me if you want to walk with me oh, oh, oh ...

I am eager to let go of everything
from the beginning until the present day;
I have a story on me to surrender,
a story not yet final

We could tell us anything
us for ever even if not,
but now sitting here face to face
Lets celebrate that life has to cross.

There are many ways to go ...

Tell me if you would walk with me oh, oh, oh ...
Tell me if you want to walk with me oh, oh, oh ...

If you wanted to go out with me ...

On Friday, I'll give you our translation.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Playmobil hunting season has come once again! Let the bidding wars begin!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Repeat or De Ja Vu

Another sleepover and another viewing of "Enchanted".

Dinosaur Dig

Austin Nature and Science Center

Austin Nature and Science Center

Sunny Fall Saturday

Good day for a Girl Scout hike!
Partly sunny, with a high near 79. South southeast wind between 5 and 10 mph.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

At the museum

High wire bike ride

SA Field trip part 2

The Witte Museum

SA Zoo hand feeding the Pelicans

SA Zoo group shot

San antonio zoo field trip

Impromptu soccer game during lunch

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Cilantro day 1

Interesting article on delaying the introduction of solids to babies

Heed Natural Timing before Infant Introduction to Solid Food
Heed Natural Timing before Infant Introduction to Solid Food
by Sherry Rothwell, citizen journalist
Originally published November 7 2009

(NaturalNews) It is commonplace among modern mothers to begin introducing solid food to their babies as early as 4 months of age, yet babies in more primitive societies were mostly exclusively breastfed until 2 years of age. Given the archeological studies, babies` immature and developing digestive enzyme production, along with evidence that prolonging exclusive breastfeeding may also confer health benefits, it may be time for both moms and nutrition experts to reconsider the timing of a baby`s first introduction to solid foods.

While many pediatricians still recommend starting babies on solid foods between 4 to 6 months of age, the WHO now recommends that babies remain exclusively breastfed for the first six months of life. To prevent allergies and food sensitivities, some doctors now recommend delaying the introduction of solids until baby is at least 12 months of age.

Most experts recommend that if mothers want to delay starting their babies on solids, they should not continue exclusive breastfeeding beyond 9 months. It is assumed that the iron stores in mothers` milk are deficient and may lead to the baby developing anemia.

According to Dr. Linda Palmer who has done extensive research on this subject, most studies on nutritional status, in regards to the delaying of solids, were done on populations where mothers are malnourished. She says that deficiency of iron is more common in breastfed babies, but that this factor co-relates with the introduction of solids, rather than with exclusive breastfeeding itself or because mothers` milk suddenly becomes deficient at 9 months.

This window of deficiency occurs, as the result of a natural physiological shift whereby the iron in baby`s first foods, binds with the mother`s lactoferrin, thus making her iron less bioavailable. The iron that baby does get from food sources, ends up first feeding iron-hungry and less beneficial intestinal bacteria. It is because of this factor that baby has a higher requirement for iron, at least until the intestinal flora rebalances.

So while it seems necessary to at least account for this physiological shift when mothers do introduce solids, what about delaying the inevitable until baby is 12 months or older? Is there any harm in waiting to introduce solids? Once again, according to Palmer, "The few studies performed on extended exclusive breastfeeding are in non-industrialized areas, showing a marginal advantage to beginning supplemental foods by 24 months. The only good studies on fully breastfed infants performed in the US go only as high as 9 months, demonstrating superior health at this age for those who are exclusively breastfed".

According to archeological studies, many human babies had little, if any, foods other than breast milk before two years of age. Palmer concludes, "While I DO think it is natural to have a wide variation in timing for natural infants` introduction to solids, (the initial weaning process), and final weaning, I don`t think it`s naturally common for first foods to begin as early as 6 months in most babies".

What about those experts that feel that we should wait until babies are at least 1 year of age before introducing solids? Is there any merit to these recommendations? David Rowland, author of Digestion: Inner Pathway to Health, says, "Salivary amylase (ptyalin) is not normally present in any appreciable quantity until about six months of age. Pancreatic amylase is not produced in adequate amounts until the molar teeth are fully developed, which may not be until ages 28-36 months". For this reason, he recommends that we should not be feeding babies, bread, crackers and other starchy foods. This advice strongly conflicts with the conventional wisdom that deems iron-fortified cereal to be a baby`s ideal first food.

Palmer disagrees with Rowland; she does not feel that infants have trouble digesting carbohydrates. She feels that gluten-containing grains may pose the biggest challenge. On the other hand, she also disagrees with the conventional perspective. She says, "Iron-fortified cereals have high doses of iron that may stunt growth slightly when not needed. If baby has risk factors for developing anemia, (low iron stores from rapid cord cutting, smoking parent, food-intolerance reactions, lower birth weight), one might consider a blood test around 9 months (or sooner if recommended) to alleviate concerns".

While evolution and physiology seem to suggest that there is no specific time to introduce solids, along with no harm in delaying them, does extending exclusive breastfeeding confer any health benefits?

While there are no studies on exclusive breastfeeding beyond 9 months in industrialized societies, Palmer lists the following in her very informative slide show entitled, "Beyond Breastmilk". The following list conveys the potential benefits of delaying solids: delays iron competition, delays the loss of full immune protection (immune protection extends beyond weaning and lasts even longer the more breast milk baby receives), provides baby with a more "natural feeding progression" and reduces the risks of allergies.

Given that our ancestors in more primitive societies were likely more in tune with nature`s plan for feeding babies, it seems reasonable to call the early introduction of solids into question. Because pancreatic amylase is deficient in babies (until their molars come in) we might as well also question the wide spread introduction of iron fortified cereal grain, as an infant`s first food.

While there is a lot more room for research to be done in this area, delaying solids gives babies` digestive system more time to mature, and may decrease the risk of allergies due to reduced immunity and enzyme deficiency. The evidence suggests that we need not deviate too far from the natural feeding pattern that has thus sustained and ensured the survival of the human race, thus far.

Digestion: Inner Pathway to Health, David W. Rowland

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Thing to make you go "Hmmmm"

This is from the Daily Newletter that I receive from Natural News (

NaturalNews Tip of the day (from Mike): While all the health experts are demanding that we pump pregnant women full of H1N1 vaccines, did you ever notice that they almost never recommend expectant mothers should beef up their nutrition? Has the idea of keeping preganant women healthy become so alien to modern medicine that it never even crosses their minds anymore? If you want some good prenatal nutrition, check out the formulas from New Chapter, by the way. Good stuff...