Teeth Woes

I took Izzy to the dentist yesterday because I had noticed that her top molars were covered in decay almost as soon as they broke through her gums.  And this week, I noticed that she had a couple more spots of decay on her front teeth on her gum line.  The dentist agreed with all of my observations and suggested an outpatient procedure at a local hospital, where they would take her away from us so an anesthesiologist could use general anesthesia (GA) to “knock her out,” place an IV, and intubate her so that the dentist could do 30 minutes worth of work of drilling and filling.

Can you tell that we’re less than thrilled with this idea?  There are risks involved with GA, including death, and with Alex having an allergic reaction to lidocaine after a dental procedure, we’re quite aware and scared of those risks, however rare.  They’re milk teeth that she will lose within the 10-12 years regardless of whether we opt for the procedure or not.

For whatever reason, Izzy isn’t covered under our dental insurance until January, so the procedure isn’t even an option until then because in the words of the billing, “It’ll be crazy expensive without insurance.”

In the meantime, I’m ordering Cure Tooth Decay and plan to do what I can to stop the decay from spreading and encourage re-mineralization.  We’re already committed to raw milk and cod liver oil (can I tell you how much the kids and I adore Nordic Naturals cod liver oil… they beg, BEG for more daily.)  We do partake in our fair share of sugar and sweet treats since I adore baking, so we have some work to do in that area.  I’m researching xylitol spray and other suggestions I’ve found here and there, so at least we feel like we’re doing something.

And just in case you’re wondering, breastfeeding does not cause cavities Yes, human milk does contain lactose (milk sugar,) but much less than cow’s milk and infant formula.  Human breast milk also contains antibacterial properties that can help to reduce the amount of bacteria in the mouth that is thought responsible for causing dental cavities.


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Stay-at-HOME-mom

I can so relate to the mom in this article on MSNBC, down to the homeschooling at home and the marathon errand day.  My usual Tuesday can include leading a breastfeeding meeting, stopping at a park to picnic for lunch to keep tantrums and crying to a minimum, to a local spring to collect 10 or more gallons of drinking water, to a quick stop at a random store (usually the book store or craft store for school supplies,) to our food co-op to work sorting produce and pick up our groceries, to Trader Joe’s to pick up other odds and ends before hitting rush hour traffic to get back home to tote everyone and everything up the stairs and make dinner.

Every so often, I do contemplate returning to the work force in order to help make the ends meet, but I quickly realize that: 1. I want to be the one raising our kids, 2. I LOVE the work of being a mom and can’t imagine any other job I’d rather be doing, 3.  I wouldn’t make enough to cover the financial costs of childcare.  I looked into this a bit a few years ago and kept the daycare price sheet as a reminder (from Primrose School, prices effective 12/2005 per 5-day WEEK, which do not include registration fees, supply fees, or activity fees):

Infant (6 wks. – 12 mo.)                          $230

Young Toddler  (12-24 mo.)                  $210

Early Preschooler (24-36 mo.)               $190

Preschool (3 year-olds)                          $175

Pre-Kindergarten (4 year-olds)            $145

Kindergarten (5 year-olds)                   $145

Before & After Elementary Care            $85

So for my three kids, we would pay $375 per week!  No doubt these rates have increased since 2005 either, so that’s a low estimate for my crew.  That doesn’t even begin to cover the the other costs: gas, clothing, enrolling Alex in public school, the extra doctor bills since they’d catch everything going around, the reduced family time, etc.


Animal, Vegetable, Miracle

I finished reading this book last week and have felt so inspired by it to support out local farmers and eat locally and seasonally.  We’ve been visiting our farmer’s market and buying a couple of things, but we could do better with our produce.  I’m hoping that we either plant a garden at our dairy farm or support one of the many CSAs available around here.  We already get our milk, eggs, maple syrup, honey, and meat from local farmers, so we’re off to a decent start.

I tried this orzo recipe from, a variation from the one in the book, and oh my goodness is it good!  I also find that Everyday Food is a great source for seasonal recipes and I enjoy meal planning a great deal the week this comes in the mail.

And now with the FDA approving the use irradiation on selected produce, we have even more reason to use our local farmers who use organic practices.  Irradiation is some scary stuff I tell you!

With it being August and everything being so plentiful, I’ve been in the kitchen a lot.  Last week I made 18 quarts of chicken stock for the freezer.  I have strawberries, blueberries and mangos well stocked in the freezer already and decided that we needed some peaches too.  So that’s what I’m doing today… peach oatmeal, peach pie, peach cobbler, peach preserves, frozen peaches.

I also ordered our turkey for Thanksgiving from Skillington Farms this morning.  Can you believe that autumn is knocking at our door already?  I’m sure that we’ll be making a trip to our local orchard for some apple picking and pumpkins soon too.

Muffins!

I’m a sucker for breakfast food.  I adore pancakes, wafflers, coffee cake, croissants, muffins, quiche, yogurt, granola, frittatas, all of it.

I decided that I wanted to make muffins this morning to use some of our ripe fresh fruit, I pulled out my recipe card for sour cream batter and was less than thrilled with the 2 sticks of butter and 2 cups of sugar combined with AP white flour.  There must be a recipe out there that still offers all that muffin goodness that is a bit healthier.  So I pulled out my King Arthur Whole Grain Baking Cookbook and Voila! magic done:

Sour Cream Muffins

yields 1 dozen muffins

Baking Temp: 400 degrees F

Baking Time: 22-26 minutes

2 cups white whole wheat flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)

1/2 cup unbleached all-purpose flour

1-1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 tsp salt

4 T unsalted butter

1 cup sugar

2 large eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup sour cream

1-1/2 cups fresh or frozen berries or diced stone fruit (I used nectarines this morning)

Coarse sugar for sprinkling

Prepare muffin pan by using nonstick spray or muffin papers.  Whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in medium bowl.  Cream butter and sugar in large mixing bowl.  Add eggs one at a time and throughly incorporate by beating well.  Add sour cream and vanilla.  Add dry ingredients, mixing  on low until batter is just smooth.  Gently fold in fruit.

Refrigerate batter for 1 hour (I totally cheated, divided the batter in the muffin cups and stuck it in the freezer for 5-10 minutes cause I was hungry and everything turned out just fine.)  The book also says that you can keep the batter without the fruit in the fridge for 4 days, mixing in your fruit of choice right before baking.  In theory, you could bake up half a dozen fresh muffins each morning if you double the recipe without the work of making batter everyday.  Hmmmm, that’s tempting!

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Divide batter between muffin cups and sprinkle with course sugar.  Bake muffins 22-26 minutes, until center is cooked through.  Let cool in pan for 5 minutes before removing and enjoying!

Alex can Catch!

Alex can catch!  It’s a pretty big deal for my little book man to catch a ball and since he’s figured out he has this cool new skill, it’s all he wants to do.

I played catch with him for over an hour on Friday and then he took the ball with us to Lafayette so he could play catch with Grandpa and Uncle Kevin.

And even this morning, he woke up Izzy and Daddy with his ball.

Too Busy Playing…

to post.  I’ve been enjoying the kids and with this beautiful weather, who can blame me!  It’s 72 degrees in the middle of August and to be inside would be a crime!

I’ve also been busy working on various things around the house.  I’m trying to organize all the household chores and bring some order to it all before we dive back into school time.  And speaking of school, I’ve been contemplating our plans for the year and trying to bring some organization to that as well.

And then there’s my knitting and sewing.  After lusting after some beautiful material here, here, and here, I had to sewing something for Izzy to wear.  I settled on a Butterick B4173 and some material found at the mega fabric store and created this in a day or two:

DSCF6504

I love it, only it’s a little big for Izzy right now…

It will be perfect for next spring and summer, right!?  And what a perfect excuse to order some of that fabric I’ve been drooling over to make her something that fits right now?!

I also finished up a couple of knitting projects.  Yippee!  My knitting has been just perfect to bring outside so I can knit away while keeping an eye on the kids.  And speaking of which, I better get the kids back outside before they go nuts.