Sunday, October 23, 2016

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce

One thing I love about Fall time is making our own applesauce! We try to make enough to stock our pantry, as well as give a few mason jars away to family as a gift during Christmas time. 

This year, Sammy bought an apple peeler which definitely made the process of peeling and cutting the apples super simple. The ease of working the apple peeler also enticed the kids to help with applesauce this year! 

Watch Timothy's video!
 Watch Molly's video!

Homemade Crockpot Applesauce  

8 medium apples (I just use as many apples in whatever size I have to fill the crockpot.)

1 strip of lemon peel 
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1 cinnamon stick, or a few good shakes of cinnamon (I'm not huge on tons of cinnamon in my applesauce, so just add the amount that suits you.)
5 unpacked teaspoons light brown sugar (Again, add the amount that suits you.)

1. Peel, core, and chop the apples. If you're lucky, you have an apple peeler! 
2. Add the lemon peel, lemon juice, cinnamon, and brown sugar to the top, no need to stir yet.
3. Place lid on crockpot. Set crockpot to low and cook for 6 hours. Stir apples occasionally
4. Remove cinnamon stick and lemon peel. 
5. Smash, whisk, or stir the apples to your desired apple-sauciness! I like my applesauce thick, so I don't smash mine too much.  
6. Can and process for 10-12 minutes or keep refrigerated for up to 3 weeks. 

Fall is the perfect time to make applesauce and other yummy apple concoctions! Typically we buy a box or two of apples from our local Farmers Market, but we've also just bought a whole bunch of different kinds of apples on sale at the grocery store, or hit up a farm stand or pumpkin patch for our apples. We always do multiple crockpots worth since we like to make a good amount to can and process. When processing, if your applesauce is a bit chunkier like mine, make sure you shake the jar or use a spoon to get all the air pockets out, clean the rim of the jar really well to insure a secure seal, and process in a hot water bath for about 10-12 minutes.   

With love,
Mama Hauck

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Soccer Photos and Season Wrap Up

Soccer season has come to an end and both kiddos had a really great season! 

Anthony enjoyed working with his Coach, who's knowledge of soccer is vast and taught the kids real soccer terms and helped them all progress in skill. Anthony is a really enthusiastic player who always gives it his all! We really enjoyed watching his knowledge of the game grow and become even more confident in his skill and working with his team mates. 

Great season, Firecrackers! 

Molly takes after her brother in soccer skill and was a ball of fire on the field! She is a superb listener and team player; doing a great job listening to her Coach and working with her other team mates. Watching her excitement when she's got the ball and working it down the field towards the goal is priceless.  I really hope she chooses to continue on in soccer, that girl has spunk! 

Great season, Blue Devils! 

With love,
Mama Hauck

Thursday, October 13, 2016

No More Monkeys Jumping On The Bed

Monday night, this little Monkey was jumping with Molly on her bed. Then this little monkey fell off and bumped his.....arm. And ohhhh did this little monkey cry and cry and cry. Something was wrong. 

Sam and I wanted to take him in to the family practice clinic in town, but at 4:30, they were closed for the day and not taking patients. So then we debated: do we want Christmas this year? Because there will be no Christmas with an ER bill. Isn't it sad when you have to think like that? 

Ultimately we decided that yes, he was in pain, but no, he wasn't dying. We got Timothy settled on the couch with his arm propped up on some pillows and blankets and set him up with a frozen pack of peas. He was OK as long as you didn't move his arm, touch his arm, breathe on his arm, or even look at his arm. 

That night he slept in our room, flat on his back, with his arm propped up on pillows. With the help of a little bit of tylenol, he fell asleep. He woke a few times in the night, whining and clearly uncomfortable, but he made it to morning. 

In the morning, still in as much pain as the night before, we headed off to the family practice clinic in town. Getting x-rays done on his arm was awful. He screamed as we maneuvered his arm to get the right shots. Annoyingly, the x-rays showed nothing. No breaks, no fractures, nothing. I was happy about this, of course, but he was in so much pain, there WAS something wrong. Why didn't the x-ray show it? Dammit. 

The Dr. we saw, while nice, just wasn't on her game. She didn't offer any type of explanation, she just suggested we semi cast his arm, wrap it, and put it in a sling. See ya back in a week! 

Thanks, Doc. 

I left mad. 

After all those tears, I couldn't resist taking Timothy to his favorite place to try to cheer him up.  One yummy cupcake later and we were ready to go home for some chill time. 

Mad and unsatisfied with not getting an answer as to what was wrong with Timothy's arm, I spent much of the rest of the day googling. Armed with some ideas and in need of a second look and opinion, Sam tried to get Timothy into the orthopedic in The Dalles, but they didn't have any openings for a week. He then took his notes and x-rays to our chiropractor who couldn't see anything in the x-rays either. I called his pediatrician to talk to her, but she wasn't in. UGH. Instead I chatted with a nurse at the pediatrician's office and gave her the low down and my thoughts of what I think it could be. She told me that she didn't know what it could be, that clearly it wasn't broken or fractured if the x-rays didn't show it, that it sounded like a muscle sprain and to go ahead and ice it, give him tylenol or ibuprofen, and have him rest.  

Ok, so it's not broken or fractured. I get it. But it's also not a muscle sprain....I just know its not. It's something else. My Mama gut is telling me it's something else. 

He was so dang cute in that sling. And thankfully it did help with the pain....as long as his arm was still, he was ok.....but as soon as it was out of the sling, or I had to unwrap his arm to adjust the wrap or something, he cried out in pain. And good lord, when he slipped and fell on his arm while running through the living room (when he was suppose to be sitting, chilling out); that cry lasted for 10 minutes. 

Wednesday morning I got a phone call from a different nurse at the pediatrician's office. Apparently the nurse I had previously talked to left a note that I had called with my issue and desire for a second look and opinion. Timothy's pediatrician was in, read the note, and of course wanted to see us....because clearly it was something. 

Finally someone was listening! 

I got him in at 5, and after listening to the story of him falling, how he was holding his arm after he fell, how he didn't want to move it, how much pain he was in, looking at the x-rays, and examining him, his pediatrician came to the conclusion that Timothy had Nursemaid's Elbow; something that I had also considered and previously brought up in conversation. Its odd that he got it from a fall when typically children get it from being pulled on, but that's what it was. 

She put both hands on his arm, and with a little of this and a little of that, just as he was welling up with tears and about to cry out, there was a "pop." 

It was magic, I tell you! His pain was instantly reduced by, I'd say, 50%. All that pain and all those tears and all we had to do was get his elbow popped back into place. Poor, sweet boy. See, I knew it was something. Mama's instinct. Thank goodness for his awesome pediatrician who listened. Why was Nursemaid's Elbow such a hard thing for everyone else to figure out? 

He's still favoring it a bit today, as I'm sure there is a little bit of lingering pain, but I'm thankful we are good to go! 

NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED! I taught him that song. ;) 

With love,
Mama Hauck