Some Notes to My Future Self About Moving

Hello Friends.

I am peeking my head above the pile of boxes for yet another post today about how fun it is to move with young children.

First, let me preface this by saying that I have some of the world’s most helpful children ever.  They love to ask what they can work on or help me with, even if what I am doing is too difficult or not appropriate for them.  They are, however, normal young children, and seeing their books and toys again after six months in storage has made them excitedly little people.

Messy excited little people.

We are so close to having all of our things in their permanent places in the home that I feel the move is just about over.  We do have to, however, acquire a few more pieces of furniture to really make this place livable.  Like a couch.  And a dresser for my husband to replace the large, clear plastic bin his clothes currently reside in.

As this crazy season comes to a close, I would like to share with you guys (and yes, my future moving self) some tips, tricks, do’s, and don’t’s for moving with little kids.

  1.  Get rid of excess stuff before you move:  I did this pretty well when we packed up our home in Virginia.  I sold a lot of things at yard sales that I knew weren’t worth the amount of space they would take up in a moving van.  As my poor husband knows, my rule of thumb is:  If you haven’t used it or missed it in a year, you won’t use it, so get rid of it.  I use this rule for just about everything:  movies, music, clothes, games, toys, etc.  Books are a different story, since one can only read so many books in a year.  This one small rule helped us get rid of several boxes and garbage bags full of things we were holding on to for little to no reason.
  2. Don’t get rid of things you will actually need:  I get a little trash bag happy when it is time to clear things out of my house.  I really err on the side of having way too few things, rather than having too much.  This is all fine and dandy until you move in, unpack your kitchen, and realize that you donated your toaster to Goodwill before you left Virginia.  (Yes, that really happened.  We had to buy a new one.)  There are some items that just don’t make sense to get rid of because you will have to replace them anyway (like a toaster, or an iron).  Unless you are planning to replace the item anyway, regardless of your home-moving status, keep it!
  3. Label boxes as specifically as possible:  When we were packing our home in Virginia I may have been a tad emotional.  It was the first home my husband and I owned, and it was the home we brought our girls home from the hospital to.  We had made many memories in that house.  We built a great life out there, as well.  We had family and friends that were like family, plus a fantastic church.  It was so hard to leave.  And, you know, I was pregnant.  I was having all the feels.  I procrastinated packing up, then in the end I wound up throwing items in boxes and labeling them “Random”.  I wish I was kidding.
  4. Write whether boxes are for “storage” or “immediate use”:  This would have come in handy for our latest move.  We had a big crew of helpers who did a fantastic job of getting our things out of the grandparents home and into our new home very quickly.  Unfortunately, I stayed behind to finish packing up at the grandparents and wasn’t able to direct the final placement of all the boxes.  This meant we were left with some boxes that weren’t going to be used immediately (like Christmas decorations) in the middle of our living room.  I’m sure, had I said which boxes could have gone into the attic, our moving crew would have happily obliged.
  5. Make a plan for unpacking:  This I felt I did pretty well for this latest move.  There are a few rooms in one’s home that are completely indispensable, the first, in my opinion, being the bathroom.  As the storybook says, everybody poops.  And everybody needs to shower and brush their teeth.  You will need a functioning bathroom immediately, and having everything put away in there just makes life so much more pleasant.  I found that getting the bathroom put away was an early, quick victory that helped me gain momentum. Next on my agenda was the kitchen; we need to eat in order to poop, yes?  That took a bit more time, but was also very worth the effort.  The kids bedrooms were next on my list, since they had to be done when they were otherwise occupied (by my lovely husband), then our bedroom, then the living room.
  6. Occupy your children while you unpack:  Next time I will do a better job of securing some childcare for a few days while the hubs and I unpack the house.  I thought I could use the girls’ help as I put things away, but as it turns out, they were so excited to see some of their toys that they were little help at all.  Duh.  I found that packing was a three steps forward, two steps back kind of process as I put items away, only to find them in the middle of the living room 30 minutes later.  Having several dedicated hours (or days) to unpack would probably have made this process go a lot more smoothly.

 

We’re Still Here

Folks, allow me to reiterate, if I haven’t already said it enough, that moving with three children is no joke, especially if your spouse cannot take days off to help put the new house back together.

I spend my days alternately unpacking boxes and laying around in my pajamas.  I have never been one who can moderate my own work level, so instead I work myself exhausted one day and do basically nothing the next.  It’s truly how I function best.

The kitchen, of course, was the first to be unpacked.  I had that done the first day we moved in.  A family has to eat, and in order to eat, we need plates, utensils, cups, etc.  So that was unpacked first.

The bathroom next, of course, because, well, no one likes the smelly new family next door.

We are slowly putting things in their places, and as we clear out the boxes I am so glad to be sharing photos of our new home.

It is amazing to me that we are living in this home.  We have so many thing sin this home that we didn’t in our first home:  a walk in attic, a basement, a garage, healthy rhubarb patch, and a heater in the bathroom.  It has more than enough space for us, and it has enough character to suit my love for old, lovely things.  I can’t wait to share it with my readers!

One Last Push

Readers,

I am pleased to announce that this silly family of five will finally be getting our own digs.  A place of our own.

home.

After lots of searching, looking at rental homes, contacting way too many Craigslist advertisers, and lots of prayer, we finally found a place for us.

There hasn’t been much going on here besides packing, and since Baby Brother has been simultaneously teething and going through a bit of a growth spurt, he has been strapped to me for most of the process.

20160406_142549

Thankfully, he can take his naps back there, despite my packing frenzy.

20160406_144414

Once we are moved in this weekend I’ll be sharing a bit about our new place and the fun things (GARDENING!!) that we will be able to do there.

Unsung Heroes of Nutrition: Eggs

Eggs have long been a topic of discussion when it comes to nutrition and health. To display one man’s frustration with the topic, check out this short clip:

In all seriousness, eggs have gotten a bad rap for a long time, and I am so pleased to tell you that they are indeed an excellently healthy food, especially for those on a budget.
Before I continue to talk about eggs, I want to stress that not all eggs are laid equally. For those of you accustomed to buying the regular dozen eggs at a grocery store, you are missing out on truly delicious and nutritious eggs. Farm-raised eggs (preferably bought from a farm itself) have yolks that are almost orange in color, with much harder shells than grocery store eggs; their nutritional value is much greater than grocery store eggs as well. Buying farm-raised eggs, either from the farm or at a farmer’s market, is definitely more expensive. It can cost two or three times as much for a dozen farm-raised organic eggs as it does for the eggs at the grocery store. This difference, though, is completely worth the extra $2-$4/dozen of eggs. Your body and your taste buds will thank you.
Eggs

Food Type: In it’s own category, really. Eggs are eggs. They aren’t dairy; they aren’t meat. They are awesome.
Calories per egg (large): 71
Best Served: On a plate. Enough said.
Why They are So Good for You:
Eggs are one of the cheapest high-quality proteins available. The typical large egg contains 6 grams of “complete” protein. Eggs contain all B vitamins, which help our bodies to function in so many ways. Some B vitamins help to regulate hormone levels, others help in cell production, while others aid in the production of hemoglobin. Choline, a member of the group of B vitamins, is found in the largest quantity per caloric intake in eggs; choline is crucial in the communication between the nervous system (brain) and the muscular system of your body.

Eggs are not just for the breakfast table. They are delicious hard-boiled, cooked over-easy, in an omelet or frittata, or scrambled with cheese. I will be pinning some delicious egg recipes on the Pinterest board this evening.
And I’ll probably be eating eggs for breakfast in the morning. Join me!

 

 

Unsung Heroes of Nutrition: Blackstrap Molasses

 

Let me start out this post by saying that I think molasses is one of those foods that you are either taught to love or you are taught it is weird and gross.  It is often used to make cookies or other desserts, but yet it is remembered as a substance an entire city got stuck in (Boston in 1919).  It was once, though, a staple of the American diet and other diets around the world.

A byproduct of the production of sugar from sugarcane, blackstrap molasses contains the majority of the nutrition from the sugarcane plant, while the product of the sugar refining process, sugar itself, contains very little nutritive value.  Sugarcane plants have very deep, strong roots that drain and deplete the soil around them heavily.  The soil’s vitamins and minerals are stored and used by the sugarcane plant, and when this plant is processed (boiled) three times to produce refined sugar, the blackstrap molasses that is produced in the process contains all of those great nutrients and micronutrients from the soil.

I first learned about blackstrap molasses when I was pregnant with our first daughter.  I was taking a birthing class with a local doula, and she set aside time to talk to us about nutrition that would support a healthy pregnancy and healthy breastfeeding relationship.  One of the nutrients she talked about was iron.  I will talk later about what our bodies use iron for, but let’s suffice to say that a pregnant/breastfeeding mom needs to have enough iron to support her baby.  Blackstrap molasses, she told us, was one of the best natural sources of iron there is.  She was right!  Just one tablespoon of the stuff has 26.6% of your daily iron needs!

Blackstrap Molasses

Food Type:  sweetener

Calories per Tbsp:  47

Best Served:  in baked goods, in oatmeal, or in warm milk

Why It’s So Good for You:

As I mentioned above, one tablespoon of blackstrap molasses has 4.78 mg of iron, more than a quarter of what your body requires daily.  Iron is crucial to the production of hemoglobin in the body, a major component of red blood cells.

Black strap molasses also has almost a quarter of your daily needs for calcium, which is not only important for bone health and strength but also for muscular health.  Calcium ions are necessary for the electrical impulses and movement of muscle fibers.

Manganese is a micronutrient, not often discussed, but it is crucial for cellular absorption of minerals, and blackstrap molasses contains almost 20% of the amount of manganese a body would need in a day.

Finally, potassium, that nutrient we all eat bananas for, is also found in blackstrap molasses.

I have pinned some great, non-cookie molasses recipes to the Pinterest board.  I will share, though, that lately I have been just having a spoonful or two of molasses at breakfast.  I’ve grown accustomed to the taste, and I treat it as a medicine.  If that doesn’t work for you, try any of these recipes, or, as I started out with, use your favorite bread recipe and replace half of the sweetener with blackstrap molasses.

Unsung Heroes of Nutrition

This week starts a new series at Domesticated Physicist:  The Unsung Heroes of Nutrition.

I am really excited about this series because so many people, including moms of little ones, are concerned with the nutritional value of what we eat.  It can be confusing sometimes, trying to choose the healthiest foods for our families, especially while staying within a budget.  There are lots of resources out now that explain the health benefits of some very exotic and/or expensive foods.  For those that can afford to set aside a large food budget, that’s wonderful.  What about those of us who try to keep a smaller food budget?  How can we feel good about the food we put on the table for our families?

Our family eats as much real food as possible, limiting our packaged foods to snacks on the go or the occasional bowl of cereal.  We try to limit sugar in our house, but we aren’t afraid to eat it in a treat.  (Sometimes brownies are therapeutic.)  We eat meats of almost any kind (yes, even some game if it tastes good), and we stick to full fat versions of dairy products.  The guidelines in this series will reflect our families eating choices, though I hope that people with varying dietary restrictions or preferences can glean something from it.

I’m going to open this series with perhaps one of the cheapest, and most overlooked, health food you can buy and eat:

Onions

Image result for onions

Food Type:  vegetable (bulb)

Calories Per Ounce:  11

Best Served:  Red onions – raw on salads or sandwiches

White or yellow onions – sauteed in dishes or breaded and

baked/fried

Why It is So Good for You:

Onions are members of the Allium family, like garlic, and like garlic, onions can really benefit your cardiovascular health.  Specifically, onions contain sulfur compounds that help to prevent unwanted blood clotting and lower cholesterol.

Onions also help to increase bone density, which is great news for women.  There is some evidence that post-menopausal women can decrease their risk of bone breakage by frequently consuming onions.  Similarly, consumption of onions has been shown to directly benefit connective tissues like tendons and ligaments.

In addition to helping bones retain density and helping to repair connective tissues, the consumption of onions has been shown to help with inflammation, specifically in those with arthritis.  Onions literally help to keep us moving, especially as we grow older.

The antibacterial properties of onions are also great reasons to include them in your diet.  They have been shown to be effective against multiple strains of Streptococcus bacteria, which can cause disease and tooth decay.  It is possible that regular (daily) consumption of some onion can help to boost one’s immune system and prevent some communicable illnesses.

 

I love to use onions in almost every recipe I make.  The different varieties can lend themselves to milder dishes or to stronger flavors.  I’ll dice onions and sautee them with eggs or include onions in all of my stir fries.  Check out my Pinterest board for some tasty recipes that really feature onions!