Sunday, July 16, 2017

New Water Filter

The more we educate ourselves on things, the more I learn about the impact of what we're putting in our bodies and what it actually does. I'm reading a new book, off and on, called Superlife and it's been a great read. I recently read the hydration chapter and decided to look into our water supply. Minneapolis water is taken from the Mississippi river and they actually have a really good filtration system, over 80 billion dollars worth. But the scary thing is that it still contains a LOT of stuff... chlorine, ammonia, organic & disinfectant contaminants, radionuclide contaminants, and many other cancer causing elements that are over the health limit (but under the legal limit) or sitting right at the health limits. Scary stuff, especially when it's our sole source of water and we drink A LOT of it! So we looked into reverse osmosis and to our surprise it wasn't really that expensive, nor difficult to install. Super easy DIY. My friend shared a 4th of July deal so we got it ordered and hoped to install it before the baby arrived... haha well the baby arrived Friday and the system arrived Monday. I was bound to the upstairs per my midwife's postpartum rest requirements, so Friday when we left the house for Thomas's first appointment/outing I stayed downstairs when we got home (limited to one set of stairs a day during the second week, and one brief outing) and we got it all set up. We had a sitter watching the big kids so she stuck around a little longer so we could get this done. 

It's typically installed under your kitchen sink and has it's own little faucet. We didn't want to clear out our trash and compost bins from under our sink so we installed it right below in our unfinished basement. Super easy, just needed a little extra tubing. We made by with the extra tubing in the ice maker set up kit, but needed to run to Home Depot for a little longer for the drain and a connector piece for the back of the fridge. 

Here's our set up below:

We were worried that having the tank a floor lower than the faucet would cause low pressure, but it actually doesn't effect it at all. We toyed with the idea of making a shelf closer to the ceiling but that can wait for another time. It also nice it's in the basement because other wise the water wouldn't be very cold, but it's being stored in a cold basement so cheers to cold water. :-)

We're pretty excited to have it in and start drinking from it. I can't really tell a difference in taste, but Kyle was able to the first day. He drinks RO water at work, I'm just happy I'm offering my family a safe substance for their bodies, we drink a lot of water in this house :-)


The kids were asking to see fireworks this year so we wanted to attempt to make it happen. Bedtime is usually 7:30-8 and fireworks don't start here until after 10 so we knew it was going to be some work. There were really only two shows: July 3rd Monday night one option and July 4th lots of options. We decided to shoot for the Monday night so if it didn't work we had a back up night on the 4th. 

We stopped for dessert on the way in Edina at Yogurt Lab: 

Then made it to Bloomington for the Summer Fete display. We parked in a parking ramp and then walked over to a higher ramp and camped out at the top of that. Everyone around us hadn't been there in the past so we weren't sure if we were going to have a good view or not, or if the building that was somewhat in that direction would be in the way....

The kids tried to stay occupied while we waited but still asked every 3 minutes if they were starting yet.

They got to see some off in a distance the other way.

Wrestle time, getting anxious for the show to start.

Once they started, they did end up being somewhat behind the building so most everyone walked to the south for a better view near the edge of the top of the ramp.

Mary loved them (as did Isaac, he remembers seeing them last year). Emma was not such a fan.

She wanted to snuggle with me and ended up falling asleep, lol. We were pretty close so they were somewhat loud (which is what we were going for, for the 'real' experience)

The show finished and we got back to our van to wait in the long, long line of traffic to exit the ramp. Everyone was asleep by the time we got home, so it was straight to bed. 

End of Belly Pics

Figured I should do an update. When I blogged the last update  I thought I'd have at least 5 more weeks maybe even 7 or 8 to include in the final but turns out I only have 2.5 weeks to share.

36 weeks, baby is the size of a spaghetti squash:

36 weeks was also the mark of home delivery! We had our home visit at this time and if the baby had come before 36 weeks we'd have to transfer to a hospital. It was pretty exciting to have her come to our home. It was Kate, my midwife, Jess, my doula, and Elizabeth the midwife's assistant. They got to see the space, make sure we had all our supplies gathered, she sized the bathroom faucet and left the hose adapter which would be used to fill the birth tub. And then it was like all the other visits where we got to hear the baby. The girls are very familiar with this part and love to turn the machine on and off. (one turns it on and one turns it off)

 37 weeks, the baby is the size of romaine lettuce...? Okay whatever.

That was the last Saturday picture I got because baby came the following Friday. But here is a pic from Thursday evening out to dinner: (37w5d)

Oh this is actually my last 'baby in belly' pic, taken Friday July 7th roughly 4:00pm. Light contractions had started, we just ate lunch and were getting ready to go for a walk to get the contractions going more and I found my P90x3 shirt had arrived in the mail! 

Sunday Children's Museum

Oh Sunday, July 2nd we made another trip to the new Children's Museum. Our last trip it was pretty busy, so we were hoping for a slower day. Kyle was with us too so that made it easier. The kids love the Scrambler play place:

And since it was slower they got lots of turns on the big slide!


There was a Sprouts area, for 3 and under which we didn't go to last time. But this time Kyle took Isaac into the laser activity while I took the girls to this play area. They are almost too big for it and we didn't spend much time there, but they had fun with a quick explore.
 Another area we didn't hit last time: land of noodles

Then their second favorite area is the world area with the mail room and fire truck and grocery shop. Spent a lot of time here.

We finished our St. Paul trip with lunch at Cossetta's :-) 

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Kale Chips

Last summer I tried a few times to get good kale chips, but kept failing. I actually landed on something that worked today! Finally!!

I think the trick is getting them DRY! No water on them before you put them on the pan. These were from our CSA, so organic but that means hitch hikers, like a nice spider web I found. So they needed to be cleaned real well. I spun in my salad spinner but that isn't good enough. I then dried with a kitchen towel. 

Once dry I laid out on two baking sheets with pieces torn into bite size pieces. 

Next you want to toss in some oil. I used my sprayer with coconut oil then sprinkled each batch with some pink Himalayan salt. 

Next I popped into a preheated oven. Here's the other important part. LOW heat! I did 275 on convection oven setting. I set the timer for 10 minutes expecting to rotate pans and put in for another 5-10 minutes. BUT at only 10 minutes they were perfect!!! 

Serve plain or in soup, healthy way to get that kale in. 

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