Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Thank You, Kind Sir....

Today is Tuesday. Tuesdays, traditionally "hate my stinkin' guts" {what movie?} While today wasn't completely awful, and while I actually, was remarkably in control of myself... The day was long. Bailey had a really awful day at school. Then at therapy, she flipped out hysterically... then wouldn't leave and I had to carry her out of the room. Then there is getting the kids to the car without them running in the road and dying, and stopping the meltdowns. So I'm getting them in the car, and I'm calm... deep breathing and all that jazz. I was Dreading the quick trip to Costco for their jumbo loaves of GF bread for dirt cheap... kept deep breathing as I walked around to the drivers seat, {wait for it, there is a point to this long post}...

And the man parked next to me, who was getting his kids in the car says "Excuse me, ma'am... {'cause we're in the south, ma'am is just proper etiquette} He continues, "I just want to tell you that I'm just really impressed with how cool you're being. I just want you to know that I applaud your efforts."

Tender Mercies, people. Heavenly Father tends to put people in my path sometimes, that literally make me stop in my tracks when I feel like I'm going to lose it, or when I'm losing appreciation for my kids... to remind me.

A couple of weeks ago, I had been through Walmart with all 4 kids. They were C-to-the-RAZY. We are in the check out line and this sweet woman, who I assumingly, thought was being snotty, until she helped stop Addie from climbing out of the cart, but she also told me how really beautiful my children are and that I'm doing a good job. I walked out of there choked up, and cried on the way home. Or the several other people I've run into lately, that have had kind and doting words for myself or my children.

There needs to be more people like that sweet lady, and that kind man, encouraging parents, instead of judging them. I'm so grateful for the people I run into that have kind words to say and not glaring looks of an appalling nature. Period.

"Jesus said love everyone, treat them kindly too."

Merry Christmas. Best gift I could get... given by a stranger.


Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Amazed and In Awe

I know that I am on child #4 and that at this point, I should be surprised by little. This is most definitely not the case. In fact, it seems the opposite. You see, with your first child, you think everything is awesome and get surprised at simple, normal things. You simply don't know any better. With the second, you start to realize, that you underestimated the first, and they are capable of much more than we are aware. You are however, still excited and amazed over the small things. Number two seems to pick up a lot more things, a lot faster, because he/she is watching number one.

I think regardless of the number of children you have, you are always going to be amazed at the things they are capable of and can accomplish at such a young age.

My number three, is an old soul. He carries himself like a man as far as body language is concerned, and is so laid back and just steps up to the plate {when he wants to, of course} like it's no big deal. He's quiet{ish} and has a quiet, knowing, strength about him. His understanding of things spoken and unspoken, flat out blows-my-mind, on a regular basis.

My number four, is not much different. What you see is a dainty, tiny, fierce, happy when she wants to be, baby girl. She has coordination and body awareness, like I've never seen in a kid her age, and a fierce temper to match it. I'm not kidding... she was most definitely made for the last days. No one will make her do what she doesn't want, without an all out brawl. She understands though. She understands almost everything and recently I've found that by explaining things to her, particularly, my expectations, I can get my way MUCH easier.  This girl, FAKE CRIES, and has for a while now. It's comical to watch. I can't help but laugh. E for Effort, love. Who knew that you could reason with a 15 month old?! Number three, taught me that you could to an extent, but man, this girl is mind boggling.

For instance, we've been night time weaning. Some nights, she is up crying for 2 hours {off and on, but mostly on}. She really loves boobs. Always has. Never really took a bottle, and was late taking a sippy. She woke up a while ago, but I let her cry herself back to sleep. She just woke up again, so I figured I'd see what's going on. She's been getting congested at night the past week-ish. So, I took her into the kitchen, put saline in her nose, and some Doterra Breathe essential oil on her chest. We sat in the rocking chair for a few minutes and I put her in her crib. Annnnd she SCREAMED a heartbroken cry. She shares a room with her older sister, Bailey {#1} and while, Bailey sleeps like a rock, it's very apparent at school the next day that her quality of sleep, was lacking. So I told her, she is not going to scream because people are sleeping, and when she stopped I would pick her up. She stopped, I picked her up. We sat in the rocking chair, she assumed the nursing position, and very politely asked to nurse. I told her, there is nothing in there until morning, so if she needs a drink, she has to take the sippy. We went into the kitchen, got the sippy, and she had some almond milk to drink. We walked back into her room had a long hug/snuggle {she gives the BEST chimp hugs! I'm pretty sure I've said this about every one of my kids, I sure love them a HEAP!} and then I told her, "Listen, your sleepy. We've gotten medicine, had a drink, we've snuggled. Now, it's time to sleep. Everyone else is asleep. I'm going to put you in bed, and you need to lay down and sleep. NO SCREAMING, do you understand? Bailey is trying to sleep too, that wouldn't be nice. Okay?" I stuck my hand out, she gave me a high five. I put her down and tucker her in, she hasn't made a peep. I of course gave her some serious praise. I can tell when she is going to put up a fight, or scream because she grabs a hold of me like a baby Chimpanzee before I can get her down.

So, anyway, the point of my longer than necessary post, is that I am in awe of these sweet, smart, capable spirits Heavenly Father has sent to me. Even though some days are challenging beyond belief it's worth it to be their mom. I'm honored, and scared that he entrusted such special people into my care, Heaven knows, there are better people for the job. But I'll get there, eventually... and hopefully before any long term trauma is caused ;)

Have a good night, sorry it's been a while. I've had some computer issues... yes, again. That hard drive I replaced last year... yeah they sent me the wrong one. I had to re-replace it with the proper one... so there was ACTUALLY more space on the hard drive. Yay, for working computers!

Monday, September 30, 2013

Brownie Points for my hubby!

Did someone say BROWNIES? Speaking of, and this is totally off of the subject, my good friend Emily, at It Bakes Me Happy, made me some awesome Cherry-Almond Brownies a few months ago, when I was down visiting. Emily! Are you going to post that recipe? I'm still waiting!


Now that that is taken care of... The kids and I went camping with my mom and stepdad this weekend in Blairesville, GA, at Track Rock Campground. I was nervous and scared. With kids ages 6, 3.5, 2, and 1... this could have been an awful trip. It went surprisingly well, though. I will post details and pictures of that later. Today, I am posting solely on my AMAZING husband.


He works SO hard for us. He works full time as a Project Manager for a civil engineering firm. He also goes to school part time for his Engineering degree. The kids only get to see him on Saturdays and Sundays. It's really hard on everyone, but that has been our life for about 6 years now, is our life for the next few years. The end is nearing!

 

Instead of playing video games or catching up on all the season premieres from this past week, he spent his bachelor weekend doing chores and cleaning the house for me. It is seriously the best gift, EVER. I didn't leave him a list or ask him to do anything. He did it all on his own accord. I did, however, warn him of the condition of the house and apologize profusely, that he had to come home to SUCH. A. MESS. I expected he'd pick up a little, because he always does. I did not expect what I came home to.

The house was near shambles when I left. I spent all day trying to pack for the trip and the house was destroyed in the meantime. I mean, it's never TOO spic and span... with four small kids, maintaining the house is difficult, but it's usually not even close to THIS bad. I'm talking food all over the place, you could hardly see the floor {not exaggerating here} due to toys that were strewn and laundry {that no matter how many loads I do a day, is never caught up} and my miscellaneous piles of papers and To-Do's that get forgotten about every where. The house we are renting is small, 1500 square feet {for 6 people!} so there isn't too much room for all of it to fit on the floor, anyhow, but it was still in REALLY bad shape.

Last night, after about 12 hours in the car with cranky children, who 3 of which didn't nap all day, I CAME HOME TO A MOWED LAWN AND DANG NEAR SPOTLESS HOUSE! The dishes were cleaned, the counters cleared and cleaned, he even scrubbed the kitchen floors {on his hands and knees!}. The living room and dining room were cleared and cleaned, the laundry is completely caught up, he even went to the store to get bread and bananas for the kids lunches today. He put up an extra clothes rack in the girls rooms and cleaned the girls' and boys' rooms! This house looks AMAZING. I'm so grateful to have him as my husband and as my kids' daddy! He is so good to us! There are so many men out there that would not even think about helping inside the house. He never hesitates. He walks in the door after a long day around 9pm and immediately starts helping me.

Oh, and he got me take out from an Italian restaurant we like, so that I would have a decent lunch today! He totally could have eaten and not bothered to get me anything, but he actually went there specifically to get me something I could have for lunch today. Say, what?! Isn't he pure awesomeness?! I sure think so!

Thank you, honey. For being all that you are and for being so, so good to us. I love you so much! I wouldn't want to go through life with anyone else. "Here's lookin' at you kid!" {He won't know that movie reference, do you?}

Sunday, September 15, 2013

3 Relieving To Do's for the Stomach Flu...

FACT- My kids spend a good quarter of the year with the stomach bug.

FACT- These are my own personal opinions and no one as asked or paid me to say anything. I'm simply sharing what has worked really well for us, in hopes that it might help you too!

"FACT- Bears eat beets. Bears, beets, Battlestar Galactica."

FACT-I really have no interest and bears, beets or Battlestar Galatica. I just really love The Office.

I will tell you a few things that this Mama Bear has learned recently, though. This go around, it's like a 3-5 day bug, depending on who has it. I could easily break down the "type" of sick that each of my children get with it {how their bodies react}. I will spare you the TMI. Just know that some are much more prone to vomiting than others.  Over the past few bugs, I've picked up tips and tricks that have helped. This go around, I combined a few, and it has dramatically reduced the amount of clean up and increased my kids comfortability {if there is such a thing when one has a stomach bug}.

{Sorry for the crappy phone picture... my SD card reader is missing, and I keep forgetting to get a new one...my apologies!I also ran out of Pedialyte for the picture.} 

Here are the three things we've been doing that have made it SO, SO, much more bearable {there I go with the bears again!}:

1. Doterra makes an oil blend called Digest Zen. I have some diluted with fractionated coconut oil in a roll on tube. I rub this on their bellies a few times a day. It really seems to reduce both vomiting and diarrhea, as well as, soothe their bellies. I'm not really familiar with Young Living oils, but I'm thinking DigestZen provides similar function to Di-Gize.
     {On a separate note, I have been using this every night for the past year for my reflux, by rolling it from my throat to stomach and back up my throat. I have not needed to take one Zantac. I previously took 150mg at least one time daily.}

2. Hyland's Nux Vomica Tablets I recommend the Hyland's. The first time I bought Nux Vomica it was Boiron, which is a great brand, but they were hard, round pellets and hard for the kids to dissolve. So this time I bought Hyland's, and they are much easier and faster to dissolve. I give them 2-3 every few hours, up to 4 times a day {per the instructions}. They are homeopathic and completely safe, no worries about an overdose.

3. COCKTAILS! But not the kind you're thinking. Chammomile Tea & Pedialyte Cocktails. I fill the sippy cut 1/4 to 1/3 of the way full with the tea and then the rest of the way with Pedialyte. This really helps soothe their bellies {the Chammomile}, and also tastes better to them than just straight Chammomile. Most importantly, the Pedialyte helps them stay hydrated by restoring electrolytes. I refill their sippy as needed throughout the day.

There you have it. Instead of puking for hours until they were dry heaving, they have puked only several times a day. And have been much more comfortable, even playing in between upset tummy times. Simple, easy, natural. I really hope this helps!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A Fourth Watch God.

This is me, promising you one post a week. I'm not going to guarantee any more than that though... we shall see. So, hold me accountable!

There has been A LOT going on this year. I've been tapped out and barely surviving. Things are starting to look up. Addie my 1 year old {whom I haven't posted pictures of in MONTHS} is finally down to only waking up once or twice a night and is down to about 4 nursing sessions a day. Callen is finally going to bed easily again, as is Trevor. Bailey is back and school. Trevor is down to monthly feeding therapy appointments, YAHOOO!!!! This is huge... it only took two years, but I'll take it! Also, Trevor will be starting full time pre-school soon, in the hopes that we can get his behavior under control.

So, I should have a little more time on my hands! I also just launched my photography business, which I'm really, really excited about!

So, I feel like things are looking up! It gives me hope and some rejuvenation! I've been in a pretty bad place for a while now... about six years. I have lots of ideas, and lots of half written blogs. I just never have much time for finishing my thoughts, let alone writing them down.

I actually went on a date ALONE, with my husband for the first time in about 8-9 months. Maybe even longer.

Anyway... I wanted to share this with you. A while ago I came across this talk at a BYU devotional, called "Bread or Stones: Understanding the God We Pray to" by S. Michael Wilcox.

To get to my point he says
"Now we need to understand something about our Father in Heaven, and that is that He is a fourth watch God. 

The Hebrew night was divided into four watches. The first watch—six o’clock at night to nine [p.m.], second watch—nine to midnight, third watch—midnight to three in the morning, fourth watch—three in the morning to sunrise.  Sometimes that creates a bit of a problem for us, certainly for me. I worship a fourth watch God. One who tends to feel that it is good to let His children toil in rowing against the wind to face a little opposition." ...

"I began to make some assumptions that are often dangerous to make—maybe you make the same. We begin to assume that, number one, He is not there. That is why He’s not responding. And then we calm down and understand that He is there; He is always there. Then the second assumption is if He is there, He must not be listening. And then again, in calmer times—He always listens. Well then the third assumption is He must not care. No—He’s there, He listens, He cares. Maybe the most dangerous assumption, the fourth assumption is I must not be worthy. Now that fourth assumption we are probably correct on. But when has that ever stopped Him from responding; we are as worthy as we can be. We must assume that we have not yet reached the fourth watch; and He is a fourth watch God."...

We worship a fourth watch God. So when the trials aren’t over and the blessings don’t come, don’t assume that He is not there, or He is not listening, or He doesn’t care, or you’re not worthy. Always assume you have not yet reached the fourth watch.
Now occasionally people have said to me, “I’m sure I’m past the fourth watch.” I was once talking with Sheri Dew and she said later, “Mike, I think I’m in the ninth watch—now what?” Well, when you feel that you have passed the fourth watch, then we need another letter.  We need another letter called Tight like a Dish. Now that is an expression I think you all will understand—‘Tight like a dish.’ It’s the description of the Jaredite barges.
Now I have a tendency, because I’m an English major, to edit almost everything I read. It’s just a habit I can’t get out of with whatever I read—textbooks, newspapers, novels, biographies—I’m always editing. I edit the scriptures as I’m reading them. There are actually times where I say, “Lord, I could fix this verse for you if you would like me to.” And one of the verses that I used to think I would edit is Ether chapter two, the seventeenth verse; the description of the Jaredite barges. Can you realize what word I might write if I were editing this? This is how it reads: 
“They were built after a manner that they were exceedingly tight, even that they would hold water like unto a dish”—that’s once. “And the bottom thereof was tight like unto a dish”—twice. “And the sides thereof were tight like unto a dish”—three times. “And the ends thereof were peaked; and the top thereof was tight like unto a dish; and the length thereof was the length of a tree; and the door thereof, when it was shut, was tight like unto a dish”—five times." 

  It offered me so much hope and perspective.  I spend most days thinking I'm far beyond the fourth watch, and hoping against hope that things don't get any worse, but tugging along, despite everything. Not that I have it so badly, and that many, many people don't have it much worse... it's out there. I/we have had our fair share though.

My point is, I feel like the fourth watch has finally come for our family. Things are starting to get a little easier. Still hard, but easIER... and I'll take what I can get.

Go read this talk. It's really lengthy, but it is SO SO good. You will be so glad you did, whether you are LDS or not.  In fact, I think I'm going to go read it again. It's been about a year.

So, I will be better at posting. Thanks for your understanding and patience, and for reading and putting up with my rants and quirks. I appreciate it more than you know :)

Peace out!

Friday, May 24, 2013

"I don't know how you do it..."

Heh! SUCKAS! There is no secret. I'm sorry to disappoint you.

I hear that A LOT. The answer... I just do what I have to, to get through... and then I look back and wonder how I did it! The same way a lot of people do.

Comparison... it's a killer. It kills my self-esteem regularly. I'm betting it kills yours too. Well, STOP. Let me be the voice of reason. 

Here is the thing, we do it because we have to. When you're faced with a situation, you can either curl up in the fetal position like a crack head in withdrawal, walk away, or keep on keepin' on.

Quiting isn't in me. 

And while I'm flattered that people seem to think I'm capable and handle my little brood, rather well, they see a quick glimpse of what really goes on. 

They FAIL to see the many, many, moments of Crazy and the constant effort to control my very hormonal and out of control emotions. They fail to see the ridiculous way that I often LOSE that control and yell and scream at my kids because they just "won't shut the freak up". I'm not even going to pretend that they never get cussed at... they do. I'm MOST CERTAINLY NOT proud of it. I don't like it. I beat myself up over it all day long. They don't deliberately make my life miserable in those awful parts of the day.... well, sometimes they do... very purposely misbehave and do the complete opposite of what I say or ask... over and over and over.

 They are just kids... it's my job to teach them how to control themselves.. and ya know what? I realized the a little while back... that they act JUST like me. 

For example, the other day Jeffrey did something {I don't remember what, that's how unimportant and petty it was} but it made me SO MAD. To avoid screaming at him and in front of the kids I stormed into my bedroom, closed the door and unleashed whatever thoughts were in my head and needed out, out into my bedroom. 

Just an hour before, Bailey was upset about something, and would not calm down. I sent her to her room. She stormed into her room, slammed the door, and continued to scream out a monologue of frustration. 

BIG FREAKING SHOCKER. I'm clearly lacking in the example department. Why it took me so long to figure out why they can't just act like normal kids... well, I can be dense sometimes. 

It is humbling, and makes me appreciate Jesus Christ and his immense sacrifice and atonement for my sins and shortcomings. That I can continually start new and repent and try harder every day to NOT be THAT mom... you know the white trash mom in the grocery store, that you wonder why she is being so harsh on her out of control kids.

I have my white trash moments regularly. Though, I have just as many moments that I impress myself and enable me to keep going. 

One of the tender mercies of parenting is the nature of children. They are loving, teachable, forgiving, and resilient. No wonder we are told in the scriptures to become as little children. 

I'm not sure what this rant is about any more. But all of you moms that think you can't do it, or couldn't handle it... yes, yes, you can. It make take time to get it right... and we all like to put on a facade, don't we. Stop comparing yourself. I saw a meme the other day that said: 

"The reason we struggle with insecurity, is because we compare our behind-the-scenes with everyone else's highlight reel."
   - Steve Furtick

So just stop it. It is what it is, and all you can do is try harder to be a little better. Stop comparing and have confidence in yourself and that Heavenly Father knows your abilities and potential. He typically has much better things in store for us than we would ever imagine for ourselves and he's always there waiting for us to ask for help. 

I'm not sure this even makes sense anymore... it's aaallllllll over the place. I'm a squirrel. Bailey gets that honestly, as well.

There. My rant for the month. Thanks for tuning in. 

Monday, April 29, 2013

Gramma Addie's Biscuits


Do you have a hankerin' for some delicious southern style biscuits?

Meet my Gramma Addie... and my daughter Addie... her namesake.



I looked for a while to find a recipe online that had biscuits like my Gramma Addie's. They are SO good and SO simple. Finally, I just asked her for the recipe.

Do me a favor though, try my way first, before you go trying to alter the recipe. I will tell you some of the things I've tried, but so far... sticking to the basic recipe is the best way.

These are the perfect biscuit {in my opinion}. Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. They have an awesome buttery flavor. I had to starting halving the recipe because I would sit and eat the entire batch in about 5 or 10 minutes... seriously. My post 4 baby body just can't afford that.
   h
Here is the recipe.... and i'll tell you the secret to awesomeness at the end.

Ingredients: 

2 C. Self- Rising Flour
1 Stick salted butter {preferably frozen, but refrigerated will work}
1 C. Milk

{seriously, that's it}

Directions:

Put your flour in a bowl, and then quarter the butter {slice it in half length wise on both sides} and slice mini pats of it into the bowl. Add your milk and use a fork or spoon to incorporate it. Dont over mix it, just until combined... you don't want it to be super doughy. Put heaping spoonfuls on a cookie sheet {NON GREASED} and put 'em in the oven on 400 for about 17 minutes. I actually cook mine for 19-20 minutes... the browner the bottom, the more flavor you get.

I have also found that a dark cookie sheet works best, for some reason.


Alterations I've tried to make
I've tried making them Gluten Free/Dairy Free. DON'T DO IT. They were awful.

I've tried grating the butter in for the sake of ease and mess free fingers.. they were fine but didn't seem as buttery.

I've tried throwing it in a food processer and pulsing, like Ree Drummond does... I wasn't a fan. It over incorporated it and they weren't buttery enough... it was also a big pain in the rear to clean out.

Some things I want to try
Adding some cheddar cheese, for a red lobster type biscuit {even though I'm not a fan of theirs particularly}

Adding some sugar and cinnamon.

I still want to attempt a GF/CF version... but I might need expert help.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Feta-Spinach Quiche

{aren't phone cameras handy?!}

Okay, okay. Why should you trust me when I have pretty much dropped off of the face of the planet lately, you ask? Well, Because this was scrum-diddley-umptious. That's why.

P.S. I'm sorry about disappearing... I can't even guarantee that it won't happen again... some of you might be glad, who knows? I have been SUPER overwhelmed with, well, life. Four tiny kids have tapped me out. I just can't seem to get it together. This week was much better, though, and things seem to be turning a corner, so we shall see.

Anyhow, I know you're just reading for the recipe... which I don't technically have... it's more like a guestimate. Here goes.

Spinach Feta Quiche

4-5 large eggs
1-1 1/4 C. milk {I used 2%, b/c it's what I had, but the creamier the better... in my opinion}
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/2 C. Feta Cheese {I used Athenos garlic and herb seasoned... it's my favorite}
~3/4 - 1 C. blanched and squeegeed spinach {This equals about 4 huge handfuls of non cooked spinach}
1 large tomato or a small one... whatev.

Cook your pie crust as directed on the package {unless your SUPER domestic and motivated and make your own...}

Beat the eggs, milk, salt, and pepper well. Go ahead and get out some frustrations... it's therapeutic. If you need a sound track, Michael Jackson's "Beat it" will suffice.

Chop your spinach and add it {kind of separating the pieces as you go}.

Sprinkle your Feta cheese... liberally... I used probably 3/4 of the package. {Can you really ever have too much Feta cheese? Yes, the same cheese that I was too chicken to even try until a few years ago... it was life changing}.

Thinly slice your tomato... mine was really big so I only did three slices, but a bunch of small ones would work well... anyhow, place the slices on top of the quiche, and then to make it pretty, add a few pieces of the uncooked spinach.

Place it in the oven on 375 for about an hour... or until it's done. There you go. Delish. Glad my experiment turned out!


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Simplify


So, I've been having a few better days lately. Partly due to an attitude adjustment that was much needed. The other parts are random insights I've discovered.

You see I am a very detail oriented person. Sometimes to a fault, in that, I lose sight of the main goal or point because I get caught up in the little things that truly don't matter.

What I'm slowly discovering, is that simplicity can be much more productive than extravagant planning.
Sometimes I find myself spending so much time planning for activities and chores and errands, that the window of opportunity closes... Time runs out and Im left with bored screaming kids, who've either watched tv all day or played the ipad all day... So i could plan. Planning that really accomplished nothing...because I get lost on Pinterest or Facebook.....and then forget what I originally needed to do.

Everyone ends up frustrated.

I've given it a rest. I've started just doing things. Even if the house sometimes gets messy or dinner isn't fixed {which is most of the time}... My kids are happier that they got to play with mom but eat cereal for dinner, than not getting any time with me and having a spotless house and cooked meal.
Now, I believe in balance.... It's something I struggle with. But, Im trying to stop overthinking everything so much... It's working.
When we need to get out of the house sometimes we go sit in the car and go for a drive... Have I mentioned yet how incredibly much I LOVE my new van. For real, I had no idea a vehicle could bring so much joy to a person. I look forward-ish to errands... Just so i can sit in my van. I L-O-V-E it.

Considering that I had a panic attack, sitting in the front seat, on the dealer lot...and that we almost didn't get it... Stupid, anxiety ....

Anyway. Simplify and just do it, not everything has to be over thunk... apparently.
The end.



They are sitting on my head... true story... but it entertained them, so hey, I took one for the team. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Gluten Free- Dairy Free Pizza...


You heard me.

Chebe GF pizza dough, Daiya mozzarella fake cheese, pizza sauce, spinach, pineapple.

DONE and DONE.

My poor kids were SO thrilled to have pizza. I'm about to be daring and taste a bite of fake pizza.....

Wait for it......

There you have it... It was good! I kid you not.... it tastes good! Who knew "fake" pizza could be so good!

Chebe, thank you for making a decent pizza crust!

I'm going to do cauliflower pizza next.... slightly more nutritious than tapioca, especially since the fake cheese is made mostly from tapioca.

I'm impressed... A- that I had the cahunas to try it, and B- that it tastes good.

So there you have it... use the products above, and you'll have decent, allergen friendly pizza. I'm not saying it tastes like regular pizza... but it's decent enough to eat... and probably good if you're used to eating that way.

Friday, February 8, 2013

New ABC's

{CAUTION: This is freaking long and complicated.}

For the past couple of years, we have been through evaluation after evaluation with my daughter Bailey. She's almost 6 years old. Her most recent evaluation was with Developmental Pediatrics, and I was nervous.

Part of me expected them to come back and say something along the lines of "She's a normal 5 year old, just a little hyperactive." Which means that I'm just a weakling and can't hack motherhood... cause this junk is HARD. Though part of me knew better. Intelligence is not the issue. She is smart as a whip!   Behavior, emotions, and attention/focusing are the issues... which sounds pretty basic, but IF ONLY you knew the behavior and emotional side of things, you'd realize it's not just your run of the mill problem.

Anyhow, I will not bore you with all the lengthy details, I've written them out and answered questions for months now, over and over, and I don't have it in me, to do it again right now. SO, I will give you a brief synopsis of what we found out.

Her ADOS {test for autism and autism spectrum disorders} score was a 1, which 0 being the lowest, that was quickly ruled out. They did A LOT of intelligence testing. Her verbal score on the IQ test was a 124; that's in the 95%. I jokingly asked if we were talking MENSA smart here, and he was very serious when he said, "well, it's pretty close". So basically, what this means, is my kid is a genius. YES! Okay, so that is her VERBAL score.

I'm not looking at the report right now, so I'm just going to explain the next part as best I can, because here is where things get fun/fuzzy/clarified/complicated... you get the point.

The other part of the IQ test {the non-verbal portion} she originally scored in the 40's {I think it was a 44 or something}. So, they did another test, she scored a  77, then they did one more similar test, and it was like an 81. These are very low scores. These scores are 2-3 standard deviations lower than her verbal score. This is apparently, a really big deal. He said he's never seen a gap that large, ever, and that he's tested thousands of kids of the years. Hence the reason for the 3 different tests to make sure it was correct. Our spunky girl sure likes to break the molds.


What this brought to the surface {thankfully!} is that she has NON VERBAL LEARNING DISORDER  Syndrome. I've only read a little bit about it but basically, it's neurological and affects the way the right hemisphere of the brain functions. She is excellent at processing information verbally, she talks so much because that's how she works through information. All things visual, she doesn't even pick up on. This is where the social issues come from... and explains why she doesn't pick up on any body language or social cues. Especially, when most communication is non-verbal. So most things visual, she just isn't  processing... also the reason why she her motor skills were so awful when she was younger. From the little bit I've read up on it, it's the opposite of dyslexia. I'm not sure how exactly... I've got some more researching and reading to do. The doctor was great {Dr. Walker}, he said to feel free to give him a call or email him with any questions we have, because well, it's a lot of information to take in at one time.

ADHD, is very apparent and seems to be real, especially given that there is a family history on both mine and Jeffrey's sides of the family. This is pretty obvious, anyone who knows my kinky haired girl, can vouch for this! And in fact, the past week or so, I've had the next diagnosis in my mind as well.

ODD {Oppositional Defiance Disorder}- This can sometimes go along with children who have ADD/ADHD. He said that given the reports from both me and her teacher, this is a valid diagnosis, but with everything I've reported, he thinks it could easily be a possible mood disorder and the frustration of  not being able to focus, and channel/control her emotions is manifesting itself as the ODD. So he recommended that we have her evaluated by a child psychologist, to either confirm or rule this out. Then we will know exactly what it is we need to treat and we can retest her IQ in 6-12 months and see if the gap has closed with the NVLD syndrome.

So, in a nutshell... here you have it. I'm sure there are tons I'm leaving out, but this was the bottom line. So, basically, we have more evaluations coming up, but she's been through a lot so I'm going to wait a little while.

Trevor {3} just had his evaluation and started OT {Occupational Therapy} this week. So that's two a week for him and right now, one for Bailey, though I'm going to look into some social support type groups that can help her build the social skills she needs. So, fun times. Here I was thinking things were going to slow down here soon, not likely.

Thanks for tuning in!
I will post more in depth about the ODD and NVLDS when I learn some more about it.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Chicken Nuggets, Anyone?

Okay, this is going to seem ridiculous to all of you out there... unless of course you have a child that has some sensory issues, then you feel me.

My son Trevor {3} is a VERY picky eater. Seriously, we finally got him to start eating meat that isn't chicken nuggets... but he eats it ALL with honey, and not without a fight most of the time.

I'm not kidding, it's gross. Hot dogs, ham {pink chicken}, chicken, pork {chicken}; all of it, eaten with honey.

Bleehhhhhh! I just gagged. Not really, but I wanted to.

Anyhow, Bailey is currently in with a child psychologist as part of her evaluation with Developmental Pediatrics. Because this is an odd time of day {dinner, bath and bedtime} and because today started off AWFULLY, and because I accomplished dang-near nothin', including dinner {nothing out of the ordinary, these days}, I took the kids to Chick-fil-a.

Typically the way this goes, is that we get the food, they guzzle their lemonade, inhale their fries, and it's an all out brawl to get them to eat their chicken nuggets {even with the honey}. Well, I had just gone in and grabbed honey, because they forgot to give it to me in the drive through, and I had no clue where I'd put it so I told Trevor to go ahead and start eating his chicken nuggets {grilled, because they are gluten free!} and I'd keep looking for the honey.

I expected to hear whaling and a mighty gnashing of teeth. But what I heard was this instead...








Did you hear THAT?


NOTHING!

Except for a few minutes later, when in his happy high pitched voice he squealed "Mommy! I'm eating my chicken without the honey!"

I ABOUT CRIED. You may laugh. You may think I'm kidding... I'm dead freaking serious!

I get choked up thinking about it.

So once again, expecting him to take FOR-EV-ER, as per usual, to eat all FOUR of them... I looked back to check on him.... they were GONE. G-O-N-E, GONE!

I was FLIPPING OUT inside.

But, wait, THERE'S MORE.

Are you ready?

This ridiculously picky boy of mine, who NEVER eats anything sans honey, wanted MORE CHICKEN WITHOUT HONEY!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I sure as heck took our happy butts back through the drive-thru and got that boy some more chicken. And do you know what happened?

HE. ATE. IT.

Pardon me, while I contain myself.... I'm flipping a dang lid over here!!!!

GAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHH! See my happy dance? Isn't the internet great? You don't want to see my happy dance.... heck, I don't even have a happy dance.

So, even though today was fairly crappy.... That made my MONTH.... and it's been an awfully rough few months.

Man, I am seriously, STOKED about this.

So, I met Jeffrey here at the office to trade him, so he could take the other three kids home, and I could bring Bailey in. When he opened Adeline's door there was a container with two more nuggets.

TREVOR ATE THOSE TOO.

Yup. That's 10 grilled chicken nuggets... all GONE, and all eaten WITHOUT honey.

HOLY FREAKIN' MOLY!

At the same time, it validates our concern that maybe he's beyond the textures and just working us over like a ... nope not appropriate..... but working us over, none the less.

I'm SO SO SO SO proud of him. And, so so so so so so so happy for me.

Tender mercies, y'all. Tender mercies.

19 months and 5 months


I am a HUGE slacker. I don't really mean that, actually. But poor Adeline just gets a handful of pictures every few months. I never even got around to getting her picture in her blessing dress, which was so pretty. In fact , I am going to put her in it and take a picture, soon, because you just need a picture of that. Nobody tell her when she is older, pretty please and thank you! I've also missed the past few months of Callen's pictures/ statistical updates, life has been a whirlwind.


Anyhow, I snapped these the other day. Callen is 19 months and Addie is  5 months.
{Ignore the crap all over the floor, please and thank you.}

{This is one of my favorite faces of his.}
Callen's weight percentile has dropped a little so they are a little concerned about that. His height is in around the 85-90th percentile. He LOVES this girl. And I LOOOOVE, this boy. Even though he can definitely be a stinker, he is SO smart, and sweet, and helpful. Case-and-point, I was up every hour or two with Addie the past two nights. This morning around 4am, Trevor woke up and started crying... because he Trevor and that's how he rolls. Then Bailey woke up and had thrown up {this happened two more times}. The second time she threw up she hollered across the house to let me know, and Callen woke up. He wasn't letting up on the whining, so I went in there to sing to him and put him back in bed. When I put him back in bed, he started whining before we even got to the crib, so I said "Hush. I'm not doing this. You are a big boy {I lied}, Mommy hasn't slept at all tonight, and I need to you go to sleep on Klausse for me {His huge stuffed giraffe, name courtesy of Aunt Erin}. That sweet boy said "hmm hmm" and when I put him in his crib... not another sound, he went back to sleep.  One of the OH, SO MANY, reasons I love this boy... and that he may or may not have favorite status.

I will neither confirm, nor deny said allegations.



 {I did not photoshop her eyes, they are just that pretty.}

Adeline is in the 20th percentile for weight {13.6 lbs} and the 85th for height {23.5 in.}. This little miss, is a very happy baby baby {except for the past few days, teething} and she just brightens my day and reduces the tension. She has QUITE the temper and knows what she wants. She prefers to be around people and not left alone. She is a rolly polly- back to front and front to back. We love her dearly. Callen is enamored with her. He loves her so much and always wants to hold and snuggle and hit her. He hits everyone, don't be alarmed. The other kids love her too, but they aren't as interested as he is, for some reason.

Anyhow, there you are. Now I'm less of a horrible mother, because I did post pictures. YAY!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Navigating to no mans land...

I get bored really easily. I've been reorganizing and rearranging my house, little by little, because you know... I get in the middle of something and then every one of my babies needs something for the rest of the day and then I'm left with a huge mess. Then when they are bed, I'm so exhausted I sit in a catatonic state on the couch and can't will myself to get up off my big mama booty and do anything.

Well, I decided to make some changes to the blog, and because I'm BRILLIANT... seriously, smartest person you know, I copied and pasted the codes and links for my tabs, and once again, because I'm just so dang smart, I got caught up in something else and forgot to paste and save. AWESOME, I know.

So the pages to the right of the screen, are literally a road to no where. Please bear with me while I make changes to the blog. Sorry for the inconvenience and stupidity, my brain isn't what it used to be.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Lifesaver tips when kids are sick!


This blog comes to you much more tardy than I'd anticipated.  I was trying to reorganize it in my word processor so you actually could understand what the heck I’m saying.... and then I accidentally closed the application without saving it. Brilliant, I know. I’m smart like that. 

Late- it's how I roll. Though, I must say, I've gotten better over the years. It has only taken 4 kids, adjusting to sleep deprivation {I'm like freakin' Batman now!}, and setting every clock in the house at least 5-15 minutes fast, but none of them the same amount of time {that way I don't know which one is right and I haul tail out'a here!... fast and furious style}.

I diverge. 

First, let me apologize for my lack of posts as of late. You see, my kids have all been sick since about Halloween. You heard me. We've been like the walking dead up in here. The walking dead and Old Faithful... spews constantly. Sorry ‘bout that visual. You don't even want to know how much money I've spent on copays and OTC remedies.... I could have bought a new camera lens... to replace the one Trevor just broke... {that I had just replaced from Callen breaking}. So I’m sorry about my crappy pictures too.

There has been a week or two in between that we weren't sick. There has been a whole lotta' puking going on over here, among other things. I'm not sure what the deal is. It might just be that as some of them start getting well, another catches it, and then gives it back before we are well. It might be something else entirely. I have no clue, but I'm tired of it. So we had blood tests on everyone, stool samples collected {fun for me, NOT}, and GI consults coming up. 

A few tricks I've figured out, though to ease the midnight rush to clean up the nasties:



Here is a list of things that you should keep on hand. 
  •      A box of latex gloves {trust me on this one, just do it}- to save your hands from cracking and bleeding because you are a germophobe and have to wash them a billion times.
  • Clorox/Lysol wipes
  • XXL bed pads- I put these underneath them in bed, but over the sheet... also if they are laying on the couch or whatnot throughout the day... really is a lifesaver and eliminates washing linens every single time. Don't put the bed pads in the crib, they'll just play with it... and/or suffocate...BAM, problem solved... no more puking. JUST KIDDING!!
  • A bin or caddy to put everything in one easy-peasy location {I keep it in the bathroom closet. I got mine at the Dollar Tree.
  • Plastic shopping bags- to transport to the laundry room, and eliminate drips.
  • Trash bags- I put their pillows in the trash bag and then put the pillowcase on. When you wrap the pillow in the trash bag, put the bag strings in first.
  • Surgical masks- so you dont have to hold your breath. Put a drop of essential oil on it and there you go!    
  • Hair ties- for little girls, to minimize clean up and keep their hair back.
  • Peppermint oil {this is multi functional, make sure it's pure}. Put a few drops on a paper towel and by the kids' head {or if you have a diffuser}; it helps with the nasty smell, but also helps reduce nausea. You could also put a drop in their water and that would help as well. SO many uses for this stuff. You can also put a drop in a surgical mask and pretend you're an ER doctor...and use the word STAT. 
{If you are like me, and gag from the smell, your experience is usually something like this: Take a huge breath, run in and do as much as you can and then run out gasping and gagging because you accidentally breathed, take a few breaths of non-pukified air... then repeat until the job is done.}

       {note: it helps to make sure the kitchen sink is clear so it's easy to spray the puke into the disposal before you put it in your washing machine}

Set everything out ahead of time,  that you think you'll need in the middle of the night, the things above as well as these:

  • Fresh linens {tuck everything into the folded blanket and its easier to grab and go}
  • Disinfectant-whatever disinfecting product you like {lysol wipes, lemon essential oil, OnGuard essential oil blend}
  • A Full change of clothes, undies and all {our kids share rooms, so this helps keep the ruckus down}
  • A  sippy cup of water/gatorade/Pedialyte... pick your poison... whiskey, maybe {ew, just kidding} for them to keep by the bed.
  • A bowl for them to keep by their heads in case the urge hits and they can’t make it to the toilet {use the bed pads as back up underneath them in bed}.
  • Minimize the amount of stuffed animals in the bed/crib.  {Callen sleeps with 5 or 6 EASILY, not   kidding} so I limited him to one or two.

I set mine out on the couch so I could grab it on the way to the kids’ rooms or bathroom, wherever they were.

I’m sure there were other thing I figured out that I could share, but even though we are well again, for now, my brain is not well, and I can’t remember. So, I hope this helps in your time of need, but mostly I hope this crap bypasses your family. 

Take Luck! {Name that comedian}

Monday, January 14, 2013

Some of my favorite shots from 2012!

I've been trying to put some pictures up around my barren-walled home and as I was searching for pictures to print, I started reminiscing as I found some old, and not so old pictures. Here are a few of my favorites from the past year. 


My cousin and her beautiful family gave me the honor of taking their holiday portraits! 

Nanny & Adeline meet for the first time. 

My sweet niece Eleanor. 

One of Bailey's VPK friends, playing with a balloon, it was whimsical.

My sweet nephew, Aaron. Struck a pose, so unexpectedly. I didn't even have time to focus, but it came out great! Thank you Autofocus! 

I LOVE this shot of genuine sisterly love.

Undies and a beer hat, ha ha! 'nough said!

My sweet niece Mackenzie. 

I LOVE this boy. He has the sweetest, most enthusiastic spirit. Seriously... he warms my heart. We were singing "Popcorn Popping".

I love a good foot shot, especially when they are my baby's.