Tummy Aches Return

In the past, we’d dealt with tummy troubles for our eldest.  Now it’s my middle child’s turn.

E has been having tummy issues for months, so after discovered the pattern of right after every meal, we cut everything out and went vegan and gluten-free for a few weeks.  We slowly added everything back, and found the culprit: dairy.

So we invested in the lactose pills for her to take at meal times, and started giving her pro-biotic pills daily.  As long as she takes her meds, she’s fine.  For the most part, the school has been accommodating to her, giving her dairy free options.  But in the case of snacks from classmates, she’s often needing reminders to take a pill before she eats it – even dairy in baked goods upset her tummy.

I’ve been researching natural ways to help her deal with it, even been given some seemingly contradictory advice.  But the consensus is to just ELIMINATE all dairy for 3 to 6 months, then introduce it.

That means soy/almond milk alternatives, which can be pretty pricy.  She was mostly upset about not being able to have sour cream on her tacos… her favorite part.

Any other Lactose Free families out there with suggestions for me?

First Published 1/14/14

Snomageddon 2014

Well, 2014 has certainly been fun!

Living in the midwest, particularly our part of the midwest, snow can be hit or miss.  We always seem to be on the cusp of any snow storm that has potential to close the county.

Not this year!

Winter Storms Henry and Ion shut us in, even giving the kids a few extra days off of school from Christmas/Winter break.  The hardest part is dealing with the temperatures: The kids WANT to go play in the now, but it’s -7 degrees at 1:00 in the afternoon: not really happening.

All bundled up for 5 minutes of play

Snow has kept them in for the most of the past 2 weeks, and they’re getting stir crazy in the house.  Wasn’t it just a couple of weeks ago when we could go for a walk?  Now we can’t even step outside the house.

It was so cold today that we tried the whole “toss boiling water into the air to make snow” thing.  Yup, it totally worked.  And it was awesome!

The girls were able to get ahead on their bible quizzing verses, and our son is enjoying all the toys he got for Christmas. But they really miss their friends and having someone other than their sibling to play with.

My husband had shown them the infamous “Bread and Milk” YouTube videos, and our theatrical children wanted to make their own.

And so, we did.

 

We were in fact running low on milk, but the Level 3 Emergency that we were under (making it illegal to be on the roads) was going to be lifted soon.

Regardless, the kids had a blast making this, and I crack up every time I see my son on the screen.

Body Images

Being a woman is tough… it’s absolutely awful at times.

Women can be mean and judgmental… don’t deny it, we try not to be, but we all make at least one mean comment in our lives.

There aren’t many women who portray themselves as the positive role model that I’d want for my daughters.  So that’s who I’ve got to become.  But who do I look up to?

So many women look to Hollywood as to what they should be like.  Hollywood is a lie.  When I read this recent article about Jennifer Lawrence and airbrushing, I was sick to my stomach.  She’s gorgeous, and even with the makeup on, they still felt the need to paint her face more and make her look skinnier.  It made me sad, and yet I was glad to know she didn’t appreciate it either.

I’m the first to admit that I’m fairly plain… I hate make-up, but use it for “special occasions.”  I had a hormone imbalance that caused acne in my adulthood that no product would remedy.  I don’t have the money to get my hair done every other month, and my mousey brown hair is dull.  I have health issues preventing me from being as athletic as I use to be; I’ll never have the skinny chicken legs I’d always wished I had. I’ve got stretch marks and hips from carrying 3, now 4, babies.

And you know what, I’m OK with that.  Will I be parading around in a 2-piece bathing suit?  No.  I’m too modest for that, my body is mine and it’s private.  I’m not going to be ashamed of the body and face that I have, but I’m going to take care of it.  Will I go on crazy diets to be a size 2?  Probably not.  But I’ll eat right, drink my protein shakes and take my kids for walks and on bike rides.

While I do all these things, to show my girls who a real woman is, I can’t be the only one.  I want their teachers, their baby sitters, their friends’ moms, and their friends, to also be confident in themselves.  While I show them daily who I am in my, my husband’s, and in God’s eyes, I pray that the other women in their lives will also look away from what ‘popular culture’ is telling them is appropriate, and look to God for what is right.

We are made in His image, and we should take care of the body we’ve been given, but we shouldn’t be looking to gross exaggerations of what some Hollywood photographer thinks a beautiful woman is.

Me, all dolled up

Me, on a normal day

First Published 12/20/13

Surviving Our First Bible Quizzing Season

After 9 months, countless hours of study time, 9 state and regional tournaments, and finally JBQ Nationals, the Junior Bible Quiz (beginner division) season is over.

My Bella Samantha, who only just turned 8, accomplished more this year than many thought she could.  Did she win a lot of individual trophies – no.  Did that disappoint her – yes.

But she’s taking away so much more than a few pieces of hardware from this season:

First,  she memorized 191 verses, 13 chapters of Psalms.  How many kid, let alone adults, can say that?

Probably the most important thing that came out of it all: in February, she was filled with the Spirit of God, and in March Baptized in His Name!

I could stop listing right now, and that would be enough for me.

This year, she made new friends.  To many, she may seem outgoing, but she’s really quite shy.  It was nice to see her making friends at the National competition, knowing they’d probably compete against each other.  And when it was done, they hugged and said “See you next year”.

I watched her confidence grow this year.  Not to say that she still didn’t get shaken and made mistakes, but she’s learning to just move past it.

We watcher her handle loss like a champ.  Whether a horrible landslide defeat or a tight match, she made me so proud to watch her walk away with a smile and be thankful for the questions she did answer, or learn from the ones she got wrong.

We saw her become a much better student, understanding concepts quicker than before.  Even testing into a 5th grade level in one area of study, while she’s only in the 2nd grade.

I’m so thankful for the coaches, Gary, Rachel and Naomi, for teaching and encouraging her.  To her teammates Ashlyn and LJ, the Junior Team Jadon and Caelyn and all the families: it’s been a great season, and we were all truly blessed.

Only 3 months until next season starts, she already wants to get started studying.  I told her to enjoy the rest of her summer!  Next season Emmalee will be on her team, and new challenges will be faced.  Emma is even more shy than Samantha, but boy is she a little spitfire…

Team Toledo Juniors and Beginners

 

Team Toledo Beginners, 13th Place JBQ Nationals

Go Cart Fun for the team and families

The Season is OVER!  Time to Celebrate!

 

Tummy aches that won’t go away…

“Mommy… I have a tummy ache” is heard more in my house that anything else.

It’s tough, because there really isn’t ANYTHING that I can do.

S has been dealing with it for almost a year.  We honestly thought she was making it up, because she didn’t exhibit any tummy troubles.  We thought it was because she was nervous about something, or that she was having problems at school, or just wanted a bit more attention.

J has been dealing with it since Christmas.  We all got the flu around the same time, but both J and Steve had it the longest.  Steve was diagnosed with colitis, and even though the doctor didn’t say that’s what J had, the symptoms were the same, so we’ll run with it.  And we knew that it wasn’t just going to go away over night, it would be a small battle.  So every few weeks, a fever would pop up, keeping him home from school, and his tummy would hurt.

S was different.  The pediatrician told us to cut out dairy for a week, she assumed it was Lactose intolerance.  So we tried it.  Nothing changed.  We tried gluten-free, and it improved a bit, but the minute she had a PB&J, the tummy aches were back.  It was hard for me because I knew what she needed, but it seemed that everyone around me thought I was making it up.

Then her behavior started to change, she started losing her focus.  She was still the same girl, but easily distracted.  She couldn’t stay focused at her soccer games, and couldn’t run because her tummy hurt.  I knew it was time to put my foot down, and this time Steve was 110% behind me.

So we cut it ALL out: no dairy, no gluten, no sugar, no artificial colors.  All she’s eating is vegetables, rice, beans and meat.  It’s starting to get a little boring for lunches – salad every day.   And you can only prepare chicken so many ways….  But within a week, she began to improve.  She could sit and do her homework without being easily distracted; she was sleeping better and not waking up tired; she was able to memorize her piano recital songs; she’s running and riding her bike faster too.

We occasionally ride bikes to school.  It’s about a mile and a half, and was taking us 15-20 minutes to get to school.  I’d have to slow down and wait for her.  Last week, we did it in 10 minutes, and I had to keep up with her!

The thing that I’m finding to be the hard part is keeping her from eating the foods she shouldn’t when I’m not around.  Even if I remind her right before I leave her, and remind the adults, she’s still a kid and doesn’t want to be excluded.  I was so proud of her last week; there was a birthday party in her class and they passed out cupcakes.  She told her teacher that she wasn’t allowed to have it, so the teacher put it in a plastic bag and she brought it home to share.  I guess I’m going to need to find some vegan/gluten-free snacks for her to keep at school in situations like that for next year.  Probably for birthday parties and other events, too…

I’ve heard many people scoff the ideas that what we it doesn’t really change our behaviors or how we feel.  But you know what, give it a try for yourself.  Take two weeks and eat nothing but what The Good Lord gave us from the earth, and see how you feel.

When It Comes To This – DO NOT Mess With Me

I hate bullies, ‘mean girls’, cliques and all that punk kid stupidity.  I don’t like to be negative, it doesn’t get anyone anywhere, but this is one thing that I just WILL NOT tolerate.

I recently posted on my Facebook profile that I’m not a good person to piss off… if I offended anyone, I apologize.  But when a friend jokingly said “good to know”, I elaborated a bit.  I felt the urge to continue on.

While out for a walk with my family, some High School students were out selling something in support of their sports team.  The last few years, we’ve opted to not purchase anything from this team in support of another that I’m more passionate about.  However last year, the team members didn’t like that myself and a few neighbors did not buy anything from them and they chose to vandalize our houses and cars.

So after we catch you doing that to us last year, do you really think I’m going to by something from you this year?  And you think that when I tell you “no not right now” it’s appropriate to use very foul language around me and my 3 small children?  I think not.

I’m a mom, before anything else, I am a mom.  And I love my community and want to support my local athletic teams.  But if you are going to write foul words on our cars and vandalize our yards and then call my neighbors and I a B—- in front of our kids – you’ve got another thing coming!

I’ve expressed my distaste for anything of this nature to my kids.  Joking with a neighbor I swore I’d lock my kid in their room every night until they moved out if I ever caught them TPing someone’s house.  My husband use to think it was funny until it happened to us and he was the one who had to clean it all up.

I don’t know why people think it’s ok or funny.  I don’t understand why some parents encourage and even drive the getaway car.  I’ve work VERY hard to buy a house and a car and to have you write dirty words on it and TP my house and to shove things into my mailbox… just because I didn’t buy your $10 booster card?

Kids today just don’t seem to have any respect for things or people.  Wait until you get into the ‘real world’.  When you have worked your but off to buy a house that’s just right for your family, and you get the first brand new car you’ve ever had… Then tell me how it feels to have to wash every foul word in the dictionary off your car and driveway before your 6-year-old starts sounding them out…