Tuesday, January 27, 2009

25 Random Things About Me

So I got tagged on my Facebook and wrote out these 25 random things about me. I thought I would just copy and paste it here because I think it is pretty funny.

1. I want to qualify for the Boston Marathon under 3:40:59.

2. When I lived in Washington I never went to Canada, I did not go until I was visiting from California.

3. I did not have a middle name and always wanted it to be Joy, but my brother and sister would make fun of me. I have since changed my middle name to my maiden name.

4. I sewed my prom dress while being punished for truancy at In-House suspension at high school my senior year.

5. I got my degree in Mathematics at Cal Poly SLO.

6. I drove a jeep from Cabo San Lucas up to Todos Santos across to La Paz and back down with only my trusty sidekick Michelle....what were we thinking?

7. I have owned five Volkswagen's and still have three of them

8. I have never traveled past Colorado east.

9. I have gone to Club 33 in Disneyland almost every year if not more since 1987.

10. I still have my stuffed animal Racky the raccoon that I got when I was about four.

11. I had both of my kids naturally without any drugs and I would do it again...not that I am planning to but I would.

12. I have been in least six car accidents that I can remember and only two were my fault by a 60% margin.

13. I have moved 20 times.

14. I know the four compartments of a cow's stomach -rumen, reticulum, omasum, and abomasum. I was a nanny for two 4-H girls.

15. I am allergic to 90 out of 100 allergens most severe are split peas and bees. Less severe grass, cats, dogs, beef, and chocolate, yes chocolate.

16. Sixteen is my favorite number.

17. Eric and I did not kiss until we were engaged.

18. I gave my fake i.d. to a cop and he believed it.

19. My ring size is 5.75

20. I got my nose pierced twice, once on purpose and the second time on accident. He was trying out my plug for work and when he put the ring back in he re-pierced the inside with a flat edge. OUCH! It hurt worse then the first time.

21. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers was my first concert when I was a freshman in high school.

22.My sister and I snuck into The Ritz Carlton on Maui and used the workout facility and swimming pool.

23. My A.K.A. is Suzi because no one can ever pronounce Keilah. Starbucks always calls me Killa.

24. I do not like sad animal movies. Where the Red Fern Grows and Old Yeller, I will never see them.

25. When I used to order my breakfast I would tell the server "I'll have the two eggs any style poached"

Hope you enjoyed them I know I could elaborate on any of them with a huge story. Maybe later this week I will choice one and do that. :)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Orthopedic Appointment

Today Enzo had his six month orthopedic check up. I tried to reschedule for another time because I am not feeling well. However when the next available appointment was in April and not even with his doctor I decided to just go and deal with it. My mom stayed home from work and helped me with the kids today so she came to the appointment. The appt. was at 1:00, we left at 11:45 in order to get there first. What happens is there are about five to seven other people with a 1:00 appt. too. So first come first serve for the appt. We got there at 12:20 and of course Enzo fell asleep ten minutes before we got there. Luckily, my mom stayed with the kids and I checked him in. I got checked in and got a pager to let me know when they were ready for me. We got in there right at 1:00 and the resident doctor came in at five after, that is the fastest we have ever been seen! He checked Enzo's legs and arms for range of motion.

With Spastic Hemiparesis Cerebral Palsy when they go through a growth spurt their bones grow but their muscles tend to tighten up even more. It is really important for me to stretch his effected side daily for at least one minute. Let me tell you he does not like it at all and he resists about 90% of the time.

So the fact that I am stretching him it really helps with his range of motion. It definitely showed when the doctor measured him. They lay him down with socks and shoes off and flex his foot up toward his shin. The degree they can flex it up is positive and he score a 30 on both feet! That may not mean a lot to you but it does to me. Every month he has a Physical therapist appt. to check and make sure he is staying on track and they measure his range of motion then. The beginning of this month he measured 20 on his left (effected side) and 25 on his right. So I was extremely happy that he measured 30 on both, that is huge. Praise the Lord.

The doctor was great and said that Enzo looked super. He asked a few questions and said thank you and we will see you in another six months to check up again. The appt. was no longer than seven minutes if that. I am always happy to hear just that, see you in six months.

Enzo is doing great and it is always good to hear it from a professional.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Got My Hair Did

My girlfriend cuts hair at Vidal Sassoon and I was her hair model.
Which means free haircut!
I was also a color hair model for another girl
Which means free color!

I love it!

The back is way cool

Monday, January 19, 2009

Felt Food

For Christmas I found this play stove for FREE!
In almost perfect condition

So I made felt food for the kids to play kitchen and it was fun for me to make and get crafty.

Now I purposely made it oval because when I make pizza from scratch it is in an oval shape

Bow Tie Pasta

Banana and grapes
and yes the banana comes out of the peel

Cucumber slices
I even sewed little seeds in the middle

Mushrooms and lettuce

More mushrooms

Eggs- Kira does not like scrambled eggs anymore, she likes "Yellow and whites eggs"
I love how she comes up with her own way of saying things

Finally bread, lettuce, tomato and cheese slices
Nothing like a good veggie sandwich
(I just have not made any lunch meat yet :)

Here is the cook top with some of the food cooking away

I had fun making all of it and can not wait to make more.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Child Psychology 101

In the past month we have noticed that Kira is having separation anxiety but in a weird way. She is frantic and in complete panic if someone leaves without giving her a hug or Eskimo kiss (rubbing noses) It has got worse and even if we do give hugs and kisses she freaks out when we drive off and screams. I remember when she initially went through separation anxiety about two years ago and this is way worse. My mother in law was here this last week (she brought down the trundle bed for the kids! That's a whole other post) She noticed that it seemed more panic than anxious. She thought that it might be because of the passing of her Uncle Roc. Hello! I did not think that she would even have any issues with his death. I mean I guess she would but maybe, but I did not know how it would present itself.
So I talked to my friend who is a family and marriage counselor. I asked her what I could do to talk to her and get her to express her feelings. She said the best way to get her to express her feelings is to draw. So I had her draw times when she was sad, happy, mad/grumpy, fun playtime and then I asked if she wanted to draw a picture for Uncle Roc.

This is when she was grumpy because Enzo took her play mirror and she even drew her mirror at the bottom right corner. Notice her hair is frazzled and out to the side

A fun time at the park with her cousin Jayden

This is when she was sad

This is when she was happy as a little baby

This is how she felt about Uncle Roc. She wanted to use the pencil and she started by writing her name at the top. She proceed to talk and express herself as she wrote letters all around her picture of Roc. Luckily I had a pen and wrote down what she said. I never knew she had such deep feelings about all of this. Here is what she said:

You is dead
I love you the most Uncle Roc
I really love you
You make my heart feel kind of happy
You miss me the most
You make me feel happy
I wrote a song for you
This is happy
Looking for you
I am happy I miss you the most
He also has him beard
I have to draw him beard
Uncle Roc just died

Who knew such meaningful thoughts could come from a three and a half year old.
Afterwards I asked how she felt about sharing and she said she was happy and thanked me for letting her draw. I am so thankful that she was able to express her thoughts. Praise the Lord!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Going Gluten Free

I have talked to so many people about being gluten free in the last few days that I thought I would share how and why we became GF. I wrote awhile back about Mary-Ann Shearer and her book Perfect Health the Natural Way. She is an amazing speaker and has not had a medical bill due to ill health in over twenty years! She is from South Africa and has visited a couple times here in California and I have seen her speak many times. I love her book and refer to it often.

The first time I saw her I asked her about Kira's bumps on her cheeks and back of her arms. They were like little pimples, my doctor had given me some lotion and said it was baby acne. I knew it was not baby acne, as she was two years old! Mary-Ann told me it was a sign of gluten intolerance. Which made sense because she did not have them until she started eating wheat. I also knew she always had issues with bowel movements and was not regular. No matter the amount of fresh fruit and veggies, she always was constipated.

So I decided to reduce her intake of gluten. I bought rice noodles, Ezekiel bread, because she did not like the rice bread and I don't blame her. It was hard, everything we ate had gluten. Crackers, cereal, pancakes, waffles, bread, noodles all had gluten. I did not even research sauces or other food labels at this point. I tried my best to keep her happy but also not to be anal. I noticed a little change in her skin and bowel movements but nothing miraculous. Granted she had been eating gluten for almost two years, it was going to take some time to get out of her system and for her body to repair.

When we went to NZ to visit my sister in April it was bad. It was so expensive to buy anything GF. So we ate regular products and the bumps on her body increased to cover her back, legs and belly. I felt so bad. This was in one week! The second week we bought a bread mix and I tried to really limit her gluten intake and it helped a little. However all of the repairing her body had did in the past few months were totally ruined to one week of gluten. She was constipated the rest of the trip and for the next few weeks. I was so bummed and felt like I had let her down. We got back on track but were still not totally GF.

In July, we discovered Enzo had Celiac Disease, which is an auto immune disorder. Since then we have been GF totally. How did I start? It is very easy to get caught up with all the things you can not have and go and buy the GF equivalent. Let me just tell you GF products are not cheap. Your best bet is to buy a few GF products that you can not live without and then just substitute for naturally GF products.

It is so overwhelming when you first think about changing your diet, so try to think of what you can eat rather than what you can not. Here is a list of items I buy and I will follow it with menu ideas to give you and idea of what we eat.

Gluten Free Products (meaning they are substitutes)
Rice bread (TJ)
Rice tortillas (TJ)
Waffles (TJ)
Pancakes (TJ)
Cornbread Mix
Mac n Cheese (TJ)(I have to have this for those nights I just do not want to cook )
Rice Noodles (TJ)

Menu Ideas
*Fruit smoothie- oj, pineapple, strawberries and cashews
*Eggs and Rice toast
*Waffles or Pancakes and fresh fruit

*Dried fruit and Raw nuts
*Fresh fruit
*Veggie Chips (TJ)
*Gorilla Munch (TJ)
*Savory Rice Crackers (TJ)

* Quesadilla with corn tortillas
*Leftover Rice Noodles with tomato sauce
*Pizza on rice bread
You take the rice bread and spread tomato paste mixed with oregano and garlic and top with mozzarella, put it in the oven on broil for five to seven minutes or until cheese is melted.
*Wrap sandwiches/pinwheels,
I either use corn tortillas with cream cheese and lunch meat or rice tortillas. It works great if the tortillas are warm and then they won't tear or break when you roll them.

I have found dinner is a little harder because I am feeding my husband and parents who are not GF and I want to make sure it taste as close to the real thing.

*Stir fry-use Braggs Amino Acid instead of soy sauce
*Tacos- corn tortillas and my own seasoning of cumin, chili powder, garlic, S&P on ground turkey
*BBQ chicken pizza- make my own crust and BBQ sauce
*Baked potatoes and salad- make my own salad dressing
*Veggie Burgers and Fries-make your own patties or just use grilled veggies and make sure fries are not flour coated or make your oven
*Pasta-use rice noodles and make tomato basil or use a jar sauce that is GF
*Homemade soups and french bread

These are just the basics are there to show you can have a normal menu that is appetizing to both GF and not GF

The major concept I really had to make sure about not consuming gluten was reading the labels. I think this is the hardest part, when you are at a party or in-laws and I am reading the label. I do not want to be "That Girl" worried about ingredients so I always explain myself if I get one of those looks and joke that I could care less about the fat content and laugh.

The following are some ingredients that you may not think about
glucose syrup,
modified food starch,
malt flavoring
Unidentified starch
soy sauce
bbq sauce
teriyaki sauce
luncheon meat
sauces and gravies
imitation seafood or bacon
communion wafers
liquor* some are okay but you should research it

I would check out celiac.org or celiac.com for more detailed lists of do's and don'ts.
Lastly, I hope this has been encouraging not overwhelming. It is a lot to take on. It has been a process and it is continuing to be a process. I realized that with the kids to make food as enjoyable and fun as possible. Because I bake a lot of our breads/pizzas I make sure to include the kids in the process. I measure out flours and they dump them in and help mix. They love it.

If we have a birthday party, I try to find out what is going to be served and bring the necessary GF equivalent and in those cases I do buy the GF equivalent because I do not want the kids to miss out on a cupcake or hot dog because of their issues. I want them to feel different as little as possible.

We splurge and go to In n Out burger because their fries are in oil that only fries potatoes and we do protein style burgers. They love it and it is a treat, not a daily or even weekly occurrence. You have to be proactive living this way. You can not go to a restaurant and assume their fries are GF or the the sauce is GF. You have to ask and let them know you have a serious disease or serious allergy. I have found that when I explain how it makes my son sick the food server is a little more patient and understanding. Having been a food server for the last fifteen years, I am well aware of how to ask. Be polite and appreciative. Call before hand or research it on the web. When my girlfriends and I had a Christmas party at Cheesecake Factory I was a little worried about the menu. They were so great, I called before to corporate and to the restaurant itself. Both replies were fantastic and offered to talk to me when I came in and to make myself known to the management and they would help me out. It was great I was able to order and share items with everyone with out changing major details of the food. They even offered a Hot Fudge Sundae instead of Cheesecake and man was it good!

Okay enough rambling, I hope this helps and please feel free to leave comments, questions or tips you have found.

Friday, January 9, 2009


Matthew 7:7-9
Ask, Seek, Knock
7"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

9"Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? 10Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? 11If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! 12So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

I read this on "Our Daily Bread" reading for today and was definitely comforted. There are so many things going on in our lives right now that are so uncertain as well as the things in this world too. It is great when you turn to God's word in obedience and He has a little jewel for you. I am so grateful to know Him and have confidence in Him during these trials. I know He will provide in every way for us. I know we will be fine and we will end up okay. But I admit that the journey there scares me. I know I am going to be stretched and that I will have to rely on God...wait aren't I already supposed to be doing that. Oh yeah, it is funny how we do our day to day routine and everything is fine. We forget how much we need God because things are good. Then one day you find out your six month old has Cerebral Palsy and what does that mean. I know that through the beginning of that season I was freaked out because of the unknown but I knew he would be okay at the same time. Hind sight I am so grateful that I clung to God and His promises in His Word.

So I guess what I am rambling on about is that I know I have to cling to Him in this time and want to encourage everyone else who is going through something right now to cling to Him too. Whether it is a lose of a job, house, family member, bankruptcy, health issues or whatever you are going through, I know God has a plan for you. I mean just look at the mess this country is in, we need hope, not in a person, a credit card, job or house, but hope in a Divine Creator that created us to be with Him.

May you have a blessed weekend and have some time alone with your Creator getting to know Him :)

I hope you have

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Kids Say The Darnest Things

This is off the top of my head some of the funny things Kira has been saying lately

"Enzo, this is not a playground, it is a parking lot"

"I love you mom and you do too"

"Don't you sass me"

As I dipped my french fry in our milkshake, she said

"Mom, that is a great idea!"

"Good job with your potty twaining bubba"

As she was eating her bbq drumstick tonight,

"Mmmm mmm this is good mom, mmm, mmm"

She sounded like Bill Murray in "What About Bob"

The radio starts playing Sly and the Family Stone "Thank You"
"Mom, this is my song!"

Mom, let's go to Open and Shut...

(singing) that's what a hamburgers all about.

She is too much sometimes, I love it.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Potty Training!!

Okay it is official, Enzo is potty trained. What does that mean? How did I do this? Yes, he is only twenty one months old , but I have heard horror stories of boys and potty training so I just went for it and never looked back.

I started on last Monday and took all diapers out of our room and living area and bagged them up for my sister in law. I had bought choneys(underwear) for Enzo's stocking and got those out. I put him in choneys.

I set the timer for every ten minutes. When it beeped, I asked him if he was dry and had him pat his undierwear to feel he was dry. For everytime he was dry he got a treat. Now with Kira she was easy, she loved the plantain chips from TJ's and they were salty so she drank alot too and was peeing up a storm. Enzo was a little bit trickier.

He did not like the same treat over and over, so I would offer veggie chips, star stickers to put on his "Staying Dry Chart, or m&m minis. I know, I am not a big fan of giving the kids candy, but there was a greater good at stake here folks. I know you are suppose to up the liquid consumption. However, I did not give him too much juice because were are at my mom's house and I did not want tons of pee stains on her carpet. I had him sit on his rug that we do activities and that helped with accidents.

At night time he was in underwear...that is right no pull-ups, training pants or diaper. I did not want to have to deal with a potty trained kid that wets the bed. I reduced his nursing time at bed time to about a minute or two on each side and let him fall asleep on his own. I would get him up around two hours after he fell asleep and take him to the potty. He was great and would go. I think because he was relaxed he did not fight it. He has been dry the last three nights in a row and five out of the last seven nights! He has been sleeping longer hours because I am only nursing him for a little bit when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

The only thing he has yet to do is go poop in the potty and realize when he has to go. I am still putting him on the potty every two hours or so. If I think back to Kira, she was the almost the same. It took about a week for her to realize she had to go and told me and then about another week for her to go on her own. She was so cute she would call having to go potty, poot, I think it was a combo of poop and potty. The only accidents he has had for the past two days have been when he poops. I am so ecstatic and so proud of what a big boy he is. I was worried on day two that he was never going to get it, but that night he started going in the potty.

Anyways, that is what I have been up to this past week. I knew if I did not do it this past week it was going to be a while. I had to stay home and be with him constantly for three days straight. Every time I left the room he would go. I am so happy to think about how much we are going to save on not having to buy diapers!!

He is pooping in the potty!!! Last night and tonight he went. Plus he is telling me he has to go now!! Praise the Lord, I am so happy.
added 1/7/09

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Christmas Morning

Better late than never, but here is our Christmas morning

Santa's snow covered boot prints

I made a little girl doll for Kira and a Shrek doll for Enzo

Made pajamas for the kids

"Cars" for Enzo and "Strawberry Shortcake" for Kira

Kira and her doll have the same nightgown

This is the stove I found for them
Quick story:
We were at school and the YMCA after school portable had this stove sitting outside.
The plexiglass was broken on the oven door. I asked the teacher if they were throwing it away if I could take it. She said sure and that it was only a couple of months old. I got home unscrewed the glass and disposed of the broken pieces and cleaned it up. Wallah! a free play stove for the kids and it is made of wood! Thank you God for providing.

My little plumber

They loved their stockings too full of slippers and choneys (underwear)
An elephant and alligator too.

I found a small 4 in 1 vacuum. It is a dust buster style with a retractable handle. It is the perfect size for the kids to use. We tend to snack up in our living room and I wanted the kids to clean up after themselves. So this just right for them to help and clean up.

I got pictures of the kids from last Christmas blown up in black and white framed for Eric.
He was a little teary....ahhh

It was a great Christmas morning and worth staying up until 4 to get it all done.