Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Taking On A Challenge

My friend and fellow blogger, Fran, has been doing a photo challenge during the month of February. Each day she took a picture of the topic, or how she interpreted the topic, and then posted it on her blog. Looked like fun so I decided I would try it for the month of March. We shall see how this goes. I guess the best thing to do would be to find my SD camera card since tomorrow is March 1st. Here's the list of things that I have to photograph...

Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Because this is soooo worth telling and remembering, I had to do a post. Last night I was lying down on the couch watching television and Brody wandered into the living room - well past his bedtime. He said he just wanted to "lay down with mommy," and being a sucker for my sweet little man I told him to climb under the blanket with me and I would rub his back. He then noticed my Diet Dr. Pepper and asked if he could have "just 1 sip." Here's how the conversation went...

Brody: Brody want 1 sip of mommy's diet diet pepper (he refers to himself by name A LOT)
Me: No Brody. It's late, you should be in the bed. You can't have any tonight.
Brody: Mommy, sharing is caring. Sharing is caring.
Me: I know Brody but mommy has a sore throat. I care about you so much that I don't want to share my germs with you.
Brody: Jesus says to love one another

And at that point, I handed over the drink because he was being too darn cute. Goodness I love this boy of mine!


Yep, I've got some swagger. Shocking, I know! However, my swagger comes in the shape and form of a new Honda Odyssey! I am the happy owner of a swagger wagon / mom-mobile. I'm thrilled. The kids are thrilled, and even David thinks the Swagger Wagon rocks.

What prompted all of this you may ask? Well, simply put, we are in the car ALL day some days and having two small kids, that means we have TONS of things in the's almost like a second home to them. Toys, bags, extra clothes, blankets, DVDs, books, etc crowd the back seat and trunk area...not to mention 2 car seats plus my bag/purse that take up room. And, with Chloe starting school this fall, I have already started thinking about parent pick-up and drop-off. I don't want to worry about her not getting the door shut good and then having to pull over in the drop off line to get out and close it all while holding up the other parents. Can you tell I have a little anxiety about this? The only reason though is because I have taken my neighbor's kids to school before and they didn't shut the door good so I had to get out etc... Anyways, power doors solve this problem.

So, some of my favorite features are: heated seats, LOTS o' room, wireless earphones for the DVD player (so we don't have to listen to Tangled or Cars for the millionth time), satellite radio, power doors (including the trunk door which will be oh so valuable when I am loading groceries in at Walmart or Publix), cup holders in the backseat for the kids, rear AC/heat, sunroof/moonroof (always wanted yet never had), a little cooler thing that keeps up to 4 drinks cold, and I am sure I will come up with more once I read the manual. Oh, the back-up camera thing that shows if I am about to hit anything. Would have been great to have when, in the past, I have backed over a stroller, bike, scooter, and trashcan...and the time I backed into the brick mailbox. Yeah, no excuses this time. Although in my defense, those things were left behind my vehicle by OTHER people in the family. Well, the mailbox has always been there, but I just didn't realize how close I was to it. Anyways, moving right along.

Here are some pics of my newest baby. (stock photo because I haven't taken pics yet)

Ollie is her name (Chloe helped name her). And then below is a little video about swagger wagons that I have posted before but is so worth posting again since I now own one and yeah, I am THAT mom... Enjoy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Incredible Week

Ah, home sweet home. Let me back up though... I love traveling! I am not sure what it is about packing up a suitcase, and staying in a hotel, but I LOVE IT! I adore exploring new cities, eating new food, sight-seeing, browsing around, etc... It's a thrill and a great way to make memories. This year, our Chick-fil-A seminar was held in Orlando, Florida. We have had seminar there several times before, and I had been a few times as a child, but it was different this year. We stayed in this hotel:

It was beautiful! Situated on a golf course and having 5 pools qualified it as a resort in my book. And the best part was that our room overlooked all of it.

Anyways, this year's seminar was focused on developing High Performance Leadership Teams (HPLT's). As always, I could apply this to my job as a mom. Instead of micro-managing the kids in their chores, or just doing them myself because I know I will do it right, I need to trust them more and give them more responsibility. Allow them to make mistakes and then teach them the right way. Of course, this was EXTREMELY interesting from the business stand point but that was something that I thought was great to apply to my life.
As for entertainment, we had a concert by Martina McBride, Melinda Doolittle (former American Idol contestant), the winners from seasons of America's Got Talent, and some other reality show (can't remember the group names), and the little pianist/genius Ethan. We also had lots of other fun entertainment and ran into the former wrestler, Sting, while there. Outside of that, we spent one afternoon at Universal Studios - Harry Potter ride was AMAZING!!! All in all, a great seminar. Just tiring because we were up everyday at 6 and not in bed until close to midnight each night.
On Wednesday afternoon, seminar ended but we extended our trip as always to hang out with our friends who own CFA's in Brentwood, Franklin, Hermitage, and Cookeville. There are 5 couples and to say we have fun is the understatement of the year. So, on Wednesday evening, we went to Downtown Disney to shop around a little, had dinner, and then called it an early evening. Thursday was started out with a Segway Tour through the Wilderness Resort. That was great, but not as good as the one we all did last year in San Antonio. Our segways this year didn't go as fast and our tour guides were safety patrol freaks. The only mis-haps that we had was that Kim ran into a tree and Christina couldn't get hers to stop and just kept riding off while saying "oh no oh no oh no!!" It was funny, but no where near as funny as Randy running into a homeless man in a wheelchair last year and getting fussed at by him. THAT was priceless. Anyways, after the tour, we had lunch, shopped and then went to Cirque de Soleil.

Our view from dinner on Thursday night

Top Pic: Kim, Kelly, Christina, Ben, David, Barry, Randy, Joy, Kelley and John
Bottom Left Pic: Ben and Christina (CFA in Cookeville)
Bottom Right Pic:  me and David on the left side

Ben with Sting

Me and David ready to ride!

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Random Week In Review

This is a post of pure randomness because this week has been CRAZY! So, here we go.

1. I got a call from Chloe's allergist (after waiting for over 2 weeks for him to get back to me) stating that he had received her records and wanted to go over them with me. Apparently, I was told wrong at Vanderbilt two years ago. She has several indoor allergies and no outdoor allergies which explains why seasons don't really matter for her asthma flare-ups - they are completely random. He also said that her previous x-rays were read by the radiologists as consistent with asthma and possibly a walking pneumonia. So I guess his impression 2 weeks ago of Chloe not having asthma or allergies was WRONG. Not that I want her to have them, but there is such a thing as mom intuition. Mine has never steered me wrong. She is scheduled for allergy testing in 8 days which will be the blood test that will test for 150 or so allergies.
She is off of her Singulair and Flonase now that she has been off of dairy for 2 weeks. Oh, and speaking of Singulair, here is some interesting information about that little allergy pill that I came across last week. Check out this site: drug recalls. It speaks about the link between neuropsychiatric behaviors and the drug (including suicide) and what really freaked me out was the link between Singulair and Churg-Strauss Syndrome. I will be asking the allergist to test for this in Chloe too as she fits into the first 2 phases of the disease. I know it is very rare, but while they are drawing blood, they may as well rule this out.

"just say no"

2. I have switched my lifestyle to one of Paleo eating now. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this, it is a lifestyle change where you cut out all sugars, legumes, grains of all types, processed food, vegetable and partially hydrogenated oils, and dairy. So you may wonder, what am I eating? Healthy foods! The type that they ate in the paleolithic period. Chicken, fish, small amounts of red meat, veggies and some fruits and raw nuts. It's been exactly a week now and I feel amazing...other than the random ridiculous cravings I get. They haven't been horrible, but there have been times I have had to scream "no!" to myself. You eat only when you are hungry instead of the typical 3 meals/2snacks per day. Today, I have only had about 10 bites of a salad, some grapes, and some homemade chicken salad and I am FULL!!! There are differing opinions about Paleo eating but it just makes sense to me. I have read The Primal Blueprint and am currently reading Wheat Belly. These books are enlightening to say the least. Check them out. Several people have asked the difference in this and low-carb diets. The difference is that on Atkins or South Beach you can eat those meal replacement bars or have sugar-free candy etc... Paleo is none of that.

3. The kids left today for gramom's house in Georgia. We won't see them for 7 days and I am S.A.D!! I miss them terribly already and it hasn't even been 1 day yet. David took them down today and I was here alone. The house was incredibly quiet...almost too much so. I did talk to both kids on the phone though tonight and they sounded happy. That was a relief considering that this morning Brody was crying big crocodile tears saying "stay with mommy. mommy come with me." I admit that I cried a little too. Something about saying goodbye to my kids gets me every time.

4. Chloe was promoted again in gymnastics! More on that later in a separate post. She practices now two days each week 2 hours each time...and she is loving it (even the lap running she has to do)

5. I had MOPS this past Friday which was great. The speaker this month was actually our mentor moms and their husbands. It was a panel type thing where questions were asked and each couple took turns answering. One question I about laughed myself silly at was, "Thinking back to when your children were young, how did you keep your romance alive and what advice to you have for us?" One of the MEN on the panel piped up and said, "Don't rule out the 2 AM time-frame for romance!" I seriously about fell out of my seat at these prim and proper guys in khakis and button ups answering so quickly. It was great!

6. Friday night I went to a women's conference titled Momentum at Long Hollow Baptist Church in Hendersonville. It was really good. The speaker was Lisa Harper and she spoke on the compassion of Jesus siting passages from the gospels of Mark and Luke. I went down with 2 other gals and then we met our pastor's wife down there and another girl. We had a blast but would it be wrong to say that the fellowship time with these other ladies may have been my favorite part. Dinner was a blast at Mimi's Cafe and the conversation was hysterical thanks to Kristin.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

What I Have Learned (no smart comments please. ha!)

So, after a highly disappointing appointment with Chloe's allergist (you can read about it here) and poring through the book my SIL recommended to me, (here is that post), I have made some dietary changes in our household and have some things to share with you. You have to understand that after leaving that appointment, and STILL not hearing anything back from the allergist after almost 2 weeks, and watching Chloe begin her coughing again, etc...that I am at my wits end. I have made her an appointment with Dr. Haase who is a wellness/preventative medicine doc in our town. He is one of my doctors also and is brilliant. He treats the patient, not the other words, he doesn't put a bandaid over the problem but gets to the root of it and solves it for good. He is going to test her for allergies doing a blood draw which will actually test for over 150 food and environmental allergies. That appointment is in a few weeks.

Anyways, back to the original reason for this post. What I have learned by reading the above mentioned book, "What's Eating Your Child?" Here we go in list form...
1. Picky eating can make kids tired and irritable, but it can also be a sign of underlying medical issues such as reflux and reflux can be caused by the milk protein called casein.
2. Picky eating is not a passing phase to be ignored, and nor should one accept such conditions as colic and reflux given for children and babies (Chloe was diagnosed with colic and reflux as an infant as was Brody)
3. A kid frequently sick with colds, ear infections, stomach viruses, throat infections, and/or pneumonia means that their immune system is under attack. (Chloe and Brody both had/have ear tubes for frequent infections that were difficult to treat and still have them on occasion, Chloe has had multiple pneumonias and a few sinus infections, and Brody has had multiple sinus infections).
4. Eighty percent of the protein in milk is casein, a complicated protein that is difficult for many people to digest. Cow's milk is designed for a regurgitant animal with 4 stomach chambers. When humans consume it, the response in people who can't tolerate it is irritation which the body tries to soothe by producing mucus.
5. Children with a zinc deficiency can become almost repelled by the tastes or smells of many foods. They may even get anxious about even thinking about trying new foods (this is Chloe to a tee. She oftentimes will say that she is scared to try a new food and will gag the second it even touches her tongue)
6. If you had trouble finding a formula that suited your child your child may have reflux which can be cause by a reaction to the milk protein, casein. (Chloe was on soy formula and Brody was on non-milk/non-soy/hypoallergenic formula and still had to take Zantac)
7. Also, if your child has asthma, frequent illnesses, bad breath, burps often, or has little interest in eating they may have reflux and the recommendation is to stop milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt and pudding.
8. Ninety percent of kids with recurring ear infections or ear fluid had positive markers for food allergies and when those foods were removed, the infections/fluid went away. (EVERY time Chloe was taken in for a sick or well visit the doctor always commented that she had fluid behind he ears)
9. Children often crave the foods that they are intolerant or allergic to. (Chloe ALWAYS prefers milk to drink and she would eat cheese all day long if I would allow her to)

And that my friends and family is why my kids have had no milk, cheese, ice cream, yogurt or pudding in the past week. Has it been hard? Only at times...Chloe has asked for a grilled cheese on occasion as that was a favorite of hers but she understands that this is something that we have to do for at least a month or until allergy testing comes back telling us otherwise. She's doing fine though and even asked me to tell her grandmom that she can't have dairy when she stays with her in a few weeks. I assured her that I had already emailed her and that grandmom said she wouldn't give her dairy. I am supplementing with the recommended amount of calcium and will start zinc supplements soon I think.
So that is what I have learned and this is where we are at. Pray we get answers soon as I just found out that one of her allergy medicines has been linked to childhood suicides and depression so I am going to take her off of it.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Girls' Night Out

We had a long overdue girls' night out last night. I let Chloe choose what she wanted to do so this is how the night went down.
1. She got dressed in a super cute dress and sweater (she wanted us both to wear dresses but I had to draw the line on that one)

2. She asked to go to the new PUBLIX again (this would be the third time in the three days it's been open) This time for a cupcake, coloring books and crayons to use on our date night.

3. We headed to Lasater's Coffee Shop, got some "pretend" coffee (aka apple juice for her and pomegranate green tea for me).

4. We colored, ate the cupcake, played tic tac toe, rock/paper/scissors, and thumb wrestling, and just talked for a little over 2 hours. SO MUCH FUN!!! One questioned I asked her was what was the most important thing in her life right now. She surprised me by saying "loving Jesus. Duh mom!" Made me smile.

Ringling Brothers Circus

Ladies and Gentlemen. Boys and Girls. Children of all ages.... Welcome to Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus. The Greatest Show On Earth.
Yes, that intro truly was necessary. It brings such feelings of nostalgia. And...we just heard those words on Saturday afternoon when we took our kids to the circus. It was their first time going and they were... well... (more on that later). Earlier that week, David and I decided that it would be fun to grab tickets and make it a family evening with the show and then dinner in Nashville. And to make it even more fun, we kept it a total surprise until about an hour before we headed down to Nashville.
Now, for how we told them about the surprise... They were sitting on the couch and getting ready to watch a cartoon. I grabbed the camera and hit the record button and began asking if they wanted to know a secret. I was so thrilled in the video that I could hardly contain myself. I mean I built it up HUGE expecting a HUGE reaction. The kids were beside themselves with excitement and when David and I told them we were taking them to the circus, Brody grinned and Chloe did NOTHING!!! I mean to tell you that we could hear crickets chirping, pins dropping, etc... I immediately hit the stop button and quit recording that epic failure and asked if they were not excited. They said yes and then kind of just carried on like a normal day.
I was upset thinking they were ungrateful and too spoiled and that's why they were acting nonchalant. I may or may not have been ready to say "screw it, we are staying home." However, I got over myself and put back on the happy face and carried on with the plans. THANK GOODNESS!!! We all loved it so much! The kids were just in awe the entire time (except when Brody fell asleep - in his defense though he has been sick with a sinus infection for 6 weeks and is on his third antibiotic for it). We fell into the circus trap of buying souvenirs, slushies in those crazy expensive cups, and junk food. However, for their first trip to the circus, we wanted to go all out.
And then, after leaving, having dinner, and getting home, Chloe and I began our nightly ritual of bedtime. I read her a book, a Bible story and her devotional. We prayed and then we began talking. Brace comes the "mommy now feels like sh*t moment." Chloe says, "mommy, do you know why I didn't act excited when you and daddy said we were going to the circus?" I told her no, that I didn't know. She replied, "mommy, I never been to a circus before so I didn't even know what you were talking about. But it really IS the greatest show on earth." And then I felt about as big as an ant. Oh well, lesson learned and a piece of humble pie was eaten.

This is how David tolerated the circus and the men in tights. HAHA!

My favorite part!

Sick little boy getting in a power nap

Chloe's favorite part

Exactly why I think tiger trainers are CRAZY!!! Look at that tiger growling at him.

Brody's favorite part