Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Paper or Plastic?

It's a good thing that I have paid my dues to the environment by cloth diapering for the last 3 years. I am obsessed, I say again, OBSESSED, with plastic.  With this new GFCF diet, I don't know what I would do without ziploc, Tupperware, and/or cling wrap.  Here is what you can find in my freezer on a daily basis:

Individually wrapped cupcakes (to bring when there is a birthday somewhere), granola bars, cookies, brownies, pizza crusts, quinoa breakfast bars, and blueberry pancakes...oh and bread and meatballs, but I must not have taken those out.  Freezing them all makes it easy for a quick grab.  I have to admit, I am quite the chef these days.  I make GFCF dinners every night, but separate meals for the kids for breakfast and lunch. Cameron told me yesterday that I was 3 for 3 on amazing dinners, and that my food is a lot better than it used to be (mostly just because I am using spices much more since GFCF food is so bland). Am I amazing or what?  I am gonna say yes!  I am so very proud of myself for not only doing this diet, but sticking to it and finding recipes that my entire family love.  Hurray for me!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Poop has never been so exciting!

Um...this little girl who is 22 months old never ceases to amaze me.  In the last 2 days she has asked to poop on the potty (with diarrhea mind you), 5 times now.  She has been successful each time!  She has peed twice too.  This is crazy to me! Isn't this backwards?  The poop is always the hardest...at least in my experience.  And to top it off, she says  "I have to diarrhea" and laughs when its time to go.  She is 1 going on 6.  Who is this kid and where did she come from?  She looks like me but is NOTHING like Cam or I.  She is stubborn, super verbal,  independent and hilarious! Ok, I know where she gets it...My sister (minus the stubborn part (except when she was a kid) and niece!  No wonder she reminds me so much of Aliya! She is a West for sure!  
 She is in a tutu everyday.  She likes to wear it over her clothes and PJs, and has slept in it the last few days. Lovin it. Oh and that "Neeno" (cereal) in her hand is her favorite oatmeal cereal that she has morning noon and night.  She is addicted and can't go to bed without it.


Monday, February 20, 2012

A Very Star Warsy Birthday

 Dylan turned 6!  About 4 months ago I found a bunch of clearance Star Wars party stuff at target and decided to do yet another Star Wars Party.  It was so much fun! We had 10 kids that were between 4-8 years of age.  It was crazy! Thanks to Pinterest.com I had a blast planning all of the decor and games.

These suckers were 20 cents a piece after halloween...I HAD to get them for party favors.
 Dylan helped me put Jedi stickers on the juices.  This was actually his idea since he just got a huge sticker book for his birthday from the Mounts.
 This was my favorite part of my decor.  I usually go all out for cakes, and this year I decided that I was just too tired.  Dylan was really upset when I told him we were doing cupcakes, but when he saw this he was SO excited. Whew!  BTW, check out Han Solo trapped in the carbonite jello to the right.  Rockin!
We did Jedi Training once again so for the first order of business, the kids had to get their lightsabers. Cameron had the boys use the force early on to get those (Yes those are pool noodles wrapped with tin foil tape.)

 They had to keep the balloons off of the floor using their lightsabers.  I am not sure what the things are called in the movie, but this is supposed to mimic that:
The kids went downstairs to do the obstacle course. Cameron turned the fog machine on and had them walk across a balance beam, across hot lava (over chairs), under a table, up the stairs, down the slide, do flips on the couch and jump over Darth Vader, etc. The kids loved it and went through it about 20 times each. (I have no pics because it was too foggy.)

We then went upstairs to rescue princess Leia.  She was trapped in a balloon and the kids had to pop them to find her.  This was hysterical.  The kids were jumping as high as they could and landing on thier ballons, and still the balloons wouldn't pop.  I so wish I captured this on video.
 At last to complete the Jedi Trianing, they had to destroy the death star.  The kids all had a turn to "soften" it with the good heavy bat, and then they all picked up their foam light sabers and went to town.  They all destroyed it together.  It was perfect!
 After the party the kids had fun dressing up.  Sydney loves the "Vader" costume.
Here are a couple pictures preparing for the party.  It takes about 12 days to do a pinata. Here is when we first started while his friend Alex was over to help
Painting is the best part! Look at that focus. He really is "Great Art"


Valentines Day 2012

Valentines Day is always very special, but this years was extra special.  Dylan got married!  HAHA, well, not technically.  In Dylan's kindergarten class, Q and U got married.  The boys were U’s and the girls were Q’s.  Could this be any more comical?  Not a chance.  Dylan and Canaan were partnered up with Maya. The kids walked down the isle and to the “here comes the bride” song, they exchanged rings, blew kisses to their brides, and even had a reception party down the hall.  It was hilarious, and one Valentines day that will not be forgotten. The best part was that the person officiating was the school principle, Mr. Childers.  The kids were in heaven, and the parents, well, were sitting in their respectful places trying to hold back their laughter. It was fantastic! 

After the wedding I was able to look at all the art throughout the room and found this: 
The kids were to write a letter to their secret valentine.  Dylan was the only person who wrote it to someone of the opposite sex in his class.  (Most wrote it to family members or friends).  Dylan has no shame, he is in LOVE with McKenna and will tell anyone who asks!

After school, Cameron and Grandpa took Dylan in a surprise date to Star Wars Episode 1 in the theater.  3D!  They came home and we had a little family party for him.  It was a great day! 

We celebrate best with family dogpiles:




Here is my darling Mace Face on Valentines Day before heading off to ali's house for the afternoon:


 Cameron and I celebrated Valentines this weekend with 4 of our favorite couples. We went into Atlanta to Bistro Niko in Buckhead. It was delicious!  I had scallops for the first time and they were amazing.  Now when I watch Hells Kitchen I can appreciate it a bit more.  :) So yeah, we dressed up, dined for about 3 hours, and then got stuck in the parking garage for about 30 minutes.  It was comical.  

All in all a great V-day celebration! Happy V-day!



Random DD and Mace


I have been focusing on Sydney a lot lately in my blogs, so I thought it was time to brag about my other kids. 

Dylan:

Dylan has finally outgrown the bratty kindergarten stage…I think.  He is so pleasant to be around, and so helpful (usually).  I really have been enjoying spending time with him and hearing what he has to say about everything.  He is so creative and hilarious!    He just thinks so much differently than most kids. 


My favorite thing about Dylan is that he doesn’t like to copy ideas. He likes to ask for help, but likes to take ideas and skew them a bit.  For example, when he needs help with school sentences I can tell him 2 or three sentences to write down that will work, but instead of using them he creates his own sentence using two of the words but changing the idea behind it.  It's pretty amazing. Here is another example of this, along with a few other stories:

Story 1.
Dylan loves going to church solely for the sacrament bread that Sister Kinkel makes.  He told her once after church that he really liked her bread, and what did she do the next week?  She brought him his own loaf.  How sweet is that!?  He of course would not share with anyone, and in fact ate half of it on the way home and saved the second half for his lunch box the next day.  It was cute.  The next Sunday while in sacrament meeting I asked him to draw her a thank you card:

Me: Dylan do you wanna draw a picture for Sister Kunkle to thank her for the bread?  
Dylan:  I don't want to.
Me: You can do something simple like a picture of bread with "thank you" somewhere written on it.
Dylan:  That is just dumb.  I want to draw a bread factory.  Oh, I can make a smoke stack!  (He proceeded to roll up a piece of paper)
Me: Dylan, I do not have tape to tape that together, can you please do something simple so we can give it to her today? 
Dylan: Uhh. Fine. I'm just going to draw a volcano with bread flying out of it.
Me:  Perfect! 
(My friend took a pic with her phone for me, so the bread top is cut off, sorry.)


Story 2. 
Yesterday after Dylan finished building his new Lego rocket ship he comes running up the stairs with his airplane and rocket yelling, "Maybe we should have the airplanes get married!  Look, this one can be the girl because it has boobies." (the one on the left) "I am going to make them kiss"

Today, he told me, "mommy, I was thinking about it and think that this one should be the girl because these can be the boobies, and this is the stomach where the baby can come out” (the one on the right opens up to let the astronaut out) 


Story 3.
Yesterday we were building a Lego star wars kit and Dylan got hung up on a specific feature.  He started grunting and getting mad:

Dylan: I hate this! This company is not as smart as the other company that did the other set.  Even I can figure this out. What were they thinking!?
Me: Lego is the name of the company that made all of these Lego sets. You must be talking about the people that work for the company that make the different sets. The people that created this set, are different from the people that created that set.
Dylan: Yeah, I guess. This set is just dumb because the ten people that made it were dumb. (Then he proceeds to get a piece from another of his sets and mades it work better.  Can you say...engineer?)

Story 4.
(this was this morning while putting on his Bobo Fett costume, I thought it was cute for a couple different reasons)
Me: Dylan who is Bobo Fett?
Dylan: He's what I'm wearing. Hes a bad guy. A bounty hunter. Do you know what that is mommy? 
Me, No, tell me.
Dylan: He is someone that gets paid to kill other people. He killed a wookie and put the skin over his shoulder like this and now that wookie is bare.  
Me: Is the wookie dead?  I don’t know, but hes bare.

Story 5.
Dylan: What are we going to put in the pinata mommy?
Me: well, you picked out that candy during halloween remember.  The pencils and the fun dip, and the...
Dylan: Wait, you are NOT putting fun dip in the pinata.  The sticks will all break when the candy falls out
Me:  Huh, you are right Dylan.  I didn't even think of that.   We still have to use them because we bought them for that.
Dylan:  I guess I am just going to have to worry about them breaking then. That's going to make me mad.

(How did I not even think of that, and how did he within seconds of me telling him?  He tells you his feelings too...smarty pants!)

Story 6.
Last week Dylan received an assignment from his art class to draw a picture around the word Google in hopes to win 30 thousand dollars. He is obsessed.  He wakes up ever morning with a new idea.  The first morning after the assignment was given, he came running up to me saying, "Mommy I just wanna work really hard on this picture because I could win 30 thousand dollars and then my school will have better art stuff.  They wont even tax you on it!  that means I could even have enough to buy a real car!"
HA!

Here are the kids watching a movie on D's birthday weekend:



Macey:

Wow, what to say about this little girl.  She is ridiculous with her language right now, and so funny!  Today I was in the kitchen while she was in Syds room and I sneezed.  From across the hall she yells, "bless you!" SHE IS 21 MONTHS OLD! She has an awareness and language that is unheard of (in my opinion). It's hilarious.  She sings the Adele lyrics in my car, and all of the songs that syd sings(only if they sing them together, she doesn't sing them by herself yet). She can do all the hand motions to the songs as well.  I am constantly amazed by this.

Macey gave me her blanket last week and I said "thanks Macey" and she responded, "your welcome mommy."  She can tell me anything that she wants. Anything.  After eating, if I forget to wipe her hands, she runs to me saying, "its sticky mommy".  She points to Dylan's Star Wars figures and can name a couple of them.  She knows some of her colors, and a couple letters.  I only brag because it is so comical (and yes often sad) how advanced she is compared to Syd at this age.  I feel like it was last month that Sydney did some of these things, and she is nearly 4!

Macey is also a BIG time follower.  She wants to do and say everything that her siblings are doing. She likes to get her nails done with Syd, eat the same foods, dress the same (screaming for princess when Syd has her princess jammies on), etc.  She also has picked up on Syds quirks that aren't so great.  She now screams when I brush her hair, or touch her socks.She even yells, "I wanna do it" when doing anything like getting dressed or getting into her car seat.  It is RIDICULOUS! UGH! On top of this, she is so mischievous.  She is the one that gets Syd into trouble half of the time.  She is always into something, and the two of them can tear up a room like you have never seen.  It's impressive actually.  I walked in on the two of them after Dylan's party up on the counter top playing in the jello. They are ALWAYS into something.  Yesterday Cameron came home and saw her pretending to be a dog and licking the water out of Marley's water bowl, after dragging and spreading the dog food across the floor.  Seriously, she is something else.  

Macey learned how to climb out of her crib today, and she opened her door and walked out as if it were perfectly normal. Hair a mess, grin on her face, and she just walked into Syds room to play. Nice try Mace!  Oh and she has pooped in the potty 3 legit times in the last month. (this isn't counting the times she has pooped on the floor after getting out of the bath.  Yes she still does this...it's very strange) 

My favorite thing about Macey though, is the fact that I see me every time I look at her.  She is a ragga muffin just like I was when I was a kid.  She is a mess ALL the time, she has a big ol grin that takes up her whole face, she is super stubborn, and she is a little tomboy.  I just can't get over how much she reminds me of myself. It is crazy.

Sorry this post is a bit everywhere, I just wanted to throw everything in since I haven't mentioned the other kids in a while


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Sleep

Sleep: : the natural periodic suspension of consciousness during which the powers of the body are restored 


Everybody needs sleep.  Not everybody may wants it (like Cameron).  But many people do (like me).  Its an odd though, that the body turns on and off duringthe times that it needs sleep.  Sydney used to function off of 4-8 hours a nights (when pre-schoolers need 11+) and she would be fine all day.  She was like the energizer bunny that kept on going and going and...you get the picture. But now that she is getting 11+ hours a night, she seems to be needing naps during the day.  What the freak? Shouldn't "the powers of the body be restored" during those 11 hours?  Why does she need more time...and 3+ hours at that!?  The more sleep she gets the more sleep she wants...but I guess I can say the same for myself.  When I get more than 10 hours (which happens very rarely) I drag all day.  Shouldn't I be more energetic than ever?  I don't understand, but I do know that I like to suspend consciousness as often as possible and if that means dragging all day, I'll take it.


Sydney doesn't take naps when I want her to, but when she is tired, she gets naked, finds her blankie and hides somewhere.  Usually it is in my closet. Today she hid here:



Wednesday, February 8, 2012

CHANGES

 I was thinking about Sydney this week and when I sat down to write this post, 2 Pacs "Changes" came to mind.  I am not really sure why I was even thinking about this song considering I don't even like rap, and, that it's a song about racism, drugs, and violence. But, I have always loved this song for its overall message of HOPE or more, the hope in having hope (if that even makes sense).  In order to change the terrible problems in our society we must work together.  This is a common theme that I have felt in my life recently.  Over the last month since starting Sydney on the GFCF diet, and the methyl B-12, I have already seen such changes. Aside from her change however, I too have seen the love of my neighbors, family, friends, and even strangers come to my aid and work together to make this change.  It really has been a miracle for me to witness everything that has happened.  (Don't worry, I am not about to bear my testimony, but believe me, if my testimony of my Heavenly Father was at all wavering before, be assured that it is as steady and strong as ever.  I cannot pretend that the Lords hand has not been a part of the events that have transpired in the last month.  Its as simple as that.  And the odd thing about it all is that I never once questioned "why me" or lost faith.  Truly, that is strange for me, but maybe its my faith that made the difference.  Who knows, but I do know that I have never felt so supported and loved by my Father in heaven.  And that folks, has made it all worth it.)

So, in speaking about Syd's changes, I thought it time to give an update on her improvements:

-Sydney is consistently speaking in longer sentences (6-9 words at a time)

-She has not been spinning around nearly as much as she used to.  In fact, come to think of it, I can't even remember the last time she was spinning (probably a couple days ago when we turned the music on)

-Sydney has started "reading" books to mommy and daddy. A month ago she would flip through the pages making sounds every now and again.  Now she will pick up a book and tell you what is happening on each page.  She even will ask, "what is he doing mommy?" (meaning that she is aware of something happening and she wants participation from me...that is huge), then she will say, "he's riding a bike huh mommy?"

-Sydney is playing with her toys more appropriately.  It took a while for her to play "house" with her baby dolls.  And still she often needs encouragement from me.  But, recently I have found her by herself talking to her dolls.  Just yesterday she built a castle out of blocks and layed her princess down on a pretend bed that she made.  This has been a VERY (or as Sydney says it, "berry berry") huge improvement.

video
-Sydney is consistently doing hand motions and participating when needed.  She will do the dance motions to dance songs, and in school she now raises her hand (though she still wont talk much) and does the motions to the songs there.  Again, over a month ago you would need to really work with her to do an kind of hand motion, but now she needs no intervention and will start right up when necessary.

-Sydney has slept 11+ hours for the last 5 days! 5 DAYS!  11+ HOURS!  Dr. Miller is my hero (as stated in my last post)You need to understand what a miracle this is. Cameron and I even talked about being able to go on trips now that we know we have something to help her sleep. I am so relieved! Every vacation, every camping trip will forever be different (channeling 2 Pac)"...and thats just the way it is...things'll never be the same..."

-Sydney can sometimes recall the events of the day (something she never did).  I can ask her about her day and she can converse with me consistently (though it is limited).  A couple days ago she told me she painted a log, and played outside on the slide.  Sure enough she had painted a rock (I always have to ask the next day to see if she really is recalling events or just saying things.) She also can recall people, such as her friend Mackenzie.  Today she told me about her friend and when leaving school waved and said, "bye friends" something I nor she have ever said.

-Sydney has started really using her imagination.  When she eats lunch she will take a bite and then ask, "mommy what does this look like?".  "It's a lion, rawr" and she will make it run on her plate.  In the last two days she has done this with EVERY bite of her lunch sandwich changing up the animals with each bite (without any intervention on my part).  This has probably been the most exciting thing that I have seen yet, and it just started 3 days ago!  She is starting to pretend play and that is HUGE!

-Tonight Sydney went to sleep without her sensory blanket!  She didn't even ask for it! We are working on her sensory integration stuff and this is so big.  She usually can't even think about sleep unless her blanket is touching some skin (usually her naked body).  Hurray! On weekend Syd and Dylan like to have sleepovers, but she always needs her "soft blankie"...not this time!: (Notice the blanket on the floor next to her bed)

So that is it for now, I am sure there are more things to note that I am just forgetting, but these are the biggies.  Pretty much she is improving upon the improvements of three weeks ago, and have added a few more in there (namely sleep and imagination!)  Now that I am sleeping, I feel like a new person, and I have so much more energy, hope and faith to devote to Syd. It is EXCITING!

In the words of 2 Pac:
"Come on come on
That's just the way it is
Things'll never be the same
That's just the way it is
aww yeah"


THINGS WILL NEVER BE THE SAME


Friday, February 3, 2012

Methyl-B12

Look what arrived in the mail today!  Sydney had her first injection of Methyl-B12 this morning.  I guess I am getting ready for my nursing career a bit earlier than I had planned.  Cross your fingers and pray for improvement...

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Moms Arm Wrestling 2012

We had our yearly MILF arm wrestling contest this last sat night at the Ally Cat. It was so fun! But, get this, (and this is by no means meant to hurt any feelings for those who planned the event), but I just found out that the charity event that this benefits is the rape crisis center in town.  Am I the only person that finds something terribly wrong with this? I don't really like what MILF stands for, but it is kinda funny and its gets people out to have a good time (and participate in something positive and a bit out of the ordinary).  But really...MILF's Benefit for Rape Crisis? That feels like a headline I would see on Jay Leno's Late Night Show.  This is terribly offensive, and so much so that I can't say anything about it without making the event planner feel humiliated.  So, what do you do?  (whatever your answer is...I am not doing it!)

Moving on.  This year was much different that last.  To keep it short, let me just tell you that a friend of mine, Janet (who is a lesbian), turned to me about halfway through the competition and said, "well you know what you have learned from this don't you?", "that if you stand a chance next year, you are going to have to sleep with a lot more women!" HA!  It really was lesbian central, and I have to say, they were all ripped! They were so freaking strong!  The last 5 standing were ridiculous!  I didn't stand a chance, but that didn't stop Cameron from buying a t-shirt with my face on it and telling everyone that I was runner up last year.  He was cute an supportive, and loved bragging about his now weakling of a wife.  I went out in the second round to the woman who I beat in the first round last year.  Ugh!  She is a beast though. Trucker turned yoga teacher... I was screwed from the start.

Here is the design on the shirt. Its a picture of the finals last year with Johnna and myself.  I am the one on the left:

 The Table:
 Cams favorite co workers: