Tuesday, May 31, 2016

In the Blink of an Eye: Are You a Perfect Parent?

If you've been in the internet at all since Saturday, then you've probably seen a story or two (or hundred) about how Harambe the gorilla had to be put down by the Cincinnati Zoo so they could rescue a 4 year old boy who had fallen into the gorilla's enclosure.

You've probably also seen how the parents of the little boy are being violently ripped apart on the internet.  I was going to share some of the comments being made about the family, but I can't.  They're just too awful.  Phrases like stupid kid, worst parents ever, neglectful, and things too harsh to be printed here are being thrown at the family.  People are calling for prosecution of the parents and for CPS to get involved.

Before we go any further, I want to tell you a few experiences my sister and I have had as parents.

Friday, May 27, 2016

How to End the Hair Brushing Battle For Good

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  

Both of my girls hate having their hair brushed, especially 8 year old Katie.  Katie has long, thick, fine, curly hair-the perfect breeding ground for knots and snarls.  Brushing her hair can be a battle and very unpleasant for both of us.

How to End the Hair Brushing Battle For Good

One day, I'd had it with her screaming at me to stop hurting her by purposely putting tangles in her hair and then yanking them out as hard as I could just for the fun of it.  Okay, maybe those weren't the exact words she used, but the message came through loud and clear nonetheless.  Anyway, it was time to put a stop to the madness.  I pulled the clippers out of the bathroom drawer and gave her a buzzcut that matched her little brother's.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

What is Celiac Disease?

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month.  In honor of that, I asked my sister-in-law, Sharalyn to write a post about Celiac Disease.  Sharalyn was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in 2012 and blogs at The Gluten Free Momma.  Her blog is full of useful tips, reviews, and information about living with Celiac Disease.

What is Celiac Disease? Learn the signs and symptoms.
Sharalyn with her husband and kids

Celiacs is an autoimmune disease in which the immune system builds antibodies that attack the lining of the small intestine when gluten is consumed.  Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Parenting Hacks: No Bathtub, No Problem!

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  

Parenting Hacks: No Bathtub, No Problem!2 years ago, we moved into our new home, and I LOVE it.  Unlike the small apartment we were living in before, this house has plenty of room for our whole family.  There's just one thing wrong with it...

The bathroom does not have a bathtub.  Just a handicapped accessible shower stall.

If I didn't have young kids, it wouldn't be problem.  But since the majority of my children are too little to bathe/shower themselves, it's pretty inconvenient.

For a while, I used a baby bathtub from Ikea which was a pain in the neck because it meant having to bathe each child individually instead of just throwing a couple in the tub.  Plus, it wasn't very big so my two oldest kids were really scrunched up in it.

One day, I had a lightbulb moment...why not buy a large storage tub (key word: tub!) and use that instead?

Monday, May 23, 2016

Gift Guide - Father's Day Edition

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  

I think guys are the hardest group to buy gifts for.  Hubby's wishlist consists of tractors, expensive power tools, and a new pickup truck.  Yeah, he's not getting any of those for Father's Day. #worstwifeever

Gift Guide - Father's Day Edition

I figured that I wasn't the only one who has a hard time finding a gift for my husband for Father's Day, so I did some research and put together a gift guide.  Click on the picture or caption to find the product.  Enjoy!

Friday, May 20, 2016

9 Tips For Special Needs Parents

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  

I still have a lot to learn about having a child with special/medical needs, but I have learned a few things since Davy was born.  They're things I wish I'd known right from the start so I thought I'd share them with you.
9 Tips for Special Needs Parents

Thursday, May 19, 2016

How Strong Are You?

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Have you ever looked at someone else's life and thought to yourself, "There's no way I could handle that."

How Strong Are You?

Chances are, you are strong enough to handle it if you had to.

Monday, May 16, 2016

10 Ways Toddlers are Like Puppies

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  

I've made some observations over the last eight years of motherhood about toddlers.  The most interesting observation?  Having a toddler in the house is like having a puppy.  Really.  Think about it...

10 Ways Toddlers are Like Puppies

Saturday, May 14, 2016

The Value of Coordinated Medical Care

When Davy was born, I thought everything was fine.  He sucked his bottle kind of weird, but I was sure he'd get the hang of it soon.  And yeah, he had some dysmorphic features, but they made him cuter.  And the crying...well some babies were just fussy, right?


But by the time he was a week and a half old, it was obvious that something was wrong.  He started refusing the bottle and became increasingly fussy with bouts of screaming.

Davy's doctor quickly exhausted her resources as he continued to worsen.  At 2 months of age, he only weighed 8 pounds and was eating 7-8 ounces of formula in a 24 hour period, and so she made the decision to hospitalize him. During that 9 day stay, Davy had surgery for a G Tube placement.  When we left the hospital, we had appointments scheduled with several specialists.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

When You Just Want To Know WHY

When my best friend answered the phone, I was already on the verge of tears.  I'd just spent the entire day at the Mayo Clinic with my medically complex baby son for the second time that week.  That day alone, he'd had several vials of blood drawn, two other tests run and three doctors' appointments, and yet we were still no closer to answers.  I'd had to hold my screaming baby down several times that day while he was poked and prodded, and my emotions were raw.  Davy's feeding tube site kept getting infected with MRSA, his lungs were junky which caused him to choke frequently, he wasn't gaining weight, he was developmentally delayed, and he kept getting sick.  I'd been told by several doctors that my son would probably have his feeding tube long-term and may never be "normal."  His future was very uncertain and scary, especially since we didn't yet have an underlying diagnosis for his many health concerns. 

It took just a few words from my friend for the floodgates to open.  In between sobs, I choked out one question, "Why?"


Why was my son so sick?  He was just a baby; what had he ever done to deserve all of this?  Why couldn't God just make him healthy?  Why was God making him suffer?  If I could take his place, I would've in a heartbeat, but I couldn't.  All I could do was hold him close and tell him how sorry I was.

Monday, May 9, 2016


I wrote this poem when Katie was 7 months old. She was obsessed with my glasses at that time and was constantly touching them with her slobbery sticky little fingers.


Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Reminder on Mother's Day

This post is dedicated to my mother who has always encouraged me to write.


Mother's Day is a time when we celebrate motherhood.  It's a time to get a little sappy and teary-eyed as your children bring you burnt toast in bed or proudly hand you crayon drawings with "I Love Mommy" scribbled across the top in oversized letters.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Confessions: Star Wars

This post contains referral links which means that if you purchase from one of my links, I will receive a small percentage of the sale.  

Today is Nano's 6th birthday (Happy birthday, buddy!!)  It also happens to be May 4th which is known as Star Wars Day.  You know...May the Fourth be with you.
Confessions: Star Wars
These movies have a serious cult following and everyone who's anyone has seen them all, probably more than once.  Many of my friends and family are huge fans.  
My confession?

Monday, May 2, 2016

May is Ehlers Danlos Awareness Month!

Did you know that May is Ehlers Danlos Syndrome Awareness month?  Ehlers Danlos is considered a rare disease, but the truth is that it's not.  It's actually just rarely diagnosed.  A lot of people have never heard of it, and many doctors don't know much about it.
Ehlers Danlos Awareness Month

Ehlers Danlos Syndrome is a connective tissue disorder in which the collagen produced by the body is faulty.  Collagen is the glue that holds the entire body together and so, when it isn't working right, it affects every part of the body.  This results in loose, hypermobile joints that frequently dislocate, easy bruising and slow healing, chronic pain and fatigue, gastrointestinal problems, and much more.  A list of symptoms can be found here: http://invisibleillnessforum.com/index.php/topic,10.0.html