The Mommyhood Life – Travel, Crafts, Food, and Florida Family Fun

Month: January 2013

2013 ~ A year for Transformation!

It’s time!
I’m excited and I’m ready!
Time to get my life in gear!
I guess it sort of feels as though life has gotten away from me, I was just looking back at pictures of a Brazil trip we took in 2007 reminiscing of my pre twin body and my pre autism less stressful life.  I then looked at all my pics from our 2010 trip, post twins, post autism… but still seeing a sense of myself in the photos and not minding my body at all either.  However when I look at recent pictures I see of me (or me in the background because I sooo haven’t been to photogenic lately) and I can’t believe what I’ve let happen to my body, and when I think about it, my LIFE!
We have decided our next Brazil trip will be for New Years (2014), and yes, this is a definite reason to get my butt moving and get this body right!  Let’s face it those girls wear barely any clothes, with good reason, it is extremely hot! so yes I would like to get myself feeling comfortable and confident about my body.  However I really want to take it further, I think its time.  I want to finally full fill my goals and transform myself inside and out!
SOOOO Here goes nothing! It is starting now!
These are two fairly recent photos I found of me: 167lbs
My neurologist started me on a form of Adderall last month, in turn, the appetite suppressant side effect has made me lose a little over ten pounds, this is my current weight: 154lbs


  • Well, of course, Lose the rest of my weight I gained over the last 2 years.  I am 154lbs right now.  After the twins were born I worked hard to lose the weight and while I couldn’t get back down to my 130lbs pre twin self, I was able to get down to the 140lbs range and was happy.  I went out bought new clothes, that weren’t mommy sweats, and felt OK in one of those Brazilian bikini’s down there in 2010… granted I still wore a tankini up here, but things are just different down there… lol… so my goal is to fit into all the clothes I bought in 2010 (the # doesn’t matter as much as the feeling of fitting into all those skinny jeans comfortably!)
  • I also want to get my teeth fixed, I have two crowns, 1 bridge, and my teeth are crooked, chipped and yellow!  I hate to smile.  I’ve had braces twice, once as a teenager but I didn’t wear my retainer so they quickly shifted back.  The second time was when we were living in Brazil in 2005 because they were so cheap there, I had them taken off too soon when we moved back because of finances, but I wore my retainer for years and they still shifted back.  So I don’t know what my next steps will be but I’m sure they’ll be expensive steps considering I don’t have dental insurance.  However, I dream of being able to smile confidently someday soon!
  • My everyday life changes regarding appearance are that I want to start following a daily beauty regimen as far as caring for my face, hair and skin go.  I want to keep up my hair and nails (as a stay at home mom, I got into the habit of doing these two things maybe twice a year for parties or vacay but I really want to keep them up)  Start an exercise plan, eat healthily, AND start getting dressed every day!  I cant tell you how many times I’ve stayed in sweats for a week only getting “dressed” come Sunday for church.  I am a SAHM I spend my life cleaning, cooking, snuggling and running after 3 kids, crafting, and writing.  Yes, I still think being comfy for these jobs is important but oversized sweats and the hubby’s T’s aren’t the most stylish comfy clothes!  So if I could start throwing on jeans, yoga pants, or leggings with a more form fitted Tank or alike, I would start feeling a lot better looking in the mirror, along with the hubby getting the perk of losing the frumpy wifey!
Outside of my appearance, there’s so much more I want to work towards….
  • My Mommy Job – I want to do it better, I think I’m an OK mom, but I definitely think I could do it better!  I want to start doing more with the kids, fewer video games, movies, computer games and more getting up and out learning new things type of activities.  I also want to learn to be more patient,  Its easy at times to feel the brink of losing it, but I need to start learning to breathe and not scream!  I also want to build there faith more, currently, we don’t go beyond nighttime prayer and Sunday school… but I really want to start some sort of home education program.  I also want to get them into doing chores at home and having our oldest volunteer outside the home.
  • My Wifey Job – As I build my faith I learn more and more what a biblical wife really is, and my heart is calling me to be one!  I want so greatly to learn to be patient, loving, obedient, and supportive to my husband, but I often feel i fall short.  I want to start having dinner on the table at night, bake weekly (I love to bake!), keep a nice house, and just be my husbands help-mate.  I know my extra weight has contributed to my tiredness, and adding that to my disabilities I often just give in to the day and leave tons undone.  I want to toughen up, get myself back into moving motion, so I can go back to caring for my hubby in *all* aspects 😉
  • My Family/Friend Job – My family is very close, my moms over at least once a week with the kids and we talk on the phone a few times a day, my dads side of the family talks constantly and has loud fun get together all the time, my moms side keeps up with each other on Facebook and sees each other for the holidays but none the less there’s lots of people I love involved in my daily life, I am always there for them but at times neglect my friendships as a result.  Being a wife and mom can cause a strain on friendships that I hadn’t realized till recently, Its hard to keep up no matter how much you want to (who knows what I would do without facebook! at least that keeps me somewhat it the loop) I have 3 groups of friends, one is like my family, I have been an “adopted” member since I was in the 6th grade, there’s 6 siblings and they are all my friends and there kids are my kids “cousins” we get together on holidays, birthdays, parties, etc.  plus try to have playdates every couple months but we are all busy and we all understand it.  My second group is two friends from high school who were part of my cliche, I lived with them both at different points in high school and back then we were like family,  they are also stay at home moms, so they are the ones I pop in on when I’m out running errands and call for advise in crisis, I sometimes disappear from them when I get into busy mode and I need to stop doing that even though I know they understand.  My third group is my best friends from elementary school, there my kids godparents, i love them, but they have no kids and things get so difficult keeping in touch because its hard to relate at times, I know i could call them for anything, but so often I don’t call anyone.  I would like to get off the couch more often and maintain my friendships and this could definitely help with the goal of getting the kids up and out doing things:)
  • My SAHM Job – I am lucky enough to be a stay at home mom, its all I dreamed of being my whole life, a mom/wife.  So now I want to start doing this job better!  Keeping a clean and organized house and taking care of my family.  I never really learned how to keep a house growing up, my mom did everything for us, but I never paid attention to how she did it, so I fall in love with fellow mom bloggers who share all their amazing tips and advise!  I also hate our current rental, its on the older side, and the landlord does NO upkeep.  We ended up here in a rush when we figured out we had to move out of our third floor walk-up apartment when the twins came and my back condition was in full flair.  We found it quick, in the right price range and neighborhood so we jumped, then we got in and realized the ugly rugs and old paint job.  We are hoping to move over the summer, but in the meantime I want to try to redecorate and make this place more homey for my family and myself.  I just want to make sure its using stuff we can take with us so no money loss.  All our house decor is from way before the twins so now they are all pretty run down from being spit-up on, and jumped on by the babies so I am so excited to do this.  Along with coming up with a weekly cleaning and organizing schedule!
  • My Craft Business Job – So I have an Etsy shop that I haven’t been keeping up with much, a website that I emptied so I could take a break, and a local store I sell it.  I have thousands of dollars worth of supplies in my basement so this year I either A) need to get this business rolling to at least a steady speed or B) destash some of the stuff in my basement corner craft room!  I’m hoping option A happens as I rebuild my energy level and get organized.
  • My Blogger Job – I have fallen in love with blogging! its me place, a place to keep track of what I’m doing and if I’m moving forward.  My dream is to make this as successful as some of the many blogs I follow, so my goals for this blog is to get over 1000 followers this year!
  • My SELF Job – ahhhh ME, my goal for me is to build my faith.  I want to read the Bible this year!  I want to learn God’s word and ultimately be baptized at my church!  along with my faith I also want to work on my confidence, my health, and start practicing my Portuguese!
WOW! What a list!
But I am hitting the ground running, I’m ready for the new me!

The new productive, loving, patient, confident, healthy ME!

The pictures above are the Now Me
The Pictures below are the Old Me:

RSV, Asthma, Phnumonia? who knows!

Lilly started her normal cough she gets 2-3 times a month, that congested type cough that she gets that keeps her up all night coughing to the point of gagging and throwing up if she’s eaten anything within the hour.  At first I thought, oh great here we go again! Cause we’ve been battling this cough for months with no resolution.  Have gone to the pediatrician frequently, had an inhaler but  the pedi had never heard wheezing so “asthma” was never truly diagnosed, there’s no cough medications for 3 year olds, so we had sort of learned to live with the cough remedying it with honey and warm baths hoping she would grow out of it. 
However this episode quickly turned from bad to worse.  She developed a fever, and needed to have tylenol and mortin alternated almost every 4 hours through out the night.  In the morning when I was expecting things to calm down like past episodes of this cough, things got even worse.  I couldnt break her fever, motrin…. didnt come down! tylenol…. didnt come down!  Ice packs…. came down for a few moments then spiked back up! Cool bath…. only kept it down for just under an hour! 
So off to the Pedi we went, they checked her and her oxygen levels were low so they sent us over to the ER.  This is where a week long battle began!  I learned alot in this week and came to realize…. when a mothers instinct is telling you something, LISTEN! No matter who your going up against, doctors, specialists, nurses, other mothers… doesnt matter! you know your baby better than anyone else could possibly understand, so always trust that feeling in your gut.
We went to the local ER, that was about 15 minutes away.  Its one of those town/city hospitals, ya know not a major hospital, just the average community type hospital, but it had been where I had alway gone before so thought nothing of it brushing thoughts of taking the extra 15 minutes and heading into the city to Children’s Hospital.  We where in the ER for about 6 hours, with continuouse oxygen, labs, and chest xrays.  according to the ER doctor who seemed to understand Lilly, there was a good propability of phnumonia.  It was on the line whether it was viral or phnumonia but with the fever and the oxygen not helping they started the antibiotics thinking better safe then sorry.  Also starting steroids and nebulizer treatments.  It was getting late, the fever was low and staying low but they couldnt stabilize her oxygen levels which were in turn causing her heart rate to raise so they decided to admitt her to be safe, but the ER doctor asumed we’d be “discharged in 24 hours, 48 hours max.  It was just a matter of getting the antibiotics and steroids in her system”.  This all made sense, I have a medical assisting background and was one of my grandmothers primary care givers in her final days so I figured out alot about oxygen levels and such with her constant cycles of phnumonia and sever asthma along with COPD.  We were moved up to the pedi floor and tried to get some rest through the night.
The next morning she was off the oxygen and I was excited at the apect of her getting better of course but of going home also, because i never imagined being admitted and was beyond unprepared.  The boys are ALOT of work and while they have a wonderful dad, he’s working from home so the boys arnt monitored the way they need to be concidering the autism factor.  So the on call doctor came in that morning, which happened to be one I knew because he worked in the kids pedi office, he decided to keep us another night just to let her get off the oxygen over night, ok still making sense.  Then struck me with a wammy, “the xray doesnt really show phnumonia, so we dont need the antibiotic, its viral”  I was confused but figured well he’s the doctor right? well by the end of the day she was back on the oxygen, and had gone from out of bed jumping around to not wanting to move from the bed falling in and out of a nap.
My gut was telling me “its the antibiotics, she should never have been taken off of them” but the doctor, the nurse, the respitory therapist all seemed in agreement.  We spent two more sleepless nights on oxygen in the hospital, some nurses would get her up and moving, blowing bubbles and what not but once rotations happened the next nurse would put her back in bed and on oxygen so she wasnt getting anything coughed out of her lungs.  I was exhausted and I didnt know what to do but the following night scared the adrnealin right back into me!  around 4:00 in the morning her levels dropped again, but didnt go up with the oxygen, nor did they go up following the nebulizer treatment.  They called the on call house doctor in, who was out of Children’s hospital Boston, which is where the kids see all there other specialists.  He came in sent us down for a new xray, which showed no change, he started us on antibiotics again immediatly and ordered some blood work.  I was astonished and felt like what? we just waisted 4 days for nothing!  The levels raised within a few hours and I tried to get Lilly hushed back to sleep.  That morning as the daily rounds started the nurses knew I was furiose and sent the pedi into our room first.  He ran an RSV test which came back positive, ok she does have a virus, but he seemed adiment on getting her home that day.  He insisted that getting her up and out of bed would get her oxygen up and with RSV theres no true reason for the kids to be in the hospital while it clears, sounded awesome right? A light at the end of the tunnel is what it sounded like!  Two boys at home, a house surely destroyed, a autsitic daughter going on 6 nights no sleep and having melt downs about wanting her bed, and a Mamma who hasnt slept in over a week and had been eating out of a vending machine all week!  Well the doctor went on his way, and I sat waiting for the nurse to come let us off the machines, but they seemed to conserned that her oxygen levels wouldnt stay up when they took her off the oxygen machine for only moments at a time.  Looking back at that day I realize I knew there was way to many people calling the shots, one doctor does something another changes it, one nurse starts a routine another changes it.  I realize my gut was saying she should be on antibiotics from day 1 and I should get her out of here this place is a circus but I had faith in the “professionals”, I was exhausted, and I was doubting my intuition.  Later that day Daddy came in and let me go home, shower, rest, cuddle my boys, and refresh myself.  I got back into the hospital with real food in my belly, some sleep, and a sense of peace that the kids were ok at home.  That next morning after not seeing the prior days pediatrician sense the morning before, actually not seeing any one of the doctors more than once over the past week, I was ready to lay into whoever came into the hospital room next.  To my delight it was her pediatrician, finally!  I looked at him dead in the eye and said “we are  leaving today! one way or another, we are out of here!”  he seemed a bit caught off gaurd, but I wasnt backing down.  He continued on saying she wasnt ready to get off the oxygen and lets continue trying through out the day, hmmm the same thing I’d heard all week from all 7 prior doctors, nope no way was I taking this, and from her own pediatrician! Really? your supposed to be the one who knows her, fixes her, understands I have 3 kids with disabilities, knows my overnight back is full of all my prescriptions, and this is what your offering me? More of the same B*llsh*t!
I began packing our stuff, insisting I would discharge her myself without medical advise if they didnt decide on another course of action, and infuriatingly telling them if she’s so sick that we need to spend another night in the hospital it needs to be spent in Boston at Children’s Hospital.  At first they wouldnt agree to a transfer saying her case wasnt severe enough and didnt warrent a transfer, but when they realized I was fully prepared to walk out with MY daughter and simply drive the extra 15 minutes into the city and walk into that emergency room, there mood changed and an ambulance was there within the hour transporting us.
I think the following 24 hours were extremely enlightening.  I have always favored Childrens Hospital, there the best, the specialists are top notch, I am always comfortable with my kids care through that hospital.  However for some reason I left my daughters care and choice of her needs in someone else’s hands besides my own, and that will never EVER happen again.
Within an hour of being at Children’s my daughter was in a new bed, had xrays, met her new nurse, and her pediatric staff on the floor.  The same doctors were always rotating on her floor and they had a list along with photos on the room walls so parent knew who was taking care of their kids.  Nurses carried cell phones and within seconds of a machine beeping they were in the room, I could press the call button and my nurse willingly came in (smiling!)  I was in awe at the difference.  I had just spent a week dealing with nurses who spent more time gossping at the station then caring for my daughter, and having far more respect for the wonderful women who would come in to clean up and change the sheets then I did for the licensed medical staff. 
That day I saw a asthma specialist, had a diagnosis of RSV, Phnumonia, and Asthma.  Also had a treatment plan for home, along with a well mapped out course of action and what goals to look for.  I was simply amazed.  Lilly was off the oxygen within a few hours and stayed off for the remainder of the day.  That night Lilly’s oxygen dropped twice once the nurse came in repositioned her, patted her back, and helped her get it back up with out putting her back on the oxygen.  The second time she only needed it for two hours and the nurse came back in shut it off to check her and it stay up so the oxygen was turned off.  When you spend a week seeing nurses take an hour to come in leaving you with a buzzing machine peircing your brain only to throw a mask on the patient and leave not to come in again till the morning, the change makes you have a deep respect for the way these new nurses cared for a floor full of kids.  The following day Lilly stayed off the oxygen even through a 4 hour nap so we were sent home, only a little more than 24 hours after being transferred.  There is not a doubt in my mind that had I listened to my gut and gone straight into childrens, Lilly would have been home within the initial 24-48 hours. 
I have spent years advocating for my kids against school systems, educators, insurance companies, exc.  but it never dawned on me that I know my kids health better than a doctor, till now!  I will never again let anyone tell me what my children need without feeling a sense of peace with the course of action again.  A mother’s bond is more powerful than anything, even a PHD!

Give and it shall be given unto you

Growing up as a catholic going to huge buildings for holiday mass services or weddings and only using a bible as a nightstand decoration I always considered the idea of “offerings” and “tithes” as some sort of scam.  I remember being a teenager when most of the priest sex abuse allegations became daily news and from then on out never thought much about the idea of religion until my late twenties.  Sure I got married in the church, got the kids baptized in the church but this was all done more as a ritual to appease the older generations in my family, than as a meaningful event between me and God.
I have a vivid memory not more than a couple years ago of myself talking to a close friend of mine about tithing while sitting in adjacent recycling bins collecting coupons (I know what a subject to be disgusting between dumpsters, right?) anyways, I kept saying “I just don’t understand why churches are always asking for money, for what? To build more huge churches, or pay legal fees for all these pedophiles they have as priests!  I liked the Christian shows on TV until I noticed all they do is ask for money!”.
That was the first day I started to understand tithing.  My friend was brought up in a born again Christian family, she didn’t tithe but her mother did so she began to explain that it’s all about faith.  God gives it to you, so if you give it back to him willingly and with faith, he will always take care of you and bless you back.
After that night I started to understand it, but never truly believed in it, that is until I myself started building my own faith.  I found an awesome church, a nondenominational Christian church.  It wasn’t a huge cathedral building with gold ceilings.  It was in a corporate office building with a large room with a simple cross and a stage where they held two services every Sunday and a group of classrooms in the back for all the children’s Sunday school classes.  It was simple but by far much more beautiful than any of the churches I had been to in my life.  The people where calm and loving, you just felt comfort walking in the door.
From that first Sunday service, my family has been going every week.  The pastor speaks in a way that I can understand what he is saying, I can see it all in my bible, and see that Gods word is real and it has changed my life.  This is when I felt a strong calling to tithe, and I listened!  I feel blessed that God has put me in a place where my tithes have helped build schools in Kenya, and feed orphans in Haiti.  I give back what God has blessed me with, without a second thought because I see every week how amazing he is in every way.
Of course at first, knowing we live on a tight income with me being disabled and having three little ones with autism, it was kind of scary but I listened to God and he has taken care of me ever sense.  I now write a check once a month with 10% of any income to my church as my tithe, then the rest of the month give whatever cash I have on hand in the collection plate as an offering.  I can honestly say that from day one I have not once had to worry about that money missing, God always keeps his word and blesses us back.

Luke 6:38
Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure,pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Tutorial: Mickey Head Topiary

I made these for the twins first birthday party and they were a big hit so I thought I’d share.
What you’ll need:
Large Styrofoam ball
Two smaller Styrofoam balls
(the sizes of the balls all depends on how big a mickey you want)
Black Spray Paint
Flower Pot
White Spray Paint
Styrofoam Squares to fill Pot
Disney Cut Outs (I got mine from Craftygio on etsy)

  • Start by preparing the base, spray paint the flower pot, glue on your cut outs, fill the planter with foam so that the foam is tight enough to hold up the dowel
  • Then spray paint the balls and dowels
  • cut one of the dowels into 5-6 inch pieces, and have a large one at about 18 inches
  • Build the mickey head once they’ve dried, put the large ball into the large dowel, then put the two smaller pieces of dowel into the small balls and connect them like ears
  • Then stick the large dowel into the foam that’s in the pot
  • now glue the boa all around the top of the foam
  • walaaaa its all done! great for centerpieces or a special touch of decor to a great Disney party!

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats
Easy Apple Crisp Recipe made with Quaker Oats!

Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

My absolute favorite part of Fall is Apple Picking and my fave dessert is apple crisp… so they go hand in hand and the apple picking gives me the perfect excuse to make it every other night till the bag is empty!

Here is my Easy Apple Crisp Recipe…
7 Apples
4 teaspoons Lemon Juice
1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla
2 cups Brown Sugar
1 teaspoon Cinnamon
2 cups Quaker Oats
1 cup softened Butter
Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats
Preheat oven to 375 degrees
peel apples and slice to your desired size, I usually make small cube like pieces.
Combine the apples, lemon juice, and vanilla in the bottom of a casserole dish
In a medium sized mixing bowl combine brown sugar, cinnamon, Quaker oats, and butter
Then spread it on top of the apples in the casserole dish
Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes
Easy Apple Crisp Recipe with Oats

Wao la! Sweet Deliciousness!

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