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May 102014

Tonight, my sweet Hanna stepped out of the shower and with a towel wrapped around her, asked proudly if she, “was fast, right?”  I told her she was, she did a great job. She normally takes forever, payback from when I was a child and racked up my parents water bill in the shower, I’m sure. But, more importantly, I noticed she was happy, not crying, not on the verge of hyperventilating, because her skin was hurting so much. In fact, she didn’t even notice her skin, and I had to ask her how it felt. She exclaimed, “It feels fine! It doesn’t hurt at all!” In that moment, I felt joy for her. I reminded her to go put some coconut oil on so we can keep her skin feeling nice now that it’s doing better. She quickly did it, and got clean pajamas on. From shower to finish, it was record timing on her part.

Eczema on Inner Elbow

Today was day 10, the final day, of taking Prednisone. We visited the doctor for Liam’s 18 month well-baby visit last week, and as great as our doctor is, he always asks how we’re all doing. Hanna showed him her legs and we agreed that sometimes you just have to go in with the big guns. She has had a prescription for a topical steroid that we’ve filled on and off when her skin has flared up. But, you can only use it for 2 weeks at a time… and then what do you do when her skin is still awful? I’ve been at a loss. With eczema, I feel like finding the triggers is just a giant guessing game. You guess what you think it might be, try to eliminate it or decrease exposure, and move on to the next thing.

I realize the Prednisone isn’t a fix. It’s a temporary solution to break the itch-scratch cycle and let her skin try to repair itself. It’s obvious when you look at her skin, that something is going on. Healing from that much trauma is going to take time.

Tonight, after it was silent, and everyone was in bed, the tears came. In seeing her so “okay” and thinking about the weeks and months past, where she’d beg to not have to take a shower. Where she’d get out of the shower and immediately cry so hard she couldn’t catch her breath. Where the last two showers she took, I had to put her in there and do it for her because she didn’t even want her skin wet. Where her sheets are covered in small spots of blood from scratching so much at night. It broke my heart that she’s been dealing with this her whole 8 year life, and that it’s seemingly only getting worse. Why haven’t I been able to make this go away for her?

Toddler with Eczema on Ankle

We’ve tried eliminating dairy, I don’t know that it makes that big of a difference in her eczema. She now eats some here and there, mainly cheese. It does seem to make a difference in how her stomach feels; if she eats too much, she notices. Strangely, living in the house we’re in now has made her eczema flare big time. (As well as mine and even Oliver’s – but ours is only in small patches on our hands, and Oliver’s is more just excessive dryness.) It made me realize in the 3 years we lived in our last place, she only had minimal flare ups, and the eczema seemed to be under control for the most part. I still haven’t figured out what exactly it is here that is the trigger. Our next big trial is eliminating wheat and gluten. A huge challenge in itself.

I have pieces to a puzzle, never ending research, new ideas and thoughts. I hope that somewhere in the pile is an answer.

 Posted by on May 10, 2014 hanna, health Tagged with:  6 Responses »
Apr 122014
jumping horse2

Ever since Medieval Times came to Dallas and I saw the first commercial on TV, I’ve always wanted to go. Unfortunately, I’ve never really had the opportunity…until now! Hanna and I will be going to Medieval Times Dallas Castle for a royal dinner and tournament, tomorrow, Sunday, April 13.

jumping horse2

Disclosure: Tickets for this event are being provided for us.

Knights, jousting, sword fighting, wenches in medieval dress (*whistle*), eating with your hands… oh yeah, and bonding time with my daughter! With three kids, school, and a full time job, I don’t get much one on one time with each of my kids, and with Hanna getting older, I’m going to have a blast getting to spend this time with her.

Watch for updates, I’ll try to get in a follow up to let you know how it went.

Hey, if you’re in the Dallas area, join us for the 7:45pm show at the Medieval Times Dallas Castle and you won’t have to read how it went, because you’ll know for yourself. Tickets are on special for only $28!  Just use this link: http://bit.ly/28Sunday and this code: 28MM.

Comment below and let us know if you’re going to be there!

 Posted by on April 12, 2014 Dallas, DFW No Responses »
Feb 202014

We read every night with our kids and have been since they were babies.  It’s part of our bedtime routine and something the kids look forward to every day.  We have our favorite books (and not-so-favorites that I hide on the top shelf or the back of the row) that Hanna and Oliver love, but even better that we love reading to them too.  Those, in my opinion are the best kind.  Anyway, I wanted to share some of our current favorites with you!

Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies

Bats at the Beach by Brian Lies

Technically Bats at the Beach is geared towards ages 4 and up but we started reading it when Oliver just turned 2, and he loved this book!  This book is a favorite all around; from toddlers to gradeschoolers, and even parents love this one.  Brian Lies is such a talented author and illustrator.  The story is filled with words that flow off your tongue as well as detailed and captive pictures.  The story follows the surf-side adventures of bats as they spend their evening enjoying each other’s company, games, food, stories and songs.  Even without the amazing illustrations Brian’s descriptive words get your imagination moving.  We found this book while we were looking for one of Brian Lies’ other books, Bats at the Library, another favorite!

Fancy Nancy by Jane O'Connor

Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor

We’ve been reading the Fancy Nancy series of books for a few years now but they are all still popular with Hanna.  They are for the girly-girl who loves to learn.  As a parent I like that Fancy Nancy is not only imaginative but increases my daughter’s vocabulary in a fun and creative way.  I’m so happy that the author and illustrator have both continued creating new Fancy Nancy books but have even grown the character with their audience.  Fancy Nancy has appeal for preschoolers on up.  We’ve grown from the classic Fancy Nancy series into reading the Fancy Nancy “I Can Read!” First Readers.  The duo has continued the fabulous fun and learning again by begining a chapter book series with Fancy Nancy: Nancy Clancy, Super Sleuth. I love that this character has grown up with my daughter!

Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton

Hippos Go Berserk by Sandra Boynton

One silly hippo, who is all alone, decides to have a party with all of his hippo friends!  Hippos Go Berserk counts up to nine and back down again while seeing just who arrives at the party and then which way they all go home.  This book is definitely a toddler book but Hanna (8) still gets a kick out of it and loves reading it to her little brothers.  Really, any board book by Sandra Boynton is a huge hit in our house.

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Llama Llama Red Pajama by Anna Dewdney

Little Llama is such a cute character, that is until he starts having a bedtime meltdown wondering where his mama went.  Llama Llama Red Pajama is a story a lot of small children can probably relate to.  In the end, he learns that his mama is always close by no matter what.  My kids both have fun listening to me read this book and I like the simple lesson in the end.  Anna Dewdney has a few other Llama Llama books that we like as well, but this one is the most popular in our house.

I would love to hear what some of your favorite children’s books are!  

(Or the ones you hide on the top shelf or the back of the stack too.)

Dec 182013

For a limited time on Groupon, you can save over 60% on in-home dog boarding services with Rover.com. Just in time for holiday travel, check out all the great dog sitters in your neighborhood that are anxiously awaiting the chance to watch your pup! lady_with_dog_copy Traveling during the holidays is always tough. Especially when you have a pet that you need to arrange care for. Most pet owners are very particular about who can watch their animals when they are gone, and it is often a decision that is stressed over. Not all dogs do well in a cage, and most options for boarding can be very stressful for your dog. Rover.com offers an easy way to find a great, local dog sitters that go far beyond traditional boarding. A community of dog lovers that was founded on the belief that dogs deserve to stay in safe, loving homes while their owners travel. Not a business where your dog is left alone at night in a crate, but a real home, with a real family, and sometimes even other dogs to play with. Started and run by dog owners/fanatics, Rover.com wants to ensure a cage-free experience for dogs at a more affordable prices than traditional dog boarding. And they want to help take away the guilt that pet owners feel when they have to leave their dogs for any amount of time by offering a way to find your perfect pet sitter. rover-com-dog-sitting Ready to check it out? Simply create a free profile, then you can browse through hundreds of dog-loving host homes that are near you. This means you don’t have to drive hours away to find a cage free dog boarding location, and you can meet and talk to your dog sitter way in advance – even giving your dog the opportunity to meet the family that will be taking care of him/her while you are away. Finding the perfect dog sitter has never been easier! Plus, all payments are made through Rover.com, and the money is held until your return to make sure that you and your pup are satisfied.

To keep up with the latest from Rover.com, connect with them on social media:

Rover.com on Facebook  | @roverdotcom on Twitter

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 Posted by on December 18, 2013 pets Tagged with: , ,  4 Responses »
Dec 182013

Every year when it comes to the holiday season, I’ve made a tradition of baking up at least 10 different kinds of cookies from scratch and then making up cookie tins and gifting them to family and friends.  However, in the last few years, with 2 little boys added to our family, I just haven’t had that kind of time.  I was so excited to come up with a new, quick, and delicious treat option this year – Chex® Party Mix!  With a huge list of sweet and savory Chex® Party Mix recipes, that take just fifteen minutes, there’s a plethora of options to choose from. Chex Party Mix 15 Minute Recipes via SouthernYankeeMix.com I had a really hard time narrowing down the list of which flavors I wanted to make.  Sugar Cookie Chex® Party Mix, Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex® Mix, Chocolate Coffee Toffee Chex® Mix, Chex® Lemon Buddies, Chili-Lime Chex® Mix, Buffalo Chex® Mix… The list could go on and on.  I consulted my family and narrowed it down to Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex® Mix and Chex® Lemon Buddies.  But, I’m sure I’ll be making up a few more batches.  They just all sound way too good and are too easy not to. Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex Party Mix via SouthernYankeeMix.com First up, I made the Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex® Mix, which is reminiscent of a big mug of steaming hot cocoa blended with a cookie.  It utilizes three great flavors of Chex® cereal – Chocolate Chex®, Vanilla Chex®, and Cinnamon Chex®.  Chex® cereal combined with more chocolate, marshmallows, cinnamon, and coconut makes this Chex® Party Mix a favorite of all.  (And for those non-coconut fans, it’s easy enough to leave it out and still tastes just as good.) Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex Mix with Marshmallows, Cinnamon & Coconut via SouthernYankeeMix.com When I saw the recipe for the Chex® Lemon Buddies, I knew I wanted to try them right away, they were different and sounded refreshing.  Making the Chex® Lemon Buddies was easy as can be.  The most labor intensive part of it was grating the fresh lemon peel, but I was still done in fifteen minutes.  The flavor is bright and a nice departure from what you typically have this time of year.  They remind me of lemon bars, only a thousand times easier and quicker. Chex Lemon Buddies via SouthernYankeeMix.com One thing that I love about making Chex® Party Mix instead of cookies, is that I can make delicious treats for my friends and family, even if they have gluten sensitivities.  Seven out of eight Chex® cereal varieties are gluten-free (but be sure to check the label)!    And in case you were wondering, the light crunchy squares also have 10 grams or more of whole grain per serving.  Chex® cereal comes in Rice, Wheat, Corn, Honey-Nut, Apple-Cinnamon, Chocolate, Vanilla, and Cinnamon – a flavor for all taste buds. Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex Mix with Marshmallows, Cinnamon & Coconut via SouthernYankeeMix.com With all of the quick, easy, and delicious Chex® Party Mix recipes to choose from, my plan is to make up some cookie tins with a few different flavors of Chex® Party Mix inside, a la the classic popcorn tin, only better.  The Mexican Hot Chocolate Chex® Mix looks adorable in a coffee mug wrapped up in cellophane and will make a great on-the-go gift, too.  I know I’m not the only mama who still wants to give something homemade, but needs something that you can fit in quickly and easily during this busy time of year.  I’d love to hear if you decide to make up any Chex® Party Mix for gifting this year – share your inspiration with me! This post brought to you by Chex® cereal. I have been compensated and given free product for my time & commitment, but all opinions are 100% mine.

 Posted by on December 18, 2013 food, holiday, recipe 6 Responses »
Dec 162013

For a geek like me, anything electronic is the perfect gift. It doesn’t matter if I’m giving or receiving – I love to play with my new gadgets and I love helping others play with their new gadgets. Since Christmas is right around the corner (OMG THERE’S ONLY 8 DAYS LEFT!), I figured it was time to head up to Radio Shack to do some last minute shopping.


I participated in a campaign on behalf of Mom Central Consulting (#MC) for RadioShack. I received a gift card to facilitate a shopping trip and promotional item as a thank you for participating.

I’ve always preferred Radio Shack for all the electronic components and parts that I need, but I found out that they are in the middle of a major brand renovation, which means updated stores and products! Just in time for holiday shoppers, they’ve renovated more than half of their 4300 stores and have over 100 concept and brand statement stores. They have an all-new layout, which I think feels more open and much easier to find exactly what you’re looking for. Of course, that didn’t stop me from hanging out in the store for half an hour looking at all the new products. Take a look at their new RadioShack Holiday Hub for whole list of great gifts for your gadget geek girl or guy.

Robots at RadioShack

After a good half an hour or more of looking at everything like a kid in a candy store (“Oh, I need one of those!”, “OMG! I have to get that!”, etc.) I realized I was probably starting to freak the store associates out a little bit. I picked up some HEXBUG Warriors Battling Robots and Zibits Mini RC Robots for “the kids”. I can’t wait to play with watch the kids play with these! You can check out the HEXBUGs on RadioShack’s website, but don’t forget to stop into one of the newly redesigned stores to pick up some techy gizmo gadget goodness!

As they say in the RadioShack Holiday Hub – Tech The Halls, baby!

 Posted by on December 16, 2013 holiday, tech No Responses »