{Global} darkness turns to light

I can so vividly recall that February day in 2012 that changed our lives forever. Two weeks after our son was born, I knew something wasn’t right. He cried, and cried in agonizing pain as I coddled him as tightly as I could, wondering why this was happening? Did he have colic…whatever that even means? Was it the one glass of champagne I had drank the night before at my besties wedding? Whatever it was, in my heart of hearts, I knew something was wrong.

He did have jaundice that seemed to last longer than usual, and he wasn’t gaining back his birth weight as fast as I, or the doctors, had hoped, but other than that, he seemed like a ‘normal’ healthy boy.

Mothers intuition is no joke. I have always felt in tune to my body and prided myself in my ability to read people. Fortunately my husband, and my doctor agreed.

After several visits to the pediatrician to figure out why my son would have these crying spells that would wake him from sleep only minutes after falling asleep, why he projectile vomited, and why his poops were the colors of a mossy swamp forest, and the most sweet and rancid smelling things my olfactory system had encountered.

His pediatrician believed me that he had a calm and kind nature and that something more serious must be causing what he called, his “excruciating pain.”  He checked his poop for blood, which I could not see, and sure enough there was blood. Lots.

He told me it was most likely something I was eating and passing through in my breast milk. He told me to give up dairy and the remaining top 5 allergens. Not what I wanted to hear, but of course I did it.  Anything for my little guy.

Sadly, despite having him now being on acid blocking medication and my new elimination diet, he continued to be in pain, have blood in his stools, and not thrive.

My tenacity and his pediatricians willingness to listen to all my concerns and tears, brought us to the conclusion that something in my diet was effecting him negatively.

I then went on the top 10 elimination diet, was stricter than ever with what I ate, and he continued to still have episodes. In fact the only time he did not appear to be in pain, is when I would give him a special hydrolyzed formula to heal his gut, per the doctors request, after having a severe episode.

At 4 months, we went to the allergist who very quickly diagnosed him with FPIES. Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) is a type of food allergy affecting the gastrointestinal tract.  What it means, is no allergy test can tell you what to avoid, but you can and will (most likely) outgrow it at a young age.

The allergist told me at the time, he had only diagnosed a handful of people with this in his entire career.

My heart immediately hurt.

My eyes, flooding with tears.

My mind swirling with thoughts. Why me? Why my son?

The questions poured. I can’t breastfeed anymore? He will have this for how long? How do we manage this once he starts solids?

The allergist admitted that he hardly knew anything about FPIES. He said he would most likely outgrow it by 18 months, and as long as he avoided the “trigger food” he would be fine. Okay. Seemed easy enough. NOT.

I remember leaving there thinking it wasn’t so bad. It sounded awful, but the little information he gave me, made it seem easily manageable and not life threatening. At least we had an answer. The worst is over. Right?

I guess in a way that is true. Half the battle is not knowing.

Sadly, so many still know nothing about FPIES. Not just friends alike, but doctors, dieticians, Gastroenterologists, etc.

Recently we had to take my son to the ER, for a nurse-maid elbow, and not one nurse or doctor there, had ever heard of FPIES. Many strides are being made to ensure awareness is raised, and now October 14th has been declared “Global FPIES Day!”

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But knowing is only half the battle.

Many days are still unknown.

We have not had the opportunity to trial every food. It seems easy enough. Just give him a new food… but its not. It is easier to stick with our 17 safe foods (25 including ingredients). Partly because he himself is adverse to trying new foods and textures, and partly because it is a inconvenience, not to mention horrifying when he has a reaction.

No one likes to see their children in pain, and imagine knowing you were the cause of it. I felt that everyday. Until he was strictly formula feed and again once solids were introduced. We trialed close to 40 things before we found 2 safe foods for him.

The gut wrenching feeling that you are making the wrong choices. Not just with food, but also as a parent.

I still cry when I think about the day he can eat cake and have “e cream” that he is always talking about. He never gets sad or begs for other peoples food, instead he looks a it fondly and says “sissy” or “mommy” or “daddy” to whomever he sees eats the particular food most often. It is adorable and sad all at the same time. Maybe a year from now he will be able to eat those things.

For now,  when you see my kid eating a {homemade} popsicle for breakfast, or potato chips for lunch and pancakes for dinner, just know it did not come without trial. I wish I didn’t have to rely on his nutrition to come from an expensive can of formula, or potatoes, but it is what it is.

Life is what you make of it. I think he thinks his life is great. Most of the time, I think his life his great.

The darkness I once felt, and some days still do, are being lightened by recent food passes, recent awareness efforts, and the support I get from his teachers, family and friends. He will out grow this. I will too.

I hope.

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Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

….doing my part to spread awareness, today and always.

Love you, progress!

Happy Friday, everyone! I know it is a happy day for me. Today, I heard my son utter those sweet words “love you” for the first time just moments ago. Yes, he is 2 years and 8 months ( but whose is counting), and most of you moms and dads out there were blessed with that utterance much sooner, and some of you, like my sister and her husband, will never hear it at all, ever. I know {now} I am fortunate. Fortunate enough that I get to celebrate every word he speaks. It {talking} is something I took for granted having a daughter who spoke clear and precise sentences by a year and half and had nearly 50 words by her first birthday. Despite hearing how lucky I was from countless mommies, I had no idea how right they were.

I have mentioned several times the struggles I have had with Harlan and his FPIES diagnosis, and I believe I have mentioned the behavioral problems I had with him early on due to lack of communication, but today I celebrate progress.

Progress in adding 2 new foods in the last month (apple, and carrot) alone and several through out the last year.  Now, drum roll please… his food/ingredient count is at 28!!!

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Yay! It is amazing, and I see the light at the end of the tunnel. Many FPIES kids, outgrow their ‘triggers’ by 3 and almost all, by 5. At the very least, we are half way there. A celebration of itself.

His progress of speaking {mini} sentences offers me equal excitement. I literally had a mom, whose has known Harlan since 18 months, say to me with the greatest enthusiasm, “he speaks sentences!”

Mind you, he often leaves out the articles, a word that had completely left my lexicon, btw. I literally had to ask his speech therapist what those {articles} were.

Slightly embarrassing.

Luckily my wit and charm make up for my lack of English comprehension skills.

Seriously.

He has come along way. His sweet little voice makes every word sound adorable. If you ever get the chance to hear him say “watermelon” you will never be able to look at one again without replaying his utterance of the word in your head. Trust me.

For the past several months, he has used the phrase “miss you” instead of “I love you” in context. I think it started because I told him one day that I missed him in the exact tone I say the phrase “I love you.” Since then, it stuck. Until today when I ws putting him down for his nap, he looked up at me in his crib as I was about to walk toward the door and said, “love you.” I almost cried.

Actually, I just did.

Of course, being that I am supposed to encourage complete sentences as my speech homework, I asked him to say, “I love you” and he did.

I thanked him for his use of words, and say a big “I LOVE YOU” back.

Today, I celebrate progress, and love.

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Oh, and I am happy to report, his sister FINALLY loves him. For real. Not because we tell her she has to.

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Happy day!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

 

A four-letter word kind-of-day {week}.

Last night, I frantically looked up at my calendar, while vacuuming the kitchen floor, and realized that the meeting I was supposed to attend, started at 7:00 pm, not 7:30 like I thought. Given it was 6:55 pm, I said a half-assed good-bye to the hubby, quickly kissed my kiddos goodnight, and drove like a bat out of hell to the meeting location. I was six minutes late (totally unacceptable in my book), looking disheveled, definitely not magazine material, only to see boy scouts in the meeting room. Given I was there for a girl scout meeting it wasn’t too far off, but a little suspect. A nice mom, approached me…

me: Is this the girl scout magazine/nut meeting?
nice mom: No, this is a cub scout meeting.
me: Is today the 18th?
nice mom: No, today is the 17th.
me: Oh, great.
nice mom: Well, at least you are a day early and not a day late.
me: you’re right  (what I really wanted to say: f*ck!). Have a nice night.

As I drove away, perplexed, I decided to go be productive and do some grocery shopping. I went to Safeway (which I never do), because I needed a few items I can only find there. I opted to do the self-check simply because the one checker lane was crowded with college boys buying beer and frozen entrees.

BIG mistake. Huge (for those of you not born in the 80′s, that was only one of the best lines from Pretty Women)! I had 10 items to purchase and I needed assistance 7 times. Never again will I do a self-check. Never. I will pay the “extra money” and shop at Nugget and trader Joe’s where they are friendly faces to ring up my items and bag them for me.

Immediately after getting in the car, I called a friend to tell her about my evening, and the fact that I have officially “lost my mind.”. I said more f-bombs in that 5 minute conversation, than I have since having children.

This week has been crazy or “cray cray” as the urban hipsters are saying (it just makes me feel old when I say it).

When did that happen, btw?
Me, getting old?

I blame kindergarten.

Since my daughter has started Kindergarten, I have less time to myself, more dementia (a clear sign of old age), and I am loosing my cool factor by the minute. Well, self-proclaimed coolness anyway.

My daughter’s school is from 8:15-11:35. We leave the house at 8 to walk there. Well, I walk, Harlan rides in the stroller and Elle rides her scooter I then have to leave my house at 11:15 to go pick her up. Last year, her school was from 9-noon so this is a big change in morning routine. For that hour and a half, I a running around with a chicken with my head cut off to get anything I need to get done, done.
My outfits are becoming more and more “Davis,” and my general style is lack-luster. Not to mention, for the second day in a row, I have put my sons shirt on backwards.

Who does that?
Me.

My daughter does wear two different shoes everyday, but that is her fashion choice, not my ding batty-ness.

Let’s see, I also told my mother-in-law the wrong place to pick-up my daughter yesterday, and I have thought everyday was a day later than it was.

Clearly, I need to SLOW DOWN, get more organized, and find some Zen in all the chaos.

I don’t know how all you moms with 3+ kids who have soccer practice, ballet, swim lessons, karate, baseball, rainbow loom class, art, basketball etc., and have kids at 3 different schools, manage!? I want what you are having! Not the children, but what ever you are taking to survive!

Tell me the truth… it’s booze isn’t it?

I keep saying I need to drink more.

My sister would say, “I need to be more in the present.” One of these days, I will get around to reading the book she quotes so I actually know what the heck she is talking about.

For now, I will try to refrain from saying the forbidden four-letter words like SH!T, F*CK! Well maybe just this last time. I will try and say four-letter words like SLOW DOWN instead.

A few weeks ago I bought this, yoga “Shiva” head (I think that is her name, forgive me if I am wrong) to inspire me to slow down, and find my Zen, and to sign-up for the yoga I have been talking about. So far, it is just a really awesome addition to my fabulous office.

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baby steps.

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

I am Beautiful

beautiful

In the past few months, on two separate occasions (at yoga and last night), I was asked to say those 3 words about myself. I had no idea the tearful emotions it would trigger. To me, “I am beautiful” is not only about the face I was given, or the body I wear, but the person I am.

When receiving a Facebook challenge to choose 5 pictures of me when I “feel beautiful” I had no problem. I even searched through my albums with a smile on my face thinking of the moments and proud of the beauty I embrace.
5 pics

So why is a simple request to say out loud, “I am beautiful” so emotionally challenging?

Until last night, I had no idea. Now, the ugly truth has reared its ‘angry’ head.

Literally.

When my ‘non-sex surrogate husband’ (my hubby’s best friend and my dear friend) and I were in in the midst of our deep thought overanalyzing “therapy session tipsy talk” sitting on the kitchen counter at 1:30 in the morning, he asked me to say “I, Ashley, am beautiful” aloud.

Instead of uttering the statement, I started to tear.
Uncomfortably turned my face, and said…

Me: “No. I don’t want to say that!”
Nssh: Why not? You are beautiful inside and out. You know that right?
Me: I don’t believe I am.
Nssh: Why?
Me: I am too angry to be beautiful (insert ugly face cry here)

Wow. It was one of the most profound moments I have ever had in my life.

I have become a very angered mother over the years, and in my eyes, a not-so beautiful person.

I know I have mentioned I have always struggled with anger issues since childhood, but I didn’t realize how much it effected the way it made me feel about myself as a whole. Until this aha moment.

My daughter has not made parenting easy, and her anger bursts and rude behaviors have wittled away at my self-esteem.  I take my job as a stay-at-home mom very seriously. When my children act out or misbehave, I find it nearly impossible to not see it as a ‘job fail.’ After all, if I were at a ‘real job’ and had been working on a development project for years and it crashed and burned in its real world application, that would be a ‘job fail.’ All you feel-gooders and optismistics out there are probably saying, “No. Its just part of the learning process. You just dust yourself off, and try again!”

Bull-$h!t. It still sucks. You still feel like a failure even for a moment, a week, or year. If you do not, I want what your having for my next tipsy talk therapy session.

For real.

In all seriousness, it is a hard thing to admit, let alone talk about or write about for anyone on the information superhighway to read. But that is what I do. I say the things that people think, but NO ONE wants to say.

I am sad at the person I have become because of motherhood.
I am angry that I have a temper and use it almost everyday at my child’s expense.
I am angry that I let it effect my self-worth.
I am angry that I allow them to have that power.
I am angry that my daughter is angry.
I am angry that I feel like a failure.
I am sad that I am even saying this.
I am angry that I am angry.
I am angry that I equate beauty to be perfection.
I am beautiful.
I am beautiful.
I am more than what I believe I am.
I am beautiful.

We all are, right?
We just have to believe it to be true.

I am not there yet, but I am empowered to be. I want to be. For that, I am grateful.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

 

Things I’ve learned (lately)

1. Did you know that buckwheat is not wheat? It is not even a “grain” at all. It is a highly nutritious seed. Who knew!? I sure didn’t until I looked at my list of “best foods to trial next” for my son, who has Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES) and began researching it.
Side note: Many of you might be new to my blog. If you wish to catch up from the beginning of my blogging career (ahem) you can read more about him, and our FPIES journey here.

A few months ago, his pediatric dietician told me to trial Japanese Soba noodles made with 100% buckwheat, as another option to get some great protein in his diet. I thought she was crazy. Buckwheat? Let’s just poison him now! Until I did some research. A long trip to the Co-op reading every Asian noodle label 5 times, and $9 later, I had a bag of noodles for him to trial. I thought he would be so excited to try something so different. Not so much. He really is just so happy with his 13 safe foods. It is kind of sad in a way, but makes for being at a party, or playdate much easier. He is not tempted by gold-fish and cake (anymore). Nonetheless, he was not tempted to trial the brown slippery noodle either. Plan B. I figured the best way to get him interested in a new food, is to get the same texture/shape of foods he is used to eating. So, I did some more research and found there is a buckwheat cracker.

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Of course, I had to order them. I swear, I never ordered food on Amazon or Soap.com (in this case) prior to having a child with food allergies, and now that is where I have to get almost all of his “pre-made” food, with the exception of his Trader Joe staples. Thank God for Tj’s!

Anywho, for all you Gluten-free-ers out there…now you know that buckwheat is misnomer, and there are cracker options out there. They also make a quinoa and hazelnut version. They are pretty tasty (for gluten-free, taste-free crackers) and are a good replacement for flatbread crisps for dipping, or whatever.

2.  The key to a clean house is to behave like a maid.  I know this seems like a no-brainer, but I think you would be surprised how an easy and simple routine, can really keep things clean. Every morning when ‘the boy’ comes to my bed side and tells me to “ake up! ake up!’ I reluctantly side roll out of bed. He goes into the living room to watch TV (gasp if you must), and I reenact Jennifer Lopez’s role in “Maid in Manhattan.”  Well, the cleaning parts anyway. I skip over the part where I pretend to be rich and marry a politician. Although that would have its perks. Kidding.  What I mean, is I go in everyone’s room, when appropriate, and make the bed, clean-up, open the blinds, and freshen the place up. I do this before my mandatory cup of morning coffee. I know. Crazy, right? I bet many of you probably don’t even drink home-brewed coffee. I guess for you Starbucks, Pete’s peeps, this is nothing new, well at least the functioning without coffee part.

Anywho, I call this genius cleaning act ‘turn-up.’ And yes, I do ‘turn-down’ too. Down to every toy, book, piece of trash, etc. They all get put in their rightful place prior to lights out. The kids help of course, but while they take their bath, I get it  ‘magazine worthy.’ After I am done with that, I do a whole house pick-up. I sweep, vacuum, wash every dish, etc., before I sit down to watch some Real House Wives program. Admit it. You love them. If you don’t, you probably do not have cable or you are a boy.

Another thing I learned is that laundry baskets are kind of evil. If you put the clean clothes in them, they never make their way out  to be folded. If you put the folded laundry inside them, then they never make it into their respective drawers. Now, I use them ONLY for safe passage from the garage (my filthy laundry room) to the couch. That way, my OCD brain will never allow the clothes to sit there long enough for the family to plumage their weekly outfits from the pile. Instead I fold it when the children are sleeping or when the boy is napping. However, whenever you find the time to fold the never-ending mounds of laundry that covers half of your couch (don’t worry, no one is judging) just be sure to put the folded laundry in front of their intended recipients door while they are sleeping. That way, when doing your morning turn-up, you are reminded and bothered by the clothes in the hallway like the left over food trays at the hotel, so you put them away first.

Trust me, you will thank me later.

3. It is okay to wear a swimsuit even if you are not at your ‘goal weight.‘ I seriously cringe at that phrase. Hubby knows this, and uses it whenever he can to get a rise out of me. It works. I mean, who is at their goal weight after children (A.C.) anyway? Well you could be one of those freakishly lucky biotches I have been talking about. Yes sister, I am talking about you again.
I mentioned yesterday, I did the dreaded swimsuit shopping. Even worse, I had to take the kids. My daughter wondered why I tried on ‘so many black swimsuits’ and she told me I looked beautiful in every one, but she especially loved the pink one. I ended up with the vintage inspired navy blue one. The point is, your kids don’t care what you look like. They just want to splash, swim, and have fun with you. Not a 20 pound thinner you. Just you. In all your glory. This Huffington Post article circulating Facebook today, reminded me of that.

I guess I will embrace that my legs and boobs are no longer my best assets in a swimsuit (or otherwise) and just have fun in the sun. Afterall, I do have vodka lemonades to help suppress those feelings of loss. At least I know have beautiful hair. I have my children to thank for that.
4. Friendships do change and that’s okay. It is no secret that I value friendship. I consider myself to be a great friend, a decent listener (working on this), and a glue that brings people together. Lately I am lucky to see my friends once a month, and even more lucky if I actually talk to them on the phone other than receive a text. Its okay. I am not mad about it. I don’t feel as disconnected as one would think. I guess it is just the times. A bestie of mine, Kristine, of 25 years shared a link on Facebook to this article, What Being a BFF in Your Thirties Means. I commented with, “I especially like, “We’ve traded cocktails on the beach for mimosas at baby showers.” Check. Love you too bestie! Even if we don’t chat everyday :)” Fortunately for us, we do find time the way we can now that we are in our thirties and have kids. The reality is, life changes. Friendships change. You know what? It’s okay!

Make the best of what you’ve got.

Muah to all my besties, old and new out there!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

Namaste

Yesterday, I posted on Facebook a picture of my two kiddos sitting ‘close’ together at a park with the caption, “It was a good day.”

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I realized after receiving 51 likes and 7 comments (but who’s counting?) I need to celebrate those ‘good’ days, well heck, even ‘good’ moments more often. Lets be honest, sometimes they are far and few between.

Well, unless you are living in the magical make-believe world where your children are the best behaved, angelic little beings who only bring you joy with every waking moment of your life, while prancing along side the unicorns, and flying with the tooth fairy, then you should relish in those moments too.

Right?

Part of me started blogging (if you can call it that) to have documented proof that my children are not perfect. If I hear one more time that I never whinned or had a tantrum, I am going to throw myself to the floor and scream.

I love you mom, but I really just find this statement hard to believe. I mean, have you met me? I am a whiner now and I definitely throw my fair share of tantrums. I am pretty sure these traits did not develop when I went away to college.

I know this for certain, because it was there that I perfected my OCD skills. There is no way I had the time or energy to learn  how to whine, throw tantrums, and obsess over the placement of my knick knacks, all while obtaining my cum-laude collegiate education. It’s simply impossible.

All I know, is today, I relished in a few ‘great moments’ with my kiddos that I felt the need to document. After all, it can’t always be bad.

My favorite moment (1 min and 49 seconds to be exact) of everyday happens while listening to the Frozen soundtrack in my car and watching (in my rear view mirror) and listening to BOTH my kids sing and laugh together to the “Frozen Heart” song. ‘The boy’ is hilarious as he very astutely slaps is hands down on his lap as if he too is chiseling and heaving ice blocks, and yells out “Ho” and “Go” every time they say,

Hup! Ho!
Watch your step!
Let it go!

and both of the kiddos giggle after they yell,
stronger than a hundred men! HO!

Really. It makes my whole day.

For that moment, I join the leprechaun’s at the end of the rainbow in the magical world of make-believe.

Then today, a rare occasion where we all got to exercise and relax together (for about 58 seconds) at a free mom/kid yoga class at a local yoga studio here in Davis.

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Though chaotic, it was much more relaxing than being in a dressing room (pretty unsuccessfully) trying on 13 swimsuits at TJ Maxx with both children was. Though I did manage to find one that was less offensive than the others.

Thankfully, I did that before yoga.

Although the kids found relaxation in that too.

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Namaste.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home Cooking Meal Momma

Last Friday night, was monthly mom’s night out. We all host a month throughout the year, where we can choose to host at our home or pick the restaurant. This month, my dear friend Suzanne hosted us at her beautiful home. She made us all a delicious home cooked meal, served us tantalizing basil infused lemon vodka drinks. Mmm… they were refreshing. I say, “they” because I had a few too many, stayed until 2 in the morning and am just now feeling back to ‘normal’ and it is Monday.

Needless to say, the drinks and the company were amazing.

Suzanne, Nicole and me

Suzanne, Nicole and me (looking not so cute)

So was the view from her backyard.

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We were all to bring either an appetizer or dessert of our liking.  I choose, dessert.
Lately, well since I was pregnant with ‘the girl’ (5 years ago) I could eat a cupcake everyday. Mind you, I do not. But I very well could. Since all of us mommies have some dietary restriction (I know, lame), I went to a local cupcake shop and got an array of goodies, gluten sugar-free, vegan and full of everything, things.

Truth be told, I think I ate almost all them self around midnight.

My friend Nicole, and fellow blogger, brought a simple, and super delicious appetizer. A gluten-free baguette, sliced into rounds mildly toasted with a hint of olive oil. For the dipping sauce, basil pesto in a jar from Costco.

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this one!

Easy peasy, and delicious.

Seriously. It was (is) AMAZING. So much so, that I went to Costco at the first chance I had (today) to buy it.

Really. It’s that good.

Since Nicole reminded me about boiling chicken (since I cannot touch or handle it do to an unrealistic odd phobia I developed in my teens) the other day during our Ikea playdate with our kiddos, I have been a Home Cooking Meal Momma (self-proclaimed)!

Hubby even said, “Wow, two homemade meals in a row!? Is this because you hung out with Nicole?”

Me: “Well, I guess so.”

Tonight it makes 3. Thanks to Nicole.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~
I boiled some boneless skinless frozen chicken breast (somehow this is less repulsive) for 30 minutes. Give or take a few.

Afterward, I chopped it length wise then in half.

I boiled some Trader Joe’s gluten-free corn penne pasta (my favorite gluten-free brand).

Added some (half the bag) Trader Joe’s sun-dried tomatoes (Julienne cut)

Poured half of the jar (could have used the whole jar, but I am savoring it) of pesto over it all and mixed it together. You aren’t even supposed to heat the pesto. You simply bring it to room temperature for 10-15 minutes before you use it.

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It is the perfect hearty summertime pasta.

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Not too hot, and it will be fabulous cold tomorrow for lunch.

I feel obliged to say it was not kid approved in our house. In the pasta’s defense, I have an incredibly picky 5-year-old and a 2 year-old with FPIES, who can only eat 13 food/ingredients.

Instead they gorged themselves on spinach chips I made. I great tip I got from a fellow FPIES mom.

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Simply lay gobs (handfuls) of spinach on a baking sheet ( I use a drying rack for a crispier texture).

Brush with an oil of your choice or what is safe in our case, which is grape seed oil.

Sprinkle with sea salt

bake @ 350 for 10-12 minutes.

ta-da!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Seriously, easy and so delicious!

I love them too.

I even got a big thumbs up from ‘the boy’

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They could not get enough!

Elle: “Mom, you make the best lettuce!”
Me: giggling, ” Thanks sweetie.”

It was messy, but fun to watch my whole family devour something together. Even it we all weren’t feasting on the same thing.

Enjoy.

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom

Per * se * revere

Seriously? Has it been 7 months since my last blog post and depressing tearful confession? What on earth have I been doing!?  I guess I should give myself some credit. I have done a lot in these last months.

I co-planned my daughters school auction, which was a totally tubular success, dude! We managed to come in $3,000 under budget, raised the most money (yet), got the majority of the people drunk, and got to see everyone dressed in 1980′s clothes. Rad, right?

me and my awesome hubby

me and my awesome hubby

Oh, and I got to crimp my hair. What could be better?

Aside from party planning, my other favorite pass time, I have been a re-decorating machine.

My kiddos pre-school is a very old, school. I have been wanting to remodel the adult bathroom there (well everything, really, but I had to start somewhere) since the first time I laid eyes on it 3 years ago. Luckily, a dear friend and fellow school mom also had the same idea. So we gathered up the hubby’s and got to work. Well, lets just say, our brains got to work, and the hubby’s hands got to work.

I had an idea to have each family paint a mini canvas, whatever they wished (an idea I stole from Yolanda from the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) and create a mosaic wall as the bathrooms vocal point. I wanted to keep it clean, fresh and whimsical. After all, it is a preschool bathroom.

I absolutely adore how it turned out.

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My intent for mounting them on plywood, is that as the years go on, they can have other classes partake and rotate the child’s art, and decorating a whole wall inside the school with these works of art. Who knows if it will happen, but the intent is there. It will be up to other overachieving moms and dads to keep it up :)

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I think the sun light on the ceiling is my favorite part. Thank you, Ikea.  I realize the rest of the bathroom is almost impossible to see (do to shotty photography on my part), and the custom cabinetry my hubby did is not even in the photos, but you get the idea. My only regret, is that we did not take a before and after photo. You will just have to take my word for it, that it was bad…really BAD, before. Now, lets just say, everyone takes a little more time to go to the bathroom.

The problem with fixing something like this up, it makes you realize all the other projects you want to do around your own house.

So, instead of not doing anything about it, I got to work.

I have not really loved the color of my living room, since, well  never. The problem is, it is such a tricky room because the lighting is different on all the walls, and the main wall continues into the kitchen with no real end place. Therefore, you must love the color so much, you want it in your kitchen too.

Thus the hunt began.

I kind of just wanted to keep it simple and use a color I already had. To save money and time…why reinvent the wheel if you don’t have to.

So I put up my master bedroom color on the wall for a patch test.

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It seems to pass, so why the heck not. Two galloons, and two days later the room was transformed. Not sure in a good way. The color was simply to cool, and too blue. Great for a bedroom, not for my living room and kitchen.

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You can see the previous tan color in the photos as well, which highlighted my dislike for the color even more. However, quiet moments was not the answer. I did complete all the walls and sat with it for a week before coming to this conclusion.

Meanwhile in that week, I painted, and repainted my bathroom.

I posted these pictures on Facebook with the caption “Am I crazy? Darn you Pinterest for “inspiring” me to spend an entire week re-painting my house room by room. Coral it is for this bathroom.

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As it turns out. I am crazy. Shocking, I know.

So, I used the cream color I had just painted in my hallway the day before,

new hallway art too

new hallway art too

 

ditched the new pop art shower curtain (I still love it, I just have another use for it up my sleeve) changed out the light fixture, put up a picture of the kiddos (since this will be their bathroom one day) and voila!

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To be honest. it is still not perfect. I am sure one day I will find the perfect color and re-paint it. But for now, it is sooo much better than “Coral Gables.”

I did find a great use for the coral paint though.

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A nightstand re-do. Not quite ready to show it in the space…I am still working out a pillow problem in the master bedroom. I admit, I am obsessed with pillows. Not sure why, or what to do about it. I just can’t get enough of them, and I am constantly rearranging them.

I told you I was crazy.

Well, I finally sucked it up, realized I needed to repaint the living room and kitchen, again, and I did. I persevered.

In this case, I per-se-revered with Benjamin Moore’s “Revere Pewter.”

Dork. I know.

If you are a Pinterest crusader such as myself, you have become very familiar with the color. I think it is currently the most popular color sold, and pinned.

I absolutely love it! It is a great warm neutral that just allows a great back drop to any room. To be honest, it almost goes away, and to be honest, that is exactly what I wanted. A color that lets everything stand out.

 

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hubby helps out

out with the cool blue and in with the warm elegance

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Sorry for the nighttime photos but I really didn’t want to delay blogging any further. You understand.

I think the best part of the new space is the gallery wall.

Of course I have always wanted one, but I was intimidated by the placement, hanging and potential hole filled wall I would leave behind from my constant mind changing and lopsided mounting.

Fear not, friends. Thanks to Pinterest, and my Molly (as a team we are “Moshley”) we cut craft paper to represent each frame, wrote the title of the picture on it (i.e. “Barn”) and even made marks on the outside of the paper where the hanging mechanisms were.

18 1619 It made hanging them a cinch. Hubby was even impressed.

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Genius, right!?

Sometimes.

I really need to work on my photography. I promise these are not crooked as they appear in this dark photo.

Completely satisfied…but friends it didn’t stop there.

I have been wanting a more functional office space for awhile now, and when I saw this pin on Pinterest, I knew this is what I wanted and needed.

After careful measurements and cost analysis, I realized it was perfect. I posted my office desk on Craigslist as a start.

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Within two days, it sold for asking price and only $50 under what I bought it for  years ago. Can’t beat that. It was super smart thinking on my part because though hubby was on board, he always needs an extra push to get going.

I would like to report, my master bath is still not done. I promise to show you its ‘progress’ soon.

Anywho, I absolutely LOVE the office. I find myself starring at it all the time, and it feels so good that the whole family can enjoy it, at the same time!

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Classic. Beautiful. Functional.

Just like I like it.

More house stuff to come soon…I am not done yet.

After all, I must persevere.

 

Hope you likey!

XOXO,
Magazine Mom

 

he cried, she cried, I cried.

I am not sure if it because I have had a {body} cold for the last week which has left me completely run down and deflated like the worn out bean bag in my daughter’s room, but this week, has been one of THE most challenging “parenting” weeks, I have had in a long time.

It is no secret, that there have been many days where I spent time looking for the nearest fire station to drop off my son {not seriously}. But today, I wished I could drop myself off at the fire station instead. Especially, if it was the hunky Hayward Fire Department (wink, wink).

No, really.

I just want to disappear. Not for long - maybe for a day, or week or two, but away. Away from the crying, the whining, the demands, the chaos.

Time to myself.

Quiet.

Today, my son spent half the day crying, and the other half throwing himself to floor crying in frustration. In his defense, life sucks for him. Between not being able to eat anything (other than his twelve safe foods), or adequately communicating his needs (because he is not even two and barely has any understandable words)…I would probably be pretty pissed off too.

My daughter on the other hand, has been doing her best to break me down. I don’t think willingly, but her badgering and relentless asking for everything and anything, are working marvelously at it.

Tonight, I cracked. Snapped, really.  I have a temper, which I have never denied. I actually enrolled myself in anger management in my teens to learn how to manage it. Clearly, it didn’t really help. I am ashamed of it, but I have to talk about it, or else it seems that much worse if I hide it.

The worst part, is I am just passing it {anger} on down to my children, like it was passed down to me.

Tonight after feeling completely depleted, drained and just darn right ‘done’ I reached my breaking point. I yelled at my crying, daughter as she told me I was the “worst mean mommy” ever! She then went into her room, slammed the door, and slammed her check on the corner of her dresser. I heard her cry of hurt, not anger, so I went to her aid. Sure enough, under her right eye, now lies a purple, raised scratch, which I am hoping doesn’t turn into a black eye. Not only because I am fearful of the CPS knock on the door (she has been getting herself hurt a lot lately), but we are taking our Christmas family photos this weekend. Tis my life.

After I realized she was fine, and went in the hallway where my hubby was, and I just broke down crying. I don’t want to be “mean mommy,” I told him. “I don’t want to be this angry and yell at my children, but I feel beaten down. I need a break.”

I am really hoping it is because of this cold, that I feel so drained. It doesn’t take away the fact that being a stay at home mom is hard. Heck, being any kind of parent or mom is hard!

I have never let my daughter see me cry before. I am not really sure why, but tonight I did. I went in her room and asked her if she could see my crying. She said, yes. I told her “I don’t want to be mean mommy, but her badgering and hurtful words really got to me.” By the expression on her face, I think, (hope), she understood. For a moment, everything seemed better. Quiet.

Afterward, she wanted me to read her bedtime book, and she cuddled me while I read it.

I do love my job…don’t I? There are ups and downs. There is the good, the bad, and the ugly, and the horrid, like today, but in the end, I love my children. I love my family.

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Sometimes, I just need to love myself.

Sometimes, my anger proves that difficult.

Desperately hoping I am not alone,
-Magazine Mom

Xoxo

Day 31: behind the black door ~ lights out

This 31 day journey, behind the black door, ends tonight…as well as the Halloween hype. Starting tomorrow, the stores will be filled with Christmas décor, and I will be having dinner with friends, working on getting my social life back.

It has been a fun, and relatively short month, surprisingly. I am not really sure what my intent was titling this years, October blog challenge, “behind the black door,” but at the very least, you know me, and my home, just a little bit more. If that is the case, then mission accomplished.

I will leave you with pictures of me, and my families Halloween day adventures.

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Pink kitty strutting her stuff at the parade. If you haven’t noticed, I opted to drop the skirt…It took away from her kitty-ness. I found the tights last minute at Target to tie the whole look together.

Everyone LOVED her costume. Me included.

Elle with teacher Christina

Elle with teacher Christina

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She looks a little more mouse than cat with that face, but I love it nonetheless

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There is Harlan, stealing the show with his dancing, and making friends with Batman and a fellow pirate

Kitty-cat Elle with her dear friend, Emilie the witch

Kitty-cat Elle with her dear friend, Emilie the witch

my kiddos together, a rare photo moment
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The Queen Bee herself, can’t get them together

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Can you believe this is the one and only shot I have of me looking at the camera, and my eyes are closed?! Go figure…

let the trick or treating begin
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I get to put that, in my that?

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My dad, “g-pa”, came along too. A treat in-and-of-it self.

By the way, not sure about in your town, but there were a lot of witches, and pirates in ours, so when I saw this costume, I was over joyed.

I actually asked her, If I could take a picture of her (while I was doing so, the boy was pushing her back in hopes of getting one of her balloons on her fall).

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He didn’t really push her down, and If you haven’t guessed, it is from the movie, UP.

Brilliant.

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I am still baffled how I ended up with a daughter who does not like taking pictures. It is beyond me.

Once we had enough stimulation, and candy, we were done…just so happened to be 4 o’clock.

Gosh, I love daytime trick-or-treating.

The evening ended with pumpkin carving with g-pa
IMAG2765IMAG2766I swear she had fun.
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Till next time…

Muahahha!

Xoxo,
Magazine Mom