Friday, November 2, 2012

Glow Sticks to the Rescue!

My husband and I have been working on being self-sufficient and prepared for an emergency for a long time - but recently, with the effects of Sandy back east, we've felt a definite push to be on top of things. You know those people you've seen interviewed..."We need help! Send us food. We need water. Everything is gone." - flashback of Katrina, anyone!?

My heart goes out to them. I can't even imagine losing everything. But I do know one thing - if an emergency comes our way, I don't want to be helpless. I don't want to watch my kids starve. I don't want to not have food, water, the basic essentials.

I want to be ready, be prepared, and not have to rely on others if I can help it. I want to be so prepared that we can help others.

So, guess what we've been working on?! Everything emergency prep...but I won't hit you with it all at once. It's all so daunting, the only way to tackle it all is baby here is an easy and fun way to get started...

Like lots of kids my Little Miss is scared of the dark and will not sleep without a if we had a power outage, bedtime would be miserable. She'd end up sleeping with us - which, is like sleeping with a hyperactive solution: glow sticks! It's a fun, easy, cheap way to solve the power outage scare. What better way to distract the kids with some fun in a tube?!

With Halloween just over we were able to pick up tons of super cheap glow sticks that will be kept in our emergency supplies, next to flashlights and batteries.

So go out and get prepared while they're on sale and in stock!!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Wordless Wednesday: Special Reading Spot + Special Friend

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Giveaway Winner of The Party Works Party Pack!

party suppliesThanks to - our winner for The Party Works Party Pack for 8 is....

Shelly! who said..."I would love to win the King of the Jungle Baby Shower prize pack. The best party theme I had was barbie because my grandma made a barbie cake with an actual barbie".

I love those barbie cakes - totally vintage, and they kind of freak me out a little. Congrats Shelly! If you can email me your mailing address at barb.themomblog(at) & your choice for party pack that would be great!

Thanks everyone for entering to win! 

Monday, June 25, 2012

This Mommy's Life with Epilepsy: My Teen Years

Do you ever have those moments where things are just too perfect? Absolutely nothing is wrong or hard in your life. I hate those moments. When things are too perfect - I know something big is about to change. Something hard is just around the corner. Those perfect moments are God's way of giving you a break and letting you recharge your spiritual batteries before the trials begin again.

Well, that something hard has spurred me into a series of posts about my life with epilepsy. It's something I've been wanting to share in hopes that it will help just one person. When I was getting diagnosed - so many times throughout my experience I would google my condition and nothing would pop up. No personal experiences. Just medical definitions. So I'm hoping my own personal experience will come in handy to someone someday.

I have what is now diagnosed as Complex Partial Seizures. Let's start this story from the very beginning....

During junior high something strange started happening. At the most random times and in the most inconvenient places (usually school) I would hallucinate. Sometimes I would hear voices. Sometimes I would see things in the air in front of me. Along with these hallucinations came this out of body feeling. Dizzy, floating, as if I was completely detached from my body. A loss of total control. My brain would wander in a strange and dizzying way wherever it wanted and I couldn't stop it no matter how hard I concentrated. 

The most common reoccurring theme in my episodes at this age was Maria from Sesame Street counting in I heard her voice in my head I would usually see the numbers flying in front of me in the it's laughable, then it was terrifying. 

When these "head spells" were done, I usually couldn't recall what part of the lecture I had missed in class or what my friend had been saying. But everyone around me was oblivious since everything was in my head and my body showed no visible changes. After each episode I would get massive headaches and feel very nauseous. I was thirteen and embarrassed. I kept it quiet at school. But at home - I let my mom know right away.

My mom was (is) amazing. She believed me instantly and took everything my 13 year old self said as truth. Seriously, I don't know if I would believe my daughter if she came and told me she could hear Maria in her head.

And so the doctors visits began. We went to a number of different primary care physicians explaining the episodes to them and we always got the same answer..."I don't know." Now that I'm older I wonder if some of them talked to my mom privately and told her it was probably just a ploy from a teenager to get attention. No tests were run. No blood work done. Nothing. No one really believed me besides my mom. Shame on you doctors.

So I found a coping method that helped sometimes. At the beginning of my head spells came a profound heavy sense of de javu - like my body and mind were swimming in memories. Sometimes if I could snap my brain out of this feeling I could stop the rest of the episode from occurring. If I changed what I was doing, where I was, etc as quickly as possible when this happened I could regain my sense of control and normalcy and my brain wouldn't spiral down into the black abyss of hallucinations.
Since they mostly happened at school I would quickly ask for the hall pass to use the restroom and get out of my desk. I rarely went to the restroom, I would end up in the halls, wandering, trying to focus on reality. If I found something to read it would sometimes help, so I usually headed to posters, etc and started reading. I would even step outside sometimes for fresh air.

These "head spells" as we called them continued through high school. My brilliant mom had me keeping track of everything when they happened. Trying to help me find a pattern. I would write down the date, time, where I was, who I was with, what I was doing, and how I felt before, during, and after for every single episode. That log came in handy later - like I said, my mom was brilliant!

The head spells changed as I grew. I no longer heard Maria counting, and the frequency and intensity came in clusters. Sometimes I would go a few months without anything - other times I would have 3-4 episodes in one day.

Still no doctors believed me and I led a normal life telling very few people about what was going on, since I didn't really know what was going on myself.

*A small note about the doctors we saw. My family was very poor and doctors visits were very expensive. In hindsight I don't think I was ever taken to a specialist like I should've been. If I was and had been diagnosed sooner my condition now would be far better, and maybe even gone. So if your child is experiencing something take them to a neurologist now! The sooner treatment begins the more likely your child will grow out of a seizure disorder. If you have seizures past the age of 23 your less likely to grow out of them because brain development has stopped. I'll get to the research aspect in a future post...

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Finds: Polka Dots & Toy Storage

Water coloring over white crayon. This would be so fun to do with kids! Can't wait to try it with Little Miss! 

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This just screams summer to me! Looks so fun and healthy! This would be a great activity to do with kids - let them decorate it with whatever fruit pattern they want. 

I need this saying up on my bathroom mirror so I can read it every morning and remember the battle I'm fighting - not the battle of cleaning my house, or juggling my time...but the battle of raising my children to be good and righteous in the face of so much evil. Bring it on satan!

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One pattern all the princess dresses - Little Miss would die of happiness!! 

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I love this idea for a chore chart. Gives the kids responsibility, but a feeling of independence while picking chores that you're okay with. Totally making one!

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Coconut Curry Chickpea Quinoa Pineapple Burgers...drool...These are already on my menu to try next week. Oh they look so good and healthy! Totally doing the sweet potato fries too - I love sweet potatoes!

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 This color wheel is a great idea for so many reasons - promotes matching, fine motor skill development...just awesome! So easy to make too! 

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Pretty much the cutest Halloween costume I've ever seen...wish I'd thought to do it last year with Mr Man! 

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Love this look! I just need the polka-dot blouse...I have a thing for polka-dots.

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These are great diy kids benches/toy! Husband and I already decided we need this for our toyroom. Although my bins will have pictures of things on the outside to promote, dolls, blocks, etc. This way friends that come over will know where things go & Little Miss won't have any excuses.

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Love this saying.

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Great colors and more ways to organize toys! The ABC print in the back is adorable!!

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Tucking this one away for when Little Miss is a little bit bigger...such great ideas! I should probably review some of them myself...

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Hope everyone has a great weekend!! We're headed off camping with the munchkins. Praying Mr Man sleeps in the tent, instead of crying last time...well, at least the crying would keep the bears away! =)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Caught Mr Man's violent rage while taking Father's Day photos before if that spontaneous act wasn't hilarious enough, then I saw my husband's face. Pretty much my favorite picture ever!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

The Paper Bag Princess Birthday Party

I usually foster independence in decision making for Little Miss - hence the Carrot Party last year and all of her crazy clothing choices. But when she told me she wanted a princess party for her fourth birthday I started making suggestions. I just didn't want to do a princess party  - all the pink, and the just seemed so typical. But it's what she wanted. So here is my twist on a princess party...

Of course we had to have a castle sign with mote and alligator...The river is blue poster board I cut to look wavey like a river. And the alligator head is actually a dinosaur foam hat I got at the dollar store and spray painted green. 

Some princess stickers I found at the dollar store - this was Little Miss's special project to help decorate.

One of the signs Little Miss and I made together - it points to the bathroom...which I thought was hilarious, and Little Miss didn't. To help her get involved I would do the block letters and she did all the coloring...

The Happy Birthday sign I surprised her with in the morning.

The book we read a little later - super cute book. I'll get to that later. Note the poison apple decoration...

More decor. A magic mirror on the wall next to the princess dress-up station...

Mirror, mirror...ignore my ugly masking tape. I couldn't find my clear double sided stuff that morning...good thing four year olds don't care!

The sign next to all the princess dress-ups...when Little Miss and her friends dress-up every few minutes they are changing their clothes and who they are - so this sign was mostly to entertain the moms...

The cake - totally worth staying up late to make! For the towers I frosted rice krispy treats for the bottom that I molded with my hands. And the pointy tops are sugar cones dipped in melted white chocolate and rolled in sprinkles. She loved it!

Each party-goer got their picture taken at the door with the princesses, paparazzi staging of sorts. Totally fun.

Playing "Poison Apple" - which is just hot potato with an apple. The boys wore prince capes that I made out of dollar store men's shirts. I just cut off the arms and fronts so the neckline was still intact to keep the cape in place.

Playing "Magic Carpet Ride", which was actually just musical chairs with magic carpet squares instead.

Reading The Paper Bag Princess - super cute book! It's about a princess who doesn't wait to be rescued and takes matters into her own hands. She works hard to rescue her prince from the dragon. Her prince in turn tells her to come back when she looks like a real princess (she's a mess from all the rescueng), and she in turn calls him a bum and rides off into the sunset by herself. Girl power! A great moral, not to mention entertaining. So we gave Little Miss a copy for her birthday, family tradition to give the kids a book on their birthday.

Slaying the dragon after reading the book. I bought a blue and pink unicorn pinata - it's all I could find. Nothing a little spray paint and poster board couldn't fix. I added the spikes and wings, dehorned it, and I seriously love spray paint.

The kids collected their candy in paper bags, to go along with the book.

Candle time...

And it wasn't a royal ball without a dance party at the I cranked the disney music from pandora and the girls (and boys) went wild...

After her friends left and Mr Man went down for a nap we did a quiet time activity together. I took a plain white men's shirt I found at the dollar store - sewed it down to size. Let her choose how to decorate it (flowers and the saying "I'm 4 and I like it!"), helped her block it out and she colored it with some fabric crayons.

She loved this! Oh, and she chose some ribbon to go around the bottom. She wore it the rest of the day - and many days since.

 I got the shirt idea from a tradition my sisters and I used to have. We had these pink pants with pom-poms on them that we called our birthday pants. Whoever's birthday it was wore the pants and the other two sisters decorated a shirt for her...usually horribly embarrassing. And we had to wear it all day.

I wish I had a picture to post - I loved that tradition. I wonder who ended up with the pants...

On a side note...How is Little Miss 4 already!? It's freaking me out!!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Giveaway: The Party Works

The Party Works is giving away a party pack for 8 to one of you lucky readers!! They have over 250 themes to choose from - everything from disney to NFL teams. Here are some of my favorites...

This would be great timing for a 4th of July barbecue!!

I love the vintage stroller on these plates - extra tall legs. So cute! And I am just a sucker for polka-dots. Little Miss's first birthday was polka-dot themed.

I love the colors and flowers on this pack! So perfect for a summer party.

My husband would LOVE it if I through him a space mission would my son... =)

I love this little Sweet Pea set! Gender neutral and super cute graphics.


Owls are totally in right now - they are everywhere! So if you're into owls, here ya go!

All you have to do to enter to win is leave a comment telling me about your favorite birthday party theme ever and what made it so special.

To get an extra entry in the giveaway "like" The Mom Blog on facebook. And if you're really ambitious and want three entries - you can share this giveaway on facebook or blog about it (make sure to comment and tell me what you've done).

Giveaway will close on June 25th at midnight. A winner will be announced on June 26th.

Stay-tuned for a detailed post about Little Miss's 4th birthday party...

*This giveaway is for residents of the Continental United States only...our next giveaway will be open to everyone so check back often!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Friday Finds for Father's Day

So many cute ideas and it's not too late to get started on any of them!!

Marvellous Dad - Fathers Day Card

Nuts and Bolts Frame


Fathers Day Gift - DIY Child's Handprint Tree - Printable pdf

custom dad keychain

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