Off to Indiana

In just a few hours we will be driving up north to Indianapolis. Normally we head on up into Kokomo, but we decided to stop in Indianapolis to take the girls to the Indianapolis Children's Museum. Supposedly it's one of the biggest and best in the country. They are so excited. I brought my big girl camera with me so I could take lots of pictures.

Thankfully, the girls are napping so I was able to pack for all 3 of us and load up the car. Then we'll go to Chick-fil-a for an early dinner and then we'll pick up daddy from work and go.

Tomorrow we'll hit the children's museum bright and early and spend most of the day there. Then tomorrow night we will drive up to Berne, IN and spend the night with Brian's sister, husband and the twins. Spencer and Caroline will be 7 just two days after Sydney turns 3 next month. My sis in law Kelly Anne is pregnant with triplets, 2 boys and a girl, due in May. I can't wait to see her big belly. The girls are so excited to spend the night at their cousins house too.

Sunday is Brian's grandma's 80th birthday surprise party. I can't wait to see the look on her face when she sees everyone. She deserves it after all she's been through with the sudden loss of her son, Brian's dad. It will be bitter sweet not to have him there.

This is the first trip up to Indiana for the girls since their PeePaw died. I don't really know what to expect. Sydney talks about PeePaw alot. She will say over and over, "My PeePaw died, my PeePaw died". I wonder what goes through her little 2 year old brain. We will take them to his house and we will just let them ask us questions and talk about him. I get teary eyed thinking about it. It's just tough that he will miss out on watching them grow up. Ok, I am gonna be a mess if I don't stop now.

The only thing I don't like about going up to Indiana is no internet access, so I won't be able to post again until Tuesday. I guess it's a good thing because it makes me slow down and really be in the moment with my family.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Syd-isms

Today I thought I would post a couple of Syd-isms as I like to call them. Sydney Kate is my spunky almost 3 year old. I think she does or says something almost daily that makes me bust out laughing. I like to blog about them to help me remember them, but also so I can use them against her when she is in her teens and thinks she is too cool for mom.

Last Saturday I took Sydney on a mommy daughter date with me since Brooklyn was on a daddy daughter date with Brian. It was a beautiful spring like day and I was determined to get out of the house. I decided that I would take her to Target. As we were walking through the automatic doors I hear this sweet little voice say, "Thanks". It took me a couple of seconds until I realized it was Sydney saying thank you to the doors for opening up and letting her in. I just started cracking up.

Sydney is very polite and constantly says thank you to people, but this took it to a whole new level. I don't know how many times we've walked through those same doors at Target, probably 100 times in her lifetime, and this was the first time she had noticed it.

The other night, Brian was putting Sydney Kate to bed and he gave her a good night kiss and said, "I love you Syd". To which she replied, "You stink daddy. Look that way." and pointed the other direction. In Brian's defense I cooked garlic and tomato pizza that night and he hadn't had time to brush his teeth yet. Kids are so honest aren't they?
We took the girls swimming the other day at the gym (It was an indoor pool obviously) and I took this photo in the girls locker room. Here's the thing about Sydney, she is rough and tumble and not afraid to take risks. What you don't see in this picture is that she then proceeds to lift up her legs so she is hanging upside down in the locker. I put a stop to that real quick before she landed on her head. I don't need anymore trips to the ER. 2 in four months is plenty.

Syd may be a little tom boy, but don't let that rough exterior fool you. She is as sweet and sensitive as any little girl could be. She cries when you cry. She will say, "Mommy you sick?" "I pray for you". It's so funny to watch her play with her dolls and her puppy dog. She will say to them, "Sweetheart, you ok?" "Mommy's here, I hold you". It's hysterical when she puts them in time out. Oh my word. If you ever forget that a child watches every little move you make, you soon won't when you watch them punish their dolls.

She turned to her doll and said, "You are in time out and don't get up until I tell you you can". Then she will resort to spanking her doll if her doll doesn't listen.
Oh the joys of being a mommy to a toddler and a preschooler. I love it and wouldn't change it for the world even on the hard days.

What funny things have your kids said lately?

Set your DVR tomorrow!

Greening your fertility. I was intrigued by the title of this article and had to check it out. My new friend Sommer, whom I met at Blissdom, wrote it and I would love for you to check it out. I adore her blog. I try to live a green life as much as I can, as you probably know if you've followed my blog for some time. She is adorable and spunky. You have to watch her video about trying to win a car. It's hilarious. Anyway, check out Green and Clean Mom here to read the article she wrote.

On another note, set your DVR's tomorrow (Thursday) to watch "The View" on ABC. It's all about trying to have a baby. I can't wait to see it. My husband and I watch one reality show together and that's "Giuliana and Bill" on the Style Network. Love this show. Maybe because it's about a midwest guy who marries an Italian girl who lives in L.A. Hmm, sounds like someone else I know. Anyway, they are going through infertility and it chronicles their dr visits and their desire to have a baby. I highly recommend it.

If you've never heard of them before, Giuliana hosts on the E Channel with Ryan Seacrest and her husband Bill Rancic won Donald Trump's "Apprentice" and he's one of the speakers my husband books, so I guess that adds to their likability for me.

If you get to watch it let me know what you think. I'm so glad infertility is getting more media coverage these days. Celine Dion was on Larry King and Oprah last week talking about her journey to have another baby. They are on their 5th round of IVF. It's just nice to know that celebreties struggle with the same things us normal folk do.

Tuesday's Tip-Carbon Monoxide Detector

Tuesday's Tip is a must have for all families. If you read this post and do not have a Carbon Monoxide detector in your home, please run, don't walk to the store and pick one up. They sell them pretty much anywhere and they range from $20 on up. This is the one that we have that we got from Home Depot and retails for $39.99. It's a small price to pay for something that could save your life and the life of your family.
Why is having a carbon monoxide detector so important? Because carbon monoxide is dangerous and deadly. It is odorless, tasteless and colorless and can kill within hours, depending on how strong the gas is. It's dangerous too because if you are exposed to it you simply fall asleep and never wake up.

We keep ours upstairs where all of the bedrooms are located. If you have bedrooms on two different floors you should buy two. They are easy to install. It just plugs right into the wall and you don't have to do a thing. If the detector detects carbon monoxide it will go off so you can get out of the house immediately into fresh air. You should call 911 and don't go back into the house until your told it's ok by authorities.

This video shows the all to real consequences of not having a working detector in your home.

Girls Night Out

My sisters, my mom and I get together once a month for a girls night out. I love this time because it's a chance for us to all catch up on what's going on in our lives. We were going to see Celine at the movie theatre but decided against it because tickets were $16. We'd rather save our money and fly to Vegas when she starts up at Caesar again next March 2011.

My sister Stacy, who is just 15 months younger than me, looks alot like Celine. People used to tell us all the time when we were singing together that Stacy reminded them of Celine. Their mannerisms are alot alike it's almost scary. She's got an incredibly R&B voice too. I'm going to try to get a picture of my sis and Celine side by side and let you decide.

We always have a blast when when we get together. Tonight we went to TGIF's for dinner. We enjoyed great conversation and a night out with no little ones spilling drinks or getting up from the table. My sisters are my best friends and I am so incredibly blessed to have them in my life. This is one of my favorite pictures of the 4 of us back in 1977.



Don't you dig the green shag carpeting? I think this was close to Christmas because there was a fire going in the background. I grew up in Southern California so December is really the only time you probably could have a fire and not sweat to death.

My mom dressed us alike alot and I swore to myself that when I grew up and had kids I would never do that. I didn't like it one bit. So what happened 32 years later, I dressed my kids the same. I love it and now know why my mom did it. It's just too much fun. Here she is with her grand kids. It's not a great picture, but I wanted to post it anyway.


Do you dress your kids alike? If you do, do they like it? So far my girls haven't said anything. I guess if they are teenagers and I am still wanting them to dress alike they might put their foot down.

Switcheroo Sunday- A Better Hot Dog

Today I fed my girls hot dogs for lunch, so I decided that would be my Switcheroo. If you are new to my blog, welcome. Every Sunday I do a Switcheroo. I take a not so healthy version of a product and switch it with the healthier version. Today it's the All American hot dog.

With spring coming and summer not too far off, hot dogs and hamburgers become the staple in most of our diets. I want to show you how you can make a healthier switch for your family.

Most hot dogs you buy at the store, especially if they are not Kosher, will have fillers and by products in them. You probably don't really want to know how those are made. If you do, research it online. It's rather disgusting.

Kosher all beef hot dogs are better for you than non Kosher, but those hot dogs also have nitrates and nitrites in them. Studies have shown that nitrites are a powerful cancer causing chemical. Deli meats also have nitrates in them unless it says differently on the package or you buy organic. If you are pregnant you should avoid deli meats and hot dogs. They can carry a bacteria called Listeria which is extremely harmful to your baby.

So instead of this:


Ingredients: BEEF, WATER, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF: SALT, CORN SYRUP, DEXTROSE, SODIUM LACTATE, SODIUM PHOSPHATES, SODIUM DIACETATE, ASCORBIC ACID (VITAMIN C), EXTRACTIVES OF PAPRIKA, DRIED GARLIC, SPICE, SODIUM NITRITE.

Try this:

Love this company and what they stand for. You can visit their site here. Their products have no MSG, no nitrates or nitrites, no antibiotics, no fillers, chemicals or hormones.
If you have a Costco in your area you can buy them there for a really good price. You get a package of 3, 8 packs (a total of 24 hot dogs) for $9.99. To me it's worth a little bit extra to know my girls are eating a better hot dog.

Stay tuned for another post this week about the link to hormones in meats and milk and infertility.

Where's the beef?

Disclaimer: This is my opinion. I do not get paid to endorse any products that I suggest. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am just a mom who enjoys researching the ingredients in the food I eat and buying whole organic food. Thank you.


Show Us Your Ministry Friday-Overcoming Infertility

Kelly over at Kelly's Korner Blog is hosting "Show us your ministry Friday". I am really excited to join in today. I have a heart and a passion to help women who are struggling with infertility. It all started back in early 2004 when I was struggling through infertility myself. I started my first round of IVF and I had no one to talk to. I found a community of women online to talk to that could help me through the process, but I desperately wanted to talk with a local person who understood what I was going through. At that time I decided to start a local support group at my church. I figured if there wasn't a group in my area than I should start one. So that's what I did. In May 2004 I held my first meeting.

Just 2 months later in July, I found out I was pregnant. The doctors told us we couldn't get pregnant on our own, but the Lord had another plan. This was our miracle baby that we had prayed for for so many years. We were thrilled. Unfortunately, our happiness turned to sorrow when at 21 weeks, we lost our baby. My daughter Zoe Renae was born still on October 8, 2004. She died due to cord accident in the womb. That was the hardest day of my life. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about my baby girl. As I write this I just realized that yesterday was my due date. Feb 17, 2005. Wow. OK, start the water works. It's been 5 years and while the pain is not as intense as that day, it's still there.

After attending a healing service just 8 weeks after I delivered Zoe, we conceived once again on our own. We were excited, yet cautious to put it mildly. I was freaked out. I started to bleed at 6 weeks and continued to do so until week 16. I just knew at anytime I was going to miscarry. Thankfully, I didn't. My second miracle was born on August 25, 2005 and her name is Brooklyn. She lights up the room with her dimply smile and charm.
When Brooklyn was 11 months old we decided to try again for another baby. I am the oldest of 4 girls (my mom had 4 girls in 5 years) and I loved being close in age to my sisters. I wanted that same thing for Brooklyn. We had 5 frozen embryos from our failed IVF and we wanted to give them a chance at life. God had other plans once again when I decided to take a HPT on a whim before starting my Lupron injections. Yep you guessed it, I was already pregnant. My daughter Sydney was born on March 23, 2007. My baby will be 3 next month and she and her older sissy are best friends. They are 19 months apart and I wouldn't have it any other way.

The Lord has richly blessed me more than I could ever comprehend. I would have never picked this journey to go down, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. I know the Lord in a way that I would have never experienced had I not gone through infertility. I'm able to help other women through something that can be so incredibly painful and for that I am grateful.

I want to encourage you if you are struggling with infertility that there is hope. I believe the Lord does give us the desires of our hearts. Most of the time it's not on our time, which is the hardest part. Romans 8:25 says, "But if we hope for what we do no yet have, we wait patiently for it". I got to the point in my journey where I just had to believe God for my miracle. Some days that was easier than others. On the days that were hard I would pray out loud and thank God that my miracle was coming. I couldn't see it with my eyes, but I believed God would do it. One of my favorite verses that helped me through my journey and continues to encourage me is found in Hebrews 11:1, "Faith is being sure of what is hoped for and certain of what we do not see." Stand on that today. Know that He does hear your prayers and that He will bring it to fruition. Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord".

Hope.Wait.Expect

note: This is the abridged version of my story. I'm finishing the manuscript of my book, "Hope in the Waiting" which tells my journey through infertility, as well as other women's journey's, including Kelly's, that will be out later this year. If you would like to talk with me I would be happy to do so. You can email me at hopeinthewaiting@att.net Blessings.



Tuesday's Tip-Shop your pantry and freezer

Today's tip is something I'm doing this week so it's fresh on the brain. It's simple really. Shop your freezer and pantry for dinner. I try to do this every few months or so. If you are like me, you forget about all the food you have in your freezer. In our house that tends to be alot of fish, chicken and some beef. This is a cool tip because you save on your grocery bill for the week. For example, tonight we had spaghetti. I had a pound of frozen organic beef in the freezer. I had a ton of organic pasta sauce in the pantry. Another tip, if you have the room, always buy an item in bulk when it goes on sale. You will save a ton of money. I'm down to 6 jars of pasta sauce, but I did have 20. It was buy one, get one free and it's organic so when it goes on sale like that, whether I need it or not, I buy it.

I had the pasta already as well and so that's all I needed for dinner. Last night we had salmon and rice because I had some frozen salmon in the freezer and rice on the shelf. The nice thing about it also is that you clean out your freezer at the same time. I did have to throw some items out that had been there way too long (organic beef hotdogs from July 09 hidden under a big bag of chicken). By the end of the week I will have an almost empty freezer and pantry and it will be time to hit the grocery store again.

What meals are hiding in your freezer and pantry just begging to be made?


My Love

I heart Valentine's Day! It wasn't always a day that I loved. Actually 10 years ago I loathed it. I was single and had just moved across the country and my dating life was pretty much non-existent. I was on the road so much (I was in Christian music) which didn't help things. I was never home to have a date, let alone make many friends. My friends were my sisters that I traveled with, which was great, but I longed for the friendships I had back home. I was 27 and pretty lonely. Most of my friends were already married and having kids. I thought surely by now I would be married. I remember telling the Lord, "I'm done trying to make this happen". "I trust you and will wait on you for the perfect one." I truly meant it with all of my being. Little did I know that 5 months later I would meet my husband. It was as if God was just waiting for me to turn it over to Him.

I can't believe it's been 10 years ago today that I remember having all those feelings. Feelings of lonliness and wondering if I was ever going to be a wife. Now it's hard to remember my single days. My husband and I have been through alot. Infertility, loss of a child, and just recently the loss of Brian's dad. I know there will be more trials ahead and I love that saying, "I don't know what the future holds, but I know who holds the future". One of my favorite hymns as a child and to this day is called "Because He Lives".

Because He lives I can face tomorrow
Because He lives all fear is gone
Because I know who holds the future
Cause life is worth the living just because He lives

God's timing is always perfect. He doesn't make mistakes. I just want to encourage you, whether it's waiting for a mate or waiting for a child, HE WILL GIVE YOU THE DESIRES OF YOUR HEART. One of my favorite verses is found in Hebrews 11:1, "Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see." It's hard I know when you desperately long for that which is unseen, believe me, I've been there, but I am here to tell you that the wait is well worth it. I have an amazing husband that loves me unconditionally and two beautiful daughters that I would die for. God is so good. Even in the midst of our pain and trials He is still there holding out his hand for us to take it if we allow Him too.
So today I write with a grateful heart. I'm thankful for the many blessings God has given me. I am thankful for my valentine of almost 9 years. Thank you honey for being my best friend. I love you more and more each day. I am thankful for my 2 little girls who bring so much joy to my life. I love being their mommy. Thank you Lord for the blessings that are still to be revealed. I wait patiently and expectantly. Psalm 27:14, "Wait for the Lord, be strong and take heart, and wait for the Lord".

Surprising Daddy

I love taking the girls to see their daddy at work and today was a good day to do just that. I remember when we were struggling to get pregnant thinking about how great it would be when I was able to take them to the office. I don't know why this is such an important thing for me to do, it just is. I love to see the girls eyes light up when they see daddy at work. Our first stop was to Gigi's cupcakes to pick up a chocolate cupcake. Their frosting is the best part of the cupcake and they put a ton on.

Then we got him 12 red heart Mylar balloons and took them to his work. When we got there he was in his weekly staff luncheon watching "The Office". How cool is that? Wish I worked there on Fridays. He was so surprised to see us. He loved getting his treats from his precious girls. He even shared his chocolate cupcake with us.



I am so thankful that the girls have such an amazing daddy. They are so blessed!

They had on their cute sweatshirts that their Nana just got them. Thanks mom.


Between the Valentine candy they got at school yesterday and the cupcake today, they are on a major sugar high. I guess they will come down soon enough.
As you can see, a good time was had by all.

My Blissdom Friends

I had a wonderful time at Blissdom meeting new friends and old. I was thrilled that my dear friends, Chrissie and Lisa, would be coming into town from California. I hadn't seen them in over 10 years since I moved to the south. I grew up with them in youth group in high school and college back in Southern California. It was so great to catch up with them on Friday night at dinner. It felt like it was old times and that 10 years hadn't really passed. They are both wives, mothers and very talented and creative business women. Chrissie makes handmade costumes and banners, basically anything you need to throw a great party. You can visit her site at Handmade Play. Lisa has her own jewelry line that is just beautiful. Thank you Lisa for my angel wings necklace. I haven't taken it off since you gave it to me. I love it. You can see her designs at LisaLeonardOnline. With Mother's Day coming up it would be a perfect gift for mom. I can't wait for next year's Blissdom just so I can see them again.

I also had the privilege of meeting someone whose blog I have followed for over a year and a half now. She was actually one of the very first blogs I started reading. Jennifer McKinney, aka, Mckmama, was at Blissdom to give the closing keynote speech. On Friday I got to sit down and talk with her for a bit. I didn't really know what to expect, but I have to say I was pleasantly surprised. She is genuine and incredibly sweet. She was truly interested in hearing my story and asking me questions about my journey through infertility. I was also able to give her the bib I had made for her new little one coming in the summer. She loved it. Her closing speech on Saturday was great. I don't think there was a dry eye in the house as she shared her testimony and showed a video of the name banners people had done for Stellan when he was sick. Thank you Jennifer for your heart and for being authentic and real.

I roomed with my friend Calie from BroccoliCupcake. How great is that name? Her slogan is "Where Healthy, Meets Happy". I love it. If you have read my blog for sometime, you know I am very much in to health, so it was great to be able to talk with someone who really has lived it. It was fun to be able to swap things that we've learned and put into practice for our families. Calie also has a Women's Wellness Weekend coming up at the end of the month here in town. If you are local you need to check out her website for more details. It's going to be great.

I have many more new friends I made that I will be telling you about on another post. It was truly a wonderful weekend for me. One I will soon not forget.



Tuesday's Tip-A way to reuse a baby wipe container

Today's tip I just discovered a couple of days ago. I had an extra baby wipe container laying around the house since Sydney is fully potty trained. Can I get an amen? So thrilled to have no more diapers or pull ups. Anyway, I put all of my plastic groceries bags that I need upstairs in the container and it works perfectly. I like it because it keeps them contained. I use a different holder in the pantry that is screwed to the wall.

I try my best to use the reusable shopping bags when I go shopping, but sometimes I forget and have to use the plastic ones that the stores gives out. Luckily, my Publix grocery store has a bin outside where you can recycle them. If you have a Publix in your area they have recycling trash cans in front of their stores that you can recycle plastic, paper bags and egg cartons. Give it a try.
Where do you store your plastic bags?

A trip to the ER

Today started out like any other day. The girls and I got up and ate breakfast and then headed to the gym. Sydney was a little whiny when I dropped her off but I really didn't think much of it. We then went home and had lunch. Sydney wasn't acting sick. She was her usual self. I did notice that she didn't eat much lunch. She said she wasn't hungry. Then around 1:30 I put the girls down for a nap. They were giggly and goofing around and I told them that if they wanted to do crafts in the classroom down in the basement, they needed to take a nap. They both fell asleep quickly after that.

When Sydney woke up she told me she was cold. I felt her forehead and noticed she was pretty warm. She was still acting normal. Not sick at all. We proceeded to go down to the basement and by now she just wanted to sit in the chair. She said she was still tired. She asked me to go upstairs and get her a sippy cup of milk so I did. I had to go to the top floor to get her cup out of her room and then back down to the kitchen. I got her sippy cup and then I answered the phone. It was my mom calling just to check in and see how my day was going, something she does everyday. I talked to her for about 3 min and told her I needed to go back downstairs to check on the girls. It's not uncommon for me to leave the girls playing for a few minutes. They play really well together and I've never had any problems before.

I walked downstairs and went to hand Sydney her sippy cup when I noticed she was frothing at the mouth and I realized, "Oh my word she is having a seizure". I noticed that she was very pale and her lips looked grey. I immediately picked her up and dialed 911. At the same time I needed to call Brian, but since I was on the phone with 911, I had to IM him at work. I just said Sydney having seizure. It was all very surreal and happened so fast. I took her upstairs right in front of the door and laid her on her side. She was still spitting up so I wanted to make sure she didn't choke. I think she seized for well over 5 minutes. She stopped just when the paramedics were getting there. Then they took over. By this point she had fallen asleep. They took her pulse ox and it was 82%. Normal is 95-100%. They put her on oxygen and loaded her into the back of the ambulance. I let Brian go with her so that I could get Brooklyn settled with my friend and neighbor. Thanks Brandy for taking good care of her.

Poor Brooklyn was watching all of it. She handled it so well. I think her little 4 year old brain was just trying to take it all in. It was hard because I was trying to take care of Sydney, but still pay attention to Brooklyn. I knew this was tramatic for her. At one point one of the EMT's came over and started talking to her. He asked her her name and told her that her sister would be ok. As they were leaving I noticed that Brooklyn had gone upstairs into her room. She then came back down the stairs holding her doctor's bag. I wanted to cry. It was just so sweet. She wanted to take care of her sissy. My little doctor in training.

By the time I got to the hospital she was coming around. She was still really out of it. She just kept saying, "mama, mommy, mama". She wouldn't talk to me or answer any questions. This went on for over an hour. The doctor wanted to make sure she was her normal self before letting us go home. Thankfully she fell asleep for about 15 minutes. When she woke up she was much better. She asked for some apple juice and something to eat. She kept saying, "I want to see Brooklyn". It was so sweet. Then she said, "I'm tired, I want to go home to my bed". I knew I had my little girl back. The doctor said it most likely happened because she spiked a fever so quickly. We will have to keep a close eye on her for the next few days. I will be sleeping with her for awhile it looks like just to make sure she's ok.

I have seen numerous seizures before. My two youngest sisters have a seizure disorder so I know what to do and know what to expect, but when it's your child, it's heart wrenching. You feel so helpless. At one point when I had 911 on speaker, I just started to pray over Sydney out loud. I prayed in the mighty name of Jesus that her seizure would stop. Shortly after praying she stopped seizing.

I am humbled by the texts, emails, phone calls, and tweets that we received tonight. I tear up as I think about them. I can't tell you what it means to us to know so many went before the Lord on our behalf. I can't thank you enough for praying for our baby girl.

I'm exhausted and there is a little girl upstairs asleep that I can't wait to cuddle up next to. Please continue to pray for Sydney that she will not have anymore seizures. We will be following up in the next few months with a pediatric neurologist just to be safe since seizures run on both sides of our family and they can be genetic. Thank you again for your prayers.

Switcheroo Sunday

My Switcheroo for today is how to make a better bowl of oatmeal. Oatmeal is a wonderful breakfast to have because it is packed with fiber. In my quest for better health I discovered that there are some oatmeal's that are better than others. The one below is loaded with sugar and other added ingredients that I just don't need in my diet. We love to have oatmeal in the morning for our breakfast. This is what we used to eat:

Here are the ingredients in this oatmeal that I took directly from Quaker's website. WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS (WITH OAT BRAN), SUGAR, NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL FLAVORS, SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE, GUAR GUM, OAT FLOUR, CARAMEL COLOR, NIACINAMIDE*, VITAMIN A PALMITATE, REDUCED IRON, PYRIDOXINE HYDROCHLORIDE*, RIBOFLAVIN*, THIAMIN MONONITRATE*, FOLIC ACID*.

As you can see there is a ton of sugar, natural and artificial flavors, salt, caramel color, and the list goes on. All of these ingredients take away the fact that oatmeal is good for you when you eat an oatmeal like this. If you want to eat instant oatmeal try Quaker's orginal oatmeal with no added sugar. You control how much natural sugar you put into it.

Here is what we did to make the switch. We've been using McCann's Irish Quick and Easy steel cut oats for over a year now and love it. Why steel cut oats? It packs more fiber than rolled oats do.

Here is how I make it and it only takes 5 minutes on the stove. Boil water and add oats. Cover for 5 minutes on low. No stirring needed. That's it. Really simple. To sweeten it I use Raw Agave Nectar and add craisins and almonds. If you haven't discovered Agave Nectar you should try it. It is delicious and probably the best sweetener for you. It is low on the glycemic index which means it won't make your blood sugar spike quickly. You can read more about Agave Nectar here.

Do you have a favorite way to eat your oatmeal? I would love to hear about it.

Disclaimer: This is my personal opinion. I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on t.v. I am just a consumer who loves to read and learn about how to be healthier for me and my family.

What a day!

I don't even know where to start. Today has been amazing. I have met so many wonderful bloggers and my brain is a little on overdrive to say the least. I attended two really good workshops today. I can sum up in one word what they were all about. That is "community." The Webster's definition of community is described as a unified body of individuals, a people with a common interest.

There was a strong sense of empowerment as I looked across the room of about 500 women. It was really inspiring to me. We are all women, wives, mothers, united in our passion for blogging. We are women who are strong, intelligent, and striving to do the best we can do in this thing we call life. Most of us are wives and mothers, but whatever we choose to blog about, we are united because we have a voice. A voice that resonates across the blogoshpere. We share our heartaches and our triumphs. We share our victories and our defeats. We hopefully share when we've made mistakes and when we've followed our guts.

I may not have the fanciest blog in town and that's ok. What I realized today is that I have to stay true to who I am. Who I believe God has called me to be. First and foremost I am a child of the most High God. Secondly I am a wife to an amazing husband and thirdly I am a mother to my beautiful daughters. I blog about the things that have made me who I am today. Overcoming infertility to become a mom, the passion I have to eat healthier and to share what that can do for others, and the everyday struggles and joys I have being a mommy to my two little girls. I am grateful if 10 people read my blog or if 10,000 read my blog. If something I say makes a difference in someones life, than I feel like I have accomplished what I was made to do. Thanks for stopping by.

Can't wait to get my Bliss on!

I am so excited for "Blissdom 10" here in Nashville. BlissDom 10 is a blogging conference and it's being held at the beautiful Opryland Hotel. If you have never been to Nashville or the Opryland Hotel, you have to go tour it if you ever come to town. It's beautiful! It's the most beautiful at Christmas time. That's when we like to go there and take pictures. Anyway, even though it's only a 40 minute drive to Opryland, my sweet hubby got me a room for my friend Calie and I so we could spend the night Friday night. I am so excited. It has been a long 3 weeks and it will be nice to get away and relax. There will be over 500 women at the conference. Party!! I had to go buy a black dress today for the cocktail party tomorrow night. What could be better than workshops, food and girl time? HARRY CONNICK JR. Yep. He's performing tomorrow night. Oh my stars. I'm such a big fan of his music. He's a great family guy too with a beautiful wife and 3 daughters. Maybe I can snap a photo with him. One can hope right?

I'm excited to meet so many women of whose blogs I read. MckMama will be there and she is doing the closing Keynote on Saturday night. I'm thrilled to hear her speak and to meet her. I even bought the new baby a little gift. (In case you can't tell from the picture, it's a bib) I have a friend who makes them and she does such an awesome job. I've given so many burp cloth sets and bibs as baby gifts. I love anything that is personalized. What do you think? I don't think she reads my blog so there is no harm in posting a picture and ruining the surprise. I hope she likes it.
Gotta go pack. Will tweet from the conference. If you want to follow you can @kristalord.

Life's Simple Pleasures

Kelly, from Kelly's Korner, did a post yesterday about life's simple pleasures and I decided to join in. Here are my simple pleasures:

Ice cold sweet tea on a hot summer day

The girls piled in bed with us on a Saturday morning

A warm chocolate chip cookie

A quiet house and a good magazine

Watching my girls sleep
Hearing my baby's heartbeat for the first time

Holding hands with my husband

Hearing the girls pray to Jesus
My hubby coming home from work and giving me a kiss
The sound of the ocean

Nursing my babies
Seeing a shooting star in the dark of night

Lifting my hands in worship

My dad's laughter

Hearing the words "I love you Mommy" from these two precious girls

Tuesday's Tip-Bissel Little Green ProHeat

My Tuesday's Tip has become my new best friend. I wish someone would have told me about this machine when we moved into our brand new house 2 years ago. My carpets and upholstery wouldn't look like they've been through a war. I will even go as far to say that every new mom should put this on their registry. You will use it more than any baby wipe warmer or diaper genie, I promise you.

Right after Brian and I got home from Indiana a few weeks ago, Sydney decided to get sick. Bless her heart she threw up her lunch all over our shag carpet in the great room. Oh why couldn't she have made it to the hardwoods in the kitchen? It was a mess to say the least. Chunks of food and milk were embedded in the carpet and I had no idea how I was gonna get it out. My first thought was that I was going to have to call someone in the morning to come clean the carpets. I knew that would be pricey so I told Brian I had to make a trip to Bed, Bath and Beyond and see what I could find.

I had heard about the Bissell Little Green ProHeat and figured this was the perfect time to try it out. It retails for $109.00 and it's worth every penny. I had a 20% off coupon and $50 store credit so it only costs me $35. I came home and got to work. Who knew cleaning could be so much fun. It cleaned up the entire mess with ease. I was floored. Then I decided to try it on my chairs because the fabric had stains on it from messy hands and it took them right out.
I really can't say enough about the Little green ProHeat. Too bad I'm not getting paid for this endorsement. This is a must have if you have little ones. It will come in handy when you enter the potty training stage if you aren't already there. You won't regret it. I promise.
 

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