Tuesday, November 15, 2016


I don't post about politics or religion, it's pretty much irrelevant to our cause for this blog. This blog initially started as a way to educate others about limb differences and help raise funds for Bella and our family to go to Camp No Limits. Today, this all still holds true. Education creates power.

Today my goal is still to educate and help raise funds for Bella and our family to go to Camp No Limits. I've been given the incredible job as a pediatric nursing professor and course lead for pediatrics. I love my job. Like really love it. I love my students and my colleagues. I love the knowledge that they share with me and the collaboration that occurs daily.

Today, I'm bringing politics into this blog... I won't brag or trash either candidate. Today, I will tell you that I'm sad. I'm sad that this election has caused riots. I'm sad protesting is occurring in our cities across the united states. I'm sad that my children are hearing about these horrific acts at school from friends.

The news isn't something we watch with our kids around, truth me told, I can't tell you the last time I did watch the news. Years, I'm certain... To me, unless there's a positive story, I don't want to hear it. While yes, news has a time and a place, it's time and place is not in my home... not taking up space in my heart, not stressing me out, not causing me more grief. There's plenty of negativism in the "real" world that I'm exposed to. News is something I have a choice about and my choice is to remain happily oblivious.

I'm asking you, no matter your religion, your stance on our president elect, or Hillary, your view on politics... try not to bring your children down, try not to lose lifelong friendships... if they were your lifelong friends, I hope this wouldn't be an issue. Try not to let it ruin your day, your week, your month, your year. Spread happiness and kindness. Our kids, our world, our lives could use a little more love.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Be still my heart...

*this was saved and never posted*

It's bittersweet when school starts. It's a love hate thing for me. I see Bella's excitement to see her friends again. Our family runs on routine. We ALL do much better when things are well planned and we have a schedule. Heck, we even merged our calendars and started using google calendars to keep track of everything. I like knowing whats coming next and how I can be prepared. It helps to keep me from losing my $hit!

We've been talking up starting school for the last few weeks. After all, it is Grayson's first year in school. I can't believe my little lover is ready for school! It's bitter sweet for sure. He's such a love bug, he's kind and considerate. He's sweet and sincere. He's the best "finder" on the planet, you lose it, he'll find it... quickly! He loves dirt and worms. He LOVES wolves and is passionate about learning all that he can about them. He is the baby that mended my broken heart, coming into my arms two short days after my dad suddenly passed away. I remember little from his early days. I was blessed beyond belief but broken beyond belief as well. I remember nursing him through the tears in the middle of the night. I remember holding him a little longer because his sweet body fit just right in my arms. 

This morning, I watched him start his journey. His journey of learning and making friends. His journey of truly finding his own identity from his siblings. While I know that he has his own personality, his own loves and dislikes, this is going to be life changing for him. This is the only time in his life that will he will spend this much time apart from his siblings. He will grow in a new way. He will discover more of his passions... and with that follows dislikes as well. He will find his own friends, not Bella's friends, not daycare friends that his siblings share, his very own friends. His branch is growing our tree of life. 

Bella was beyond excited. She woke up at 5:45am and raced into the bathroom with a GINORMOUS smile on her face. She's said for the last two days "This year is going to be great, I just know it! I LOOOOOOVE my teacher. She's totally awesome!" Her face and her excitement were priceless. It reminded me of myself on the morning that I married her father. She was ready to head to school at 6am :) However, we contained her until it was REALLY time to start! I was ready before I was dressed, showered or had makeup or my wedding dress on! My mom, Ginny, Jackie and Leslie kept me contained until it was REALLY time!

And so it begins, our first year with two kids in school. Our first year with just Luca in daycare and home with me on my days off. Two kids with homework and school activities.

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Homemade DIY shampoo

If you don't know us well, I'll let you in on some insight. We are a little bit crunchy and hippie. We cloth diapered all 3 of our kids. We now use the old cloth diaper prefolds for rags in the garage or when camping. We make our own laundry detergent, we use essential oils, we made our own version of Vicks, we mostly buy used clothes for the kids, we religiously recycle, homemade beard oil. ... yeah the list goes on. We try to do our part to make the environment a better place for all of us. We've been using this for about a year. Ryan and the boys love it. Bella and I had some greasiness at first. We've once again started the whole family on this shampoo due to the lice incident. Research says lice don't like peppermint or tea tree.

Here's our recipe
– ¼ cup of distilled water,
– ¼ cup of Castile Soap (in liquid form and be sure it's UNSCENTED)
– 2 teaspoons of jojoba oil,
– 1/8 of teaspoon of peppermint oil, and
– 1/8 of teaspoon of tea tree oil.

Mix the Castile soap and oils first and add distilled water in the end.. This mixture is excellent for dry hair.

Of course there are other recipes out there. This is a recipe that we've tried and have success using. We've tried other recipes that we didn't care for, live and learn! We purchased all of our supplies on amazon. Be sure to use smile.amazon.com when shopping and put Camp No Limits or Lucky Fin Project as the charities you are supporting. This helps kids like Bella get to camp or get the resources that they need!

Monday, November 7, 2016

Are you ready to itch?

A few weeks ago we had head lice at our house... as in we, I mean Bella. I was pulling her blond hair into a ponytail and noticed a few little sesame seed looking things in her hair. Immediately I knew what it was... cue the itching, the scratching, the panicking!
No nits were present, just the lice. I picked the 5 lice out of her hair then proceeded to treat her head. Poor babe! It took over an hour. Ten minutes of treatment time followed by an hour of combing every single hair with the teeny tiny comb that came with our kit. Not our idea of a good Monday.

These are not my pictures but rest assured I took about 10 pictures and sent them to my pediatric nurse friends. I can tell you now that they were all itching and scratching when the text came through. They tried to calm my frazzled nerves but I can tell you now, I'd rather have a yeast infection than head lice at my house. (Yes you read that right! TMI maybe but oh so true!)

Yes we did about 10 loads of laundry on hot. We washed every single thing that they could have been on. We checked the boys, I checked Ryan and he checked me. Talk about a crazy night. Not ideal.

The key is to check for them and treat them as soon as possible. We also did some major education at our house about sharing hats, brushes and hair ties. The thing about school is that the kids coats all hang so close together, if one kid has it then they all could get it.

This time we used an over the counter treatment called "Lice Free". I also know that you use cetaphil and then blowdry your hair and sleep with that in your hair. The next morning you'll have to wash it out and comb through to be sure you get all of the nits.

Contrary to popular belief, lice love clean hair... so don't knock me when I don't wash my kids hair all week :) Kidding... kind of. Needless to say, dry shampoo has become my friend. If you have any recommendations for good dry shampoo brands, sent them my way! We've also been using a homemade shampoo with peppermint oil and tea tree oil. The thing about it was that it left Bella's hair a little greasy looking. I think because it doesn't strip all of the good nutrients from your hair. Now, we are back to using it and just using less conditioner. The tea tree oil and peppermint are said to deter lice... in our case, we'll take all the help we can get!

CAMP NO LIMITS all booked!

This picture was taken just last weekend while we were camping. Bella and I were walking around the camp ground just the girls. Dirty from...