One already

Can you believe it? Sneaky B is already one year old. Doesn’t it seem like yesterday that I told you all I was preggers?  Seems like it to me. This year has flown by!

We had a little party for Sneaky B over the weekend. Just a few friends and family in the park. It was a lovely day and I have probably to many pictures to share. As you know I never do anything simple, it’s a party, why do simple right?

inviteblogThanks to my obsession with pinterest, I found way to many ideas for this  little party.  Like red wax cheese “carved” to look like ladybugs, porcupine watermelon (can’t believe I made this for many reasons) and awesome felt critter mask patterns from illistyle — So stinking cute! Any easy to make. (You can try them too, by following the link)

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Simple cupcakes with vintage mushrooms. While baking the cupcakes I had a minor freak out moment… What was Sneaky B going to have for her cupcake?

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With the Fpies and not many safe foods that could become any form of a cake, I had no idea! I was a sad about this. In fact it was the first time I have been sad about her Fpies dignosis.  I have not had a moment to metally process the fact that she has Fpies. This was the first…

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But then my dear friend Kayce came to mind. She and her husband own a company “Miss Roben’s Allergy Friendly Mixes” (they are working on creating a website, I will share once it’s up and running) that makes food mixes that do not include the top ten allergens. YES, maybe one of these would work! Since I have not yet tried any oils, I thought maybe I could use the Chocolate Fudge Frosting (which contains corn free powdered sugar!) mixed with coconut cream. Sneaky B hasn’t tried chocolate yet, but I thought let’s just bite the bullet and see what happens. I made a little “cupcake” of frosting and she loved it! I mean what’s not to love- this frosting is delicious. And happy day no reaction 🙂

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partyfunFor a moment while working on the party I thought why am I doing this? Maybe we should have waited till after we move (in 17 days!). She’s only one, she will not remember this party. But the reality is, we needed a day off.  We needed to spend time with family and friends. We needed to not think about packing and unpacking and packing and unpacking. It was delightful.

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And now we are back to packing. In the next 17 days, we have a lot going on. Kiddo starts kindergarten. Hubby starts school too. We are moving. I am very excited to move; not so excited to pack, but excited to move! newsignature.jpg

 

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2 PODS, 2 twenty foot trucks & 2 mini vans!

I haven’t even had a moment to process Sneaky B’s FPIES diagnoses. For the past seven days I have been packing, carrying, dusting, and cleaning. My mom has sold our childhood home and is moving 8 minutes away from us. I am super excited to have her close! And sad to see the house go.

My mom is a collector. I do tease her about being a hoarder. She has a sign in her office that reads:hoarding

Ha! I guess that is true- to a point. But really anyone who lives in the same place for 37 years is bound to have a ton of stuff. For days we packed and carried and organized a huge yard sale. We tossed out the crap. Donated the unsellable. I collected a big pile (okay huge) for our place.

mommoivngSaturday night we had the last family dinner in the house. A cook-off of sorts. Who could make the best meal from what was in the freezer and pantry. We opened every bottle of wine and “taste tested” them all. We went through boxes from the attic that where my dads, grandfathers and grandmothers. We laughed. It was fantastic!

workersSunday so many family and friends came to help out. We loaded the second POD container (the first was loaded before the house went on the market). We loaded the first of the 20′ trucks. We loaded one mini van (most of this is ours). Over the next two days we loaded the next truck and mini van. WOW! That is a ton of stuff!

Through out these seven days I knew the time would come when I had to leave for the very last time. This house is where I grew up. I had slumber parties on the back lawn. Hubby and I got married in the back yard (so did my brother and sister-in-law). My dad was there. It was a tear filled drive down the dirt road the last time leaving the house.  I knew it would happen one day, I guess you can never fully prepare.

My mom’s new house is fantastic! It will be fun to help her decorate and remodel the kitchen. Two of my favorite things. First, I guess, comes the unpacking. Ugh. Not sure which is worse the packing or unpacking. “Luckily” for us, we get to do it all over again in 4 weeks. In four weeks, we are moving out of our tiny apartment into a little house. I am so excited… newsignature.jpg

Drum roll please….

“Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome” otherwise known as Fpies. To put it very simply- a person with Fpies  can not process the proteins in certain, many or most foods.

Never heard of it?  I hadn’t.  Until a few years ago when one of my best friends Ashley (aka Magazine Mom, my sidekick) discovered her son has it. Poor little man. It was a crazy time in there lives. My heart ached for them.

This is what Sneaky B has. Fpies, although acute.

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Fpies kiddos- can they be any cuter?

Okay can I say what we are all thinking. What are the freaking chances of this happening?  Two friends with new babies a year and a half apart. Both have this random never heard of syndrome?  There has to be a mathematician out there who can tell me the odds. Maybe we need to hit up Vegas?

I do feel fortunate though. Lucky for me I have a friend I can go to for any questions I have about this Fpies. Lucky for us, we are go getters when it comes to our kiddos. Somehow I think we will be planning something big, yet again, for Fpies kids. Lucky Fpies. Lucky us!

I have a lot to learn still. LOTS.  She will probably grow out of it. She will most likely always be intolerant to corn which is her biggest trigger (using Fpies wordage:  “trigger” food that causes reaction). Now that we know she has Fpies, I feel good. Not knowing, for me, is the worst. Now we can look Fpies in the face and take it on. We accept this challenge. newsignature.jpg

 

hating food

I guess to say “hating” food isn’t really the best thing to do. We are teaching Kiddo that “hate” isn’t a word we use in our family (along with “can’t”) but at the moment I truly do hate food, and she can’t read yet, so I am going to use HATE. And…maybe not food in general, but all the companies who make food to make our lives a tiny bit easier… I am hating them at the moment.

Sneaky B has a difficult time with food. She has a difficult time gaining weight because of this; she has dark circles under her eyes. She is not “allergic” to any food but she reacts to food in a different way. Her little tummy will hurt so much from certain foods that she is unconsolable, scream-crying (we call it the emergency room cry) for hours. Typically 6-7 hours after bad food was eaten, it will begin by being overly fussy and not wanting anything but mommy. Then the emergency room cry will being and 3-4 hours later it stops by her purely exhausted self falling asleep. A few hours later we have the nasty “reaction” poop, or maybe we should call it radio active poop. It’s the most vial poop I have ever experienced. My poor baby, I hate when this happens. It sucks! Especially when I accidentally eat something she can not have.

nofood.pngSince I am still nursing, what I eat effects her too. “Luckily” I only have to avoid wheat, dairy, soy and corn. HA! Only! Have you ever read labels on food? Seriously, it’s completely ridiculous what “they” put in our food. I have eaten wheat/gluten free for years (before it was popular) so I am used to avoiding that. Dairy hides in food too, it seems a bit easier to avoid than the others.

But corn… corn comes in so many forms and it is Sneaky B’s worst so far. Corn syrup, maltodextrin (made from corn), corn starch these are in everything! If it’s gluten free, it’s typically made with corn. Want to take a headache medicine…nope corn starch. Corn is in ketchup, mustard, chewing gum, soy milk, some frozen fruits and veggies, salad dressing, even toothpaste, the list can go on and on.  I was happy to find those little cubes of frozen herbs, basil was my favorite, a small connivence,… oh guess what, they put corn starch in it.  Mommy’s sorry Sneaky B…  It’s everywhere!

Next our dear friend soy. I used to be a soy consumer. I was a vegan before Sneaky B was born. But since this all started I was a total cranky bitch with eating just fruit and veggies. That lasted two days, to be honest, and then I had my first bit of meat in 4 years… wow! okay, it took awhile to get used to the texture but it was so good, and I was my normal happy again. It’s what my body need now. So no more tofu, soy-cheeze, soy sauce for me. HA do you know how many other places soy hides? Seriously it’s in more things that our dear friend wheat/gluten. Deli sandwich (on gluten, corn & dairy free bread of course) (and yes they do make that)- NO! Soy is in almost all deli meats. I have found one. just one, that I can eat and it’s labeled “Healthy Roasted Turkey” and it’s made with potato starch. Isn’t that funny, the “healthy” turkey has potato starch. Why does it have anything in it at all -other than freaking turkey???

I have become a pro at reading labels and it’s a good thing I enjoy cooking from scratch. I still try to find the “easy” food that I could eat, just maybe there is something out there I have not found yet. There have been a few occasions when I have the girls at the market looking for a quick dinner or lunch, they are whining and I am so hungry I don’t even care that everyone is watching me crying down the aisle picking up an item, reading the label “Nope! freaking corn!” “HA! Nope corn and soy!” It sucks! But I also know that for me this is a short lived moment in my life. Once I am done nursing, I can add back corn to my diet. I am not so sure I will add soy back though, we will see about that. But for Sneaky B, what is in store for her?

sneakyb11monthspic.jpgWe find out next week what exactly she has, I have an idea as to what it is, but I will keep that a secret until we get the word from the doc.  So far she can’t eat wheat, soy, corn, dairy, apples and pomegranates (which made her throw up!). I have my suspicions about potato too, but am waiting to try that again.  It’s a slow process, and that’s okay. Its frustrating. At times I think I am crazy. How can my eating four pieces of popcorn make our daughter be so wildly miserable? But it all comes down to this. I know I am not crazy. I know food affects her in a different way than most. I know when we are eating only what she can, so far, she is happy, the dark circles under her eyes are gone, she likes to sleep (!) and she is starting to gain weight. She is always wonderful.newsignature.jpg

A super simple, EASY, dinner

Ah summertime. Sometimes I love summertime, sometimes I hate it. Somedays is lazy and others it’s crazy. Today, was a crazy. Not sure why exactly, but we seemed to be go go go. On these days I can not express how much I love the crock pot. If you haven’t been using the crock pot during the summer, your crazy. (okay I said it) It’s not just for winter meals people.

Case in point. Black beans. A staple in our world. Some kind of bean every week. I make them early in the week and we eat them for dinner once and then lunch for a few days. This recipe is fantastic. It’s crazy easy and it gives me a little hint of my favorite South of the boarder food during this time when I can’t eat it.

Oh have I told you about this one? Sneaky B, has seriously nasty reactions to 5 major foods, even if I eat them (she is a nursing baby). Those foods, wheat, dairy, soy, corn and apples. Yep… it’s been trying to say the least. Can you imagine not eating those foods? I can handle not eating wheat and dairy, but the corn and soy- that’s another story. First off soy is in everything! Why I don’t know, but if you start looking, it is everywhere. And corn, I love corn. Most gluten free foods are based on corn too…. wait… way off on subject here- we will discuss this another time. Back to the beans!
blackbeans.jpgAbove is my recipe for basic black beans. They are so yummy; and it can’t get much easier than this. The most “difficult” part is remembering to soak the beans the night before. I always forget. Always. So I toss them in a pot on the stove with a bunch of water, filled almost to the top, bring to a boil and let them boil for 2 to 5 minutes. Turn off stove, cover and wait an hour. Then you can toss everything in the crock pot, turn it on low and forget about it.

Half way through the day, your kitchen will start to have a yummy smell. It’s hard to place, but it’s the secret to these beans yum… it’s the cloves. Why or why three little cloves make a huge difference, I have no idea, but I am not going to question it. It works and that’s all there is to it.

blackbeansfinished.jpgTonight we had the beans with lettuce, avocado, green onions and bell pepper. Kiddo ate three bowls full. So good.

If you try them, please let me know what you think- Enjoy!signature

 

 

 

Art in the park

It’s the middle of June? For real- how did that happen? It seems like a few days ago was mother’s day. I guess, for us, the days between mothers day and fathers day flew by. We are experiencing a bunch of big changes around here (more on that another day) but today was the day to slow down. Way down… like who cares that the phone is ringing, emails are needing to be read, bills need to be paid (ok I did do this- but you get where I’m going right?). Slow down, smell the daisies and just be with the sprouts (kiddo & sneaky b).

Kiddo tells us often that her “talent” is art. It actually goes like this: “Kiddo, this painting is wonderful.” “I know. Art is my talent, you know, after all.” (Hand on hip while rolling eyes). Love her.

So for “slow down tuesday” we went to the park, the Arboretum on campus.  We took a few snacks, a blanket, markers, crayons and paper, that’s all. (oh and my camera)  On the way I talked to kiddo about plein aire painting, being outside painting what you see and that we where going to try it.  Kiddo was super excited, it is her talent after all.

ucd.jpgI sometimes forget how beautiful it is at the arboretum. And quite. And peaceful. And…slow. Relaxing and slow.  We walked a bit, sat a bit, laughed and created a bunch.

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It’s amazing, although it shouldn’t be, how when you just slow down a bit, life is just more full. You notice the little things…

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and enjoy every moment. Forget about the “normal everyday.” I need to do this more often. We have forgotten to do this. Oh how sad that is to say, but not anymore! This day was a reminder to just have fun with the sprouts. To just ‘be’ outside. To just slow down.

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I can’t even begin to tell you how much I enjoyed our sprouts today. Kiddo loved being outside and expressing herself through “her talent.” Sneaky B played in the grass for hours. And I watched them both, soaked them in.

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Because of today, my goal for the summer is going to be to just slow down. Not plan every moment of the day. Play with the sprouts, even if I need to do the dishes. Enjoy it all. (okay maybe not the screaming, whining and non-sleeping moments, but everything else) How about you? Have you slowed down at all? Maybe you need too? I sure did.signature

Sleep…please

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So, if you have ever had a baby you know this is the one time in your life you obsess about sleep. “How many minutes was that nap?” “How many hours is a 9 month old supposed to sleep?” “What!? Awake already!” “I know you are tired but I had 3 hours of interrupt sleep!” Lately, this past week especially, Im over it. Over the getting up & being up with Sneaky B from 330am to 5am every night plus 2 nightly nursings. Over rocking (I know- bad to some of you) her for an hour to fall asleep just for a 30 minute “nap”. (I used quotes here because I was told that its not considered a nap if its not at least 45 minutes… yet another obsession). Over it all!

So today we start… sleep training.  Something we didn’t do with Kiddo, probably should have, but thats another day. For the past few days, in my non existent sleep stupor, I have been reading everything I could find on sleep training.  Wow there are a ton of theories out there on how to sleep train. Let them cry, dont you dare let them cry, just except the lack of sleep (not!), it goes on and on and on.

What is our plan..a little of it all. Nap time will now begin with a quick rocking, I just can’t not do this, with Bun bun (the stuffed bunny), then into the crib. Then I sit next to her crib with my hand inside so she knows I am here but I stay quite and let her cry and fall asleep.  Then as this works and the time of crying shortens (please let this be a short amount of days) I will sit farther away, and then out of the room. This is the plan as of now. We will see

arm.pngAnd while I type one handed on my phone (love the wordpress app) this that’s what I’m doing; sitting on the floor in complete silence next to her crib with my hand through the slats of her crib.

So far Sneaky B is crying, but not nearly as forceful as usual when in her crib awake. (She is usually panicky…crying…screaming, I can’t handle hearing this at all.) She is reaching for my hand, aww, and I can tell she is starting to drift to sleep.

We will see if this works. Will I stay strong and let her cry and fall asleep by herself? I have too, I dont want to but I have to.  The goal is to get her to fall asleep within 15 minutes all by herself.  As in “Its time for naps” put her into bed and goodnight. Dreamy!!

Wait! Hold on a minute. ..holy hell its been 20 minutes and she is sound asleep! My hand is sound asleep too but so is Sneaky B!!! Okay don’t get to excited and contain the happy dance for when I get out of the nursery… I can’t even believe it, neither can Hubby or Kiddo!

While Sneaky B slept, we actually got to do some fun things around here. I started two projects that have been on the list for months, I will show you later. And Kiddo and Hubby got sneakily creative… later Kiddo said giggling “I can’t tell you what daddy and I where doing until tomorrow, but do you have anymore paint?” Must be a mother’s day something. After which they did this…

nails.pngCan I just give a big shout out to my hubby… you are an awesome dad!

The other nap and bedtime went just the same, 20 minutes of crying and then sound asleep. I am hoping this isn’t a fluke, and that it’s the start of a great sleeping child that I have always longed for. Only time will tell. signature

 

 

 

Oh yes, I do have a blog…

if only you could see my face right now… contorted “smile”, rolling eyes, crazy messed up end of the day hair, sunglasses on head- because I always forget they are there… I can’t believe it’s been four months since typing to you all. A part of me hopes you missed me, a part of me is so embarrassed it’s been four freaking months! and a part of me hopes you didn’t give up on me… 🙂

Now to be fair, I have been crazy ridiculous busy. Way to busy for my own good actually. For those of you who have kids, you know life is busy, having an active five year old in pre-school,  add in a baby you only had four months to prepare for, hubby’s schooling, and my need to be successful, it’s just crazy. But it was been fun too…Shall we do a quick recap of the past four months?

thanksgiving.pngThanksgiving was delightful, we do have a lot to be thankful for.

december.pngDecember is aways crazy- right? We had a cookie decorating party, Jingle the elf returned and of course our Christmas was our usual crazy Swedish Celebration. Pretty much just like this, but a little more special this year with Sneaky B.

big5.pngKiddo turned 5! FIVE! We had her party at Michaels’ Art Store… who knew you could do that? When I learned they do parties, it was a done deal. It was great! They helped us with everything and most importantly- Kiddo had a great time!

auction.pngAnd then there was the crazy Auction. Kiddo goes to a pre-school that holds an auction every year to raise money to keep the school running. And this year I was co-chair in planning the entire thing with Magazine Mom. The planning took over our lives since January. Truly, my life has been auction planning and basic daily life skills for 3 months. Was it worth it, the jury is still out on that—-

Okay, for real- let’s just say I am very happy it’s done.  I was craving having the time to be my normal “Jone Cleaver Want-to-be self” back. The household saying was “Can’t wait till March 9th!” (the day after the auction). Second it was an awesome party and we raised over $25,000 (seriously). Third, Magazine Mom and I had a great time, most days… I only say this because life happens and during the final count down I and Sneaky B got Bronchitis, which included an emergency room visit for Sneaky B in the middle of the night, and this gave a lot of extra stress to all of us. But really, it was a fun adventure, an awesome party and I am happy we did it. I can say it was successful and been there- done that! 😉

K&M_march2014.pngSo there you go, we are caught up! And now that I have my life back (aka no auction to plan) I have so many projects I want to do. You know I will share! And I promise it will not be another four months!signature

Pink Floor Studios!

PF_card1So it’s been a week and I have been busy. In the past few months I have mentioned that I was starting a new business with my mama and last night we launched Pink Floor Studio! Happy day!

As you know, I like to hit up the thrift stores and garage sales. Let me tell you I am a novice when it comes to thrifting- my mama is the master. The collections are massive, although organized.

a tiny tiny bit of the collections
a tiny tiny bit of the collections

I know I have mentioned that I just go shopping in the studio (and many of you want too also) and now is your chance. That’s what Pink Floor Studio is all about, creative vintage crafting supplies. Off to a tag sale (on a thursday! awesome)

And if you are up for it, there is a blog too- shocking rightsignature