Sugar Free…

I am very, very sad.  It appears I’ve inherited my mother’s struggle with sugar – both the cravings and the allergic reaction to it once it’s consumed.

I remember watching her as a kid eat something sweet and then her entire body convulsing with the coughing that ensued shortly thereafter.  It never really stopped her though…

And now, I find myself in the same boat.  But it hasn’t really stopped me from eating it…until today.

I spent Friday morning having a food allergy test done.  The image you will see next is almost gruesome – mostly because I never knew how unattractive my back was and because it shows that there is now something in my natural peanut butter that is making me sick.  More than likely, it is the molasses.


I can’t live without peanut butter.  It’s my absolute favorite.  I can just eat it by the spoonful.  But unfortunately, for the next month, my doctor wants me to avoid all foods that I have tested positive for.  The list is too long and depressing to bore you with here.  But I have agreed to abide by the rules and really abstain from eating/drinking things that have processed sugar in them.  It will probably be a rough month for me although I’ve done it before.  The problem is sticking with it.

And if my natural peanut butter really is to blame for my recent attacks, I guess I’ll just have to give this PB2 a try.


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San Francisco, CA

Ah, our favorite city to visit – SAN FRANCISCO!  Last week, I had to make a trip for work and Shannon had to go with me.  The kiddies stayed home with my parents and they had just as much fun playing with Nana and Papa as we did on our trip away!

I love checking out the local open air markets and that is exactly what we did.  The collage below is from the Ferry Building and Fisherman’s Wharf.

Farmer's Market - San Fran

Several weeks before we went, Shannon discovered that there was a Morgan dealership on Fisherman’s Wharf so we had to go check it out.  Unfortunately they didn’t have a demonstrator so there wasn’t a three-wheeler on hand for my dear husband to actually touch, kiss, drool over…

We saw some weird stuff….

Which item doesn't appear to belong to the rest?

Which item doesn’t appear to belong to the rest?

We saw some cool stuff…


And then one of us drank too much red wine and paid the price the next morning…


Does it get any better than this???

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Cleveland, OH

As you know, I travel a lot for work and at this point, I don’t usually go to places I’ve never been before. So when I found out I had to go to Cleveland, OH, I was a little torn – excited about going somewhere new but a little leery because of the news that put Cleveland in the spotlight a few months ago.

Turns out I was pleasantly surprised! Because of my work schedule, I didn’t venture too far from the hotel but what I did see of Cleveland was beautiful! The architecture of the old buildings was absolutely stunning.

And they take their rock and roll pretty serious – I guess that’s because of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This greeted me in the airport

This greeted me in the airport

We actually ate dinner at the HoF one night and saw some really cool stuff.

And Captain America is being filmed there right now as well.

I would actually like to go back when I have more time.

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Last day of School – YIPPEE!

This is it!  The last day of school!  My baby is now a rising 4th Grader.  I cannot believe the time has passed by so quickly!  Can someone please make it stop??

To celebrate the last day of school, last night we went to Bruster’s and got an ice cream (Gracie’s choice).  Ignore the terrorized face of Finley.  She skipped the Terrible Two’s and Terrible Three’s but appears to be hitting the Terrible Four’s pretty hard.


Today Shannon had a little surprise for the girls…and Lily.  Last week he bought some hair coloring at the vet.  Don’t worry, it’s only temporary.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t really like it.


But fortunately, they all made up and lived happily ever after.

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The Joys of Summer

I don’t like the heat, but I do love the fun that summer brings.  And considering I am allergic to everything in nature, it’s amazing how much time my family actually spends out in it where I’m susceptible to all sorts of crazy allergic reactions!

There’s sucking the nectar out of honeysuckles:


Blowing the florets off of dandelions:

Annoying the puppies:


Growing our own little garden:


Watching new life right before our very own eyes:



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My Mini-Me

Bear with me because this is a long one…

I have two very precious, yet very different daughters.  They are the loves of my life (along with my husband) and everything I do is in consideration of their health, happiness and well-being.


My oldest is just about the sweetest, most loving child in the entire universe.  You may think I’m just biased because she’s mine and most parents say that about their kids anyway, right?  Well in her case, it’s true.  It’s been confirmed by countless teachers and other adults so I’m not just blowing smoke here.  Her kindergarten teacher told me she’d never met a “more maternal kindergartner” in all her days of teaching.  She’s encouraging and supportive of everyone around her, wants to make everyone feel included, and takes great joy in making everyone laugh.  She. is. an. angel!


Then, there’s the baby.  My sweet, tiny little baby who has turned 4 years old before my very eyes.  She’s so completely different from her sister.  She’s stubborn and hard-headed.  If she doesn’t want to do something, she will not do it.  End of story.  No other options.  You want her to sing the alphabet song but she doesn’t want to – who do you think wins?  She was in time-out before she was even a year old.  I kid you not – I would put 45 seconds on the microwave to time her.  And she would just smile at us.  My husband says she’s all me, my personality, my stubbornness…my Mini-Me.  I jokingly refuse to accept it but I know it’s true.  I see a lot of my traits in her.


When your young and dream of your future children, you pray that they get the best parts of you and thankfully, they each get something wonderful that you have given them through your DNA.  But they also have an equal chance of getting something from you that you’re not so fond of…in Mini-Me’s case, she seems to have gotten my shyness attribute.  Today, she started crying so hard in her preschool end-of-year program that the teacher finally took her off the stage and brought her to me in the audience.  And now we are faced with her dance recital this weekend.

I have always been very strict in my children sticking with their commitments, but for the first time, we are thinking of not making her go through with this dance recital.  The pain and torture I envision of her standing up on that stage crying is just too much.  As aggravated as I get with her about it, she’s still my baby and I cannot bear to see her stand up there scared to death.  Will she grow out of this?  Am I making too much out of it?

I think I’m much more protective over little Mini-Me because from the time I was 10 weeks pregnant with her, the doctors kept finding things wrong with her.  It was one thing after another until I was 8 months pregnant.  I think I felt like so much was against her, that I had to fight for her from the very beginning, much more than my normal pregnancy with my oldest.  Of course she came out absolutely perfect, but I already had the fight in me by then.


So now I’ve spent way too much time agonizing over her fear of being around new people and being the center of attention.  I’m praying for wisdom and guidance to make the right decision, to be nurturing yet encouraging so that she can step out of her comfort zone and peace for my little love as she grows up and experiences new things.

Being a parent is tough…

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14 to Lean – Week 2

I realize I am a week late in posting the results of Week 2 so please forgive me.

Overall, this was a hard plan.  The food guide along with the intense exercise plan wore me out.  However, it is something I would highly recommend.  You can do anything for 14 days.

Unfortunately, I seemed to have developed asthma recently and it picked the 2nd week of this program to flare up and send me into a downward spiral of uncontrollable coughing fits.  When you can’t catch your breath, it’s difficult to give 110% in your workouts, but I did my best.

The 2nd week also fell over my baby’s 4th birthday and while I declined the pizza and cupcakes at her birthday party, I refused to miss out on a cupcake on her actual birthday.  That’s a celebration to me and I was going to participate in it.  And considering it was the only time I cheated during the two weeks, I would say it was a success.

The final score was 9 lbs for in 14 days that covered asthma and a birthday.  YEAH ME!

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