Archive for March, 2012

ROHHAD review

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 by by

We met with Haven’s doctor today in St. G. He’s a very nice doctor and listened and knew some about Haven already which is GREAT!!! I also took all of her files in and gave them copies so they would have the latest information on her. A few highlights:

1. Haven has had a cough for about 3 weeks (horrible one) and we’ve tried everything. He checked her over and it seems as though she has asthma. He also let me hear her breathing and at the end there was a wheeze and a pop sound. So she has been prescribed two different inhalers. One is for twice a day use and the other is for emergencies – especially at night. She will go back to see him in two weeks.

2. We will meet with a surgeon in SLC as Haven will need to undergo surgery to remove her old port and have a new one put in it’s place. They will ultimately have to keep her for a bit for this. Haven has an allergy to anesthesia and needs to be watched extremely close (more…)


Make Your Own Slime

Wednesday, March 28th, 2012 by by

This was by far my favorite easy science experiment that we’ve done! The kids both had a blast, and their smiles and laughter did my heart a world of good after the week we’ve had.

There are 2 different ways I found to make “slime,” so I thought we’d do both and see which we liked best (and why).

The first slime consisted of:

  • 1/4 white craft glue
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup liquid starch
  • Food coloring (optional)
  • Bowl
  • Spoon for mixing

First we (more…)

Saving that Grocery Money

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 by by

Over the past couple of years, I have got quite good at feeding my family on a low grocery budget. However, dealing with rising food costs means that low budget just got even lower. We are working hard to pay off the last chunk of our student loans so we can live like no one else.  It’s important to me to try and keep costs down in the kitchen while still providing healthy, hearty and satisfying meals for our growing family.
Angela Coffman, the Grocery Shrink, has been fundamental in helping me do this. I bought her ebook last summer and have since completely changed the way I shop and cook. She teaches a certain method to grocery shopping and planning that enables one to stay within her recommended budget guidelines. For us, that is around $250 a month for our family of 4 (nursing infant, toddler, 2 adults).

Last week, she came out with a brand new feature, Grocery Shrink Plus – a menu planning service that not only plans your dinners, but your breakfasts, lunches and snacks too – all for just $5 a month! Her plans are remarkably thorough and detailed to help make it as easy as possible for you to implement the meals. She gives step by step instructions to help plan the different meal tasks out ahead of time so that you don’t forget. She also focuses on healthy from-scratch meals rather than relying on boxed or processed food items.

This service is so helpful for me, since I have been struggling to do all the planning and prep work that is necessary to keep a low budget. I had been coming close to the guidelines, but still had plenty of room for improvement, so that’s one of the reasons I bought her service. I also needed help in planning more balanced and nutritious meals that include lots of vegetables. So far, I am completely impressed with how much it has helped! Our family loves the meals too – they are simple yet delicious!

Bunnies in the Grass Game

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 by by

One of the first years I was working, I bought the game Ants in the Pants. My three year olds had a hard time with it, but some of my four year olds and older students really loved trying to get the ants in the pants!

A couple weeks ago, I was wondering through the dollar aisle at Target (as I do almost weekly with my Son) when I happened to notice a large plastic egg filled with jumping bunnies! I figured for a buck they would be worth it. THEN I found this cool green basket in the dollar section that kinda reminded me of grass, and I thought: Bunnies in the Grass!

This would be played just like Ants in the Pants, but with Bunnies in the Grass! The bunnies I got came in three colors (so, three players), however you could easily buy two sets and just use a sharpie to draw spots on the second set to make it up to 6 players.

You will want to give each player his/her colored bunnies, and then take turns trying to get the bunnies in the “grass” (aka in the basket). (more…)


MedicAlert Buttons

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 by by

*I am not being paid, or receiving any sort of incentive to write this post.  I just like to share my favorite things with other allergy families :)*

Link to MedicAlert

When we realized that Little Sisters allergies were so life-threatening, we knew that we needed to take an extra step to protect her.  I bought her a food allergy warning shirt and that was incredible, but I wanted something to put on the back of her shirt so that people got the idea not to feed her at parties, or touch her in the grocery store with food residue on their hands.

I bought this 5 pack from a fantastic store on, called MedicAlert.  They were SO inexpensive, and really well made.  The buttons get put on both the front, and the back of her shirt, the zipper pull goes on her coats, and the keychain is on the diaper bag.


Hat Counting Felt Board

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012 by by

Felt boards are often items that parents see in preschool classrooms and say, “That would be neat to have at home!” It seems as though these fun learn-and-play items are only available to teachers or day cares. I want to show you how anyone can make a felt board for their playroom, and it only costs around $10! The one I picture below cost about $7 to make. I don’t have any pictures of the process of making the board; I tried, but technology hates me this week.

~Large piece of sturdy cardboard (I used a board that I found with the poster board at my craft store)
~ Ply wood would work too, if it is thin enough to fit the frame, and would offer a more sturdy felt board.
~Large frame with no backing or glass. My craft store has a clearance rack for frames that are just the wooden framing, for a few dollars depending on the size. The one I chose was $3.
~Large sheet of white felt. These should be next to or under the smaller sheets of felt, folded and in plastic packaging.
~Hot Glue Gun

Step 1.
Cut the board to fit inside the frame. Cut the felt so that it gives a 2-3 inch border around the edges of the board. (If you place the board in the center of the felt, there should be 2-3 inches of felt surrounding all sides of the board.)

Step 2. (more…)

Alan Christopher Mizzell

Monday, March 26th, 2012 by by

So much has happened since I last posted. We bought a home! Our moms came out to visit (at the same time, and they finally met for the first time!), and we had our 5th child – Alan Christopher Mizzell. This is his birth story.

Alan was supposed to come on February 8th. Even though I wasn’t due until March 4th, my doctor wanted to induce me early because of the complications that can come with delivery and having Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome. He was leaving town on vacation on the 9th and wouldn’t be back until the 22nd. All of my kids, except Anastasia, were born prior to 38 weeks, and he wasn’t sure I’d make it until the 22nd, when I’d be 38 weeks 3 days. However, to induce in Nebraska prior to 39 weeks, you have to have an amnio that confirms lung maturity.

To prepare for the delivery, we had our moms come out and visit. They had never met each other before, and we thought this would be a great time to finally meet! The plan was for Chris’s mom to care for Anthony and David during delivery (we’d take Charlie and Anastasia with us), and for my mom to be in the delivery room since she’s never seen me give birth before. I began having a lot of bloody show around the 5th of February, and my husband and mom were both convinced I wasn’t even going to make it to my induction.

On the 8th, we all went to my MFM doctor for my amnio. Oh my goodness, that was painful! My MFM rocked it out, and it went very quickly, but as soon as the needle was inserted in my uterus I slightly shifted and ended up contracting around the needle. It burned after that. Afterwards, they have to monitor you for an hour to make sure you aren’t going into labor and that the baby isn’t in distress. Alan was not happy. His heart rate was in the 200′s and stayed there for about half an hour before it finally came down and stayed down. The results came back that his lungs were not mature. We found out at my OB appointment that afternoon that his numbers were only 19, and they need 40′s to 50′s to be considered mature. He was REALLY not ready. I was upset, but I didn’t want him to come if he wasn’t ready.

I felt really bad for Chris’s mom. She had wanted to come out at the end of February, but I convinced her to come out earlier so she could meet my mom. (more…)


Tabata Workout

Monday, March 26th, 2012 by by

Do you want to add some variety to your workout? Perhaps you just need to get started but don’t have an hour every day.

Tabatas are perfect. They take four minutes and can be done alone or added on the end of your strength workout.

I have been adding them to the end of my strength training session, but when I was a beginner I used to do them because 15 minute HIIT was just too much for me.

Tabatas are 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of recovery for eight rounds. Just remember when you do tabatas or HIIT, you want to give all you’ve got during the work period. Really GO HARD!!

My tabatas for this month will be:

Woodchops and Burpees



Throwing Out the Window My “Parenting Theories”

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 by by

As a young woman and counselor, I had many theories on “raising kids,” prior to having them.  One of them was if I saw a kid whining at the grocery store and having a tantrum because he didn’t get what he wanted I would think (insert smart alecky voice) ”Maybe at home he gets what ever he wants and that is why he is having a tantrum right now. That is why it’s important to set boundaries at home and have consequences for tantrums and whining.”

Some of these theories came from mere observation, some were experiences from working with inner city kids and most were straight out of books.   Little did I know what I had coming my way.   After 8 years of marriage, we have a house full of boys!  Three strong and courageous little men that constantly remind me how little I know about parenting even after reading all those amazing books on “Child Rearing.”

My first born didn’t really challenge any of my theories (more…)

Ladybug Craft for Spring

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012 by by

I’ve been trying to find a use for the red plates I bought for our hanging valentine craft, and I finally decided to do something ladybug oriented. The Younger has been really interested in ladybugs lately, so I thought I could combine a craft with some learning.

First I gathered:

  • Red plates
  • Glue
  • Black construction paper
  • Scissors
  • Pipe cleaners
  • Googly eyes

I sort of pushed the plate outward so the rim of the plate was then lower than the middle section, and that created an okay shell to start with.  Then, I cut out a few black circles for the spots.

I let her decide where she wanted the eyes and spots, and I even (more…)