We are in St. Augustine, FL, for a short weekend trip. Check back Monday for more pictures!
High fructose corn syrup (HFCS) has replaced sugar as the sweetener in many beverages and foods such as breads, cereals, breakfast bars, lunch meats, yogurts, soups and condiments. On average, Americans consume about 12 teaspoons per day of HFCS, but teens and other high consumers can take in 80 percent more HFCS than average.
Recent studies found high levels of mercury in HFCS.
"Mercury is toxic in all its forms. Given how much high-fructose corn syrup is consumed by children, it could be a significant additional source of mercury never before considered. We are calling for immediate changes by industry and the to help stop this avoidable mercury contamination of the food supply," said the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy's Dr. David Wallinga, a co-author of both studies."
You can read the article here.
One has to wonder if this has anything to do with the rise in autism. .
The 6th-8th of February we are doing respite care for a new born baby girl. I am so excited!!
On a lighter note Willie-B's Staph infection is clearly up nicely. Giving him the oral antibiotics has proved to be a challenge. We have to hold him down, squirt it in, and plug his nose until he swallows. It's like a mini work out three times a day.
We have been giving him bleach baths 2-3 times a week, in hopes that it wont come back again.
I might be over reacting, but at the moment my blood pressure is through the roof! Yesterday a prescription was called in to our local rite aid pharmacy for William. I asked how long it would take to fill, and the lady told me 20 minutes. Waiting inside of the store with two little boys isnt my idea of fun...So we left.. An hour later we head back to rite aid to pick it up.
I unbuckle both boys from their carseats, strap Willie into the stroller (he's too heavy to carry, and I was trying to avoid the germ ridden shopping carts). Head inside, only to be it isnt ready. My options are wait 25 minutes with the boys, or come back later and pick it up. Keep in mine its five minute still 5pm, and I get off work at 5!
There are at least five people working the pharmacy.
I decided to go drop the boys off, and swing back by and pick it up before heading home to grab my check book. The line inside is 50 deep, there was no way I was waiting, because I was scheduled to get my hair cut at 5:45.
So today around 10ish Willie B, and I go back to pick up the prescription. We stand in line for about 3-5 minutes, at this point my arms are breaking, because William is a dead weight. woohoo it our turn.
me: "I am here to pick up a prescription for Willie XXX
The lady is looking around for it, I am thinking to myself please don't tell me they don't have it.
Lady "Here it is, (she's holds up the written prescription), Please have a seat I will have it ready for you in about 20 minutes she says"
Me" "What? the prescription was called in yesterday, I was told it would take 20 minutes to fill it, this is the third time I have been here to pick it up".
Lady: "Well yeah I know, but there is nothing I can do.
At this point I am totally pissed off, its only an ointment, how hard is it to slap a label on it, and run it thru the system? I just walked away.
When I got home I decided to call and speak with the store manager, because this isnt the first time, it has taken FOREVER to get something filled.
He told me to hold on that he had someone else in the store that I should speak with. The store is under investigation by the rite aid district manager. Apparently our rite it, isnt living up to its name. I am not the first person to complain.
I told him the situation: I added that the medication is to treat a staph infection which isnt something to mess around with. He has now missed 3 treatments because they cant get their act together.
He reassured me that my prescription was being filled at that very moment. He said they was having issues (his words) with incompetent staff.
When I went back to pick it up, the district manager apologized, and gave me the medication for free.
It shouldn't be that hard to get your prescription filled. Needless to say we wont be going back there.
Things have been crazy busy around here. I haven't been home before 10pm since last Thursday. Willie B has a staph infection, we will find out tomorrow if it is MRSA. The first antibiotic was NOT working, so I took him back to the doctor's yesterday. They lanced all four bumps, drained out the puss, and started him on a new antibiotic. His wounds look 100 times better today, than they did yesterday which is a good sign.
I am just puzzled as to where this nasty infection came from. Sure Wayne had it five times last year, but he isnt in close contact with Willie-B. I have been tested and I do not carry the MRSA virus. I just hope it doesn't rear its ugly head five times over like it did with Wayne.
We spent the weekend shopping, there are some killer sales going on. Target had a ton of stuff for 75% off, there was an additional 30% off some of the items. I got shoes for $4.39! A four pack of socks for $1.98, two belts for Wayne $2.49, and a ton of clothes for less than $5.00 each
My birthday closet is full of toys for all the wee ones in our life. Nothing like getting toys for 75% off!
J C Penny had a great sale going on as well, an additional 40% off their clearance. I heard old navy had a good sale going on as well, but ours was pretty bare.
Weight Watchers is going well!!! We have both lost a few more pounds, will update tomorrow when we weigh in.
Willie B has a staph infection, please PRAY it is not MRSA. I am taking him back to the Dr, because it looks a little more irritated.
Still no placement, I am starting to think we will never get one. We also got a six month old little boy, but they ended up placing him closer to home. We got a call for two boys ages 4 and 8 yrs old, but we could not take them because they needed separate bedrooms . Then there was the sweet baby I posted about the other day who is still in the NICU.
Every time the agency calls, I get excited on. Thursday I jokingly told our worker not to call me again unless she had a placement for us!
That's all for now folks.. Hope everyone is doing well
Tonight Wayne, and I attended a few training classes with our foster agency. Our working told us that she got a call earlier in the day. They were looking to place a newborn infant still in the NICU, who was born without most of his brain. She sadly had to tell them no, because none of her families could care for him.
From a medical stand point we could have cared for him. However they needed a family where one parent stayed home full-time. I wish I was a
kept women a stay at home wife!
It breaks my heart to think of a tiny newborn baby, left alone in a hospital without any parents. He has already been given a death sentence. Doesn't he deserve a mama, and a Daddy?
Today I been thinking about my Mum, she was such an amazing person. She was a good wife, a great friend, sister, daughter, and a wonderful Mother.
When I lived in the same state as my Mum, I seen her almost everyday. Once I moved, I didnt see her as often, but we still spoke on the phone at least once a day. I would call her on her cell phone, and chat with her while she was getting her chemo.
We would talk about the weather, the kids, her nasty chemo. She would tell me about her latest fashion bug purchase. I would ask advice on silly things "how long do I cook a whole chicken." An hour later I would call her back "do you think my chicken is cooked now?"
I am sure I sometimes drove her crazy with all the phone calls, but she was always there on the other end of the line like the good Mother she
I think about all the things she is missing out on, and it makes me sad. She loved life, she loved her children, and she really loved her grandchildren. It breaks my heart to hear my three year old nephew says "I wanna go see grandma", it hurts to hear my sister say "we can't go see grandma remember?" and to hear his little voice answer back "Grandma's in Heaven."
I miss my Mum..
Then I think about those who have a Mother that is high on drugs, or two wrapped up in her own life to care about her children. I see families who don't speak on the phone once a month, let alone once a day. It is then I am even more thankful for the times I had with my Mother.
Everyday around noon I pick Parker up from preschool. All of the cars line up, and the teachers bring, and buckle the children into the car.
Parker was running to my car, I was shouting "stop running" even though I knew he couldn't hear me. Next thing I know Parker is on the ground. Some how on the way down he whacked his face on the door jam.
He hit it hard, it was loud, it sounded as if someone hit the car with baseball. We iced his face, then he ate lunch, and rested for a while.
After his nap, I was looking at his massive boo boo, I also check out the few red bumps around his lips. I said out loud "I wonder where those came from." Parker said "maybe they are pickles?" "You know like you have on your face Karen." I said "oh you mean pimples" yes says parker, pimples.
For those of you who do not know how Weight Watchers works, here is a little background info:
Its pretty simple, you get a certain number of points, which are based off of your age, sex, activity level, and your current weight. You can eat whatever you like as long as you do not go over YOUR number of points.
To figure out how many points a certain food item/meal is you have to know how many calories, total grams of fat, and the total amount of fiber. Once you figure that out you look at your WW chart, to see how many points that item/meal is.
Its important to make sure you are eating the correct portion size. This is the biggest part for me, I do not eat a lot of unhealthy foods, I just eat too big a portion.
On top of your daily points you also get an extra 35 points to use whenever you want within that week. You can splurge and have a treat, of you can break down the points, and use a few each day.
You have to eat 5 servings of fruits or veggies each day, drink 6 glasses of water, 2 servings of dairy, 1 serving of healthy oil, and a good amount of healthy protein.
Some things we have been eating to stay within our points, and also fill us up are:
Fruit with every meal: Banana's and grapes are my favorite, one medium banana is 1 point, 1/2 cup of grapes are 1 point.
Snacking on raw veggies: Most veggies are 0-1 point per serving
Low fat Hellmonds mayo-1 table spoon is one point
Eggs: a boiled egg, 2 points
Natures own whole wheat double fiber 2 slices are zero points
Fiber one bars- oats and chocolate for a nice treat are 2 points.
Fiber one yogurts- 1 point.
WW smart ones microwave meals vary in points from 4-8
Here is a sample of one of my days this week:
Breakfast: Medium Banana, Fiber bar, water: 3 points
Lunch: large peach, 1/4 cup of tuna, 1 tablespoon of mayo, 2 slices of natures own whole wheat double fiber bread, 1 diet Dr. Dr Pepper - 4.5 points
Snack- 1 1/4 cups of raw carrots, water .5 points
For dinner this day we went to Applebee's I had a house salad with low fat cheese, and low fat ranch dressing, a grilled chicken sandwich on a wheat bun, with tomatoes, mushrooms, and low fat mayo for a total of 12 points.On this day I still had points left over.
I have yet to really start working out, we have been going for nightly walks together, and I will start jogging on my treadmill 4-5 days a week starting tomorrow.
In between meals I drink water like its going out of style. I have limited my soda to one every other day, so far so good. In six days I have dropped 6.5lbs!
Happy 4th angel day today, Teagyn. I have visions of you running, laughing, and playing with your little angel friends.
Look out for your balloons tonight, there will be plenty in the sky.. Stay sweet, and shine bright, until we meet again.
All of our family came to the hospital, and we tried to make sense of what just happened. I mean we knew she was sick, but had no idea she was deathly sick. We spent countless hours in the hospital that night, holding Teagyn. Soaking in all of her features, and her sweet smell.
I remember her body stiffing, she moved slightly. I wanted to shout "She's not dead she just moved." but I knew better. The nurses came in, and we took hand, and foot prints. We cut a few locks of Teagyn's hair as a keep sake.
We all gave her one last kiss, and tucked her into bed. Reality had not set it, this seemed like a bad dream.
We visited Teagyn each day in the funeral home, we even held her which confused some people.
Above: Me holding Angel Teagyn
But we did what felt right. Her funeral was lovely, she was lovely, just as pretty as usual. There were so many items in her casket.. She barley fit.
Shock, and denial became our best friend. I remember the day it really hit me. My sister Nicola, and I were going to the store for something. We put our shoes on, walked our the door, and buckled ourselves into the car. It seemed strange there was nor preparation. No folding down Teagyn's wheelchair no oxygen tank, no suction machine or medication,most importantly there was no Teagyn.
It hit me like a ton of bricks.
Grief is an intense state, it hurts your being. It takes away your breath.It makes you see life through a different pair of glasses. While grieving nothing else or no one else matters. You just do what you have to in order to survive.There were many nights I cried myself to sleep. How was I supposed to live life without Teagyn she was my life, our life, our life revolved around Teagyn, and her medical needs.
In the four years since Teagyn's passing, I no longer cry myself to sleep at night. When I think of Teagyn they are of the great times we spent together. It is of her big brown eyes, her sweet pearly white smile.
I remember the walks, the vacations, the sunny days floating in the pool with Teagyn. I remember her laugh, her facial expressions, I remember her favorite foods (chocolate, slurpee's, tomato soup, apple sauce)
Oh I remember it all...
Now don't get my wrong, I would give anything to see her a again, to have found a cure for her disease. I grieve for the times we do not get to share, birthdays, holidays, first days of school, shopping tips, sleepovers, and summer holidays.
When I think of Teagyn, I smile.
To think that Teagyn has been gone for four years just blows my mind. Sometimes it seems as if she was born yesterday. Other days it seems as if it were a life time ago. Did we really have a baby that was born with a terminal illness? Surely not! That only happens to other people?
Teagyn had seizures, and feeding issues from birth, but they disappeared by the time she was six months old.
(the white tape on her face was holding her feeding (NG) tube in place)
For part of Teagyn's life we were blissfully unaware that our days with Teagyn were numbered.,We were told she had cerebrally palsy, with every type of therapy known to man, she would lead a good life.
(L-R) Teagyn, Jannae, Jalen, and Devin, playing in the ball pit.
From birth until age two she made great progress, laughing, smiling, eating table food, and even bearing weight on her legs. Her favorite thing was to bang her duplo blocks as hard as she could on her wooden table.
Teagyn continued with weekly therapy. She attended daycare (I ran a home daycare). She participated in all of the activities, with a little help from me.
She loved to play dress up. Here she is on Halloween.
She even made a few trips to Scotland. In the above picture, Teagyn is talking to her Mum on the phone while vacationing in Scotland with me, and her cousin Jannae.
She had special chairs to help her sit correctly, like the blue one pictured above. She sported a wheelchair, wore braces on her legs. She even had a "stander" which held her in the upright standing position.
While in her stander (pictured above), she would hit her toys as has hard as she could on the table, and bust out laughing.
Life was good!
Just after her second birthday, Teagyn had her tonsils, and adenoids they were obstructing her airway, which cause her to snore while sleeping.
Teagyn was never the same after surgery. It was as if the surgery caused the regression. She was no longer able to eat table food, we had to puree everything.
Because of her noticeable regression we perused a diagnosis once again. On a repeat MRI the doctors noticed change in Teagyn's white matter. This was not a good sign.
Over the next two years Teagyn slowly lost the rest of her skills. We tried to continue on with life as normal, still taking Teagyn to the park, vacations, and all the other fun stuff you do with a "typical child".
When you care for someone on a daily basis with a degenerative disease, you don't really notice the regression. Perhaps your trying to protect yourself.
Teagyn, was Teagyn, and we did what we had to in order for her to lead a semi normal life.
Below Teagyn at the children's museum, under going an bubble experiment!
Check me out!!
We never got a formal diagnosis, but based on Teagyn's symptoms we knew, but didnt necessarily admit that she had a degenerative disease.
The last six months of Teagyn's life where hard. She lost the ability to smile, laugh, and play. She was unable to eat pureed foods, and she required a feeding tube once again. She became oxygen dependant, and her seizures returned. She slept a lot of the time.
Looking back at pictures you notice a change in her.
Teagyn had to be monitored twenty four hours a day. She required multiple medications, an apnea monitor, a plus ox, a suction machine, a feeding pump, as well as an oxygen concentrator. .
Shortly after the New Year in 2005 Teagyn, became sick and was hospitalized. Considering she had been on a vent (life support) before, this time wasn't "a big deal", she just needed a little more oxygen support, she was the regular floor, no PICU this time.
Just after midnight on January 8th, my sister called me screaming down the phone. I had no idea what she was saying, through the tears. She was yelling that Teagyn had stopped breathing they had called a code blue.
The doctors and nurses did all they could to save her, but her little body was tired, she fought a long hard fight. By the time I got to the hospital she was gone.
Wayne, and I went to our local foster parent association meeting tonight. It was great to meet other local foster parents. The topic tonight was utilizing community resources, I got a lot of helpful information regarding what programs are out there for foster children.
I also found out that they have an old foster care clothing closet that hasn't been touched in over a year. So I signed Wayne, and myself along with another couple to clean out, and collect donations to get the closet up, and running again.
So my new title is the clothing closet coordinator or CCC, which ever you prefer!
So if your local and have anything you wish to donate for children birth-18 years old, give me a call!
We have one crib in the room just now which turns into a toddler bed. We have another in the attic incase we get two young children. A little table for crafting, reading books, or having fun.
A decorative shelf to store keep sakes.
A chair for reading books, dresser. The clock is off center, I couldn't get my hubby to move it lol.
Now we just need some wall decor, and a child!!
and it supposed to be 80 degrees! I am sporting capris, and flip flops. We are having an outdoor photo shoot at work today, for my bosses company. Should be a fun sweaty filled day.
Only three more days until my sweet baby girls angel day. The days leading up to her anniversary are by far much worse than the actual day. If it a nice night I think Wayne, and I will he a pick nick on the hill over looking the lake on the plantation. We will let balloons go for Teagyn also.
Yesterday my friend Julie and I cared for TWELVE children under the age of SEVEN from 8:30am until 6:30pm. There ages where: 14 mo, 15mo, 2 1/2 yrs, 3,3,3,4,5,5,7,7. My hat is off to those of you who have large families I am not sure I could do that all day everyday.
Wayne is busy outside scraping, and painting our house. He's a protectionist when it comes to home repair so he will be out there for weeks!
I am taking a break from organizing every closet/drawer in the house. I think my Mum "the clean queen" has taken over my body as my mind is set in clean/organize mode.
My next chore is to clean attic..Its a disaster zone up there.
Instead of the traditional New Years resolution, I am trying something new that I read about on Torina's blog, monthly resolutions. For the month of January I hope to:
What are your New Years resolutions? What do you wish to accomplish in the new year?