Removing colors from your family food routine is not an easy task, but one that needed to be done in our home. Sophia’s behavior was awful to say the least. We could not control her tantrums and outbursts. She would be happy one minute and upset another. These were not normal toddler tantrums these were so much more. It was as if she could not control her emotions and would have outbursts that were caused by something internal. She was also experiencing horrific night terrors. We were having these nightly and they were lasting weeks at a time. I will explain the night terrors in another blog post because they are something all on their own.
We dealt with Sophia’s behavior and tantrums like most parents would. We would discipline with time out and consequences. None of these things would work. At times Sophia’s rage would be so intense all we could do was just hold her in our arms until the screaming stopped. As parents we were scared. I talked with her doctor and tried to figure out what could be wrong. We searched for answers ranging from behavior to chemical to even PANDAS. Nothing seemed to fit what Sophia was going through. We started to look at ourselves as parents and took the blame. We felt we failed as parents and needed to do better.
We had a play date for the girls in October with crafts and treats. Sophia was so excited for the play date because all of her friends best were coming over. After eating dessert, a few cupcakes and cookies, Sophia’s behavior changed. She couldn’t control her emotions and was so misbehaved it ended the party. We were so embarrassed and it triggered a doctor visit the next day. The doctor told us it was rare but maybe strep was to blame. We were on board to move forward with testing and even a sleep study for the night terrors. As parents seeing what we saw the day before in front of friends and Sophia’s peers… we knew something needed to be done.
Move forward a month to Disney World. We were on vacation in the happiest place on earth during Christmas and Sophia was on a roller coaster of emotions. The thoughts of her being over tired went through my mind. It was not until after she ate cotton candy that it clicked. She was so happy, ate the blue sugar, and became a different person. I started to document these events.
When we got home from Disney it was officially Christmas time in our home. We got our tree and we started to decorate. My mom came over to make our annual Christmas cake. Sophia was eating marshmallows, sprinkles, and licking some green frosting. After decorating she had her worst meltdown ever. She could not control herself at all. She was crying and telling us she needed us to help her. My heart broke. It was so bad I could not even discipline. All I could do was hold her. I read the marshmallow bag and saw there was blue food dye. That night Sophia had another round of night terrors. We were up all night long. She was screaming, thrashing, crying for us as we were holding her. The night terror lasted from 10 till 3. I was helpless. I started to look up anything I could find on the internet and came across food dye allergy. I was shocked at how these parents stories were identical to ours. Sophia was allergic to food dye. The colors react in a chemical way in her brain and cause her to have behavior issues, feel sick, and have night terrors. It was that night that I said we are done. I will no longer feed our family colors. As I did more research I was shocked and disgusted to see what these colors really were. They are not allowed in other countries but given freely to our children and widely marketed in the U.S..
I woke up the next morning and cleared out the pantry, refrigerator, toothpaste, and everything else I could think of. We started with a clean slate. Within a few days Sophia’s uncontrollable tantrums were completely gone. Her night terrors were completely gone. Her anxiety started to improve. Her behavior is now night and day. When she has food dye by accident these behaviors come back instantly. It is scary to see. She is 5 and we do the best we can to avoid all triggers. At home we have zero food dye. We tell all family and friends there is no food dyes allowed. When she is at a birthday party she knows her limits and does the best she can to avoid the dyes. If she accidentally ingests them her behavior reflects this within thirty minutes.
We have found great products to keep her life as normal as possible. I bake goodies at home and offer to bring our own to parties. I will follow up with a blog post to include some of our favorite no- dye brands. Keeping our family happy and healthy is my number one priority.
My sweet Priscilla has a peanut allergy. This allergy is something new for our family and started just this year. We are navigating the holiday season and learning how to make our favorite recipes allergy friendly. One of our favorite cookies is the Peanut Butter Blossom cookie. I decided to make our own version using Sunbutter and they turned out perfect!
It’s the morning of our road trip and I am awake before the rest of the family. To be honest I am awake before the sun today. I can not sleep because I have so many things on my to do list swirling around my head. We are heading out for a little family weekend away. The girls are so excited which means I have even more pressure to feel ok! I packed all of the essentials like clothes, cold weather gear, and snacks… but now I need to worry about my health. As a mom with a medical condition (Hemiplegic Migraine) I always have to think and be one step ahead. I need to plan out what my medications will be and what my days will look like. It’s like I am a behind the scenes person for a beautiful play. We have a jam packed trip filled with Santa, Christmas lights, and rides. Most people would be very excited, however migraine patients know some of these things are triggers. I do not want my girls to worry about me and I want to have fun. I decided to pack my normal medications and some other things in my emergency kit. I have magnesium, my migraine glasses, lots of water, and motion sickness bands. I also plan to eat as clean as I possibly can to keep my inflammation down. This trip is so exciting and we love to travel, so I will keep you posted on my tips and tricks! Stay tuned for our upcoming December Disney trip and how I mom with migraine! 🥰
We set out on a mission at our local Walmart store to find the new SmarTrike 3 in 1 bike! This bike is so awesome! It starts out as a balance bike to teach children how to ride a bike. Once the child is confident you can easily add the pedals. As the child grows the bike extends to grow with them. This bike is truly the only one you will ever need to purchase. We love it because it allows us to clear up a lot of space in our garage and donate several other ride on toys. This is the perfect gift for the holiday season!
Have you started buying Christmas gifts for your kids yet? We have started making a list of toys that our girls would love… and also toys that would keep their imagination moving. We absolutely love this smArt Pixelator! We are able to connect it to our Bluetooth device and create tons of awesome 2D and 3D fun pictures with their special app! You use fun pegs, sequins, and special beads, and follow along the colored lights to make your creation. Not only is this an awesome toy it is also a TOTY finalist. I highly recommend this toy for any time of the year especially for the Holiday season! You can find it now on Amazon and Target for 59.99!
My hair has never been the same since having the girls. After my first pregnancy I remember the feeling I had when I realized how badly I was losing my hair. It was a Saturday morning five years ago my daughter was a few months old and my hair was falling out in clumps. I was nursing and feeling completely depressed over all of the changes my body had gone through. While changing my daughters outfit I noticed my long hair wrapped around her tiny toe. That was it. I snapped and immediately went to the nearest salon and chopped my hair off. I was convinced this would be the fix I needed. I cut my very long hair to just about chin length. Not only was this a very drastic change, my hair still continued to fall out. This made me even more sad. I felt like no one understood what I was going through.
Fast forward three years I was going through the exact same scenario with my second pregnancy and feeling even more depressed. My hair was falling out in clumps and looking dull and lifeless. I felt this was what I was predestined to look like and I was ready to give up. I knew there were many other moms going through what I was going through and I wanted to find ways to make it better. I started to do research on products and diets that could help.
I came across Foligain products and I wanted to give them a try. This is a 3 step system that uses Trioxidil as its main ingredient. Trioxidil is a triple action hair health complex with bio-active ingredients that promote fuller-looking hair and scalp health. I started using the Triple Action Hair Care Set first. This consisted of a shampoo, conditioner, and topical solution. During this time I also started using the Hair and Scalp Roller. I love this part. It feels so good on my scalp and removes dead skin to allow my hair to grow quicker and stronger. After finishing the hair care set, I moved on to the Shampoo and Conditioner for thicker fuller hair. I love this stuff! It has made such a difference in my postpartum hair. My hair is falling out less and I am noticing a significant decrease in my fly aways on the top of my head. My confidence has gone up and I feel good about my hair. I am finally seeing it grow again and I could not be happier with the results.
You can find Foligain products on their website and on Amazon.com. I encourage moms that are going through postpartum hair woes like I am to check out this awesome product.
I have talked openly about Sophia’s battle with night terrors. We have been struggling with this for over two years, and at this point they have become worrisome. Night terrors are different than traditional nightmares or bad dreams. The child is not awake, and cannot be woken up during this state. Sophia cries, screams, thrashes, and kicks during her night terrors and we can not wake her no matter how hard we try. They tend to last several hours as well. This causes a restless night of sleep for the entire family.
We have started to document Sophia’s behavior and what triggers her terrors for the past year. I have noticed that when she is sick or has a traumatic experience we are certain it will not only be a long night, but an even longer week. Her terrors do not just last one night, they come in cycles of weeks. I started to do a lot of research on different scenarios of these terrors. I found a medical condition called PANS/ PANDAS. I was shocked when I started to read more about the condition and just how many symptoms Sophia had. This is for a completely different post, but if your child has had the Strep infection a lot in their little lifetime or the Flu multiple times, this is something to research. Sophia has had Strep very frequently since she was 9 months old and has contracted the Flu in multiple strands yearly since before she was 1. This is even with the Flu shot. This brings me to my next point and my current blog post.
Sophia’s night terrors started two weeks ago after she got her flu shot. I didn’t think much of the connection until I started to think back to last year and her reaction to the shot…. it was almost identical. Sophia has had the worst night terrors to date. She has been angry during the day and displaying the worst temper tantrums we have seen. The saddest part of all of this is she is so remorseful. She doesn’t want to feel this way and knows she has no control of her emotions. She is completely exhausted in the morning and throughout the day. We decided to see the Dr and sure enough she had the Strep infection again. We are on the road of testing and hopefully a diagnosis to get her feeling better. It is amazing to see the difference in our daughter with just a few doses of an antibiotic. I am amazed.
The one thing that has made a world of difference in her sleep has been a 1mg dosage of melatonin. We found an all natural children’s brand. We give it to her about 30 minutes before bed. Now this is not an endorsement at all. In fact I am not even going to tell you the brand that I am using, just tell you what it is doing for our family. The very first night Sophia tried it the night terrors were gone. She was slightly restless, but actually slept without any terror symptoms. The second night was even better. Tonight is night three and she fell asleep on the couch peaceful. I have found that the anxiety of bed time has faded away. I am so happy that I tried this for my little girl. I was never into something like this, but I have tried everything else we could for these night terrors. The waking her up …essential oils… everything… and nothing has worked! This has honestly been amazing for her. I could not wait to share these findings with you! I will write another blog about PANS/ PANDAS soon!
The girls are off from school today and it is pouring! We had a fun morning play date which occupied a few hours, but of course as soon as I get home I hear… “I’m bored”. I needed to think quick so I decided to check out my Target dollar spot stash! Thank goodness we frequent there and they never disappoint. This weekend we found so many goodies in the dollar section for holiday crafting. The girls stocked up on Halloween crafts and supplies. This was the perfect afternoon activity for a rainy day off from school. We colored festive masks and painted spooky houses. I absolutely love Target and it has become my girls favorite store too! For just a few dollars, you can have an afternoon of fun! I would check out your local Target and stock up on dollar spot deals! The crafts are so much fun and can keep your kids busy for rainy or cold days!
I always wanted to be the type of mom that had a delicious and yummy snack prepared in the afternoon. Today was a rainy and cold day, the first day like this in months. I wanted to have a fun and different snack that the girls would enjoy and keep them busy since the weather was not perfect. I decided to make pretzels and homemade cheese sauce. I cannot even begin to say how big of a hit this was in our home. The pretzels were frozen and ready in just minutes and the cheese sauce was so simple. I had the entire snack on the table in about 15 minutes. Perfect rainy day treat!
Cheese Sauce Recipe
4 teaspoon flour
1 cup milk
1 1/2 cup cheddar cheese
Salt pepper to taste
In a sauce pan use 1/4 cup of the milk and wish with flour. Cook until combined well. Add remaining milk and bring to boil. Stirring till thickened. Take off head and add cheese. Stir until completely combined and season well.
Have you kids ever asked for the lunchables at the grocery store? Well my little one has!! As soon as kindergarten started she was begging me to buy her those for her lunch. I decided to take matters into my own hands and create her her very own lunchable that she would be proud to eat at the cafeteria. I wanted to show you my easy mom hack to make the perfect size meat and cheese for crackers. I used a medicine cup, one that comes from something like liquid Tylenol. It is the perfect size. I cut around the ham and cheese. It was the perfect size to fit on her crackers. She was so excited to take her lunch to school! I added a few extra touches in her bento box… and she had the perfect lunch!