Saturday, October 31, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Pictures

I only wish that my camera on my cell phone had taken this picture a little more clearly. The child in the back seat of this car was not belted in his car seat! He was jumping all over this car and could not of been more than 2!! You can see him grabbing onto the open window!! (He could of jumped out!) The scary thing was that people were honking at this woman...pointing to her showing her child was not buckled in....and she just laughed and waved!! Shocking!!

Andrew's Christmas Wish

This is such a sweet video! His imagination is amazing and as you will see in the ending...his heart is so kind!

(Shu-Hong was an orphan from Taiwan that lived with us over the summer)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sugar is the Devil ~ Guest Blog Posting From Imagination Soup!

Sugar. Is. In. Everything.

I really had no idea.

It’s as addictive as cocaine. Okay, maybe not cocaine, but it’s pretty addictive.

I consider myself to be well informed. I’m gluten-free, I watch out for unsaturated fats, I buy organic. I’m not an idiot. And, until last week, I thought my kids were eating well – all except for vegetables.

My four year old struggles with chronic fatigue, lack of energy and seizures. Sugar happens to be one option I’m exploring to improve her health. When my herbalist told me to take her off sugar, I had no idea the hell it would be. (Hello, cocaine?) calls the major symptom of Sugar Withdrawal “mood changes.” I like to call it give-me-ear-plugs, my life sucks. For us, the off and on crying bouts and tantrums lasted about 5 days. Now we are back to peacefulness and bliss. Well, you know what I mean.

My Sugar Detox Life Lessons That You MUST Learn, Too

A-ha #1: Maltodextrin and malted barley = SUGAR. (Read the labels, maltodextrin is in EVERYTHING – pasta sauce, breads, crackers, everything!)

A-ha #2: Other more obvious sugars are high fructose corn syrup, fructose, sucrose and honey

A-ha #3 : White sugar has little to no nutrients .

A-ha #3: The only sugar substitutes that don’t mess with your glucose levels are agave, Stevia and Xylitol

A-ha #4: Although, I never feed my kids cookies or candy, most days, they were consuming over 80 grams of sugar and on bad days (French toast + syrup days, 2 juice boxes) it was more like 150 grams

A-ha #5: I was a sugar pimp! Nutritional experts recommend no more than 35 g of sugar per day.

A-ha #6: My life will not be the same

A-ha # 421: If I keep my kid eating too much sugar . . . well, sugar + my kid (might) =

  • Hyperactivity
  • Concentration difficulties
  • Depression in children
  • Drowsiness and decreased activity
  • headaches
  • food allergies
  • hormonal imbalance
  • fat storage

Seriously? All that! And I’m complaining about 5 days of sugar detox?

Life is hard. I’m not going to make this sound easy but cutting sugar means better health for her, for me and for you. Think about it, please. I’m begging you. Don’t be a sugar pimp like me!

For more information, check out this article:

Melissa Taylor writes Imagination Soup (,) a fun and easy learning activities blog for parents of inquisitive children. She brings her former life as a teacher to everything she does to try to help kids love to learn. She’s also a freelance writer ( and mom to two adorable girls.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What Is Eosinophilic Esophagitis?

Last night we finally got a diagnosis for my son. Eosinophilic Esophagitis! It was a long journey to get here, but I thought I would share with you how we got here!

It first started when Andrew was only two years old. We went to San Diego for a little family get-away at Sea World and San Diego Zoo. We were having a great time and went to a local Mexican Restaurant for Dinner. Shortly after dinner was served all of a sudden Andrew's lips started to grow. It was so scary and I grabbed him and ran to the front of the restaurant. In a panic I asked the front desk people to call 911, but they sent me to the bar....who told me he had a first aid kit. It was so frustrating because the restaurant was hesitating on whether or not to call 911 for me? By this time he was starting to have labored breathing and the rest of his face started to swell. The man at the bar called 911 finally! By the time the ambulance came he was completely blue and not breathing. They took my little two year old into the ambulance, injected him with Epinephrine and started to give him oxygen. This was one of the scariest day's of my life! I felt so helpless and felt like I could not help my baby. After we went to the ER, they told me that he had an allergic reaction. They guessed that it must of been the beans he was eating on his plate. His face remained swollen and deformed for a couple of days and this was the start of our very long journey!

We were sent by the insurance to an allergist who did skin testing on him and told us to avoid all nuts, beans, peas, and soy. The list was not that bad and very manageable. We did exactly what he said, but it was not long until Andrew had another reaction. This time it was only a couple of months later and it was worse. We were at a picnic and he started to get some hives. My husband sent me into the house to get some Benadryl and as I was in my diaper bag he came running in with him not breathing. This time we had the Epi-pen and was able to give it to him right away. It immediately opened up his airway, but it started to wear off before the ambulance came. Once the ambulance came they gave him more Epinephrine. I will never forget the look on my sister in law as she sat on the couch looking annoyed that Andrew had ruined her party. Not even getting up to help.

Andrew was also suffering from chronic hives since his first attack. Nothing seemed to get the hives to go away.

This sparked more questions that the allergist could not give us any answers too. We then saw two more allergist before paying out of pocket to go to UCLA to find out what is going on in his body. The doctor at UCLA began to do a lot of tests and thought his blood worked looked like he might have a small case of Lupus, but he could not confirm it. There was the correlation between his reactions and long days in the sun, but he was not firm on the Lupus diagnosis. He told us that the doctors were experimenting with the drug combination of Singulair & Zyrtec. We then started him on the medication and noticed an improvement and a decrease in his anaphylaxis reactions.
He continued to have the hives reactions on and off and his allergies began to seem manageable for about two years. It was not until last year that he started to have the anaphylaxis reactions again.

It started slow. He began complaining about his eyes. He would rub them and tell me that they felt like there was poison in them. I took him to the eye doctor about four times before he told me that there is nothing wrong with his eyes. Then he started to have swollen eye reactions (like the picture above). Nothing would bring down the reaction other than steroids, and it would take about 3-4 days for the swelling to come down. My pediatrician had told me about a great allergist named Dennis Yoshii. The insurance first sent me to an allergist in San Clemente who just gave me lots of "huhs" and "hums". The minute they are a "huh & hum" doctor I know that we need to leave. The doctor put in another request to Dr. Yoshii and it was approved! I was so excited about the idea of maybe finding a good local allergist.

At out first appointment with Dr. Yoshii he did a series of skin testing on him. The results were devastating! His allergies had gotten worse - not better with age. He was now allergic to almost everything!! Peanuts, All tree nuts, Soy, Corn & (all corn products), beans, peas, rice, strawberries, carrots, eggs and grass. A week later he did another skin test and the results were different. Nothing seemed conclusive. I started to realize that soy & corn are in almost every product! The products made for people with celiac disease all resort to rice flour which he could not eat either.

The Doctor told me to try eliminating all these foods from his diet for three months. If I notice a difference then continue and if I don't then we will talk about re-introduction. Now, Andrew also suffers from ADHD and had been on medication to treat it. The doctor told me that changing his diet might improve the ADHD symptoms and also advised me to start giving him Fish Oil & Flax Meal.

I then started the hardest journey of my life! I had to cook everything for him from scratch! I would tell my friends about it and they would comment, "well I make my food from scratch." But, I would have to tell them are you able to use beef broth from the store, "yes"....well Andrew cannot. Can you give your child crackers, "yes"....well Andrew cannot. Can you buy bread from the story, "yes"....well Andrew cannot. Can you buy yogurt from the store, "yes"....well Andrew cannot. I found that I could not cook with anything from a can or package at all! Everything has Corn products or Soy Products in it! It was shocking!! It was one of the hardest times of my life. I felt so alone and I spent my entire life in the kitchen cooking. I started tearing up grass in the back yard and began growing my own produce for him too. When he would have a pizza party at school I would make him a pizza at home and bring him in a fresh pizza trying to help him feel less abnormal.

After about two months of making everything homemade I began to notice a difference! His ADHD symptoms started to improve drastically and he began to start feeling better. He was complaining less of headaches and stomach aches, although it was still there. I was so pleased with the results and very grateful to Doctor Yoshii for the advice that he gave me.

Then in July we were getting ready to host a foster child from Taiwan for the summer. Andrew went over to his Grandma's house in the morning while I was getting the house cleaned. He had not eaten breakfast yet. I got a call shortly after he went there from my Mom telling me that he was not feeling well. I told her to bring him home. I thought it was weird because he was feeling alright when he left. I don't know why, but I thought I would wait on the porch for her to come home with him. I will never forget the look on her face as she got out of the car screaming...Andrew was not breathing in the car! I ran into the street, grabbed my blue lifeless boy out of the car and ran him into the house. I grabbed his Epi-pen and injected it right into his thigh and began CPR. As I looked up a couple of my neighbors were in my house in tears. They called 911 and the ambulance came out right away.... got him on oxygen and gave him some more epinephrine.

This raised a lot more questions! We had eliminated everything from his diet that he was allergic too. He had not eaten anything that day, so what caused the anaphylaxis reaction? So we went to see Dr. Yoshii who told us that there must be some trigger factor that we are not finding. So he referred us to the GI clinic at Children's Hospital Orange County.

When I went to see them Andrew told them that he is still in a lot of pain in his stomach. The Doctor wanted to put him on lactulose to soften his stool & periactin (an allergy medication & appetite stimulant). She wanted to try him for one month and see if he improves. After a month we went back to see her and yes, there was an improvement but not enough. She then told me that she wanted to do an endoscopy on him. The thought of it frightened me and relatives were telling me not to go through with it. My husband and I talked to the doctor and decided that it was the best for Andrew.

So they admitted him to Children's Hospital. It is an amazing hospital with therapy dogs, Early Childhood educators and a great staff of nurses and doctors.

Daddy was even able to take the day off of work to be with our little guy!

It was so scary to see him when he came out from the endoscopy. Because of his soy allergy they were forced to use a much stronger anesthia medication and it took him almost 2 hours before he woke up.

This is the picture that the doctor gave us from the scope. He said that it looked like he might have Eosiniphilic Esophagitis by the looks of the picture, but the biopsy would be the final determining factor. If you look at the picture in the top right you can see the groves or valley's along the side of the skin before you enter the hole. Those groves are like "burn" marks in the skin from the allergic reactions. The example of Eosiniphilic Esophagitis that the doctor gave me was, "eating an allergic food to a child with EE is like pouring bleach into their bodies." Their bodies react on the inside much different than it does on the outside ~ so skin testing would never be accurate with a child with EE.

Last night it was a week and a half since the endoscopy and they called with the results. The results were 50 found in the lower esophogus and 40 in the middle of his esophagus. Anything over 20 is a high amount. The immediately put him on priolsec and are going to send him to a EE Clinic where we will get more answers and information on how to help Andrew.

Finally some answers....after a long journey!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday ~ My Dad "The Dora Monster!"

Tyler is in love with Dora and we got these cool mask's for his Dora Birthday party! My Dad the silly guy that he is put on one of the mask's and ran around the party as The Dora Monster! The kids loved it & I love this picture!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Michael Jackson's Ghost Seen on Larry King Live

Make sure and listen really can actually hear it!

**New** Cat's Color's Felt Board Story & Giveaway!!

We are so excited to welcome this new felt story to our collection! It is a great story that teaches children in a fun and exciting way about colors! Our felt pieces are printed directly onto the felt creating pieces that will last a lifetime & are tough enough to stand up to little hands! You can purchase this online at either of our two websites for $14.00.

Because we love this story so much and the detail of our new felt stories we are giving away to one of our favorite readers (choosen by a copy of the book Cat's Colors and this beautiful felt story to go along with it! ($18.99 value).

Would you like to win a Cat's Colors Book & Felt Board Story?
To enter to win visit either of our two websites:
Tell us what your favorite felt story is!

Would you like an extra entry?
For 5 extra entries (please leave a comment for each one). Please follow our new blog that we are getting ready to launch!

Giveaway will end at 11:59pm PST on November 15! This offer is open to Worldwide residents!

~Good Luck

Monday, October 19, 2009

**NEW** Is Your Mama A Llama Felt Board Story

We are so excited to welcome to our felt story line....Is Your Mama a Llama Felt Board Story! It is made on the highest quality felt and the images are printed directly onto the felt....creating pieces that will last a lifetime!!

Your can purchase your felt story today for $12.50 online at any of favorite websites!

New Felt Stories Coming Soon...

We have been busy doing lots of custom orders and we have developed and designed 25 new felt stories!! We will be featuring a new felt story every day for the next two weeks!!

Make sure and visit our two main websites to purchase these new wonderful stories!!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Teacher's Eat Free At El Cholo! Video Commercial

Well! Yesterday was our first rainy day in forever. Living in Orange County my kids practically live outside, so with having to be stuck inside they were on the hunt to find something fun and exciting to do. I told them that Uprinting was looking for some product review videos and we could give have some fun with it! The kids loved it!! They had to best time making these video's and my husband and I were in stitches all night after watching them. The best part is that the kids decided what they were going to say and directed these video's all on their own!

So~ Enjoy!! Be prepared to get a good laugh!!

Ps! Please leave them some comments! The kids love to read them!!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009 250 Business Cards Giveaway!!

As you know I love! I use them for everything personal and business! They have the highest quality printing around and their prices cannot be beat! I can never seem to say enough good things about this company!! They are my favorite online printing company!

Uprinting has such wonderful high quality Business card printing available! You can get them printed in various sizes with some examples of 2 x 3.5”, 2 x 3”, 2 x 2” (square card) or 1.5 x 3.5” (skinny card)!

Uprinting is so generous and is giving me 250 free business cards! (Thank you Uprinting!) They are also letting us off another set of 250 free business cards to one of our loyal readers!!

Would you like to win 250 Free Business cards??

To Enter:
Post in the comments below what you would do with your new business cards!!

Would you like extra entries?
Tweet about this giveaway!
Tweet about Greeting Cards @uprinting!!
*Follow our blog
(Please leave comments for your extra entries!)

Giveaway will end at 11:59pm PST on October 20th! This offer is open to US residents only. FREE UPS Ground Shipping for US residents.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday Photo

When you are bored at a baseball game...why not play in a net?? Love this picture!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Read For The Record! Help Support the Early Literacy Program (ELP)

Read for the Record: Oct. 8, 2009Join the Early Literacy Program (ELP) partners and children and families around the globe as we come together to read Eric Carle’s The Very Hungry Caterpillar. This international event aims to bring children together with valued grownups in their lives to read the same book, on the same day, in communities all over the world. Reading early to children is critical to supporting the development of reading skills -- an important indicator of later school success.Take part in history and help us break a new world record!

How can you help break the record? It’s easy and it’s fun.

**Be counted: Read The Very Hungry Caterpillar to any little ones you know. To make sure you are counted, pledge to read today at
**Buy your book: Visit a bookstore near you or go to to buy a limited edition of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. You can also print the coupons above and visit Barnes & Noble stores to get special discounts and support ELP.
**Sponsor a book: Help jumpstart a child’s library. Visit for more details
**Come out to local Read for the Record events throughout Orange County on Oct. 8,

2009Westfield Main Place Mall from 10:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. - 2800 N. Main Street; Santa Ana CA 92705

Barnes and Noble, Metro Point – 901 South Coast Drive, Suite 150 Costa Mesa from 10a.m. to 2p.m.

Pretend City Children’s Museum - 29 Hubble Irvine, CA 92618

Readings of The Very Hungry Caterpillar will take place throughout the day with special prizes and activities for kids. Families who bring gently-used books for the Early Literacy Program will be entered to win a $100 Pretend City store gift certificate. Museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Visit for museum information.

On Thursday, October 8th, the first 100 families to sign up for Westfield’s WFamily program at the Westfield Main Place Mall will receive a copy of The Very Hungry Caterpillar. Volunteers will be reading to children, giving away books, and sharing literacy tips with families. *only at the Westfield Main Place Mall

Giveaway Winners!!

We have been having so many wonderful giveaway's on our blog lately. We would love to thank everyone who participated and a big huge congratulations to our winners!! Here are a list of our winners:

Sew Suzanne Pillowcase
(jamie said...
The pirate pillowcase is my all time favorite!!!
September 8, 2009 7:23 PM )

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 34 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sugar Lump Designs Necklace
(Anonymous said...
What a sweet gift this would make. Your necklaces are beautiful. I love her picture frames.
thank you.
September 11, 2009 7:00 PM)

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 1 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Sweet Sally's Soap
(BPR Designs said...
I am now a blog follower!
September 22, 2009 1:09 PM)

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 9 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

Uprinting.Com Large Format Poster
(KSP said...
I want to win a poster because I have this awesome picture of my son playing hockey on his team. Plus I love the blogger. She has the best info!!!!!
September 25, 2009 8:13 AM)

True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 1 Powered by RANDOM.ORG

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