Sunday, February 28, 2010

Dr. Cheryl, The Cleveland Post

This past Friday Mrs. L and I took Fish, Puppy, and Roo to see Dr. Cheryl to get some allergies under control. (The kids were being treated for both "true allergies" as well as "sensitivities". For the purpose of this blog I will be using these words interchangeably.)

Fish's results for what she was reacting to was longer than expected, although how she was reacting was not exactly surprising. She hasn't been treated since she has started eating everything, so a bit of catch up was needed for her. Basil, oregano, garlic, tomatoes, red potatoes, all peppers, and GLUTEN were most of her list. And she is reacting (insert drum roll here...) BEHAVIORLY! Okay, so I had an inkling this was the case, at least for gluten. She gets kinda crazy-eyed, and spastic after too much of it, like she is literally unable to calm herself down. She was treated for them all and we are okay to reintroduce them back into her diet, all except gluten that is. Gluten is one of those funny items (kinda like food dyes) that even if it is "safe" for a kid to eat, once it causes them behavior issues, it will always cause behavior issues. With our family history of ADHD(or is it a family history of gluten intolerance?) we aren't playing around with a unnessecarly hyper child!

As for the pup, we started the series of 3 foundation treatments. Getting him treated for things like phenols and plastics. He also was retreated for his formula which he was reacting to yet again (most likely it didn't stick because the foundational treatments were skipped over), so here's hoping his constant cold and his daily "tacky" can go the way of the dumpster!

Now that you know a bit about how the treatments went for my kiddos, here is a bit about the treatments themselves. This bit is from Dr.Cheryl's website. For more information about how the allergy elimination treatments work check out that page!

How are allergy symptoms eliminated?

Muscle response testing, otherwise known as applied kinesiology, is used to determine specific sensitivities per patient. This modality of testing is painless and can be performed in any age group. The specific organ system that is most profoundly affected by the sensitive agent is determined as well. The patient is put in contact with the specific allergens during the treatment process. Acupressure is performed on the back, hands, arms, legs and feet. After 15 minutes the treatment is complete.

How are children treated for allergies?

Parents bring children of all ages for allergy symptom elimination. Seated in their parents lap, testing is quick and painless. Socks are a very important tool at Integrative Wellcare, as they are used to house the allergen vials during the treatment session. Please bring big socks! Acupressure is performed and laughter ensues. Many refer to Dr. Cheryl as the tickle doctor and really enjoy coming for visits.

Dr. Cheryl muscle testing Fish. Those boxes are full of the vials of the allergy substance. The metal square she is holding against them is how she tests each vial against Fish. She has a metal rod in her sock that is attached to the block. You can see the cord going down that connects it in the picture.

While she is holding the metal block against the vials she is pushing down on my arm. My other arm is touching Fish's skin. I stay "strong" (my arm is normal, I can resist her pushing my arm down) if Fish is not reacting. If she is reacting, my arm will drop when Dr. Cheryl pushes down on it, even though I try not to let her. My muscle becomes "weak". Fish was having a hard day, since she was just getting over her roseola, which is why she doesn't look too happy!

After the kids are tested they get their "fail" vials pushed down into their socks, and taped in. She then uses acupressure to hit certain points that will then retrain their bodies to have a different response to the substances in their socks. No pain and no needles! Check out how happy Roo is while he is getting it done!

While I won't pretend to know exactly how all of this works, I do know the results and that is good enough for me! She has an amazing 85% or higher success rate! Compared to the 50% success rate with years of traditional allergy shots, I like those odds!

Saturday, February 27, 2010

GF/CF on a Shoe: No-bake Cookies

The Cleveland post is coming, look for it sometime tomorrow. I am simply stalling on uploading pictures. In the meantime I will continue the GF/CF on a Shoe series. Anyone who knows me knows that I swear GF/CF is not THAT hard once you get past the first week of cravings or so. But while dealing with those cravings, you need a good cheat free substitute! Gluten free Oats are the base of this recipe, make sure they are Gluten Free! They will say it if they are! Word on google is that quinoa flakes can be subbed for oats if you cannot tolerate those, but I have no experience trying these cookies with them, let me know how it works out if you do. And sorry for the lack of a picture, our batch was ate before I got my act together enough to take one. I assure you, they look like traditional no-bakes!

No Bake Cookies, GF/CF style!

2 cups sugar (I used the organic stuff that is unbleached but plain old white sugar works too!)
1/2 cup powdered baking cocoa
1/2 cup milk substitute (or milk!)
1/2 cup dairy free margarine (we use earth balance around here)
1 teaspoon vanilla (not all is
GF, be sure to check!)
1/2 cup peanut butter (we used the natural stuff you leave in the fridge)
3 cups gluten free oats (
Bob's red mill is what is in our pantry!)

Add the sugar, cocoa, milk, and butter in saucepan.
Stir regularly bring to a low boil, let boil for 2 minutes while stirring mixture.
Turn heat off, add vanilla and peanut butter. When peanut butter is completely melted into mixture, add oats.
Spoon globs onto wax paper, let sit until completely set up, about 1-2 hours. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

COSI... revisited

So a week ago or so we headed to COSI (again...) with some friends and Puppy and Fish are now famous on another mommies blog. Check out A Trail Mix Family to see some super cute pics of them!

To Cleveland we will go...

Tomorrow we are Cleveland bound to see Dr. Cheryl yet again. Fish has got to be slightly reacting to one of her foods as she has been sick more since she has started them than she has the rest of her life. (Currently we are dealing with the tail end of a case of Roseola!) And the pup, he is become more of an allergy mess everyday. Our little boy is slowly becoming less and less of "an easy baby" and more and more "a crank pot"!

So we are off to fix them both, not to mention get their sensitive skin treated for pool water for all of our swimming trips! My hope is to get some pictures of the process and an actual 50 words or less description that actually makes sense so you all can have a better idea of the "voodoo" we put our kiddos through!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

GF/CF on a shoe: Banana Chocolate Vivanno

You know, because it's not as cheap as a shoestring!

Remember Vivannos at Starbucks... mmmm.... Banana Chocolate with a double shot of espresso was my standard order for the longest time. The only problem was that they were about 5 bucks, and contained both gluten and casein... even if you used soy milk(which I never did, because in my opinion soy milk tastes like dirt!). I am coffee addicted, but not just coffee... foo foo coffee addicted. If we go through any drive through Fish will start calling "mocha?" out of the back seat. I think that says it all.

So with out further delay, my rendition of a GF/CF Banana Chocolate Vivanno with a double shot of espresso! I am using one of those nifty single serve blenders, but a large one should work too!

1/2 frozen banana
2 shots espresso, chilled OR 1/4 strongly brewed coffee chilled
1-2 tbs chocolate syrup (I used Hershey's special dark)
5 or so ice cubes
enough milk sub to make it bendable... I used about a 1/3 cup of So Delicious Coconut Milk, original flavor

Optional... 1 tbs. powdered sugar (didn't use it, but it is what is in the powder at Starbucks to make it super smooth and creamy)

Throw it all in the blender and give it a whirl. Tastes just like the real thing!

No More Cheating!

I'm a cheater, I confess. I am "sensitive" to gluten and dairy, and I have been eating it... a lot... for a long time. It's just so yummy! But when you eat something that your body doesn't like you feel like crap... and gain weight like it is your job. So before I weigh as much as I did while still preggo with the puppy, I am saying uncle!

Today is day 2... and the first week is killer. I mean gluten free oats and coconut milk only go so far.

With all of this said, look for more GF/ CF (Gluten free, Casein Free) cheap and semi- easy recipes coming up. Well the cheap and easy is relative, because nothing GF/ CF is "cheap" or "easy"... but better than most!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Flash Backward

You know that show, Flash Forward? Where everyone blacks out and sees their future? Recently I have been in a Flash Backward. I don't black out, but serious zoning happens. And in an instant I am sitting back in St. Anns with my midwife throwing an almost dead puppy on top of my chest, cutting his umbilical cord in lightening speed and the NICU staff whisking him away.

"It's okay, it's just wimpy white boy syndrome," she said... oh how I wish.


"We are going to need to transfer him, he's suffering extensive brain damage"


Seeing my precious boy, swollen, hooked up to machines, and cold to the touch.


"His MRI showed more brain damage, we believe he suffered a stoke a month prior to birth."

The flashes keep coming, in times of quiet, in times where I am alone. I sit and wonder, when will they stop?

Friday, February 19, 2010

The Life of a Kid...

Fish's adventures with some of her friends at AHA! Children's Museum today. Puppy was there, but his adventure was a nap in the stroller!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A love letter

Dear Dr. Carine and Dr. Cheryl...

Oh how I love you both. Remember when you met my daughter and she reacted to the world. Being exposed to corn oil on your fingers was enough to send her into a tail spin. Hours upon hours of screaming over a thing as simple as a banana.

But how things have changed, and you both are the reason. Lunch today was Chick-fil-a. 4 nuggets, a fruit cup, some fries, and CHOCOLATE MILK. And who can forget the appetizer of goldfish while cruising Target.

And while we are praising, remember when puppy was Failure to Thrive because he was reacting to his food (hello more screaming!), and was developing CP (cerebral palsy) in his right arm. Now he is one of the happiest babies I know, and uses both hands equally!

You both are amazing... forever we will be grateful!

Amy, the Zookeeper, Puppy, and Fish

Monday, February 15, 2010

A House Divided

I LOVE the Olympics. I will sit and watch for hours sports that in a normal day I wouldn't waste five minutes on. Two hours this morning watching women's cross country, check. Three hours watching the luge yesterday, check. I'll even watch curling if it is a part of the Olympics.

I love the spirit behind it. The fact that people travel from all over the world just to support their country. The face paint, the ribbons in the hair, and the cowbells... a worldwide pep rally!

Most of all this year, I love its location. Vancouver, BC. The stomping grounds of much of the Zookeepers family. And quite possibly one of the most beautiful cities I have ever witnessed. I get such a thrill out of seeing the coverage from around the city and thinking "I have been there!" Yesterday a new anchor was walking along the water on Granville Island interviewing one of the USA medalists, and I about lost it! I LOVE Granville island, even more than the Olympics. It in itself is about enough to make me want to move to the lower mainland(Canadian speak for the lower part of British Columbia, the area the Vancouver is located) !

But then there is this pesky little issue that the Zookeeper is from Canada... and likes to boast about how the Canadians are going to win the medal race (cough, cough... haha!... cough, cough). So we are a house divided during these Olympic games. And Puppy is rooting for the wrong team!

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Fish: Uh-oh Pup-py

Me: What's uh-oh?

Fish: Pee

(takes the towel puppy was having "nake" time on and dries up his pee)

Fish: Gooh Ghirl (good girl)

Friday, February 12, 2010


Ever been to COSI with 6 kids 3 and under... plus an added 3 year old. Crazy talk you say? How about going to attempt a one year photo shoot? Impossible?

NAY I say!

This is what I along with 2 other mommies tackled today to get those prized pictures. In the process Fish had an absolute blast playing with her friends at our local science museum. Her favorite was the ambulance and the helicopter where she was able to "drive". Too cute!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Mommy Guilt...

I have it... too much of it I'm sure. It's there for everything. She watches too much tv. She eats too much yogurt. She doesn't eat enough yogurt. I let her sit in her crib when she wakes up but isn't crying (always until said crying starts...). I had him quit the Ohio State PT study. I leave him in the swing(sleeping there right now) too much. He's on Zantac(or Tacky as fish refers to it).

But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, comes close to the mommy guilt that comes along with the decision to not breastfeed. Breast feeding is best, okay, we get it. It is drilled into a mom's head at every turn, in every magazine, in every ounce of hospital paraphernalia. But what if it's not best always? Where is the line?

This is not the go ahead for people to willy nilly switch to formula, just because it is easiest. But I have formula fed both of my children, and for very specific doctor recommended reasons never even tried nursing puppy, and I carry tremendous mommy guilt for it.

But I am standing(or typing) now and saying, that it is OKAY to formula feed if that is what the cards deal you. It is okay to switch to formula because your child is on the verge of being admitted to the hospital for Failure to Thrive. It is okay to switch when your diet is so resricted that you can hardly see straight. It is okay to switch when you very mental stability is crumbling because you can not handle the stress. It is even okay to supplement because you are unable to pump while you are at work. It is all okay... they will grow, they will thrive, they will be perfect in the eyes of God and all that love them.

It is all okay.

(Those who are so super pro breastfeeding that they cannot see another alternative, please refrain from unhelpful comments, that will only increase said mommy guilt! Thanks!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


So I have come to the realization that my blog is quickly becoming a photography blog and that some of you just may not be interested in seeing pics of people you do not know. So to remedy that problem, A NEW BLOG! (and hopefully down the road a smidgen, a new business!) Check out for the latest, non fish and puppy pictures, as well as information about what exactly I will be doing. I am super excited to get started with this, but first I am learning some new skills and tools in a photography class. I feel that all people should have access to high quality, personal, and affordable photos, so that is what we will provide! There will still be the usual spamming of fish and puppy here though, don't you worry your pretty little heads off!

Monday, February 8, 2010

Really Fish?

As I am sitting feeding Puppy a bottle, Fish is happily playing with my phone. It's on 2 button lock, so short of getting it to call the last person dialed (generally the Zookeeper) or getting the verizon lady saying "were sorry the number you have dialed...", she normally is not able to call anyone.

So when she was talking into the phone I just assumed that she was jabbering on to herself. But the jabbering didn't stop. And there was a faint sound of someone on the other end of the line.

Fish give Mommy the Phone.

She hands the phone off and cowards away in shame. EMERGENCY-911 is on the screen. Aw crap.

Hello? (said with a significant cringe).
911, is there an emergency?
I'm so sorry, my daughter accidentally called you. (As I say this I'm thinking I should win the most delinquent parent of the year award)
It's alright, it happens all the time!

Really child? Out of all of the people you could have called, 911? And Verizon, why is the first number on my contact list 911 in the first place? Can't we assume that anyone who can read emergency can dial 911 themselves?

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Announcing Zebra's Little Sister!

Yesterday I had the incredible pleasure of taking pictures of Zebra's family at the hospital, including new baby sister. I absolutely LOVED doing this... and got to play with my cool zoom lens that I hardly ever use! Believe it or not most of these were taken from across the room! I ran home and edited them, and can't wait for you all to see a few glimpses of the new jungle family! Anyone in the Columbus area having a baby... I'm looking for practice!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Let it Snow!

Over the past two days, the sky has opened up and dumped almost a foot of snow on us. Fish is obsessed with "out- siyd" to start out with, but with the "no" out there she never stops asking. Yesterday she was lucky enough to go out with some of her friends and one of their daddy's. The following conversation happened while the mommies were watching from the window, all warm inside with the babies...

What is Fish doing?

I don't know... ( she fell over and was messing with her foot)

Does she have her shoe on? (off goes the sock too)

NO!!! GET FISH, SHE HAS BARE FEET! (yelled by another mommy, to her husband who was playing with the girls)

She was completely oblivious to the fact that she had one bare foot while in the snow. Her boot started to fall of so it just made since to take it off... and I mean who wants a wet sock? Sadly I have no pictures of this event, but it made my day!

I needed a few pictures to mark this momentous snow, but being the chicken that I am I couldn't muster the strength to take my to crazies out in the snow all by myself, so a mini shoot in front of the window is all you get!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Zebra's Going to be a BIG Sister!

Fish had her first sleep over last night with her friend "Zebra". (Zebra is 3 and chose her own blog name!) Zebra's mom is about ready to pop any day now with her little sister, so when she called last night to ask if the Zookeeper and I could watch her overnight while she went to the doctor, we were more than happy to help out!

Zebra's family is my resident photography guinea pigs, so I am wondering if it was coincidence that she had her adorable "big sister" shirt to wear today... I'm thinking not! Somehow I got her to sit still for a few pictures, take a peek!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

GF/CF Granola Bars

Quick snacks are hard with a restricted diet... and often tasteless. Oh the ease of a prepackaged chewy granola bar,just throw it in the diaper bag and go. When you are out shopping and the child gets restless, give said granola bar and have quiet for 5 or 10 minutes. (Okay, I know, food for silence is not the best trade off... but you all know you do it!) But to get bars that are safe for our Fish costs an arm and a leg, not to mention that they have the taste of cardboard. Enter the most delicious GF/CF (gluten free/ casein free) granola bars you have ever tried! I have to credit Lindsey over on for the original, non GF/CF recipe. The original recipe isn't posted on her blog... but she is pretty cool, so go and check it out anyways!

Without further delay...

GF/CF Chewy Granola Bars


2/3 cups GF pancake or baking mix (I used bob's red mill)
1/3 cup ground flax seed
2 cups GF oats (if not marked GF, they aren't GF... consult your doctor if oats are safe with your GF diet)

1 cup brown sugar
2/3 cup coconut oil, melted
1 egg
1/3 cup mini GF/CF chocolate chips (we use enjoy life... free of the top 8 allergens)
1/2 cup dried fruit (we have used cherries and cranberries with great success)

1. Heat Oven to 350
2. Thoroughly mix melted oil and brown sugar
3. Add rest of ingredients, mix well
4. Grease pan (make sure spray if using is GF/CF). Press mixture into the pan evenly.
5. Bake until center is set, and slightly golden brown. About 17-20 minutes
6. Cut bars while warm, remove from pan once cooled, store in an airtight container until use.

These are so good, I guarantee people who can eat the good stuff will never know the difference!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Zoo Pictures!

Fish and Puppy are getting so big, so it's time for some updated pictures! Fish wasn't all too cooperative because of the cold... but oh well! She's still my cutie!

Sure Steps!

Last Wednesday Fish received her much awaited Sure Steps.

The hard part was finding shoes that fit over them! Two days of shoe shopping later we found this little pair at Payless of all places!

She doesn't seem to mind them that much and the daisy pattern and purple straps are pretty cute!