Saturday, March 30, 2013

Healthy Easter

Tomorrow is Easter!

I love this time of year. I always have. I love it even more now that we have a little one to share it with.

Growing up, the "Easter Bunny" was always creative in what she left us. One year, all of us girls got a Caboodle filled with candy. Another year it was purses. Some years we got baskets. It was FUN!

I have been thinking and planning Landon's basket for weeks! I decided to use the same basket from his first Easter and start the tradition to use it every year. It was important to me to make his basket fun, special, unique and filled with some special treats that would still be healthy. I hit up Whole Foods and hit the jackpot! I found Vitamin C lollipops, whole fruit bars, a rice milk chocolate bar and some puréed fruit pouches. I filled his eggs with dried papaya, dried apples, dried mangos, rice chex and coins. I also threw in a couple toys and a new book. I hope he loves it!

So tell me, what kinds of things are your kids getting in their baskets? Do you use the same basket every year or do they get a new one? Do you get creative and do something other than baskets?

Thursday, March 28, 2013

It's About Love and Human Rights

There has been so much going around social media and in the news the last few days about marriage equality. It has inspired me to share my thoughts on the topic.

Here's the thing, love is love. Period. I fully believe everyone, everywhere has the basic human right to love. It's a deeply rooted emotion and one we don't get to pick and choose how or when we want to feel it.

I was raised in a very open and loving home. I have family and many friends who are openly living in same sex relationships. I do not now, nor have I ever, thought any of them chose this. I believe they are all exactly what and who God intended them to be. They are kind, loving, thoughtful, beautiful individuals. Giving them the right to marry their soul mate, which is a right ALL should be entitled to, in no way threatens my marriage or anyone else's. As a matter of fact, I think it would actually create more love in the world.

In my opinion, this has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with basic human, civil rights. It is not our "job" to tell others how to live or who to love. 

If we all accept one another, without judgement we have the opportunity to change the world. Love, acceptance, kindness, understanding...these are all very simple acts that can truly make a positive impact.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013


I know this may be a touchy post but it's what's on my mind tonight.

Gossip is rooted in negativity. It almost never results in positive outcomes and typically ends up hurting others in one way or another.

Look, I'm not saying I have never gossiped. I have. I am not proud of it but it's the truth. I would be willing to bet there isn't one person out there who has never talked about another. It happens.

That being said, I do not think it is productive and I believe it is something we should all try to refrain from.

There is a difference in talking to a confidant about a particular situation in an effort to find resolution and talking just to talk. Sometimes I need to run my feelings by a trusted person in my life, just to realize I'm being silly, or to realize what I'm feeling is valid.

Being a grown up comes with many responsibilities, one being talking TO a person instead of ABOUT them. That act isn't always easy but it is most definitely productive and worth the effort. When approached with an open mind and loving heart, most issues can be worked through. I say this from experience.

I'm in the business of spreading love and light around. I want people I encounter to walk away feeling good. I welcome others to come to me if I am saying or doing something offensive. I honestly feel like I'm the strongest I've ever been in my whole life. I want to continually improve and I strive to do something every day to make that happen. I want to give back to the world, to people, to causes. I want to be the best ME possible. I want to make a difference.

I am perfectly imperfect and I'm pretty cool with that.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Blood Drive

Boy Wonder making a statement!

Last Friday and Saturday, we held a blood drive in honor of Landon at our local American Red Cross. What an amazing experience. I am going to attempt to formulate some words to describe what this was like and what it meant to me.

Here we go.

We had a total of 36 donors who took time out of their busy lives to come donate blood, which translates to 108 lives positively impacted and saved. That. Is. Amazing. We had a few first time donors and several who hadn't donated in many years. I have to say, I am incredibly impressed with our friends and family members.

There were many moments during our two days at the Red Cross where I was brought to tears. I had complete strangers read Landon's story, then take the time to come speak with me and tell me they would be praying for complete healing for him. They were genuine and heartfelt. People are good. People are kind.

We are incredibly fortunate in many ways. Number one being, Landon is doing better and healing! I was overwhelmed with emotion, gratitude and the feelings of love I was left with at the end of the blood drive.

I was honored to be there representing The Love 4 Landon Foundation. I know I'm exactly where I'm meant to be, doing the work I was made for. It is very different than what I imagined for myself, however, it is a perfect fit for me.

I want to sincerely thank each and every person who took the time out to come donate blood. I believe in this cause and am passionte about it. You all are making a difference and helping save lives!

I also want to thank Espresso to Go Go, Picasso's Pizza, Jason's Deli and Lamar's for their contribution of food and drink! 

You can view more photos by visiting The Love 4 Landon Foundation Facebook page. 

Misty, ME and Janet - REPRESENTING!

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Food to Grow On

Dinner is served! Pasta with bean sauce, avocado and a mini muffin.

Inevitably, when people find out Landon is vegan, their response is, "Wow! What on Earth do you feed him?!" I completely understand it too. I never, ever thought I would have a child living a vegan lifestyle. Scott and I sure don't eat that way! Although, I am making changes and hope to at least be vegetarian at some point. 

The thing is, when we removed animal protein from Landon's diet, he made some really great strides in his healing process. I'm not saying it's for everyone, but it certainly does work for him. 

He is also gluten free, grain free (with the exception of rice) and food dye free. Basically, we feed him REAL food, not a bunch of processed stuff. 

Many people wonder what he eats and how he gets the proper amount of nutrition for his growing body. Lucky for you, that's exactly what I'm talking about today. 

First off, I want to say, removing animal protein from Landon's diet did not happen over night. It was a somewhat gradual process, where we removed beef first, followed by cheese and yogurt, followed by turkey and chicken. Each time we eliminated something, his body would shift and he would get a little better. We realized very quickly this was going to be a lasting thing for him.

In the beginning I was very concerned on how to get enough protein in him. Now, I don't even think twice about it. Did you know beans and rice together make up the perfect protein for human consumption? He has that at least once a day, most days twice. We are very fortunate to have a kid who isn't a picky eater. He will thrown down on pretty much any food we put in front of him.

I have learned to get creative in the kitchen and the reward has been a much healthier, happier kid.

Here's an example of what he eats in a normal day:

Breakfast:  1 Pumpkin muffin or waffle (made from almond and rice flours), rice cereal with applesauce, raw local honey and cinnamon and Almond Milk.

Lunch:  Rice pasta with bean sauce (I blend a variety of beans in the food processor to form a sauce) and squash.

Dinner:  Rice pasta with bean sauce, avocado and applesauce.  

Snacks:  Nut crackers with almond butter, pureed squash and pear pouches, rice crackers, applesauce, carrots.

Of course, there are other foods that I didn't list here but that gives you an idea. Lucky for us, his foods are expanding and his body is able to tolerate more as he continues to heal.

One thing we do religiously is give him supplements every day to make sure he's getting what he needs. He takes iron, calcium, zinc, B12, Vitamin D, cod liver oil and a chewable multi vitamin, as well as probiotics and saccharomyces boulardi every morning. That may sound like a lot to some of you, but it's what's necessary for him and it's working!  

Look at that face! This is a boy who loves life and loves his food!   

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

I'm on Facebook!

You can find me on Facebook now!

Head on over and give me a "like", won't you?

Pretty please!

It's super easy!  You can click "Facebook" above or you can click here.

Much Love!

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Longer Days Make for Extra Playtime

The weather was a bit warmer today, which meant Boy Wonder and I were able to get outside for some much needed fresh air.

How I love these times with him. He is such a big, independent little man these days. Scott is working a ton of baseball so Landon and I are getting some really fun one-on-one time. It's splendid!

I adore watching as he rides his tricycle, clutching the handle bars tightly. He is so confident and sure of himself, speeding ahead as he shows me the way around the neighborhood. As he was "driving" his Radio Flyer earlier, he insisted on steering with one hand while holding tightly to me with the other. It was crazy sweet and made my heart pitter-patter with delight.

Often times, I simply sit back looking on as he plays independently, not knowing I'm watching. Stalker Mom, that's me! :-)

We had a really fun evening, the two of us.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Good News

Leading up to our trip to Children's Mercy last week, I was feeling overwhelmed and sad. I didn't want to go. These trips are always hard on us, especially Landon.  

I am tired. Tired of watching him go through it. Tired of the drive. Tired of constantly worrying what the trip will do to his little body. Will it stress him out? Will it cause his body to begin to show symptoms again? What kind of emotional scars will it leave? That's just the beginning of what's in my head.

Having a child with special health concerns is daunting and often times hard on my relationship with Scott. I have a really great husband, who is an amazing Daddy. I do my best to be a really great wife. You know what? Sometimes I'm not. I lose my temper and unfortunately Scott gets the brunt of it. He loses his temper with me too. We lose it and take our stressors out on each other. At the end of the day, we are a team and we hold strong. We forgive. We move forward. We unite with love because we are meant walk along side one another in this journey.  

No matter how tired I am, we still make the trips to Kansas City every 6 weeks. We push through, putting our own desires aside to care for our boy.  

Last week during our visit with Landon's GI doctor, she said several things that surprised us. The first words out of her mouth when she saw Landon were, "Oh my gosh, he looks amazing!" We agreed!  :-)  She was astounded by his progress. As we talked more about the FMT we did with him, she shared with us that watching his progress and seeing what a positive impact it had on his healing has completely changed the thinking of their whole clinic. She said when we first came to her asking her opinion about it, she wasn't a believer at all and now she totally is.  How cool is that?!  

His labs all came back amazingly well and the process of inserting an IV line went smoothly. All in all, this trip was ok.  

We needed some good news.  

The day after his infusion, he did tell me he had a headache, which is one of the side effects of his medication. I always thought this may be happening but this is the first time he actually communicated it to me. I'm grateful he's able to tell me now. We had a lot of down time and snuggles that day. We watched Toy Story more than once and I enjoyed the extra lovins from him, as well as all the kisses I got to give him. I am constantly amazed by his resilience. I know it sounds cliche, but, he truly does give me an immense amount of strength.

I think you all can tell by my posts, I'm an optimist by nature. The glass IS half full!  Even though I see the good in everything I encounter, I still have down days. I have times when I just want to say "screw it all"!  I feel those emotions, meditate, pray, sometimes sleep on it. Then, I dust myself off, count my many blessings and give thanks for everything and everyone in my life.

Here are a few photos from our weekend.  Enjoy!

Taking a little siesta during his infusion

Snacks, movie, blanket...all things necessary for the road trip!

Posing with Daddy  


He has been asking me for his very own hair dryer for a while now.  We finally found one, which came with a brush, comb and curlers.  He was in heaven!

The little boy with a curl

"Does this curler make my hair look good?"

Enjoying some lunch at a family function over the weekend.  

It doesn't get much better than that!  I love those smiles!

Saturday, March 9, 2013


You know the stuff. Smooth, rich, steamy, delicious and chalked full of caffeine.


I'm guessing I may be mental because I gave it up this past week. My last cup was Monday morning.

Guess what? I've been exhausted all frickin' week! I've been one coffee bean away from caving but have held strong. coffee.

My goal is to not be a daily drinker. We shall see how long I last.

Please, for the love of all things caffeinated, have a cup for me!

If you need me for any reason, I will be napping.

Tell me, are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever given it up?

Sunday, March 3, 2013


Here's the thing.  I am a blood donor.  Always have been.  I gave for my first time in the gymnasium of South High.  I was 17 years old.  For many years I gave regularly and then somehow got out of the habit.  In December of 2011, donating blood took on a whole new meaning when my then 20 month old son received his first of numerous transfusions.  Many anonymous donors saved my sons life.  His hemoglobin at it's lowest level was 4.  Normal for a child his age is anywhere between 10 to 14.  I made a commitment during his time in the hospital to start donating again regularly.

I am passionate about donating and I believe that every single person who is eligible should take the time to donate.  Regularly.  Every 56 days.

This weekend, I was once again reminded of why blood donation is so important.

You see, this beautiful girl right here, her name is Anna and she received approximately 30 units of blood in a 24 hour period of time.  Her life was saved by many, many, many anonymous donors.  At one point her hemoglobin was down to 2.7.  They kept giving her blood and eventually her body began to accept it. Blood saved her life.  Period.  Well, blood and her Mama, who pushed to get things done to get Anna the help she needed.   

Anna and her family really need your prayers.  She is in critical condition as of now, although considered to be stable.  Pray for her to make a full recovery and vision her looking just as you see her in the photo above; happy, smiling, healthy, full of life.  Pray for her Mama and Daddy that they may find some sort of comfort through all of this.  They are an amazing family who have already been through so much.  

Lastly, donate blood.  We are holding a blood drive in honor of Landon March 15th and 16th at our local American Red Cross.  It's the perfect time for everyone to come together, make a difference and save some lives.