May 30, 2006

Taking A High Chair Stand

Parents, unite! I have decided to take a stand against broken highchairs in restaurants everywhere! Please join me.

Dear Restaurant,

WHY would you give a broken high chair to a patron with a squirmy 7 month old? When I point out that the strap /fastener/ buckle is broken, do you fix it or give it to someone else, hoping they will just not strap their child in this time? Shouldn't there be a safety inspector checking the high chairs, too- or do they only look in the restaurant kitchen?

The most recent offender is a popular chain restaurant!

According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC):
Each year, thousands of children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for injuries associated with high chairs. Deaths also occur. The majority of the injuries result from falls when restraining straps are not used and when children are not closely supervised.

And don't even get me started about the grocery store shopping cart seat!

Next time you are out to eat and are given a high chair with a broken strap or other less-than-safe feature, please speak up. Ask for a replacement. Talk to a manager or write a letter if you want to do even more.

Ok- off to write my letter!

May 29, 2006

Permanent Peace

Straight from my church notes yesterday-

On this Memorial Day, I encourage you to observe the 11:00 AM designated time to unite in prayer for peace and observe the National Moment of Remembrance at 3:00 PM today.

To read the proclamation for Memorial Day 2006 by the President of the United States of America, please click here.

Enjoy your freedom. Pray for those struggling for theirs.

2 Corinthians 3:17
...where the spirit of the Lord is, there is Freedom.

May 27, 2006

I'm Crusty GizzardFace

Yes, I am on a silly streak. It's the only thing keeping me sane lately, er, um, unless this is a sign...?

The following is an excerpt from a children's book, "Captain Underpants And the Perilous Plot of Professor Poopypants" by Dave Pilkey. The bad Professor forces everyone to assume new names......

Be sure to tell us your new name in the comments below. Have fun!

Use the third letter of your first name to determine your new first name:
a = poopsie
b = lumpy
c = buttercup

d = gadget
e = crusty

f = greasy
g = fluffy

h = cheeseball
i = chim-chim

j = stinky
k = flunky

l = boobie
m = pinky

n = zippy
o = goober

p = doofus
q = slimy

r = loopy
s = snotty

t = tootie
u = dorkey

v = squeezit
w = oprah

x = skipper
y = dinky

z = zsa-zsa

Use the second letter of your last name to determine the first half of your new last name:
a = apple

b = toilet
c = giggle

d = burger
e = girdle

f = barf
g = lizard

h = waffle
i = cootie

j = monkey
k = potty

l = liver
m = banana

n = rhino
o = bubble

p = hamster
q = toad

r = gizzard
s = pizza

t = gerbil
u = chicken

v = pickle
w = chuckle

x = tofu
y = gorilla

z = stinker

Use the fourth letter of your last name to determine the second half of your new last name:
a = head

b = mouth
c = face

d = nose
e = tush

f = breath
g = pants

h = shorts
i = lips

j = honker
k = butt

l = brain
m = tushie

n = chunks
o = hiney

p = biscuits
q = toes

r = buns
s = fanny

t = sniffer
u = sprinkles

v = kisser
w = squirt

x = humperdinck
y = brains

z = juice

May 26, 2006

I needed that...

You will find that I think the weirdest things are funny.

(This is cutest when read aloud.)

Question: What do you call a fish without eyes?

Answer: A fsh.

May 25, 2006

Quick, Pick-Me-Up!

We are on week 3 of baby having a bit of a cold (this final week has been more than a few bits) and also some major teething going on - the top two front teeth ready to break through any second!!

So, if you are in need of a quick pick-me-up like I am, I suggest the following:

Try the new Banana Coconut Frappuccino at Starbuck's. Heaven in a cup. Or maybe at least a nap's worth of heaven in a cup.

Next, I visited a new blog yesterday over at The Hutch and found the funniest thing I've seen in a while!
Watch this - I seriously think this could be turned into a workout video- and only 6 minutes per day- wow!

May 24, 2006

Works For Me: Go When Oprah's On!

Works For Me: Go grocery shopping when Oprah's on!!

Your pick of parking spaces.
Step right up to the deli.
No lines at the checkout.

Maybe a coincidence? I don’t know-
But go anytime afterwards and, well, I told you so!

TiVo it if you must & watch it later.
When Oprah is on, housewives of the world are watching-
Check your local listings & shop now!

For more Works For Me Wednesday fun check out Shannon's blog at Rocks In My Dryer!

May 23, 2006

Prayer of a Middle-Aged Woman

I am not even sure what age is "middle-age" for a woman. 40? 35? Am I closer to it than I think? It seems everyday I have a new reminder that I am a grown up with responsiblities... how is it that I am just now realizing this?

Dear Lord,
Thou knowest better than I myself that I am growing older and will someday be old. Keep me from the fatal habit of thinking I must say something on every subject and on every occasion. Release me from craving to straighten out everybody's affairs. Make me thoughtful but not moody, helpful but not bossy. With my vast store of wisdom it seems a pity not to use it all, but Thou knowest, Lord, that I must have a few friends at the end.

-Ruth Bell Graham

May 21, 2006

the patient


Bearing or enduring pain, difficulty, provocation, or annoyance with calmness.
one who suffers

Oh, today. It's one of those days I am scraping by to be as patient (adj.) as possible as I take care of my littlest patient (n.)

From the photo you would never know he is so miserable, so that is what got me to wonder, just who is the patient here?? Him or me?

Even after three kids I never knew such big bubbles could be blown out of such a tiny little nose. No I don't have pictures of that and will spare you the rest of the slimy details.

1 Corinthians 13:4 reminds us that Love is Patient and Kind. I am on seriously low resources when it comes to the letter 'A' in the
LAP acronym, but I am doing quite well in the love & patient part today. I think I have even been kind to everyone today!

I love him. Even with the bubble nose.

Especially with the bubble nose.

May 20, 2006

The full story


After about 6 years I've decided to revise this story. I will include the original below, but my heart has struggled recently with who I was when I wrote it (it is still very much our story) and who I am now.

On Thanksgiving Day 2003, Noah was 2 1/2 years old and had a grand-mal seizure right in front of me in our basement. I thought he was electrocuted, but there were no outlets nearby. Soon we'd find out that it was a seizure. He slept on me afterward, in my arms in the ambulance. And finally woke up some time later at the hospital.

We were told it was probably an isolated incident,
his tests and scans all came back normal. Many children have a seizure at some time or another, it probably wouldn't happen again.

Well, it did. He had one about a week or so later and we again rushed by ambulance to the hospital. This time his tests were not normal. He was put on medication (Topamax) and we were assigned a neurologist. Things become a blur when I think about this time because all of a sudden he went from 1 seizure a week to about two hundred or more a day. All sorts of seizures from staring spells to drop attacks to grand mals, any kind and every kind.

He had to wear a helmet at all times, he lost his speech, and soon his ability to walk and do many activities. It was like we were watching him waste away right before our very eyes.

Our pediatrician and neurologist at the time didn't know what was going on and (from what it looked like to us) they showed no sign of trying to find out what was wrong with him. Their only plan was to try more meds. And that only made Noah worse.

We went out on our own and miraculously got a last-minute appointment with a pediatric epileptologist at Children's Memorial of Chicago's Epilepsy Center. She immediately was able to diagnose Noah (finally) (and when I say immediately, it was like 10 minutes). He was diagnosed with Myoclonic-Astatic Epilepsy, also known as Doose Syndrome.

We were offered a couple options- try another medication or try the Ketogenic Diet. We'd heard of the diet- we had previously asked our original doctors about it and they said "nobody does that anymore. It's too hard. It doesn't work."

But they couldn't even diagnose Noah.

We fired those doctors.

This (wonderful, amazing, answer to prayer) doctor at Children's had experience in this condition and knew first-hand that the Ketogenic Diet had a nice success rate with Doose kids. We were on board. We did start a new drug (Keppra) with minimal side effects, and chiropractic treatments with moderate success in the meantime until we could start the diet.

Noah started the diet a few weeks later in March 2004 (initiated at Children's Memorial. I stayed with him the entire time.) By the 4th day of the diet, he was seizure-free and we were sent home.

He came off Keppra within a couple months and continued on the diet for 8 months seizure-free, and in October 2004 he had a grand mal seizure that we believe was from an ear infection. He never had another seizure. As of this writing, it's now been 5 1/2 years. :)

Noah was on the Keto Diet for 2 1/2 years and weaned from it completely in the fall of 2006. He's remained Diet-free, Med-free, and Seizure-free all that time. It's pretty awesome.

I wrote a bit about the diet in the past here. The Ketogenic Diet is in no way easy. Nope, not at all. But it is SO WORTH IT.

related: we strongly believe the vaccines Noah was given as a baby play a large role in Noah having the disease of Doose Syndrome. Through discussions with other parents with Doose kids and other vaccine-damaged children, and many years of research, we are convinced vaccines do more damage than good, especially to children at risk. And thus, the question... how do you know your child is at risk?

We immediately stopped vaccinating our children and will never again. I urge you to know all the facts, laws, and your rights regarding vaccinations before you decide to vaccinate your child. And yes- it is your decision. Not anyone else's. Including me. :) So please do not let my story dictate whatever you may decide. Read, research, ask questions, attend classes & webinars, talk to your doctor openly, stay up to date with the latest news and vaccine recalls, and be armed with all the information you can to back up your choice.

also: be willing to treat yourself or your child with a diet change in addition to/or instead of pharmaceuticals. It is more time-consuming and exhausting, but SO WHAT? -it could be your cure.

original version, written some time in 2004

On Thanksgiving Day 2003, we were shaken from our everyday normal life. Noah, our normal, healthy 2-year-old son was suddenly having seizures that no one could explain. From the very beginning we felt it was an attack from the enemy. We searched our hearts and our home to see if there was any area of sin in our lives that could have given room for the enemy to get inside. At first we might have looked crazy as we were throwing out things from the house that we thought might or might not be “it”, but we didn’t care. These things were material things and they didn’t matter to us as long as we felt we were acting out of obedience to God. As we searched our hearts and submitted ourselves wholly to Him, we saw more doors open to our answer each step of the way.

We knew that Noah’s diagnosis of epilepsy was not in God’s plan. In the natural, we were literally watching our beautiful little boy disappear from life. By January 2004 Noah was having more than 200 seizures a day. These attacks were vicious and required him to wear a helmet for protection against being thrown to the floor almost constantly. At some times he could not talk or walk on his own. He was in a daze and often-times unresponsive. Our hearts had never been so close to being completely broken, but we knew there is Hope.

I would sing these words over and over to Noah: “I sing because I’m happy. I sing because I am free! His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.”

We took huge steps of faith not to succumb to the desperation that wanted to take over. Psalm 138:8 says The Lord will perfect that which concerns me (to us we claimed our Noah); Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. Joshua 1:5: No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. And Philippians 1:6- being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in Noah will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.

I had a dream one night and in it The Lord spoke and said- “I know how this ends.” As hard as it was to watch Noah this way, we were rejoicing because we knew that the Lord has an ending to this better than we could imagine. Not only did we fight opposition with Noah’s seizures, but also our own doctors could not provide help for us either. Medication with horrible side effects was being increased all the time, and a cure was never discussed.

We were to just “accept” Noah for how he was and learn to live with it. Many parents with children suffering with the same disease are told their children will most likely end up in an institution. We devoted every moment possible to prayer, scriptures, and researching in books and the Internet. We knew that the medication was doing more harm to Noah than any good. We could not bear to see our child wear that helmet one more day. Our family continued to pray for the answer to be revealed to us. We knew that the enemy was arrested and “found out”- our answer was about to be released.

Through research, we learned about the Ketogenic Diet- a successful alternative cure to seizures. This diet was nothing new- it has been around since biblical times. Matthew 17:15-21 tells of a man that brings his son to Jesus: “Lord, have mercy on my son," he said. "He has seizures and is suffering greatly. He often falls into the fire or into the water. I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.” Jesus later tells his disciples “this kind” (meaning seizures) “does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” In biblical times, a person would fast 20 days and their seizures would be cured. The Ketogenic Diet simulates fasting. It is a temporary diet and it requires the body to burn fat instead of glucose for energy. When the fat is burned, ketones are produced in the brain- and the ketones control the seizures. This is a natural method designed by God.

Our own Pastor told us at the very beginning that it could be something as simple as being diet related. We never forgot that.

Our doctors never told us of this diet as a treatment option. We asked them about it and they immediately showed resistance and had no faith that it would work. Their answer was to try another medication. We felt this was an opposition from the enemy. After a lot of prayer, we decided to wean Noah from his medication on our own and found a doctor at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago that supported the diet and had faith that Noah would be well again. This doctor had a normal waiting list of up to 3 months. We saw the Lord’s divine intervention: the doctor saw Noah on her day off just a few days after we called in for the appointment. Noah was scheduled to start the diet almost immediately.

We believe the Lord led us to learn about the diet, and he opened up the doors for Noah to see the proper physician that could help us along the way. There is no other explanation. The Ketogenic Diet is normally used as a “last resort” treatment option. To start the diet the patient usually has to fail several medications (often 10!) first, which then means sometimes years before the diet is considered. We have since met several families of children with the same diagnosis as Noah. Many went through years of 10 unsuccessful medications, surgeries, and procedures before considering the diet. Noah only went through 3 months of seizures before starting the diet. Although 3 months seemed like forever to us, Praise God we didn’t have to wait 1 or 2 years!

Noah’s Ketogenic Diet initiation took place at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Normally the diet requires at least a 5-day admission. He was under constant medical supervision and we were warned of possible dehydration and severe vomiting and sickness during the process. Noah never had any of these problems.

He went from having so many seizures that we’d lose count to having only one seizure per day in the hospital. He was so successful with the diet that we were able to go home early on only the 4th day! Noah was seizure-free by the time we left the hospital. The Ketogenic Diet is only temporary- many children remain on the diet for at least 2 seizure-free years.

Upon starting the diet, Noah’s development was instantly back to normal- back to how he was before he started having seizures. Actually, he is BETTER than before!! Smarter than we had ever seen him- talking so much and so clearly- it is amazing! Many children with seizures like him end up requiring occupational and speech therapy, among other therapies to help them regain what they had lost through the epilepsy. Noah shows no signs at all of needing any therapy.

A verse held close to our hearts through all of this, in the Message Bible, is Proverbs 10:25- “When the storm is over there’s nothing left of the wicked; good people, firm on their rock foundation aren’t even fazed.”

Even in the hardest times, there was NO way we were giving in to this situation and giving the devil credit for this. As hard as he was trying to make it for us, we were going to make it harder for him! Our lives have changed, but only for the better. God truly has turned what the enemy meant for evil into good. We stepped out more in faith than ever before and we continue to see miracles happen everyday. We are wiser, better listeners to the Holy Spirit, and are now much faster to respond obediently. Not to mention that Noah is overall healthier and smarter than he was before! We have an awesome testimony to tell- we “beat the odds” the doctors gave us, and God has already started to use us to encourage others in similar situations.

The Lord has shown us personally that even though the storm has seemed to pass, we still need to keep standing on our firm foundation and increase our prayer and devotion time even more than before. Now is not the time to just sit back and relax even though the “tough times” have passed. We are stronger now, and must keep up the strength training! We should not wait for the desperate times to come and then decide to start listening and obeying. We also can’t just expect it all to be handed to us- it just won’t work best that way. There is a reason the Lord gave us a book of instructions!

We have not only seen Noah’s healing, but also big and little things have come to pass that we have believed for as we have been more obedient to Him. The blessings keep pouring in. We have been a big support to other families going through our same situation and have helped them get proper medical attention and also started on the Ketogenic Diet. These are also people that have become great friends, even though some of them we have still never met.

Noah has had one EEG since starting the diet. An EEG records the seizure activity in the brain and is what was used to diagnose Noah’s seizures in the beginning. The doctor told us that the results were not only good, but normal. Normal- meaning like a person that doesn’t have epilepsy!!

Noah did have one seizure in October 2004 from an ear infection. We do have to be extra careful to avoid exposure to other illnesses so that Noah’s body can be strong and continue to fight the seizures. Since the infection, we have seen no other seizures and no signs that any more will return, for over 1 ½ years now. His doctors believe that 1 seizure was an isolated incident and will not tarnish his success with seizure-freedom. Noah will continue the Ketogenic Diet through October, when he will be 2 years seizure-free. We are believing we can start weaning the diet around November 2006.

*Updated to add: Noah was able to come off the diet just before starting Kindergarten in August 2006! He continues to be healthy and seizure-free!!!

We never once doubted that God could heal Noah instantly and miraculously. We do know from His word that healing can be a process, and we followed His Word to see Noah’s healing manifested. God is good. He is our Teacher, our Healer, and our Refuge. In Him, we are safe and always have the victory!

*Updated December 2009- you can hear a podcast of my interview about Noah's Story at Pink Floats. Listen to Don't Give Up PT2.

Subscribe to my blog here
Twitter me- I'm babysteph

May 18, 2006


The three most important and completely obvious essential traits of a mother happen to form the fitting acronym LAP: Love, the Ability to get by on little or no sleep, and Patience.

-Amy Krause Rosenthal

May 17, 2006

Works For Me: Pushing the Envelope

I've decided to share something that "works" for me: the grocery list on an envelope!

I clip coupons and keep grocery lists- they go hand in hand! I never have a shortage of envelopes... used ones, the extra ones that are in every bill statement that comes (as most of you probably do online banking anyway!) etc. I keep my grocery list on the back of the envelope, then stick the coupons I plan to use inside the envelope- Works-For- Me! (Just remember to take the grocery-list-envelope with you when you shop!)

For more great Works-For-Me Wednesday ideas, check out Shannon's blog over at Rocks in My Dryer!

May 15, 2006

false alarm

The other night we had a scare with Noah. He has been seizure-free over 1 yr & a half now, and we thought one might have broken through Friday night. We are always on constant alert and never take one seizure-free day for granted. Before becoming seizure-free, we would see our precious child have hundreds of seizures a day. Possibly seeing this happen again made our hearts stop for a minute or two the other night.

Our hearts have been recharged.

We talked to his doctor this morning and from everything I described, she thinks it was a night terror, and not a seizure. We had never seen a night terror before, so it's understandable that we would think it was seizures happening again. It's just been so long, and he is healed. And yes, he is healed.

We knew this in our hearts. It is a wonderful bonus to hear it in the "natural" coming from a professional, his doctor. He is coming so close to being able to start weaning off the diet. Rule is: must be seizure-free 2 yrs on the diet. We are almost there! To have to start all over again would be so hard, but we would do it if we had to.

We feel like we've been given back something that was never really taken away. This is why we walk, so that not another moment will be lost, if it is just for one person, one seizure...

God is so faithful. It was just a false alarm!

May 13, 2006

His yoke is easy

Maybe sometime soon I can explain why this entry is so important tonight. In the meantime, things are going to be very ok.

"For My yoke is easy and My burden is light." Matthew 11:30

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you like a mother while you rest
The tide can change so fast,
But I will stay
The same through the past, the same in the future, the same today
I am constant; I am near
I am peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I'm the only one who knows your heart's desires
Your heart's desires

Oh weary, tired and worn,
Let out your sighs
And drop that heavy load you hold
Cause Mine is light
I know you through and through;

There's no need to hide
I want to show you Love that is deep and high and wide
I am constant; I am near
I am Peace that shatters all your secret fears
I am holy; I am wise
I'm the only one who knows your heart's desires
Your heart's desires

Oh gently lay your head
Upon my chest
And I will comfort you like a mother while you rest

I Am- Jill Phillips

May 11, 2006

incentive, baby!

Q: How do you get a baby to crawl?

A: 3 out of 3 babies in our house recommend the Remote Control.

Gray is officially doing the low-crawl-head-inchworm-wiggle-thing... whatever I choose to call it, it gets him moving forward, sideways, backwards: he's mobile- that's all that matters!

May 10, 2006

i heart laundry?

Feeling quite behind on everything around here the past few days... the baby has needed me more than the housework, but I am finding myself longing to fold some laundry, vacuum the carpet, something productive!! I have a blanket I started knitting and can't wait to get to it. I have a new book to read that I can't wait to start. A nice nap could fit in there somewhere- I wouldn't mind.

And not to say that what I am doing now (holding sleeping stuffy baby close to my chest) isn't productive. I would be the last person in the world to think that.

It's ok for me to hold baby and get to the laundry/dishes/vacuuming later. I am quite sure it will still be there. It's also ok for me to wish I had the house all to myself so I could get all those things done. -Or do something dreamy like knitting and reading and sleeping all day long. I just hope that when baby is feeling better that my love affair with the laundry still exists...

May 9, 2006

Plenty of Room

We have plenty of room in our ‘small’ house! People are always curious how we fit a family of 5 comfortably in our 3 bedroom home (about 1250 sq ft not including the basement) and we work it out just fine. Hey- we even think we can fit at least one more!

The baby sleeps with us, the boys share a room- they have bunk beds (Noah on the bottom, Carter in a toddler bed still) and the extra bedroom downstairs is a much-needed play room. But as you can see from the picture- we don’t even need all that! I checked on N. & C. last night and found Carter’s bed empty, and Noah’s bed quite full.

May 8, 2006


An unusual, significant, or unaccountable fact or occurrence; a marvel.

The image before you is as described above. I don't think there has- or ever will be in the future- been such an occurrence before that all my sunglasses have been in the right place all at once. 98% of the time I can not find one pair. The other day I looked to my passenger seat in the van and was amazed that all 5 pair had collected in their "right" place... and since this photo only two pair remain.

I am pretty sure one pair is deep in the diaper bag, and another pair on top of the fridge. And I think the last pair is under the bed, but we may never know.

May 5, 2006

Eyes of Wonder

Gray saw bubbles for the first time yesterday and I, in all my twenty-nine years, saw bubbles for the very first time (again) too.

Be thankful for even the smallest things this very moment, this very life.

May 4, 2006


This is such a silly little video, but we love singing this song in our house. I think it's Gray's favorite song! The giggles it creates are too cute!

Click here to see the kitty cat dance.

disclaimer: I have no idea what other videos may be on that site, so after you watch the kitty cat dance, please watch at your discretion!!

May 2, 2006

Tuesday's Tasty Tidbit

Get thee to the kitchen!

I love the white chicken chili at Don Pablo’s restaurant, and on their
website is the recipe!!!

Last night I decided to try it out and ohhhhhh it tastes just like the restaurant’s!

Just in time for Cinco de Mayo:
White Chicken Chili
(serves 6-8)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion peeled & chopped fine
2 garlic cloves peeled & chopped
1 red bell pepper chopped fine
2 cans white northern beans (15 oz) drained
4 oz canned green chilies
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1 can chicken broth (14.5 oz)
1/2 lb roasted chicken breast cut into 1/2 in. cubes
2 tablespoons lime juice, fresh
2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, minced

In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, & red pepper. Saute for 5 minutes. Stir in the white beans, chilies, cumin, chili powder, & broth. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chicken and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in lime juice & cilantro. Serve with a garnish of tortilla chip strips. YUM!

Very important- don't skimp on any of these ingredients!!! The fresh cilantro and lime helps create the authentic flavor for sure! For the chicken, I "cheated" and used the pre-cooked Tyson chicken breast strips & cut them smaller (you could also use those chicken Shortcuts, too) (update: I tried this again with the Tyson diced chicken breast, found in the frozen section- this works even better!)- whatever is easy for you!

UPDATED AGAIN!- Now that we've gone vegetarian, I tried this with vegetable broth instead of chicken broth and also added an extra can of green chilies. Tastes great! I also love mine with extra hot sauce and tortilla chips crumbled on top... Mmmm!


May 1, 2006

May Day! May Day!

Monday May 1st
What a great day to start over if you're in need of a new beginning... don't we all in at least one area of our lives?

J.G. Whittier writes:
Love which outlives
all sin and wrong,
Compassion which forgives
to the uttermost,
And justice whose clear eyes
through lapse and failure look to the intent
And judge our frailty by the things we meant.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...