Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Soup Swap

Brrr! It is cold outside and time again to bring out the big soup pots to keep our family warm. Here is my FAVORITE soup recipe. We call it "friendship soup" because of how many vegetables it takes and how it would be a nice hearty soup to make with a few friends to help chop and visit (maybe with a nice glass of white wine? ). My kids eat it, my family eats, everyone loves it.....except my mother in law. But that's ok.

Please share your favorite soup recipe! We are now gluten and dairy free so i'm having a hard time finding soups that might work with these new restrictions- bonus points if you share a gluten/dairy free soup recipe!

 Friendship Soup

3 large potatoes- cubed
two cups of chopped spinach
6 carrots- chopped
3 stalks of celery diced
one medium zucchini peeled and seeded and diced
1/3 cup of rice
1/3 cup of each green and red split lentils
1/2 cup long grain brown rice
1tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp each of garlic powder and onion powder (you could use 
regular onions but my kids don't eat them!) 
1 chicken boullion cube
2 cups of chicken broth
8-10 cups of water

        Throw everything in a pot, bring to a boil and simmer for 1.5 hours or longer. I use all sort of veggies, i clear out the fridge and everything seems to go so well. The finer you shop the spinach the better and if you don't have any I have used frozen chopped spinach packages (one) and had a great result. My kids love the GREEN soup with familiar small bite sizes. 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Give a Little Love!

When my first daughter was born, while we were still in the hospital, she was nursing and started choking. I ran -frantic- to the nurses station where the nurse grabbed her, flipped her over and patted her back. She started to cry. It was the most beautiful sound compared to the almost silent gasping she had done before. The nurse looked at me and said " ALWAYS be thankful that your baby is crying- it means they are alive". My first born was a horrible sleeper, and then suffered from night terrors and cried often. I was often exhausted but when i'd hear her cry i'd be thankful that she was alive. Now my girls are older and are at the stage I call "active " parenting. I feel like i'm often correcting. But sometimes I get a reality check. When I see how desperately some parents hope for their children to be able to shout even if it is at their sister, or whisper after lights out or write on the wall, or go play and drag mud in the house, or chase the dog I remember first to be thankful that my children are growing up able to do these things. I still have to correct my children - but do it more gently and thankfully these days.

This is Teagan before a prolonged seizure left her without sight, ability to speak and virtually no control over her body.

Over the last two years her family has worked hard to help her extensive brain injuries. They have been working with local healthcare professionals and alternative natural therapies. These are helpful, but the greatest chances are occurring with an alternative treatment she's gotten from MNRI therapy by Dr. Masgutova. On this link is a short video illustrating how far she's come. And how far she still has to go.


I met her family years ago, long before Teagan's seizure. A Christian homeschooling  family of 4 girls they inspired me to consider homeschooling for my own family.  Their  children are a wonderful testament to the love and care showered down on them. My own children call her daughters the "T" girls - and while they have not had an opportunity to hang out with them in over a year- their memories of them are so strong they still talk about how wonderful they are. Especially neat considering the fact that these girls are considerably older than mine and into their own teenage stuff- but yet took the time to make my littles feel treasured!

After a particularly successful treatment this summer the family is in full swing for fundraising to help raise enough  money to send her again (and again and again!). They've done online auctions, and BBQ fundraisers, bottle drives and selling everything from candles to spices to chocolates door to door. They have been wonderfully successful allowing them to go to the united states for treatment three times already. But now they are starting again. Trying again. And my heart breaks for them. And I wish I could reach out and convince everyone to give $10 or $25 so they can help reach their goal- at least for the next treatment- because it adds up and fuels hope. Hope that maybe one day they will be able once again to communicate with their little girl- hope that people really do have goodness and generosity and hope that  one day their life might resume what we take for granted every single day- normalcy !

I don't know how to get this story out- or how to get help for this family , maybe you can help ? Maybe YOU can donate $10 or $25 or $10,000 to help them reach their goal? And if you cannot right now afford to help, please pass this on, and please get on your knees and pray! Thank you so much.


For more information

Friday, August 9, 2013

Chores- Take # 4899937722

Chores! Chores! Chores!

On any given day I confess my house isn't as clean as it should be- dishes in the sink, or on the counter, shoes haphazardly left at the door and a stray book or two that somehow has drifted to the floor. We homeschool and are often home for the entire day- which mean that despite our best intentions our house always has a "lived in " kinda feel.

We strive for order and cleanliness and as part of the character development aspect to our children's education and as such we often are heard talking about "chores". I believe chores are important to children and parents. I believe that if a child does not participate in doing chores then they will have lost a valuable opportunity and experience for personal growth- and quite frankly their spouses and children might not appreciate it very much either!

We started with chore charts- for our three children- and an allowance which was loosely attached to them. But sometimes mommy wound up emptying the dish washer, setting the places at the table and even sweeping the floor. It seemed that before long I was doing all of their chores and that's no good  at all!!

So we started something a little different. Each child is responsible for cleaning up after themselves- clearing the table and setting their spots, putting away their toothbrushes and laundry. In addition each child - every day- is responsible for a specific amount of time for "communal" chores. These are chores that need to be done for the sake of everyone in the house. The shoes need to be straightened- laundry needs to be done/put away- the hallway needs to be vacuumed- and sometimes mommy just needs someone to help her clean by being her runner to different rooms of the house to put things away. We start the timer in the morning and we all work together to keep the house clean! It has been a neat thing for our family. They learn that they have both individual and communal responsibilities. We all do it together. If they do not finish their chores in the designated time then we carry on with our day but they must finish them during their "FREE TIME" before they begin anything else.

Monday, July 22, 2013

On particularly rough days.....

This is my quote of the day- I found it on facebook and searched for the author but only seem to find "author unknown".


I like to be "in the know" when it comes to new homeschooling resources and feel that there are so oh so so many great programs that sometimes it is overwhelming to figure out what might work best for my family (and fit in my budget). I've been thankful to have the opportunity to try out some of the products available through educents and love that they are such amazing deals!

If you would like to see what i'm talking about - https://www.educents.com/#researchedparenting here is the link!!

The most recent product i've been able to sample (in order to write about it on my blog) has been Digital Creativity Box for Kids  m and I'm amazed by how many different types of products are available. This is designed for the busy mamma as an organized set of suggestions for activities pertaining to specific themes- for example if the theme was hot/cold then there might be a game, a craft, recipe and a coloring page.

Personally I ENJOY coming up with different activities and crafts and encourage my children to come up with them as well for topics that interest us- but i know many mammas who dread it. This is for you.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Super Excited - Games For Language (AKA maybe my kids will learn German in spite of us)

My children *should* be bilingual. My husband is German and his family live in Germany. He moved to Canada so we could be together. A more romantic love story I've never heard. I imagined I would quickly pick up the language and we would raise bilingual- no multilingual children who would one day follow our love of travel all over the world. Sadly i was mistaken - even though we go to Germany at least every second year- my children somehow are NOT multilingual. They are not even bilingual - I feel like we've failed them. So I have purchased German books, dvds and cds. I have done German language programs one after the other and somehow it just doesn't click. If I'm honest- I lack the consistency required for language learning.

I was asked to do a review for Games for Language. I have to admit i wasn't even a little bit hopeful. It started out so slowly- I was sure my daughter wouldn't keep with it- but i was wrong!! This is so exciting. They started off so slowly- building confidence, teaching how the different games worked and now my daughter (age 7 but a strong reader) is hooked! Since this is something she can do on her own for 10 min a day i am now wondering- could this be it?


And i'm learning too- you can repeat a lesson as often as you wish so we're both doing them- she does them first and then later i do them as well.

I love online subscriptions- it means no curriculum taking up space- it means we're super flexible- even if we're on vacation and need some quiet time we can log in and continue and it is usually reasonably priced so you can start a program and see what you think before committing.

Try the demo here http://www.gamesforlanguage.com/?_source=4ab06fcedff321355

BUT the most exciting part? Well......it is on SALE RIGHT NOW- so today try the demo- fall in love and then tomorrow it is on sale - HERE -  https://www.educents.com#researchedparenting you can purchase a 6 month or 12 month subscription for up to 43% off a great deal!!

French- German- Italian and Spanish are all offered!

I was given a sample in order to try and post about it on this blog- but the opinions stated are my own. I have included my referral links as well and appreciate your support. Have a blessed day.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Rock N Learn

This week I've been given 4 preview DVD's from Rock N Learn- and as some down time after a park date today was the perfect time to try one out. We watched Letter Sounds http://rocknlearn.com/html/letter_sounds.htm

And now you can get a bundle of two DVD's for the price of one- http://educents.com/national-deals/deal/words-sounds-bundles#.UdM9B_lQLoI

I was excited to start the DVD as it looked interesting and informative- as a homeschooler we are always looking for "educational opportunities" and if my kids are watching television then I certainly hope they are learning something positive! It was long- just over an hour- but the kids were glued to it the whole time- which I found surprising. It was engaging and enjoyable. The age range suggested was 4-7 and my 3, 4 and 7 year old were watching with interest.

It was really too young for my 7 year old to watch more than once, and my 3 and 4 year old were a captive audience- however it went a bit too quickly at times for them to actually be reading the words on the screen (there were pauses but they were not quite long enough) .Although the benefit of the dvd is that you can watch it again and again until they are able to!

I appreciated the opportunity to review this DVD and am looking forward to watching the other DVD's with my children.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Never Ending Quest for Home School Resources!

I've been given a Premium Membership to VocabularySpellingCity.com for a candid, personal, online review.

VocabularySpellingCity helps students study word lists using 25 different learning activities such as UnscrambleHangmanWordFind, and Crossword Puzzle.  Parents can create their own spelling lists, find published lists already available on the site, or use any of dozens of  free teaching resources on topics such as Analogies and Syllables.  Be sure to come back in three weeks to read about my experience.

There might be more free memberships available for bloggers.  If you're interested, find out how you can review VocabularySpellingCity.com.

Look forward to an update soon once my girls have a chance to try it! 

UPDATE: well......we've not used it as often as we should have- it is an amazing resource- but a bit older for my children. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

Surprise Visitor

A most unusual  thing happened today. 

I was in the kitchen making snacks for my children and their friends- when the front door bursts open. Since it is snowing and the wind is howling I assumed it was the wind. I was wrong. Instead a little boy - who looked not even 2 years old was running full tilt into my living room. In pj's and socked feet that were soaking wet. Sobbing. Wailing. Snot flying. 

The friend who was over was closest and scooped up the little boy and I rushed to the door and then outside looking to see- where was the mother? Someone must be looking for him. Yet it was silent and no one was there. Rushing back inside I called 911 and we try to see if this little boy is ok. He is wet and I run to get some clean socks and pj's and a diaper. His diaper is soiled and wet and heavy . We check again to see if anyone is calling him- no one is. We try to get him warm, offer him something to drink (he refuses) although he starts asking "cookie" and I hesitate. With all of the food issues we deal with each day I hesitate and make a mental note to buy our little PKU child a medical bracelet-we've been avoiding it but at this moment I realize that food is a natural thing to give a child who is upset. 

My friend wraps the little boy up in a blanket and just holds him while I run get some trucks and books. He settles down , although he's still shaking. I wonder how long he's been outside. It is not really spring here yet- snow was falling and the windchill this morning was below freezing.  

 The police arrive- question us for a few moments, start knocking on doors and find where the child came from down the street.

The police come back and forth- each time politely knocking- and my children seem to find it funny- calling out- " I bet it is the police again" time and time. They take the little boy home and dealt with it however they saw fit. 

And now I'm left wondering- was that a sign? Of course it was a sign. A child doesn't just march through your front door into your living room. 

My husband and I have been talking adoption for a long time now. We've talked fostering. I'm not saying this child shouldn't be with their parents. Perhaps it was a truly innocent mistake- apparently the mother was asleep and the child walked out the front door. Perhaps the mom was ill. Those things happen. But for a brief moment as I watched this little boy sit on our couch and play trucks with my children I thought - maybe another would fit into our family- maybe we're not really finished. 

Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Marathon Tragedy

This morning my mother called me to tell me that she and my sister had booked to run their first 1/2 marathon together later this year. My mom is a seasoned marathon runner and so it was exciting to hear that my sister would join her.

This afternoon there were at least two explosions that went off during the Boston Marathon. An 8 year old  died. Over a hundred injured- the numbers keep increasing. My little baby will be 8 this year so this really really hits home.

I didn't hear about it right away- I was at a field trip chatting with other homeschool mothers - we talked about social media and technology and the world our kids were going to grow up in. A world where there was uncertainty and violence and information- lots of information- but sometimes not enough wisdom.

My children won't know about this tragedy. We do not watch television and they are not online on their own.  And I am thankful I can protect them from this- thankful that I can shield them - even if only a little bit for a little while- from some of the ways evil portrays itself.

One of my go-to parenting books that is in my shelf is Simplicity Parenting  and I love this book for so many reasons but i think my favorite part is when the author Kim John Payne discucsses why it is important to shield our children from the evil and the ugly in the world- since it is so elequently expressed in this book I will not try to restate it here- but basically the idea is that childhood is a special opportunity and should be cherished as they will grow up too soon. The wonderment and beauty of the world should not be tarnished for them by the grown up fears and issues.

So I will not tell my children- but I will hug them a little closer and read and extra story tonight. I will pray for those who were killed and injured and their families.

And I will wonder- what has happened to our world? Another senseless tragedy- it is just so heartbreaking.                                      

Friday, April 12, 2013

A Mother's Silent Protest

I can feel myself taking deep breaths as I pace up and down in my  kitchen, scrubbing the counters with abandon. If you would watch me you might think I was lacking oxygen, fighting off tears or battling exhaustion but instead I'm trying to combat a little addiction of mine called Facebook. You see earlier today I (somewhat rashly) decided to take myself off of Facebook.

Now I have done this before- taken a "Facebook Fast" - however it has always been for myself for a set period of time. I've wanted to create more time or wanted to re-focus on an aspect of my life. Today though it is different.

Today I am making a silent protest. Silent because no one (save the 12 people who follow this blog) will ever know what I am doing. I am making a protest against the abuse of social media.  Earlier this week teen Rehtaeh Parons died after committing suicide because she couldn't escape the criminal harassment following a tragic rape.  Photos of her during the rape were taken and shared- on social media. And she feared that as long as she would live those photos could haunt her.

Social media is the communication medium for our current generation- they live their lives (to a large extent) based on the influences of social media. In some ways this is not so different from generations earlier when social norms were strictly enforced and those who deviated from those norms would face public humiliation and ridicule. But in some ways it is different. Social media ebbs and flows- not with Biblical standards, or a sense of right and wrong but instead rewarding that which is more different or extreme with more "likes" and  "comments" .  Social media is merely a tool, a technology that we must teach our children to control (rather than be controlled by it) but it is also something that plays into the deepest part of who we are-  we are driven by the need to belong, to find our place - to learn that we fit and it is this quest that makes us so so so vulnerable. On Facebook adults (myself included) struggle sometimes with hurt feelings or frustrations because we feel we are being judged incorrectly or misunderstood or simply not valued. I am so thankful that Facebook didn't exist when I was a teenager.

So today I say goodbye to my Facebook account in a small act of protest. I say good bye to my Facebook account because I am a mother to three wonderful little girls and I don't want them to grow up thinking that what matters is what is on Facebook. And while I will miss my Bible study groups, my homeschooling support, and the photos of friends around the world- I will sleep well knowing that I am doing what I can- as little and as insignificant as it might be.

I pray for Rehtaeh Parons and her family, I pray that Jesus returns, I pray that I can be a good mother and while I will at some point have to navigate the messy waters of social media with my children and teach them how to manage- today I do not. Today I just have to hold them close and be thankful they are ok.

Quotes for today  “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” 
― Elie Wiesel

“To spend one's life being angry, and in the process doing nothing to change it, is to me ridiculous. I could be mad all day long, but if I'm not doing a damn thing, what difference does it make?” 
― Charles Fuller

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

No More Naked Barbie

My husband cannot imagine why this is making me so excited but I feel like i just won the Barbie lotto! 

        If your house is like mine there are more naked Barbies hanging around than you would care to admit. When someone comes over I try to stuff them behind the cushions or under the couch worried that the guests will be alarmed by such a sight. Now realistically I understand it is normal to strip dolls and especially Barbies and that it is difficult for little fingers to dress the dolls back again. I remember playing with many a naked Barbie as a child and I'm sure I turned out alright yet they still make me uncomfortable on some level. I know that Barbie doesn't have nipples and neither Barbie nor Ken have genitals. But somehow it still seems wrong to see them all thrown naked in the bottom of the Barbie drawer. I know many a household that has a "no naked Barbies outside of the house" rule. And some only let them play with this much disputed doll on the condition she remains clothed at all times!  While it may seem bizarre to those not in the middle of the Barbie season of your life- this is a real issue. 

       Well my friends- I have found the solution! This week at church a little girl joined our row with her Barbie in tow and her mother had painted a bra and undies on Barbie with black nail polish! It was so neat. So I quickly went home and started to paint our own Barbies. I painted bras and panties and swimsuits and a next on my list is a tankini . They are pink and blue in wonderful matching little ensembles and now at the end of the day when my children toss them in the Barbie drawer they don't look so naked- so exposed and so unloved. 

In fact their underwear ensembles even match- which is more than I can say for mine most days! 

** What do you think? What do you do with the Naked Barbie problem in your house? **

Friday, March 22, 2013

Why The Easter Bunny Doesn't Visit My House

Spring is in the air and it is time again for me to start thinking about cleaning- a type of spring cleaning if you will. A spiritual and physical time to reflect and purge the "old leaven" from my life. It wasn't so many years ago that springtime had a different meaning. I grew up with springtime synonymous with Easter baskets, chocolate and the smells of grandma's house.

It was one of my favorite times of the year- and yet it is one that my children have never experienced.

In university I started attending a few different churches- i'd go with friends to youth groups and various activities. I also was majoring in English Literature. So the Bible became a bit of a puzzle to work on, a bit of an interesting study - in a way it wasn't before. And I soon came to realize that most of the churches I was attending didn't actually follow the Bible. And I couldn't figure out why.

Instead of focusing on ways in which God has outlined - and behaviors that are listed as appropriate in His sight- it seemed that there was a greater fascination with Pagan customs and rituals. And I learned that the origins of what we know as Halloween, Christmas and Easter were not Christian origins.

And for some reason that didn't sit well with me.

And then I read this

"When the LORD your God cuts off from before you the nations which you go to dispossess, and you displace them and dwell in their land, take heed to yourself that you are not ensnared to follow them, after they are destroyed from before you, and that you do not inquire after their gods, saying, 'How did these nations serve their gods? I also will do likewise.' You shall not worship the LORD your God in that way; for every abomination to the LORD which He hates they have done to their gods; for they burn even their sons and daughters in the fire to their gods. Whatever I command you, be careful to observe it; you shall not add to it nor take away from it." (Deuteronomy 12:29-32).

And I wondered - is that what happened- did we just take on the customs of worship that other religions had and tried to "Christian-ize" them?

I understand that there are many good things that seem to come from celebrating Christmas and Easter- homeless are fed, people learn some things about Jesus and it is an enjoyable family time. But I think about the tree of good and evil. I think about how disobeying God was rationalized. And I wonder how we rationalize it today.

The other day I met someone and mentioned that I am preparing to observe Passover. She said oh- I must be celebrating the Jewish holidays. That is what most people say. Most people assume I am Jewish. Some remember that Jesus was born a Jew.

Some remember that 1 John 2:4-6  and 1 Corinthians 11:1.

I have many Jewish friends, and Muslim friends, and Catholic friends and I yet I am not any of these things- I am Christian by the most technical literal definition. I strive to follow Jesus Christ from the examples in the Bible. And since they do not mention chocolate bunnies, rabbits laying brightly colored eggs and the worship of the fertiltiy godess Ishtar as being behavior that Jesus Christ chose- then I will not chose that either- for as for me and my house- we will strive to follow the Lord- and not the preconceived ideas of my youth - but rather the black and white of the Bible that I am so blessed to be able to own.

In so many ways as a parent I find I'm second guessing myself- which curriculum is best, how many activities, how many Barbies (can I have Barbies? Should they be allowed to be naked? ) how do I discipline? - yet there are a few times when I don't have to wonder is this the "right" thing. For our family the Easter Bunny is not a part of our life and each year when talk to our children about the exodus out of Egypt and our own exodus out of sin I am reconfirmed that it is a good decision for our family!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PKU ~ A Day in Our Life

Last week my youngest daughter crossed a threshold from toddler into preschooler and I spent most of her birthday remembering not the day of her birth but the defining moment when she was 7 days old. Perhaps you've read that story HERE so I won't repeat it but it was a terrifying time for us as a family. We didn't know what PKU would mean for us and for our lives and most of all what that would mean for our precious Carolyn.

Here we are 3 years later. Carolyn wakes up in the morning and comes to snuggle and promptly announces she wants her "milky" but before I'm even up she's off again playing with her older sisters- somedays she's a horse named Cookie and some days she's a kitten named Saraphina. Every day is full of laughter and fun. And most days a bit of mischief too. So after her morning "milky" (her PKUspecial formula that she will be on for the rest of her life) we all sit down for breakfast- she enjoys vanilla flavored cultured coconut milk and raspberries. She also enjoys a specialized PKU porridge that took me forever to figure out how to make (I boil water and let it sit for about 5 mins then add about one cup of water to 62 grams of PKU porridge and stir for 4 min). Some days we special pancakes that come from a special pPKU pre made mix. And some days she has her special PKU toast with Biscoff spread. I was so worried when she was born that she would never be able to sit and eat with us- because she would long for what we were having and not have anything at all. Instead the opposite is true- most days her sisters wish they had PKU because they think that her food looks more interesting than theirs (although when I've ever let them taste something they say it is "yucky" so we now have a stricter no sharing policy and a severe no saying "yuck" policy!). She doesn't cry because she is hungry- she cries because i make her sit at the table to finish her food! After i re-weigh what she didn't eat and log her food and plan what food she will need for the rest of the day to reach exactly her phe requirements and her calorie requirements then our day really begins.

I homeschool our children and the reason I started was actually out of fear. You're not supposed to admit that but I was afraid that Carolyn would not be able to have PKU and thrive in the school system. I was worried she would get a cookie from a parent helper or be bullied because her "milky " smells weird. So I pulled our oldest out of school and have never looked back. We love homeschooling and we're all thriving in so many ways. Today though I don't have that same fear- at barely 3 years old whenever someone gives her anything she asks if it is "low phe" or "high phe" and if they do not know the answer she asks if they have weighed it and if not then she will not eat it. In fact one day I was feeding her and absentmindedly put my spoon from my plate in her mouth and she wouldn't close her mouth- I quickly realized what I had done and took the offending food out of her mouth and she promptly said " I don't want to get SICK mom!".

So our day begins with a bit of reading and puzzles (she can do a 24 piece puzzle at this point) and then either play doh or beading or coloring while I help her older sisters. She does a computer reading program a couple of days a week. She is amazing. She works on writing her letters and colors better and better every week. She is a bit of a handful sometimes- she has lots of spunk and always thinks she is right and doesn't always listen to rules and is sometimes openly defiant. There are times when I cannot find a consequence or a bribe for her to change her behavior and I wonder if that is PKU related. She's sometimes shey- even with us- and I wonder if that is PKU related. I suppose I will always wonder. She is gentle with her dolls and loves them very very much - but she also is in love with tractors and big trucks and likes to wrestle and play farme (which is interesting as we have a houseful of girls who are all very girly and so she's had to find this path on her own). She is the most empathetic child I've ever met and is always there to kiss it better and make people get along.

We have lunch and she's started to eat soup (although she doesn't like it) or sandwhiches with her special PKU bread and lots of veggies or sometimes for a special treat - french fries! My daughter has a tolerance of 250mg of PHE per day. It is one of the lowest tolerances in our area. I was terrified there wouldn't be anything I could feed her- but there really is. Her favorite is PKU pasta and Daiya Cheese Alternative. And of course more of her "milky"!

After lunch she still has a nap- and I generally can gauge her level of PHE in her blood by how well she sleeps both at naptime and during the night. When her levels are high she simply doens't sleep- she'll fall asleep for a few moments and then wake up again- she won't nap and the combination of her feeling unwell from her high levels and her lack of sleep makes her difficult. She's uncharacteristically mean, will destroy things, have tantrums and generally be angry and defiant. Thankfully these times are rare. Most of the time we have a change in levels it is becaue she's been ill. Another PKU mother once suggested that i manipulate the calories and PHE on days she is ill and since then it has been much better. They need more calories when they are ill in order to function.

After naptime we might head out to swimming lessons or go to for a playdate or go shopping. She is very social and while she is sometimes very shy as well she thoroughly enjoys other children - and plays well with them. She 's starting to play real games like Candyland and she somehow always wins.

For supper she eats only vegetables and has her  "milky" so we are always careful to make sure that we all share the same vegetables as often as possible. There are many families who take the stance that their PKU child must learn to be different from an early age so they do not provide the same kinds of food whenever possible. I take the opposite stance. I believe that PKU is a big deal and we talk about it a lot- we talk about how many calories and how much PHE she's eaten and if she wants something that is higher PHE we negotiate on what she'll need to eat that is lower phe for the rest of the day. But her plate looks similar to her sisters whenever possible!

By the end of the day it is time for bed and she pretty much gets herself ready, we read a story and thank God for our blessings and for the fact we live in such an awesome country that provides access to special food and formula to help her thrive.