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Health & Fitness

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“YOU BETTER WORK!”


I follow LOTS of celebrities on social media and I watch a lot of E! & BravoTV. I used to think “wow they make looking beautiful look easy & effortless.”  In reality I know it takes teams of people and months of prep if not years for these people to get to this status.

Most stars have a team that literally works on every facet of their lives.

Personal trainer, chef, hair, makeup, stylist, driver, maid, assistant, nanny, nails etc etc. some more or less than others.

But nonetheless, a team around them to help them achieve their goals.

So when you pick up your fashion magazine or scroll through your social media feeds and see all the glamour photos of these nearly perfect humans. Remember that you too can get there but it’s gonna take time, talent, money, perseverance AND WORK!

Most of the things that I do on my blog are random or off the cuff but some are planned and calculated.

With my blog I don’t want to post just because my calendar says so.

But, I had a professional photo shoot with one of my BFFs scheduled so I knew I had to get serious.

 The line from 40 year old virgin continuously pops into my head:

“You think this was an accident?  All of this right here, premeditated partner.”  YouTube Clip 40 year old virgin

I knew what I wanted to wear and achieve from these pictures from the outfits down to my jewelry, hair, shoes & makeup.

All premeditated and planned out months in advance. I did NOT wake up like this. 

First things first get that body right & tight!

“You wanna hot body? You better work bitch!”- Britney Spears.

She is and always will be a body inspiration for me minus her 2007 breakdown. 

So I made my playlist a reality!

The theme of work was constantly on my mind. 

So I decided to push myself out of my comfort zone in nearly all aspects of my life. Listening to these songs during my workouts got me excited and gave me a swag and even got me to twerk. 

Click below to watch these HOT A$$ videos on YouTube. 

Work B!$ch- Britney 

Work work work- Fifth Harmony

Work- Iggy Azalea 

Work- Rihanna & Drake

Work- Ciara & Missy Elliot

I decided I was going to take these pictures even though I’m not exactly where I want to be, but to show off my progress. First were some pictures I took in February before I started working out with my trainer. These pictures were NOT fun but a way of pushing me to have to embrace my skin. 

FEBRUARY
MARCH

I have been working with my trainer John Jackson for a while now and I started to see results quickly and NOW I can see my body transforming. I AM NOT LOSING WEIGHT! This is a total body transformation not a get skinny mission. 

Me & Babe in Hawaii 2011 Before Babies

Lean Paddle Boarding Babe 2011

After having 2 kids you have things that do not go back the way they were before.

He said to me “pull in those abs,” while I was running and I yelled back “My abs are in, that’s just my skin.” 

I have been more disciplined with my food choices, although I joke that if I was on a no carb diet I would be even bitchier than I already am. I still enjoy my ultimate favorites: chips, dips, cocktails & tacos but in more moderation than I did before.

My husband knows my love language is gifts and that includes food & drinks. If I am having a bad night with the kids he will get me champagne or Taco Bueno 🙂

Another fellow journalist and BFF of mine told me she had an idea for the title of my book, if I ever get to write one,

“Just Happy Mommy: Behind the Apron.”

It is perfect because I try to showcase that you can be a happy, good mommy, wife and still be real and sharing my life “behind the apron.”

Even still today society sees June Cleaver perception of the stay at home mom. I am anything but that!

Every look tells a story and thankfully my talented friend and professional photographer captured it perfectly. I did a kitchen scene, an under construction edgy look, easy breezy nightgown look, and of course some full glam mixed in.  Check out this quick slideshow below. 

Photoshoot slide show

I am so excited to share more of the beautiful photographs taken by my dear friend Beth Hawkins. Blog post soon to follow! XOXO Just Happy Mommy

Posted by Just Happy Mommy on Tuesday, June 6, 2017

As a mommy you hear all the time to make sure & do things for yourself. Well here it is. My hard work is paying off. I decided to push myself. Treating myself to workouts, hair appointments, botox, nails, spray tans etc to get ready for my photo shoot. These are all things I care about. Call me hubris but that’s not all I am about. If anything I just really started to invest in me and my dreams. And let me tell you it is an investment.

I love my husband. Thank you babe. Thank you for the support financially, spiritually and emotionally, through my transformation if you will. 

The best part is that I do NOT allow it to come before or take away from my boys. If there is time then great, if not then it can wait. I have been super busy and I take time for me and my marriage. I will not apologize for that because it is making me a better me and a happy mommy. 

It’s all about balance. Somedays I kick a$$, workout, eat perfect, clean house, do laundry, and I am super mom. Other days my cape is in the wash and the only marathons we run are food, movie & cuddle marathons, all day baby, all day. Somedays we don’t even leave the house because mama is so tired.

My squad is the best! They get me. They don’t try to change me. They encourage me. They love me. 

So here we go. Unapologetically sharing my life as a wife, mommy, daughter, sister, friend and blogger. 

I am by no means fishing for compliments here. I just wanted to show people that it takes hard work and dedication to look fit and be healthy. I have A LOT more to share with you and I would love to get feedback on what you want to know.

John and I have toss the idea of doing a fun workout video…

Any way keep reading, sharing and kicking butt!

God bless you.

Believe in yourself!  

and remember…

“It’s Xxpen$ive to be me.” – Erika Jayne

“You better work!” – RuPaul

Xoxo 

Just happy mommy

4 Ingredient Vegan Protein Shake

I am super picky when it comes to protein shakes. I cannot stand to have a meal replacement that tastes like total ass. Not to mention spending anywhere from $5-10 on these shakes can really break the bank. I am not a nutritionist. I am not trying to sell you anything. Just thought I would share my latest protein shake recipe that also happens to be allergy friendly and amazing. One more side note before I tell you what is in it.

Allergy Friendly means it is free of the Top 8 Allergens Wheat, Eggs, Dairy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Soy, Fish, & Shellfish.

I do not want to contaminate my blender or chance my little nugget exposed to any kind of deadly food allergens. So I decided to try out some vegan protein powders, most of which are disgusting in my opinion. But after trying several and doctoring my concoction I actually look forward to my protein shake meal replacement. I use VEGA ONE All in One Plant Based shake in Chocolate. To make taste even better I use chocolate coconut milk, the SO Delicious brand is awesome and easily available. I was so scared and hesitate to try Sunbutter. Call me crazy but after knowing that peanut butter could literally kill my kid I avoided the aisle completely and did NOT want to even try this alternative.

After meeting with my friend Allergylicious she encouraged me to rip off the proverbial bandaid and try it. Thank God I did because now we are hooked! Sunbutter is also school safe and encouraged as a peanut butter alternative. She has been such a HUGE inspiration for me to continue to cook with confidence, while keeping my baby safe & eating healthy.

Add 1 scoop of the powder, 12 oz of the coconut milk, a heaping spoonful of Sunbutter and blend that in my Ninja blender until smooth. The final ingredient is ice. Add as much or as little as you like, blend and serve. Also I love these larger straws for smoothies and shakes. Like I have said before eating is supposed to be enjoyable so switch it up. If you like whey eat that, if you like almond milk use it. I am just sharing what is SUPER safe, easy and delicious for me and my family.

Hope you enjoy! See the links below for easy ordering and reference.

Monday Motivation

On Sunday nights when I was working at the TV station I would have the worst anxiety attacks and Sunday night blues. Anticpating the stress of the upcoming week and all the work that I needed to do, often sent me into a full blown panic attack. I know I am not alone in this. My dad falls victim to this every Sunday night!

It wasn’t until I became a new mom that all of that melted away, once I decided to be a stay at home mom. Even still, It took me awhile to let go of the “grind.”

I would have nightmares about breaking news, missing a live sheet or not following up on a detail. It wasn’t that I missed the stress, it was more like I needed to recover from the years of fear, paranoia and anxiety associated with my jobs.  I worked for a corporation that had big expectations and but low salaries.

I still hear my JMAC professor, “if you want to make money, do NOT become a journalist.” Well ain’t that the truth?! Haha talk about the 1% that is who “makes it.”  The rest of us do it for the storytelling, the thrill, the excitment and protection of our first amendment rights, freedom of the press.

Even though we did not make much money I NEVER regret working in TV. I met some of the best and most important people in my life. I am grateful that most of us still keep in touch and I consider them some of my best friends.

So instead of having the Sunday dreads, I have Monday Motivation. Looking ahead towards the week is actually fun and I enjoy it. What a difference a life change can make. Becoming a mommy is the best thing I have ever done. It is hard as #$%& but I would NOT trade my time at home with my boys for ANYTHING!

It is not glamourous. It is often thankless. I am happy to make meals, pack lunches, wipe butts, sing songs, read books, cuddle and be a taxi driver. Of course it comes with the usual “work drama.” He stole my car. He hit me. I didn’t do it. Plus the nervewracking arguing, consistent talking, constant eating and of course all the pee, poop & farts one person can handle. #boymom

Last week it dawned on me that it is happening, I am officially a chauffuer. We are in FULL SWING literally and physically with Spring sports. I am so excited. I have honestly waited for these days with great anticipation. I know that it will be short lived and loose its luster faster than I can type this but nonetheless I am excited to be a soccer, karate, golf mom! MORE on this topic next week!  LOL 😂

My husband and I keep a pretty active schedule. We both workout 5 times a week and try to fit in a date night once a week. Staying busy is part of being a parent. My motivation is my boys. I want them to make friends, be active and have fun.

I always hear “it is so important for your child to be social with other kids.” DO NOT WORRY both my boys are social butterflies. Both so friendly at times that we have joked around that we would microchip our kids like people do to their dogs. I kid I kid but seriously if that becomes a thing…

Maybe working, in whatever capacity that may be, is your Motivation. Maybe a vacation is your motivation. Maybe wealth, health or a combo is your goal. Whatever it takes to movtivate you to great things, do that.

Being a good wife, mom and not raising a$$@oles is motivation for me. Looking good and being healthy is motivation for me to workout and kick my butt. Being a good person is motivation for me to continue to love others, be kind and understanding.

We decided to start our tradition of Sunday night family dinner when I had the it’s. It is something all of us look forward to. We get to share a meal, have some laughs watch TV and enjoy the last remaining hours of the weekend with the ones we hold most dear.

So if you are reading this and dreading tomorrow, remember it is not all set in stone. Find what you love doing and rock it. Challenge yourself NOT to fear, but to own your motivation and make good choices towards your goals.

XOXO

Just Happy Mommy

BOTOX VIDEO

As many of you know I started getting BOTOX last year. And I LOVE IT!

Since I knew I was going to have professional photos taken I decided to really plan things out so that I would look my best.

After my friend and I got the date on the calendar I began to work backwards. These pictures were planned out from the outfits, location, down to the lipstick colors. So I called and got my appointment just a little over a week before the photoshoot.

Botox takes at least 7 days to really “set in” or freeze your face. Since I started getting injections, I now understand why people call it the gateway drug to plastic surgery.

It took years off my face and gave me the extra confidence I was looking for. I know that it is not for everyone. I am not paid by Botox and I am not your pusher love girl. I just keep it real and want you guys to know that I am not 34 with a frozen face.

When I was researching getting BOTOX I did not like the videos I saw, so I decided to film my last appointment. Here it is on my YouTube channel.

 BOTOX Injections Video

I film these videos for fun, entertainment and to share with my readers.  Even though I work hard to look my best I need a little help from my friends at BA Med Spa.

I asked for an eye brow lift the first time I got Botox and I won’t do that again. The second time I got some injections above my lip in my mustache area and it didn’t really do much.  If you get injections above our lip it helps soften wrinkles, plump and enhance your cupids bow.

So by the 3rd & 4th time I knew what I liked, what worked for my face and my nurse knew what I needed. Some people metabolize Botox faster or slower than others so that is why “they” say it lasts 3-6 months.

Be sure to research where you are going. Make sure the Dr. or nurse has a professional medical license to administer Botox or Dysport.

Drink lots of water and eat pineapple days before getting your treatment to help lessen bruising.

If you are scared about pain you can ask for some numbing cream but it just pinches a tad. I have heard some people hear the nerve crackle. The lip injections hurt pretty bad so I get the numbing cream.

Do NOT exercise the same day after your treatment. Do NOT lie flat for 4 hours after injections. Do NOT wear a hat for 24 hours.

Finally the dermaplaning. I am sooo in love. It feels so good and gives your skin an amazing, healthy glow.

It is not recommended to try any of these treatments without a professional licensed medical doctor or nurse.
I just share my personal experiences and what I chose to do.

This makes me happy. So with that,

XOXO
Just Happy Mommy

For more info contact BA MED SPA at 918-872-9999 or visit them at baweightspa.com

Just Happy Mommy Water

I have started making & drinking this concoction that I am calling “Just Happy Mommy Water.”

It is  my combination of the “Beyonce Lemonade”  “Master Cleanse” The Official Master Cleanse

and the “Apple Cider Vinegar Drink.”

I have tried to drink this by itself (like the cleanse & detox suggests) but I need more calories & caffeine. Plus I cannot afford to be a tired, hangry, bitch with 2 kids and a husband to take care of.

Since the new year, I have been researching all kinds of detoxes and cleanses. Here is what I found out, after you lose the weight, it comes back once you go back to your old eating habits.  My husband and I even looked into getting colonics done but haven’t committed to that intrusion just yet. Many of you may or may not know what the “Master Cleanse” or “Beyonce Lemonade” is. This has been super popular and became more mainstream when Beyonce implemented this drink to loose weight for Dream Girls. Also my girl Yolanda Hadid has been a long time believer in the Master Cleanse.

It is a mixture of filtered water, organic lemons, organic grade A/B maple syrup and cayenne pepper. The “Apple Cider Vinegar Drink,” is filtered water, Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother and lemon juice. There are other variations where people add agave or cinnamon to their water this is all just personal preference.

So I combined the 2 and I am obsessed with my new concoction “Just Happy Mommy Water.”

I have been working on this recipe for the past couple months and I have finally figured out how I like to make mine.

I am NOT a nutritionist or specialist I just know that most of these ingredients have proven health benefits so I am putting them all together in one drink. I am also keeping a weight loss progress and exercise video/photo journal. I will be showing you all my progress. OK sooo here is the recipe I use.

Just Happy Mommy JHM Water

I got a jug at Bed Bath & Beyond that has a filtered spout and holds 8 cups of water Sistema Klip It 8 cup Jug

6-8 cups of filtered water

2 large organic lemons squeezed with seeds removed (I add the pulp as well, since my jug has a filter)

1 tsp fresh grated ginger (I use a microplane)

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 tbsp organic maple syrup (grade A or B)

1 tbsp Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with “The Mother” link here Bragg.com

1 tsp turmeric

1 dash of cayenne pepper

Stir and enjoy over ice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please click the blue/teal text for links to my sources.

Filtered Water, we all know that we should have at least 8 cups of water per day. (1 cup is approx.. 8 oz)

The 8×8 rule is best explained here Mayo Clinic Healthy Water Intake

Lemons or Citrons are high in vitamin C, potassium and powerful antioxidants Lemons: Health Benefits

Ginger is one of my favorite spices and it also has 11 Proven Benefits of Ginger

Maple Syrup helps balance out all the sour, spicy and bitter flavors going on. The sweet taste also gives you antioxidants and other health benefits The Sweet Perks of Maple Syrup

Pinapple Juice 11 Amazing Benefits of Pineapple I decided to add some to my last batch instead of the maple syrup and I love it!  (Plus it has been said to help with brusing when getting Botox.)

Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar with “The Mother” has been in the news a lot lately. The health benefits are astounding if you choose to research it like I have. Here are 6 Proven Health Benefits of Apple Cider Vinegar I know several people who use ACV for literally everything! There is a list of uses but for now I use it mostly for digestive health reasons. “The Mother” is all the good protein, enzymes and bacteria that your gastrointestinal system needs.

Turmeric is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice. Most commonly used to give Curry its golden yellow color but BEWARE that gorgeous color stains!!! Here are Top 10 Evidence Based Benefits of Turmeric

Cayenne Pepper benefits your gut heart & beyond according to Dr. Axe this article outlines 15 Cayenne Pepper Benefits

You DO NOT have to do this exactly.

Actually after writing my first draft I thought about adding some pineapple juice. It made it so delicious! Also I made some last night and let it steep overnight in the fridge, it was a lot more potent, so I added more water to dillute it a bit.

I would suggest using some variation of the above. Keep hydrated with regular water. Please do NOT over drink this mix. It might be nice to add some in the morning to start your day.  It doesnt have to be exact. Some people cannot handle spice, some people may want a different type of sweetener, or you may be out of one of the ingredients.

One final note is that this drink may help move you along to the bathroom. DO NOT be surprised if you get “cleaned out.”

Like I said before I have seen lots of people claim weight loss with drinking these beverages.

I am not going to make any claims like that. I am still eating food. I am not mentally able to go on an all liquid diet. I have tried juice cleanses and I know lots of people who love them and have had great results.

My job and body requires more fuel than “Just Happy Mommy Water.” With that said I do like to make a jug and drink it throughout the day. I don’t drink it everyday. I did today after a weekend of pizza, Mexican food and Superbowl calories. You can find almost all the ingredients at Trader Joe’s but they do NOT carry the Braggs ACV.

I would love to know what you all think. Let me know if you tried it, or your own variation of “JHM Water.”

I would be happy to make a video if you guys want. Thanks for reading.

XOXO
Just Happy Mommy

FREE BOTOX & SPRAY TANS

Here are 2 of my NEWEST FAVORITE THINGS!

BOTOX & SPRAY TANS!

I just started getting BOTOX this past summer. Turning 34, having 2 kids, living off little sleep and being a former journalist, aka (party like a rockstar) had me like WOOF! I am all about the tuneup. Like I said in my post The D Word we tune-up the car so lets tune-up the marriage & the body!

Scoff all you want but I love this stuff. I know so many of my friends are prolly terrified that I don’t use their beauty products but let me just say don’t knock it till you try it. They call it the gateway drug for cosmetic procedures for a reason. I am OBSESSED! Dr. Campbell & his team at BA Med Spa are so friendly, knowledgable, medically licensed & professional. I was so nervous the first time but now it really is like getting your teeth cleaned, except not as bad. Maybe its not for everyone so that is why I am picking 2 winners on this giveaway! Choose the FREE 10 units of BOTOX over $100 value and go with me so I can hold your hand!

LogoLogoLogo

The 2 FREE Organic Spray Tans from SLATE Tulsa $80 value. Seriously this is amazing! I used to only get spray tans for special occasions or when getting family photos taken. Now I want to get them all the time because it makes me feel pretty instead of frumpy. I love that I can get a spray tan and NOT have to wear makeup because it brightens me up. Literally a glow. We all need a little sunshine in our lives this time of year. It is FREAKIN FREEZING! Trust me, the girls at SLATE are so awesome, fun & professional.

So please ENTER to WIN! I will post the winners in my next POST Tuesday night! XOXO Just Happy Mommy

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Growing Up Ain’t for Sissies

God brings people into your life for a reason. I wholeheartedly believe that. Whether we realize it instantly or later on, people come in and out when you need them to.

It’s been over a week since I was able to go to the gym after little nugget got a terrible case of hand, foot, and mouth. Even tho he didn’t have a fever and acted happy, I couldn’t be “that mom” that took her child covered in blisters to kids club.

Usually I do high intensity classes with my bestie, but today I couldn’t get us out the door in time. So I decided to sit down and ride a stationary bike, listen to my jams, and read.

Instead I talked with an 80 year old man named John. He was a lovely gentleman and so kind. We chatted for about 30 minutes as we rode our bikes. He was full of stories. He kept saying. “I hope I’m not boring you or keeping you.” I honestly was not bothered, but rather enjoyed his conversation and company.

He told me stories from his childhood, where he grew up in Fort Smith Arkansas, how much he loved Italian food, and stories of his wife and losing loved ones.

As I write this, I am even more touched by him and his life stories. We just had a real conversation. Nothing of fluff, but real genuine talk.

He and I had several things in common. We both recently had a birthday, both went to Catholic school “all the way”, and he attended the University of Tulsa (like most of my family members). But most of all, he lived life to the fullest.

He was raised by his grandparents and was never blessed with children of his own. He survived pneumonia and both a cotton-head snake bite and a rabid dog bite. All of which made me think. Damn That’s hard.

I of course told him about my two little boys, my sweet husband and my family & spunky 93 year old grandma. I expressed how fast it goes and I’m so nervous when my boys go off to school in a couple weeks.

He told me about a bully in school that teased him for having red hair everyday at noon. “I’d rather be dead than be red on the head” he would say. After weeks of this, he responded with “Well you know what? I’d rather be red than dead in the head.” This angered the bully who took a swing at him and missed. John swung back and knocked him out. He felt proud. He then spotted a nun out of the corner of his eye, and she grabbed his hand and said “God bless your hand child.” Hahaha yes!

John continued to tell me stories of his best friend Jimmy from Italy. They became close during high school and he enjoyed dinners at his home. He loves Italian food and played football. He reminisced about one year his coach, a priest, gave them all a St. Christopher medal that he blest to protect them. He gave me a big smile and said look. The chain I had noticed him wearing held that same St Christopher charm. I said “maybe that’s how you got this far?” he said,  “I think so too.”

He doesn’t have any family left other than his wife, yet he said “Life is pretty good if you know how to live it.” After a long weekend of celebrating my birthday with those I hold dear, it makes me more thankful that I have my family and friends with me.

When he and his wife went to pick out their resting plots in Fort Smith, Jimmy asked John to be his brother, and share a spot in their family plot. So even though John didn’t have any living relatives, he still had Jimmy as his bro.

I could have smiled, nodded and put my headphones back in, but I didn’t. I so desperately wanted my alone time at the gym today. Instead I made a new friend. One that I’m sure I learned a great deal from.

Sometimes we need to stop and listen.

He told me a final story about his grandfather, who worked nights at a smelter plant in town. They did everything together during the day as he was growing up. Fishing, hunting, trapping etc.

He said when his grandfather passed away from brain cancer, his grandma told him to stay at a friends house the night he passed.

The next morning, he went home and saw his grandparents’ bed empty and he knew he was gone. His grandma said she held her husbands hand as he told her “don’t worry about me, Babe, I’m going to see my mama, daddy, and brothers.” And he died right after he spoke those words.

I got teary eyed as he told me. But then he stopped me and said “I felt that way too for a long time, but now, I hope I am that happy and brave when it’s my time to go.”

I live in a constant state of fear. For my boys, my sissy, my parents, my grandma and myself. I don’t want to die young. I think taking some time to come to the gym and talk with my new friend John is what I needed today. Perspective on this life and how sweet it can be. Not competing or comparing. Not to pity or worry. But to share our stories and be real.

I am so thankful that God spoke to me through John today. I needed his guidance and kindhearted smile. We ended our talk with a smile and a handshake. He told me to be safe and remember “Growing old ain’t for sissies.”

Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Heaven in a box 

We all know that kids love big cardboard boxes more than what comes inside of them. My mama keeps a HUGE pottery barn box at her house, and the boys love to play in it. And like most people, especially moms, we get weekly Amazon deliveries. 

This morning we were getting ready and my son said “mommy will you put me in this box so I can go to heaven for a little bit?”

Clearly I was taken aback. As I stood looking at this small Amazon box, I couldn’t help but think, “What if I really had to put him in a box and send him to heaven?” A mother’s worst nightmare. To bury a baby. So I composed myself and said “ok, why do you want to go to heaven?” 

“It’s Pretend. I don’t really want to go there right now.”

Whew. Sheesh. 

Of course every time I have walked by that box today it made me think of heaven. 

A few weeks ago we watched the movie “Miracles from Heaven.” When my husband started playing it one Sunday morning, I told him to turn it off two or three times because I couldn’t handle it. And inducing a panic attack is never fun, but we finished it. 


It touched me in every way. Made me bawl out of control. I felt fear, sadness, and compassion. But most of all, it touched my heart and soul. If you haven’t seen it, the movie is about a very sick little girl and her journey with her mother, who will stop at nothing to help her get well. This movie hit so close to home because it not only parallels my sisters incurable medical conditions, but also the journey my own mama is making with her extremely ill daughter. The comparisons of their stories is really eerie. 

Since then, our 4.5 year old has asked to watch it again saying “I want to see the part where she goes to heaven.” And 
“Mommy are you sad because she is like Aunt Sissy?” “Yes baby it makes me sad.”

We have been teaching the boys to say their prayers before meals and after we read at bedtime since they were very small. Sometimes we forget. But when we do, I can see my boys smile when they say Amen. It makes my heart happy. I wish I had the innocence and blind faith of a little one. But even he is questioning me “Why won’t God heal Aunt Sissy? Is she going to die?” I respond with “I don’t know baby but we have to pray and trust that she will get better.” He says “It’s ok, I will make her better. I’m her doctor.” 

This video was taken a year ago and I still love to hear his little voice and his prayer 

“Jesus heal Aunt sissy and make her better. Guard me Jesus through the night wake me with the morning light. Amen”

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I know I need to “leave it to God, He’s got this.” I try so hard to keep my faith and believe in his plan. But my faith is wavering. After 8 years of severe health issues and suffering, when will she get better? Even though she is still present, she has no quality of life and each day, week, and month, she’s getting worse! All of our minds are reeling out of control with a million scenarios and questions. Her strength, fearlessness and grace impress me daily.

Why won’t He heal my sissy? Why is she getting worse? What can I do? Where do we go? Who do we see? How to we give her comfort? 

Visiting her twice a week at the hematology lab is the saddest place I have ever been. Seeing people so sad, sick, and tired getting pumped full of drugs, blood, or even poison is hard to see. I could not imagine. But you know what Sissy does? She goes in with a cute outfit, makeup, and a smile and she befriends everyone. She brings other people treats and writes hand written thank you notes. She journals and keeps a calendar, and of course keeps track of all her medications and issues. Being sick is a full time job that no one, she or anyone else, wants. I could not imagine what she is going thru. Her health and wellness is our number one priority. The good news is she doesn’t have to go at it alone. 

This was last week when we got to sneak little buddy to see my sissy at hematology. We played I spy while she got her potassium infusion. 


One of my best friends sent me my first devotional when I was in the throes of my postpartum depression and it has been such a special gift. Jesus calling. 

I decided to pay it forward and gift it to my mama and another bestie. The daily message is to trust in the Lord with all your heart and listen when Jesus is calling you. This book has helped my mama, who has the strongest faith of anyone I know. I admire her. The love, strength, and courage she has is amazing. She inspires me to enjoy all of the hugs, kisses, and “Mommy I love you’s”, and restores my faith in God. 

We are praying for a miracle to save Sissy. No one deserves to live in such pain and misery. So we will adjust. We will keep praying. Enjoying laughing together. Make plans and celebrate what we can. Holding on to all of the “some days” and never stop dreaming of a better tomorrow. 

Waiting for our Miracles from Heaven. 


Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Gluten, Oat, Dairy, Egg & Nut Free Diet

Gluten, oat, dairy, egg, & nut free diet:

A lot of family and friends wonder what does someone with this many allergies eat? Well at first not that much. A very simple, strict and repetitive meal schedule. Slowly we trying new things that “state” they are safe but I am always weary.

This is what works for us. I’m not an allergist. I’m hoping this list can help other moms or people navigate their food allergies. Cooking and cross contamination are also very serious! Washing pans, cups, utensils etc is important.

Slowly we have started to eliminate the “bombs” in our house. Obviously we are a nut free home. Snacks and other crackers that contain 3-4 of the allergens are what we consider “bombs.” One example is cheese crackers, they have wheat, milk, egg, cheese etc. So when he has one of these its BAD! We have to be very aware and careful if we let our older son have something we are trying to avoid. (like cheese and chocolate milk are very hard.) Not only do we have to keep the house safe for our baby, our older son is like many kids and can be quite a picky and specific eater. We pick our battles. The great news is that our 4 year old is on top of it and knows what is safe and what is not. What big brother doesn’t like to tell their little brother “No!”??? LOL
Also just because it’s vegan doesn’t mean it’s Gluten or NUT free! We say that he’s a combo of paleo and a MEGAN a meat eating vegan LOL. Allergy free or allergy friendly means it doesn’t contain any of the top 8 allergens.

Free from wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, soy, fish, shellfish.

Some are also made without casein, potato, sesame & sulfites.

Here are some of the brands and foods that we often eat. You can get them at Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods, Target, Walmart, Amazon or websites. I have included links. On some sites you can enter your zip code and see which stores carry their items.

Ian’s Natural Foods Ian’s Natural Foods

Enjoy life Foods Enjoy Life Foods
Thankfully he enjoys any and all fruits, vegetables and proteins!!!
He lives on these pouches (read labels some can say contains milk or wheat when you don’t think they do) these are his favorites

BREAKFAST & POUCHES

Ella’s Kitchen  Ella’s Kitchen

Plum Organics Plum Organics

Simply Balanced @ Target Simply Balanced Fruit & Vegetable

Peter rabbit Organics Peter Rabbit Organics

He eats anywhere from 4 to 8 pouches of fruits and veggies a day plus a cut up fruit and vegetable at every meal. LOTS of real fresh food. You name it he likes it. Strawberries, grapes, peaches, nectarines, blueberries, raspberries, apples, green beans, corn, carrots, potatoes etc.

Vans gluten free waffles Van’s Foods

Jimmy dean breakfast sausage Jimmy Dean

Oscar Mayer turkey bacon

Rice Chex cereal

Vanilla coconut milk from Trader Joe’s
On Saturdays I make pancakes and I’m happy to say they really aren’t bad.
1 cup gluten free Bisquick mix

1 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons vegetable oil (I use Crisco)

1 egg we use EnerG egg replacer EnerG Egg Replacer

Earths balance vegan butter Earth Balance

Real maple syrup or agave Trader Joe’s

SNACKS & SWEET TREATS

Dum Dums

Gluten free Marshmallows

Enjoy life pizza crust, cookies, snacks and chocolate brownies

Immaculate honestly good baking Immaculate Baking (cookies, brownies) (using Earth Balance, Vegetable oil and Egg replacement)

Shaved ice (be sure to ask!)

Fruit strips (Trader Joe’s we call them laffy taffy even tho they are organic fruit)

We love juices too orange, Apple, peach or Capri suns and Ella’s are great!
We go to Tropical Smoothie Cafe Tropical Smoothie Cafe Menu

I just always request they clean the blender out special for him since he has so many allergies and we don’t want to cross contaminate with dairy or peanut or others OMG

LUNCH & DINNER 

Lean protein: ground beef, grilled chicken, turkey, chicken tenders, nuggets, beans

Oscar Mayer naturals turkey Oscar Mayer Naturals

Veggie straws

Potatoes

Glutino gluten free pretzels

Lays BBQ chips are vegan (Baked Lays contain milk)

Fritos

Gluten Free corn chips & salsa

Hummus (again check ingredients) Sabra and Trader Joe’s are safe for us

Perdue Gluten free chicken tenders and nuggets Perdue Simply Smart Gluten Free Chicken

(Trader Joe’s ketchup is the bomb!)

Ian’s potatoes are great Ian’s Natural Foods

(We have NOT found a gluten/oat free pasta that does NOT cause his eczema to flare up so we just don’t do pasta.)

Again he eats a fruit and vegetable at every meal.

These are just a few that I know work for us and our child. Please feel free to comment below with more ideas and suggestions. Again I am not a dietician or an allergist. I am just a mom trying to navigate this life called motherhood and help my children eat healthy foods.

Xoxo

Just Happy Mommy

Food challenges

What do you think of when you read those words? Food Challenges

Do you think of an eating contest? A diet? Allergies? Picky eating? Sadness?

As a mom of a child with food allergies it is a roller coaster. Sometimes it’s easier and then it can be harder.

Our little angel is starting to notice, understand and get upset that he is eating different food from those around him. When GiGi comes to visit we usually go out to eat which is dangerous to begin with. She and big brother chose to go to Hideaway Pizza, a family favorite! When the food arrived he looked around at his plate and then at all the pizza on the table. He reached for bubba pizza and we all yelled “NO!!!” His little bottom lip folded over and tears started streaming down his face. He is beginning to notice. He says “I try it.” “Peeez!” Looking at me with such a sad and confused look, it made me hug him tight, carry him away from the table, and burst into tears myself.

It’s happening. We have been pushing it and we need to stop taking him places that are unsafe. This sucks because it starting to get harder and more cruel. We have to make a change but it is so hard. Once you see your baby in pain you want to protect them at all cost. Going to restaurants is an easy go to for all people and Mom’s are no different.  So it’s a little more complicated when your child can’t order anything.

Since it’s summertime and we have lots of celebrations, the allergies are at the top of my mind. Bubba and I make special allergy free food and treats so he can participate and feel included. We found out that shaved ice is allergy free!!! (be sure to ask.) Squints and YaYa.


Easy & common things you don’t think twice about until you are a parent of a child with extreme allergies include: cheese sticks, yogurt, Cheerios, pizza, cake, cupcakes, cookies, chicken nuggets, gold fish, and peanut anything etc.

We really do NOT expect anything to change or for anyone to make crazy accommodations for us. This is the world we live in. It’s up to us to protect and teach our kids what is safe for them. But should that include not taking them places out of fear? NO! He just started at a little nursery school and we love it. They  take his allergies very seriously and I feel he is safe, comfortable and happy there.

Anytime he has something in his hand that is not safe we used to scream “NO!!!!” Out of fear and now it scares him to tears. We are trying to be calm and say “no baby that will make you sick,” I reminded him that he can’t have those treats or he will get sick and have to go to the hospital. He says “k.”

Food is a big deal in American culture. Sometimes we affiliate it with family, celebrations and even love. When I think “ok I can do this,” then I slip and think,” but I want pizza, ranch, cheeseburger, or queso or a donut.” All terrible food choices I know, but man they are delicious and cheap.  I love the idea of becoming paleo and vegan but seriously the execution in Oklahoma is hard and expensive! Yes I am complaining. It’s really F-Ing hard when you can’t have wheat, oats, eggs, dairy or nuts. I go to 3-4 different stores to get all the things we need and like. But I’m starting to not mind as much it’s the new normal.

Today I saw new items from one of the safe brands he can have.

Enjoy Life Foods

I was so excited I called my mom and almost burst into tears. Sounds absolutely ridiculous but I have been waiting for this brands pizza crust and brownie mix to come to Oklahoma for 10 months. They are “Allergy-Friendly”

This is huge! It’s the little things in life that matter and being able to let him experience them not only brings him joy but all of us as well. When I showed him and big brother all the new “safe” foods bubba said “oh mama that makes my heart go up!!” As he beams his smile and hugs me tight. He is so protective, aware and helpful when it comes to baby brothers food and safety. For that, I thank God. When baby sees his food boxes he is thrilled, claps, smiles and says “Yay!!” It’s the little things that matter.

Of course we hope and pray he will outgrow some of these allergies. But how will we know?

Food challenges.

Skin testing.

Needless to say I was afraid to take him to get his skin tests. He was scared but he did amazing! I’m so proud of him! He’s mama’s tough, beautiful boy! Please read the next posts for more photos, videos and recipes.

Teaching him that things will hurt him and make him sick is crucial to this process. Empowering him to know he is feeding his body with the best food possible is important for his self esteem. Remember he is only 20 months so our allergy journey has just begun.

XOXO

Just Happy Mommy