Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Makayla Update.

Makayla’s been really well. She turned 21 months old today... Only 3 more months till her 2nd birthday! That’s nuts, I so can’t believe that! I’ve already started planning her birthday party. I think we’re just going to have a smaller Blue’s Clues party this year. My parents and grandparents are are gunna be here the week of her birthday so I think we’re just gunna do the family thing... I might invite a couple of her friends. But defiantly not more then a couple family’s. For some reason I really just don’t feel like havin a big kids party... I’m still stressed out from last years, HaHa. I think I’ll save the larger party for next year when she really knows what’s goin on.

Anywayz, that kid seriously amazes me every day. She’s been picking up on things so fast these days. I mean I had read that they would kinda slow on the whole learning words for a month or so, around 18m of age... And then all of a sudden would pick it back up and just take off... But I don’t know, I guess I just really didn’t fathom how fast she’d take off or how much she’d learn. I mean, all I got to do is repeat a word twice and she’ll just say it over and over and over. Also, that kid has SUCH an imagination! We bought Makayla a large wooden kitchen for Christmas and she LOVES to cook with it. She separates her toy food by size and color all the time and puts it in her frying pans and "cooks" them up. She really hasn’t showed that much interest in the TV. I mean she has her regular shows that she loves to watch like Blues Clues and the Doodlebops and attempts to sing their songs. She also likes to watch Hannah Montana after her nightly bath.

She’s so big too, she’s 21 months as of today but has been gettin mistaken for a 2 or 3 year old since Christmas. I mean she’s only 27lbs (feels more like 40 lbs when you’re carrying her on your hip 24/7) and within the 72nd percentile for her weight, but she is soooooo freakin tall! She’s 36.5" (that’s well over the 100th percentile)... She is seriously ALL legs! It’s impossible to find her jeans anymore. A friend of mine had given me a bunch of her daughter’s 2T jeans, but none are long enough any more. My mom bought her some 3T pants for Christmas, they’re barely long enough, but way too big around the waist. I’ve tried the Children’s place 2T Longs but even they are kinda short. I can’t wait till the weather warms up and she can just wear shorts and skirts all the time. It’ll be so much easer.

Anywayz, she’s still not potty trained... I don’t get it. When she has to go potty she takes our hand and leads us up stairs (where her potty is), she puts her arms up for us to help her up on the toilet, she’ll sit there for a few minutes and then grab a few squares of toilet paper, wipe herself and stick the paper in the toilet, then put her arms up to get down and put our hands on the flusher thingy so we can flush it for her... And says "bye bye" and waves tot he toilet paper goin down the toilet... But it’s almost like she can’t bring herself to go on the toilet cuz minutes after we help her off the potty she’ll just go in the middle of the floor. Ugh, the joys of toddler-hood. We’ve had to switch her diapers, which i’m not too thrilled about. I think that’s the main reason that i’m pusing pottytraining right now. Since she was a week old, we’ve had her in the Target brand diapers... But after movin to Norfolk, we kinda got screwed. The target’s ehre SUCK when it comes to the baby department. Every time we go, they never have a large box, we always just have a buy a bunch of the little backs... and I swear, every time to go to buy any, they never have her size. She was in a size 5 but then they would only have a 6... So we moved her up to that size,a nd after a month they stoped carrying 6’s and 5’s and there was no way she could fit in a 4 and I didn’t wanna waist my money on pull ups... So we’ve now switched her to the PX brand. Actually, they’re really cheap ($4.50 for 26 size 6’s), they run REALLY big, actually in the PX brand Makayla can wear and should wear a size 5, but for whatever reason Mike got 6’s (XXL, up to 35lbs) the last time go bought them... So I guess for the 5’s we’d get even more diapers for that price... Either way I think they’re like half the price of the Target brand.

Oh, also in this house,she’s surprisingly become really good at walking up and down the stairs. We used to block off the stairs in our old house in Yuma, but because the stairs were different here in Norfolk we couldn’t. Because of her growth spurt, she’s not tall enough to hold on to the hand rail while goin down the stairs, which I’m glad about. Cuz now she can get upstairs to go play with her toys and crap.

Hmm, what else... I guess we’re in the process of transitioning her from her playpen to a twin bed. It’s a slow process, she has to sleep in her playpen for naps cuz she’s still fighting taking them. There’s been days where I’ve tried to bypass the noon nap, and all that ends up happening is that she falls asleep at like 4pm in front of the TV and then doesn’t want to go to bed at 7:30. So I don’t know when we’re finally gunna be able to put her in the big girl bed for naps, but we’re slowly working on it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The truth about Milk

For some reason I hesitate to write this blog although it is the number one thing I get emailed about and the first thing I tell people to eliminate. Why I hesitate to write is that it is such a huge controversy to speak against milk. We have been told since we were little, and our mothers before us, that we need 3 servings a day. Ad campaigns are everywhere , we can loose weight with milk, get strong bones, get a great milk mustache. But, who are the people telling us this? Hmmm, the American Dairy Council. Who are they? One of the big companies of America out to not make you healthy, but to take your money. So, why listen to them? Listen to the people that know what milk actually does to a body. One of my favorite famous Dr.'s is Andrew Weil, he is a big advocate of eliminating dairy, Google his website and read up on any great topic. Dr. Spock , who was once a huge advocate for Milk has since withdrawn his support. The list goes on. So, why? Why not milk? What will happen if we don't drink milk? What will happen if we do?

First of all, we are not baby cows. All other mammals in life are weaned from their mothers in infancy and not supplemented with milk later on. Milk has a very high protein content, one that is too high for people, especially children. Cow's milk is hard on the intestinal tract and can lead to microscopic blood loss in infants which may lead to iron deficiency. People who once never had a problem with milk may develop an intolerance for milk later in life as we stop producing the enzyme to process lactose. I, myself am one of those.

But, the real problems is for the little ones. More than 50% of Americans are allergic to milk , and many who aren't develop that allergy later on. If your child has a constant runny nose and ear infections, chances are that they have a problem with dairy. It will start to lay in the stomach, corroded and make the child feel sick and miserable. Worse yet, it will start to trigger many other allergies if not removed along with asthma, eczema and illnesses. If it is removed, or better yet, never given to children, you can prevent and cure many ailments to come.

For me, I have never given my little ones milk after being weaned. They go right to a fortified rice milk which no one is really allergic to. It has just as much calcium. My little ones, after I found this out from my first one didn't have diaper rashes, runny noses and ear infections ( My last one had some ear infections due to other allergies). They never missed it. This doesn't mean that I don't have any dairy. Since my baby has a true allergy to milk, he doesn't ever touch any of it, but my others have some cheeses, occasional ice cream and I cook with it. But, no fluid milk. There is a difference. When people used to drink Raw milk, it was more digestible. Now that it is pasteurized, it is much harder. Milk that is left to cure is broken down into easier to digest proteins. For instance, hard block cheeses like cheddar, Parmesan, monterey jack and swiss are cured over 60 days. Also, homemade yogurt that is left to cure for 24 hours are better to digest and beneficial to the body.

What about calcium? Calcium is in many other foods, in fact, the calcium in milk is often hard to absorb as it is tangled up with the high protein content. Foods such as almonds, broccoli, spinach and carrots all contain calcium along with whole grains. This is why smoothies are so great to sneak in the spinach. So many studies have been conducted on people who drink milk and those who don't and calcium and bone density. There wasn't a difference. None of my children have had a broken bone. My little one who never has a bit of dairy has calcium tests and he is perfectly fine.

If I could give any advice, first, if you have a baby, never start them on milk. Second, if you have older children, stop letting them drink it. Enjoy the cheeses in moderation and occasional ice cream but no more drinking it. No more cold cereal, or at least in moderation. If you have children with runny noses , asthma and ear infections, this is critical to remove. Milk creates mucus. You will see huge improvements rapidly. Asthmatics should never drink milk. Ever.

There are great articles out there. This is not nutrition according to Shari. The top nutritional Docs are on board. Google it out. Read for yourselves. One article I like can be read here. It talks about the other concerns of milk.

I am not a fanatic. I just had a half a glass of a milk shake the other night, I felt really yucky afterwards but it tasted so good going down. I am old enough to be past the ear infections and diaper rashes, I most likely won't develop allergies from drinking it, your little ones might not be so fortunate. If you can keep the milk away from them now, most likely they won't have an allergy to it later on in life and a good chance you can keep them from developing many other allergies. Allergies are contagious. Once the stomach is inflamed from one allergy, it kicks out the response to start being inflamed and allergic to many other foods. Then you have a much bigger problem on your hands. Trust me, I am there with my little guy.
Please read up, find out what is best for your family. You are the mom. Be educated and don't trust just anyone to tell you what to do , especially the ad companies.

Some good toddler recipes.

I’ve always been really health conscious when it comes to Makayla... I ALWAYS made her baby food, teething bars and now that she’s getting older, I’ve started looking for recipes to make making her HEALTHY snacks. Honestly I’ve had one hell of a time. I’m completely against giving her refined sugar or chocolate and could never seem to find any recipes that didn’t call for either of those... So I was forced to come up with my own. I thought maybe I’d share them with anyone else looking for healthy snacks to make their kids. PS- Makayla absolutely LOVES the following recipes.

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Ultra Healthy Oatmeal Toddler Cookies

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
2 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup raisins/dried cranberries
4 Tbsp. Splinda (optional)
1 Tbsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
1 mashed ripe banana
1 can (14.5 ozs) pureed carrots (uncooked)
2/3 cup applesauce
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla

* Heat oven to 350 degrees.
* In a large bowl, mix dry ingredients
* In a 2nd bowl mix wet ingredients.
* Add wet ingredients gradually to dry ingredients.
* Mixture will be super gooey and sticky.
* Drop by tablespoonful onto ungreased baking sheet.
* Flatten with fingers, cookies will not spread during baking.
* Bake at 350 degrees for 25 minutes.
* Remove to wire rack to cool.

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Colorful Cutout Cookies

3/4 cup margarine, softened
1 package (0.3 ounces) mixed fruit sugar-free gelatin
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder

* In a mixing bowl, cream together the margarine and gelatin. * Beat in the egg and vanilla.
* Mix together the flour and baking powder.
* Add to the egg mixture, mixing well.
* Chill for 1 hour.
* Preheat your oven to 400.
* Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to 1/4 inch thickness.
* Cut out cookies with cookie cutters.
* Place the cookies on an ungreased baking sheet and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned and the cookies are set.
* Cool on wire racks. Cookies are better served at room temp.

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Mashed ’Nana muffins

1 1/2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup wheat bran
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup applesauce
1/4 cup molasses
2 bananas
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 egg

* Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
* Grease muffin tins, or use muffin liners.
* In large bowl, combine applesauce, 1 egg, molasses, bananas, and vanilla until smooth.
* Add cinnamon if desired. Mix in oats, bran cereal, baking powder, and salt.
* Fill muffin liners halfway with batter. Sprinkle with sugar substitute on top if desired.
* Bake for 20 to 25 minutes in the preheated oven, until edges are light brown.

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Oatmeal Breakfast Bars

1/2 cup honey
1 cup Yogurt, plane or Vanilla
2 egg whites
2 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon
6 cup rolled oats

* Pre-heat the oven to 325.
* Grind about 3 cups of the oats to yield 1 1/2 cups of oat flour. They process well in a mini-chopper.
* Mix all wet ingredients and fold in dry.
* Spread into a greased (non-stick spray) 9x13 pan.
* Bake at 325 for about 30 minutes, or until golden.
* Let cool and cut into 12 squares.

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Spinish Balls

10 ounce bag of baby spinach
four pieces of wheat bread
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
1 container (14oz) firm tofu
4 egg yolks

* Chop bread & seasoning in a food processor until it is a bread crumb consistency.
* Remove to a small bowl.
* Process spinach in batches until chopped and remove to a bigger bowl.
* Process tofu until it is smooth, then add to spinach along with the egg yolks and one cup of bread crumb mixture.
* Mix well, and form into small balls.
* Roll each spinach ball in the remaining bread crumb mixture and place in a baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
* Spray the spinach balls with cooking spray and bake at 400 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

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Spinish Carrot Pancakes
(Can also be applies to waffles)

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. cinnamon.
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1 egg
1/4 cup milk
1 cup pureed carrots
1 cup pureed spinish
2 tablespoons oil

* In a mixing bowl stir together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt.
* In another bowl, beat together the egg, milk, carrots, & spinish.
* Add this to the dry ingredients and stir until combined.
* Using a large skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of oil over medium heat.
* Pour the batter by tablespoons into the pan, making a few pancakes at a time.
* Cook about 2 minutes on each side and golden brown.
* Add the remaining oil to the pan as needed.
* Serve immediately

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Marine Corps Recruiting

Why Recruiting?
♦ Enhances a Marine’s career
♦ Make him or her more competitive for promotion
♦ Recruiters receive $450 a month in special duty assignment pay (highest of all SDA pay)
♦ They are non-deployable for three years
♦ Can apply for a duty station preference upon the successful completion of their tour.

How to become a Marine Recruiter
♦ Meet with your Monitor
♦ Request an AA (Administrative Action) Form to be filed, applying for "3 Years Active Duty Special Work".
♦ After AA Form is filed, the "Special Duty Assignments Unit, Enlisted Assignments Branch" will identify those Marines eligible for recruiting duty through the "HRST screening process".
♦ If found eligible for Recruiting Duty you will be required to Reenlistment for J9F/Recruiting Duty.
♦ Once the proper paperwork gets pushed through (1-3 months) you will be allotted a slot in MOS School 8411 at MCRD San Diego in California.

MOS: 8411
School Location: MCRD San Diego, Ca
Classes Per Year: 7 Week
Duration: 37 Training Days
Hours of Instruction: 280
Learning Objectives: 732
Average Class Size: 220
Maximum Capacity: 240

The Performance evaluations consist of:
a) Communication Skills
b) Professional Selling Skills CORE
c) Telephone Techniques
d) Benefit Tags
e) High School Talk Presentation

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Interesting Milk Info.

Repost From:

The sounds of children splashing and diving boards springing and "daddy
watch me" fill this first day of summer, Father’s Day, as I write this
first newsletter heralding the formation of the Dairy Education Board.
Splash, spring, "daddy," and then a sound that brings joy and mouth
watering anticipation to children of all ages... ring, ring, ring... the
ice cream truck is here. Children fly across the large grass lawn of
our town pool, towels draping shoulders and dollar bills flapping in
tiny hands, as they run towards their reward.

One wise twelve-year-old male squeals with bitter sarcasm at my youngest
daughter, "Got milk?" Others snicker as my three girls look for
somewhere to hide. It’s not easy having the NOTMILKMAN as your father.

On Monday Beatlemania comes to New York for a Linda McCartney memorial
service. She was a breast cancer victim, a vegetarian activist who
endorsed the consumption of milk and dairy products. Did Linda know
that cow’s milk contains a hormone that is the key factor in the growth
and proliferation of every breast cancer? That hormone, insulin-like
growth factor-I (IGF-I), is an exact match between humans and cows. Did
Linda or her oncologists realize that every twelve-ounce glass of milk
doubles the amount of this naturally occurring growth hormone in her own
body, a hormone that makes existing breast cancers grow? Did Linda know
that one percent of women between the ages of 40 and 50 are clinically
diagnosed with breast cancer but that nearly forty percent of women in
that age group have existing cancer in their breasts... waiting to grow
... waiting for something to light that "fuse" of magnificent cellular

Yesterday, Saturday, I solved another mystery. One more demon flies out
of this Pandora’s box of dairy industry secrets. I had written in my
book, MILK--The Deadly Poison, of a day in Chicago in 1985 when milk was
incorrectly pasteurized and 185,000 people got salmonella. Four of
those trusting milk drinkers died. I wrote, "Nobody kept records of
leukemia or tuberculosis deaths." I was wrong. Yesterday a Chicago
journalist, Barbara Mullarkey called. She had the records. She
presented the raw data. Numbers do not lie. The population of Illinois
remained about the same from 1980 to 1990 while Chicago’s population
decreased. It would be a natural assumption to expect that the number
of leukemia and tuberculosis rates remained neutral or declined as a
factor of the population statistics. Virgil Hulse, MD, had written in
Mad Cows and Milk Gate that most of the dairy cows in America had bovine
leukemia, bovine immunodeficiency virus or bovine tuberculosis. We
drink body fluids from diseased animals in the name of good health.

What happened in Illinois? Leukemia deaths increased by ten percent and
tuberculosis deaths increased by thirty percent!

Rest in peace, Linda. Rest in peace... children of Chicago whose
parents had no clue as to the etiology of their ailments. Enjoy,
children of my neighbors, the fat and cholesterol and growth hormones
and allergenic proteins in that ice cream... who ignorantly ridicule my
girls for not doing the same.


Robert Cohen
Executive Director
Dairy Education Board

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Christmas Update

So we're FINALLY home from our vacation... Man, I never thought i'd be saying this but, i'm soooo glad to be back in Norfolk... Now I'll probably be rethinking that statement in a week, but the past 3+ weeks have just been SOOOO incredibly stressful... UGH... So our Christmas festivities started on the 14th where we opened presents here at the house before going on vacation. I got Mike a Boflex and some Browns stuff to decorate the garage with.

On the 16th we drove to Cleveland (It took us 9 hrs) and we stayed there over night in Mike's friend's house. The next morning, we left at 5am and caught a flight to Los Angalas. Like I expected it was chaotic at the air port... I guess I don't really have room to complain, it was just general stereotypical rudeness from airline employees.

So whatever. So California was fun. Spent a lot of time with my family, Drove up to LA one day and showed Mike around Hollywood since he had never been there before. We went window-shoping at Hollywood and Highland, didn't buy anything, but they had nice Xmas decorations. We walked down to Groman's and decided it was waaaaaay too packed so we ended up gettin in the car and drivin up towards Beverly Hills where I SWEAR I saw Tommy Hilfiger! Well anyway, after we drove around lookin at rich people's houses for a while, we drove to a small cemitary called Pierce Bros Westwood Village Memorial Park where Marilyn Monroe, Donna Reed, Dean Martin, Natalie Wood, Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Rodney Dangerfield, and a BUNCH more are buried. That was pretty neat.

Later that week we took Makayla to Crystal Court to see Santa... Yeah, she didn't seem to care for him too much... I think Santa may have been drunk, he was just REALLY weird. Other then that, Makayla seemed to enjoy Christmas. She decided that she LOVES opening presents, which was great cuz she had MORE then enough to open at my mom's house.

So we left Cali on the 27th, like early early in the morning. OMG, that was the worst experience I've EVER had at an airport! First, it was early, dark, windy and really cold outside. My mom talked me into checking in with those guys who stand outside by the curb (don't know what they're called) cuz supposedly they don't weigh your crap cuz we were like all worried that our luggage would be over the 50 lb limit that Continental allows. Well the guy ends up weighing it and tells us that he can't help us and just turns his back. After standing there like a couple schmucks cuz Me and Mike have got the baby and 6 bags, finally the guy tells us to move and says he'll help drag our bags inside to the check baggage line cuz they probably wont weigh them. SO we weight in line FOR EVER, finally we get up there, the guy puts our bags on the scale, but hanging half off, it says "43 lbs" he pulls it off and just as he's about to tag it, the IDIOT from out front comes up to him, whispers something in his ear and the guy puts out bag BACK on the scale and says "it's 65lbs, that's gunna be a $25 charge" OMG I was soooooo MAD! If that IDIOT from out front hadn't said anything, we wouldn't have been charged cuz that guy didn't give a crap. Well then the idiot tells him to weigh our other large bag cuz it was heavy and walked away... Well surprise surprise it was 55lbs, so we were charged another $25! So that just ruined the whole flight for me. So when we get to Cleveland and we're standing there weighting for our bags to come around on the little convayer belt thingy... Well low and behold, here comes my bag, OPEN with all my crap SPILLING out!!! Those idiots charged me $25 cuz it was "heavy" and then they must have grabbed it by the zipper and completely broke it! THEN my BRAND NEW BAG (the other one I was charged $25 for) comes around and has got a huge hole in the freakin front of it!!! So I guess I pay $50 for them to TRASH my bags?!? Oh but it gets better! I go to complain, and I'm told that they will NOT repair it or cover the charges cuz they were "full"!!! So I don't know what I'm gunna do about that... They just ruined my two largest suit-cases and... Ugh, I just don't know... That hole thing just irritates me...

Anywayz, we spent a week in Cleveland with Mike's family. Didn't do a whole lot, just went between his family and friend's houses. So we finally get home... I go to relax and I mean just to top off everything... Mike's goin through the mail and I guess RIGHT after we left the AZ DMV sent us a letter saying that they were doin random insurance checks and if we didn't mail that letter back with proof of insurance within 15 days our registration would be canceled... Well it's been WELL over 15 days... GREAT so who cares that we JUST payed for a 2 year registration 2 months ago, it's invalid now! Now we get to go and pay $200 or whatever for a VA registration. So yeah, after a 3+ week vacation i'm definably glad to be home. There's so much I have to do, i'd like to get as much as I can done tomorrow, before Mike's gotta go check back in on Thursday.