Friday, June 26, 2009

Crazy Kid Nightmares: Flushing Friends

My daughter had another crazy nightmare. She dreamed one of her best friends ("Eve") was being flushed down the toilet. She kept repeating, "Eve...down...toilet."

Eventually, I convinced her Eve was safe at home sleeping. She was really surprised by that.

The next day, whenever she went to the bathroom, she looked at the toilet fearfully, and said, "Eve flushed down toilet?"

I have now convinced her that neither she nor her smaller friend could fit down the drain.

But what will she come up with next? I personally had recurring dreams about a family of alligators that lived under the bathroom sink. How about you?

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My Husband is a Volleyball Model

My husband is a volleyball model. Sort of.

Photo-blogger Steve Manuel posted a photo of my husband digging a ball at the ocean front.
Look at those lines and angles! It's a work of art.

Visit the blog, Manuel's Views, for more great photos.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Feeling Good and Loving It

On this blog I've talked about my problems with food allergies and medications. If you've followed HollyTriedIt for awhile, you know I had sinus surgery last year. And recently, I had a Vitamin D deficiency. What you've never read on my blog is..."I feel good!"

But I do! I really do!

Tonight, I played soccer with my husband and daughter. No pain, no weakness, just energy and laughter.

I want to hear a collective blogosphere cheer celebrating with me.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Tissue Bugs

Don't worry, tissue bugs are not some new form of bed bugs or dust mites that will traumatize your nose and psychie. Tissue bugs are not some new way to transmit swine flu, avian flu or any other form of pandemic flu. "Tissue bugs" is simply the name my daughter gave...lint. Kleenex lint to be precise. Pull a tissue out, and voila, thousands of them are released into the air.

My husband told her that it was actually lint, but I loved "tissue bugs" so I started calling it that. My daughter promptly corrected me, "Mommy, it's lints!"

Monday, May 11, 2009

Do You Ever Get Lost Following Your Dreams?

All my life I've been a dreamer. In 3rd grade I dreamed of opening an orphanage (like George Mueller). In sixth grade I dreamed of being an Olympic gymnast (like Mary Lou Rhetton) and an Olympic luge racer. Come on, it's possible! One's a winter sport and one's a summer sport.

In high school I wanted to fit in while standing out (like...I don't know, Anne of Green Gables?) In college, I dreamed of being a camp director...and leading a life free of pain.

In grad school, I wanted to get a Master's Degree to pave the way out of a dead end job. A job that I could throw my heart and soul into, without being hampered by my body. Being a camp director just didn't seem possible when my body was wracked by pain and I never knew when I would be hit with hypoglycemia s0 overpowering that I couldn't stay awake (Turns out, it was severe allergies).

Then I dreamed of writing books or being a successful blogger (like Dooce without all the hate mail or Robin McKinley without vampires.). Now I dream about being cured of food allergies and gorging on Pizza Hut Meat Lovers Pizza without falling into a two-day coma-like sleep.

Turns out that my dreams were getting less....well, dreamy. Life got in the way of my dreams. But I'm not the only one who got lost while following their dreams. Blogger b(LIST)fulness examines a similar situation in her post Sometime Dreams Just Might Get in the Way of Your Dreams.

"I realized that it had been a long time since I had allowed myself to dream. Somehow I had become focused on everything that might prohibit my dreams from becoming reality."
And I read this Twitter post -
Mike_Wesely#QUOTE: "What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it." ~ Author Unknown
So now, I'm re-evaluating. What is my dream? A job I love? Hours and hours of time with my family every day? Hours and hours sitting in a beach chair sipping fruity drinks? How do you balance multiple dreams?

If you have the answer for my life, feel free to let me know!

Twitter Users in this Post:

Friday, March 27, 2009

"Wedgie! Wedgie!" - Why I Purchased Cloth Diapers

The Wedie Issue
Every night, put a pull-up on my almost-three daughter. And every night she screams, "Wedgie! Wedgie!" She yanks at her pull-up and begs us to fix her wedgie. This was pretty first. But the awful pull-ups were keeping her from falling asleep.

In a last-ditch effort to have my daughter asleep before Lost starts, I purchased cloth diapers from CottonBabies. I talked them up all week. "Your new, soft diapers are going to be here soon. No more wedgies!" She was thrilled when the box arrived and she loves choosing which color to wear. She still cries, "Wedgie!" But only once, and it's easily corrected with a tug here or there. I can really focus on the problems in Dharmaville.

Catapulting Poop
Now, I considered that I might have to clean poop from these cloth diapers, and then brushed that thought aside. She never poops at night. Well, she didn't until night two in her comfy-cozy BumgeniusMoonbeam diaper. I had discovered these amazing Archer Farms Fruit Bars at Target. Munchkin loved them as much as I did and seems to have inherited my propensity to consume in bulk any food I enjoy and am not allergic to. Next morning at 5:45 a little voice wakes me from sleep, "I pooped in my diaper." Great. I took her to the bathroom. The diaper came off easily without making a mess. I turned it over to dump it in the toilet and SNAP the poop flew off the diaper and landed with a splat on my bathroom rug. Munchkin screamed, "Too bright!" and turned off the lights...It didn't go very well after that.

Twitter users in this post:

Mommy Bloggers--How Do You Do It?

I have been absent from the blogging world for awhile. At least one member of my family has been sick every other week since Christmas. During that time, I had a short-lived attempt to workout every weekday morning. It failed after two weeks because I was sick. The second attempt failed after 1 or 2 days because my daughter was sick and then I was sick.

On a happier note, I started a Girls Only Game Night to add some much needed fun. Amazingly, I didn't have to cancel any of them due to myself being sick. But just about every time, some one called in sick...with morning sickness.

Tonight, both my husband and my daughter are sick. But they are cozily snuggled up in their beds, so now, I am free to blissfully blog.

All this makes me do mommy bloggers do it?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Flirting: 10 Years Later

When I first met the man I married, flirting took the expected forms: a look, a compliment, a gift, or a touch. But things are different 10 years and child later. I thought flirting might be over (at least until she leaves for college).

But it turns out, we still flirt, we've just developed a more sophisticated love language. I'll cook dinner when I want him to know I think he's awesome and horribly handsome. I send him out for extra competitive man time on the volleyball court, or I take out the trash (at the exact moment before it would overflow. Not a moment sooner, not a moment later. That's how he likes it done. Got to save those trash bags!).

He cooks me dinner (most of the time), makes a blazing fire in the fireplace, and puts our daughter to bed so I can relax. Because really, relaxing and unwinding is a huge gift to me. Better than a bouquet of flowers and as good as a Wii.

Has your flirting become more sophisticated over the years?

Friday, March 13, 2009

T-BOW Strength Training Workout

After another go-round with yet another bug, I managed to work out again. Yeah! It feels so great. I chose the T-BOW Strength Training workout because I wanted to compare working out with exercise bands to lifting weights.

Exercise Bands
The T-Bow has three slots on each side of it for securing the bands. The bands slide in easily, and you can increase the tension of the band by looping it through two slots.The bands feel different than free weights as you lift and lower. The difficulty seems to be spread more evenly over the whole range of motion. But, bands tend to get in the way more than free weights. Sometimes they rub on your thighs or ankles or arms...just about anywhere. Then I had to readjust my hand grip and shift my body. It was workable, just a little annoying at times.

The bands were tough and my muscles occasionally got the shakes. It was funny to watch my arm spasm from pulling on a tiny (but powerful) band.

The Workout
The strength training workout works the back and shoulders hard. It incorporates multiple exercises that had my back screaming. Which is good because I'm developing a computer slump. Bring on the back exercises! It also was amazing for ab work. The extra tension of the bands gave me something to focus on. It made it easier to move smoothly through the range of motion rather than jerking and using momentum. Maybe it's all in my head, but it works for me!

The stretch at the end was thorough and relaxing. I liked stretching each muscle group multiple times instead of doing multiple stretches at once.

Short Review
I'll include this strength training workout in my rotation every week or two. The back exercises alone have me hooked.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

I Worked Out on the T-BOW...and I Liked It!

Swiss TTP sent me a T-BOW to try out. It's a great product. Everything about it says, sturdy, safe. When the dome side is up as a step, it is extremely stable. The outside edges or “feet” are wider than the center, stepping portion, so it doesn't tip, even if you step close to the edge. The top is covered with a sturdy, but soft foam to cushion your feet and give extra grip. I really like that feature.

If you are looking to incorporate an incline into your normal step routine, or if you want an unstable surface to challenge your core, this is the perfect product.

The T-BOW comes with several workouts: cardio, strength-training, stretching, and a back workout. The style of workout is relax with very few pyramiding sequences. It's easy to follow, even when you are half asleep at 5:30 a.m. There's nothing fancy about the video. It appears to be filmed in a workout studio, or maybe the lobby of the studio. That said, the choreography is effective and easy to follow. Just don't expect any 1980's FIRM mansion sets.

The instructor leads the workout in German and English at the same time! I feel like I'm multi-tasking and learning a second language while I exercise. I find myself saying “Fas” and "Bitten miten" for an hour or two later. It makes me smile, but I'm pretty sure it irritates my sleepy husband.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

I Need to Check My Oat-Mail!

Tonight, I was turning off the computer when Munchkin got upset. "Wait, I need to check my Oat-Mail!"

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Symptoms of Food Sensitivities/Allergies

Many people ask me what happens if I eat a food to which I'm allergic. That's tough to answer because each allergy causes a different reaction. And it's different for everyone. I do have reactions that are approaching anaphylactic, but that's rare for me.

For all those who are wondering why I choose to refrain from the amazing goodness of breaded cheese sticks and marinara sauce (Oh, I miss you!), here is a list of possible side effects created by Margaret Evans of Dynamic Choices.


  • itching—any body part
  • eczema
  • recurrent hives
  • fungal infections (athlete's foot or yeast infections)
  • excessive sweating particularly at night
  • acne
  • family history of skin problems
  • skin problems as a baby

B ) Nervous System

  • headaches
  • migraines
  • difficulty sleeping
  • excessive tiredness
  • sensitive to cold or heat
  • nightmares
  • mood swings
  • negative, apathetic attitude
  • difficulty learning sequential concepts such as telling time
  • poor memory
  • weak organizational skills
  • unexplained crying spells
  • angry outbursts
  • restlessness
  • short attention span
  • unusual twitches or tics
  • outbursts of foul language
  • unusual repetitive behaviours
  • learning disabilities
  • hyperactive behaviour
  • excessive sensitivity to being touched
  • diagnosed with autism by physician

C ) Eyes and Vision

  • increased sensitivity to light
  • excessive blinking
  • excessive rubbing of eyes
  • tired, watery eyes
  • itchy or red eyes
  • dark circles or bags under eyes
  • difficulty following moving objects with eyes
  • difficulty keeping place when reading
  • crossed eyes

D ) Ears

  • chronic ear infections
  • decreased ability to hear
  • increased sensitivity to noise
  • ringing in the ears
  • repeated courses of antibiotics
  • date of 1st dose of antibiotics

E ) Nose

  • chronic stuffy, runny nose
  • repeated rubbing and itching
  • excessive sneezing
  • repeated sinus infections
  • reduced or heightened sense of smell
  • nose bleeds
  • pain from blocked sinuses

F ) Mouth and Throat

  • bad taste in mouth
  • bad breath
  • chronic tonsillitis
  • hoarse voice
  • persistent and recurrent canker sores
  • constant clearing of throat
  • swollen, red, cracked lips
  • excessive thirst, particularly for carbonated drinks
  • sucking on fingers or clothes

G ) Lungs

  • persistent cough, particularly at night
  • family history of asthma
  • asthma (diagnosed by MD)
  • recurrent croup as a child
  • recurrent bronchitis
  • recurrent pneumonia
  • taking asthma medications

H ) Digestive Tract

  • bloating and excessive gas
  • recurrent hiccoughs
  • increased or decreased appetite
  • itchy, red, area around anus
  • recurrent diarrhea
  • recurrent constipation
  • chronic stomach aches
  • tendency to become overweight easily
  • underweight for age
  • soiling of underwear with feces
  • hemorrhoids
  • history of colic as an infant
  • family history of digestive complaints
  • chronic esophageal reflux

I ) Muscles and Joints

  • swollen feet and legs
  • cold hands and feet
  • muscles cramps and spasms, particularly at night
  • muscle stiffness, particularly in the morning
  • sore, aching muscles
  • muscle weakness on exertion
  • numbness in fingers or toes
  • fibromyalgia

J ) Urinary and Genital Tract

  • frequent need to urinate
  • bed wetting past age 3
  • wetting during the day past age 3
  • urgent need to urinate
  • history of recurrent bladder infections
  • red, inflamed genital area
  • itchy genital area
  • heavy or irregular menstrual periods
  • increase or decrease in sex drive
  • genital sores
  • recurrent vaginal yeast infections
  • HIV positive

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

How Do You Help Your Food Allergic Child Resist Temptation?

Food allergies are tought to deal with. Especially, when you are trying to protect your child. Munchkin is allergic to peanuts. She's young enough that she mostly just accepts it if I say she can't eat something. But I know it will get tougher on her, and me, as she gets older.

Besides the obvious difficulties (she has to avoid certain foods and she will never eat Moosetracks Ice Cream) are the emotional difficulties. Eventually, she will feel different because of her food allergy. Eventually, she will feel restricted by her food allergy. Think about it. It's your first date and your so nervous you can barely eat...but, you have to make sure you go to a restaurant that doesn't cook with peanut oil and then order something that has no possiblity of being contaminated with peanuts. That's a lot of pressure when you're trying to keep up a conversation with the amazing creature who turns your brain into mush!

And then, many people around your child will try to convince them to eat the food they are allergic, too! It's crazy, I know. But for some reason, people don't believe that food allergies are serious and they try to get you to eat what you shouldn't. And they poke fun of you for your diet. This happens to me a lot. It's not mean-spirited, but it would be tough on a young child and harder on a teen.

If you're wondering how to help your child deal with food allergies, here is a great comment I found posted at BabyShrink. It was written by Margaret Evans of Dynamic Choices.

Addressing food allergies and sensitivities is worth every minute you spend figuring out how to do it! I am a nurse, a life coach and a mom of 4 grown children who faced these challenges. Their health, their happiness and their behaviour were transformed when I removed the offending foods from their diet.

They did follow the diet through their school age and adolescent years and continue to make healthy choices in adulthood. How do you do it:

1. You make an unwavering commitment to it as a mother and resist the temptation to give in.
2. You connect to what you value and what is important to you and this is what you focus on when the going gets tough. You do the same with your child.
3. You help your young child to role play the various experiences she might come up against so she has a repertoire of answers for other people’s questions and comments
3. You create delicious and healthy alternatives so your kids don’t feel deprived. There are loads of resources out there to do that. Giving them carrots sticks won’t work!
4. You enlist their participation in cooking and in creating alternatives for birthday parties etc.
5. You offer empathy for their circumstance and give space for their feelings but you don’t allow them to turn it into a long sob story. Everyone has challenges so help them find the resilience to manage theirs. This builds life skills that stretch far beyond the issue of food.
6. Find support. It might be your friend, your mother, or someone else in your kid’s class facing similar experiences. This topic is now very common in the world so find someone to talk to.

I have loads of experience and wisdom on this topic and am delighted to share it. Please check out my website at for some downloadable ideas. Print off the signs and symptoms sheet and see how many things on the list you tick off! I coach people one on one and in groups to identify the offending foods and to remove it in a way that is successful in the midst of their busy life.

How might your life and the life and potential of your child be different if you removed that offending food in a positive way?
I challenge you to be creative and find the way to do it - your child’s health and happiness will be profoundly impacted.

Margaret Evans R.N., B.S.N., C.P.C.C.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Waking Up with the T-BOW

In early January, I decided to exercise every morning before work. (No, the decision had nothing to do with a New Year's Resolution. I have learned to reject that particular guilt-inducing practice.) It was great--for two weeks--and then I got sick. And then Munchkin got sick. And then I got sick, again. And the cycle repeated itself, over and over. Finally, a month later, I worked out before work.

It's been torture being sick, because I had a new bright orange T-BOW calling to me. "Come on, Holly. You know you want to try me." I did preview the videos. But this morning, I got to workout on the T-BOW.

I chose the Wake Up routine. It was only 16 minutes long. I was pretty confident I could handle that, even after a month without exercising. I whipped through the workout and decided to try a second. Apparently, the routine energized me. But, I chose the next workout which was only 15 minutes and just happened to be stretching and relaxing. And that worked, too. I was relaxed, and sleepy, when I finished it. Note to self: save relaxation workouts for evening.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell, Tinker All the Way

Munchkin made up her own song around Christmas time. Of course, the song was influenced by the season and her obsession with Tinkerbell. Over the past couple months it has evolved (with her dad's help). Tonight, they taught the words to me.

Tinkerbell, Tinkerbell,
Tinker all the way.
Oh what fun to laugh in play
In Pixie Hollow all day.

In case you're bad with tunes (like me) this lovely song is sung to the tune of "Jingle Bells."

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

New device allows you to charge your laptop with foot pedal.

Finally, a way to surf and blog and maintain a great bod at the same time! This compact device called the YoGen Max from a company called Easy Energy allows you to charge up your laptop anywhere in the world with the power of your foot. If you are at an airport with no outlets in sight or on a plane and you don’t mind looking a bit silly and getting weird looks this could be perfect for you.

read more | digg story

Saturday, January 24, 2009

And an Ice Skater is Born

Tonight I introduced Munchkin to ice skating. Ice dancing to be precise. Within a few minutes of watching the dancers twirling and doing lifts in their sparkly costumes she made a decision.
"Mommy, I do that on TV. And Frankie [our weiner dog] watch me."

She immediately put on her ballerina dress and had me spin her around the room...and yes, throw her over my should like a real ice skating lift.

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to Save Money on Salon Hair Color

I freely admit it. I've chemically altered my hair since I was in my early 20s. My first gray hair sprouted when I was 17. By the time I was 21, college classmates were plucking the growing population of grays during boring classes. By the time I was 24, my husband (who towers over the top of my head by an additional 13 inches) asked me to do something about it. I couldn't blame him. When he looked at me, he saw gray hair first. So I highlighted.

And then I tried at-home color. It was cheap, but the results weren't great. It faded quickly. The color was flat. And then I developed an allergy to it. (a story for another time).

So I switched to professional hair coloring. Wow! The results were incredible. The softness, the shine! I was hooked. But, wow, the cost began adding up. So in an effort to avoid going au naturale with my hair, I asked Salon Mosaic for some suggestions to saving money on hair color.

Ways to Save on Professional Hair Color:

  1. Use a top level stylist in the salon to get the hair color right. After you have found a color that looks great on you, switch to a "protege" or entry level stylist in the shop. Applying the color isn't as difficult as getting the color formula right. Highlights can be more challenging, so you can ask for the protege to apply the color and your favorite expert to apply the highlights.
  2. Don't get a full color job every time you go in. I use a three-visit cycle. Visit one: Full hair color and highlights. Visit two: color on the roots only. Visit three: color and highlights on the roots only. And then I start the cycle over.
  3. Don't be shy. Let them know you want to save money on your color. They want you to come back, so they can give you suggestions for your style.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

TinkerBell: A great movie with bottom-heavy fairies

My daughter loves the Disney movie, TinkerBell. I'm not generally a huge fan of Disney cartoons because they have creepy villains. Not what I need my imaginative two-year-old watching.

But TinkerBell is different in many ways. The villains are "sprinting thistles" that even a two-year-old finds humorous. The main character is feminine and very handy with a hammer. But I think my favorite thing about it (besides the fact that using it as a reward potty-trained my daughter) is the bottom-heavy fairies. Yes, these fairies have hips! And not perfectly proportioned Barbie-doll hips. They are definite A body shapes--just like me.

If you haven't watched TinkerBell yet, check it out before TinkerBell and the Lost Treasure come out in Fall 2009.

Monday, January 19, 2009

New Blog Posts Coming Soon!

I haven't been able to post as much recently because I'm learning how to fit daily exercise into my Working Mom life. And I had my parents visiting. I had a weird allergy attack. And well, life happened.

But, I've been collecting information I can't wait to share. Coming soon:

  • Which is better The FIRM WAVE or Swiss TTP T-BOW? Hint: they both have good points.
  • How to shop online for your shape. Use My Shape. This site is great! You enter a plethora of measurements and they give you a personal shape icon. I'm an "A." My beautiful sister is an "S." My mom's an "M." But we can all find clothes that look great , because each item of clothing is marked with all the shapes it will flatter. Oh, those lucky "S's"! I'll be ordering this afternoon. I think it'll be even more helpful as I lose weight and change sizes because I'm working out. Through Monday, January 20, 2009 there is a 2 for 1 sale on Sale Items. Enter the coupon code 2FOR1FUN. If this is your first purchase, also enter WELCOME15 to get a 15% discount.
  • More food allergy information and reviews.
  • And probably much, much more!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Love You This Much!

As I was putting Munchkin to bed, I decided to teach her the "I love you THIS much!" game. I decided to start small with things she could relate to and work up to bigger objects.

"Munchkin, I love you as big as this room!"

"Mommy, I love you as big as room!"

"Munchkin, I love you as big as a tree!"

"Mommy, I love you as big tree!"

I was starting to realize Munchkin wasn't getting the game, but I kept trying, I'm nothing if not determined.

"Munchkin, I love you as big as a lake!"

"Mommy, I love you as big as tree!"

Hmmm...maybe we're getting somewhere...

Then I could see her thinking.

"Mommy, I love you as big as Wal-Mart!"

Monday, January 5, 2009

Mother with the Most Children?

Ever wonder who has the record for the most children born to one mother? It's not Michelle Duggar, although 18 children is impressive. But not that impressive when you consider that the world record holder had that number of children within five pregnancies!

According to Mother's Day Celebration:

Mothers Day Trivia: Highest Recorded Number of Children
The highest officially recorded number of children born to one mother is 69, to the first wife of Feodor Vassilyev (1707-1782) of Shuya, Russia. Between 1725 and 1765, in a total of 27 confinements, she gave birth to 16 pairs of twins, seven sets of triplets, and four sets of quadruplets. 67 of them survived infancy.

Mothers Day Trivia: Highest Number of Children in Modern Times
The modern world record for giving birth is held by Leontina Albina from San Antonio, Chile. Leontina claims to be the mother of 64 children, of which only 55 of them are documented. She is listed in the 1999 Guinness World Records but dropped from later editions.
I'm VERY competitive, but this is one record I'm not even interested in breaking.

Friday, January 2, 2009

I can still read like a girl!

Thanks, Book of Joe, for your post - I wish I could read like a girl discussing the article of that title by Michelle Slatalla in the December 31, 2008 New York Times. (Phew! Now that all the credits are given, let's move on to something interesting.)

In her article, Michelle eloquently bemoans the loss of her childhood ability to lose track of time and place and enter wholely into a work of fiction.

I am not sure when or exactly how I started merely reading books instead of living in them. I could make the usual excuses about how I no longer have the luxury of time to give in to my imagination; when I sit down with a book, I feel the pressure — of unfinished work, unfolded laundry, unpaid bills. But I suppose the true reason is sadder. It’s an inevitable byproduct of growing up that I formed too many opinions of my own to be able to give in wholeheartedly to the prospect of living inside someone else’s universe.
After reading this article, I'm proud to say, "I still read like a girl!" Here's the proof:
  • I have read The Blue Sword by Robin McKinley at least twenty-five times, (the last time while I was pregnant), and still could feel the heat of the desert sun and see the visions from the Meeldtar and feel the confusion of a girl who was a bridge between two nations.
  • Just this week, I read The Fifth Floor by Michael Harvey. When I took a break to sleep, my dreams were filled with the fourteen-year-old who wanted to kill her step-father and the ex-cop who was trying to help her.
  • When I visit the library, I always visit the JA (Junior Adult) section. If teens are browsing, I go to the adult section, and then come back after they're gone. It just feels weird competing with teens for the same books. My most recent discovery, Hilari Bell's Farsala Trilogy. And another great discover, The Thief Lord by Cornelia Funke.
All that to say, I still read like a girl, and I like it! How about you? Has adult experience and responsibility stolen your youthful love of reading? If not, how do you know you still read like a girl?