Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Inspiring Words...

As I perused a site called Grace Gems today, I came across this excerpt from "Home-Making" by J.R. Miller from 1882. It inspired me, so I thought I'd share it.

Four walls do not make a home

Four walls do not make a home—though it is a palace filled with all the elegances which wealth can buy! The home-life itself is more important than the house and its adornments. By the home-life, is meant the happy art of living together in tender love. We enter some homes, and they are full of sweetness—as fields of summer flowers are full of fragrance. All is order, beauty, gentleness and peace. We enter other homes, where we find jarring, selfishness, harshness and disorder. This difference is not accidental. They are influences at work in each home, which yield just the result we see in each. No home-life can ever be better than the life of those who make it.

Homes are the real schools in which men and women are trained—and fathers and mothers are the real teachers and builders of life! Sadly, the goal which most parents have for their home—is to have as good and showy a house as they can afford, furnished in as rich a style as their means will warrant, and then to live in it as comfortably as they are able, without too much exertion or self-denial.

But the true idea of a Christian home, is that it is a place for spiritual growth. It is a place for the parents themselves to grow—to grow into beauty of character, to grow in spiritual refinement, in knowledge, in strength, in wisdom, in patience, gentleness, kindliness, and all the Christian graces and virtues. It is a place for children to grow—to grow into physical vigor and health, and to be trained in all that shall make them true and noble men and women.

A true home is set up and all its life ordered—for the definite purpose of training, building up and sending our human lives fashioned into Christlike symmetry, filled with lofty impulses and aspirations, governed by principles of rectitude and honor, and fitted to enter upon the duties and struggles of life with spiritual wisdom and strength.

Pioneer Woman Cooks

Okay, so, I really don't cook much.   Shh.... don't tell the other Creative Homemakers!   Really what I do these days is "prepare" or "assemble."  Yes, again, I'm mother of the year.

Anyway, there's a website I'm semi-obsessed with, called The Pioneer Woman.   She has this incredible love story all chronicled on her website, but today we're going to talk about her cooking.    She's a really talented photographer AND cook, so the combo is, shall we say, delicious.

While I must confess I've never made anything on this website, it looks simple, beautiful and delicious, so maybe it'll be inspiring to all of you GOOD mommies!

There are photos of all of them and it's just the kind of cooking I'd do if I cooked more!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008


Check this out:. It tells you how to simplify text messages with something called Jott. I have to say that no one ever texts me. Is that a generational thing or am I just not very popular? Anyway, this is fascinating!

Stacking Toys

Finding out that a classic toy benefits my child makes my day! This post from Conscious Play tells how a stacking toy helps children from a motor perspective. Interesting!

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Hooray for Home Depot!

I know you all think I've gone off the deep end, but this is really important!

As I posted earlier, I'm a little worried about all those compact fluorescent light bulbs, because they contain mercury - a potent neurotoxin - which means if these bulbs break, in our homes or in the trash, you have to go through a big ordeal evacuating the house, etc.   Plus, if they're thrown in the trash, they'll certainly end up breaking and the mercury will spill into our water, soil and air.

I'm thrilled to hear that Home Depot has just announced that that every single one of their stores will be recycling old CFL bulbs!    Just bring any unbroken CFL bulb to the returns desk, and voila!   Hooray!  

FYI - the new energy-efficient halogen lightbulbs by Phillips don't contain mercury and are much safer.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Kold Sore

My eighteen month old baby boy suffers from a chronic diaper rash. Dr. Smith's, the magic ointment that always did the trick for my older child didn't do a thing. We've been through tube after tube of the special prescription cream that our pediatrician has prescribed. It works a little bit, but not great and not for long. Supposedly, one of the best things you can do for diaper rash is to let them go au natural a lot to dry it out. We did that and still, that persistent rash. Finally, I knew we had to try something else. So, I called Dr. Park. He is an acupuncturist and wholistic doctor here in Dallas. He is the doctor who gave me the herbs to help me get pregnant and they worked! Anyway, he said he had something he thought would help the diaper rash. It's called Kold Sore. At $15 a bottle, I was at his office that morning with the cure. It's a miracle. My little guy's diaper rash is so much better--almost completely gone! It's all natural--drug free. Today, his office called to see how the baby was doing--yes, that's how wonderful these people are. I told them how I was amazed. They said that Kold Sore works on all kinds of skin irritations--cold sores (the name might give that one away), mouth ulcers, cuts, and scrapes, etc. I love it when a problem is finally solved! And just think how happy my baby is!

Friday, July 11, 2008

My favorite purchase from NYC

I just got back from a FUN visit to New York!    I'm still in re-entry mode, so for now, I'll just leave you with a photo of my favorite purchase from NYC...

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Detox: the series begins

I am the proud mama of two sweet little boys.   My older son, we'll call him "Big T", has autism.

So many people ask me what I think causes autism, so I'll give you my opinions here on "A Mama Told Me" from time to time.     Keep in mind these are my opinions, based on my research and consultations with doctors and experts (and a bunch of other people WAY smarter than I am) - but if this was all cut and dry simple, we'd have figured it out by now.  So here goes:   

Genetic predisposition + environmental insult = Autism.

I believe some children are less able to detoxify all the gunk we put in our bodies.  So when the are exposed to outside toxins, their bodies can't filter and excrete the gunk out as fast as it's coming in, and they get pushed past their "toxic tipping point", and descend into autism.

Kind of like someone born with a deadly peanut allergy.    Genetics, plus the toxic insult (in this case, peanuts) causes a terrible reaction.

And I agree with a lot of the newer research that says that the autism spectrum is really a long line - with ADHD/allergies/asthma at one end, and full-syndrome, non-verbal autism at the other.     So maybe a child who would have just been "ADHD" would be pushed down into autism after a toxic exposure, and perhaps a completely healthy child is pushed into ADHD or allergies and asthma.

I know, I know, I sound like a nut.   This, coming from the chick who's always preferred the indoors, welcomed all chemicals, and loves air conditioning.   I never even used to wash my produce.   (Except when I had company, of course.)

But I believe this is very real, and our children are the canaries in the coal mine.

But don't freak out - all we need to do is to try to be better than we were before.   In the coming weeks, I'll post about ideas for reducing our toxic loads that even lazy moms like me can do. 

For now, if you're totally antsy to learn more, visit www.tacanow.com for lots of info.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Don't Laugh! The "Ped Egg"

Okay, so maybe I don't get out much.    At least, not to hip cool night spots.   But I have been wearing these cute Tory Burch flip-flops almost every day this summer, and I've really started to notice my "you're not so young and dewy anymore" rough feet.

It was time to take action.   I was in Target (where I can be found at least several times a week) and I saw this:   the Ped Egg

  It's the best!    It is easy to use, it totally works, and it even contains all the "dust" (let's just call it that so we can avoid being gross) inside the egg, so it doesn't make a mess!

My feet are smooth again!   All is well.  ;)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

ML's Pineapple Casserole

Rocks in My Dryer is having a Five-Ingredient-or-Less Entry Day for Works-for-Me-Wednesday. Here is a super easy crowd pleaser. Our friend ML gave us this one. You can serve it as a dessert, but it's meant to be a sidedish.

Pineapple Casserole
30 oz. can pineapple chunks (or tidbits)
1 stick butter
2 cups sugar
4 beaten eggs
4 slices of white bread (cubed; no crust)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Let butter soften. Drain pineapple. Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs, bread, and pineapple. Pour into greased casserole dish and bake for 45-60 minutes at 325 degrees.