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The Man Behind The Blog | Vol. 004

Happy Birthday J!!

 This Man Behind the Blog is a little different. One of the best things about this man behind the blog is that he is an amazing father. Don't take my word for it....

How cute is this (not so) little guy?! He gave me permission to put his video on "the dot com". ha ha ha. Before we shot this, we talked about it. He was very loquacious. Turn on the camera and he was shy. Towards the end is very much like the normal Z. Random words and silliness. 

Happy birthday babe. I hope you enjoyed watching this! 

Wordless Wednesday | Spring Wishes


Scrapbooking Saturday | 028

This post should find me in the middle of the mountains of Tennessee. Getting my hiking on. I will be back later next week with a post on that. I will review the trail we are on and post some fun photos. Today though I am going to show you some of my latest digital scrapbooking layouts. In case you did not know, I have a blog dedicated just to that. Shawn Bear Scraps.

I chose this collection because of the bright colors. The Castings' love to wear bright colors! I used Back To The 80's - Bundle & FWP by JB Studio and Neia Scraps and Simple Pleasures - 12x12 Templates by Connie Prince


Proud Mommy Moment

I am SO proud of my son. It is in regards to his reading. I should probably start with a little bit of a back story though. I have always been a bit of a laxidasical parent. Don't get me wrong. The kiddo has rules and those rules are enforced! I am lazy by nature and sometimes that eeks over into..well..everything. (I am working on it!).

The kiddo started pre-k being able to say his ABCs and that is pretty much it. sigh...I know! We learned pretty early on that reading was going to be an issue. Fast forward to Kindergarten.

The kiddo had a terrible kindergarten teacher who clearly preferred girls over boys and I really just think hated her job. That made him learning difficult! We had to read every night at home and it just didn't feel like he was learning much in class. This ended up many night the kiddo and I in tears; and caused the worse mommy moment in my life. Basically I compared him to a family member that learns things so quickly. One of those, "well so-and-so is already at level such-and-such! Why are you not trying harder?!" BAD.MOMMY.MOMENT!!

My kiddo learns like his mommy. We have to work at everything. That being said, we had everyone we could helping him with his reading. It was like pulling teeth! I hated doing homework with him. On to 1st grade

We went into 1st grade a little worried. Maybe it wasn't that terrible teacher. Maybe it was the kiddo and wasn't! His 1st grade teacher was fantastic! He still struggled with reading. It was still pulling teeth. It just wasn't as painful. There was improvement. It was slow improvement though. I had to keep myself in check and not let him see my frustration.

My frustration turned into worry though. Was he just going to hate reading forever? Was he dyslexic? Was this something we were going to have to fight with forever? We plowed through the school year and he made it to the level he was supposed to be on by the end of the year. To keep up with the teeth the skin of them! We made sure that he kept up with his ready the best we could during the summer. We were not going to lose all that progress.

Here we are with 27 days left of his 2nd grade. I am now going to get to why I am so incredibly proud of my son.

We started 2nd grade struggling a bit. He was behind where he should be. The progress was slow and painful (see teeth pulling ^). Then out of no where, something clicked! It was like an overnight thing. He was getting books from the library and reading them...FOR PLEASURE!! That turned into him being given some spending money and him choosing to go to the local book store. What?! He was over the moon excited to get new books. Not just the easy ones either. He was looking for some that would be challenging to him.

He read 2 of the books on the way home from the store. He then took another to my parents house to read with my mom over spring break. We both noticed that not only was he enjoying reading, he was getting really good at it! We basically only had to help him with new and big words. Where used to it was every other word and words like "sit" and "happy". Things he should know but his ability to get distracted at everything (cool photos in the book).

I just knew he was getting better. Well, he started back from spring break Monday. They tested him then. (why they tested him after a week off of school is beyond me). He advanced 2 levels!! 2 levels in one month. Where in the past it took him 2-3 months to advance 1 level. He is where he should be by the end of 2nd grade.

I am SO SO proud of him. Something he worked so hard for and accomplished. He didn't let the struggle (or his mommy's bad mommy moment) slow him down. He kept at it, worked hard and has accomplished it. He has set a goal that by the end of the school year he will be two levels above where he is supposed to be.

I KNOW HE CAN DO IT! I personally think he can be at least 3 above where he is supposed to be.

So proud!

So, what was your latest proud (or bad) mommy moment?


Spring Break | Wordless Wednesday


Gluten Sensitivity & Me

I want to get the have-to's out of the way to start with. I am not a doctor nor am I in the medical field what-so-ever. I am a customer service rep for a manufacturing plant. Just so you know, that means I am not giving you medical advise. I am only telling you my story. ;-)

Now that we got that out of the way (b/c you totally thought I was Dr. La'Shawn. lol). I am dropping by today to tell you about the journey I went through to find out I was sensitive to gluten.

I have been having migraines for as long as I haven't been a child. My introduction into anything other than childhood was a migraine. I am 32. That should give you a round about idea how long I have dealt with them. That is exactly what I did. I just dealt with them. I always wanted to know the cause. If you can find the cause (or trigger) then you can help elevate them, right?

I had many doctor appointments over the years. I have been on many medications because of it. I took a pill everyday for 4+ years for them. The entire time trying to find out what on earth is causing them. Flash forward to 31 year old La'Shawn.

I went to the doctor and had test after test rain. They tested me for everything from diabetes, mono, lupus to a failing liver. Seriously! I should have inquired more about an off handed remark my doctor made. She said that I could be allergic or sensitive to something I was eating/drinking. To which she followed up with, "like gluten."

After the tests came back clear, I started keeping note (and I recommend this for anyone with migraines. A lot of them are food related!) of what I ate/drank prior to migraines. I also noticed that my joints would hurt and I could hardly move around leading up and after migraines. Clearly something else was going on! TMI to follow!!!! I also would notice that when I had these migraines that once I went to the bathroom or throw up, I would start feeling better. The #1 thing that would make me sick...pasta.

I talked to a few people I know that are in the medical field. Everyone said that to them it sounded like I was sensitive to gluten. I didn't want to go back to the doctor for more tests. This should be easy enough to find out on my own. I cut gluten out. Brought it back in and BAM! Bloated until I couldn't breath and migraine from satan. I did it again. Just to be sure. Same results.

So, with that being said. I now steer clear of gluten. The next doctor's appointment I have I am going to discuss it with her. I just don't feel like making an appointment just for that. I have been gluten free for two months now. I have had a few slip ups. I love pasta too much and you would be amazed at the hidden gluten in foods! I have only had migraines when I eat gluten. My joints also do not hurt as much and I am not bloated so much I think something is wrong with my lungs.

My suggestion? Talk to you doctor. Listen to your body. FOOD JOURNAL! If you listen to your body and take a real look at what you are putting in it and how it is affecting you, then you might just find out what is making you feel so bad.

That is my story on how I found out I was sensitive to gluten. It is all part of my new journey to health. I hope to have more stories, tips, tricks, and updates for you in the future.

Are you or anyone you know sensitive to gluten or suffering from Celiac disease? how did they/you find out?

Celiac Disease Foundation


The Time My Son "Broke my Heart"

Maybe it isn't a serious as the title post makes it. Looking back and talking to some people, I probably let it bother me more than I should have. However, they don't know Bug's and mine relationship. What it meant.

What am I talking about? I am talking about the moment I felt a shift in my relationship with my son and it broke my heart. Bug was sick two weeks ago with the flu. Before we knew he was coming down with something, he was being a turd to me. He is a usually sweet boy; like syrupy sweet to me. I love that! He is just like his Dad in that aspect. When he got sick, I thought that was why he was being ugly towards me. He was getting sick & didn't feel well.

Fast forward 2 weeks and he has been better for nearly a week. This past Thursday and Friday he was just ugly towards me. He was rolling his eyes, huffing, no responding when I asked him questions and talking to me like I was stupid. You know; that "ugh, mom!" kind of talking to me.

I am a sensitive person when it comes to the people I love. I am also a crier. (I am talking give me a touching commercial and I will bawl kinda crier). I was in tears by the end of the day Friday. The hubby gave him a stern talking to. "I don't let anyone talk to or treat my wife like that" kinda talk. He got better, but something was still off.

I laid down beside him and asked him what was up. What had I done to cause this. Where was it coming from. He didn't want to say. He didn't want to hurt my feelings. I made him tell me what it was. I cannot fix what I am doing wrong if I don't know what it is....


He told me I talk too much!

I felt my heart break. I kissed him goodnight and walked out of the room. I busted out crying. I realize now that some people would think me overreacting; or wonder why on earth I was crying and felt my heart break. I get that. Here is why though.

At that moment I felt the relationship I had with my little boy shift. We always talked. I have spent the last 8 years gabbing away to my kiddo. When he was a baby it soothed him for me to talk to him. When he got older we talked with each other. (Seriously. This is the kid that talks to himself in the mirror and talks just to not have dead air.) We would go on walks and just talk. We talked about important things and not so important things.

To hear him say that the huffing, puffing and crap attitude was because he thought I talked too much and it was getting on his nerves made me feel like we stepped over the line from my little guy to we are heading to tween years.

Like I said though. I am sensitive when it comes to the people I love and a crier. I should have laughed it off and told him that he was probably right. That now we know where he gets his gift of gab from. Instead I cried.

Is my heart broken now? No. I realized what this was. It does make me a bit sad. Not every milestone has a clear line from one side of it to the other. This one did. I am no longer who he wants to talk with. I am the Mom. The person boys love and will defend until the end; but thinks I am a bit out of touch. ;-)

Have you ever had one of those moments? Where you could see the line and crossed over it? Or where your kiddo "broke your heart"?