Archives for September 2012

Play Ball!

I missed posting for this week’s Twin Tuesday, but I could not be more thrilled about the reason I missed it!  I want to share this with local folks in the Phoenix area in particular, but please know there’s a good chance that you have a place like this near you, too!

Our family enjoyed our first experience with the Miracle League tonight.  The is Dan Haren Field, a field entirely wheelchair friendly and the program is friendly to children with any delay or disability.  The idea is to allow non-typical children to experience baseball in a safe, fun, controlled environment where everyone plays to their abilities and everyone is a winner.  There is nothing not to love about this, you guys.

If you have a special-needs child and want to get involved, check this out.  Even if you have no special needs child, I suggest you try to attend just one game (admission is free) and then let me know if you grinned until it hurt, until your smile was plastered onto your face while you cheered for every single awesome kid up to bat.  Bonus points if you bring your able-bodied kiddos to watch with you, and let them witness and get excited and cheer for their differently-abled peers.

Lauren and Kyle (Kyle, especially) have always wanted to play baseball.  At home, we have pretend games where I pretend pitch from the kitchen and Kyle pretend bats from the living room, and then he pretends run in his feeding chair by waggling his legs and pumping his arms until I tell him to slide, and he throws his arms out to “slide” and the rest of us clap and high five him.  Those moments are priceless, but to get to see him actually playing the game on a real field with real teammates with a real ball?  I was too busy taking photos and cheering and jumping to ever sit down on the bleachers.

Our Miracle League of Arizona field has a ton of contributors, and I am loathe to ignore or exclude any of them.  See the photos below.  It takes a ton of dough–and compassion–to make a field like this run.  I find it extremely interesting to see who and what supports such good causes.  These be good people, folks.  Also some excerpts of our time there tonight.  Let it be known that Lauren’s new baseball player nickname is “Pinky”, and Kyle’s new nickname is “I don’t want a nickname, my name is Kyle Byrd”.


And a 6 minute window into the kiddos’ first foray into baseball:

Super, super fun for all of us.  Can’t wait to do it again next week!



Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at

Diabetes and My Love/Hate Relationship With Sugar Free Candy

Ever since Allison was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes… I’ve had a love/hate relationship with sugar free treats. OK. Mostly *hate*. Too much sugar is a bad thing for someone with diabetes. We try to avoid it the best we can. I’ve written before about allowing Alli to participate in birthday parties by making adjustments to her insulin. I don’t shelter her completely from sugar… but I am choosy about what I do give her. Sugar free candy is one of those things that I just avoid. Why? Well…

Most sugar free candies are indeed sugar free… but… they are high in carbohydrates. Carbs become sugars and sugars spike Allison’s blood glucose level. Having Diabetes means that her body doesn’t produce insulin. Insulin is what helps to regulate a normal person’s blood sugar. So even if a candy is sugar free… if it’s high in carbs… that negates the idea of it being sugar free in my eyes.

Well meaning friends and relatives have purchased “sugar free” treats for Alli. The first thing I do is look at the label. If it has more than 10g of carbohydrates… I already know I’ll have to adjust her insulin to have the treat. Often times full sugar candies are better for her as a treat than the “sugar free” kind. I think what bothers me most is that the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation endorses some of these treats. That gives parents a false sense of trust. As parents, we can’t accept that. Just because something is endorsed doesn’t mean that it’s good for our child. Check the labels and be informed.

Do I *love* anything about sugar free treats? I do. I love treats that are sugar free and low in carbohydrates. This isn’t an easy thing to find. I actually had given up actively looking until I heard from Atkinson Candy Company. Who? The Atkinson family has been making candy in Texas since 1932! Their brands have been around for what seems like forever to me… Could candy that was created in the 1930’s possibly be relevant to me or my readers? They told me about their sugar free line of candy and asked if I’d take a look at it. Scott, the candy rep, had a sweet southern drawl. I was tempted to give into his smooth gentile ways but I stuck to my guns and said… “I can’t write about your candy unless it’s low in carbs. I’ll have to look at the labels.”

*yay me*

And I did look. The sugar free candy from Atkinson Candy Company is indeed sugar free and low in carbs. Allison’s favorite is the Peanut Butter Bars. They have a total of 8 carbs. They’re a crunchy little candy with a burst of peanutbuttery goodness. It’s a treat that satisfies even my sweet tooth! The best part about this candy? I don’t have to make adjustments to Allison’s insulin.


I’m going to write a bit more about the Atkinson Candy Company in the next week or so. I’m having some fun playing with it… I have a recipe in the works to share. Oh… and did I mention they also manufacture gluten free treats? Yeah. I’m a fan. And you can be a fan too by reaching out to them on Facebook and asking your own questions about Sugar Free. I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised. Just like I was.

*This is a multi-channel compensated campaign. I would never accept such a campaign, had I not truly loved the product. All views are my own. All of my daughter, Allison’s views are her own. Had she tasted the candy and spit it out… you would not be reading this post right now. *much love* -Kelly


Fingernails. Toenails. Too many nails.




“Congratulations, you’re having twins!”

“Double trouble!”

“Twice the fun!”

“You’ll have your hands full!”

“Twice as nice!”

My apologies to every person in my community who I adore but employed the most unoriginal responses (see above) when I shared that I was expecting twins, but–are you kidding me?

First?  Stop with the cliches, oh people who don’t know what else to say and so you dredge up like the lamest exclamation of encouragement you can think of. (just kidding, you guys give the BEST baby shower gifts and so totally keep bringing  me your cliches!  as long as  you keep the gifts coming!  I am enthusiastic about all of this!  wooo!)

Second, I’ve been a parent of twins for five years, and only like half of that is true.  There’s nothing “fun” or “nice” about two babies waking up in the morning at the same time, starving at the same time, crapping their drawers at the same time, needing immunizations at the doctor’s office at the same time or wanting to play on your smart phone at the same time.

And as a general rule everyone knows you should clip your own fingernails and toenails.  I know that you know this.  But should you procreate, you will also be responsible for your kids’ fingernails and toenails.

I am here to tell you that clipping your kids’ nails is practically a full time job.  I’ve looked for and watched and I haven’t found a single spokesperson, celeb blogger, or parenting website which even comes CLOSE to unveiling this truth:  the more kids you have, the more nails to clip.  And you know what?  Your kid isn’t even gonna tell you that she played with clay or paint today at school and so maybe today is the day to trim her talons.

Time gets away.  Days go by.  The nails grow.  You know how you know?  When enough days go by and your kid comes home with the note: “he could use his fingernails to be trimmed” and you’re thinking “ha, you haven’t even seen his toes”.

And that’s when you realize that this parenthood gig is no free ride.  Suddenly you have responsibility.  It’s a weird sort of responsibility, but it’s a task which must be done and there is literally nobody else who can do this (in some states, even RN’s can’t clip nails of their hospital patients). If you even remotely struggle with this task, do not have twins.  I REPEAT, DO NOT HAVE TWINS.

Anyway, gotta go.  I have three kids but only two hands and only one nail clipper.  It’s gonna be like catching alligators.


Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at

School Days

Today is the 11th anniversary of 9/11.  My thoughts are with everyone who lived or worked in NYC, and with the rest of us too.  Because as we watched the terribleness–and the heroism–unfold, we were all horrified and hopeful and together we were united as Americans.  Even if some of us weren’t American, it was a day when it felt like most of the globe’s population witnessed and watched it with us, mourned for us and supported us.  My third grader lives in a far different world than the one I lived in at her age.  It’s both so much simpler (no Iron Curtain) yet impossibly complicated (every single other thing).  And scarier.  Thanks to the first responders everywhere for everything they do everyday, and to the families who wave goodbye each morning to their loved ones with no sense of certainty that they’ll make it home this shift.


Since school has been back in session, I was reminiscing about my own days in grade school.  Mostly they were filled with wearing thick glasses and trying to be a wallflower, but I have exactly two gems that I’m happy to reminisce over with you.

When I was in first grade my father worked third shift.  He got home from patrolling the mean streets of Phoenix just as my mother was leaving for work, so they’d kiss hello/goodbye and he’d decompress and prepare for a day’s worth of sleep in their bedroom while I got myself ready for school.  One day he dozed off before the school bus came, and I saw an opportunity to do something I’d always wanted to do:  wear my Wonder Woman Underoos to school.  For once!  So I kept quiet, skipped the noise of breakfast, kept my Underoos on (because I slept in them, like every other kid in 1982), and trucked it to the bus stop twenty minutes early.  I must have known I was doing something sort of not right, because I took a moment to find a winter coat to wear in order to hide my Underoos from prying neighborhood eyes who might call my dad, waking him up to tattle on me.  It was a sweltering day, so as my dad eventually loped after me in the exhausted sleepy haze that comes with working through the night and then realizing your daughter isn’t inside the home when she should be and so you fall over yourself just trying to get out of the house quick enough to chase her down, he probably wondered why I was wearing a big heavy jacket AND NOTHING ELSE.  He caught me.  I was SO bummed.  And embarrassed–the whole neighborhood probably saw my dorky dad running down the street in shorts and no shirt, barefoot.  I was humiliated!  And wearing Underoos in public.  And forced to come home to change into whatever was clean, probably didn’t match, and breakfast was a granola bar on the school bus.  Oh Dad, what a buzzkill you are.

Every single girl who had Wonder Woman Underoos has a photo of themselves somewhere identical to this one.  This photo is actually not me, because I waited until the last minute last night and couldn’t ask my mom to go through her millions of photos to find it.  No, this gem is courtesy of Elzabelz and appeared just now when I did a Google search because I wanted to make sure the young’uns know the awesomeness of the Wonder Woman Underoo.  I don’t know Elz and have never met her, but her bio explains that she is a mom who blogs about a variety of interests who you might enjoy reading–send some traffic her way!











The second amusing story that I recall from my grade school days took place on class picture day when I was in third grade.  My mom headed to work in the emergency room that morning as usual, and my dad was half asleep when I left for the bus stop after surviving another third shift, as usual.  Before my mom left though she laid out my clothes.  This wasn’t just another school day–this was school picture day.  I vividly remember what she “helped” me choose to wear that day:  purple and brown plaid button down blouse with a white peter pan collar, purple corduroy jumper, headband, knee socks, and black Mary Janes.  That would have made for an epic school picture in 1984 had I not waited for her to leave for work and then ignore every instruction she left for me while my dad was sleeping and he had no idea it was picture day anyway.  Plus, it was really hot that day you guys.  Like “90 degrees F at 7am” kind of hot.  And it’s not like a class picture is important to anyone, you know?  I bypassed the purple corduroy contraption set out on my bed and went with my go-to:  denim shorts and the faded purple E.T. t-shirt, the one where the screen print of E.T. was kind of coming off, curling off in the way that cheap screen printed t-shirts frequently do after you wash them a hundred times.  When I got home from school, Mom was on the phone with someone (phones were attached to the wall in the kitchen back in olden times, which made her essentially immobile), so I sneaked through the hallway to my room and stripped off all my clothes.  I made my dramatic re-entrance into the kitchen fanning my face and complaining of the heat–clearly I had worn my fancy clothes all day and deserved some relief, right?  She bought it.

Three weeks later when I came home with a $30 envelope filled with ninety photos of me wearing that ragamuffin E.T. t-shirt?  That was a special, special day at my house.  Turns out that my mom has guilt tripping skills, the likes of which you ain’t never seen.  It was the last time I made that mistake.

I once again turn to Google to find a photo to go with this story because I failed to ask my mom to find that envelope full of pictures until the night before I decided to blog about it.  For now, this reasonable facsimile will have to do.















I will work tirelessly to find personal photos to support these stories and add them to this post when they are located.  Until then, any amusing anecdotes you have to share with us?


Cassandra can be found on Twitter @aclevergirl.  Learn more about her family’s unique challenges and why they have hope for a cure for muscular dystrophy at


Eat Your Greens to Give Some Green!

I’m on a social good kick lately! It feels good to be able to use this platform to do something good for the community. I hope that you have taken the opportunity to participate in some of the latest events as well! Today I’d like to share with you the latest initiative from Whole Foods.

On Sunday, September 9th, for every pound of food purchased at salad bars and hot food bars, in the Southern Pacific Region stores… Whole Foods will donate $1 to help move salad bars to schools! How much easier can giving get? Go into your local Southern Pacific Region Whole Foods store… buy yourself and your family something yummy… and for every pound of food  you purchase… $1 goes to the Whole Kids Foundation initiative Let’s Move Salad Bars to Schools! (Southern California, Hawaii, Arizona, and Las Vegas)

My girls, Allison and Rachel love the salad bar at their school! It’s especially helpful when the scheduled school lunch just isn’t up to our family’s food standards. Having the salad bar in the school allows kids to make additional healthy choices at lunch time. Often times in schools… lunch time is the most balanced meal as child will have all day. As a mom, It’s awesome to see that Whole Foods is so supportive of Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! program and is helping to bring salad bars to less fortunate schools.

I’ll be taking my kiddos to the Whole Foods Market on Mayo Blvd. in North. Scottsdale. If you’d like to meet up for lunch on Sunday… give me a call or shoot me a tweet @childhood and maybe we can coordinate! Every pound of food we purchase from the salad bar or hot food bar will benefit this important healthy movement in the schools!

*I was offered compensation for this post… but instead have opted for a Whole Foods Market gift card that I will be donating to a friend in need. It’s all about the social good! So get out there and do some!



Back to School Reusable Sandwich Bags

Many moons ago… I shared a post on how to make your own reusable sandwich bags. I think it’s time to share it again! With back to school upon us… now is the perfect time to start thinking about packing lunches and snacks. I’ll also be sharing this on the Tillamook Cheese Facebook Page. Tillamook will be donating $10 to Feeding America for every tip, snack, or recipe shared on their Back to School tab. I love doing social good!

Anyway… here are the instructions to make your own reusable sandwich bag:

Supplies for your Sandwich Bag

  • A piece of pre-washed fabric  8″ x 13.5″
  • A piece of organic fabric  8″ x 13.5″ (This is the lining. I like using organic fabric on the inside, because it touches the food!
  • An 8″ strip of Velcro
  • An iron
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine and thread


1. Iron both pieces of pre-washed, organic fabric, then place them RIGHT sides together and pin along the short edges.

2. Sew each short edge of your fabric with a 1/8″ seam allowance. Fold and iron the tops of your fabric to create a nice top and bottom edge.

3. Separate your Velcro into two strips: the rough side and the soft side.

4. Start pinning the rough Velcro across the top of one side. Pin the soft side of the Velcro across the top of the other side. Sew the Velcro in place by sewing across the top and bottom of each piece of Velcro.

6. Sew the unfinished edge of your fabric with a 1/2″ seam allowance, then trim off the excess fabric!

7. Turn your bag right side out and iron again. The Velcro should work perfectly to close up your sandwich bag.

8. Now you’re all set to pack your sandwich!