Things I have learned this week

We took a short road trip this past week. It was about a 5 hour trip each way. Not too bad right?

We passed amazing sights.


Mt. Hood

We did amazing things


Look! I'm on a boat!

We spent time with amazing people.


The most beautiful woman in the world. My Grandma Kitty.

Sounds like an all around amazing trip right? Nope. I learned two very important things this week when it comes to road trips and autism. 1) Never leave home without the full prescription of valium. Even if you are SURE you will only need two pills. Change is not good when it comes to autism. I can not stress this enough, bring the whole dang bottle. 2) I will not attempt a road trip, or any trip for that matter, ever again until we own an iPad. With a really, really good case. Maybe even one that can bounce.

What have you learned on a road trip?

My John Hancock


Thursday Thinking #8

This is a weekly series that I hope you will take part in. Basically, I will ask a question, you answer. Easy-peasy. ūüėČ Sometimes the questions will be very simple and easy to answer in one word. Other times they may be more controversial and require a bit thought on your part.


What’s the #1 most played song on your iPod?

Mine is the Glee (Warblers) version of “Raise Your Glass”.

(Are you still my friend? Helloooooooo?)

My John Hancock

Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit Review and Giveaway


It’s not groundbreaking news that breakfast provides us and our kids with the nutrition and fuel our bodies need.  And we all know that eating oatmeal and other whole grains are an essential part of a healthy diet and promote overall good health.  But, busy mornings and finicky kids can make it hard to find the time to make something that is both nutritious and delicious.

Did you know that*…

  • Nearly 60% of U.S. parents of children ages 3-17 admit that their child skips breakfast, with more than half of U.S. Moms wishing their child ate a more nutritious breakfast.
  • 58% of U.S. Moms say they skip breakfast regularly. 46% of Moms who skip breakfast say they do so because they do not have enough time to prepare or eat it.
  • 57% of single adults say the number one reason they skip breakfast is that they don‚Äôt have enough time to prepare it.
  • While 71% of U.S. adults agree that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, 67% of those admit to skipping breakfast.

*Results of 2011 Children’s Nutrition Survey, conducted by Harris Interactive for Seneca Farms

During the school year, our family is pretty good about eating breakfast. Oatmeal or cereal during the school week, and heartier breakfasts on the weekends. Come summer time, we start to slack off. I’m not really sure why either. We tend to have lots of doctor and therapy appointments scheduled for the summertime. I schedule the “biggies” for summer to minimize the amount of school¬†absences. We do most of our yearly check in with specialist during this time and most of those specialists are about 2 hours away. That means early mornings and long days. I know Faith and I get cranky if we don’t eat a good breakfast. For Jon, breakfast is even more¬†important¬†since it can set the whole tone of his day blood glucose wise.

This needs to change. We need breakfast every morning.

When I was given the opportunity to review Seneca Farms new Oatmeal and Fruit Cups, of course I agreed!

From Seneca Farms:

“Just launched in April, it is the perfect choice for anyone who has trouble finding time for breakfast in the morning.¬†In less time than it takes to make a cup of coffee, heat the six-ounce microwaveable cup ‚Äď no milk or water necessary ‚Äď in the microwave for 45 seconds.¬†Seneca’s Oatmeal & Fruit has no trans fats or cholesterol, and is a great source of Vitamin C.”

When the packages arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to read the ingredient list. Short. Top 3 are water, diced peaches and thick cut oats. Through the top of the cups, large pieces of diced peach and in the apple cup, diced apples are visible.

The first one we tried was the Vanilla Peach. 45 seconds in the microwave and it was ready. We peeled off the top and it smelled just like fresh ripe peaches. The texture was a bit more liquidly than we are used to having our oatmeal, but it worked well with the large chunks of peach. The vanilla was not overpowering but a nice compliment to the peaches.

The Apple¬†Cinnamon¬†was next. Same 45 seconds in the microwave. We peeled the top and were struck by the scent of very sweet fresh apples. This one seemed to have more liquid than the Peach Vanilla. The taste was¬†defiantly¬†spot on. But. The texture was off. It was too “liquid” not enough “oatmeal” for my families tastes. If felt strange. More like¬†chunky¬†applesauce with bits of oatmeal.

Since the Peach Vanilla was such a hit, I thought I would try getting more opinions regarding the Apple Cinnamon. I sent some in to work with my hubby. His directions were to find someone willing to try it and to give me an honest review.

Hubs co-worker Jim was up for it. His emailed review “Apple ¬†& Cinnamon – was too sweet and consistency is odd. ¬†Not quite¬†what was expected for oatmeal. ¬†More along the idea of applesauce with¬†oats added in but not oatmeal.”

The Peach Vanilla is going on our next shopping list. It was a great solution to a busy morning. I think we will be skipping the Apple Cinnamon though. New flavor combinations are launching in the future and I will be trying them. :)

Want to try them for yourself?

One reader will win a 2-pack of each flavor of Seneca Farms Oatmeal & Fruit!

Mandatory Entry

Leave a comment below telling me about your child’s favorite breakfast food

Extra Entries (1 comment per extra entry)

‚ÄúLike ‚Ä̬†Seneca¬†Farms¬†on Facebook (¬†Then come back here and tell me you did so.

‚ÄúTweet‚ÄĚ about this¬†giveaway¬†on twitter including @SenecaFarms and then come back here and leave a separate comment.

Subscribe to Mommy Rambles and let me know you have done so by a comment bellow.

This giveaway is available to US residents only and will end on July 31, 2011 at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Winner will be posted Aug 1, 2011 and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

“This review was made possible by Mom Spark Media.¬†Thoughts are my own.”

My John Hancock

BrytonPick Review

When given the¬†opportunity¬†to review the BrytonPick I was pretty excited. I thought that this¬†might¬†finally be the answer to our problem with Faith. What problem? The fact that she is incredibly oral adverse. She does¬†not tolerate¬†brushing well and the¬†thought¬†of trying to wrangle floss into her¬†uncooperative¬†and tooth filled mouth is scary. The BrytonPick is a very thin, discreet, reusable metal pick to remove food¬†debris¬†and plaque from between the teeth. It is very small, portable and would¬†easily¬†fit in a wallet for on-the-go use. It comes in several cute colors and has it’s own little credit card sized carrying pouch. Each pick is stated to be¬†reusable¬†for up to 30 days. The cost is¬†approximately¬†$2.50 per pick or $19 for a pack of 10.

All sounds peachy keen.

The reality is that there is no way this will work for our family. The “soft and flexible” metal edges are actually very sharp. After realizing that this would not work for Faith, I tried to use it. The directions do clearly state to use it in front of a mirror the first time. I did. I also cut my lip and gum.

Okay, fine. Maybe I am just a dork who can’t use a simple pick without hurting myself.

I gave the other pick to hubby to try. He¬†promptly said “Ouch” and bent the heck out of the small metal blade. He is a really good sport though and agreed to keep trying. He made it two days of very light use. At that time the pick was very bent, and he was tired of hurting his gums.

I’m sorry BrytonPick, but this product is just not something that will work for our family.

Two days use. :(

My John Hancock
I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

I’m not sure what that bone is connected to.

Faith is a creature of habit, like most children with autism. She likes things to stay the same. Sometimes that can mean wearing the same shirt for 76 days in a row.

Yes, I washed it regularly…don’t look at me like that…

When a change is made, and accepted, it is cause for celebration around here. When the change even makes us laugh, well, so much the better.

Faith is rough on socks. Like, really rough. She can’t lift her legs fully in a normal gait due to the stroke and hemiplegic cerebral palsy. She shuffles her feet which results in holes in her socks very quickly. I am always on the hunt for a “better” sock that will be able to stand up to her shuffling. We have been pretty lucky that she has not seemed to notice when we switch sock brands.

Until now.

We had determined that the current brand was wearing out just as quick as all the previous brands. During a stop at a local store we grabbed a new brand to try. This pair had an emblom on the side. None of her pervious socks did, they always had writing on the bottom. She was fascinated by this black symbol. She touched it several times, then looked up very earnestly and said,

“It’s a bone! A¬†dinosaur¬†bone! Is it a doggie bone? Or a leg bone! Is it an arm bone?”

Hubby smiled and said to her “Faith, that is a Swoosh.”

She nodded, then slowly turned and said to herself…..”Oh, it’s the Swoosh bone!”

My John Hancock


Thursday Thinking #7

This is a weekly series that I hope you will take part in. Basically, I will ask a question, you answer. Easy-peasy. ūüėČ Sometimes the questions will be very simple and easy to answer in one word. Other times they may be more controversial and require a bit thought on your part.


What story does your family always tell about you?

The year of my 6th Christmas I ¬†was¬†apparently¬†less than stellar. I think they are mistaken because I was always an angel. Always. Anywho, when I asked, repeatedly, what I was going to get for Christmas, my sister finally told me, “All you are getting is toilet paper!”. And guess what was waiting for me under the tree? Wrapped up TP. My little 5 year old heart was broken. The real presents did eventually materialize and I have moved on. With therapy.

This is my family’s favorite story of me. They are mean.

My John Hancock


SodaStream Review and Giveaway






As a mom to a type 1 diabetic, I may be a bit more carb conscious than your average mom. A product that recently caught my eye was the SodaStream. This awesome little device lets you make fresh bottles of bubbly soda, tea, tonic and flavored water at a fraction of the price of store bought sodas. And at a fraction of the carbs! Not to mention the amount of room you can save in your pantry or the environmental savings of not tossing away bottles of empty soda. I was recently given the amazing opportunity to try out a SodaStream Jet and a variety of flavors with my family.

The Unpacking

The unpacking of the box was a bit like Christmas. The¬†variety¬†of soda syrups covered almost every taste in our house. The set up instructions were very clear and easy to follow. Even for me. ūüėČ We used this nifty appliance for¬†approximately¬†two weeks and I have to say, I am hooked. I am not a “fizzy” person. My oldest son loves his extra fizzy. We can make our soda right to our individual fizzy level. It is so simple to use. We recently had a BBQ and a¬†friends¬†9 year old son made his own soda with just me watching. He thought it was “The coolest thing ever!”.

Here is a visual step-by-step of how to make a fresh soda using the SodaStream.

Taking it outside

The very first thing I wanted to highlight was that this requires no electricity. I’m not sure why, but this surprised the heck out of me! The SodaStream can come along wherever you are. Picnic, tailgating, camping. To start with, you take a SodaStream bottle filled with plain water that has been chilled. We keep several ready to go in the fridge now. We purchased additional bottles. The half-liter¬†bottle is shown. The SodaStream comes with a¬†liter¬†bottle. Next chose your flavor. For this demonstration, my son chose Orange Mango.

Attaching bottle

Take the chilled SodaStream bottle filled with water and attach it to the white dohicky thingamabob and screw it on. Not too tight, but have a good seal.

Bubbling it up

Now the fun part. By simply pushing the button at the top of the SodaStream you magically turn your chilled water into a fizzy, bubbly creation! This is my kids favorite part.

Removing our soda water

Now you tip the bubbly water out of the SodaStream and slowly unscrew it.

We chose Mango Orange for today

Now that you have a bottle of cold fizz water, you get to¬†flavor¬†it up. Or not. Your choice! Jon chose to use the¬†recommended¬†amount of Orange Mango syrup for a half-liter bottle. That is half a capful. At that rate each bottle of syrup will flavor 25 half-liter bottles. That’s 50 servings.

Gently pour your flavor choice into the freshly made soda water.

Now slowly pour your chosen flavor into the bubbly water, cap it and gently roll your bottle around a bit to mix it up. (Full disclosure. Jon did not pour slowly and this one bubbled up all over!)

Gently mixed and ready to enjoy. Less than 2 minutes.

Cleaned up and mixed up. In less than two minutes you have a freshly made bottle of Orange Mango soda at a fraction of the price and quadruple the fun.

I figured the helper should get to help with the drinking part also.

As with all the SodaStream flavors we have tried so far, this one was a hit! My personal favorites are the Green Teas.

Mommy Rambles and SodaStream have partnered together to offer one lucky Mommy Rambles reader their very own¬†Fountain Jet Soda Lover’s Start-up Kit (approximately $100 retail value). It includes the winner’s choice of black/silver, white or red/silver Fountain Jet; CO2 which makes over 100 liters of soda; 1 reusable carbonating bottle; a sample pack of flavors and 3 full-sized flavors of the winner’s choice.

Do you want one? Of course you do! One entry per comment please. :)

Mandatory Entry

Hop on over to SodaStream and tell me in a comment below what color you want your Fountain Jet and what 3 flavors of syrup you want to try. (1 entry per person please)

Extra Entries

“Like” Mommy Rambles on Facebook. (One entry)

“Follow” SodaStream on Twitter. (One entry)

“Share” this contest on Facebook or Twitter. (Up to two entries per day)

This giveaway will end on July 24, 2011 at 11;59 PM EST. Winner will be drawn from all comments by Winner will be posted July 25, 2011 and they will have 48 hours to contact me or a new winner will be drawn.

Good Luck!

Life on the wheel

Moving ahead on the fast track.

Living life in the slow lane.

Taking the road less traveled.

Going to hell in a hand basket.

There are many ways to describe forward motion in ones life. Each statement brings to mind a different picture, yet they have one thing in common. They imply movement. The kind of movement that actually leads somewhere.

Lately I feel like I am on a hamster wheel.

I am running and running but I am making NO forward progress.

I clean and clean but the house is never clean.

I work and work with Faith, but it seems her skills have stalled since school got out.

I read and read, but the emails keep piling up.

I cook and cook, but they keep expecting to be fed again.

I wash and wash, but Mount Washmore never gets smaller.

I feel like if I can just run faster maybe I can make forward progress. But I keep running and running but I’m getting nowhere.

“squeak squeak goes the wheel”

Thursday Thinking #6

This is a weekly series that I hope you will take part in. Basically, I will ask a question, you answer. Easy-peasy. ūüėČ Sometimes the questions will be very simple and easy to answer in one word. Other times they may be more controversial and require a bit thought on your part.


What would you name the autobiography of your life?

I bet most of you can guess what mine would be…..

Mom Is Tired