Is the Secret to Autism in “The Gut?”

Many of you know autism is a topic very close to my heart. My first teaching job was with autistic kids, and my very cool little brother has autism.

Some really groovy things have been happening in autism research these last few years and I’m going to share them as my contribution to Autism Awareness Month. I’m a giver that way.:-)

What kinds of cool things?

This is pretty heady stuff for the families of autistic individuals. Answers and new therapies are always wished for and welcomed.

I wrote an article for Guardian Liberty Voice a while back about the connection between gut bacteria and ASD:

After all the years and studies, it’s looking like the key to autism might be located in the gut. Several new studies are pointing to inflammation, particularly in the gut, as a significant factor in the cause of autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Not only are study results showing that probiotics decrease the inflammation and that they’re alleviating autistic-like symptoms in laboratory mice, the National Institutes of Health has found that the balance of organisms in the digestive tract, often called the microbiome, is key for healthy infant development.

Human microbiomes are made up of trillions of microbes. In addition to the usual genetic information babies inherit from their parents, scientists have discovered they also inherit the genetics of both parents’ microbiomes. This is huge news.

How does microbiome development work?

Just before birth, a fetus begins to populate healthy bacteria in their gut. Before this time, the womb is sterile. Scientists believe that the current higher rate of C-section births and maternal ingestion of antibiotics can disrupt microbiome formation in the infant’s digestive tract.

It was also determined that breastfed babies show a lower incidence of ADHD. Many autism researchers recommend that new mothers breastfeed, if they are able, as a strategy to prevent the development of ASD. These same researchers believe that the destruction of natural flora in infants and young children, through the use of antibiotics, contributes to the development of ASD and ADHD.

Why do the studies think “the gut” is the answer?

The microbiomes of autistic individuals are different, and researchers believe they are contributing to the disorder. Currently, autism is treated via various types of behavior therapy. Based on these new findings, early and consistent treatment with probiotics, which contain “friendly” bacteria helpful to gastrointestinal function may be at least as helpful.

Recent studies have shown that up to 90 percent of autistic children have gastrointestinal problems.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that children with autism are more than three times as likely to suffer from chronic constipation or diarrhea, as compared to their peers without autism.

What foods are “naturally probiotic” and why would they help?

probiotics, autism, Jenny HansenProbiotics occur naturally in foods like yogurt, kefir, kombucha, sauerkraut, miso, kimchi and pickles. Researchers are suggesting that ingestion of these foods be increased by everyone, but particularly by individuals with autism and their immediate family members.

The result of a test reported in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition found that intestinal permeability (IPT), also known as “leaky gut,”is significantly higher in patients with autism and their first-degree relatives.

The IPT of “normal” patients was 4.8% versus the much higher IPT values found in the autistic patients and their families, 36.7% and 21.2% respectively. The study also noted that 46.7% of children with autism experienced gastrointestinal symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain and constipation.

Researchers firmly believe that administering probiotics will, at the very least, decrease the inflammation that can affect cognitive and social development as well as language. Whether the probiotics would more effective when delivered via dietary changes or via pharmaceutical probiotics has not yet been tested.

Current recommended dosage for autistic or ADHD children who experience gastrointestinal symptoms is a probiotic containing 15 to 30 billion healthy microorganisms every day.

Caltech biology professor, Paul Patterson, believes that if the gastrointestinal issues are alleviated in autistic children, their behavioral issues will be stabilized, and will be easier to treat. Another Caltech researcher, Elaine Hsiao, piggybacked off an earlier discovery that women who get through flu during pregnancy have double the risk of birthing a child with autism.

Hsiao injected pregnant mice with a mock virus, resulting in babies that exhibited autistic behavior: anxiety, obsessive grooming and aloofness from the other mouse pups. Those “autistic” mice developed the aforementioned leaky gut, which is often seen in autistic children.

When Hsiao took blood from these “autistic” pups, their samples contained 46 times more of a particular gut bacterial molecule than the non-autistic pups, indicating the bacteria was leaking into their bloodstream. When Hsiao injected healthy mice with this same molecule, they became more anxious.

After adding a probiotic, targeted to GI problems, into to the mice’s’ food, Hsiao saw several positive results within five weeks: the leaky gut sealed up, their levels of the bacterial molecule had plummeted and their gut microbiomes more closely resembled the healthy mice.

Most astonishing to the researchers was the mice’s behavior. They stopped their obsessive behavior, became more vocal and were much less anxious. They did remain aloof but the other behavior disappeared. The underlying message from all these studies: don’t underestimate the power and importance of gut bacteria. John Cryan, at University College Cork, believes that “gut microbes are as important as the nerve cells of the brain.”

For families dealing with the symptoms of autism, alleviation of some of those symptoms from probiotics would be an enormous relief. If I ever have another baby, I’m giving them probiotics from the starting gate.

In case you wanted to watch that TED Talk…

Article Sources:
Treat Autism & ADHD
OZY
NIH
Mind Body Green

Also, Del-Immune V has collected more than 50 articles about the link between “the gut” and autism on their blog (fabulous resource!).

What’s up with that Puzzle Piece Ribbon?

Autism Ribbon

Photo credit: Jason Eppink, Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasoneppink/294631074/

Do you deal with autism in your life? Have you found any foods that affect behavior? What do you think of these studies? Enquiring minds LOVE to know your thoughts here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Health, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , | 10 Comments

Blue-Blue The Disco Dancing Cat

Cats

Photo credit: Sophie Skein – Flickr

I promise y’all, I am not smoking the funky weed over here in California. “Blue-Blue” is featured in the title of my Little Bean’s first story, which I am turning in to her teacher this morning.

This kid’s imagination is awesome, so I thought I’d share Blue-Blue with you guys.

[I am dying over this story. DYING.]

Enjoy!

Blue-Blue, My Favorite Disco Dancing Cat

When I am nine, I will get a cat with black and white stripes and white polka dots. Her first name is Blue-Blue and her last name is Jen. I will put a gold and blue hat on her, and will paint her nails with white and blue stripes.

I will give her a bath, every day for 100 days, then I will give her a shower. I will give her yummy cat food: edamame, Goldfish crackers and bananas. I will also give her cat drinks like water and milk. She will have catfish for dessert because that’s the kind of fish cats like.

Blue-Blue likes to take hikes in the mountains and walk around the block. We have important conversations. About mommies and doors.

I will take her to cat school, which is next to my school. Her teacher’s name is Miss Patty. At cat school they teach her how to juggle, how to count to eight and how to add 100 and 100. The teacher also teaches all the cat kids to count by tens.

When they are done learning, they get to play Candyland or Hide & Seek. Then they disco dance. They don’t wear outfits; they just dance in their kitty fur.

When I get out of school, I will pick up my kitty and we will go back home. We’ll play video games together and type in our Lexia passwords.

We will paint pictures of strangers who become friends. I do that all the time. On share day, I will bring my cat story.

Part 1 of Imagination StoryPart 2 of Imagination Story

My very favorite parts? 

She will have catfish for dessert because that’s the kind of fish cats like.

We have important conversations. About mommies and doors.

Then they disco dance. They don’t wear outfits; they just dance in their kitty fur.

I’d be very fascinated to know what is so important about doors that she must converse about them with her phantom cat. Huh.

What do you think, y’all? Do we have a budding writer here?

And how are you, my friends? Are you surviving Daylight Savings Time, or are you feeling like me this week? (see the photo below) Enquiring minds need your details here at More Cowbell!

Zzzzzzzz,
Jenny
Daylight Savings Time

Posted in Life's Challenges, Parenting | Tagged , , , , , | 39 Comments

National Read Across America Day (Dr. Seuss Day) 2016

Tomorrow is National Read Across America Day, also known as Dr. Seuss Day. Y’all knew from one of my very first Undie Chronicles that I adore Dr. Seuss. Do y’all remember “Man-Style Goes to the Zoo?” *waggles eyebrows*

There’s also…

Needless to say, Dr. Seuss hits high on my laugh-o-meter and he was a GENIUS. Who else in the world has gotten more kids to read?

And who else got this much wisdom across in such accessible language?

 

 

 

The National Education Association is sponsoring reading events across America this week, and there are exceptionally cool related products. I knew y’all would want to know about them. Here’s their Facebook page.

RedBubble has this Read Across America t-shirt:

Read Across America

 

A recipe for Green Eggs and Ham.

 

AND there are several events going on in cities around the U.S.

There’s a Read Across America Tour – today they’re in Phoenix, tomorrow San Diego (Dr. Seuss’ home town!), then Denver and finally, the Children’s Museum in Atlanta. I hope you check out Thing 1 and Thing 2 at your local tour stop. Also, if you live in the Show Me State (Missouri), there’s the Cat Tracks Tour.

Do you read to children? Like me, do you read Dr. Seuss for yourself? What is your favorite Dr. Seuss book, movie or quote? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Inspiration, Parenting | Tagged , , , , | 12 Comments

National Drink Wine Day and other Wacky Holidays

February

From Kindness to Condoms, from Mardi Gras to Spunky Old Broads, February is filled with some really wacky (and diverse) holidays. For example, yesterday was Random Acts of Kindness Day – a day I dearly love. But today? Check out the holidays that fall on February 18th:

That last one is a holiday I can totally jump on the oak casket for. We love wine in our house. Can you tell? (The photos below just show the reds.:-) )

National Drink Wine Day National Drink Wine Day

Looking for 25 other great reasons to celebrate during this very short month? 

  1. Adopt A Rescued Rabbit Month (Link)
  2. American Heart Month
  3. Bake for Family Fun Month
  4. Dog Training Education Month (Link)
  5. Grapefruit Month (Link)
  6. International Boost Self-Esteem Month
  7. International Expect Success Month
  8. International Month of Black Women in The Arts (Link)
  9. Library Lovers Month
  10. Marijuana Awareness Month (Link)
  11. National African-American History Month (Link)
  12. National African-American Read-In (Link)
  13. National Condom Month  (Link)
  14. National Children’s Dental Health Month
  15. National Haiku Writing Month (Link)
  16. National Laugh-Friendly Month (Link)
  17. National Parent Leadership Month
  18. National Time Management Month
  19. National Women Inventors Month
  20. Pull Your Sofa Off The Wall Month (How is this a “day?”)
  21. Relationship Wellness Month
  22. Responsible Pet Owner’s Month  (Link)
  23. Return Shopping Carts to the Supermarket Month (OMG, this is real too!)
  24. Spunky Old Broads Month
  25. Youth Leadership Month

In honor of #17 (Parent Leadership Month), here’s a video from those two guys I love, Tripp & Tyler, that’s guaranteed to make all the parental types laugh.

Especially if 2016 hasn’t been super kind to you so far, I figured  you could use some extra reasons to celebrate. If February is already flipping your mojo the bird, perhaps you can hold out until next month when you can celebrate National Craft Month. Or Quinoa Month, for all my gluten free pals.

What are you celebrating today? What’s on your mind this Thoughty Thursday? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Credits:
Special thanks to http://www.brownielocks.com/ for most of the holiday links.
Photos purchased from DepositPhotos.

Posted in Holidays, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 16 Comments

What Your Panties Say About Your Politics

There are two sure things about any election year: Everyone has an opinion, and many of those opinions are going to get your panties in a wad. Today is the Iowa Caucus, so the American election cycle has officially begun. It’s also the Year of the Red Fire Monkey, so be prepared to see tons of people showing their @ss on the campaign trail.

But what if you “aren’t political” or you just don’t know what party you believe in? Me and my peeps have figured out a surefire way to at least determine the political leanings of your underpants. 

Read on…I promise you will feel less conflicted. At the very least, you’ll get a new shopping list for your undie drawer, and the chance to vote on your favorites at the end of the post.

One of my pals, Julie Glover, and I were chatting online awhile back and the discussion circled around to underpants.

[That happens a lot around here. (See Undie Chronicles)]

Our conversation went something like this:

Me: Don’t you think the lack of material in the thong panty makes them Republican panties? It’s the whole “less is more” thing.

Julie: I thought Sister Myotis calls thongs “Democrat Panties.”

Me: She does. But I think the cotton kind that give you a lot more coverage should be the Democrat Panties. (I kind of go between those and Libertarian Panties myself.)

Julie: Libertarian should be “no holds barred.” Practically commando. Now you’ve got me wondering what Socialist panties could possibly be…

Me: Hug your body all over numbers…Socialist panties would definitely be Spanx.

Julie: Ah…

Me: We touch you EVERYWHERE.

Julie: ROFL.

Me: You think Commie Panties would be a boned corset with stays and all?

And so, a post was born…

Here are the panties by political persuasion **:
(In their order of governmental “coverage”)

**Please keep in mind that this is all for good fun and light-hearted discussion**
 

Libertarian Panty

Photo by: Oscar One from Sunrise, Florida, USA ~ (Bootleggers/Shooters - 187)

Republican Panty

Photo by GardenParty ~ licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license


Democrat Panty

Photo by By Iflwlou拍攝 (Own work) ~ Wikimedia Commons

Random thought:
So perhaps the Blue Dog Democrats would be Cheekies…?


Socialist Panty

From Freshpair: Spanx Power Panties with Tummy Control


Communist Panty

Photo by Valerie McGlinchey ~ Wikimedia commons ~ Whalebone, cotton, steel busk and back supports

Note: All photos for the Green Party were not suitable for work, if you know what I mean.

Y’all even get to vote today!

Now admit it, you just had a brief (possibly frightening) image of your favorite political candidate in their party underpants, didn’t you?

Do you have discussions like this on social media? What is your favorite photo from above? Don’t you think political discussions would be so much easier if we all just commented on our undies and left the rest alone? Enquiring minds LOVE to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Photo credits

Libertarian Panty: Oscar One from Sunrise, Florida, USA ~ (Bootleggers/Shooters – 187) ~ Wikimedia Commons
Republican Panty: GardenParty via the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license
Democrat Panty: By Iflwlou拍攝 (Own work) ~ Wikimedia Commons
Socialist Panty: From Freshpair – Spanx Power Panties with Tummy Control
Communist Panty: by Valerie McGlinchey ~ Wikimedia ~ Whalebone and cotton with steel busk and back supports – Late 19c
Posted in Humor, More Cowbell | Tagged , , , , | 23 Comments

Cupid’s Undie Run – a More Cowbell Kind of Event

Imagine running around in your underpants on Valentine’s Day weekend… Now imagine doing it with hundreds of other people. In public. Would you do that? And before you yell, “Heck, NO!“…would you do it for a wonderful cause?

Our own posse member, Phil Holtberg, would. I’d venture to say he’d have run in his birthday suit if it was for a charity he believes in. He’s a giver like that.

Phil is participating in Cupid’s Undie Run NYC on February 13th and he’s hoping for some help from his pals here at More Cowbell.  Read on for all the fun deets!

When I asked him “why this run,” he said:

To give back. To do something good for those in need. I try to pick events each year that are athletic based with a charity cause attached to them.

Seems like each year now as I am getting older I am getting a bit crazier and put my body through hell more and more. The beatings are worth it though as I have raised thousands of dollars during these events, and I am truly humbled and thankful for everyone’s support.

It’s very gratifying to cross that finish line knowing I helped out if even in my own small way. All bumped, scraped, and bruised. Pain never felt so good.

Phil’s fundraising efforts so far:

Warrior Dash in 2013 for the St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital

Warrior-Dash-2013_2

Warrior-Dash-2013_1 Warrior-Dash-2013_3

Tough Mudder in 2014 for the Wounded Warrior Foundation

Tough Mudder 1 Tough Mudder 3Tough Mudder 2

Urban Mudder in 2015 for Make A Wish

Urban Mudder 1 Urban Mudder 2

What is the cause for Cupid’s Undie Run?

It helps fund research towards NF – neurofibromatosis. 1 in 3,000 children are born with this genetic disorder. It causes tumors to grow non-stop on the nervous system, often causing deafness, blindness, disabilities and debilitating pain. You know what’s even worse? There is no cure and frighteningly few treatment options.

There are a lot of NF-focused charities out there that have different, venerable missions. Some focus on patient care, the Children’s Tumor Foundation (CTF) focuses primarily on research and finding a cure. Cupid’s is a part of CTF, which has been a four-star rated charity from Charity Navigator for so long, that it essentially puts them in the top 2% of most effective charities in the country.

Anyone who hangs out here at More Cowbell knows Phil’s a friendly guy. He chose the Cupid’s Undie Run based on recommendations from friends. (Plus I think he wants an excuse to go streaking around NYC.)

He said, “I thought it sounded fun, had a great cause to run for, and also I wanted to try out something that combines athleticism along with some hilarity! I mean, c’mon, I’ll be running in my undies! How cool is that? Undies! I bet everyone wants to see me running almost naked. (Okay, maybe some actually don’t.)

“The bad thing is that it’s in the dead of winter, so of course I am worried about shrinkage. I better stuff in a few socks if you know what I mean.”

Ten reasons why this run is completely cool.

Note: If you would also love to run in your underpants, there are events in nearly 40 cities around the world. Their tag line: “We attract heroes, party animals, undie-lovers and the generous-as-hell. We’re fighting NF, a rare and deadly disease that affects 1 in every 3,000 births. We will win. Are you in?”

Donate to the cause and sponsor Phil by clicking here! Every dollar counts.

And since this is More Cowbell, and enquiring minds want to know all manner of things, I asked Phil a few more questions…

Do you have an undie favorite?

Even though I sleep in the nude, I prefer low rise men’s bikini style during the day. I say, “No Way” to tighty whities or boxers. Yuck.

What is your favorite running gear?

Normally just a tight Under Armour workout muscle shirt, basketball shorts, and running shoes. But in this case? It will be undies.

How do you train for these runs?

I am a gym rat. Always have been. Weight training at least 5 days a week. Running nowadays around 3 days a week which normally includes a distance of 3.2 miles so I am basically running a 5K each time.

Funny thing is I always hated running, but to stay in shape and keep my figure in check, it’s a must. Cardio is key considering all the eating, drinking, and partying I do here in NYC. I have learned to actually like running more now – it helps to clear my mind while I listen to my music. Plus, living on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, I run along the water which offers great views.

Also, as age becomes a factor it’s crucial to keep the metabolism revved up as we get older to stay lean and fit. I gotta stay sexy for the ladies!

Whether it be $5, $50 or $5,000… all donations help and go a long way toward helping those in need. Oh yeah, and they’re tax-deductible, too.

*  *  *  *  *  *

And there you go – a dude we love, undies and a fantastic charitable cause. It’s a trifecta of awesome. Here is the link to Phil’s fundraising page:

http://my.cupids.org/PhilipHoltberg

Would you run in your underpants? (Like in public.) Had you heard of neurofibramatosis? What’s your favorite charitable organization? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

About Phil

Phil Holtberg

Phil Holtberg is an advertising and sales guru with close to 20 years in the biz. With a varied background which includes stints as a certified personal trainer, bartender, small business owner, ad rep, publisher and writer, Phil brings his overall life knowledge, opinions, humor, and everyday experiences to light on his blog, The Regular Guy NYC.

Follow his fun journey via his Facebook page or on Twitter.

Posted in Inspiration, Undie Chronicles | Tagged , , , , , | 29 Comments

Can the Wonder Woman Pose Change Your Life?

You know, I always thought it was the Patriot Panties and the magic bracelets that gave Wonder Woman her power. Plus she has the Golden Lasso of Truth and those hot red leather go-go boots. I’ve been so deluded all this time.

According to Harvard professor, Amy Cuddy, the source of the Wonder Chick’s power comes from her kickass stance and her ability to “get bigger.”

Wonder Woman Stance Wonder-Woman-Flying

Whether she was running, flying, fighting or defending, DC Comics gave Wonder Woman some powerful body language, along with those groovy muscles. Cuddy believes you can channel that power, through the use of body language, into your own life.

Watch the TED talk. Stand like Wonder Woman. And if you need more inspiration for the New Year, take a gander at my post over at Writers In the Storm today.:-)

 

Happy 2016, y’all! May this be our best year together ever. 

Do you make resolutions and/or goals for each New Year? Do you stick to them? Which one has been your favorite so far? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Photo credits all belong to DC Comics – get your Wonder Woman stuff here!
Posted in Holidays, Inspiration | Tagged , , , , | 28 Comments

Holiday Disorganization At Its Finest

HolidaysEvery holiday season, I lament that I am in possession of the Stuff Disorder gene. Thankfully, I married the Hubs, Mr. Disaster Recovery, and he passed the Supreme Organization gene on to my daughter.

Around the holidays, I depend on my hubby like a blind woman on her guide dog. I thank God for him all the time, but over the holidays — I’m just gonna say it — he saves my bacon every year.

Holiday time shines a strobe light on this not-so-secret shame of mine: I can’t keep my STUFF organized.

For example, when he we unpacked the Christmas stuff from the garage, I found scads of things I’d forgotten about:

  • Cards I meant to send last year.
  • Presents (including calendars) that were for 2012/2013 not this year.
  • 27 boxes of Christmas cards
  • 11 stockings (there’s THREE of us)
  • 19 rolls of wrapping paper
  • 7 things of tissue paper (the jumbo kind)
  • 2 jumbo packs of Scotch tape
  • And NO blinky lights for outside (because we missed that after-holiday sale last year).

Hello??? There is something supremely wrong with this picture. All my family and friends could come to my house to wrap their stuff. I’ve got enough supplies for the entire block.

I’ve had to face my yearly truth:

I’d be crushed by my mess if I hadn’t married the King of Organization.

Confession #1: I’ve stopped trying to get my cards out at Thanksgiving or Christmas. Nowadays, we just order New Year’s Cards. (In really bad years, they’re called Valentines… One really terrible year, I had St. Patrick’s day “hellos.”)

Confession #2: Most of the time I buy the cards and presents on time, forget where I put them, and have to get them again. One year, for my Baby Girl’s birthday party, my husband asked if I would consider just wrapping and labelling everyone’s (old) presents and putting them on a table by the door so they could TAKE THEM HOME.

Confession #3: I have started mailing gifts through the Fall, or even the moment I buy them. I label the package with an “open date.” That means if these gifts miss the proper occassion, at least it wasn’t because I was a slack-a$$.

On the upside, I am making most of my gifts this year. I decided I would paint, create and knit my way through this season. At least my gifts have that personal touch of love, even when they’re not timely.

IMAG1943 IMAG1939 IMAG1840

*  *  *  *  *  *  *

Soooooo….did you inherit the Stuff Disorder gene or the Supreme Organization gene? Are you shuddering right now or nodding your head in agreement? Do the holidays shine their twinkly lights on your greatest strengths or your greatest weaknesses? Enquiring minds always want to know these things here at More Cowbell!

Jenny

Posted in Holidays, Life's Challenges | Tagged , , , , | 25 Comments

3 Things You Can Be Thankful You Missed

The last few weeks have been wild. Here are the highlights – good, bad and downright naughty – just for you. Y’all know I try to spread the love here at More Cowbell.

Chocolate BumsSpeaking of spreading the love, if you know what I mean, my pal Donna Newton recommended the most unique holiday gift: “Get your bum cast and turned into chocolates!” This is an actual thing, concocted by artist Simon Smith.

[I know, I couldn’t believe it either.]

As one lady commented, “I’ve run out of original and thought-provoking gift ideas, so here is a mould of my a**hole…”

I can pretty much give this gift item a windy pass. However, that never stops me from sharing the weird love with all of you. Knock yourselves out with them chocolate bums. Let me know how they’re received if you decide to add this booty to someone’s stocking.

Speaking of gifts, do you remember that amazing birthday massage I mentioned in the last post? It was incredible…at the time. Within two days it resulted in breath-stealing sciatica that knocked me flat. Literally. Ohmygod, how do people live like that??

Three acupuncture treatments later, I am definitely on the mend. But I’ve talked to people in the last few weeks who have suffered from sciatica for YEARS. Holy cowbell… That is just so wrong.

Blue Faced GirlToward the end of that sciatica mess, I was playing beauty parlor with my Little Bean. That’s where I do her hair while she plays with three pots of eyeshadow that I gave her. Her favorite (obviously!) is the blue.

So, I was – slowly – putting the blowdryer away. Remember, when you have sciatica, you do everything slow.

When I turned back around, my girlie had taken the makeup brush and was decorating her girly bits in that bright metallic blue you see to the right.

I’m sure all the parents reading have experienced that weird phenomenon where aliens take over your vocal chords and the damnedest things come flying out of your mouth.

In this case, it was: “Stop painting your vagina blue. We do not paint our vagina!”

I mean, I guess some people do. (If you are an avid vulva painter, I don’t mean to offend. Truly.But she’s in kindergarten…it’s just a wee bit young for this sort thing.

The mothers at my day job have been rolling in the aisles over the body painting going on at my place. I’ve been doing a software rollout, and creating some websites – my good news is that those projects are almost finished. I am very thankful. You should be thankful that you’ve not been working on these projects with me – I’ve been a maniac.

I’m giving thanks today that I survived these last few weeks and that I have all my gluten free supplies waiting to be cooked for this week’s Thanksgiving meal. I even got a new bit of fabulous gluten free advice for French’s fried onions in my green been casserole. Use shallots!

What are you thankful for today? What is the weirdest thing you’ve told the kids in your life? What is your signature dish for the holidays? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in Humor, Parenting | Tagged , , , , | 35 Comments

Happy Birthday to Me!

Birthday Cake

I love my birthday. I always have. It’s not about the presents. It’s not (really) about the cake.

When I think of birthday gifts, I think of the people. Spending time with my husband while the kidlet is in school. Sweet Facebook messages. Hanging with the More Cowbell Posse here at the blog. Those are the things I like, so those are the things I do on my birthday.

Plus I worked more than 80 hours last week to get all my biggest deadlines met before today.

So, that’s the part that is tangible. What about the situations I have less control over, or the things I’m grateful for?

  • The good health my family and I are enjoying.
  • The cooler weather we are finally getting here in Southern California.
  • Being alive and blood clot free these last 10 years since my blood clot extravaganza.
  • Having a happy child.
  • Being employed.
  • Doing NaNoWriMo with my pals. I’m 10K off the pace and I don’t care (much) because I’m having a grand time.

My Girl
My gardenThere’s a massage booked at 10:30 am (thanks, Honey!), lunch with the Hubs, and my girlie has dance tonight, which I love to watch. I’ll putter in my garden, and check in with my pals. I’ll sit and read a book with a steaming cup of coffee at my side.

I have many little moments to appreciate, which equals big plans for the day. Big plans. :-)

What do you do on your birthday, that you might not do the rest of the year? Do you give yourself a gift like I do? Enquiring minds love to know these things here at More Cowbell!

~ Jenny

Posted in More Cowbell | Tagged , , , | 53 Comments