Thursday, October 25, 2007

Bumbo Seats Recalled

I seem to be the "Recall Queen" lately--Ha ha ha!--but I know so many people who use these, so I thought I'd make a quick post about it :o)

Click here for more information

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Isabel Marie Eighmey

At 6:40 this morning, my step brother's wife gave birth to a beautiful baby only 21 weeks gestation. With no hope that she could survive outside of her mother so early, the hospital didn't attempt to incubate her. The new mom and dad had their sweet girl baptized and held her for a few precious moments before her little heart stopped beating. (Sigh...) What a sad day! :o( I hate to even think about myself right now, but this brings back so many scary memories from my own experience with pre-term labor when Landon was almost born at twenty-four weeks. My poor step-brother and his wife are absolutely devastated and could use all the prayer they can, if you have time today, say a prayer for my neice and our family and for all of the babies who come into this world too soon....

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Our Weekend

Sorry I'm late with the WORDS for this post! ;o) I accidentally posted it instead of saving it--Oops! Anyways, this weekend, Andy and I took Landon to "Boo in the Zoo". My sister, Nancy rode with us and my step-mom and baby brother, Ben, met us there. We thought it'd be a cute little event at the zoo with the animals all around us....but it turned out to be thousands of people in a HUGE line waiting to trick-or-treat. That's it...Just a big trick-or-treat line all night long. No animals were out, Landon couldn't even eat any of the candy he got (thanks to the lover-ly peanut allergy--Blah!), and everyone around us seemed to be SICK. (Come ON, people, it's just candy--keep the sicklings at home, poor little things!) Wouldn't you know it, now Landon and I are sick, too? Ha ha ha! It was cute to see Landon and Ben in their costumes together, though. They were adorable! Landon loved seeing all of the other kids' costumes, too. He kept yelling, "Mom, there's Spiderman! Hey it's Elmo, Mom! Look!"...almost like he thought it was all "real"--hee hee! And Nancy and Andy (the candy fiends) spent the whole night high-fiving each other every time they got something good in "Landon's" bag. Look for the picture at the end where I caught them hovering over the pile, bartering and negotiating with their treasure. I was cracking up! Anyways, these little holiday activities I remember loving as a kid haven't always been what I remembered, if you know what I mean...So, either the activities have changed since I was little--or these weird things are actually fun for kids. Food for thought! :o)

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

We See It Every Day

Products are being pulled from the shelves every day due to safety concerns. Starbucks kids cups were recalled after finding them to be choking hazards. At the time the recall was made on Oct. 9, 2007, no children had been reported injured. There were, however, 7 reports of the cups breaking with 2 reports of children who began choking on the pieces.
The Big Big World 6-in-1 Bongo Band toys were pulled from stores because the surface paint was found to contain lead paint. No children had been reported injured as of the recall date, Sept. 4, 2007. The Pottery Barn Kids Mini Zooper Doll Stroller was recalled after it was found that the toy posed an entrapment hazard. By the time the recall was made on Sept. 28, 2007 there had been three reports of injuries and one report of a partially severed finger. Thomas the Tank Engine...Dora and Diego...The list goes on and on. Recently, we have seen all over-the-counter children's cold remedies removed from store shelves. These recalls were all necessary for one reason or another...And even in situations where recalls seem a little "over-protective", the fact that "someone" is watching out for my child's safety (better late than never, right?) should put my mind at ease. My mind won't be at ease, however, until this "someone" turns their "watchful eye" to the vaccinations that are pushed on us, regardless of the number of injuries (and even CASUALTIES!!!) that are recorded following their use. I know no one likes it when "The Pfaffl House" gets all serious, but this is an issue that I find extremely important. When I got pregnant with my son, Landon, I had every intention of vaccinating him. My siblings and I are all vaccinated and, to be honest, I never thought about vaccines being a choice...but after reluctantly heeding the advice of several trusted friends, Andy and I embarked upon a research journey that would change our perspective on the government, our healthcare system, our parenting style, our LIFE. I am so THANKFUL we had the opportunity to learn about this! We spent the months leading up to Landon's birth pouring over books, public records, documents, websites and periodicals about vaccination safety...And after finally making the decision to delay vaccinating our son (which, by the way was in no way, shape, or form a simple or easy decision) we have now officially spent the past 29 months making excuses to family and friends, defending a decision we couldn't possibly have made on a whim (some "suggest" we'd make a choice like this for our precious child without thinking it through), shaking off the repeated terrifying warnings of doctors,and praying hard that we never find our decision to be a bad one.

I am not posting this to convince any of you to turn against vaccinations or to condemn any of you who support vaccinating your children on schedule. I'm still somewhat on the fence, myself, about when and if to vaccinate my own child. We all do the best we can for our little ones. I just want everyone out there to have the same opportunity I did to make an informed decision. (Thanks Kelly and Sharon! I owe you both so much!) I won't write a term paper on all of the things I want to tell the world. ;o) It would be the longest blog post in the history of blogs! Here is a brief sample (as brief as I can be! LOL!) of the things I have learned in my search for vaccination information. I hope you find something new and useful:

*Look here for
a peek into the ingredient lists for several vaccinations.

*Check out this website if you
are interested in some vaccine statistics.

*When you're done there, you may want to take a peek at this one
to find a more "user-friendly" schedule for vaccinations.

*And, finally, here are some
quotes which contain some really interesting information on vaccinations.

If any of you are interested in hearing the personal experiences of a couple of celebrity moms, check out this link to Oprah's website from her recent show with Holly Robinson-Peete and Jenny McCarthy. The women were also speaking on the subject of vaccinations and autism during a joint appearance on Larry King Live.

Thanks for sticking it out through my rant! :o) I hope everyone is informed and no one is offended!

Monday, October 15, 2007

While We're on the Subject

Since we've been talking a lot about colds and germs lately, I wanted to post this quiz for everyone: "Test Your Germ I.Q."

I was surprised to see this:

"1. True or false: Exposing young children to lots of germs helps prepare their immune system to fight off future infections and illnesses.
a. True
b. False

Answer: With few exceptions — such as chicken pox — infections during childhood won't protect your child against future illnesses. A child who has lots of colds and bouts of stomach flu could easily grow into an adult who has lots of colds and bouts of stomach flu. (And in the case of chicken pox, catching the germ is riskier and far less pleasant than getting a shot.)"


Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Although it has been a long road to get to where we are in our family, I feel so blessed for all the love that surrounds my son. It was difficult, in the beginning, for my siblings and me to adapt to the idea of our parents being divorced, so you can only imagine what an adjustment it was to add step-parents and step-siblings into the mix! Watching Landon with all of these people around, though, makes me so thankful I have each one of them. Landon doesn't know about step-grandparents and half-siblings and in-laws. He just knows who loves him...and his life would not be the same without each of the people in our loud, crazy, complicated family.

We really are getting closer to being just that: one big, happy family. These pictures are some that I took this week of Landon playing with his "Grandaddy". They were opening up acorns to find "dinosaur babies", singing nursery rhymes, and exploring in the backyard. It truly touches my heart to see how much Landon and my step-dad love each other.

Monday, October 8, 2007

It's That Time Again!

It seems like everyone is coming down with colds these days! And with all of the new information we're seeing about over-the-counter cold medicines being dangerous for our little ones, where do we turn to give our children the relief they so desperately need this time of year? Here at The Pfaffl House (Wink!), we have a little routine for when colds hit. We slow down our activity level as much as it's possible to do with a pre-schooler in the house. We always make sure the sick person uses a non-medicated saline solution nasal spray several times a day to thin mucous secretions and keep their nasal passages moist. Andy and I drink a lot of hot tea when we're congested, but for Landon, I heat apple juice on the stove and add lots of fresh lemon juice (and sometimes mint) to make something more "kid-friendly". He feels so much better after snuggling up on the couch with a sippy cup of his own special "hot tea". (Try it yourself...It does wonders for a sore throat!) Besides that, we also love using those vapor plug-ins and having a cool mist humidifier on hand. I have to say, though, that the BEST thing we do to treat those nasty winter viruses is good old-fashioned chicken soup! Here is how I make it from scratch:


1 (3-5 lb) whole chicken, cut into parts
1 bag of carrots
1 bunch of celery stalks
2 large onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 pkg. egg noodles
cheesecloth (for straining the broth)
salt and pepper (to taste)

**Have a Broiler-Fryer quartered for you at the grocery store to make the recipe easier**

For the stock:
To begin, place the chicken pieces into a large stockpot. Add three carrots (cut in halves or thirds), two stalks of celery with leaves (cut in halves or thirds), one onion (quartered), six cloves of garlic (chopped), a handful of parsley, and chicken pieces to a large stock pot. Fill pot with water to cover all ingredients (I use a gallon of Deer Park so I don't have to lug the giant pot back and forth across the kitchen). Bring to a boil and then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for about two hours (You can cook it even longer for a richer broth).

While the stock is cooking, slice 4-6 stalks of celery, peel and slice six carrots, dice one large onion, and mince (or coursely chop) 6 cloves of garlic. Set aside.

When the stalk is finished simmering, remove the cooked chicken pieces to a separate container for later. Next, place a layer of cheesecloth into a colander and strain the stock. Discard all of the vegetables left in the cheesecloth.

Return the chicken stock to the pot and stir in all of the chopped vegetables.

Bring to a low boil. Then, cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes (or until the carrots are tender.)

While the soup is cooking, pull the white meat chicken from the bones, cut it up, and when the soup is finished boiling for the 30 minutes, add the chicken to the pot. Add a handful of chopped parsley and a bag of egg noodles to the soup. Continue to cook, covered, for about 10 more minutes or until the pasta is done.

Add salt and pepper to taste.

Extra suggestions:

We usually buy a carton or two of Swanson's Organic Chicken Broth and add it to the refrigerated leftover soup to reconstitute it before re-heating it.

Add or subtract vegetables to your liking. We usually add tons of garlic since it's "nature's antibiotic! :o)

Add herbs/seasonings as desired. (Oregano & sage are both good.)

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Just In Case You Were Looking...

Here is a recipe for a "Kitty Litter Cake". Mmm...Yummy! If you want the link to it (and you KNOW you do!), click here.

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Happy Birthday, Nancy!!!

This weekend, we celebrated twenty years of Nancy.....TWENTY!! I just cannot believe my baby sister is TA-WENTY! It's funny how eight years used to seem like such a huge age difference and now it feels like nothing. For those of you who don't have the pleasure of knowing my sister, you are missing out! She is such a beautiful person, inside and out. She is the "call-in-the-middle-of-the-night, always-there-in-a-pinch, way-too-wisdom-filled-for-her-age, advice-giving, hug-sharing, story-telling, secret-keeping" sister of your dreams and I adore her! In our family, we always make it a point to get together for dinner and cake on each person's birthday, but, as the family continues to grow (just between parents, step-parents, siblings and step-siblings, there will be a minimum of twenty people at family parties!) the birthday celebrations are all starting to run together. You know, sit down, eat dinner, cut the cake, go home. We decided to try to make birthdays more about the individual we're celebrating from now on and began this by having a party filled with Nancy's favorite things.
Landon painted this masterpiece for Aunt Nancy's birthday. (No matter what colors I give him to use, the final product is always brown!)
This is Nancy and her friend, Whitney. They work together at the Ivy Salon If you're ever in town, go see them...These girls are fabulous!
This is a picture of my "little" brother Matt (6'4, big beard, 24 years old, chef, artist, drummer, loves to hike and camp.), his girlfriend, Jennifer, and my older brother, John (29 years old, clean cut guy you bring home to Mama, always matches perfectly from head to toe, knows everything about everything, good at everything, photographer, bike-rider, nerd ;o)...Put us in a line--none of us in this family seem to go together! (I made so much fun of John for that outfit!)

Okay, so now this gets more complicated...Take notes, people! There's a quiz at the end of class! The guy with the beard is my brother, Matt again. He is kissing our littlest brother, Ben. (My dad and step-mom had Ben last year, giving us yet another amazing Granger. He's Landon's "Uncle Ben"!) My dad is sitting next to them on the right.
This lovely girl is Michael's mom, Jeannie. She has just been officially adopted into the Granger clan...What a brave woman, right? Are you ready for us, Mommer? ;o)
This is a picture of Michael and Mommer with my step-dad, David (also known as "Mr. Wonderful" if you meet him on the street one day) in the background.
Here's my step-mom, Landon's "Grandma Diana", with Uncle Ben (still taking notes?). He was digging into the ice cream before anyone could give him a spoon. (Takes after me--hee hee!)
Mommer and Whitney are checking out the animals from the petting zoo we all hired as a surprise (and a JOKE!) for "St. Nancy of Animal Rescues."This was the PERFECT cake for Nancy. Mommer had the people at Strossner's Bakery decorate it with lipstick, hair pins, scissors, nail polish, and curling irons--and it was all air-brushed pink! And since Nancy isn't a huge fan of traditional birthday cake, Mommer also made her a Jell-O No-Bake Cheesecake--HER FAVORITE! Mr. Landon fell asleep before the cake was brought out, but, have no fear! The instant he woke up, he said, "I need some cake now, right Mommy?" (Little sugar-fiend!)This is "Eeyore". Our favorite animal was a donkey named "Burrito"!Michael always knows the perfect thing to give to my sister!! Their relationship is one that anyone could envy! This part of the gift was a framed collage of my sweet Landon...Meesh, you are amazing!This is a picture of my baby brother, Brian (17 years old, 6'4" Lacrosse and video game player, quiet-but-hilarious & sweet as pie!) sitting on the porch with Landon.

So, that's how we do it Granger Style! Happy Birthday, Nancy! We love you, Girlie!