Sunday, July 19, 2015


I feel so incredibly inadequate to even TRY to write anything half-decent on this subject, but I'm not going to let that stop me. I had absolutely no idea about this before yesterday and know that I know, I am grateful so I can take steps to protect my family and myself.



Smart meters

Ring any bells?! None of them did for me until yesterday when I attended an educational class held by the Weston A. Price Foundation San Antonio chapter. They hosted a guest speaker, Sheila Hemphill, who has dedicated her life to spreading awareness about electromagnetic radiation.

I am going to share with you, in my incredibly simplified terms, what I learned and what I'm changing.

Light = life = energy

I hope we can all agree on that to start this off on the right foot!

She first described two mushrooms to illustrate her point. One is an organically grown, healthy mushroom which was emitting lots of energy, as a mushroom is a living thing. The other mushroom was a conventionally grown mushroom that's biofuels had been dimished by the chemicals used and it emitted little to no energy. She described that second mushroom as "having a body but being brain dead." Which one would you rather eat?! 

This isn't about food, though. It's about energy. We, as people, emit energy and life and that is recorded through an EKG and EEG. That is what makes us alive! 

Here is a chart that illustrates how much energy these different things emit.

Sorry about the poor quality. I was snapping pictures during the presentation. Brain waves emit 10 Hertz. The earth's frequencies were 6, if I remember correctly (but definitely less than ten).

Cell phones (namely, smart phones) emit 1 BILLION Hertz of electromagnetic fields! Did you know in every smart phone users guide there is a warning to not keep your phone within an inch of your body?! 

That one above looks a little outdated, here are the current guidelines from Apple. (The safety guidelines are based on a highly unreliable test that is not even conducted on humans or animals, but a "manikin" head with a gel like substance inside with a thermometer stuck in the top to see how close the cell phone has to get before the temperature rises a full degree, called Specific Absorption Rate. I kid you not. That is the test.)

Robert Baker, a 2000 Nobel Prize nominee said "I have no doubt in my mind that at this present time the greatest polluting element in the Earth's environment is the proliferation of electromagnetic fields."

Our grandparents grew up with little electromagnetic radiation. It began with radios and was minimal. Our parents grew up with little electromagnetic radiation. Mostly radio and television. (Phones with cords are safe compared to cordless phones). And then our generation and those after me came along. The mobile phone became commonplace within the last 15 years. The cordless home phone became popular. Then the Internet. Then WIFI. Then mobile devices, smart phones, iPads, smart TV's, baby monitors, smart meters (to measure our electricity usage), smart appliances. And now even Apple watches and FitBits that we wear on our person at all times. 

This is all relatively RECENTLY emerging and NEW technology. Do we even think about how this all may be affecting us? All these modern conveniences are not harmless. It is a undeniable fact that these devices all emit electromagnetic fields, which is synonymous with ELECTROMAGNETIC RADIATION. Radiation. Cancer-causing, health-disrupting, as-bad-as-it-sounds radiation. I don't know about you, but I would rather not have myself and my CHILDREN be the subjects of an experiment as we figure out whether our constant exposure to all this EMF is safe.

Our children are exposed to this through wifi in our homes, stronger, more powerful wifi in their schools, in our church buildings, at restaurants, and every moment of the night as they are sleeping in their beds or simply living in their homes. Is it unreasonable to ask if there may be a correlation between this and the inexplicable rise in ADD, ADHD, autism, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disorders and disturbances and even autoimmune disease that we are seeing in our very own children?

Cell phones and home phones used to have antennas, which would direct the radiation away from our bodies. But we wanted smaller and more compact so they now have done away with antennas and those electromagnetic fields are not being directed anywhere but our HEADS. 

France recently BANNED wifi in preschools because there is enough research and undeniable evidence to show it is harmful to adults, much less a small child.

France is not the only country. Australia, Canada, and other countries across Europe are taking steps in the same direction.

I didn't even know what a "smart meter" was until yesterday, but apparently there is a lot of controversy about their safety. Smart meters are digital meter readers for our power that are replacing our analog meters (with the spinning wheel) that emit massive amount of EMR and are very harmful. Dan and I found a documentary describing the situation with the Smart Meters and other EMR called, "Take Back Your Power" and we were able to watch the whole documentary for free on YouTube. I do not have the adequate knowledge or ENERGY (ha ha... ha) to try get into all of this and all the other facets of this issue or even cute all my sources, so I urge you to do your own research and decide for yourself.

We need to educate ourselves and be aware of the harmful effects of this radiation. We are not the first to be innocently exposed to harmful, cancer-causing substances. Think about lead, asbestos, cigarettes, radium and even the x-ray machines at the department store to better see how your shoes fit. In some of these cases, it took hundreds of not thousands of years for this clearly harmful substances to be removed. (Usually because companies were making lots of money off them.)

Here are a couple statements published by the World Health Organization, but obviously not enough for many to recognize a need for change.

For the sake of our own health and the health of our children, we can not wait until the government deems this radiation "unsafe" because we already know it is. There is irrefutable evidence through peer-reviewed, evidence-based research, not to mention the innumerable testimonials of those who have been affected. 

Click on the picture above and zoom in if you can. All the red dots are the physical symptoms that have been reported through reliable research from the effects of EMR (brain rumors, other cancers, heart problems, disrupted calcium metabolism, DNA damage, infertility, sleep, and disrupted immune function). People start to report adverse effects when the electromagnetic fields are as low as 0.000001 mW/m2. The FCC (the agency that is regulating and supposed to be protecting us) "Maximum Permitted Exposure" is 10,000 mW/m2. 

Please don't brush this off. I'm not saying we all need to get rid of our cell phones and move out to the country, but there are little things we can do to reduce the radiation we are exposed to through electromagnetic fields. Check to see if you have an analog or a smart meter (they will install these without your awareness or permission). If you have an analog meter, do all you can to protect it from being switched to a digital meter. Turn off the WIFI in your house when you are not using it or at the very least, at night. (This is the most crucial time!) Turn your mobile phone off or on airplane mode when you are not using it. Avoid playing a movie for your child from mobile device that he is holding as it is closer to his head/his person. Avoid using your phone, charging it, or giving your child your phone to watch or play games in the car. It is worse in the car because the frequencies are trapped inside the car.

We can not see these frequencies that are constantly being sent out and in by our cell phones, the radiation coming from the cell phone towers, or the signals the smart meters are constantly sending back and forth from our smart appliances. We can not tell how much electro-magnetic fields are affecting us as we look at our phones bright screen right before bed and leave it charging right next to us. Do not charge your devices in your room at night or the room you are in.

I only scraped the surface on this issue and there is much more to educate ourselves on. Awareness is key and I am so glad I learned about this yesterday. I challenge you all to watch "Take Back Your Power" on YouTube to better understand how this all affects us. Do a google search about "health effects of EMF." When it comes to my innocent children who have been entrusted to my care, I do not feel comfortable to wait until the government has received enough complaints and has "enough" evidence to tell us this is unsafe. I will not let this experiment be conducted on my children, as the first generation that is literally being affected by this from birth and in utero. I am going to protect my children and not rely on the government or other agencies (who have let us down constantly in the past) to tell me what is and is not safe for my family.

Please feel free to share any insights you have on the subject!

Monday, July 13, 2015

Learning. A LOT.

I am so incredibly grateful for every experience in my life, for each one educates me and molds me into a more refined and stronger person. I am far from the refined, yet powerful, woman of faith I dream of being, but I feel like I am taking baby steps in the right direction. I can feel God guiding my life and that is truly a good feeling.

Every phase of life is so very different, but right now I'm in one of my favorites. I'm learning to enjoy the little moments with my boys. To drop the rush and stop in the middle of the grocery store and grab Jude's cheeks and say "I love you baby. You are Jude James Mulder and there is no one better than you." (That's what my parents would always tell me.) Finding a perfect balance is something I'm far from but I've seen myself finding more of a balance in my life. It's ironic but when I used to stay home a lot more, I wouldn't get hardly anything done. It's when we get up early and go to running group and go to the zoo and do things like that, I accomplish so much more in general. I know I am happier and I know the kids are happier. I have changed myself immensely over these last few months and I can see a change in Jude, as well. He is very attentive to me and as faithful to me as the day is long. Since I have become more relaxed, energetic, fun, spontaneous, and productive, I have seen him grow in these areas as well. It's quite true (and quite alarming!) that so much of who our children become depends on the behaviors they learn through us. So much more often through observing us than the words we say.

I had a friend inquire about the day to day changes I have made that have helped me in this "great change of heart" I have had. (If you don't know what I'm talking about, scroll down and read the post "letting go and living!") I am doing those things I mentioned in that post (although I do catch myself saying "hurry up" still). So here is my attempt to formulate and articulate some things I am trying to do!

I get out almost every day and exercise outside, with or without my children. It does worlds for my attitude. 

I have become a much more no-nonsense mother. Looking back, I feel like my children controlled me more than me controlling them. I have stopped tolerating the bickering and bargaining. (He still does it, but I don't engage.) I do not tolerate whining and am trying to implement "the naughty step" technique I learned from reading Jo Frost's Supernanny. Although I don't have to do it often. I try to be the most loving mother I can be, yet also the most hands-off. It sounds contradictory, but I love my kids with a fierce passion and we are constantly laying together and hugging and kissing and playing and holding hands, yet also realize I don't need to constantly intercede and help them up when they fall. We are surrounded by "helicopter parents" in our society and I think we could all agree it's exhausting. To watch and to do! I try to show my kids I trust them by giving them as much freedom as possible and letting them work through conflicts, struggles, falls, frustrations or whatever else it may be, on their own. I used to think a good mother was one who was constantly self-sacrificing. I didn't ever consciously think this, but looking back I realize I prided myself on being tired from "taking care of my kids." Like the more I "sacrificed" my own time, interests, and health even, the better of a mother I was. Every mother sacrifices. It's just part of the territory. But I've realized the best gift I can give my boys to be truly HAPPY and to enjoy life. I'm doing them no good by feeding them nutritious meals but being tired all the time and not nearly as happy as I could be because I don't take time for myself. I realized I had to be my own advocate. I am obviously the kid's advocate and that's really my life's purpose, but I was letting my own needs dwindle. I took charge of my own happiness and said a stern, unapologetic goodbye to guilt. I go out with my friends in the evening without an ounce of guilt for letting Dan put the kids to bed. When I go out, I try to leave my motherly duties behind and have fun. I bought lipstick for myself that I love and I wear it boldly. I'm a mother and a wife and I love it but that doesn't mean I'm not going to wear a saucy dress and some bright purple lipstick and look good doing it. I sometimes feed myself BEFORE I get the kids food ready if I am hungry. I usually always wait until the point of cranky starvation, but they usually have eaten more recently than I have and they are capable of waiting.

I stopped trying to solve all my kids problems and prevent them from frustration. I used to think a good mother prevented her children from crying and being frustrated. A good mother calmly went over to her child and helped talk him through the problem or get the zipper unzipped or broke up the fight or gave the stolen toy back. I've realized a good mother, in my opinion, oftentimes does NOT intercede. I will let my kids cry and be frustrated and 95% of the time they work through it themselves, or even better, help each other work through it. I show them I trust them and believe that they are capable of working through frustrations by not jumping at their every need. If I am having a conversation, they can be respectful and wait until I'm done to receive help. As much as it really does, my children do not need to feel like my life revolves around them. That is unhealthy. They need to realize there is work to be done and responsibilities that ey have as members of the family. 

I try not to let the judgments (assumed or real) affect the way I care for my children. If we are out in public and my child wants a snack but I know we will be eating lunch or dinner soon and he doesn't need a snack, I'm not going to give him one just because he is crying or throwing a fit and I don't want people to think I'm ignoring my child. I know what is best for my kids and as I consistently show them the way, they will learn it and realize whining and crying is not going to get them their way. And the whining will lessen.

I used to think I had to be centered around my children from their waking hour until the closing of their sleepy eyes at the end of a long day. I have realized I need to fuel myself through reading, dancing, music, or whatever else it may be throughout the day. If I want to read (and my children are taken care of, obviously) I will sit and read and let them play and do what they want to do. It's okay for me to say, "I'm reading right now, honey. You can talk to Abraham or yourself, but don't talk to me right now. I'll be done in a few minutes." Imagine that! It is so good for children to see their parents pursuing their own hobbies as it instills in the a desire to have their own hobbies and get their own work done.

We don't play any electronic games or iPhone, iPad, or computer games and Jude watches about 30 minutes to an hour of TV or movies a week. I have always been this way, besides a few lapses, and really feel like it has benefitted everyone. They are very good at entertaining themselves and do not feel the need to be entertained. They can wait, sit through grocery store visits, etc and find a way to entertain themselves without an electronic device clutched in their chubby little fingers. This benefits them greatly and it is why I originally did it, but I did not realize how much it truly benefitted them and myself. And I'm sure the benefits will continue to be made known as time progresses. This seems like something that would make my life more difficult instead of easier, but it truly makes my life easier in that they can entertain themselves effectively in various situations and do not expect to bee entertained by either myself or an electronic device. Also on this topic, I don't bring toys to the park or store or other places. I want my kids to be able to be amused with the outdoors themselves or observing people and things at the store or in the car without always having toys or books, etc on hand.

I spend quality time with Jude every day reading and doing our "lessons." I feel that he is more able to play on his own and not need me all the time because I have given him undivided, quality time. (They both still pretty much are rarely more than two feet from me!) 

I don't worry about germs (and safety!) as much as you probably do! I worry about food a lot due to allergies, but when they are outside, they can eat all the dirt and bugs they want and I don't stop them. (They're not bug-eaters, though!) I obviously am concerned about safety as much as I need to be to keep them from harm, but I don't prevent every tumble. Since Abraham was just learning to move, have done this (unless it would have really hurt him) and he has learned very fast because he knows no one will miraculously catch him. I try to give them as much freedom as I can so they can learn for themselves. If they do fall, I do not run to them right away but I give them time to work through it and 80% of the time they get back up and don't need me at all. I do not use cart covers at the grocery store. I don't sanitize anything ever except after public bathroom encounters. (Which are very rare because I avoid them at all costs). I RARELY stop Abraham from putting things in his mouth unless there's a choking hazard. Even in an airplane he gnaws on the magazines and seats and everything else! I know you are totally grossed out, but I was the opposite with Jude and he has a weak immune system so I figured I'd try the opposite approach with Abraham and it is working! He has gotten sick a few times, but very rarely and he recovers very quickly. I know there are many factors that can contribute to this, but I truly do feel this has helped. I don't worry immensely if Abraham is taking another child's toys or grabbing a strangers leg or grabbing a friend's purse (all within reason). I know I wouldn't mind if another child was doing that to me and they usually don't mind. Children take toys from each other and I think it's good for them to learn how to deal with it. If your child takes a toy from my child, don't go get it and give it back to him! He is fine and will learn to overcome this trial! I constantly say, "he is fine!" because he is! Motherhood is ridiculously difficult and exhausting, let's not make it harder than it has to be!

I did not know what I was going to write about but that's what came out! These are the things that have made my life EASIER as a mother and over the last few months, have completely changed me. I am more relaxed. I am happier. I am more energetic. I enjoy life more. I enjoy my children and my husband more. I am enjoying life more! I hope we can all try to just enjoy motherhood more. Judge less and embrace and support each other more. We are ALL trying our best and although we all go about it in different ways, we all really are trying. Our journeys can be so much more enjoyable if we walk together, lifting and be lifted along the way.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Good news!!!

I am pleased and grateful and excited to announce good news for my boy!! Everything went smoothly the day of the EGD and couldn't have gone better. The give him a little oral Versed beforehand and then they let me go with them into the procedure room until the mask goes on him (with the medication that puts him to sleep), so he doesn't even remember me leaving him. I'm so grateful they let me stay with him so long. Other places have not been nearly this liberal! He did great up to the EGD. He couldn't eat anything and the EGD wasn't until after 10:00 but he did a great job and was very patient! 

I waited in the waiting room and Dr Brigman came out to tell me the results. I had my legs propped up and I nearly jumped out of my seat when I saw her! This is what she said:

the esophagus looks great. There were NO signs of an Eosinophilic reaction (which is what happens if he eats foods he's allergic to). In the past it has been EXTREMELY evident and undeniable through text books signs of EoE. She can't technically tell me all the foods he's eating are 100% safe until we get the results of the biopsy back, but he chances of the biopsy showing anhinga are extremely small with such a great looking scope. This HUGE!!! He has been medication-free for almost a year so this really was the TRUE test as to whether these foods were safe or not. So all the foods he is eating now are safe for him. What an AMAZING list to have in our favor. Some people who have EoE have a list of only a few foods they can eat, or they are on steroids long term. Jude is on no mess and can eat

Olive oil
Salt, pepper, sugar
Cod (he takes cod liver oil so I'm assuming cod is okay!)
(And his other vitamins to get technical) - probiotic, digestive enzymes, cumin/turmeric

This is the biggest stride we have made. We are so incredibly grateful and humbled. EoE is a relatively new disease due to the rise in allergies and autoimmune disorders so thre really is no "right" way to treat this. In many ways we have just had to be prayerful and pave our own way. I have felt undeniably guided in all this. I'm so thankful for the path that we've taken and that we were able to avoid the elemental diet and so many other distressing paths of EoE. As long as Jude is avoiding the offending foods, he is essentially perfect and as normal and healthy as any other child (I might even say more due to his incredibly healthy and nourishing diet!)

There were a couple hiccups in the EGD findings. There were some reddened, thickened areas in his stomach that indicate a high acid production/delayed gastric emptying. There was also a small bit of bile somewhere there shouldn't be. From what I gathered, these are relatively small issues. I am going to find a natural acid-reduced to avoid Nexium, etc and see how that helps. I need to figure out what the other things mean. Im not really sure yet. But they are minor issues and I know we can get them taken care of. Dr Brigman was mildly concerned because he is asymptomatic so that shows its not that bad.

I'm planning on introducing quite a few more foods over the next year or so and just watching him very closely for any signs of a reaction. If we are slow and conservative and smart (refer to allergy testing done in the past) then I feel like we will be able to tell if something we introduce bothers him. And I will wait a minimum of three weeks in between introductions.

We have to wait until we get the biopsy results back and then we will decide what foods we want to introduce next. Then we will have allergy (prick) testing done later this month and then we will move forward! Jude is so funny. As he's heard me talking about this he'll say, "Mommy, I don't need any new foods. All the foods I'm eating are fine." I think we just doesn't like all this attention on him especially since he doesn't really understand all that is going on and what the process entails.

Thank you all for your concern, love, prayers, and support. If any of you are struggling with allergies/Eosinophilic Esophagitis and would like to talk, just comment and I would love to help in any way I can!

Baloo helped him get through the waiting period!

George was with him every step, even during the EGD! 

A little groggy after the EGD, but he did great and loved the homemade Popsicles we brought for him to have afterwards!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Eosinophilic something something.

It's time for another EoE (Eosinophilic Esophagitis) pos! You think I would write these more often but I don't, and then the night before his EGD I'm like, oh I need to update everyone (and myself) before things change again! So here is my latest post from last October...

We were going to have an EGD last October but we ended up putting it off. Then we were going to have it in April, but we had to put it off because he kept getting "croup," or more accurately exacerbations of his reactive airway disease. (Or whatever. Boring details.) 

We can't do an EGD if he's had any type of illness or virus or cough or ANYTHING or it will be 100 times worse after the EGD because of him being under general anesthesia. So we had to wait until he was "all better" for a while. So here we are. He's been taking these cumin/turmeric pills that decrease inflammation and who knows, maybe it's a fluke but he hasn't gotten sick or had any respiratory issues since we started him on those. 

Since my last update in October, besides the recurrent "croup," he has been really rockin. We have introduced pork and coconut which have been HUGE life-changing additions. We are so grateful he has done well with these new foods. He is still completely off all medications. He takes a Kalire probiotic, digestive enzymes, the cumin/turmeric pill, and Green Pastures fermented cod liver oil every day. I make him homemade juice every other day and that keeps him from being constipated (The Miralax and Milk of Magnesia never helped.) He is gaining weight (which he was NOT when he was on the Neocate formula and prescription medications). He is climbing up the charts for height and weight. He has normal bowel movements every day (you do NOT know what an achievement this is!). He never throws up. He rarely complains of a tummy ache but nothing beyond how any other child would. He occasionally has an itchy throat (was mostly in the Spring so was probably mostly pollen/seasonal allergies). He wheezes occasionally but I think that's related more to respiratory inflammation than an allergic reaction. He eats an incredible diet and has an awesome appetite. He eats very well. Lots of meat, vegetables, fruit is an after-meal treat. And now homemade coconut milk. He is thriving better than I ever could have dreamed. And Abraham is certainly being blessed by all this. We all are. We have learned so much. Jude is obedient, confident, tender-hearted, loving, faithful, protective, brave, and imaginative. I adore this little boy more than I could ever say. I'm humbled to be his better and grateful to be the one to work hard for his success. I wouldn't want it to be anyone but me by his side every day. I'm so incredibly lucky to have him.

I feel peaceful about tomorrow and although I'm bummed Dan won't be there, I'm ready to do this and move forward. I pray the doctors and nurses will be on their A-game for my boy and that when Dr Brigman walks out to the waiting room to greet me, she will have a smile on her face.

(Abraham will randomly go up to Jude and say "hi" and then open his arms up for a hug.) UMMM!!!! 💔💔💔