Our Kin Story

Family Blog, Our Story about faith, finances, food and family things we do together. The occasional Family Video Blog, or family vlog, other films and lots of documentary family photography.

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$844.20 Counteroffer

A bill came in today for $844.20 for our 3 hour visit at CHOC hospital from Rhett's seizure earlier this year. Thankfully, insurance is paying for the majority of it but I could help but wonder, what if I sent them a counteroffer of what price I'd like to pay as my copay instead? This week I announced I will be starting to shoot photography again and in an attempt to jump start my business I offered a very discounted rate, the most disheartening thing was when I received a counteroffer to my already lowered prices. Part of me was sad, then I chose to turn the nasty heart sinking feeling in for motivation instead. I'm obviously not reaching the right people and it's time to get creative with how I market to the  right potential client . A doctor does not operate out of a shack or markets his skills at the fitness studio where people are generally healthy , he waits at the hospital and clinics where they know sick people show up looking for help. This is too what I must do, reach the people who appreciate photography and see photography as an investment made in their families.

** Rett was completely fine, his fever spiked quickly which led to a febrile seizure he had at home which is a condition his father and brother also suffered and he was per-dispositioned to have. Febrile seizures are scary but not dangerous unless they hurt themselves in the process. My mom freaked out and demanded I take him to the emergency room, I knew there was nothing they would do for him, I monitored the seizure so I knew he had not been any injuries and low and behold they administered drugs until he was stable and was told upon our release to go to the pharmacy across the street and buy acetaminophen and ibuprofen to give to him.

Fast, Cheap and Fat - Documentary Film

I came across a documentary film called "Fast food, Fat profits, Obesity in America"

that discusses the repercussions of fast food and its impact in the obesity epidemic here in America. The video explains that the problem of obesity is becoming worse everyday and the cause of this is lack of education. To top this off fast food which is often filled with sodium and trans saturated fats are widely available for children and adults on the go, this makes choosing for example a burger for $1 versus an apple for the same amount very difficult. One may give you 120 calories, carbohydrates, fiber and various vitamins and minerals but the other gives you 600, protein, carbohydrates you feel somewhat more satisfied however are more likely to overeat given the amount of calories and the side options including soda and fries. The video goes to show several people talking about how they are making a difference in the communities by bringing awareness of healthy options for their body. A doctor in particular is rapping or bringing hip hop to disadvantaged children to teach them how to stay healthy by making the medium of education relatable and memorable. Another woman teaches how to cook from raw healthy organic fruit in a community who is in a ‘desert’ of sorts where the only stores that serve the community are convenience stores filled with liquor stores selling drinks and junk food.

I appreciated the information in this video and subsequently showed it to Caspian who loves to eat burgers and pizza. Its very hard as a mother to feed my children healthy food sometimes because we are surrounded by fast, easy and cheap alternatives, being in college and running on top of it makes it nearly impossible. Children are primarily influenced by taste but also by what they learn around them. The video made it possible to explain the long term effects of eating the way he wants to. To further drive this point, my oldest brother was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes at 21 years old, he then proceeded to lose job after job from having to go to the hospital and has been sickly ever since. This is not to say Diabetes ruins your life but he suffered from depression and together they tore him down. When I asked him what about the way he was living brought on this disease, he told me that it was the availability of junk foods specifically hamburgers and sweet drinks that were responsible. He worked long hours and often ate burgers and soda every day, coupled with the lack of exercise, he exacerbated his body and brought on this disease. This is both terrifying as well as sobering for me as a mother, my mom did not really teach us to eat healthy, according to her she always just fed us whatever was available. My brother turned 30 yesterday and my mom is nearly 50, she is obese and also suffers from Type 2 diabetes. I do not want this for me or for my children, so I will do whatever I can to feed them a healthy balanced meal, even if it means Caspian going on a hunger strike until he develops a taste for something other than fast, cheap and fat.   


Have you seen my sweet baby?

He's on a verge of another meltdown, his face is scrunched and his button nose is flaring, tiny stained teeth showing as he whines for me to stop. It's time to go and he needs to put his shoes on. He Yanks at my clothes as I try to wrangle him but he escapes. With his chubby fingers he is pointing at the door, and I explain all over again why we can't go outside until his shoes are on. I think I know now whwt he wants, but it's not time for that now, it's too early. One more time I grasp at him but he yelps and goes screaming into the hallway. He wants to jump outside on the trampoline but it's time to go to school. Its starting to get late so I hold his shoulders and sit him down on my lap. He does not agree with what is happening and slides his body not the cold tile floor, screaming and crying, tears welling in his eyes. Afraid he will hurt his head I slide my fingers down protecting his skull from impact. I shove his little shoes on his chubby feet and a wave of guilt sweeps over me as he twists and turns like a fish caught in a net. When I finish I let him lay on the floor for a minute still screaming from the injustice he just went through. His brother squeezes through the front door and asks if we can go now. I look down again at my youngest and inform him he has to get up so we can go. He protests. Refusing to rise up, he pulls himself together like a soldier defeated in battle, his arms limp and head down, still on his knees he kneels around slowly inching towards me. "It's time to go" I say again, "C'mon sweetie". Can't wait any longer, I reach and pick him up, his stocky body puts pressure on my back, he's so much heavier now. He was once my sweet little baby but it's a  dark road ahead it seems, ive been welcomed into the terrible twos early.


Missing my Kids

I feel like I haven't seen my kids all week. Between rushing them off in the morning to rushing them into bed at night is a day full of lectures and class work and homework and no kids. Actually starting to miss my own kids. I just came home from a 4 hour trip to Los Angeles to do a membership overview for doTERRA, before that I spent 5 hours at school at my Friday nutrition class, in between I came home, ate a peanut butter sandwich, and a mango. I found mi amor outside on the trampoline pushing cars back and forth with Rett, I snuck in the house without him seeing me and then came outside watching him quietly. When he finally saw me his face lit up and demanded I played with him. For about an hour my little boy still dressed in his minions pajamas at 1:30pm and I played running around the front yard and sliding down the slide, he insisted I catch him every time. I left him the same way I left this morning, hoping he wouldn't notice. Luckily by this time I had nursed him to sleep when I handed him off to mi amor. Caspian is another story, I haven't seen very much of my big boy either, I woke up early and made them pancakes, then drove him to school wishing him good luck on his tests. He is an amazing speller, I'm a proud mom. It's now past 7pm and I'm home and no kids, mi amor took them out to eat, debating whether I should take the time to finally go to the gym this week or finally clean the house or perhaps study, but we have no more milk, eggs, cheese and peanut butter, the essentials.


Santa Ana Zoo

Dead roach on the stove. I clean it up and pull out Soyrizo, wheat tortillas, shredded cheese and eggs. There's a pot that has been sitting there for days, it's hard to say who it belongs to since there's too many people in the house. I peek inside and see that what I first thought was powdered sugar had now grown, I dump it out in the sink, moldy red jello. I should be disgusted but nothing can gross me out more than the time I came come to find an investation of maggots on a plate on the counter. I remember it was when we first flew back from Chicago last August and the house reeked but no one thought to check under the aluminum foil, it had been there for a week. My mom says I like to pick fights and am a "carbrona meaning stubborn, opiniated bitch. All I want is for every one to help out and clean up after themselves.  Rett has started to throw his cereal on the floor and I can't find the broom, i send Cas into Mi Amor's room with a burrito and green apples.  Mi Amor walks out holding her plate, she says someone took my broom outside, again. I had just washed it out after her boyfriend had used it to sweep the rat poop in the garage. Irritated. Cas helps me sort clothes and Rett cries by the door while I fold clothes and load the washer. I come back in the house from taking the trash out to find Rett sucking on a lollipop he found in Mi Amor's room, I take it away and he screams and swings at me, now my hair is sticky.  

We had a rough start this morning but Every Sunday is Family Fun day with the boys and today is Santa Ana Zoo day. Every third Sunday of the month is free for Santa Ana residents. Cas led the way as our tourist guide, he read the information plaques of the animals teaching us about them. He was most excited about the Aunt Eaters. Rett enjoyed getting to touch the animals during the live presentation, he pet the bunny and Liberacci the French rooster. He couldn't wait to touch them when the Zoo keeper came near, he reached out his arms and would still be reaching toward her after his turn was up. My favorite was seeing all the primates, specifically the Lion Tamarins of which I wrote a report on in Anthropology. We jumped through puddles leftover from the recent rainstorm and walked out at closing time Happy and hungry. 
       My hungry kiddos talked Javiercito, their adoptive grandfather into taking us out to eat. I only agreed because he said it would be to celebrate my birthday. We ate at Asia Buffet in Fullerton and feasted until our bellies ached. Tomorrow I turn 28 years young and was a perfect ending to a bad eating life habit.

I've been  asking myself what were the moments that made all this craziness worth it and this was one of them. They held hands on the way home after the Zoo, sometimes I worry they won't bond because of their age difference but I see I have nothing to worry about. I am one happy mama. 

Sleepless Saturday

Rett kept me up all night, something was bothering him and he couldn't get to sleep. I think he had a stomach ache, the way he curled his little body in my arms, screaming at the top of his lungs. I was out of DigestZen so I rubbed Peppermint oil  on his tummy, it seemed to calm him down but still he was irritable. I finally got to bed around 4AM. My mom woke me up at 7am to go the food pantry, Serve the People on 17th and Grand, they are such an amazing clinic that serves the community, I've gotten to both volunteer and benefit from their bimonthly generosity. The pantry was closed to i gather my things and head the Prenatal Ultrasound  Clinic to set up my weekly essential oils booth. When I get home the kids are gone, I eat something and blog until they come home. The kids walk in with Jack in the Box and Rett pushes me towards the bed, he's tired and is ready for a nap. 8pm, Cas is on the iPad, I browse the web on my phone, scholarship, webinars,  how can I reach more people to share the health benefits of the oils? 10, 11, 12 am, 1:30am, 2am, Rett keeps waking up again, he poops, I change him, falls asleep and he cries again  I finally move to the top bunk and he cries, again this time because I am not there. I carry him to the top, Cas follows shortly after. I can't seem to get away from these boys. 


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