Mom of Action
More than good intentions.
by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on November 5th, 2016

If you made a list of all the things you're responsible for, what would it look like? Would it be long, short, categorized, or color-coded? Would it take you a day, a week, or a month to write? 

If you could drop everything and work on one project to completion, what would you choose? Would you write a will and trust, plan a birthday or anniversary party, or file and organize all those papers on your desk?
For me, the hardest part of a project is the planning. I can visualize the details and know how I want things to look and function, but the breaking down of a project into small tasks is what usually prevents me from strategically reaching my biggest goals. 
In her new book The Responsible Woman: 52 Weeks to Ultimate Organization & Life Balance, Janene Ustach has done to work for you! Ustach has created the manual on how to be an organized, woman while fulfilling your other roles as wife, mother, parent, or employee and have time for yourself to enjoy your life.

re·spon·si·ble

adjective
​having an obligation to do something, or having control over or care for someone, as part of one's job or role.


by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on November 1st, 2016

Ty "tasted the rainbow" for the first time today. He and his 3-year-old brother got up early and into the trick-or-treat candy before I woke up.

We found out 3 years ago that, for him, food dyes/artificial color additives cause hyperactivity, irritability, and urinary frequency leading to dehydration. Last year we learned of 2 other neurological effects: regression of his handwriting and pupil dilation, a sign of poisoning/toxicity. Generally, people are more curious than judgmental when we decline certain foods or ask if the item contains dye. Sometimes, this information on health forms is ignored. We deal with it, but it isn't easy.

Today, between the hours of 9am and 4pm, he went to the bathroom 4 times an hour (full bladder every time) and drank over 60 ounces of water. I only had to remind him to drink a few times; he usually doesn't feel thirsty until he's dehydrated. With age, he's learned how to recognize thirst to avoid dehydration and he copes better with the behavioral effects. Unfortunately, as of 7:30 tonight, his pupils are still dilated. In the past, these symptoms have continued for up to 3 days after consuming food dye.
Handwriting Samples: 7 days ago (left), today (right). Today's sample was 4 hours after eating artificially colorful candies.
We've worked on fine motor skills for 2 years with great progress, but his stamina, motor planning, and letter formation regress with any medicine or additive with neurological side effects. The photo on the left was from last week and the right was this morning. Notice the difference in tracing accuracy, letter size, spacing, and letter position. Notice that he formed more of his own letters this week, but they don't get better as he progressed. Both times his instructions were: Do your best and stop after you can identify your best. 

This sensitivity will give him many opportunities to practice self-control and make healthier choices. He worked harder and it took longer to finish his schoolwork today, but he understood why. Last year, he regressed several months during a week on prednisone.
Fortunately, his handwriting goes back to normal after the dye leaves his system. He didn't know Skittles contained dye since he's never had them. He is still learning what items have food dye, but look at that list. It's in everything! I can't imagine how things would be if he ingested dyes daily.

Since he's had 30 more ounces of water since 5pm, I hope the dye clears out by morning this time. 

All this for a 1/4 pack of Skittles.

Products with Artificial Dyes

He's learned to ask, "does this have food dye in it?" when he's being served by others. I've started writing it down on forms as an allergy on health forms, even though his response is neurological, not immunological (that we're aware of). We're working with him on reading labels and avoiding foods that have Red, Yellow, or Blue in the ingredients list. I wish that were enough. Here's a list of other items that commonly contain artificial dyes. Which one surprises you? What's not on this list?

Medications, over the counter and prescription (liquids and pills)
Clothing (new, unwashed) 
Hair products (shampoo/conditioner, hair gel)
Crayons
Markers
Finger paint
Play-Doh
Cleaning products (window cleaner)
Powdered drink mixes (Koolaid, Country Time, Crystal Light)
Pudding and gelatin mixes
Crackers
Chips (Doritos, Cheetos)
Juice drinks
Baked goods and boxed mixes
Frosting
Sprinkles
Fruit snacks
Toiletries (shaving foam, toothpaste)
Candles
Skin products (make-up, lip balm, lotions, sunburn gels)
Body washes and soap bars
Meat
Soda
Candy
Cereals
Electrolyte drinks (Pedialyte/Gatorade/SmartWater)

by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on October 12th, 2016

Starting at around age 3, we began memorization of safety information with our boys. My oldest is 6 and he learned his address quickly after we printed a sign like this and put it over his bed. He sleeps on the top bunk so we taped it to the ceiling.

He read the sign every night until he could recite it with his eyes closed. Although we had practiced verbally for over a year before he began reading, the visual image of his address cemented this learning for him. Most beneficial for use was that he could glance at it anytime, so he didn't need us to remind him to go over it. He is also able to write it correctly since he's seen it in print.
 
Note: We stopped at "City, State." My oldest was memorizing his phone number at the same time and we didn't want to confuse him by adding the zip code. 
Share this post, subscribe, or comment below and I'll send a copy so you can print it and take action today!

by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on August 26th, 2016

I think I've used more words in the last 6 years than I've said in the previous 30. While I'm amazed at my boys' curiosity, excitement, and delight for life, I've said some things I never imagined myself saying.


by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on August 24th, 2016

In the sensory nervous system, sensory information is processed by two separate but equally important parts: the body, which senses the stimuli, and the mind which processes the information. This is our story.

DUN DUN



by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on August 22nd, 2016

First off, these are not true "snickerdoodle." A snickerdoodle snob will tell you that a cookie isn't a snickerdoodle without this crucial ingredient: cream of tartar. I won't bore you with the details (but Google is waiting if you care to know) because these aren't cookies.

Here's what you should know: they contain no cream of tartar, but the sour cream in the batter makes them taste like a snickerdoodle.

After I tested this recipe, I took a poll on my personal Facebook page and most people agreed that I should call it like I taste it, so these are snickerdoodle muffins.


by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on August 22nd, 2016

Peanut butter is gold around here. My husband once joked that we'd need a genetic test done if one of our boys didn't like peanut butter. I held my breath when each of them had their first taste of PB. And not because I was worried they'd be allergic.

I'm happy to say that we're 2 for 2 on Team PB! They ask for it daily. We buy the giant jar.

Ahh, peanut butter, the truest genetic test. (Not that there was any question.)


by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on August 17th, 2016

Recently, I came across a meme that read: "Is it just me, or were July and August like, 5 minutes long?" That's exactly how I feel! The new school year begins in less than 2 weeks for my boys. I've seen several first day of school photos, so I know many of you have started already. 


by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on June 3rd, 2016

Earlier this week my neighbor and good friend, Cyndy, offered us a loaf of banana bread. I didn't see her text until much later and we had several sweets in the house at the time, so (my scale) and I politely declined. But her offer reminded me that I made this bread months ago, and hadn't posted the recipe yet.

Of course, now I wish I had accepted her offer because I see these photos and want banana bread!
I dislike bananas. That's probably not the best way to start a recipe with 'banana' in the title, but it's the truth. I don't like the texture of the fruit, the way the peel feels in my hand, or the little stringy things the peel leaves behind.

But I like how they taste, so I'm willing to peel 3 of them for this delicious quick bread. Here's what I like most about bananas in this preparation:


by Tanisha DuBransky | Mom of Action on May 20th, 2016

On Thursday, my child went to school with unbrushed hair, morning breath, without breakfast in his belly, sockless, and without his glasses. Before you report me to Child & Family Services, know that this was the first time that has ever happened and will likely be the last. I'll tell you why.