About Elle

I'm a Navy wife and a mama to a daughter who's like a hummingbird on crack.
Author Archive | Elle

Book Suggestions For Adults And Kids

Thanksgiving is coming and so are my in-laws. The horror! Here are some book suggestions in case you want to hide away from crazy relatives and dive into another world that doesn’t involve an uppity mother-in-law criticizing the most trivial shit. Good luck on the day we give thanks and have to do this again next year with family that drives us crazy.

Happy Thanksgiving. The news seems to be more grim than usual and I know it’s been tough on everyone, no matter where you live. Much love!


The Winter People – Strange things are going on in West Hall, Vermont but what is it? This book goes back and forth from present day to 1908. Make sure to leave the lights on while you’re reading. Great book!


Me Before You – This book is beautiful and I fell in love with it right away. Louisa takes on a much-needed job with a quadriplegic, Will Traynor, and it is a really fantastic read.



How Groundhog’s Garden Grew – This is an adorable book about a groundhog eating food from other gardens. His friends point out that it’s not nice to help himself to other’s food so he gets help making his own garden. Ages 3-7.


Boy + Bot – This is a cute story about the friendship about a boy and a robot. Ages 2-6


The Ladybug Girl At The Beach – If only it was still beach weather! This was the first book in the ladybug girl series that we read. Lulu is going to the beach for the first time and she has mixed feeling about it. This is a great book that shows kids that each person has their own way of confronting their fears. Ages 3-6.


P. Zonka Lays An Egg – This has already gone on the hummingbird’s Christmas list because of the gorgeous illustrations and the wonderful message in the book. P. Zonka isn’t like other chickens and takes her time to enjoy the beauty around her, unlike the chickens who are laying a lot of eggs. Ages 3-8.


My Leaf Book – My 6 year-old loves collecting leaves, sticks, rocks, and everything else so she loves this book about leaves. It shows kids some of the differences of leaves and makes it fun. Ages 3-6.


Butterfly Park – A little girl moves to a new town and finds a butterfly park without any butterflies. Soon, with the help of the townspeople, everyone comes together to make a special park. Ages 3-7.

*Are You That Somebody

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Orange Pomegranate Fizz With Vodka

photo credit: ecurry

Photo credit: ecurry

I’ve been having a bad luck dinner week and to top it off, had a royal fuck up last night. I made veggie lasagna with a white sauce that I know is delicious but my mind escaped me and I used oven ready noodles. I realized in the middle of making this lasagna that it might be a big mistake but was hoping for the best.

Nope. Nada. I royally fucked up the lasagna with crunchy noodles. So, off my husband went to Domino’s. Okay, it was more like I started whining about how I really messed up dinner and it was totally inedible and oh my god, we’re all starving and it’s too late to make anything else so please, please, PLEASE go to Domino’s.

Since I’ve been spending more time in the kitchen fucking up dinner more than normal, I came up with this drink in between cursing and stomping around the kitchen. Cheers to you!

Orange Pomegranate Fizz

1 oz vodka

1/2 cup orange sparkling water

4 oz pomegranate juice

splash of orange juice

Combine in a glass with ice, stir, and enjoy.

*I Write Sins Not Tragedies

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Beyond Belief


I read the book Beyond Belief: My Secret Life Inside Scientology and My Harrowing Escape by Jenna Miscavige Hill, which was really good but so beyond belief. Jenna is the niece of Scientology’s COB, David Miscavige.

The things I read in that book just blew my mind. Jenna joining the Sea Org at age 7, signing a billion year contract, hard labor, seeing her parents once a week, if that, little education… mostly of Scientology teachings.

I got sucked into learning more about Scientology and read Blown For Good by Marc Headley. His wife was forced to get an abortion since she was a part of the Sea Org i.e. slave labor and pregnancy isn’t allowed. There was also a very fucked up account of David Miscavige, okay not just one account but many, and this one involved a sort of musical chairs with Bohemian Rhapsody being played. The ones who didn’t make it would be kicked out of the Church Of $cientology.

Before I finished that, I also jumped into reading Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and The Prison Of Belief from Lawrence Wright. This is the book an HBO documentary was based on earlier this year.

Then I found out even stranger things that were so off the wall but after reading these 3 books, I’m much more apt to believe the former members of Scientology, like Paul Haggis, than the spokespeople of Scientology who dismiss them as having some kind of agenda against them or are attention seekers.

This shit is freaky.

For years I’ve heard bits and pieces about Scientology from Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley but holy fuck, these people don’t seem to have any clue about what really goes on in the “church”.

Any little thing, for instance just trying to leave the church, can send a member to RPF, Rehabilitation Project Force, which is like a prison or more like hell on earth.

What Katie Didn’t Know is an article about how one Scientology member was groomed to be Tom Cruise’s girlfriend and the woman, actress Nazanin Boniadi, made a mistake in the eyes of the church and was sent off packing after living with Cruise.

I’ll be honest, from the early days of Tom Cruise, I wasn’t a fan and never got the appeal of him. It always seemed like he put on a happy face but underneath he seemed like he would flip the fuck out over anything. I guess I wasn’t too far off.

I just got Leah Remini’s Book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood And Scientology, and what I’ve learned is that anytime I read anything about Scientology, it still surprises me. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

The “Church” spokepeople always have the same old bullshit retaliations about former members who were “out of control”, they’re trying to further their careers, blah blah blah, but after reading three of these books so far, I find one thing certain. Scientology is full of shit. There’s way too many things in all of the books that really add up.

There were definitely certain parts of these books that got the little hairs in the back of my neck standing up. While a lot of the ways of the CO$ is beyond belief, the truth really is stranger than fiction.


I don’t know about you but I need a palate cleanser after all the CO$ talk, so here’s a cute bunny.


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Sexy Real Estate


My husband is leaving the military next summer so we have a lot to figure out. What the hell is he going to do when he grows up… where are we going to make our permanent home, etc. A few weeks ago we decided to go to an open house to get an idea of what houses are available here.

What we weren’t expecting is that there’s a whole world of real estate that’s sexy. Very sexy. Rawr!

I’ve never been a fan of things like open houses since they seem so unnatural. Just like going to buy a new household appliance. Some places actually leave you alone but other places are ready to pounce on you in seconds. When we walked into the open house, we were greeted by a nice woman who laid it on thick from the get go.

She saw the hummingbird and told us we could give her whatever she wants from the assortment of goodies the agent brought. The bird decided on a bag of peanut m n m’s which once she opened, flew all over the nice brand spankin’ new kitchen floor with several loud ping, ping, pings.

I apologized and stuffed the ones from the floor into my purse, which I’m still finding, while the hummingbird munched on the few that didn’t fall on the floor. The real estate agent, still laying it on thick, kept telling my husband we’re more than welcome to have any refreshments that we want. The hubby and I later joked about what her reaction would have been if I just took my purse over to the counter, dumped the contents on the counter into my purse, and said “Okay, thanks! See ya!”

While our 6 year-old was seeing how many closets she could walk inside, the agent was talking more details about the house and the new neighborhood it was in. She told us this is the new Maine sexy real estate. The old sexy real estate just isn’t as sexy.

My husband and I turned to each other and shared a ‘what the fuck?’ look while suppressing giggles. After more sexy talk, she asked us what we think. I was trying not to pee my pants while wondering if I was being Punk’d. We told her it was a very nice house and she said “It’s so sexy though, isn’t it?” Umm, um, yeah.

Instead of running to the front door of this very sexy house, we decided to finish looking. Well, that and the hummingbird was still going throughout the house and stepping into the closets. I’m sorry. My bad. I mean the sexy closets of the new sexy house.

A few more people were coming in at that point so we made our escape. And that’s when my husband and I spent the drive home laughing our asses off about the sexy real estate agent.

My husband’s favorite part was that the older woman gave him a handful of cards. He can call her any time he wants to see something sexy.

Unfortunately, that house just wasn’t the new sexy we were looking for but there’s still time to find that oh so very sexy house.


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Failure To Thrive


*I couldn’t read this back so there’s probably mistakes galore. And, sorry it’s so long.

Just typing this first sentence sends me into a panic from thinking about a terrifying moment one morning back in July. It’s been the main reason I had lost any interest in most things, including this blog. But things have been building inside my head and I need to be rid of them.

I’ve talked in the past about the hypoglycemic episodes we’ve had with my 6 year-old. Within 24 hours of her being born, she was rushed to the NICU for low blood sugar which was in its teens.

The hummingbird was taken off of medication within 2 months of being born and we thought that was the last of dealing with hypoglycemia.

Two years later, I went to get her up one morning and she was still sleeping, which was unusual. I woke her and while I was picking her up, she started twitching and crying while having spasms. She has never gone into a full-blown seizure though.

With each hypoglycemic episode she’s had over the years, there have been some where we could still treat her at home with honey and juice, and some where we would need to go to the emergency room. There were times where she would be released from the ER within 6-8 hours and other times when her blood sugar wouldn’t regulate and kept dropping to scary levels so she would have to be admitted for 1-2 weeks.

To this day, I worry 24/7 I worry about the possibility of her having a low blood sugar episode. Several of her episodes have been when she was sick but then there have been some episodes that have just come out of the blue.

The little bird has had so many tests and been to so many doctors but at the time, they didn’t seem to have many answers as to what was causing this. Also, the bird is small for her age so the specialists we’ve seen believed that there was another underlying issue but hadn’t been able to figure it out.

So, to be honest, I can feel like a wreck most days with the worry of whether or not she’s going to eat enough to keep her blood sugar up. She’s also very athletic and since she’s such a picky eater with not much of an appetite, that makes the worry and stress overwhelming at times.

We always make sure to have snacks with us wherever we go in case she may start showing signs of hypoglycemia. There have been times she had been so low upon waking up that we needed something much quicker to get the sugar into her because she can be very dazed and can’t follow simple instructions.

I usually dip my finger in honey and start wiping it on her lips and thankfully she has always responded to that by getting to where she can take it from a spoon. It’s probably only been a few minutes when dealing with these low blood sugar episodes but it feels like time stands still.

The bird didn’t have any severe episodes for a while and after we started seeing her most recent specialist, for the first time I’ve felt like I can ease up on the worry a tiny bit and I welcomed that.

When we go to her specialist, I cringe when I hear him say “failure to thrive”. It’s something we’ve been hearing over the years and I know it’s because of how small she is. She’s 6 but about the size of a 4 year-old. Hearing failure to thrive makes me fell like a failure as a parent even though I know we do our best. She’s just not a big eater.

Over the summer, my husband booked a cabin where we had stayed the previous year. It was really cool for us since living in Maine for the past few years, this was the first place we’ve lived where we’ve been here long enough to start traditions with our daughter.

We were also celebrating our 100th wedding anniversary in July so I was actually more excited than I was the previous year we went camping. And, yes. I think staying in a cabin is camping and that’s as close to “outdoorsy” as I’ll get.

I’m certain my kid was a fish in another life because she can swim for hours, which is what she and the husband did for the first few days.

We were all having a really great time, despite being a human mosquito buffet for 4 days and missing the comfort of my couch. My 6 year-old was eating pretty good and we were reconnecting as a family so I felt like I was finally able to unwind on our little vacation.

I promised her that we could sleep in the same bed the last few nights, which is a treat for her. I think it may have been my husband walking out of the bathroom that woke me up early that morning but within a few seconds, I felt the hummingbird twitching violently in the bed.

I took her in my arms to try and see if she was coherent but right away I saw that she was having a full-blown seizure. I want to throw up after typing that because all of the fear comes flooding back from that moment. I called to my husband to grab some honey but we found we didn’t have any. In fact, we only had things she would be able to drink, like juice, to help her get her blood sugar up but she was way past the point of being capable of drinking anything.

While I still had her in my arms, my husband rushed back with some strawberry jam that I started rubbing around her lips but she couldn’t even take that. That was the moment her eyes went into the back of her head and the hummingbird went limp. I feel terrible for even having this cross my mind at the time but I really thought the worst, I thought this was it. We had never experienced her in such a terrible state and I went in a state of shock, all while calling her name and trying to get her to come to.

She was throwing up before she lost consciousness so the jam I was able to get into her just came back up. The panic set in since she wasn’t responding and during this whole time, my husband was trying to get cell reception which was non-existent. The hummingbird started to show some signs of coming to… after what seemed like ages when in reality this episode was maybe about a few minutes. It’s strange how time seems to go in slow motion in an incident like this.

I was finally able to give her more strawberry jam on her lips and she was able to lick it off her lips but she still wasn’t responding to anything we said and in a daze. Understandably. The jam was all over the bed and the two of us were covered in it.

We knew we had to get her to the ER but since we were in the middle of nowhere and not familiar with the area, it made a very terrifying situation even worse. My husband found that the nearest hospital was over 45 minutes away and we had to rush the decision of what to do and decided it would be faster to take her to the hospital.

The hummingbird was still throwing up and in between, she started to accept the strawberry jam I was feeding her with my fingers. It was the car drive that lasted what felt like forever. We finally made it to the ER and thankfully, the little bird was in a much better state but my adrenaline was pumping like crazy and I still felt like I was going to throw up my heart.

They told us that her blood sugar was still pretty low at that point and we spent the next six hours there. This episode with her low blood sugar and seizure left my husband and I stunned but we had actually handled it more calmly than previous times with her hypoglycemia.

Reality hit me after a few hours while I was sitting beside my 6 year-old’s bedside. Seeing my child in that kind of medical emergency for the first time when it came to her seizure has honestly fucked me up. Feeling completely helpless while she had been lying in my arms and thinking the worst has guaranteed that my heart will never go back into my chest again.

I was asking the ER doctor all sorts of questions about seizures and having confirmation that there is absolutely nothing that you can do while someone has one made me angry. I felt that this is my child that I protect and love more than anything, yet I just have to let her ride it out was bullshit. I was irrationally angry about it for quite a while. It made the every day stress of dealing with her hypoglycemia shoot up with thoughts of not only dealing with her symptoms of low blood sugar but that now seizures were something that she might experience again.

When we went to see her specialist within the week, he told us that the chance of her having another seizure was high for the next two weeks and it was two weeks of hell. I didn’t want her to leave my sight. We are really lucky that she has the doctor she does because he is fantastic and has this soothing way about him. Although, after that visit, I was on edge.

To help the hummingbird’s blood sugar stay stable over the night, her doctor has us add a few tablespoons of uncooked cornstarch in yogurt that we give my daughter as a snack before bed. The cornstarch helps slows the digestion of what she eats and so far, she hasn’t had any episodes of hypoglycemia since. We’ve been back to her doctor for a second time and it seems like she’s doing much better with the addition of cornstarch. She’s even gaining a little more weight.

There have still been times since that we felt the need to check her blood sugar if she’s acting unusually tired and yes, that weird noise you may have heard a few weeks ago was probably my kid screaming at the top of her lungs. She still hates getting it checked and my heart breaks every time.

I’ve been teaching her more about nutrition and how important it is for everyone, especially for her because of these episodes she has. Things are sinking in for her that while candy is a treat, it’s so important to make healthier choices with food, like sliced avocado or cashews with craisans.

Every day I still feel like I’m teetering over the edge with the worry that this day may be the day her blood sugar takes a dive. It’s not easy when my anxiety already eats at me as it is. I just want to hug every parent out there who also has kids who have a health condition. And then sit down with a big glass of wine and a very loud ‘cheers’ because parenting isn’t easy.

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What’s For Lunch?

I’ve been stressing myself out when it comes to making sure my 6 year-old eats as healthy as she can, especially with her hypoglycemic episodes. Since she somehow found loopholes when it came to our “take one bite” rule, it’s now two bites which was torture at first.

My kid acted like we were torturing her if I asked her to take a bite of anything unfamiliar but now she finally seems to be giving food more of a chance. The hummingbird can still act like a rabid hyena at times but if finally seems like she understands that I’m not trying to make her eat something horrendous. Most of the time.


L to R: strawberries, raw green beans, cubed cheese, crackers, peanut butter cup, and ranch dressing. This was near Halloween so I gave her a candy treat every few days.


L to R: cashes, craisans, and mini chocolate chips, grapes. yogurt pouch, pancakes, and maple syrup.


L to R: bluberries and clementines, carrot sticks, cheese quesadilla, tortilla chips, and salsa.


L to R: crackers, cucumbers and carrot sticks, peanut butter and honey sandwich, and ranch dressing.


L to R: crackers, cubed cheese and pepperoni, salad, mandarin oranges, and ranch. My kid actually ate the salad. Wow! She’s been seeing me eat healthier and it really seems to make a difference.


L to R: Homemade lunchable… since I no longer let her talk me into getting the ones at the store. cucumber and cherry tomatoes, triscuit crackers, pepperoni, cheese cubes, ranch, cookie.

*Lunch supplies:


*Silicone round baking cups.

*EasyLunchboxes containers for condiments.

*Silicone square baking cups.

*CuteZCute animal picks and forks.

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I’m So Relaxed By The End Of Yoga Class. Then I Have To Go Home. Damn It.


Since I’m so shy in public situations, I never would have believed I would have joined an exercise class. But, I have tried so many different things to try and keep my anxiety in check with some improvements here and there but nothing that made a big enough difference.

Since my husband got stationed here a few years ago, I’ve had my eye on taking a yoga class but always felt too self-conscious. I finally said fuck it, who cares, and signed up for a beginning yoga class that lasted several weeks, If you don’t have much experience with anxiety and panic attacks, it may not seem like a big thing to do something as simple as that but it’s huge for me. I was so nervous and worried about being in a class full of people.

It took some time but I found that surprisingly, I really like the group exercise class better than using dvd’s at home and I felt more inspired to keep up with it.

I found by the end of my second class, it did wonders for my anxiety and I felt like a dumb ass for not embracing yoga much sooner. I haven’t been practicing it much since the beginner class ended but really need to push myself to add yoga into my life more often.

My yoga classes were 90 minutes and truth be told, it took a good half hour before I could finally quiet my mind and actually focus on the now, of being mindful… and it felt good not having so much worry stuck in my head.

But there was some evil that came with my 12 week yoga course. The class was at 6 pm and despite having a light snack beforehand, it took all the focus in the world at times because there was a Chinese restaurant below the yoga studio so all of us would be smelling the deliciousness rising up to our 3rd floor studio. Egg rolls, fried rice, garlic chicken, oh my.

The most amazing part of the yoga class was towards the end of each session when we would spend time relaxing. By then, over an hour had already gone by and I was pretty much in the awesome yoga zone where no matter what life threw at me, it would all still be good. That’s just damn crazy because I don’t ever think that way. Me, optimistic? What?

The class would end but all I wanted to do was stay lying on my mat and spend the night since I was in such a relaxed state. That should be a thing if it isn’t already. Yoga class slumber parties. You wouldn’t have to deal with all the crazy shit awaiting your arrival at home.

After every class, I would take my sweet time walking to my car and driving home since I loved the feeling of my yoga high. I’d pull into the driveway and slide out of the seat of my car, then slowly walk up to the front door of my house, still in a very relaxed state.

My mistake was opening the front door and expecting to let myself settle for a bit while I changed my clothes and ate a late dinner. Instead, I had my daughter run up to me saying “Mom? Mom?? Mommy?? I hurt my toe earlier. I didn’t like what dad made for dinner. Will you please read to me? Am I having hot lunch or cold lunch tomorrow? What are you making me for a snack? Can I have a playdate with Kiki tomorrow?”


And my husband would bombard me with a play by-play of the 1 1/2 hours that I was gone for class. I was glad they missed me but holy fucking fuck. Give a mom a damn minute. I just wanted to pee and change clothes and heat up dinner when I first got home.

Finally, with food in my stomach, I could handle the “mom? mom? mom?” from my daughter and “Elle? Hey, Pookie?” questions from my husband but unfortunately, my relaxed and groovy namaste would vanish a few minutes after walking into my house.

And this is why there needs to be yoga class slumber parties. Someone get on that!

In case you’re wondering because I know you’re not but I’ll tell you anyway, I only succumbed to the Chinese restaurant once. That was surprising since there were plenty of times when I would be in warrior pose or downward facing dog with my stomach growling over the amazing smells from the restaurant, and would seriously consider ditching the rest of the class to stuff my face.

The food ended up being just as delicious as it smelled. Now, if they decide to put a donut shop next to the gym I started going to over the summer, I’m fucked. I can just see myself in spinning class, holding a box of a dozen donuts, getting Boston cream all over the handlebars.

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