Christmas Eve

Posted by J on Saturday, December 24, 2011. Filed under: , , , ,
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last minute finished monster for my youngest
Hand Knits ready to wrap
The Christmas spirit has not caught me until late and frankly, I'm a little sad that tomorrow it's all over because I just didn't get into this year. I don't know if it was the weather or what but this year has been very mellow for me and sort of shocking (meaning that I've been shocked on how late in the year it's become).

Last night we went to see Christmas lights, something we started to do last year and have decided that this will be our yearly family tradition as we never really started any for ourselves. Tonight the kids and I are going to bake some sugar cookies from my husband's great grandmother's recipe. I think these might become a tradition as well, of course I had to modify the recipe to make it gluten free but it worked out super well. If I get his permission I might post it (of course it is NOT SCD legal). I found that I'm perfectly okay eating some of them (and by some I mean 2). I'm grateful for these small sense of normalcy that I have found this year but I'm still careful to not stray far from the diet.

Teacher's Gifts

Radio Silence

Posted by J on Monday, December 19, 2011. Filed under:
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This is me and my baby nephew. 
My SIL, her dog, cat, and zee bebe came to stay with us for the week and I mostly ignored housework, blogging, and my knitting to hold this baby. 
I'm just now playing catch up since they left yesterday, but as far behind as I am it was totally worth it! 

Nothing like little baby snuggles. <3

I also think that I have decided that at some point in the near future I'm going to go ahead and make another blog for my knitting business and keep this one for SCD and randomness. 

SCD Legal Holiday Cranberry Sauce

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Cranberry sauce is one of my favorite things about the holidays. The last couple of years I felt bad for myself as the dish was passed around the table but this year I decided to take matters into my own hands and come up with a recipe so I could eat some too.

I had a couple of requirements:
1) It still had to be a little tart, I wanted it to actually taste like cranberries
2) I had to be able to make it the night before.

A word of caution: this is an advanced SCD recipe. Cranberries have tiny little seeds and skins, if you don't think your gut can handle this please don't try! You could try straining the sauce through a fine mesh strainer but I do not know how that will work out. 

SCD Legal Holiday Cranberry Sauce
serves 12
2 12oz bags of fresh cranberries
2 cups orange juice
1 cup honey
1 tbs cinnamon (optional)
2 tbs orange zest (optional)

Rinse your cranberries and check for any rotten ones or stems or anything that looks like you don't want to eat it.

In a large pot combine everything and bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce to a simmer. Stir occasionally until all the cranberries have burst.

Turn off the heat the sauce will get thick as it cools. Store in the fridge until you're ready to eat it.

That's it.

You can add whatever spices you want, orange zest, cinnamon, ginger to name a few, which is why I listed the cinnamon and orange zest is optional but these things really make it taste special. 

December! The busiest time of the year!

Posted by J on Friday, December 9, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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Next week is finals week. My husband works at a university, he's also a grad student. This week he's finishing up all his projects for his masters' classes and next week he has to go into work early every  morning to make sure everything is going to work for the finals (he's in IT, the university does a lot of electronic testing in various labs around campus). It's going to be a stressful week!

I promise 100x over that I will have the cranberry sauce recipe uploaded as soon as I can get the card reader away from my husband (will probably be tomorrow or Sunday) he's taking the kids down to a Christmas party and I'm going to start wrapping gifts, I'm going to have to take breaks so I'm planning on typing and formating during my "down time".

I also wanted to mention that my pattern for the Lil' Hoot bag is now available on ravelry for download (it's free)!

of Cranberry sauce and babies

Posted by J on Wednesday, November 30, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
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The cranberry sauce turned out fabulously. I actually ended up making it twice since we barely had any left overs after Thanksgiving dinner. I'm working on writing up the recipe and I will post it very shortly. It's an advanced SCD recipe, meaning that you should have been the diet for a while before eating it. There is nothing illegal about it, and it's quite easy, but cranberries have a lot of little seeds and the skin of the berries might be hard to digest at first. So there's that.

My baby nephew was here over Thanksgiving and during his tummy time he spent some time on my blanket. So now I have an actual baby on my actual blanket. I'm excited. He seemed to like it, he's only 5 weeks old so he was into the black and red colors. He's a sweetheart (and I'm not at all biased). 

I've been super busy this last couple of weeks since I got some commission work for a set of Christmas stockings and several head pieces. I'm hoping to have everything shipped out by this Friday but I still have quite a bit of work to do, just odds and ends. I'm excited about having the opportunity and hopefully everyone is happy with my work!  I'm thinking about trying to get some stuff together in Octber of next year and maybe selling some already finished object via my facebook page or etsy. People don't tend to want to buy in July but as soon as mid Nov hits everyone wants something! It would be a lot easier for me if I had some stock handy. Initially I wanted to do that this year but I got really busy with other things and it went on the backburner. Of course I also talked myself out of it since I was convinced that no one would pay the price I wanted for my stockings or other items (obviously, I was wrong).

I've found it's a lot easier to just give up before you start instead of quitting I guess, because if you don't even try there is no risk of failure. It's a sad way to live, and I'm determined to not do that to myself anymore. Good things happen if you work hard and put yourself OUT THERE.


Posted by J on Wednesday, November 23, 2011. Filed under:
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My brother has gone gluten free so my mom and I are making an entirely gluten free Thanksgiving and I couldn't be more excited about it! Right now I have Pumpkin pies in the oven, one with a gluten free crust, one with no crust, and I'm making cranberry sauce on the stove.

I'll let you know how the cranberry sauce works out this is my first time trying this. I researched a few ways to do it online and then (of course) decided to work out my own version. Hopefully it works out!

Knitting and gifts and knitting

Posted by J on Monday, November 14, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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I haven't heard anything from KnitPicks about my little owl bag so if I don't hear from them by next week I'm going to go ahead and post it (for free) on here and over on Ravelry. I already made it into a PDF so it'll be super easy to download or save in your ravelry library!

I want to make sure it's out in time just in case people want to go ahead and make some gifts with the pattern, it's quick and easy and would make a great gift for an owl lover! My daughter's love it.

I'm working on another free pattern, this time something for men. They are hard to shop for and harder to knit for. I hoping to have this one done by the end of the week and ready to share on here and on ravelry.

My newest pattern is also up on It got posted last week but I was very sick so I didn't think to mention it on here. Here is Winter Child.

I'm very proud of these one! I'm still planning on three more baby blanket patterns for knitpicks (already had the designs accepted, jut working on actual sample knitting and patterns). They are going to be coming out after the hoildays, which I think will be great because these next three sort of  go together.

That's all I'm going to say about that for now. 

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Posted by J on Thursday, November 10, 2011. Filed under: ,
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Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon  to use at just for voting!

so I'm sick, actually sick

Posted by J on Friday, November 4, 2011. Filed under: ,
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... at least sicker than I thought. I'm on antibiotics because my left tonsil has been swollen now since April. Yes April. I had the PA look at it last time I was in for a med check and she said it was fine, apparently the doctor said it's gone too long and he wants to try to get the swelling down since it has been bothering me.
There is fluid in my ears (knew that) and my voice is still not all the way back. The nurse asked me if I was a smoker. Ha!

So now I'm worried that my Crohn's is going to flare since I'm on antibiotics and my gut flora is going to be all screwed up. I'm on a liquid/soft food diet for the next five days until I'm done with the antibiotics then I have to reintroduce foods and see what happens. I really wanted to eat a pickle tonight, but I didn't, can't have the seeds, or skin, or anything crunchy. I had a smoothie instead and scrambled eggs for dinner. Tomorrow I'm going to make chicken soup and drink broth all day. All I have is frozen chicken but it's just going to have to do I don't feel like going to the store, but maybe I will tomorrow? I hope so.

So it's November. I'm not done Christmas shopping or crafting. My kids made their lists just the other night. My littlest only asked for one thing and of course it's the most stupid expensive creepy baby doll on the market right now.
 I don't know if you've seen the commercial for this doll but her mouth lights up green and her knee glows when she has a "boo boo". Creepy. I ordered it from Kohls and paid 52.00. She retails for 75! If I find it cheaper on amazon or something I'll just return the Kohl's doll, but at least I have it now. I don't want to be stressing about buying a creepy baby doll later on.

Eldest wants the Skylanders game. We already bought the stealth elf figure (he also requested) the game itself is 70 bucks, apparently it's worth it but he better freaking LOVE the game seriously. I haven't ordered it yet, I'm waiting for some of my swagbucks amazon gift cards to show up then I'll be able to get it for 40, which is much easier to swallow.

Middle Girlie is already done. She asked for this Hello Kitty megablocks set and this little castle.

I also bought them a bunch of things that I refer to as "things they didn't know they wanted" books, craft kits, candy, you know fun things. I actually want to just get started wrapping everything but I'm going to wait until December.

Also in December Eldest turns 10. 10. Seriously, double digits.

so I'm still sick

Posted by J on Wednesday, November 2, 2011. Filed under:
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Today I slept a lot, I think I really over did it yesterday or I actually have a flu-ish virus. My entire body aches and I'm just tired tired tired. My voice has been improving through out the day but I've taken three naps and it's 11PM now and I'm about ready for bed again. I hate being sick. I hate feeling like I'm behind on everything (house work) and I haven't knitted in three days, I just haven't had the engergy for it.

I'm thankful though, that this is just a regular normal-person-sick and there has been no Crohn's involvement at all. So as much as I hate it, I'm grateful! I can't believe I was sick (Crohn's sick) for so long, every single day, and I thought there was nothing wrong with me. How freaking crazy is that?

a few things..

Posted by J on Tuesday, November 1, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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  • I keep forgetting about using swagbucks which is really bumming me out now that I want to do Christmas shopping! I went ahead and installed the toolbar on this computer so maybe I'll remember now, there's always next year. 
  • New FREE knitting pattern will be going up soon, I've made this one into a PDF download I suppose it will be easier for people to use.  It's this cute little owl purse, which will be a great super quick knitted gift!
  • I can not believe tomorrow is Wedensday already! After Wendesday I pretty much consider the week over, it seems like before you can blink it's Friday night again.
  • I still don't have a voice. 
  • I sort of enjoy not being expected to speak.

This is Halloween..

Posted by J on Monday, October 31, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I snapped this picture then two days later we had four inches of snow.

My kids are out trick or treating with their dad, I'm sick with a cold that has decided to settle into my throat. I sound like a witch, very fitting for tonight!

I just have had a bubble bath and now I'm going to go make some soup and settle down on the couch and watch some episodes of The Haunted, something I'm not allowed to watch when the kids are awake. Since the TV is usually occupied this time of year by my dear husband (football) I'll settle for anything I can get. We'll probalby get three trick or treaters. I really want to eat a peanut butter cup, but I won't, don't want to fall into that trap. I don't want to get cocky since I've been feeling so well Crohn's wise and mess everything up!

Happy Halloween I hope your night is frightfully wonderful!

Tomorrow is November, and I will start to flip out about Christmas. Ta!

Normal, and Boring, and Lovely.

Posted by J on Monday, October 24, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I keep meaning to write but then I sit down here and I find I really have nothing to say. Things are going well, as well as can be expected for my little family. My kids have colds, but they are okay. I'm still in remission, thank God though I'm having some issues with my throat, I feel like it's been swollen for months now I go to the Doctor next week so I'm going to have him look at that. Hopefully it won't involve antibiotics but with my luck I'll have to have my tonsils removed and eat ice for a couple of days. I heard it's awful to get down while you're older but honestly compared to Crohn's, depression, and giving birth, I think I'll be okay. As I've mentioned before my health is a priority, because if I'm not well I won't be able to properly care for my children.

I suppose though, that I'm getting what I wanted most: a normal, "boring" life. I love it, but there's not much to write about, at least not in a way I've figured out yet.

blogging from the toliet

Posted by J on Tuesday, October 18, 2011. Filed under: ,
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Flower pottys - - 592456
Once again I'm blogging from the toliet, yes I have pants on. I'm just sitting here while I have a kid in the tub this is really the only time I get to write. Since she's turned 3 Miss Lady has not let me out of her site. She will completely ignore me while I'm in a room with her but as soon as I leave said room, she starts screaming for me.

It's been a long couple of weeks.

My sister-in-law was due to have her baby last Friday, she is however, still pregnant. I can't wait for this little guy to arrive! I'm finally going to be an Aunt! I'm not really sure how significant that actually is but I am super excited for it!

Been knitting, a lot, so much that my hands are being to chap and crack. It's painful I hate this time of year when the heat starts coming on 1) because it's expensive and 2) because it dries me out. Oy. I also have patches of dry skin under my eyes. I guess I've suddenly become allergic to my face wash (cold cream) so I switched to just plain old Dove soap and it seems to be clearing up. At one point the skin was cracked and bleeding, I looked a little like a zombie.

Oh and I cut my hair!

Guest Post: Depression Awareness Month

Posted by J on Thursday, October 13, 2011. Filed under:
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Join the Fight: Depression Awareness Month

It is so hard to take care of the house and the kids when you need a fork lift to get out of bed each morning. That is why it is so important to spread awareness about Depression during October, Depression Awareness Month. I would surely like my husband to have more awareness, although generally, he is patient and sympathetic with me.

What motivates me to write about Depression Awareness Month is my daughter. She called me from her dorm and said, “Mom, I can’t sleep, I can’t eat; I can’t focus on my homework. What’s the point of all this anyway?” I had hoped none of my children would experience depression. I’ll have to revise my hope.

While searching for information on depression in young adults, I learned that 44% of college students have depressive symptoms. As my daughter would say, “OMG.” How is it possible that so many young people, close to half,  are depressed when they’re just out of life’s starting gate? I find it outrageous that suicide is the second leading cause of death among college students. It can’t be right to ignore these statistics.

How Bad Does It Have to Get?

Think about it; if 44% of university students had the flu all at once, it likely would be labeled an epidemic. I think if people realized how big this problem is, there would be more concern; or, at least the start of more concern.

The other day my ten-year old said, “Mom, you’re such a crab,” and that was to my face. My husband calls our life boring, and my mother thinks I’m lazy. There is a little truth to the laziness part, but that’s not why the laundry is piled up. I do not want my daughter to be afraid of people finding out she is depressed.

That is why I am thrilled about Depression Awareness Month. It won’t fix the problem, but it is a start. People need to know what the symptoms are, what resources are available, and those that are suffering deserve to feel accepted.

As for myself, I want people to know that I do not expect to be babied, and do not feel sorry for myself. I want people who are suffering unnecessarily to find help. I want to purchase my medication without feeling a tinge of shame.

There Is An Easy Way To Help

There are some people who are doing more to spread depression awareness than just talking, like me. Help for Depression, a depression resource, and a nonprofit called To Write Love On Her Arms, have joined forces this October to raise money for depression awareness.

If you can click with a mouse, you can make a difference. Go to the Help for Depression Facebook page and click the ‘Like’ button. For each new ‘Like’ given between October 1st through the 15th, $1.00 is donated to their $15,000 goal. Please take a few seconds to click and contribute.

About the Author

Jacqueline is a creative writer, published poet, and has an MA in counseling psychology. Her education is backed by 12 years experience as a licensed clinical counselor. 

up all night

Posted by J on Monday, October 10, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
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This article from Boing Boing was shared with me on Face Book. I knew the story, I've been following Reid's progress and blog for over a year now, every since I was up late in my hospital room googling Crohn's, aka: what the hell was wrong with me. This article is amazing and I hope that it gets a lot more people on board with this diet. Yes it's hard (at first)  but it's for your health, is there a better reason to just give it a chance? Honestly, what is there to lose?

That's the point I was at 15 months ago right after my diagnosis, granted, that is not a very long time in the grand scheme of things but when I look at where I am now to where I was... I don't ever want to go back to feeling that way. My main motivation has always been caring for my children; which is why I knew I had to try everything I could to get well,  but now that I am feeling better than I ever have in my life,  I'm realizing that maybe I can have an actual life outside of this disease and outside of my role as a mother.

I think that's why I'm so excited for my knitting designs going out into the world. I created them on my own, no one helped me, no one felt badly for me because of my condition, people that are using my patterns probably don't even know that I have this disease.

I want to be an advocate for this disease, (or my combo of diseases, depression and Crohn's) but I don't want it/them to define me. I'm not sure how I would even define myself, this actually kept me up last night, I'm older now that I ever though I'd be, and now I'm not sure what I'm supposed to be doing with myself! It's a crazy feeling, and I'm not quite sure what to make of it yet.


Posted by J on Tuesday, October 4, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I finished my latest design, Winter Child. I'm planning on sending out the sample just as soon as the weather clears enough for me to get some good pictures of the blanket and all the details. I'm super happy with how the blanket turned out! Knit in superwash wool, Knit Picks Swish in worsted and DK weight, it's warm and washable. Perfect for a new baby (and mama!).

crappy picture took on the floor of my hallway :-)

 I really wanted to create a gender-netural pattern and this is what I came up with. I have a winter baby myself (my eldest child was born Dec 13). Did you notice my subtle nod to Harry Potter? While I was knitting that little burgendy and gold hat I was chanting "Go Go Gryffindor" in my head. Now I really want to go read those books again.

Pattern should be up for sale (with much better photos!) within the next month. I'm completely excited, giddy, nervous, all of those things.

blog from last night

Posted by J on Monday, September 26, 2011. Filed under: ,
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My Viao finally bit it, so I've only had the mac (can't get my photos on to it) and my iPod. I finally realized tonight that there was an app to blog (and really what isn't there an app for?).

A lot has been going on the past couple of weeks and I felt like I was being pulled in several directions at once but things are finally slowing down and I feel like i'm finding time to catch my breath.

My littlest turned 3 last week, this is the first of my children's third birthdays that I have not been pregnant with another one. It's finally starting to sink in that I'm not going to have any more children and it's been hard on me. I'm not sure how to feel or what to do with myself. I'm thinking about what I'm going to do when my littlest starts school. It's scary! I have been so in the moment with the children for the past ten years just focusing on caring for them not considering the fact that eventually there won't be an infant to care for, that these children on day will all be out of the house at the same time and I may not have to vacuum twice a day (at least not on week days). Crazy for me to consider what to do all day, and I'm pretty freaked out!


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I typed a really long post on this bitty iPod screen and published it on the wrong blog! Lovely! I'll fix it tomorrow. Have to sleep now!

the breakdown

Posted by J on Wednesday, September 14, 2011. Filed under: ,
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My son has officially been diagnosed with Vitiligo, as I mentioned previously, I expected this but it hit me harder than I anticipated. For the past two days I pretty much moped around and felt sorry for him, for me, and for our family.

Vitiligo (vit-ih-LI-go) is a condition in which your skin loses melanin, the pigment that determines the color of your skin, hair and eyes. Vitiligo occurs when the cells that produce melanin die or no longer form melanin, causing slowly enlarging white patches of irregular shapes to appear on your skin.

I know. I know that it could be worse. I know that having this condition is not the end of the world and there are (some) treatments that could work for him. I think it's important to take the time to grieve when these like this happen. It's okay to feel bad, but it's important to stop too.

Today I'm feeling better about the situation and I'm going to support my son in whatever he decides to do in terms of treating his illness. Granted, he's only 9 years old, but I don't feel comfortable about making decisions related to his condition with out talking to him and letting him decide ultimately what is best for him. It's his skin, there are spots on his face. It's not something he can just cover up with clothing.


Posted by J on Monday, September 12, 2011. Filed under: , ,

Tomorrow I take my son to the dermatologist to see if he's got Vitaligo, as we all suspect. One of my cousins (ironically, my son's God mother) let me know yesterday that she has it as well so now I'm almost 75% sure that's what it is.

I'm so tired of everyone being sick/ill/waiting to be diagnoised with someting. My mom's appointment at John Hopkins is next week as well, I think once everything is said and done I'm going to need to go somewhere warm and stare at the ocean. I just need a break. I feel like I can't breathe right now everything seems to be coming at me so quickly.

I'm trying my best to stay calm and too keep my own diease in check, but when I come here, it just all pours out through my fingertips. I hope you understand. I need somewhere to let it out.


Soot Gremlins

Posted by J on Friday, September 2, 2011. Filed under: , , , , , ,

My Neighbor Totoro (Two-Disc Special Edition)My children have recently become obsessed with the film My Neighbor Totoro, it's adorable and funny and just a really great film. In the movie there are these little black fuzzy blobs of dirt called the "Soot Gremlins" (I keep misspeaking and calling them Sprites, but in this translation they are Gremlins). My kids were so enthralled with these little critters they tried to be sly and started conversions with "you could probably knit those..they don't look they'd be too hard" so my oldest daughter and I headed to Micheal's and picked up some black fun fur and I knitted them up. Here is the pattern that I came up with, it's super easy and quick the fun fur hides a lot of errors so don't worry if you've never worked with it before!

Yarn: 1 skein Furry yarn in black (I used Fun Fur)
1 skein worsted weight yarn in black (I used Vanna's Choice)

Needles: size 7 US circular needles (to magic loop)

Misc: 1 pair size 9 safety eyes
small amount of poly fill for stuffing

With the two yarns held together cast on 20 stitches. Join and work in the round for 12 rows.

Cast off all your stitches.

Turn the piece inside out (the purl side of the work is usually more fuzzy, if you like he Knit side, by all means use that) attach your safety eyes. Sew up the top of the Soot gremlin. Stuff the piece and sew up the bottom.

You're done!

Today Today

Posted by J on Wednesday, August 31, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
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For the past couple of days I have not been able to log into blogger, of course this happens when I actually have something I want to talk about!

My children have gone back to school, another summer is behind us. They are at two different schools this year and there was a fair bit of nerves this morning. Readjusting to having just one kid at home is sort of weird too. It's so quiet here and little one is not letting me out of her sight. We went shopping today but those trips won't be very frequent especially when it starts snowing (October, yes I'm sad about it). I'm sure we'll find something to do, but I have to say that I got a lot of house work done today!

We made our way to Micheal's where my darling 2-year-old daughter chose her craft kits that she wanted to do (okay she's nearly three), she loves those foam kits that have the sticker backs. She got one to make book marks, one to make Halloween pumpkins, and a turkey craft. Each kit has enough to make between 4-20 items, it should keep her busy for a couple weeks.

This morning, I wasn't sure we were going to be going anywhere. My stomach hurt, and it was making noises. I was nervous until I realized that my period was supposed to start today, so I convinced myself that the pain I was feeling was related to that, and went about my day. The strange thing was one I decided it was related to my period I sort of stopped thinking about it. I took my meds and followed my route and we were able to leave the house get all our errands ran and (most) of the house hold chores done. I felt really accomplished today, and it's sort of silly, before I would have been beating myself up for the stuff I didn't get done because nothing was good enough and if I wasn't completely exhausted by the end of the day obviously I had not done enough. No I'm grateful for ever semi-normal day I have! What a difference, and I'm so glad for it.

so very tired, but in a good way.

Posted by J on Monday, August 22, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
No Comments » I had to go get a tooth drilled this morning, then I went grocery shopping. That pretty much wiped me out for the day. After my face stopped throbbing I made dinner, played with the kids (my middle girlie can now ride her bike with out her training wheels!). It was so cold here today that I actually wore my wool jacket out this afternoon to watch them play. Oy. I am not ready for winter yet.

Tomorrow I'm taking my mom shopping and we are taking the kids out to lunch before they start back to school next week.

I'm not ready for that yet either, but it will come. I've adopted that as my new policy. Before I would get all stressed out about events that were going to take place, now (and I'm sure my meds have something to do with it) I'm a heck of a lot calming and am trying to take things as they come, even if I'm not looking forward to them. They are going to happen away, and I'm going to move through it. Like getting my tooth drilled (ugh) I showed up, I survived, I moved through it, no reason to work myself up, make myself feel sick, and have to put things off.

On the knitting front, I am about half way done with my newest design sample and will hopefully be able to spend a lot of time with it over the weekend. I'm also still working on Christmas gifts and attempting to plan a birthday party for my youngest who will be 3 next month.

I'm sort of busy.

Weekend Recap

Posted by J on Tuesday, August 16, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
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This past weekend we traveled back to my home town to attend a birthday party for my friend's little girl (she turned 4!) and we stopped by to see my other friend's 8 month old daughter. We went out to dinner as well, and I didn't get sick. Huzzah!

I'm so excited to report that I ate at Perkins, had the make-your-own omelet (with mushrooms, spinach, and tomatoes) and fruit as a side. It wasn't the best omelet I've ever had but it was filling, and as I said before, I did not get sick.

Do I plan to keep doing this? After not eating out for over year all of the sudden I've eaten out three times in the past two weeks! No I don't plan on continuing to do this. 1) we just can't afford it lol and 2) it still makes me nervous. I did promise the kids that I would take them out for lunch before they go back to school, but we'll see.

In Knitting news, I finished my Daughter's birthday unicorn
Birthday Unicorn

I know that's very exciting, but I love to knit and if I don't share it with the blog world then I really don't have anyone else to talk to about it. Sorry ya'll!


Posted by J on Thursday, August 11, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I'm feeling better today, although I'm still having some pain. Still no other symptoms though and my wrists feel better as well. Freaking weird.

We spent the day in Pittsburgh on Tuseday, I have pictures. I will write a proper post later!



Posted by J on Wednesday, August 10, 2011. Filed under: ,
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I woke up this AM (3AM actually) in sever pain. The pain was all over my stomach, like I had been punched repeatedly. I wanted to cry. My wrists are also hurting today. The pain is still there over 18 hours later. Ugh. I had no other Crohn's symptoms today (meaning no diarrhea, bleeding, etc).

If I'm still feeling like this tomorrow I will call my GI but until then there's nothing to do but wait (and try to sleep it off).

lost week

Posted by J on Sunday, August 7, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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I feel like I lost an entire week, I don't mean that I wasn't busy, I really was, but I had planned on doing a lot of things and not much got done!

Middle girlie was at day camp all week, which means all the kiddos and I had to be up and out the door by 8:30 every morning. Big Deal, you say. I am not and never have been a morning person. It's been a pain for me, but good practice for the upcoming school year I suppose. Ugh. Not looking forward to that!

I am looking forward to the weather turning colder so I can get back to baking and creating new recipes. I'm looking forward to Halloween, and Christmas shopping, and knitting up things with soft wool and using it as a blanket while I'm working on it.


Speaking of knitting with soft wools, my pattern was accepted by Knit Picks and is now for sale on the site! I am beyond excited, it's something I never thought would happen for me. I'm so grateful for the people at Knit Picks for taking a chance on me and sending me the yarn to knit up this sample. It was a great experience!

Crohn's, Birthdays, and Eating Out.

Posted by J on Sunday, July 31, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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The days have been going by so fast! At least it seems like that. Right now I'm stealing a minute to write while my 2-year-old is in the tub. Yes I'm in the bathroom with her, she's playing in the water and I'm sitting on the toilet lid with the lap top. It's all about multi-tasking when you're a mama!

Hubby turned 33 on the 29. I baked him a gluten free apricot cake with white chocolate butter cream icing. No, I did not eat it, but it smelled fantastic and he said it was very good. That's all that matters.

On Saturday we went mini golfing as a family (hubs, myself, and our three kids). Mini golf is not a 2-year-olds game. She'd hit the ball once and then pick it up and drop it in the hole, actually she went around the green and picked up everyone's ball and dropped them in the hole. It was very cute, well had a good time, even though I was freaking out (inside) because the only toilets there were port-a-potties but I didn't need to go. Then...we went out to eat at Eat n' Park. Yes this was the first time I was out to eat in over a year. We chose to go there because the kids like the food and they have a dedicated gluten free menu. I got char broiled chicken and the salad bar as my side. They had a bunch of fresh fruit available so I had cantaloupe, honey dew melon, and grapes. I also had a salad with mixed greens, hard boiled eggs, green & red peppers, cherry tomatoes, and mushrooms. It was very good. I ate way too much but I did not get sick!

I was very nervous at the restaurant and I think I freaked the waiter out a little when he came to ask if I wanted another side with my meal. I said no, but he said he had to put one in, was applesauce okay. I said "No, I can't eat that...I have Crohn's disease and this is the first time I've been out to eat in over a year and I'm freaking out!" My son said, "yeah bring it, I'll eat it" the waiter slowly backed away. Hubby thought it was hilarious.

Then we went to Target and walked around, bought the kids some books and headed home. It was really nice hanging out as a family like that. Those times are very few and far between because we're just so busy. Tomorrow middle girl goes to day camp for the next two weeks and then hubby starts another semester in grad school, then the kids go back to school. This summer is nearly over, the time has really gone by so fast.

Also, I knitted a monkey.

Posted by J on Tuesday, July 26, 2011.
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knit monkey for xmas, originally uploaded by bridgetroll.

I finished this on my b-day. It's being put away until Christmas for my son. Yes I've started my Christmas knitting! I'm hoping to have it all done by October and then I'm going to start on the five stockings that I promised my mother I'd make for her, my father, my brother, SIL, and their new baby (due in Oct!) name TBA.

I'm so happy with this little monkey. I'm planning on making at least three more, one for each kid (my three + my new nephew!)

Happy Birthday!

Posted by J on Monday, July 25, 2011. Filed under: , , ,

I made it! I'm 29! Well I was as of Saturday. I baked an Orange Cream cake on Friday night after it cooled off. It was 111 on Friday while hubs was driving home from work. I kids and I spent the day inside blissfully unaware of the temps.

On Saturday my dad invited us bowling, I actually won a game. This was the first time I've bowled since I was in high school, up until now my wrists always hurt I couldn't even pick up a bowling ball. Just to be safe I used some of the lightest balls but I was fine and I bowled several strikes, which surprised me to no end!

After bowling my husband made dinner, steaks on the grill, mushrooms, watermelon, strawberries and my cake for dessert. He also did the dishes. It was a wonderful day.

I kept thinking about how far I've come from last year when I was still in shock over my hospitalization and awaiting a diagnosis. I really believe that getting that diagnosis saved my life (more about this later). Looking back over the last year I am truly blessed in my life and so thankful for all the support not only from my family but everyone on the web in the alternative medicine community that provides support for these diets that really do heal people.

Baby Shower!!

Posted by J on Tuesday, July 19, 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , , ,
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This past week was all about the Baby Shower. I threw my SIL a baby shower on the 16th and pretty much every waking moment from Thursday of last week until Monday was spent planning the shower, shopping for the shower, crafting for the shower, hosting the shower, and then cleaning up after the shower.

It was a heck of a lot of work but I think she enjoyed herself! Hopefully everyone else did too, but in the end it's all about the baby right?

It was a mustache bash, super fun theme.

We ordered the cake from the local grocery store, we just got it done with the writing, I added the ducks which I mustached with sharpies.

Me, wearing my mustache. We tried to take pics of all the guest wearing their 'staches.

My SIL surrounded by my girls as she's opening her gifts.

I'm still tired! I still love planning parties but it really takes a lot of me now. I don't know if it's because I'm "old" now or it's the heat, or just the fact that my Crohn's has been simmering (more about that later).

Of course I knitted for the shower.

This is a little kimono sweater, pattern from Sweet Mama, Small Sugar. Love her patterns!

This one is my creation, a baby Janye hat knitted in sport weight sock yarn on size 3 needles. I'm planning on making the pattern available soon (free!).

I'm going to post a few more pics of the shower at a later time, after I've recovered! I have a GI appointment on Thursday, which is making me a little nervous, but I'm sure it'll be fine. I'll update on that after it happens of course!

far away, so close.

Posted by J on Monday, July 11, 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Today my mom was very off, she hadn't been out of bed in two days. I was trying to convince her to let me take her to the ER but she refused. She did make an appointment for later in the day (I wanted to take her to the ER around 10:30 AM, she got an appointment for 3PM), which is good, at least she was admitting that she needed some help. She's very stubborn and it doesn't help that she's a nurse too, I think those in the medical field are some of the very worst patients when it comes down to it.

While I was arguing with her to go to the ER my stomach was making these very loud groaning noises. I told her she was making my Crohn's angry, she laughed, that was good. I got her a cup of crushed ice and she ate three spoonfuls, then she slept for a bit.

Around 2PM I went back to check on her and she was in the bathroom sitting on a chair attempting to blow dry her hair. I have no idea how she managed to get her hair washed but after two days in bed I'm not sure if I could have hung over the sink and washed my hair, but she's very concerned about her hair so I sort of knew she would make an effort to do something with it.

While I was standing there watching her blow drying I noticed how thin her hair has become it's especially noticeable when it's wet when the hair sticks to itself in clumps. As I stood there looking at her and thinking about all of this I felt nauseous. I don't think it was the thought of her being bald but because if she was she'd be obviously sick, right now she can sort of hide it. She hasn't driven in two years, but she's got a disabled parking permit and sometimes we get dirty looks when we use it because the only thing people can actually see is a slight limp.

I'm feeling really disconnected from my mom lately. She's so sick, and I hate seeing her like this. I think it's hard for her too, having to rely on other people when in the past she took care of everyone else, as a wife, a mother, and a nurse. It must be so hard for her attempting to adjust to this new life. It makes me so sad for her. It makes me sad for me too because I've lost that person that I use to know and I feel like I'm finally mourning for her and trying to get to know this new person who is inhabiting my mother's body.


It's sounds crazy but knitting this was like a prayer, I'm not really sure how to explain it, but it was meditative. It helped that the pattern was created for a woman who had lost a child and I think that sentiment stayed with me throughout the knitting process. It was a comfort to feel the yarn moving through my fingers creating this cloth out of string, it's amazing to watch and to be a part of. I felt like my mourning for my old relationship with my mother began with knitting this shawl I touched on some emotions that I had been denying myself for a while and it was very cleansing for me. I have plans to knit two more, one for my mom and one for my Aunt, who I've grown close to over the past month.

I feel like healthy to try to be productive through all of this. Maybe I could just curl up and cry like I would have in the past but I can't now. I have to move through this I know that I've been given these challenges for a reason and I have to be here and present to feel these things that I've been avoiding for so long.

So if I have to cope with knitting needles in hand, so be it, there are far worse things I could be doing.

pattern is Far Away so Close by Sweet Mama, Small Sugar.

Love Drop July '11

Posted by J on Tuesday, July 5, 2011. Filed under: ,
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The Love Drop team is at it again! Last month they gave over $5,000 worth of cash and goods to their recipient, the Aubin family, who was struggling financially after the passing of their dad, and this month they're ready to do it again and help out another person :) They've given out over $45,000 in the past 6 months, and show no signs of stopping.  If you know of anyone yourself that could use their help, make sure to let them know.

This month they're heading down to Atlanta to help Felicity, a little 4-year-old girl who was just diagnosed with brain cancer. Felicity had immediate surgery and is currently undergoing aggressive radiation treatments for the remaining portion of her tumor. We want to raise $5,000 for her family to help cover mounting medical costs, as well as the future expenses a new baby on its way will bring. With your support and generosity, we can really do something special for them!

Here are three ways you can help:
  1. Give $25 towards medical bills <-- Click this link to contribute $25 towards Felicity's radiation treatments. It'll help them out a ton!
  2. Give a gift or service- Gift cards are always helpful. Places like Target, Wal-mart, restaurants, etc would definitely help them out. Services too - especially those you can offer yourselves, or from your company.
  3. Join our blogger network - Blog about our Love Drops each month like I am :) It's easy, it's rewarding, and it REALLY helps spread the word (which in turn helps our families). Love Drop will give you all the content you need.
Thanks so much guys!  Here's to a great month of paying it forward!


Posted by J on Sunday, July 3, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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yes that is Kermit on my shirt
This year has been crazy, and I'm not talking about 2011 in general but this past year from July '10 - July '11. This month marks my one year diagnosis with Crohn's. I feel a lot better, in fact better than I have in years. I hope this continues and I really feel like I have myself to thank for this (so much for being humble) and God of course, who give me the strength to do this. I pray every night for the resolve to stick to my diet to be healthy, and to be a good mama for my children.

So that sort of sounded like an awards speech, which is not what I was intending. I'm just grateful, so very grateful for the chance to feel good, and like a normal person, to not be walking around in pain every day and so very grumpy. I love my life, my kids, my husband and I hope that there are good things to come for me and my family in the future.

I'm trying to put myself out there now that my health is stabilized and I feel like I can make it a priority. My sample got mailed off to the publisher, which was a huge step for me, fear has held me back all my life and I can't let it do that any more. I don't want my children to grow up thinking that it's okay to just give up on what they want because it's scary or it gets hard. That's not what life is about and I'm just learning this now! I hope that I can be a good example for them, it's taken me long enough to get here.

wondering where I've been?

Posted by J on Thursday, June 30, 2011. Filed under:
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I've been working on this huge knitting project (for me) okay it's not that big (as in size) but I'm excited about it anyway! I'm sending out my sample tomorrow as soon as I get up the courage to do so, and doing a final edit on my pattern tonight. I'm going to be listing it for sale on rav and hopefully another source soon.

The blanket, in my opinion, is adorable. Hopefully others will think so too!

ETA: as of 07/05/11 the pattern is available for sale!

I need a hair cut.

Posted by J on Wednesday, June 22, 2011. Filed under: , , ,
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I don't think I've had my hair cut in like...a year, or two, I honestly don't remember. I made some stupid deal with myself that I wouldn't get my hair cut until I had published something and gotten paid for it.  Can I just say, that ain't gonna happen before my hair is down to my butt and being a Crohn's patient, that could get messy.

My youngest daughter has started saying "Mommy, Mommy, let down your hair!", which is cute, but also ugh.

I'm not sure what to do with it though, I usually cut my own hair (yes even the back). It's thin, so it's not hard to do but there is just so much of it right now. I like having it long enough to put up into a pony tail but this is a big excessive. I'm going to be in a wedding in March but that's forever away and I'll have time to grow it out again by then if I need to. 

Being a girl is hard, men don't have to make these types of decisions.  Can I mention of fracking (yes fracking! nerds unite!) grateful I am at this moment that this is my biggest issue in my life right now?

SCD Summer Time Food

Posted by J on Monday, June 20, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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left overs for dinner, pity me :-)
I've found that eating in the summer is so much easier. The photo is what I had for dinner last night. Grilled portobello mushrooms, zucchini, and a crab. The veg was marinated in olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and garlic. The crab was rubbed with SCD legal  spices (surprisingly enough I picked it up in the club pack section of Wegmans, all the ingredients were legal!) including thyme, cinnamon (yes!), red and black pepper, sea salt, and cumin. These were actually left overs from Saturday night when we had a big lobster boil. I was able to eat everything on the table except for the bread and the potatoes, however, who wants to fill up on that stuff when there is lobster, shrimp, clams, crabs, and grilled veg? 

I cooked all the raw sea food, just steamed it until it was done and we boiled the lobsters. My husband grilled the veg and these crabs (they needed reheated) I ate until I couldn't eat any more. A couple of hours later we had strawberries that I had sliced earlier and put in the fridge with about a cup of honey poured over top. I ate mine with yogurt, everyone else had their atop vanilla ice cream. Topping the fresh strawberries with honey made the best tasting strawberries I've had in a long time. I found before, in my previous life (before SCD) that slicing strawberries and then pouring a bunch of sugar on them didn't really work since it always ended up gritty and just not sweet enough the honey method is so much better and no one complained.

yummy legal fruit!
I love using fruit as a dessert especially chilled melons, SCD legal and a crowd pleaser at any event or meal. You just can't go wrong with it, my 2 year old even eats it, which is amazing, she's a little picky.

Did I leave this family event feeling hungry and left out? No. Of course we made too much food and have leftovers that need to be eaten (by like tonight) and I got really sweaty standing over boiling/steaming water in the kitchen but it was totally worth it to enjoy the evening with my family enjoying a meal we could all eat.

Of paint, depression, and change.

Posted by J on Tuesday, June 14, 2011. Filed under: , , , ,
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Over the weekend my husband took our kids to visit his family. I stayed home to paint the dining room and the kitchen. It was in dire need and I don't mind painting. It was so quiet here with out kids and I had a lot of time to myself while I was rolling "pale sunshine" on to he pepto pink walls (who paints their dining room pink? whatever!). 

The drama has been thick recently. My Aunt had a house fire (she's fine, damage is limited to one area,  the firemen got it quickly) which scares the crap out of me. Fire is one of my worst fears and especially since hers was electrical, well that just freaked me out more. My mom doesn't think my Grandma is going to last to the winter, which also scares me. She's 93 years old, she's had a good long life but I've never lost a Grandparent before. I know I'm lucky, to be nearly 30 and never suffered a loss like that but now here I am staring it in the face and I'm not sure what to do.

It was nice to focus on painting. I don't know if it's my medication or what but I've been able to focus lately, before my mind was going a mile a minute and I could really do one thing at a time. Now it's like a check list up there, I can focus, I can complete one task in it's entirety and move on to the next one. It's incredible! I feel silly for saying that I'm excited that I can actually do the dishes without getting distracted by the fact that the floor needs swept and end up only doing each task half way and ending up with more of a mess then I started with. Maybe that's confusing and it was/is just me, but I'm glad that's changed.

I guess I never realized that I never got a break, there was always something I was freaking out about or anticipating in my own head. It was never quiet. Over the weekend I took two long hot bubble baths, it was sort of like I was getting away with something because I usually never get the chance to do that. It was wonderful to actually relax with out rehashing all my mistakes or be making a mental list of all the other crap I had to do.  I never knew what I was missing out on here. I'm so much calmer, the noise and the random pain I was having in my gut nightly has stopped. My GI told me that she thought these symptoms were being caused by stress, I really didn't think I was under all that much stress at the time because that is what I was use to and accepted as "normal"!  She was right, and thank God she told me!

It's amazing what someone can convince themselves of to the point of illness and breaking. I don't want to be broken anymore, I just want a normal, boring life. That's it. I want to be comfortable in my own skin, have enough money to take care of my family and make a home to raise my children in. I'd also like to have some chickens but if that can't happen I'll be okay with that ;-)

Carrots pushed me over the edge...

Posted by J on Tuesday, June 7, 2011. Filed under: , , , ,

Just a warning: this is a Crohn's heavy entry, I'm talking about poop, and gas here! 

I inadvertently put myself into what I'm calling a mini-flare on Saturday night/Sunday morning. I'm still feeling the effects right now. It's odd, because as of right now my bowel movements are formed, and I only had two bouts of loose stool. The real issue I'm having is joint pain, mostly in my wrists, which is the area that has been the most effected by my disease.

My husband had taken my kids camping, we live in a state park so the camping area is just a short four mile drive from our house. It has been cold lately so he didn't want our 2-year-old staying over night in the tent. I don't camp (I'm allergic to about seven types of tree pollen being in the woods is misery even with medication), so I shuttled her back and forth between the house and the campsite. I showed up Saturday night for a campfire and brought along a 2lb bag of baby carrots, between my dad and I we ate all of them.

Now here's the thing: I've always had issues with carrots. I can eat a few of them with no problems, raw or cooked, but more than a few (and I'm talking more than like 5) I get gas and painful cramping. I don't know how many I ate on Saturday night but by 1 AM Sunday morning I woke up with the most horrible pain I have ever felt in my life. I've given birth three times, twice without any sort of medication, this pain was worse than that. I instinctively felt my stomach to see if there was any swelling, on my right side there was a hard lump. I could feel and see my intestines through my skin, I could literally put my fingers around it. I was so scared. Of course the only person in the house that could come to my rescue was my 2-year-old daughter so I didn't make a noise. After googling bowl obstructions on my ipod and seeing if I could still fart (I could!), eventually I found a position that wasn't too uncomfortable and willed myself back to sleep, the pain had lessened but I was feeling pretty nauseous at this point. Several times through out the night I woke up again, in pain, the mass had moved and it seemed like every time it was trying to "go around a corner" I would have this pain. Finally around 6AM I had a bowel movement, which was completely orange and pretty loose. After that I was able to go back to bed for a couple of hours until the baby got up.

On Sunday I was nauseous pretty much the entire day and my stomach was sore, like I had been doing crunches all night. I had another lose bm that afternoon, again, carrots. I also noticed the my wrists started to hurt around that time. I realized then that I must be having some sort of flare, my crohn's was angry that I got cocky and ate too many damn carrots. I ate very little solid food on Sunday I stuck to smoothies, bananas, water, and tea. By Monday I forced myself to attempt to eat all my calories since I came in about 500 short on Sunday (I just could not bring myself to eat). Monday was okay, I had no bms that day and no gut pain, gas though and wrist pain.  Today, my wrists are still feeling a bit sore but other than that everything is normal, 2 bms today and all formed.

I guess I got too comfortable with the diet and what I could and could not eat. Even though carrots are "safe" they aren't so safe for me personally. This disease is so humbling, you just never know what's going to happen.

As of now I'm completely off of carrots, the thought of them makes me feel sick.


Posted by J on Wednesday, June 1, 2011. Filed under: , , , ,

I just absolutely do not believe that it's June! May seemed fast, and slow at the same time. I'm glad that school is going to be out for the summer next week, at the same time I'm nervous to try to entertain these kids all summer. Right now I have ten minutes, to type this entry, before I need to start dinner. The baby is asleep (finally) I've been trying to get her to take a nap for the past two hours, sort of frustrating. I have nine days to finish my knitting sample, and for a few of those days my husband is taking my kids camping which means I'll have our 2-year-old all to myself (which means nothing will get done).

It being June also means that next month is the anniversary of my hospitalization and subsequent diagnosis with Crohn's. I really do feel much better than I have in years, but I'm also nervous. I'm honestly terrified of going somewhere with out a bathroom. I'm afraid to just go somewhere, anywhere, on a whim without planning it all out. We haven't been out to eat, and I haven't stayed overnight anywhere that didn't have a dedicated kitchen for nearly a year now. I realize that I can't keep living like this but I'm not sure how to get over it.

Getting on the antidepressants and anxiety meds was the first step but I'm still wary of changing my routine. This is working, for now, and I'm afraid to change it because I don't want to get sick. It all comes down to that. I don't want to be sick, who wants to be sick?! It's always in the back of my mind, every cramp, every noise, every time I pass gas (yeah who wants to talk about that?!) I'm afraid that my Crohn's is going to flare, even though it hasn't. I feel like the further away I get from my last flare I become more terrified of the one that's coming. I haven't heard of anyone that gets out of this with only having one flare and one hospitalization. I'm terrified of going off of the SCD and adding things back in. The closer it gets to my big one year mark the more nervous I get.

I know I don't have to go off my diet at all, I'm in charge of what I put in my mouth, but I'm feeling a lot of pressure to do so.  A lot of things I've read have suggested that most people who have been on the diet successfully for some time have been able to go out to eat and have one meal completely off diet very occasionally (about once a month).  My kids really want to go to Pizza Hut on Tuesdays when they have the all you can eat buffet. When I think about going there I end up analyzing every ingredient in something I might eat. If I have a slice of pizza that's not just one thing that's not currently on my diet, it's several! Milk, lactose, sugar, gluten, several grains, probably soy. I could go and just not eat, or have a salad with out dressing (or cheese since the shredded bagged stuff is covered in cornstarch to keep it from sticking together), but I won't really enjoy it because I'm so paranoid about cross contamination and the fact that it's Pizza Hut, there's flour flying through the air there!

Besides if I'm going to go have a meal completely off diet, I'd rather eat my grandma's perogies or her fried fish at least I know for sure what goes into those things even if they are completely not something I should eat right now.

Happy Memorial Day

Posted by J on Monday, May 30, 2011. Filed under: , ,

my youngest daughter putting flowers on the grave of my Great Uncle

Last week we drove out to the cemeteries to decorate the graves of my grandparent's families. It was the first year we were invited to do this because usually, Grandma makes it a point to do it herself.

Grandma's health hasn't been the greastest. She's 93 years old, there's nothing medically wrong with her (as in a diagnoisis or anything) she's just old, and things are wearing out. She still made sure that the flowers were bought, and that someone was going to go decorate the graves. Since my mother is disabled and does not drive she asked me if I would mind running her, I asked if it was okay if I took the kids along. She said yes. I think these sort of things are important.

While we were there my older two starting asking questions. My eldest (the math wizard) started telling us at what age people passed as we walked through the stones. I showed him the grave of my second-cousin, whom he was named after and passed away when he was just five years old, that gave him pause. We talked about death, and heaven, and why we come to places like these to decorate and up the keep the graves. They were quiet, and respectful and when we left they thanked me for letting them come along.

It shocked me and I was proud of them for understanding. 

We don't go to church, this is something we want to change but I'm still working through some issues with the idea of it and my husband wants us to go to a Catholic church but hasn't really made an effort to actually go. So we're sort of stuck in limbo. My kids know about God, as much as I've told them and they watch Veggie Tales but that's as far as it's gone. I feel stuck, and I need to pray about it.

Summer, School, Stuff

Posted by J on Sunday, May 29, 2011. Filed under: ,
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As I'm writing this I'm hearing screaming from the living room, my husband's voice asking "What did you take from her? Why is she screaming like that?" it's our two year old, the drama has been intense here now that big brother and sister have been home more, it's hot, and the sun is staying out longer. This house is no longer run by Miss 2-year-old all week day long. Summer vacation is going to be a huge adjustment for all of us.

I'm demanding time for myself, mostly to finish my knitting sample (deadline is in sight, I'm nervous about finishing) but also to blog, as I have been not doing much of it lately. I can blame it on a lot of things, but it's just me, chosing not to. I've been outside spending time with my kids and my husband, I'm actually trying to have conversations with my father and work on that relationship as well. In other words, I've been focusing on my "real life". However, there has to balance and I do enjoy having my blog and reading other blogs (oh I haven't done that in forever it seems like) so I'm taking two hours every other night to knit, blog, and read. It's not much time but it's what I'm willing to give it right now. I'm going to mostly blame the weather for that one, it's been so cold and awful here on the mountain and all of the sudden it's thunderstorm season! We lose power during every storm so there's that but when it's sunny and warm I crave outside, it's been dark so long.

My father got in to Graduate school. He's much calmer now and easier to talk to, it seems like we're more on a level playing field or some such thing. I'm not even sure if that makes any sense but that's how it's feeling. My husband is also in grad school so they've been getting along better as well. I, myself, am enrolled in grad school (meaning I got in) but I'm not actually taking any classes yet and I don't know if I will at all. At least not any time before my husband graduates (4 more classes, it'll take him 2 years) there is absolutely no way we could deal with everyday life if we were both in school right now. Anyway, it looks like my dad will be riding to school with my husband since hubby works at the university. Sort of full circle I guess since when I was in undergrad my father quit his job to go to school, he was a freshman when I was a senior and we rode to school together as well.

So that was a big brain dump but I feel like I had to get it out. Blargh, so there.

Banana Sunrise Smoothie

Posted by J on Saturday, May 28, 2011. Filed under: , , , , ,
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Every day at 11:30ish I make this smoothie. Why 11:30? I have no idea. I've never been good at eating breakfast. I usually just have tea, feed my kids, and do a bit of house work then I might have another cup of tea and check my email. It never fails that by the time I'm actually feeling hungry and wander out to the kitchen it's about 11:30 *shrug*

Banana Sunrise Smoothie

2 frozen bananas
1/2 cup orange juice (fresh squeezed, no pulp)
1/2 cup plain yogurt (homemade)
honey to taste - honestly I sometimes don't put any honey in it at all, the OJ and bananas are enough to sweeten the yogurt.

blend until smooth. Yum!

I've stopped using the dryer

Posted by J on Tuesday, May 24, 2011. Filed under: ,
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...actually that's not true, I've cut down on my dryer use. I still use it to dry towels and sheets but everything else is getting hung to dry. Due to my (many) allergies I can't hang things outside so I've been using the basement. It's been working out okay, but since the furnace isn't running things are taking a pretty long time to dry. I'm talking a couple of days for my 6-year-old's more fluffy skirts it's not really that big of a deal since she's got way too many clothes.

It's actually taking my a lot less time to put the laundry away though. I hang everything up on hangers that needs to go in the closets so I just take them up to where they need to go and bam! The worst thing for me hoping to catch the dryer on time to make sure the clothes didn't get wrinkled, hauling all the crap up from the basement and attempting to fold the mess with my two-year-old tried to help (really she just wanted the basket empty so she could play in it).

I tend to do a load of laundry a day just to keep up with it. Since I'm still using the dryer to do towels and sheets,  I'm only using it twice a week now! I'm hoping to see my efforts reflected in our electric bill but even if it's not, I think our clothes will last a lot longer. I know my husband is pleased because up until now I've pretty much shrunk everything he owned by putting in the dryer. It's not my fault that he's got freakishly long arms*!

Will report back on how this is going in the long run, I've only been doing it for a couple of weeks now.

*Hubby is 6'4" but his wing span is 6'8"

weekend update

Posted by J on Sunday, May 22, 2011. Filed under: ,
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Right now it's after 10:30 PM and I'm making myself some dinner. Pan seared Tilapa with salt, pepper, and lemon juice, and two eggs over easy. It was hot today so I didn't feel like eating actual food, I ate fruit all day and when I got hungry (well watching food network) about an hour ago it dawned on me that I didn't really have anything substantial today so I'm making it now.  *shrug* It's been that kind of weekend.

My kids had off from school on Friday so I was very busy. I got a shower and went bounding down the steps in a hurry to make lunch and I fell, badly. Despite the 16+ years of ballet training I had, I am not very graceful. I bruised my tail bone and broke a toe, I've been in an incredible amount of pain. The heating pad helps and when I'm standing up I'm okay, actually sitting down has been a challenge. Strangely enough if I'm on a hard surface it hurts less, probably because I can lean forward and take the pressure off my tail bone but in a cushioned surface (the couch, my bed) I can not get comfortable. It makes for a very long night! 

On Saturday, was the rapture, 'cept it wasn't.  The weather was super nice. My 6-year-old had a soccer game, she scored 3 goals, I made burgers and complained about my poor hind end. I knitted a lot. Watched Lady Gaga and Justin Timberlake on SNL  and enjoyed it. I stayed until until 1 AM, which is unheard of for me! I felt like I was getting away with something!

Sunday the weather was also good, the kids played outside a lot, I pushed my girls on the swings. My son showed me how he could climb up the play structure (on the outside of it, not the legal ways) and I held my breath the entire time. I kept things, how the heck am I supposed to get him to the hospital when he falls off that and breaks his leg when I'm all broken myself?  But, much like the rapture, nothing happened. He was fine. Show off.

My car is also not working. I drove it on Wednesday and parked it. It's the mass air flow sensor or something, which apparently is sort of $$ to replace, hubby is going to try to clean it, but we'll see what happens.

This week I have a new recipe to post and I'm working against a pretty pressing knitting deadline. Once I'm done with that project I plan on devoting a lot more time to baking and coming up with some new ideas for SCD recipes.

One month on the meds

Posted by J on Tuesday, May 17, 2011. Filed under: , ,

I've been on Exfexxor 75mg for one month as of wed. I've seen a lot improvements in my mood and in my demeanor in general. I'm not yelling (much) at the kids any more. My paitence seems to have improved quite a bit, I'm thinking before I speak (huge issue for me), and I'm no longer crying over everything (tv commercials etc). I knew something was different when I was watching American Idol and didn't start bawling when Scotty sang Where Were You When The World Stopped Turning. I sat through the whole thing and actually listened to the lyrics. Usually, I would have been a heap of salty tears and snot, but not that night. I was amazed!

My anexity and panic attacks have really lessened in severity. My car decided it doesn't want to work any more and stalled out five times on the way home from the grocery store. My husband was driving and we had all three kids in the car, normally, I would have been crying and probably screaming or something but I just made jokes. We were on rural roads, we weren't in the middle of traffic or anything when we stalled. I have enough family around here that someone would have given us a ride. We were going to be okay so in the end it was just ridiculous and funny (the car is 12 years old, this wasn't totally unexpected) !

On the other hand, I'm still tired. A lot. I don't feel like I'm ever getting enough sleep and I'm waking up 2-3 times a night. I also have some smalls zits now, which would either be from the meds or the changing weather. My appetite has not improved, in fact, I'm not hungry at all any more. I am still eating and using an app I downloaded to my ipod to track my calories but I am just simply not hungry, which isn't a good thing. I weigh 113lbs right now. I'm only 5'4" but I have a medium build and wide (or as I like to say, childbearing) hips. My ideal weight is 120lbs. That's how much I weighed all through high school and college. I'd like to try to get back up to there again. I have some work to do but with absolutely no appetite it's hard.

Seven years...

Posted by J on Sunday, May 15, 2011. Filed under: ,
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Today Hubs and I have been married for seven years. Holy. Crap. We don't do cards, but we did exchange gifts. I got him gluten free cookies from Liz Lovely he got me a gift certificate to Knitpicks, which is pretty much the perfect gift for me. Earlier this week he also put together a toy chest for my to store my yarn in. That's love people, or he was sick of looking at piles of yarn in our bedroom, either way.

In 2007 we moved back to the north east from New Mexico. We weren't sure we were going to stay together. It upset me to talk about how close we came to divorcing but something changed, I'm not entirely sure what. But we both decided we needed to give our relationship another chance and threw ourselves into it. Things got better, we had our third child, and then things started getting bad. My mom got sick, then our littlest became chronically ill (our youngest has asthma, several trips to the ER and a hospital stay were involved), then I was diagnoised with Crohn's. Throughout all of this turmoil that was going on around us and to us our relationship seemed to become stronger than ever.

My husband has always been a good father but the attention and time he spends with the children when they are sick is above and beyond what I expected from him, that isn't to say that I didn't expect him to help or care for our children, but the compassion and empathy that just pours out of him amazes and starttles me.

When I got sick, he was the one who took me the ER and sat with me, for four days, in the hospital. Of course he was also going home to take care of the kids in the mean time and working. But each day he would come, and he'd sit on a chair he didn't really fit on and watch that tiny fuzzy TV that was attached to my bed. We wouldn't really talk, but he was there, and that meant more to me than anything.

Things changed then. I had always been the caretaker. When he was diagnosed with Celiac I took care of him. I made sure to educate myself on the condition and make sure that he was able to eat well. This time he stepped up for me and I was humbled. He's so supportive of my being on SCD, he understands how much time it takes to prepare everything from scratch and he takes care of the kids to give me the time to get things done.  Even right now, he's keeping the children downstairs so I can have time to write and work on my knitting samples.

I've read a lot that when things get complicated that the marriages dissolve that it takes too much out of the relationship. To have a sick child, or be sick yourself changes the dynamic of the marriage, and it worried me. I've seen it happen to members of my family when my cousins have been stricken by autoimmune diseases. The spouse just can't handle it, they leave, they don't blame them.

I know that it's early days in my illness and for right now I'm functioning as well as can be expected. I feel though, in my heart, no matter what is going to happen my husband is going to be there for me and do everything in his power to help me through this. Today I just want him to know, and the rest of the blog-o-sphere, how grateful I am to have him in my life.

Hubby and I