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

Candy Bar

Posted by J on Wednesday, May 11, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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This is the dessert set up I created for my daughter's 6th birthday party. The theme was Pink, in case you were wondering and no, I wasn't able to eat anything on that table. Funny thing is though, that now that I've been off the sugar for over 10 months now I don't even crave it, which is wonderful.

French Onion Burgers & Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots

Posted by J on Tuesday, May 10, 2011. Filed under: , , , , , , , , , , ,
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My favorite way to make burgers in my previous life (before SCD) was to throw in a packet of french onion soup mix. Well that's not allowed anymore so I came up with a recipe that tastes pretty dang close to what I remember them tasting like. Instead of fries I served some roasted carrots and cauliflower on the side. It was so good. I'm actually drooling a little bit right now thinking about it.  If you want to make this full meal you need to prepare the veg first so I'm going to go into that recipe first.

Roasted Cauliflower and Carrots (serves 8, depending on the size of your veg)
1 whole head of cauliflower
4 large carrots
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.
Break apart the cauliflower into florets. These will shrink a bit so don't worry about making them bite size. Peel your carrots and cut them down to baby carrot size. Toss in olive oil, sea salt, and pepper.
Spread the veg out on a jelly roll pan (cookie sheet with a rim) and bake for 40 minutes.

French Onion Burgers
(makes 8 burgers)

2lbs ground beef
1 tbs dried onions
1 tsp parsley
2 cloves grarlic
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Mix everything together and form into patties. Grill until you're happy with them. Top with legal cheese, lettuce, tomato, anything you can tolerate!

Another piece of the puzzle...

Posted by J on Monday, May 9, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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In my neighborhood where I grew up there were a lot of kids around we were all pretty much the same age too, all within two years of eachother. Most of the kids that were in my grade had a younger sibling that was in the same class as my brother. There were about 15 of us in the 'hood all within walking distance of each other separated by trees literally. We lived in a very rural area, all had well water, septic systems, I never knew people actually had to pay for water until I got married.

Today I found out that a young woman, who I grew up, also has IBD. That makes a total for 4 people that grew up in the neighborhood that have come down with it, and that is just the ones that I know of personally who were in our little group of friends and classmates. We are all the same age! It's insane! I'm sort of curious to see if anyone else comes down with it. Of course I have a family history of it (I have two cousins on the same side of the family with IBD, but I did not grow up near them), but I wonder if we may have been exposed to something in our shared environments that triggered our IBD or is it just a coincidence.

It doesn't really matter, I guess, how we all got it but it just makes me wonder, ya know? Not that I don't have enough to worry about in my own life, it's just another piece to the puzzle I guess.

There's a lot...

Posted by J on Tuesday, May 3, 2011. Filed under: , ,
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There's a lot I need to do but not much that I've been doing.

Actually, that's not true. I have been doing a lot, just not a lot of blogging. I have a couple new recipes that are ready to be shared, with photos, my laptop broke (the one with the SD slot to upload said pictures) the LCD screen failed so it's now hooked up to a monitor in my bedroom. Do you want to know how often I get the chance to go into my bedroom to get online? Yeah. 

Just this week my 2-year-old has decided her new bedtime is 11PM, which is when I have to go to bed or be a zombie in the morning. On top of that it's finals week and my husband is working over time at the university covering finals. He's also starting back to grad school in a few weeks. So we've been busy.

In Crohn's related news, I've been successfully eating raw veg for the last couple of weeks with no ill effects. You have no idea how happy this makes me! I've also added grape juice (which is legal early on in the diet but I always had problems with) with no problems. I'm mixing it with water or seltzer diluting it by 50%. Loving it. I've also started eating strawberries, yes with those tiny little seeds, and have started to add orange juice. I'm doing well. I'm so pleased! 

I had a busy and highly stressful month in April and I'm hoping that May will be calmer. I'm going to make time, hopefully this weekend (probably on Sunday) to do some proper updates, upload some pictures, and type up those new recipes. Finals are over on Saturday so things should be "back to normal" or as close as they can be soon.