More than a decade ago, I started out on my mothering journey with a simple premise: I was going to love the little baby growing inside of me like no one else could.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

10 Things I have Learned in the Last Six Weeks

In no particular order, a few things I have learned over the past six weeks:

- Sugar and Starch are not so great for my body.  They seem to promote inflammation and bloating.

- I am reactive to Black Pepper.  Bummer!  No wonder I was getting burning, searing stomach pain "Every time I eat!"  We're still not clear on nightshades, so time will tell.

- I don't particularly like turkey broth.

- I do like wild salmon.  Yum!

- Salt is amazing.  Like, really.

- Also amazing? L-glutamine.  I feel like my life is being transformed.  I will refrain from giving you the gruesome details, but I will say that my digestive system is much happier these days.  I mix it with some broth a few times a day. I was scared I would react to it, as I get terrible migraines with vomiting from MSG.  My ND reassured me that it should not cause that kind of reaction, and to my great relief, it hasn't! Quite the opposite in fact.

- Not amazing? Bovine colostrum.  I know it can be a miracle product for some folks, but I am no less allergic to cow colostrum than I am cow milk.  The sooner I wrap my brain around the fact that I can *never*cheat and eat cheese or milk chocolate without consequences, the better off I will be.

- I can, in fact, survive without coffee, soy lattes, and chocolate.  However, the withdrawal process is absolutely brutal.  Even after the initial physical symptoms had passed, I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me whole for a week or two.

- It takes more than a few days to recover from chronic autoimmune conditions.  Even when you go into a regimen expecting it to take months, it can be brutal.  

And the big one:
- Waking up with a glimmer of hope is a huge step.  If I can have even one day at baseline, it means that there may be more of those days in my future.

Thanks to my family and friends who have been giving me so much moral support in my attempts to find health and wellness.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Happy New Year?

I haven't been online much. We had some birthdays, and Gift as, and winter break. Then right back into the swing of things. School, homeschool, appointments, et al. It's busy around here.

And I am tired. On January 1st I started an elimination diet. I've been struggling with stomach pain, and intestinal distress, and other unpleasant symptoms for a while. It finally got bad enough that I was willing to do whatever it takes to figure out why my body was going haywire. I gotta be honest. Three weeks in, and this diet still sucks.

The basics are built around Whole 9 | Whole 30. No grains. No sugars or sweeteners. No Dairy. And the tough one- no legumes.  That didn't sound so bad. Meat, veggies, eggs, broth, and healthy fats.  Well, it was, because veggies have been triggering tummy pain. And eating had gotten scary. So my "safe list" for the first week was turkey, lamb, and coconut.  Do you know how old it gets to eat 3 foods plain? Ugh. And tea. Lots of tea to wean off my caffeine habit.

So I am 3 weeks in. I am less bloated. But still tired. Eggs are out. Nightshades are out. Both spinach and chard were ugly. My energy is up and down. My mood.... Eh.  I really just want to feel well. I am happy not to have searing stomach pain anymore, every time I eat. I'm a bit lonely and tired of not knowing what's going on with my body.

In happier news, my children are delightful. My oldest is doing riding lessons again, which she loves. My 4 yo has started vision therapy, and that's a lot of fun. My youngest, now 2, is quite the personality. She loves playing with her sister. They are having a blast with the duplos she got for Giftmas.  My son seems to be doing well in school. My 10 yo is a busy girl, interested in art, drama, science and Lego. I'm happy her school meets her needs so well.

We have so much to look forward to this year.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Happy Birthdays

My little boy is 8.  I can't believe it.  Eight!  He is so smart and beautiful.  I want to go on and on about him, but I just have no words.  When he was little, my life was utterly consumed with the day to day details.  He was such a busy little guy, and I had two other kids to homeschool as well.  He grew, and was happy, but didn't talk.  And he climbed, and ran, and laughed, and made car noises, but didn't talk.  And he was diagnosed with ASD, and slowly began to talk.  And then, he didn't stop.  Now he is a happy, busy, TALKATIVE little dude.  He runs around at the playground, exploring.  He spends hours playing Mario, and Minecraft, and telling us ALL ABOUT IT.  I am so grateful to be his mom.  I hope I can be all that he deserves.

My youngest girl is about to turn two.  My special surprise!  She is quite the character.  Running, climbing, playing drawing.  Skinny little tot, but who wouldn't be that moved all the time?  If only I could get her to sleep a little more, and eat a full meal all at once.  I'm so happy to be her mama too.  I can't believe that my baby days are drawing to a close.  I hope and pray that the next 14 years of motherhood are as wonderful as the first 14.

Life is good.


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Cold

It's getting cold outside. This morning I preheated my car. I put my boy on the bus and then called up to my 10 year old to get moving. Still dressed in my PJs, I wrapped my favorite sweater tighter and hopped in the van to drive her to school. We drove to Starbucks instead, just the two of us. She told me about how well she is doing in math class, and how happy she is with her red peekaboo hair. It was a little thing, to take that detour to Starbucks. It made us both happy though.

Now I'm parked out front. The sky is grey and cloudy. The wind is blowing hard- trees away swaying, and my neighbor's flag is whipping back and forth. The wind is loud, too, gusting against my car. It's growing cold out there. Blessedly, I am warm. I have coffee in my belly, and love in my heart. At a time of year in which many find themselves stuck in a consumeristic gift giving rut, I feel intensely grateful for all that I have.

Today, I hope to set aside some of the hustle and bustle of everyday mothering. I hope to sit down with each of my children and offer them whatever they need to feel warm and loved. I think we all want to offer that to each of our children, every day. Sometimes it's good to refocus on our love for them with intention. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Just being Mama

I haven't felt up to writing much lately.  I had plans to submit posts to a couple blog carnivals this week.  Though I had ideas and thoughts I wanted to share, I never got around to it.  I've been busy just being Mama.  We returned home from visiting family in the Midwest.  It was a wonderful, wonderful trip.  I am beyond thankful that my husband was willing to take that time off to be with us and our extended family.  However, since we've been back, I've felt a bit like I've been drifting around in a daze.  Not quite back in my groove, needing a bit more sleep than usual, stepping away from the computer to connect with my loved ones...  Needing to get caught up on laundry and housework, and prepping for birthdays and Giftmas, but not quite up to the task.

My only son, my third child, is about to turn 8.  Somehow, that feels huge.  In a few weeks, my baby will be turning two. I gave her crib away today, to a mom who needed it.  I didn't cry when she left, but I would be lying if I said I wasn't sad.  My babies are all growing up.  Next year all but my youngest will be school age.  I find myself wanting to savor my time as the Mama, before I graduate to "Mom" and occasionally "Mother." (Complete with eye roll, of course!)

Time feels short.  As fantastic as it was visiting with family, it really hammered home how short life it.  Before I know it, my youngest child could be getting married, jetting off to Tahiti, and building their own creative life.  I am so, so blessed to have these amazing people in my life.  My children, my parents, my grandparents, and my friends, especially my husband.  I hope to find, this winter, better balance not just in my busy schedule, but in my life, my soul, my every breath.

To all of my family and friends, and the friends I haven't met yet, I wish you peace and love this winter season.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thankful

For the first time in over 10 years, I was able to spend Thanksgiving with my family.  I really have no words for how wonderful it was.  My beloved Mama cooked the bird I bought for her.  My sister and I did all the rest of the cooking for my five kids, her daughter, and my grandparents.  Twelve of us in all.  We enjoyed a bunch of sides I pick up from Whole Foods (aka, Whole Paycheck!), as well as mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, green beans, carrots, stuffed squash (not my fav!) pumpkin pie, and baked apples.  I even made some chocolate chip cookies for dessert!

I traveled 3000 miles and waited 10 years to make my Mama and grandparents Thanksgiving dinner.  I was able to share the kitchen with my sister, make and eat my favorite meals, and visit with my family.  I was able to introduce my Grandpa to his youngest grandchild.  I snuggled with my children, and watched them playing with their cousin- jumping on the trampoline, doing puzzles, and making believe with toy kitchens and baby dolls.

I am so, so, so glad that I had this opportunity.  Best. Thanksgiving. Ever.  <3 p="p">

Monday, November 5, 2012

Gently and With Kindness

I mentioned in my last post that I was making an effort to treat myself well over the next few months.  This is something that I find challenging, in general.  For any mother, whether you have lots of kids, or only one or two, it can be hard to put your needs first.  As adults, we do have the capacity (which infants lack) of putting our needs aside for a short time to meet others needs.  We skip showers to make lunches, or to ensure that our homes aren't destroyed in the five minutes our small ones are unsupervised.  We wait to go to the bathroom because our little ones really need (fill in the blank here)! We give up sleep to care for teething children.  We skip doctor appointments because of extracurriculars, or teacher conferences, or just general busy-ness.  It's hard to say, "I matter too. Here is what I need."

As I mentioned, I am sharing this because it keeps me accountable.  So here is where I am:  I am taking my vitamins- some of them, anyway.  It's easier on the weekends, but I took time to do things I enjoy, on my own!  I took our puppy to obedience class on Saturday.  On Sunday I really pampered myself.  I took a 20 minute walk, the puppy and I went to the dog park for the first time, AND I took a snuggly nap with my 22 month old.  Plus I did two short workouts on fit2b.us.  After spending some time meeting my needs, I felt so much more prepared to meet the needs of my husband and kids.

It's Monday, and I'm heading into a very busy week, full of appointments and volunteer obligations.  For the next few days, I am going to continue to work on being kind to myself and my family. I am going to be drinking lots of water and taking my vitamins.  I hope to take the time to walk every day and do a Totally Tummy Safe workout.  I don't have hours to go to the gym, but I think I can take two 15 minute sessions for myself.  I can treat myself gently, and with kindness.

What kindness will you offer yourself today?