Monday, June 23, 2008

Recent Happenings

Things have been going well for me lately. I am enjoying my time home with my children and the other moms in out little click. We've been having great fun going to the parks, riding bikes, going to movies and watching baseball games. I've been quite busy and I am really loving it.

We've had a few bumps in the road too. My oldest who has been struggling with school and trying to find his identity has begun counseling and has recently decided that it is time to move in with his father. I was a bit surprised that he made that decision and if I am being completely honest I was sad and a bit hurt. I did my best to suck it up and be supportive. He came home for a week to clean up his room and organize things for the little brother he shares a room with and he headed off to his dad's to begin his new life.

I am torn because of course I want my baby to stay home with me but let's be honest, he's about to be 16. He isn't a baby anymore. In 2 years he will be a man. I guess it's time to let go. Also, as much as I hate to say it out loud, it seems the energy in the house is much more relaxing when he is not here. There is a lot less arguing, bickering and negativity. We aren't waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. Maybe he is feeling the same way over at his dad's. We shall see how it all plays out. He will be coming home each Thursday over the summer so he can continue to meet with the counselor who he seems to like.

My youngest little guy had his 6th birthday over the weekend on the same day as my 12th wedding anniversary. We had a lovely day. My husband surprised us by taking us out the the place we were married. We were able to show the kids the exact location of our outdoor wedding (which I am pretty sure they couldn't have cared less about). I loved it. For the little guys we were lucky enough to get a horse drawn wagon ride. We had family over in the evening and had so much fun. Great day!

As far as eating is going I am staying mostly raw with the addition of some fish about once a week. I have been craving it and I can't tell you the joy I am getting out of eating it. I had salmon cooked on the grill on Saturday and I thought I was in heaven. I ate it with a huge salad which is how I eat anything cooked.

I also have been eating tofu about once a week, well probably less than that. I never liked tofu before but suddenly it brings me joy. I love the texture of it. I made it in this stir fry with vegetables and rice noodles. Everyone in my family loved it including me. Yum.

I've been enjoying fruit quite a bit with the change in the seasons. I love, love, love grapes these days and I had the most delicious watermelon over the weekend. I also ate some blueberries that while delicious gave me a blue tongue. I felt like a smurf.

The one thing that I have been eating that I can honestly say has become a bit addictive for me is this chocolate banana bowl that I make. I take raw cacao powder and mix it with agave or raw honey and a little water. It makes a scrumptious chocolate sauce and then I add sliced up bananas, strawberries, coconut, cacao nibs, goji berries etc. Whatever I have. I was having it every once in a while and then it went to every day and now sometimes I have it twice a day. It feels addictive to me.

I know I should try to do a process around it to clear whatever is going on but with the kids home I don't really have that option so I will just wait it out and see how it goes. Soon I will be out of the chocolate powder and I will not be buying anymore! :o)

My son is having his birthday party this weekend. We are having about 20 little boys over between the ages of 5 and 7. They are going to SLEEP OVER in tents in my back yard!!! Can you believe it? It is a bit scary. Wish me luck.

It seems so strange to be out of the loop and off the blog as much as I am but at the same time it feels right so I will keep checking in as time permits. I do miss all of you and I am checking in periodically to see how you all are. Much love to all of you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

What's going on.

Long time no type everyone. I have been busy living my life and I am still hanging in there. My blood test results came back and everything looked good. I had a ESR test that showed some inflammation so I was sent to a rheumatologist for further review. I had another complete physical compliments of my dad and I had a complete blood workup done. My results looked pretty good there too. My cholesterol is all good except for my good cholesterol. That is low. I need to get in some more exercise so that I can get that number up. My blood pressure and pulse are both very low and I had a few weirdly low numbers but no one seemed worried about them so I won't either. All in all I am a pretty healthy specimen.

I followed up with a rhuematologist this week and he confirmed the reactive arthritis diagnosis. Apparently it is caused from a bacteria or virus and the arthritis lasts a couple of months up til 6 months. He said there is no permanent damage and it will go away on its own so I don't need to take any meds.

I am feeling better. Still have pretty good knee pain and on and off stiffness in other joints. I went on a bike ride with my kids yesterday and holy cow, not so good for my knees. Ouch. My fatigue levels are better so I am cooking more and feeling better. I still get a bit worn out by about 9:00 each night but that's OK.

I have been enjoying my food lately. Lots of salads and fruit in the warm weather. I have been loving grapes and can't seem to get enough of them. My favorite salad is the guacamole salad that I make and I have tried a few new things but I just can't think of what they are right now. :o)

I have added back a bit of cooked food. I even have had some fish. I had a sea bass at a Japanese restaurant about a week ago and tonight I had some salmon. I've also had miso soup twice and some seaweed salad. OMG that was so good. I loved it! I had never had it before and it is way better than the crap I was making at home. The seaweed was this fluorescent green color. Just lovely.

I haven't felt bad after eating any of the cooked food. It actually has felt nice and clean so I feel good about it. I have been craving fish a lot lately so I decided to listen to my body and give it some. Delicious!

Life at home with the kiddies has been pretty good. There haven't been any problems and we've been having a good time. I cooked some healthier meals this week finally. I've been feeling major guilt for the way my boys have been eating lately but I just haven't had the energy to do anything about it until this week. It feels good.

I am up way past my bedtime so I am going to run. I hope all is well with all of you! Much love.

Monday, June 02, 2008

I am still here everyone!

I just wanted to drop a quick note to thank everyone for the lovely support I received from all of you. Hugs and kisses to everyone!!!

I dragged my sorry self to the doctor's office on Friday. They said my symptoms sounded like something called reactive arthritis. Apparently after a bacterial or viral infection you can sometimes get an arthritic flare up in the joints that can last 4-6 weeks. Of course they prescribed some drug for me. I asked if I needed the drug to get better or if I would get better on my own. His reply was that I would get better but he wondered how I would function for 4-6 weeks while I waited. I just smiled.

When I looked up reactive arthritis on the Internet I found something completely different from what he told me. Ho hum, it is so irritating.

He ran some blood tests "just to be sure." I don't know what he ran but I asked him to check my B12 levels and I told him that I went vegan about 6 months ago. He decided to also check my iron levels. I should get the results of these tests on Monday.

I called my family and told them what was going on. I was honest for the first time and told them all the things that have been wrong with me for the past...I don't know...many years. I never really want to talk about it so I never tell anyone much of anything. I find it rather annoying to have so much attention payed to my feeling crappy. I truly hate it!

And I know they mean well but I swear to God, my mom called me 12 times that first day to "check up on me." My dad called a bunch too and we had to talk about it incessantly. UGH! I really like to make light of it and go about my business and do my best. That is really hard to do when every half an hour someone is calling to talk about how shitty I feel. Oh well, like I said, I know they mean well and I am sure they are worried so I try to be patient.

I have a full physical scheduled for Wed. My dad was very adamant that I go the medical route to see what is exactly wrong with me. He said he would play my game if I would play his. So I will have the full barrage of tests. Who knows what they will find. After the extensive testing I had done when I was in the hospital a few years ago I don't hold up much hope that they will find anything but who knows.

I have spoken to someone at Hippocrates and given him the times that I would be available to spend 3 weeks there. Now I just have to see if they have any openings. My dad is totally supportive of me going and my mom is willing to help with the kids so I can go. She said that they would find a way to make it work. So, we shall see what happens.

I don't know why I can't sleep tonight but I am not the slightest bit tired and it is almost 1 AM. I feel like I am beginning to get my mind back a bit. Not so fuzzy. I am definitely feeling better. Not 100% but I can now walk up the stairs without much problem and going down the stairs is only a little funny looking. I am also waking up less in pain each night. I could definitely make it without drugs feeling like this. I am not sure how long I could have made it feeling like I did before though so yippee for me. OK, well I am going to make myself go to sleep so I guess I will sign out.

Thanks again for all your support!!

Friday, May 30, 2008


I've been lying low lately because I don't really know how to deal with what has come up for me. I really don't want to complain about it but at the same time I am a bit freaked out and don't really know what is going on.

Last week I had the flu. I am beginning to think it really wasn't the flu. I am thinking it was the beginning of some type of flare up that I am having. I had a fever, sore joints and fatigue last week and now I am having it again in a different way. It started a couple of days ago. My joints hurt so bad that I can hardly walk up and down the stairs. Sitting is painful on my knees to the point of extreme pain. Lifting my arms up causes pain in my shoulders and elbows. My hands and wrists are hurting as I type this. I am having a mild headache and extreme fatigue. I can't seem to keep myself awake throughout the day. I ache all over and it's going on day 3. I don't think I am thinking clearly. I feel a bit foggy and I am just too tired to give a shit about much of anything. What the hell?!

I spent most of my time alone yesterday crying and falling asleep. My husband wants me to go to the doctor which I am resisting because I have had so many bad experiences there. They usually can't find anything wrong with me. If they find something or even if they don't I know they will just give me some kind of crappy medication that I won't want to take so I don't quite see the point in going. I guess I may get a diagnosis as to what is wrong with me however I feel that all disease stems from the same imbalance in the body that manifests itself in different ways so what good will it do? I have to say that waking up in pain again today has got me thinking that I may call the doc though. I just don't know.

It is frustrating, irritating, and a bit scary. I guess I feel like I spent all of these days on my juice feast with the hopes of clearing out any issues I had and to be perfectly honest I feel worse off then I did before. I put in a call to Hippocrates Institute yesterday and I think I am going to have to call my dad and see if I can get some money to spend some time over there. I haven't told my family all the things that are wrong with me because I don't want them to worry and more importantly I didn't want to make a big deal about it. I didn't want every conversation to be about how I am feeling. I don't know how I am going to leave my kids for 3 weeks to get to Hippocrates but I can't see any other way at this point. I am beginning to get a bit freaked. I have to get better. I can't live like this and I have tried doing everything on my own and it just isn't working. I feel like I am actually getting worse!

Sorry to be a downer but I felt I needed to be honest. I will probably not be spending too much time here on the computer since I am exhausted from holding my arms up to type it. I just want to go lie down like a blob! Wish me luck. Love you all!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I'm Still Here

I feel like I have dropped off the face of the earth or at least the face of the Internet. :o) I ended up getting a pretty nasty flu at the beginning of the week last week and spent Monday thru Friday pretty much in bed. It was rough going and I was tempted more than once to take a little Advil or something to relieve my headache and lower my raging fever but I resisted and made it through the whole thing without any toxic drugs.

My weekend was so busy and filled with baseball that I didn't have much time to do anything else. My 10 year old Devin played in a baseball tournament so I watched him play 5 baseball games in the span of 2 days. Wow, that's a lot of baseball. If that isn't enough we left the last game (he took 2nd place in the tournament) and went to see the Kane County Cougars play a minor league game.

It was so fun because after the game they had fireworks and the kids got to run the bases. Then they showed a movie and let the kids sit out in the field to watch it. We had friends set up our tents earlier in the day and we got to camp out behind the field. How fun for the kids...camping at the baseball field. Of course there was a torrential downpour that came in the middle of the night and my teenager and his friend were completely soaked in their tent. I mean, puddles! So funny. They were up at 2:00am walking around trying to find a dry spot. They ended up in the car. The rest of us survived without too much drenching.

We woke up and had a pancake breakfast and the kids had fun searching for toads and turtles in the pond and creek that run through the property. It was a great time had by all and we will definitely do it again.

I have a busy day today. My house looks like a bomb went off and I am in dire need of some food. I have to get myself to the store before my little guy gets home from school. Only 7 more days of school and it's summer break. I really can't believe it especially since it is once again freezing here! Brrrrr. Will summer ever come?

Pictures are of Liam and Aidan. Cutie pies!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Weekend Happenings

My mom came over to watch the kids for me last night. On her way over she called and asked if I had anything for her to eat or did she have to stop and pick something up. I told her that I just made a big batch of cauliflower curry that she could have. She said, "Oh, OK. Do you have anything else in case I don't like it?" Hmmm, nothing like confidence right?

She liked it though and I did too. It had good flavor and the sweet sauce that was on it really gave it a nice contrast. Yum.

So what do my husband and I do when we have a babysitter? We drive 1 hour so my husband can play soccer! Ha ha, lots of fun right? Oh well, it wasn't too bad and to make it up to me he took me to the Borrowed Earth Cafe for dinner. He had the Burrito Loco and I had the Lasagna. We split a glorious apple pie for dessert and I took some cookies home and I ate them today. Yum.

I found out that the cookies they are serving are from Everyday Raw by Matthew Kenny. I am so excited and I just have to get that book now. If you have it, make the chocolate cookies. They are delicious!

We went to the movies and saw What Happens in Vegas. It was OK. It was a bit overacted, predictable and corny but it was fun and sometimes it's nice to watch something light hearted. I wouldn't see it again but I didn't want to poke my eyes out either. Although, I started to doze off a bit near the end but in my defense it was 11:30 and I only slept about 5 hours the night before.

Today was a busy baseball day. My son Devin (the 10 year old) had a double header so I spent 5 hours out at the field. It was friggin freezing! I had on long underwear, a long sleeved shirt, fleece sweatshirt, winter jacket, hat, gloves, and I sat in a mummy sleeping bag. Brrrrrr. I brought along a green smoothie for my food.

I will be spending every Sunday like this for quite a while. He is going to have double headers every Sunday. Let's just hope the weather gets better soon. I mean it is the second half of May and I want it to warm up for goodness sake!

I have once again been reading Making a Living Without a Job . I read it once a long time ago and I decided that I should probably dive into it again to help motivate me for my career aspirations. I like the book because she has the reader do exercises to help uncover hidden talents and forgotten passions. She tells stories of people who have taken their passions and dreams and turned them into careers and fulfilling lives.

My mom was flipping through it last week and opened up to this excerpt:

Here's a simple test to discover whether or not you are working with passion: Are you in a more or less loving mood or attitude when you are working? Does the work improve your relationships? Cause you to whistle or hum? Make you smile? Help you like yourself more?

Jess Lair wrote about Picasso. "You couldn't tell Picasso's work from his play." wrote Lair. "One minute he would be playing with his kids. The next minute he would be playing with his wife. And then he would be drinking wine and then playing with his paintings. It was all just love, love of his wife, love of his family, love of his friends, love of his work. He just floated back and forth between activities without any thought to there being a division or a gap."

I believe that would describe all people who have found their passion and live it. And rare as it may be right now, I'm stubborn enough to believe that we should not stop searching until our own lives can be described the same way as Picasso's.

When she finished I made some comment about how that it was unrealistic to live like this. That there would always be things that had to get done that would be less than enjoyable. I was actually pretty negative about it.

Today while reading further into the book and thinking about it some more I tried to think about people I know that live even remotely close to this and I couldn't think of anyone and then I remembered reading A Day in the Life of Dhrumil on We Like it Raw. Now this guy seems to know have this down pat. He does his work, he has fun and his life seems to be balanced and exactly what he wants it to be like.

So what do you all think? Give me some input on how close to Picasso you live and whether you think it can be done on the personal level and the financial level. What advice do you have or lessons have you learned? What questions do you have about this? Let's have a dialog so we can all learn.

Daily Gratitude

1. I loved being able to sleep in today. It felt so good and my hubby came and woke me up with a cuddle. What a great way to start the day.

2. I loved watching my son hit a home run. He had such determination on his face as he rounded first and then his face lit up and was beaming as he touched home. Pure joy!

3. I am so grateful for a nice warm house. It feels so good to warm up after a day out in the cold.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Beginning of Gratitude

Photo by Aki Jinn on Flickr
I had an amazingly busy day today. I was going from the moment I got up in the morning. I am in the process of beginning some heavy duty meal planning for my family. When I embarked on my juice feast my wonderful husband took over cooking for the kids. I asked him to continue for a while so that I could get acclimated with raw food cooking and he obliged. Things have gotten super busy in the last week and our cupboards have been bare. My husband doesn't cook the healthiest of meals (bless his heart) and this week has been absolutely atrocious so I just couldn't take it anymore. They have had hamburgers, pizza, pasta, and WAFFLES for dinner this week. We have been scraping by trying to make do.

So I started searching the web looking for easy and somewhat healthy recipes. I found some fun things and I am going to be using my crockpot on really busy baseball days so we can have something besides a box of macaroni and cheese. I know, I know, it's horrible. One day at a time folks. I can't do everything.

My family is not raw, not vegan, and not vegetarian. I am going to be making more salads and fresh veggies to go along with the other meals I make them and I will continue to make my raw meals as well. I don't know how well this will go since it seems to be pretty time intensive. I have created a weekly plan on my computer and printed out the recipes and a shopping list. I will put them in page protectors and if the recipe works out I will repeat them on a regular basis, maybe monthly. Once I have about one months worth I will be able to print them out and go. Hopefully it will be as easy as I think :o)

I didn't have a chance to take any pictures of my food today. What a shame. Sorry to let you all down. I had nori rolls for breakfast. Ha ha, I am a little Ben copy-cat! I had a Mediterranean salad for lunch. I didn't have time to let it sit for 30 minutes so I just ate it. It was still pretty good. I had mock chicken salad in romaine wraps with tomato and cucumber for dinner. Then I had this simple chocolate banana bowl for dessert as a little treat to myself later in the evening. Yum!


I have decided to keep a gratitude journal here on my blog. I think it will be a great way to keep track of this since I am not so good at journalling at home. Each time I post I will end it with 3 things I am grateful for during the day.

1. I am so in love with my husband. I am so grateful that he is such a wonderful man. I love the way he coaches our kids in all of their sports and how he makes it so fun for them. I love when the kids call him Coach Ed and I love the way he plays with them and teaches them at the same time.

2. I am so grateful for the calmness in the house over the last few days. It feels like still waters around here. No drama, just smiling and ease.

3. I was in love with the way the sky looked tonight as the sun was setting. The colors were so deep and gorgeous. Orange, yellow, purple, blue. It was like the most beautiful piece of art one could hope for. I was so grateful to notice it even for the brief moment that I did as I hurried through my day. What a gift.