Random Bits of News

My toe is improving. I have a really ugly bruise below my toes on the top of my foot, but I’m able to walk on my foot fully now. It gets sore if I’m on it too long (like grocery shopping) but otherwise, I do believe it’ll be ok! I may even lose the toenail…still not sure on that!

This family has a bad case of Cabin Fever!! Poor Cora. She so badly wants to be outside. It’s been FRIGID outside, snow flurries, rain, sleet, and who knows what else as far as the weather is concerned. Yesterday she wanted to blow bubbles outside. I’m not sure they would have worked. What do you think? I guess I should have let her try. I know I’M looking forward to warmer weather and getting outside and feeling the WARMTH of the sun on my face!

Cora is growing not only physically but intellectually as well! All of a sudden her recognition of letters and numbers is exploding! I’m amazed, because I don’t spend any amount of time teaching her these things. We point out letters and numbers sometimes, but it’s not like I make a point of doing any kind of preschool work with her during the day. While looking for a check-out lane at the grocery store this week she says, “Mom! #5 is open!” I looked up thinking she was just saying random numbers, but she was right! AND! She took us right to the lane–yes, I asked her to, as a test! She has known the letters of her name for quite some time. However, she’s all of a sudden knowing all sorts of other letters now. She amazes me in her ability to be a help for me now. We about have her trained to take her dishes to the kitchen when she’s done eating, she’s so good at saying “please” and “thank you,” and the way she helps and comforts her brother continues to melt my heart. She is a good kid. Sometimes I forget, in the hum drum of life, to focus on these good things. It’s good for me to do so. Oh, and she’ll be FOUR in 6 days!!!!! We’re celebrating her birthday on Saturday…more to come on that next week.

Benjamin continues to refuse to talk. Sigh…I know he’ll talk when he’s good and ready, but c’mon! We’re ready!! It’s getting wearisome to be grunted and groaned at. However, he does communicate. In fact, the little booger understands every single thing we tell him. He’s so stinkin’ smart! He knows how to take his clothes to the hamper, take things to the kitchen counter (which he is now barely able to reach), and he loves to throw stuff away–sometimes I have to go on rescue missions for things that should not be thrown out. He LOVES his sister so very much. He wants to do everything she does–including carrying around purses, wearing her bracelets and her princess winter boots. He’s so darn cute. He seems to know–already–that if he gives his cute, little smile then maybe, just maybe, that will get him out of what ever trouble he’s about to get into. I’m not entirely sure how he’s going to react to no longer being the baby of the family, but there’s not a whole lot of choice in the matter! We’re going to have to transition him to a big boy bed soon too…do they come with straps to keep said child in the bed? We might need those! Just kidding…no need to call the authorities!

David is working so hard on his thesis proposal right now. That’s right, he has to write a 1-20 page paper simply proposing what he wants to do his thesis on. Once this is done, and approved by the powers that be, then he can begin his research and writing of the REAL thesis! We both think the actual thesis will be easier to write then this proposal! I’m so proud of him. He’s having to put a lot of extra time into this, and I know it’s an added stress. However, we’re keeping our eye on the goal and know this is a lifelong dream of his–to have a doctorate–and something that God has allowed to happen at this time. We’ll be so glad when it’s all done (goal of June 2014!!!), and we’ll have us a big ol’ party!

We got the kids’ room painted and the office–which will become the nursery. We still have things to do, like paint our room, get new curtains for our room, new carpet for our room/hallway/nursery, replace the kitchen floor and paint the kitchen. However, one project at a time. It’ll get done and really, if it doesn’t, it’s not that big of a deal, right?

I’m moving right along with this pregnancy! 26 1/2 weeks now!!!!! It’s so crazy to think that soon (probably before we’re “ready”) we’ll be able to SEE our new little Miss! I’m getting so excited! I was looking at newborn photos of Cora and Ben the other day and it made me so excited to SEE and HOLD this little one still inside. It’s always such a precious thing to hold your baby for the first time…

I hope you have a very great and wonderful Thursday! Blessings to you and your family!

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Just a Measly Toe?

Last week I was rearranging some of my kitchen cabinets (read “nesting”) and went to put away the step stool I was using. I collapsed the stool and as I was walking it back to its spot it slipped out of my hand and landed with one of the feet on my left foot–my 4th toe on that foot to be exact. The pain was so horrible I couldn’t even cry. I hobbled over to a chair, sat down and rocked back and forth waiting for the pain to subside. My poor children came over to me with questioning eyes, patting me and hugging me. (On a funny note: Cora looks at her brother and says, “It’s OK, Ben. You didn’t mean to do it, it was an accident!” He nods in all seriousness and looks at me with big eyes. When I was able to find my voice I said, “Cora, honey, Ben didn’t hurt Mommy. Mommy hurt herself. It was an accident, but no one hurt Mommy but herself.” Cora looks at Ben and says, “Oh, you didn’t do anything Ben! It was just an accident!”) As the day progressed my toe got more and more red/purple. By the next morning my toe was blue, purple and red. Plus, the bruise had traveled down into my foot. Cora was fascinated that my toe was so many colors. In any case, I think I broke it, but it is improving.

Now, what does this have to do with anything? Well, let me tell you, I didn’t realize how much I used that toe until I couldn’t use it. I mean, did you know you use that 4th toe to climb up and down stairs, walk, balance, carry your son, and kneel on the floor and also to get back up? Yeah, you do. With everything I did I felt that dumb toe. It made me think of the following passage in 1 Corinthians. Please read it, I know it’s a little long, bear with me…

“Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many.

15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body.

21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I don’t need you!” And the head cannot say to the feet, “I don’t need you!”22 On the contrary, those parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable, 23 and the parts that we think are less honorable we treat with special honor. And the parts that are unpresentable are treated with special modesty, 24 while our presentable parts need no special treatment. But God has put the body together, giving greater honor to the parts that lacked it, 25 so that there should be no division in the body, but that its parts should have equal concern for each other. 26 If one part suffers, every part suffers with it; if one part is honored, every part rejoices with it.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. 29 Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? 30 Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.” 1 Corinthians 12:14-31

Scripture uses the human body to explain and describe what the Body of Christ is. We are all important. I mean, we need everyone. If you think you’re just a measly little toe, you’re wrong. You’re needed in the Body of Christ. Let me tell ya, if you stopped using the gifts and strengths God gave you the Body would suffer. People would say, “Hey! What happened to that toe? We’re out of whack! We can’t go up and down stairs as well. We can’t balance very well. It hurts too much to get up from this position.” Maybe your job is to be the pastor. Maybe your role is to be a Sunday school teacher. Maybe you’re the janitor. Maybe you’re the one who calls those who are sick, takes them a meal, or visits those who can’t get out. Maybe you quietly serve, and people don’t really know that the things you do are being done by you. Whether you’re the one preaching every Sunday or doing things people don’t even know about it doesn’t matter. It is our job, being a part of the Body of Christ, to do what we were created to do. If you stop doing what you were created to do the Body will not function the way it should. You are not just a measly toe, you are a very important part of the Body of Christ, and you need to remember that!

My poor toe...

My poor toe…

You are what you eat!

It’s true, you know, you are what you eat. This has become more and more true to us as a family over the last year+ since making our dietary changes. We have found certain foods will promote certain attitudes or actions/reactions. I have not had oats in over a year. Last week I thought, “hey, this granola I made is so good, I think I’ll have a bowl of it. Oats have been out of my system for over a year, I’ll be OK!” WRONG. WRONG. WRONG! I was SO not OK! I turned into a jerk, a monster, a snapping dragon. I was terrible! We have long learned that grains do this to me and well, apparently they still do! So, it took all week for the effects of the oats to work themselves out of my system. I was TIRED and in a fog. I felt like everyone was out to get me, and I was most certainly out to get everyone! It was so bad, so horrible and terrible I will not be doing that again.

For my husband we notice similar things. Grains don’t make him go crazy like they do me, but he has noticed that if he has too many his belly really starts to hurt, and he becomes increasingly tired. Also, grain (especially wheat) really flares up his asthma. Interestingly enough, my sister finds the same to be true for her. For him, though, there are certain chemicals (I’m guessing preservatives) that set him off. There are 2 restaurants we have noticed really make a huge difference in him. After he eats at those 2 restaurants he will spiral into a horrible depression, or become very aggressive and angry. Obviously, he tries to avoid these 2 restaurants!

In our children we notice their ability to obey, their attitudes, etc are greatly affected by grain. If they have too much (which they have had recently) they meltdown at everything, everything is such a huge deal. Cora seems to have belly issues with too much grain, too. Ben has been doing so much better since we’ve switched him to almond milk and really limit his cheese and yogurt intake. He’s not congested, his nose isn’t running constantly and he’s not sick (Ok, so right now he’s sick, but I think it’s a virus he got somewhere). It’s been amazing to watch how food affects our children, even at their young ages.

You are what you eat. Plain and simple. If you are always tired, always feel grouchy, feel depressed for no reason, you might want to start making note of what you’re putting in your body. Grains, sugar, dairy, they all affect us. Mainly because they are so manipulated by processing they no longer hold nutritional value for our systems. So many chemicals have been added either as pesticide, or during the processing process, that our bodies can’t deal with them. Yes, eating healthy is more expensive. But you know what? So is healthcare! So is going to the doctor time and again. So is medication. What do you have to lose by switching the way you eat? Nothing, but feeling better, and who doesn’t want that? Every time you open a package of food just remember, you are what you eat. You could be putting something into your system that is only making you feel more tired or grouchy. You owe it to yourself to make some good changes! If our family can do it, you can do it! (If I’m coming across as harsh, I’m not sorry. I feel so passionate about this and suffered for so many years with what were at the time mysterious things that I just want others to find the health and healing I’ve been able to find. I’m not sorry if I offend you. Maybe you need to be offended! Maybe you need to hear the hard truth. Please, make changes and take care of yourself!)

Random Bits

I don’t have an overly inspired blog to share today, but I feel I should write something! After my hiatus during being in the first trimester I realized I missed blogging and don’t want to do that again! We shall see…

My children give me constant reason for joy and frustration and laughter and tears and, and, and…I love them so much. I am so thankful how well they play together. Cora does such a good job of showing her brother how to do things and Ben is adorable as he blindly follows her around, wanting to do, be and wear everything she does (this includes her princess snow boots and fairy wings!). They are a hoot to watch, most of the time, and I’m thankful to the Lord for how much they truly love each other and show it to each other.

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Cora is growing AGAIN! I swear she just went through a growth spurt! I was hoping to make to her birthday without buying her any new, larger clothes, but we may not! I’m noticing her shirts are getting too short and tight and her pants are doing the same. What are we feeding her to make her grow so much? She has lost all of her baby-ness and has thinned out and well, she’s just so beautiful! She is really catching on to the Bible stories she hears in Sunday school and then again at home. It’s so cool to hear her recognize a story and tell us about it! She’s smart as a whip, in my opinion…and can pretty much write all the letters of her name, which she just showed us one day. I can’t believe in 2 short months she is going to be FOUR!!!!! How did that happen???

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It would appear there is some kind of suspicious activity going on at the house across from us. We keep seeing strange and random cars in and out all the time and this morning a cop drove by reaaaaaaaaal slow. Maybe this is normal in your neighborhood, but it’s not in ours. I pray for this family. They seem to struggle in many ways. I hope it’s nothing, but my gut tells me otherwise, unfortunately.

I can’t believe we’ve been dealing with temperatures in the teens and now today and tomorrow it’ll be near 60 and dropping again come Thursday. Winter can be such a strange season. I, of course, would prefer the temperature to never drop below 72, but we can’t all have our own way, can we?

This week we will hopefully find out if we’re having a boy or girl!!! My ultrasound is scheduled for Thursday. Cora is hoping for a boy (I know, right? But, seriously, she gets VERY upset if we say it could be a girl.). Anyway, if this little one isn’t shy and cooperates we will know and mystery solved! I’ll be sure to let all of YOU know too! I’m feeling the baby move a lot these days. It was just barely felt at night when I was in bed, but now I can feel him/her during the day. It’s helping me, it always does, brings to reality that there IS a baby in there and I’m not just getting fat in the midsection.

Annnnnnnd, well, I’ve run out of random bits to share. I hope you have a joy-filled day today!

Trying a New Approach

There’s nothing like being at someone else’s house and seeing just what your kids ARE capable of! I told my friend last week that my kids don’t really eat breakfast, so don’t bother with anything special. Well, isn’t it just like kids to make you out to be a big, fat, hairy liar? Yep, every. single. morning. they ate breakfast! I couldn’t believe it. Normally, I’m lucky if I can get them to eat some dry cereal, but at Aunt Heather’s house they wanted cereal with milk, or toast, or even waffles!! Color me surprised, and it made me wonder, maybe I should be making a greater effort at home. They also survived without watching much TV. Being pregnancy sick I had gotten into the TERRIBLE habit of letting them watch way too much TV. And, wouldn’t you know, my kids didn’t shrivel up and die without their PBS morning marathon (although Cora thought she might the first couple mornings)?

When we got home I told David about it all, and we decided to start over, do things differently–do things the way we’ve been wanting to and were doing before. That’s right, no TV and we’re all eating breakfast together in the mornings. Can I tell you how great our week has gone?????? WOW!!!! We’re very particular about what our kids watch but still, they’re watching and not doing other things. David and I are mostly getting up before the kids (our kids get up early), showering and getting our day started without arguing, yelling and well, it’s just going so much better. Each day this week we’ve been amazed. I’m so thankful the Lord encouraged and convicted us to make a change. Our kids are happy, they’re productive, they’re playing with their bazillions of toys. David and I have also both been so productive this week! I’ve been getting us dug out of the “weeks of death” mess we were living under. I’m not moving fast, but it’s getting done and we’re all better off for it! Soon we’ll have another big load to take to Goodwill.

How are things working in your family? Do you find mornings to be one big rush-fest and wonder how can things be done differently? I would encourage you to take some time and reevaluate your morning routine, and see if there aren’t ways you can change. Not saying we’re perfect (we most certainly are NOT), or that we have it all figured out (because we DON’T), but I wanted to share with you our experience and maybe it’ll be an encouragement to you! I hope you have a great day today!

Just Some Words

It’s the end of October. Where on earth has this month gone? It seems that we’ve had one thing after another this month. And, I think we’ve had something planned pretty much every day of the week, be it doctor’s appointments, grocery shopping, church, small group, family visiting. We’ve been busy, busy, busy, and I truly can’t believe we’re in the last week of October!

I made applesauce yesterday. I received an apple peeler/corer/slicer for Christmas a couple years back and this was the first fall I’ve been able to use it! It worked OK. I’m not sure if it was me, or the apples weren’t firm enough (the instructions said you had to use FIRM apples), or the peeler/corer/slicer itself isn’t a good design. I’ll keep trying and fiddling around with it and see. It did it’s thing with about 1/2 of my apples so we’ll see. But, the house was filled with smells of apple and cinnamon all day yesterday and it was HEAVENLY!

I’ve been watching my friend’s son a couple days a week during Oct and Nov (not every week, but most weeks). We have LOVED having “K” here with us! He and Cora are only 3 months apart and they have so much fun together. I love watching my daughter learn how to be a friend, interact with other kids and learn the lessons of sharing, laughing, and just being a kid with another kid. These two are truly adorable together and have so much fun! It does my heart good to see them play so nicely.

We had a good visit with David’s dad and stepmom over the weekend. It was good to see them. While they were here we went to a fall festival at a church (not as good as advertised!) and then went to a farmer’s market a little further away. Though things didn’t go as we had planned, we still had a great time just being a family. Cora loved spending time with Mammaw (who got called “Grandma,” “Mee-maw,” and “Ma-ma” all weekend) and Grandad. Sue is very good with doing crafts with Cora and they made macaroni snowflakes for the Christmas tree!

I’m looking forward to November this year and the start of the holiday season. Last year at this time I was neck high in pregnancy nausea and not at all looking forward to the holiday season! Be looking for my posts in November–I’m going to do a daily “what I’m thankful for” post throughout the month. Sometimes it’ll be words, sometimes it’ll simply be a photo, sometimes it’ll be both!

Holistic Medicine: The Beginning, A Very Good Place to Start

Where to start? There’s so much to say. It’s been a journey, for sure, and not a good one. Let’s see, the beginning…

Twelve years ago I was a junior in college. I noticed I was sleeping a lot but always tired. I also noticed I was starting to gain weight and have no energy. I would be in bed by 9 pm, get up as late as possible to still make my classes, and take naps whenever I could. But, nothing helped. I was always tired. By my senior year it was much worse and my joints and muscles hurt so bad I often struggled to get out of a chair. I felt like I was 80 years old! Thus began over a decade of blood tests, sleep studies, x-rays and other tests. Nothing ever really being found, and all the while I felt terrible and thought I was going crazy.

I was told I had fibromyalsia and was told to walk and took an antidepressant as this was supposed to help. I was told I wasn’t relaxing enough before bed so was told to take hot baths, listen to soothing music, take a sleeping pill. None of this worked. It only served to make me more frustrated and crazy, and I was still tired.

Over the years I came to a point of great frustration over and over and would go to a doctor (allergist, regular doctor, gyn), give my symptoms (or as many as they would take the time to listen to), only to be to have blood work done–which never really showed anything–and then would be told I just needed to get more rest.

I have been told to “just lose weight.” If I lose weight I’ll feel so much better. Well, how is one supposed to lose weight by exercising when one can’t hardly get out of bed in the morning? I can’t tell you how many times I have broken down in tears in the car on my way home from a doctor’s appointment. Surely, I’m not crazy! Surely, there has to be something wrong! Surely, I’m not making this up and it’s all in my head! As I look back on the past 12 years a lot of what I see is “fatigue” and “frustration.” Sure, there have been MANY wonderful and happy times during those 12 years. Absolutely my life has not been one horrible thing. But, even the most wonderful moments of my life the past 12 years have been shrouded with fatigue, sometimes overwhelming fatigue.

When I was pregnant with Benjamin, David and I did a lot of talking about my health. Something had to give. I couldn’t keep living like this, we, as a family, couldn’t have me being this way. My standard answer to “how are you?” is always “tired. How are you?” We decided that after Benjamin was born we would, together, not stop until we found a doctor who was willing to listen and not rest until I was resting. After Benjamin was born I got to thinking about all the tests I’ve had done and realized my hormone levels have never been checked. I started doing some research and realized that hormone imbalance could very well be the culprit. I printed out what I needed to take to the doctor, made an appointment and knew it wouldn’t be an easy appointment. David went with me for support and last week on Monday I demanded (yes, demanded) that my doctor do blood work to check my hormone levels. She did so, but I truly believe only to humor me, and I’m still waiting to hear the results.

We had already decided that we would probably be seeking the help of a holistic doctor, regardless of what my MD said. I was so upset and disgusted at my MD’s seemingly lack of concern, certain inability to listen to me (which seems to be a reigning theme) that I started praying for God to lead me to just the right holistic doctor. Monday afternoon I went for a walk with my friend, N, shared my struggles and frustrations and wondered aloud where I might find a holistic doctor to go to? Wouldn’t you know that she herself has just started going to one????

And, that my friends, is what has started me on a new journey. A journey to health. A journey to better living. A journey, that I hope ends with me not being exhausted all the time and in much better health. I will be writing several posts to give you plenty of information as to what holistic medicine is, how my first appointment went, what we found, etc. And, I will of course be blogging about this journey as it goes on. Right now, I would appreciate your prayers. I have already had to alter my diet a lot and it’s hard. But, I’m keeping my eye on the goal and keeping the Lord by my side and I know this is a good thing. I look forward to sharing this journey with you!