Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Getting Energized

It feels great to finally be getting some of my energy back!!! I'm the kinda gal who wants to go go go go go allllll the time, but for the past 3-4 years, maybe more, I've been finding it harder and harder to push myself to get *anything* done! However, with some major dietary changes, and taking the right vitamins, I have noticed a definite "up" in my energy levels!!! That makes me SO happy!

I had lost my digiscrapping mojo, forgotten my passion for sewing, abandoned the desire to go out and do things with the kiddos, and it made me sad. I didn't know what was wrong, or why, but after a few unpromising medical test results (Rheumatoid Arthrits, possible Lupus, a diagnosis of Celiac based on symptoms/history, and a fatty liver/elevated liver enzymes), I knew something HAD to change. I started off going gluten-free back in September. Within 10 days, my liver enzymes were back within normal ranges, and my joint pain had declined greatly. Two months later, while reading the Wheatbelly blog, I saw a link for the Everyday Paleo coobook, and was intrigued. So, I bought the Kindle edition of the cookbook, and loved it so much I ordered a hard copy, too! Then, I stumbled across something on Pinterest that totally changed my life. I was struggling to find ways to eat according to the paleo diet, and was having such a hard time figuring out what I could and couldn't do. I knew the basics - no grains, beans/legumes, dairy, sugar or refined foods, but I couldn't wrap my head around it. Until I saw the most awesome picture EVER, in my ever so humble opinion:

Sweet! So all I have to do is pick out a meat and veggies to go with it, and I've got dinner! Yeah, it really is that easy. I even changed the way I shop for groceries. Instead of starting with produce and working my way around the store, like nearly every American grocery store is set up, I have started making a beeline for the eggs, which are the farthest item I need, and the only thing from dairy I buy. Now, sometimes on the way back there, I swing through and grab coconut milk, canned wild salmon/tuna, or sauces/condiments that I need. Next stop is bacon, then the rest of the meats. I look at what's on sale or is in the manager's special section, pick up enough meats to feed our family for a week, then head right for the produce. I buy veggies to go with all of my meats, then I fill in with fruits. I'm wasting less and getting more this way, and I love it! The boys are so excited to have bananas, apples, and oranges (or clementines!) available for snacking every day.

Eating this way has helped me to lose a good bit of weight in addition to helping me feel so much better in general. I am excited to be on the right track now, and love the way I'm starting to feel! I am actually ready to start exercising again, which thrills me!!! I just traded some homemade jams with a friend in exchange for a gorgeous custom hoop. I am so excited, but for the life of me, I can't figure out how to keep the darn hoop spinning! I never was able to hula hoop even as a kid LOL! I'm finally ready to pull out the Wii Fit I bought 2 years ago and have never used, and I need to buy a good swim suit so I can go back to taking water aerobics.

It's great to feel good again!!!!!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

A sheepish hello

I am truly ashamed that it's been so long since I've blogged. I keep thinking "Yeah, I'll do it later (tomorrow, next week, whatever)..." Clearly, that hasn't happened.

I suppose I could go on about *why* I haven't been here, but I can pretty much boil it down to the fact that I've been less than healthy physically, and that has totally brought down my mental state. By the grace of God, I seem to be on track to getting back to health, and I couldn't be happier about it!!! I think I'll save that story for another day, though.

I don't make new year's resolutions. However, I do like to set goals for myself for the coming year. I'd love to share those goals with you!

1.)This year, I will get healthy! I will eat right, and I will lose weight. I may not lose all the weight that needs to come off, but I am more determined than ever to take care of my body the best way I can!

2.)This year I will take care of myself by putting others first. Not in an unhealthy way, but in a loving, giving way. As in, my husband is my leader, I love him, and I want to make him happy. Because a happy, loved husband will be happier at home, and the more of me I give to him, the stronger and better he will be. That, in turn, will make my life better. My children need me to take them places and do things with them. I've already been doing that, but my goal is to be more involved with the little things.

3.)I am returning to blogging. No big requirements on myself to make each post something important or significant, or even useful. I just want to share my life because, well, it's never boring! LOL! I figure maybe *somebody* can benefit from my escapades! My goal is 2-3 times a week, but I'll be content with weekly lol!

4.)Along the same lines, I'm re-opening my Etsy shop and am going to put some time into growing my business. I love making sweet little hats for people, and am so glad to be feeling well enough to get back at it!

5.)I will get my home organized. I know it's never going to be neat and clean at all times, and I'm good with that. I just want to have a place for everything and everything in its place.

6.)Which brings me to my next goal of getting back into my creative mode this year! Sewing, building, anything! I am committing to 2 hours a week of creative activity. Today, we bought all the lumber to build a farmhouse dining table and a matching bench. Other things on my list of "must builds" include a closet organization system, a farmhouse bed for our bedroom, matching nightstands, and a loft bed for the boys' room.

I think these goals are doable. PLEASE hold me accountable!!!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My Super Bulky Newborn Hat - Girlie Version

I was making a few things for a friend, and wanted a girlie newborn hat pattern from a super bulky weight yarn. Um, yeah, couldn't find what I needed. Thankfully, it was really quick to make it over and over until I got the results I was looking for lol! It's not perfect, but it works for me.

So, have at it. I'm not making any promises or guarantees, but am sharing in the hopes that it may help someone else ;o)

Super Bulky Newborn Hat - Girlie Version

Small amount of Wool-Ease Thick and Quick or other super bulky yarn
N (10mm) Crochet hook

I used a magic loop to work my 1st round
Chain one, 5 sc in loop. Sl st in 1st ch to join
R2: ch 1, sc in same st *2 sc in each st* around, sl st to join
R3: ch 1 sc in same st * sc in next st, 2 sc in next* around, sl st to join
R4: ch 2, hdc in same st, *hdc in next 2 st, 2 hdc in in next* around, sl st to join
R5-7: ch 2, *hdc in each st* around, sl st to join
R8: ch 3, *sk 1 st, dc in next st, ch 1* around, sl st in 2nd chain to join.

Weave in ends, run ribbon through spaces between dc's, tie a fluffy little bow, and put it on a sweet little head!

Special thanks to Heather Pulse for the gorgeous photo!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Long time!

This has been one crazy year. We are all doing well, just running around like a bunch of headless chickens ;o)

So, to recap, Adron hurt his back in January. Turns out he ruptured a disk and had to have surgery on in in January. Now, 8 months later, he is much better, but still in a good bit of pain. Poor guy - but he's tough!

Around the same time, I started having some random memory issues. Things like drawing a total blank on whatever was going on 2-3 times a week. I assumed this was due to being on an antidepressant (fairly high dose) for the past 10 years. Over the course of about 6-8 weeks, I weaned myself off of it, and expected to see a gradual improvement in my memory. No such luck. Finally, by about July or so, I was having episodes every day, usually 2-3x/day and they lasted about 30 seconds - 2 minutes. Bigger things, like driving down the road and realizing that the street names sounded vaguely familiar, but I had no idea where I was or where I was going. Or, I would look at my kids and *know* that they were my kids, but have no idea what their names were, how old they were, etc., etc. Colors looked more vivid, I could see so much beauty in people and things around me, but I felt totally confused and disoriented for the minute or two it was going on. My sisters were totally freaking out, and insisted that I go to the doctor, as they were suspecting severe blood sugar problems. LOL! If only! Well, the nurse practitioner checked my iron and sugar levels, as well as my white count, but found nothing abnormal. I was referred to a neurologist, but thought that was kinda silly, so I scheduled an appointment with a regular pcp doctor. Of course, since I've not seen her before, I had the pleasure of scheduling a complete physical, but the first available appointment wasn't for 2 months. I figured I may as well go see the neuro, *just in case* there was something like a tumor going on. Good thing I did - no tumor, but the doctor suspects that I'm having seizures! He started me on a medicine 2 weeks ago, but my symptoms haven't really improved until the past 3-4 days. I think we're on the right track!

Jonah, bless him, is just the sweetest little thing, unless he's teething lol! He is 17 months, and just as amazing and smart and charming a little guy as you could ever hope to meet <3 We had a therapist working with him twice a month, and a speech therapist twice a month, as well, because he wasn't eating or drinking anything that wasn't from the boob lol! He has improved SO much, and we've actually been able to cut down to quarterly on speech, and bimonthly on the other. We are so blessed to have been assigned such incredible ladies who have done so much for sweet Jojo! Right now, we still see some traits that tell us there's something there, but he is pretty much on par with his peers. His walking is still really unsteady, even after he's been walking for 7 months, so he's being referred to a physical therapist for an evaluation, but I'll be surprised if they feel there's much of an issue. Poor little guy constantly has gashes, scratches, and bruises all over!

Audrey is playing soccer now, and is happier than I've seen her in ages. That is such a great thing for a 15 year old girl! Madeline and Ellie are struggling with middle child syndrome, but are doing well in school. Maddie's Girl Scout troop has just started back up, and we're trying to get Ellie into a troop, too. Noah, well, is still 3. Trying me to my core! But he'll be 4 next month, and hopefully there will be an attitude change in the near future. Of course, he and Ellie have been super destructive, and I'm getting tired of having to replace things or deal without them. My recliner has been jumped on to the point where I can barely put up the foot rest, my laptop case is cracked from being stood on, and every can/bottle/jar of personal care products or cleaning products has been dumped out somewhere in the house. And pens/markers/crayons have been used on every surface imaginable! Ah well, while I sometimes feel like spending the next 10 years hiding in my sewing room, I honestly wouldn't give up these years for anything. It's frustrating, but those sweet little hugs, "I love you, Mommy"s, snuggles, and sticky smiles make it all worthwhile <3

I've not been able to do a whole lot of anything lately, particularly in my sewing room. The air conditioner up there just can't compensate for the horrifically hot weather we had this summer. I built a set of shelves with a 4'x6' top as a cutting table for my sewing room, but I still have to finish painting them lol! I have, however, done a fair amount of knitting, and started dabbling in a little digiscrapping again lololol! These seizure (or whatever they are) episodes seriously sap me of my creativity, so I'm hoping that the meds will help me get back on track.

I did open an etsy shop, but only have one thing listed right now. I need to get some more knitting done and to my photographers so I can get some stuff moving in there! If you wanna see the one little thing I've got, feel free to check it out here.

So that's been my year - how have my beautiful blog friends been???? I really have missed you all, and totally appreciate the sweet notes some of you have sent! It's so good to feel loved ;o) HUGS to all of you!!!!!

I plan to come back with a few pics for your viewing pleasure sometime in the very near future, but no promises lol! However, here's one that was taken back in June as a Fathers Day present for Adron:

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Renewed appreciation

It is so easy to take things for granted, even when you work really hard not to.

Poor Adron had back surgery last Tuesday, and, bless his heart, he is stuck at home and hurting. I *know* he does a lot to help me out, but I didn't realize just how much easier he makes my life! He normally does the daily grocery store trips, helps with running the kids around town, takes the garbage can up front for trash pickup, and about a bazillion other little things. Whew, let me tell you - I am WORN OUT!!! I am so stressed out and tired, but, ya know, it's kinda nice to have him here to hang out with ;o)

Last night, Jonah didn't sleep well. He normally wakes up just long enough to start nursing, and we all go back to sleep right away. There have only been a handful of nights where he's been restless and/or fussy. Last night was a restless night, so I woke up worn out. But I also woke up with a smile on my face - I have a new favorite saying:

It's far better to have a baby that wakes up when he's not supposed to, than to have a baby that doesn't wake up when he should.

Ahhhhhh, yes, life is GOOD! However much I prefer to have my sweet, snuggly, sleepy litte boy actually *sleeping* at night, I'm good with the nights that he's just a sweet boy lol!

In other Jonah news, the boy has started eating!!!! WOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!! I mean, really, really eating! Baby food, table food, finger food, bugs, leaves, you name it - he is eating it all! I am so incredibly grateful for the wonderful things going on in our lives! He was eating a cranberry chocolate chip oatmeal cookie this morning, and I was holding him on my left leg (with my left hand), so I could eat, too. I noticed he kept leaning down and pushing his mouth against my hand. I looked a little closer and noticed that he had crumbs on his lips, and was trying to wipe them off on the napkin in my hand. I love that!

Jonah's saying a few words, too. "Mama", "Dada", "nee" (nursies), "no", "neh" (yes), "nom nom" when he eats (this is his favorite video), "bah" (bye), and there are a couple others that I've heard him say, but I can't think of them right now. Not too bad for a 10 month old runt lol!

Ooooh - did you see the giveaway on Lila Tueller's blog??? I so wanna win this:

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Is it wrong?

Jonah fell asleep in my arms, and I needed to do something, so I laid him on the couch. 15 minutes later, he popped his sweet little head up, looked around, and whimpered until I picked him back up. Now he's asleep in my arms again, and I LOVE it!

Is it wrong to love that Jonah thinks my arms are the best place to sleep??? ::evil grin::

Saturday, February 13, 2010

I've been pondering what my issue is with blogging. I finally came to the conclusion that it makes me feel selfish. Yeah, I know. I only read about 50 blogs on a daily basis, and LOVE every minute of hearing about these people's lives! Do I think they are being selfish by blogging? Not a chance! So what's my problem???? I am going to work on getting over that - I do enjoy this outlet lol! I want to thank those of you who actually take the time to read what I have to say, as that really means the world to me =)

Ooooooh! I told you about the card swap - well, here's the DARLING card I got!!! It's so stinkin' CUTE!!!! I just love the FUN little cupcake!!!

Then, yesterday, I got an email saying that I'd won a giveaway!!! Holy cow! The giveaway was on MADE, and it was for this shirt from Small Threads!

In other news, we celebrated Madeline's birthday last week, and she requested a lemon raspberry cake. Sighhhhhhh.... I can make a mean cupcake, but cakes are just not my forte. So, here is the disaster I created lol!

Ah well, at least it was yummy, and Madeline was pleased ;o)

Here's the Valentine's card I did for Ellie - found the idea here (it was *originally* found here):

I've also been busy knitting hats, but don't have any photos of those right now lol!