Today and Yesterday, Clearing the Fog

I wish today could have been like yesterday. It was one if those rare days as a mother (at least for me that is). Yesterday, we played, all day. It was fun. I still cleaned and kept up with my house, but I was cleaning up little messes that we had just made, not dishes from today and yesterday, toys that we never picked up, and laundry that is unending. My son laughed, a lot, yesterday. And his behavior was so much more of what I know he really is, because he got the attention and time that he really needed from me. (Dividing my time between two kids has been a hard balancing act for me.) Today I was exhausted, …and weirdly starving.

Lately, I seem to be in a fog. That I can’t get out of. A rut that I am literally stuck in. I think part of it could be the fact that my dad was diagnosed with cancer earlier this year, and another part may be that I can’t get enough of sugar right now. I started back to school this year in April and it quickly became clear that I could not finish the semester. There was too much going on in my life and if something had to give it wasn’t going to be my children or my husband (moving in the middle of the semester didn’t help either.)
Though it cleared yesterday right now I’m just trying to get out of the fog.

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And then there was too much…

Have you ever felt overwhelmed? So much so that you started crying over something that wouldn’t have phased you any other day (I’m sure the pregnancy hormones don’t help)? That was me yesterday. I have been overwhelmed for quite a while, but yesterday I just couldn’t take it anymore. I started sobbing (I don’t even remember what the straw was that broke the camel’s back) and my poor son was quite saddened and concerned about me. He even was trying to make me laugh by falling off of his little bike, after the hugs didn’t fix the problem. He helped fix the moment, but I had a hard time not crying all day.
I just want so much to be a good wife and mother. To be a good homemaker and steward. To be a good student and friend. To be a true Christian and deserving Daughter of God.
I am trying to have more balance in my life and have been working on reading my scriptures daily something I have never been the greatest at (but I’m two months going strong). I also am allowing my
self to read a chapter or a portion of a book I want to read. I really want to sew (and really really REALLY need to get some gifts done and things made for our little lady) and work on some other projects that I want (and need) to do. But I can’t. I can’t find the time. (And I’m already not sleeping enough and feel like a zombie so that can’t be a solution).
For my Foundation of Early Childhood class I read and learn about how important it is for children to play, to be outdoors, to be engaged, and to limit there screen time, and it only makes me feel worse because I have to not give my full attention to my child and babysit him with the television, while I am learning these things. There is so much that I want to do for him and her.  So much that I want to be for them. So much that I want to have them experience and be.
And yet, now, in these day to day struggles I more often feel like I am failing both them and my husband, then growing closer to my goals.
I am taking life one day at a time,  And on the tough days I go to sleep with the hope that tomorrow is a brand new day. And with a little repentance and reliance upon the Lord I can start over with a brand new slate.

What comforts you when you have your tough days?

From my Family, to Yours..

Our (un)Nourishing Life: Foods Part #2

So last Friday I broke the bomb shell that we can’t consume Dairy products. And let me tell you that was one BIG unwelcome bomb shell. It was really hard to not eat something that we had consumed our whole lives.

But nevertheless we decided to remove dairy products from our diet. NOT an easy decision at all, but one that significantly improved our quality of life. In fact, the severe stomach cramps for the hubby almost completely disappeared. That is for a while, but I’m getting ahead of myself.  We switched to Soy Milk first. But it turns out I’m allergic to soy, and I am highly suspicious that little man is too. (It probably didn’t help that almost all of the soy crops that are produced in the US -94% in 2011- are GMO’s and soy isn’t really safe to consume unless it is in it’s fermented form.) So then we realized that we now had to avoid two food items that are in maybe 60% of “foods” that are available today.

-Detour- Wait a minute you think. Soy?  Like soy sauce and icky tofu soy? In a large percentage of foods that I eat?  Yeah right, this lady is off her rocker.
Well, start checking your food labels. You would be surprised just how often dairy and soy products pop up on food labels, I know I was. Even if it is in the “processed in the same plant as” section it more then likely has dairy or soy in it. In fact, dairy and soy products are just two out of the eight most allergenic foods. They are, in no particular order: Milk, Eggs, Fish, Shellfish (crab, lobster, shrimp), Soy,  Wheat, Peanuts (which are actually not a nut but a legume), and Tree nuts (walnuts, almonds, cashews).
Milk, soy, wheat, and eggs, I would say, are in 70% of the “foods” we eat in the Standard American Diet (SAD).  Why are we so allergic to these foods? Do we eat them too much? Why are they continually so prevalent in our diets when they are so allergenic?
But, I leave that to you. That is not our focus today. -End Detour-

Continuing on with our new “milks” that we were trying. We then tried hemp milk.  Icky, not for us.  Coconut milk, good but too sweet for certain things like gravy. Then finally we have settled on unsweetened almond milk. So far that has been the best for us and it works comparably for the hubby’s milk and cookies treat, which he loves.

-Another slight detour- During these new “milk” trials I started reading about the evils of dairy. Now before you start thinking I am going to agree with that I want you to know, from the beginning that I don’t.  I think that man kind has historically been dependent upon dairy products for a reason.  They can be a healing and nourishing food. However, I do think that any dairy (as with all other foods) that we consume should be a living food. Meaning it has not been altered from its orginal state when it reaches the consumer. All of the original vitamins, minerals, and nutrients are intact and unaltered. Raw milk is a living food with many health benefits, including the enzyme lactase, which helps those who are lactose intolerant break down the milk. Click here to learn about the history of milk and why milk had to be pasteurized. We have not tried it yet but we are seeking out a certified raw milk seller and will update you how we handle it. Again we may have a dairy allergy which is very different from lactose intolerance and would make any milk impossible to drink. -End Detour-

Then because we had to read the food labels on basically everything we ate to identify if dairy or soy were in it, we started noticing just how many ingredients in our foods we did not recognize as food items, seeming to be something instead from a science experiment. Because of this experience we now want to know what we put into our bodies. We are very careful about not buying processed foods with who knows what in them. We are buying foods that are organically and preferably locally grown using sustainable agriculture and farming methods. Topics that I will cover more in subsequent postings. We try to make as much from scratch as possible but fill in where and when we need to. Life does not always go according to plan.

So for now we are feeling better probably about 93% of the time, but we still have symptoms occasionally which leads me to believe we have one or more unknown allergies that we still need to identify. I am hoping it’s not gluten, a conditioner and structural builder in several grains, but I think it might be. We shall see what happens next in this food journey, shan’t we?

From my Family, to Yours…

Thank you for letting me share my stories with you. Please feel free to share yours below, I would love to hear them!

Evolving

Change is a part of life. Things are always changing, which can be really hard for some people to cope with, so instead of saying change my descriptor here today will be: evolve. Which in fact actually suits my needs better then the previous word that starts with a “c”. Because what I’m talking about did not start as one thing and then completely shift 180º to become something else entirely. It instead began as something and then added another idea or thing,  and then another, and another.  Continuously adding more but always building upon what was previously there.

Why so vague and random? What the heck am I even talking about?   
Excellent questions!

Well, it all began when I was a little girl,  (now is as good a time as any for a story right?). I loved pioneers. Not only is it a rich part of my religious heritage, but it is a part of my ancestral heritage as well.  All of my ancestors crossed the plains and even greater distances such as the Atlantic Ocean. I was obsessed with them. I also was very interested in emergency preparedness and would devour any disaster preparedness pamphlets I would get my hands on.  (Just to be clear I did not eat them.)

Then several years later my interest in food and cooking developed, blossomed and was put to good use feeding my husband and I. I started this blog to share delicious recipes with family and friends and to keep them in a “safe” place.

Then I got pregnant. I began to read and read. And not my usual fiction books (though I still do read those), but non-fiction. The first book that really opened my eyes to something new that I had never considered before, was “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding.” I had never really thought about if I was going to nurse my children or not before, but I learned about the benefits as well as some of the difficulties that come with this once “almost lost art” and decided this was the way for me. Then I decided I wanted a natural birth, which I will someday soon share the story of little man’s birth.
Then we self-diagnosed ourselves as all having a dairy allergy and our diets evolved. And really from that point things began evolving very fast, so fast indeed that I can not remember exactly what and when everything happened.  Suffice it to say our world view is not the same as it was a year and a half ago.  We are still learning, reading, and growing but at this point we are adopting a whole foods life style; we are trying to adopt and support sustainable farming and practices; we are working on reducing, reusing, and recycling; and are trying to use more natural, environmentally, and humanly safe products. Over the next little bit I will delve a little deeper into each topic and share with you why we are evolving our views and understanding and how we are doing so.
As I said before we are building on the foundations that we already have and using them to mold our future. I am still the same person, I just have deeper cares, wants and wishes. I told you being a mom changed me, but hopefully for the better. And hopefully I am evolving into someone who is worthwhile in ALL that they do.

Stay tuned to see just what exactly is different.

From my Family, to Yours…

Have you ever evolved like this before?

Tuesday=Tough Day

Man oh man, Tuesday was tough. Ugh. So tough! Everything was going wrong.  And my cluttered little apartment was caveing in on me.  There was too much to do.  And I couldn’t get started.  I would try to pick something up, start the dishes, or pick up the toys, but it would all become too overwhelming and my stress level would mount. I seemed to be praying for help and patience all morning. I was working on the laundry when my little man came in with his leftover breakfast bowl somehow in his hands and he continued smearing and painting things with it. I say continued because had been doing so in the carpet in the front room.  I wish I could say that my reaction was one of an understanding parent that laughed it off, tickled him and kissed his messy face, but that would be a lie. I became even more frustrated and quickly whipped the little man into a new outfit.  I then brought him to his high chair to get him some food, and he started screaming at me. I then turned to him and said, “Do you not see that there is so much more to be done in this house then just what you want to do at this very instant?” And that broke the flood gates. I started bawling, almost uncontrollably. Going on and on about how I just want to be a good mom and wife; AND live in a clean home.  Little man was definitely concerned and tried to be a little better I could tell.  But then my wonderful hubby came home and helped take care of little man and me. He even called some friends to come help me can some of the 52 lbs of apple’s we previously picked, while he was at work. 
Just knowing that there were other people willing to help me, especially when I was so overwhelmed helped to change my attitude 180º. I am so thankful for those people in my life who care enough to step in and lighten the load every once in a while.

Thank you.

And thank you, dear reader, for letting me share some of my tough moments from our lives and for not judging me too harshly. As I’ve said before and will Most definitely say again, I love my little boy more then words can ever describe.
From our Family, to yours…

Have you ever had terrible days where nothing just seemed to be going right? How did you handle them?

The Truth

So I have to admit something that is going to come as a great shock (THAT was sarcastic):

I am not perfect.

I know! I know! Life changing news right there. As much as I wish that I could model my life after all those other ladies that I see (both in real life and virtually) who seem to somehow be supermom’s and always have a clean house, happy husband, happy children, perfect dinners, blog everyday, do all the crafts that they want to do, help others around them, and even more, and somehow also sleep, …I can’t.

I know that, most especially in blog-land, that is just a front, it is how they present themselves. We tend to hide the messes, and the full sink and unfinished projects, and and and… well you get the picture. But it is something that I struggle with. As I have mentioned before, I have some lofty goals, some that I have mentioned here, and others I have not. I picture things in a perfect state in my mind, and then as I try to bring them about… they just about never turn out the way that I imagine. There are a lot of things that I want to perfect about myself, and the way that I do things, and though I am not perfect and most often fail, I do keep trying, which I at least feel is a positive aspect. Though it does all sometimes seem to become overwhelming. But C’est la vie! (Such is life).

I am so glad that I have the example of others, whom I know are not perfect, but they do not focus on their imperfections, they acknowledge them, put them before you, but then turn their backs to their faults and move forward. I hope to be more like them! There are MANY real life examples that I can share with you, but not wishing to invade anyone’s privacy, I will only share with you two blogs of those ladies that I entirely admire, and hope someday to become like.

1. http://bright-eyeddelicious.blogspot.com/

This adorable blog of one of my friends, whom I hope to be like someday, is real. She always speaks to my heart, and she doesn’t try to be something that she is not.

2. http://www.meginprogress.com/

This lady has a way of writing that speaks to the very soul, maybe it is just because I am about to enter into a very similar situation as her, in some respects, but she is able to find the good, the humor, and/or the memorable in each and every post. She makes me laugh out loud constantly. And sometimes being able to laugh, is the only thing that will help you pick up the pieces around you and move on.

So no, I am not perfect. Yes it did take me all day (meaning literally from when I finally got out of bed because I couldn’t fall back to sleep at 6:00 am until 10:30 pm when I finally just decided to let the other little things go) to clean (and deep clean certain aspects) the house on Friday. And yes it also only stayed that way for so many hours. *Sigh*.  Yes, I also have been fighting a cold combined with a lack of sleep, thank you stuffy noses and heartburn, since Wednesday (which lets me off in some small approximation). Yes, sometimes I just don’t feel like cooking, or blogging, or doing much of anything. But I am pleased to report that in comparison with a year ago, when I would feel like this and then literally not do anything, now I am finding those things that do need to be done, and can be accomplished within the realm of my laziness not wanting to do such and such, and then actually completing them! It may seem like a small improvement, but to me it is a BIG step in the right direction. I don’t get caught up as easily in the vicious cycle of not wanting to do anything, and then getting discouraged because nothing got done.

I am hoping as time goes by, that I may learn, grow, and adapt more and more to all of life’s mountains and valleys and that I may be at peace, with who I am, and what are in the limits of what I can accomplish.

Here’s hoping that I spoke to a truth within you…

From my Family to Yours…

Baby Update

I just wanted to share a quick update with you about how everything is going with us there being only four weeks and one day left until the little man’s due date. We had a doctor’s appointment on Wednesday, they will now be weekly until he is born, and everything is on schedule! His heartbeat was 166 beats per minute and he is in a head down position!  So we are getting closer! We have just a little bit until he is in our arms and not just in my belly. And the question people seem to ask now is “Are you ready for him to get here?”

And the answer is, “Honestly? No.” Are we beyond excited to have him here, and cuddle with him and kiss his fingers and toes and face and tummy? Yes. My husband laughs at me because I so often have this little outbursts exclaim the said desire above.

But I am still nervous. As one of my friends shared her own feelings, they just so happened to be exactly as I feel. She said, “I shouldn’t have to give birth, until I am no longer afraid to give birth.” She then went into labor that night. So though I know I will probably not get over my “fear” of bringing him into this world, I can not wait to meet him! If that makes any kind of sense.

 Hoping that all is going well for you and your family!

From my Family to Yours…