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.

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..

Some Shiny New News

I wanted to share some exciting and shiny news with my wonderful readers!

image

Here at the Snickerplum household we are expecting a new little baby!

image

And that baby is going to be a girl! It has been a very different pregnancy this time around then with little man. Even though I have been sick with morning sickness I still wasn’t quite as sick as I was with him. The major difference is that I have been sick longer with her, which is quite a feat since I was sick until 19 weeks with little man. Yet it was a good thing I want as sick because I also started going back to school to finish up my degree at BYU-Idaho. (I figured since we are here any way it would not hurt to finish up my schooling as well.) But that is another post for another day. Back to the nitty gritty details.

image

I will be 25 weeks tomorrow.
Up until 19 weeks I felt completely gender neutral (which was very different then the first time because early on we knew it was a boy). In my head I kept thinking the baby was a boy, but then suddenly one morning I was cleaning my son’s room and pow! It hit me, and I felt greatly impressed that we were going to have a girl.  So much so that when we were packing supplies for our gender reveal photos I felt silly bringing anything blue (we didn’t know when we left the house that morning). My sweet hubby on the other hand a couple weeks before felt impressed that we were having a girl.

image

He is so excited to have a daddy’s girl, and for all the pink (especially the pink camo). I love that man and that I get to share forever with him.

image

Over all this has been a different but good pregnancy so far and lately I have traded the morning sickness with Braxton-Hicks contractions.  Which I get all the time. Guess my body needs to do some major prep work for birthing this little one.

How has your summer gone? Do you have any fun or exciting news to share?

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!

Our (un)Nourishing Life: Foods Part #1

Can I just first say life is a beast? This was going to go up on the 4th, until I had a super scary lump show up on my body in an area that often is related to cancer. So with a day of doctors appointments, medicine runs, worrying, and planning my exit from this world (what can I say? I guess when the C(CRAP)HTF I become a pessimist… a prepared pessimist) lets just say that my mind had room for little else then the essentials.
Then the 5th arrived (my birthday! Eek! 25 years!) with the gift of the lump basically disappearing and tons of birthday goodness to go along with it. *Sigh* Thank you! Though I’m not fully out of the woods yet, the trees are definitely sparse. And though I do not believe that modern medicine is always the best answer; i.e. treating the symptoms instead of the root cause and the over use of antibiotics creating “super” bugs that are very hard to kill, to name a few;  I am very thankful for it and it’s ability to save lives and fix things that even 50 years ago were unfixable.
So that brings us to today. And our first real step into this new way of life and thinking. Diet.
And this is not like a “diet” diet but a life style of healthy eating.  Make sense?  Hopefully.
Even before we were married we have always tried to eat healthy. Health has always been very important to us, though our understanding of what is healthy has changed. Back then we were drinking at least a gallon of milk a week, most of the time more, cooking up scalloped potatoes, lasagna, quesadillas, tacos (you know, with a mix. ‘Cause how else do you make tacos?) and eating pizza all the time, especially when I was pregnant (Little Ceasers was the only thing I could eat with my terrible morning sickness. Weird and gross right?). Sure we would have tons of white bread, salads, snacks, and treats (homemade ice cream and cookies anyone?) to go with that. We would also have fruits with the occasional veggie but our food choices were oh so delicious.
And generally healthy using the food guide pyramid.
Yet, fatteningly unhealthy.
So much so, that together my hubby and I gained 60 lbs in our first year of marriage. And we continued gaining weight into our second year of marriage, though me being pregnant kind of skewed that measurement, by a lot. And we were not healthy, true we were not exercising or even very active, but more then that, we were sick, in many ways. We often experienced:
Cold’s often.
Being tired all of the time.
Seeming to constantly be in a brain fog.
Aches and pains.
Leaky gut (Though we still aren’t 100% we have this now, we have most of the symptoms, click on link to see what leaky gut is).
My dear hubby was getting stomach cramps and pains more and more often. Though many told him he was being too sensitive (not me!) and to take some pepto and get over it. His pains continued and once were so bad that I took him to the emergency room! Only to have the diagnosis be, “Well, we really don’t know what’s wrong with you.  Here take this ‘cocktail’ of medicine and hopefully it will stop whatever is going on.” Though it did alleviate his pain, it only did so for the day. He continued getting debilitating stomache cramps.
Then the first sudden change came during my pregnancy. I very suddenly was becoming very sick every time I drank milk. Other dairy products seemed to be ok so I hoped and prayed that it was just some obscure reaction and that neither the little man nor I were lactose intolerant nor had a dairy allergy. Because if I didn’t make this clear before, I loved milk and yogurt and ice cream and cheese (especially cheese) and would never ever give it up.
Turned out that even after little man was born, dairy was still making us sick. Though it took me several months to figure that out. During that time, I was experiencing all sorts of gastric distress and little man was having projectile spit-up and acid reflux, stuffy noses, burps like it’s nobody’s business, and he even broke out with terrible eczema all over his body so we would have slather him up with Aquaphor several times a day.
I eventually decided to try taking dairy out and we both immediately improved so much, that hubby thought he’d try it as well and also noticed a dramatic change. He was devastated (What about my milk and cookies?).

Wouldn’t you be? Stay tuned for Part #2 and what we decided to do next.

From my Family, to Yours…

Do you have any foods that you are sensitive or allergic to? How did you find out?

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 Reason Why

Sometimes life is just hard isn’t it? Your busy or the woes and troubles of life get you down, or there’s a sickness that you can’t explain, or understand.

Well we all have these troubles and for me, I pick option C as my excuse this time. I’ve been sick for quite a while now, but the reason, that I can now finally share with you is that I am pregnant!

This came as a big shock to us. We were not planning on it or expecting it and in fact when we were at the doctors office, thinking that I had some kind of thyroid disorder, and the doctor told us, the hubby asked three or four times, “Are you sure?!” What a surprise!

And what a great lesson it has been for me. I have had to learn that I don’t control everything, and it’s okay that I am not feeling well enough to do the dishes, or the laundry, or really anything.
The hubbs has been better then I could have dreamed. He has taken up the mantle of homemaker without a complaint, as it was almost overnight that I became severely incapacitated, and barely able to get dressed let along anything else. He also is very excited to be a daddy and he is very sweet and kind, though there are stressful things that come with pregnancy he has had great patience and kindness with me.

I apologize that it has been so long since I have been on here and I hope that now that I have finally been able to share the news I will be back more often.