Sickness and Health

Isn’t it weird that one moment can change your life?  In this instance it is my husband’s life.  He has had stomach issues throughout our relationship.  He has gone to doctor after doctor with really no answers.  Until two weeks ago he just lived with it. Finally after a lot of tests his gastroenterologist ordered, they think they have found something.  One of the tests showed that he had one of two markers for Celiac Disease. What does that mean? Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.  It is treatable, but there is no cure.  With him only having one marker, the doctor doesn’t believe he has full blown Celiac Disease. However, there is definitely a gluten intolerance.  Changes had to be made to his diet.  The doctor says to go gluten free.  That is what we have done for over two weeks now.

For the first few weeks we just left out food that had gluten.  Now, here I am trying new recipes.  I am not a good good cook.  Maybe that should be my new goal.  Playing with unfamiliar products.  I would count tonight’s panko chicken meal as a needs tweaking meal.  I have had worse. However, it was not yummy.  I am getting to use more of my Pyrex.  Fresh vegetables and fruits are filling our fridge.  It is time to make good choices.  I am beginning to enjoys salads for lunch.  Let me be real honest.  I am from the south and I would love some fried chicken about now.

This is a lifestyle change.  In such a few days I felt the difference.  Don’t get me wrong I love bread.   I love Joe more and I will be supportive for his new journey.  If you have any gluten free tips or recipes you would like to share I would appreciate it.

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Crappy Day

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Evan baby powders his room

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Jack feeds himself.

No, I am not okay.  I am having a crappy day.  That is what I want to say.  I don’t.  I hold it in.  It seems like lots people that are around me are having a crappier day.  So, I let it go.

Here’s what I hear.  People I care about life’s struggles. One loved one has a cancerous Melanoma and is going to lose her finger.  One sweet friend’s husband left her.  He told her after he packed all his belongings and was on the road by calling her.  A few of Jack’s buddies are having dietary issues and their parents aren’t getting timely answers.  Meanwhile, the tiny tots suffer.  Stories of kidney stones, gout, financial issues, and loss are sent to me thru texts, emails, and phone calls.

This is my today.  I am drowning in my coffee.  I have had a nugget of sleep because both of the littles are sick.  The dog got up in the middle of the night and rummaged thru the diaper pail.   She chewed up dirty diapers and scattered them everywhere in the twins room.  I had to clean that and scrub the twins carpet this morning while they ate breakfast.  They feed themselves.  So, I had to bathe them, they needed fresh clothes, and  I had to scrub their highchairs and the floor under them because they threw half of it on the floor.  Something in my house reeks and I can’t find it.  Evan ransacked the book shelf with his books and my childhood Little Golden books.  The television remote has been missing for a week now.  Jack broke my Jadeite mug.  One of them poured the kibble into Claire Belle’s water.  It is just lunchtime.  I have not had an adult conversation in a week.  My struggles today are hectic and minor, but they are mine and real.

Life is hard.  We need someone to listen.  We all have a crappy day from time to time.  Some of us have experiences that are hard emotionally, mentally, and physically.  Sometimes, there are no words to heal the day, but just saying it out loud gives it release.  I will go to bed tonight and start fresh in the morning.  I know that my tomorrows adventure will not be the same.  Other’s people tomorrows will be similar as their today.  That’s hard to face.  Don’t feel alone.  If you are out there and you need someone to share with…I am here for your crappy day.

Fashion What

When did it become acceptable to dress unaffected of circumstances?  I never offer fashion advice unless my opinion is asked.  I don’t live under a rock, but I missed something.  Maybe, it is because my grandparents had a big role in my childhood, maybe it is my love for vintage life, or maybe I just care about appearances. I was dismayed in ladies clothing choices this week.

This past week I attended a sign language class.  I was excited to get out of the house for the day.  This has been a goal of mine to learn sign language since receiving Jack’s diagnosis.  Two things you should know about what I am telling is 1. For some reason only women were in attendance 2. I was the only one not representing a workplace.  Ladies walked in wearing all kinds of crazy.  One lady was wearing a tutu.  Yes, you read that correct.  She was wearing a tutu.  The lady in front of me had on a glitter cat shirt.  That was not a typing error I said glitter cat shirt.  Another lady was dress in business clothes and nice make up, but had not brushed her hair.  I mean not brushed.  Not styled messy just not touched at all.  One had one bright socks and sandals.  One had purple hair.  These were business women.  They were represent not only themselves, but an employer.  And, they didn’t all work with children.

For those new to my site I am a SAHM to twin 19 month boys. I dressed in my everyday clothes which is a dress or shirt and jeans. This particular day the weather was cool so I added a cardigan. I accessorized with a long necklace and earrings for this class.  This is something I would wear to a Down Syndrome Society meeting, therapy session, or doctor’s appointment.  I add my scarves, brooches, or jewelry to jazz it up when I need to step it up. Actually, subtract the necklace and earrings you may see me in this at home or the grocery store.  It is basic, functional, and budget friendly.  I don’t mind running in to someone I know at the store, but I can crawl on the floor with my guys too.

I am not fashion princess.  I am not a trend setter.  However, if any of these social workers/ therapist / librarians has a session with my child I would question their ability to be serious.  If I walked into the library and the lady wearing the tutu greeted me at the front door I would think it was a theme day.  It is moments life like this make me question professional integrity.  I love fun pieces of clothes.  I just don’t wear them all on the same day.  I have always heard dress for the job you want not the job you have.  Here’s my last thought…  use your words to speak not your clothes.

Deep Fried New Year

Y’all know I am from the south. Traditions are important here. Some consider them superstitions.  Let me say whatever you want to call them they run deep. It is New Year’s Eve and folks around here are busy busy busy.  Give me a few minutes to explain.

It is believed that how you welcome the new year will be your fortune.  Your activity can influence your year.  At midnight the door must be open for the old year to escape and the new year to be welcomed in.  While the door is open make loud noises (cheers, poppers, and horns) so that evil doesn’t want to come in.  Evil spirits do not like loud.  Washing clothes or dishes on New Year’s day can bring two things. One is hard work all year long. The second is death to a relative.  If you sweep the floor you are sweeping your good luck out of the door. Don’t break anything for this could led to destruction in your life. So, be careful. Maybe, even use paper products since you should wash your dishes. Try to remain happy because crying welcomes sadness for the year.  Make sure you have money in your wallet and your pantry or cupboard is stocked.  These two promote the promise of prosperity.

Our New Year’s meal is just as important as our activity.  A meal of luck. The hope of good fortune. While, most of these foods are common staples in the south. However, the meaning behind them on New Years makes them lucky foods. Collards, black-eyed peas, pork, and cornbread are required. The collards represent green money. They must be slow cook and with the pork.  The entire” mess” ( mess means bundle in the south) has to be eaten. If you throw any out your good luck may run out.  Black-eyed peas are noted as pennies that can be added to your wealth. Pigs are known to root forward. Pork respects wealth to come.  In generations past only the rich family had hogs.  Pork seasoning makes all these dishes yummy. The cornbread’s color represents gold. Ideally, include kernels of corn to represent gold nuggets to really help out you bank account.

It is midday on New Year’s Eve and I have been washing clothes, sweeping floors, prepping our meal for tomorrow.  I make a mix collards, kale, and mustard.  I am not a fan of collards, but I don’t want to shake tradition. We will have pork chops, bacon in our black-eyed peas and ham in the greens. I know what not to do or I will hear “Lord have mercy on her”.  I am blessed to have experienced and learned a good southern New Year’s meal. I look forward to seeing all that 2018 brings.  Happy New Year, Y’all!

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Is It Ever Enough?

 

I had a moment early Christmas morning.  I was in our family room with my mom and step dad double checking that my job as Santa’s helper was done correctly.  Without evening realizing I had said it out loud I ask, “I wonder if we have done enough”.

Joe and I had made a decision together early last year to give our twins four gifts For Christmas.  They would receive from us a want, a need, a wear and a read.  We put a good bit of thought in our decision.  We considered what would be beneficial to their therapy.   We had thought of our  budget.  We thought of our living space. We thought of the photos and posts of stacks and piles presents that we consider overboard. We wondered how long the toys would last and how long they twins would use it. After all they are still babies. The 4 gifts from us and a few from Santa was decided would be best for our family.

It is hard not to get consumed in the giving aspect of Christmas. Who wouldn’t enjoy a bundle of shiny packages with big bows? It is easy to walk in a store, see an item, and think of how much they would enjoy it or how cute they would look in it. I had to catch myself many times putting something in my cart because it was cute or knowing they would like playing with it.

My step dad in a low voice said something like…”Remember the meaning of Christmas.  You’ve done enough.”  It was just what I needed to hear.  I know why we celebrate.  My faith is that this is the day of Jesus’s birth. Nothing I give is greater that His gift.  It is a celebration.  We don’t have to keep up with the neighbors, coworkers, or the Jones…we just have to do what is right for us.

 I hope you all had a Merry Christmas!

I Can’t Handle Your Help

Often times when people come to our home they try help.  We love that our twins are loved so much.  A few sit with the twins so I can run errands or get a chore or two done.  Sometimes, laundry gets put away, the trash gets taken out, and toys get reorganized.  I appreciate your desire to lend your time and attention to our family.  However, sometimes I can’t handle your help.  I can’t.

Joe and I went out for a bit yesterday.  Today, I feel set back in tasks and chores. That laundry was not put away because the twins out grew it and some it was being donated.  That trash was recycle that needed to be driven to the recycle center.  When it is put in our bin it takes up the most room and then were have no room for the real rubbish.  The trash truck has not picked up our trash this week due to the holiday.  Now, what can I do?  That one toy truck that you pull out from each place I hide it in the play room is hidden for a reason.  Joe bought a bin of antique toys and wants the boys to have them when they are older.  Most are displayed on a shelf.  Evan loves this particular truck. However, he throws it and on occasions hits Jack with it.  It is to wide for the display shelf so I have hidden it.

I wish I was asked why Joe and I do the things we do instead of people just deciding we are wrong.  We do that we think is best for our family at the moment.  The twins are at 9 therapies a week.  I have a lot to do and little time.   I am thankful to have offers of help.  I can’t handle help that just makes more tasks for me.

So, readers next time you visit someone and want to give a helping hand ask them how you can help. It may be as simple as taking the littles for a stroll or a casserole. That sincere offer will be received so gratefully even though you may have to offer more than once for them to step out of their comfort zone to accept it.

Making Memories

My parents divorced when I was young. Allowing me the opportunity to have Christmas traditions and special activities with my two families.  I have two favorite activities from my Dad’s visits.  One was him reciting the story Twas the Night Before Christmas.  The second was going to cut down a live Christmas tree.  Making cookies and treats was my favorite activity to give as gifts for Christmas was a favorite to do with my Mom.  I wanted to do something special with my babies this year.  I hoped for happy memories and start traditions with them.  They are only 18 months old leaving us with limits of what we can do. I knew I was in for a challenge.

My husband and I both enjoyed looking at Christmas lights as children.  Really, we still do. Joe thought we should take them. We went to see the Celebration of Lights in Conway.  Such a lovely view!  It was a drive thru sighting.  The twins were in their car seats.  We couldn’t see their excitement. Well, Evan’s that is.  He said, “Oh, wow’ over and over.  Jack slept.  Maybe, that will be a win next year.

I often enjoyed making cookies and gingerbread houses with my mom growing up.  I thought that may be a nice activity to share with them. I was wrong. I bought all the goodies and spread them on the table. Jack looked at everything and crawled down.  He was not interested.  I guess it didn’t help that they have never had candy before.  Evan cared only a tiny bit.  He likes helping me.  I encouraged him to try the candy  and found all the goodies tasty. He was not into decoration the house.  He just wanted to eat the decorations off.

Joe and I have lots of meaningful ornaments hanging on our Christmas tree.  There are ones we individually had before we were married and some we have collected since we have been together. I adore homemade ornaments.  So, I think to myself.  That’s what we will try next.  Bonus, they can be gifts for the twins to pass out.  They each carefully picked cookie cutters from the bowl.  Evan’s first choice was a duck.  No, I didn’t stop him. He was proud. Evan loved playing with the dough and painting.  He hated making his foot print.  Jack didn’t like making hand or foot prints.  He loved painting.  Finally, winning toddler approved activity.

I have read to them the story of Christmas and Twas the Night Before Christmas.  We have watched Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown, and Frozen.  We have gone to church to celebrate the meaning of Christmas.

My babies are so young that they will not remember any of these. We have some photos to show them. I will keep an ornament from each of they for them to have when they are older. Mostly, I will hold on to the memories and continue to share and develop new traditions and special activities with them.

Merry Christmas to you and your family! Hold tight to your memories and have fun making new ones!12040079Epaints