Wednesday, June 29, 2011

What absolute power feels like

Being all about health, mindfulness and self awareness lately, I have been more cognizant of how my body feels. For instance, when you are angry, where in your body do you feel it? Try tuning in, and see what you experience.

Today, I had a moment of elation.

MB called.
MB: mom, what is the password to Dad's laptop?
::: pause:::
(sensation of feeling lighter. Then, stomach feels empty, a little dizzy. So, this is "elation"!)
Me: sure. As soon as you clean up the family room and take the garbage out.  Text me a pic, and I will send you the password!

See? Absolute power. It was brief, but SOOOOOOOO ENJOYABLE!!

I resisted the urge to insist on more.

(Saving that one for the future.)

Monday, June 27, 2011

It's All About the Safety

A true sign of mental illness better not be based on the rules one instills in one's household.  If so, I'm a goner.

Let me explain.....(How many great stories start like THAT?)

First of all, I shed.  I didn't know this until I had been cooking for many years. Apparently, my hair chooses to fall out when I am cooking.  (If you are squeamish, skip to the next blog)
And, when one of my kids finds a hair in their food, they always say, "I win!".  It began when we were battling with Princess over food.  She would not eat, we disagreed about the importance of sustenance. (barely 30 pounds at 5 years old, she BETTER eat food!)  During a prolonged battle over food, she found numerous reasons to reject the food:  It's too cold, too hot, too spicy, too green, whatever. Then one night, she found a hair in her food. Before she could appropriately embellish her complete disgust, I said, "YOU WIN!"  She said, what?  I said, you win-you got the hair, so you win!  It means, you're special! 
For some strange reason (genetics, maybe?) she bought it.  And, I frequently hear, "I win" at our dinner table. 
I have had to update the rules, however.  No one wins in restaurants.  Well, that's not true. We DO get a free meal out of it. Maybe I should clarify: the prize in public is even better than "You're special". It's "Please don't sue, dessert is on us".

Another rule in our house: No running in socks.  Most people might say, No Running.  Why? They WILL run.  They WILL fall. To top it off, we have an open floorplan where you can run from family room to living room to dining room to kitchen nook into the family room-a perfect circuit. Instead, the rule is: they can run if they are barefoot. That way, their pudgy little bare feet serve as traction on the tile and wood. I'm ALL about safety.  You will often hear me yell: "HEY! TAKE OFF YOUR SOCKS IF YOU ARE GOING TO RUN!!!!!" Every once in a while, a child stops, processes, blinks a few times and removes the socks with a big grin. And, always run clockwise.

Which leads us to: No dirty bikes in the house.  This comes from Christmas morning one year. Santa brought bikes.  Mommy and Daddy were in their jammies, and wanted to remain that way.  Outside was cold, and neither one of us wanted to schlep outside to watch the kids ride bikes-so, since the bikes were clean, we let them run the house circuit. We tried to limit the bikes to outside, but our street gets a little busy for Princess to ride around, and she has TONS of energy. So, as long as the wheels are clean, go for it. First injury ends the game.
I could continue...

No body slamming your sister......

What crazy rules do you live by?

Dining Out with Food Restrictions

We love to eat out.  Fine dining, family dining, fast food-all of it.  of course, fine dining would be the fave, but now with all my cash going to co-pays, and tests my primary won't authorize, well, you know the drill.  It's Chez Moi on most nights. Which is probably best, because the kiddos were just starting to think that all meals came with a toy. Being on a diet is easier at home, too, because french fries just aren't the same out of the oven.   But pair them with squeeze ketchup, salty goodness, and mediocre service----be still my beating heart (and not just from all the grease).

Now, our forays into dining have become limited (and strangely, my bank account has had a respite...). But with a few modifications, you can overpay for marginally safe food too! I have some helpful tips that were hard at first, but have become second nature.

Things I have in my car:
  • Packets of soy sauce (SanJ GF)-you can find them in a box of 12 or so. I got mine at the Gluten Free Specialty Store-I like to support small business-but you can pick them up most places. I have seen them at some Raley's and Safeways
  • Packets of salad dressing, single servings (I bring along the Newman's Own Light Italian Dressing)
For single serve items, you have two options (there may be more, but these are the easiest)
  1. Liberate the single serve items from your fave fast food-Mc D's carries Newman's dressings
  2. Go to  They carry all sorts of travel sizes, including a variety of natural items that you can buy by the single item. They ship fast, too! And, they seem to be adding more and more natural items. I love them for nut butters, hummus and GF crackers, too. I keep them in my car in case of a spontaneous meal out
Remember that many restaurants will accommodate your needs-they will make things dry so you can add your own condiments. They will leave things out if you wish. They may even use your products to make the item-different areas have different regulations about this, it may all need to be in sealed containers, so call ahead!

I worked in a couple restaurants back in my day, so I know many people ask for special accommodations. The key to this is remembering that these people work incredibly hard, and usually deal with douches, assholes, freaks, drunks, and people trying to show off for their friends by treating others like shit.  You may not have a choice about what you need to eat, but you always have a choice in how you ask for help. I use some of these:
  • Sorry, I'm "one of those people" that likes to make your job difficult-I would like the (fill in the blank) but leave off the (blank), (blank), and (blank).  [Then, I use a charming, self-depracating smile-practice this in a mirror so you look properly apologetic]
  • Hi!  I have some serious allergies, and I hate to be a pain, but can I modify the (blank)?  [The answer is 99% yes and if they say no, you really don't want to eat there anyways]
  • Just order it how you want it.  Remember your manners.  "I would like the chicken club, no tomatoes, cheese or mayo, on lettuce instead of bread, please. Can I substitute fruit instead of fries? Great, thanks!"  Yeah, right, I'm TOTALLY macking on the fries.  Do as I say, not as I do.
 As the proud owner of a Droid, I am a firm believer in making technology work for me.  I have an app on my phone called Allergy Traveler. You input your allergies (mine are wheat and dairy), and the app translates these into "I have allergies and there are some things I can't eat. They make me sick. Is this food without these ingredients?"  You can translate into Chinese, Spanish, French, and 17 others. It's the only app I have paid for, $1.99. Totally worth it!

Once again, technology is your friend. Allergy Eats. It's a website that allows people to rate their local eateries based on how accommodating they are to people with allergies. I learned to ask my local sushi place to change knives and cutting boards from this website.

Oh, and don't forget about technology-(I'm starting to sound like a broken record/8-track/mp3, aren't I?) If you know where you are going to eat, go online and check the website.  There is tons of info available. If the website of the restaurant does not have info, Google, "Red Robin Gluten Free"  (Actually, Red Robin has GREAT info about allergies, but I was using them as an example-their fries are da bomb!). Many other people have blogged about their experiences, or have posted info about your favorite places.

Obvious choices for GFCF dining:
  • Sandwiches and burgers, served protein style (lettuce instead of buns), no cheese, no mayo
  • Salads, with your own dressing (no croutons, no bread on the side, no cheese, ask how the chicken is cooked and what seasoning is used, soy sauce is common)
  • Sushi and sashimi, with your trusty soy sauce you have in the car (No teriyaki!)
Above all, don't be ashamed to ask for help from restaurants. With a smile and a polite request, most people are willing to help you with your special requests. Just make sure to tip accordingly.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Support Groups

It has been RUFF lately.  I have been grumpy, I have been moody, I have been busy.  I'm so NOT a fan of my current sitch.  I don't mean to complain (Yes, I DO!), but this shit has gotta AT LEAST take a break. Even dictators need a little vacay, why can't health problems?

Here is what I would do if my fibro went to Hawaii for a week:

I would eat and drink til my heart's content.  Pasta, all kinds of fabulous cheeses that I can't pronounce.  And, each meal would have wine, perfectly paired, to each course.
I'm thinking:
Pinot Grigio with a salad of feta, spinach, toasted pepitas, dried cherries
Sauvignon Blanc for the fettuccine alfredo with seafood
a spicy Zin for the filet with carmelized onions and gorgonzola
Something light and dessert-y to go with the chocolate lava cake (I KNOW, so 2005, but it was the most popular over-served dessert for a reason, folks)

I forgot hors d'oeuvres-----
Chik'n Biscuit crackers, salami and spray cheese, accompanied by peach wine coolers.  Or berry?  Maybe the sex on the beach ones.  I always get stuck when pairing chik'n biscuit crackers, I can't remember the rules....

Anyways. After the gorging, I would do all the things I love to do: I would read a great book from beginning to end without stopping (no stopping to walk around and stretch my legs, rub my achy hands, nothing!)
Then, scrapbooking with some other scrappers.
Camping-sitting by the fire eating s'mores, drinking too much, telling stories, going for hikes during the day, watching the kids enjoy nature.
Something out of the ordinary-jet skiing, zip lining, something that will get my blood pumping!
I would also spend a day running all my errands-I would get them all done, and NOT be completely wiped out at the end of it.
I would not take any meds, any vitamins, nor would I visit a single doctor. My week would not be ruled by my health or my limitations.

I could go on for hours, but I won't bore you with my fantasies.

The other night, I was DONE.  Done and done.  I was coming off a flare-up (3 weeks, ugggh) and grumpy as all get out.
I came home, SK said, how are you?  We walked and talked, getting situated for the evening, closing up the house, etc.  I turned to him, and said, "I'm not okay." We sat down to talk and the flood gates opened up. I whined about always being sick, everything being centered around me and my health and how much I hated it, even though I new it was necessary.  He listened (as he always does, man, I'm lucky) and offered up words of encouragement, tried to help me figure out what caused my feelings (Maybe you are stressed with family coming to visit, Maybe you're premenstrual (Really, this does not make me want to kill him, somehow he manages to make it not irritating), Maybe you have still been working too much) when I just got sick of not knowing what is really, fully, wrong, what are the triggers ('cuz 12 hours of work a week is too much to bear...), just sick of the whole thing. (You would think weekly therapy AND a fabulously supportive husband would be enough, but I am SO NEEDY!)

I cried, cried, cried.

Then, SK offered up the concept of a support group.  I found one that meets the last Saturday of each month, about 10 minutes from the house! And, I found a yahoo group, and a facebook group.  So, all in all, I have found some places full of supportive people that HAVE BEEN THERE.  They know me, my story, my situation, like no one else can.

I am feeling positive about this potential piece for me. I will keep you posted!

I found fibrohugs on facebook, and already made a few friends.  I found a Yahoo group, and have refrained from commenting for now, as they are watching my every move. They say it is to keep spammers away, but I think it might also be a mental illness screening tool, so I'm being extra careful.  AND!!!!! The fibro/CFS group is awesome!  I'm not alone!!!!  They are nice, and helpful, welcoming, etc.  All the things they should be.  More soon!  TTFN

Friday, June 24, 2011

Yellow Fellow

My son is a genius.  If you know him, you know this to be true. He is smart, creative, sarcastic, snarky, rude and foul.  See?  Perfection in a 12-year-old package.

He created a game last summer, and it keeps growing. In fact, it has spanned AT LEAST two other families (Umm, can you say, LEGACY?) and. AND.  It has managed to annoy the absolute crap out of at least one of those families.

I will describe the game:

It is called Yellow Fellow. I know, you may have heard variations of this game, I know I played something similar in my youth. But, he made it way more fun, and irritating!

When you are driving around, you call out vehicles. Here are the vehicles, and what you call out:

Yellow car: Yellow fellow (duh)
VW bug: Slug bug (but no hitting, mommy is a wussy)

I know, ya heard it all before.  But, after careful consideration, he has added some new items to the list:

Yellow VW bug: Skittle

And there was a concession for Princess, who can't tell a VW Bug from a PT Cruiser........

Yellow PT Cruiser (I have seen ONE, and it was U-G-L-Y): M 'n M

See? Brilliant.  And, the brilliant part is, these childrens' minds are so focused on this godforsaken game, they can be mid-conversation, then all of a sudden, SLUGBUG!  SKITTLE! .....and then he gave me a picture of.....YELLOW FELLOW!  I can't keep up!

Then, Princess offered up, "And, if we see a car that is half VW, half PT Cruiser, it's a P Bug T!  No, a PT Bug!  No, I like P bug T.  Yep, a P bug T."

Monkey Boy was, for once, smart enough to not point out the statistical possibility of this-for which I thanked him later.

Fast-forward a few months. He and his cousins are all playing, the kids of some friends are playing (sorry, Sally!).  It's viral.  (Yes, two other families, maybe three, is "viral".  No, I don't care if you disagree.) At times, the kids try to include signs, the lines down the highway, anything to make the other child feel slow, incompetent, and like a big Yellow Fellow loser. We had stopped much of it, adding to the rules:
  • It must move, be moving, or be capable of moving (boats, bicycles, trucks, scooters, cars)
  • You don't HAVE to call out what it is (yellow fellow, taxi, or yellow fellow bus) but it is helpful to prevent repeats-we may have to revisit this one, and get firmer on the ruling
  • It must require fuel of some kind, whether gas, diesel solar, or human
This helped to get rid of signs, marquees, paint on the road, etc.

Then one day, we were walking to the bike shop.

Princess: Yellow fellow car, yellow fellow truck
Monkey Boy: yellow fellow taxi, yellow fellow sign
P: Nooooo.  No signs! Mom said.
MB:Fine. Yellow fellow car, right there.

::::::a moment or two go by::::::

MB: Yellow fellow, sun.
P: That's not fair, it's not a car,
MB: Well it moves, and runs on gas.  How ya like me now?

P: (Thinks for a moment)Well...... so do you.

They both had their points.

End of the School Year

It is the end of the school year for my two spawn; I am sad, I feel like I am losing a loved one. And, not just because I am potentially going to be stuck with two kiddos for some very hot, annoying, "Mom, I'm bored" weeks if I don't start thinking about camp, STAT. I mean, that IS part of it.
But not the whole thing.
My kids go to this wonderful hippie-dippy peace-loving freak Montessori school. And, being a weird place, I absolutely LOVE it. All the hippie parents, all the tie-dyes, all the talk about peace education and care for the environment. LOVE IT.
And, we were very fortunate to have a great teacher for 3 years for my son. First, in 4th grade, when she had been teaching 4th grade for 9 years. Then, she transitioned to a 5th-6th class when we did. She is so much like me it is scary, she is like a second mother to my son. She worked wonders with him, working around his idiosyncrasies, meeting with us TONS of times to discuss our concerns, making us feel like we are not the only people with strange offspring.
<p>She has been such an integral part of our family for so long, I don't know who will have a harder time adjusting to middle school-MB or me.
To top it off, Princess is leaving her wonderful teacher after two long years of growing up in an environment that is long on hugs, freedom and love, to the big bad world of 2nd grade. :::shudder:::
 (I know she will be fine, the teachers are great about matching up children with the best fit for them). But still!; My babies are leaving their wonderful, supportive, amazing nests. The grass is not greener on the other side-it smells funny, and looks weird from here. I don't like it. AT. ALL.

How do I cope? Retail therapy, of course. But, I digress.

In our community, there is this amazing restaurant that has a prix fixe menu, done by a fantastic chef. (I swear, this is all related) The night is part show, part fab cuisine, all kinds of expensive yummy wonderfulness. I got to go this past winter, and we (MBs teacher and I) had chatted about it. She had talked about wanting to go, but not being able to justify spending quite that much on ONE MEAL.
Well, the other day, thanks to another mom from Princess' class, I got the epiphany of asking other parents to chip in so we could make it happen. And, I got lots of support, and she got it!

Knowing that she will get one of the most amazing meals of her life due to her great teaching skills makes my heart smile.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Grumble. Grr.

I am grumpy today.

I know, I know.  Aren't we all, sometimes.

But this whole "forever sickness" shit really has me in the dumps, especially today.  I have been on the verge of crying off and on for a couple days now, and I know PMS is only partly to blame. (Shut up, honey, I am NOT in the mood for your snide commentary-I will hurt you.)

The other day, talking to a good friend helped, but the funk came back today.  I think I just need a good cry. Is this the "grieving process" my therapist keeps talking about?

(Incidentally, one of the things that helped me a bit was a good laugh-I'm talking, laugh while spewing food from one's mouth, tears streaming down the face until I stopped making audible sounds and my husband came to check on me.  Seriously funny stuff. Thanks, J, for showing me the way to laughter when I needed it most.
If you want/need a good laugh, do what I did and go here.  And, do what I was told to do, and swallow whatever is in your mouth first, as the keyboard will never recover if you don't.  Also, DON'T read it on your smartphone while walking up to the customer service desk at Costco, the guy won't take you very seriously.)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Web MD-a cure for the common hypochondriac

I just installed the web MD app on my phone-it's genius!

I put in my ankle swelling-it's either due to rheumatic fever, or it's from a recent fall-anyone's guess really.

My anxiety is from either the fibromyalgia I was diagnosed with, or a cocaine problem.

I LOVE this app!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Tri and Stop Me

Three is a significant number in many cultures, religions, throughout history. It's all around us in stunning significance. Think about it:

The Holy Trinity
The third eye
Three musketeers
Beginning, middle, end
Three phases of the moon
Birth, life, death
Moe, Larry, Curly
Triple bacon cheeseburger

All significant, right?

Well, 3 is becoming significant for me as well, effective immediately.

My wonderfully observant husband has noticed that the more I do, the more stressed I am. The more stress, the more pain. The more pain, the more I complain and make everyone wish I would go far far away. It's a vicious cycle, and I live by it.

Not any more, apparently. Sky King is D. O. N. E.

I cannot obligate myself to more than 3 extra activities per week.

How did I do this to myself, you wonder. (No, you don't wonder that, because you know me, but I will tel you anyways.)

The past three weeks have been rough. Like gravel-in-the-panties rough. Let's recap:

::: traveling back in time three weeks ago:::

Monday-no work. BBQ with friends Tues-dr. appt, work, girl scout thing Weds-lunch with friends, pack for camping trip Thurs-dr. appt, leave for camping trip...2 adults, 4 kids, one cramped swagger wagon Fri-camping Sat-rain. Ditch camping, ditch family. Sun-major fibro flare, rest Mon-still flaring, dr appt, laundry from wet camping trip Tues-work, errands, last minute purchases for MBs class Weds-more laundry and errands, work, finish kids' yearbooks for classes Thurs-dr appt, work, pick up kids, blood work Fri- Weight watchers, completion ceremony for Princess Sat-swim party event for work Sun-run errands Mon-help Monkey Boy's class, more bloodwork, board meeting, bit of work Tues-work Weds-field trip for Princess, work for movie screening I coordinated Thurs-work, early father's day bbq, packing for weekend Fri-MB's 6th grade graduation, packing, my school graduation I have to MC, leave for in-laws See??? To quote one of my sister in laws, my busty life exhausts her. Me, too. No wonder I have struggled through a flare up this while period of time. I even toyed with telling my dr my meds weren't working. Duh. So,3 things. Not including work or spontaneous dinners. Unless the spontaneous dinners are stressful, or work involves an "event", good or bad. I wonder if sex is considered "work", or an "event"?

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Swamp Ass

While my husband is usually quite Saint-like, occasionally he makes a misstep. And, as fabulous as he is in everything he does, his errors are fabulously huge as well.

When I was pregnant with Princess, (8 months, mind you) he came to my ob-gyn appointments.
As all you mommies know, the exam table is lined with that thin paper, and we are naked from the waist down, save for the fab paper gown.

The last month of my pregnancy was rough-I was on crutches because my sciatica was so bad, things were crappy.
I was hormonal, grumpy, huge. To top it off, I was in pain and had to readjust my body periodically. Each time I moved, that god-forsaken paper kept sticking to me.  My mistake was saying that.

Me: Arrrgh!  This dumb paper keeps sticking to me!
Him: That's cuz you have swamp-ass.

And yet, he still lives.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Frisbee Dogs in the Produce Department

I saw a frisbee dog shopping at Raley's tonight!

She was walking on two legs, shopping for healthy organic produce for I assume her pups back home.
At first, I thought it was a woman wearing a bandana around her neck (purchased from Miller's Outpost, no doubt), but then I remembered it wasn't 1983, so it MUST HAVE been a well-trained dog that is usually seen at the park, catching frisbees in her mouth.

Pretty awesome, huh?

Holy Crap. There's Some Funny Stuff On This Here Internet.

OK, I'm perusing blogs.
Usually, I Google, "Fibromyalgia blogs", or "funny fibro" or "chronic illness blogs" or "Gluten free cooking blogs".

Today, I went out on a limb, and typed, "funny blogs".  I needed some belly laugh therapy, after my recent flare-up.

I came across a list from some person, that listed some good ones.
The usual suspects made the list:

And, my new fave, stuff white people like.

But, another one caught my eye-dooce. it's a blog by a mom, that promised to be snarky. Sign me up! I went, I fell in love. And, about half-way down on page one, I fell in love again, with someone new. I'm a little slutty that way.

My Drunk Kitchen.

Holy freakin' lord, that chick is like, my soul sister!  Except, I never put my escapades online-youtube did not exist when I used to be fun.

Check her out, here.

My personal fave at the moment is the one about baking.  Nothing about cookies is fun.  I can relate, with all my gluten-free baking lately.

Now, I have to update my front page, with my new "follows".

The life of a creative genius, I tell ya.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

I'm Whiter Than I Thought

O. M. G.

Wait, does that make me even whiter?
Anyways, I just found a HILARIOUS blog. It's Stuff White People Like.  Holy me, batman!

OK.  Up until 5 minutes ago, I thought I was pretty hip. I have taken lots of classes on culture, I understand white privilege. We have a wide array of friends. I have always thought of myself as fairly cosmopolitan when it came to race. My mom even had some bloodwork done recently, and it came back that she has a line of African American blood in her. My husband even uses this to explain my love of rap (No, I'm not joking.  I DO love me some rap. You should check out my presets some time.). But, I related to this website.  A LOT. While I was LOLing, I was also dying inside a little.

For instance, I love old stuff. Shabby Chic, antiques, retro stuff.
And, the similarities do not end there.
I also love:
  • Tom's of Maine toothpaste
  • Yoga mats
  • My So Called Life episodes (are they on Netflix yet?)
  • Picking my own fruit (I was thinking this would be fun with the kids this summer-they liked it so much last time!)
  • Camping (unless it's raining. I'm so over that one.)
  • Hating people who wear Ed Hardy (I gave away $75 shoes after Jon Gosselin became friends with Christian Audigier)
  • Hummus
  • Finding punctuation errors
  • Theme parties-like bad Christmas sweater parties
The list goes on and on. So, if you want to find out more about me and my inner workings, there is a book, Stuff White People Like. 

Now I have to go buy it, and blog about (which is most likely a white thing too.  Damn.)

In the Weeds

Sky King and I like to get into TV series that have their episodes on DVD. We Netflix them, and usually watch too many episodes in a night. It started with The Sopranos. Then, there was Six Feet Under.  Dexter. United States of Tara and Weeds.  The most recently completed season of Weeds came out recently, and we jumped it to the top of our queue.
This the the best thing about not having premium cable channels, and not having Tivo, DVR's, etc. We get to watch an entire lifespan of a show through a 3-day weekend.  Not that we would-only trolls lay in bed all day, ordering pizza, and watching a show over and over and over, becoming so completely obsessed with it that the separation between the TV fantasy world and reality get a bit fuzzy.  Nope, none of that here.
But, if I did do that, and so did my husband, it probably would have been one of the things that brought us together, long ago in our college years.
But I digress....
Anyways, I have waxed poetic about the strange wonderfulness of the United States of Tara-the paralells between SK and Max, the creepy wallpaper that I MUST HAVE from Season 1, the cat-butt magnets, here. I have not, however, told you about Weeds. It rocks.  My friend over at Quest for Skinny Pants knows this.  I know this. But, do you know this?
Well, I'll tell ya.  It's about a mom who loses her husband, and struggles to maintain some semblance of normalcy for her two sons in their suburban Southern CA community.  By selling pot to soccer moms and bored dads. Hilarity and hijinks ensue.  Check it out.
Anyways (do I do that a lot?), the other night we had the new season disc 1.  We had watched a few the night before. how many? We don't know, we are in denial that we stayed up way too late watching it. So, we pop it in, and go to the "episode selection" screen. This is where we look at each other and share a look. You know the look-the one you share when you both realize that the baby just pooped, and you are both in denial, secretly trying to figure out who changed the last one so you can rest easy? Well, this look said-"crap. I think we watched 4 the other night. Which means, there is only 1 left. Damn."
We watch it, we love it. It leaves us hanging, wanting more, as only a good series will. And we slowly turn the DVD player off, defeated.
In silence, we scan the channel guide, looking for something to fill the void.
A recent network (not sure which one, keeping track of that crap is Sky King's job) has begun showing episodes of Weeds-we come across it, and click on it, figuring at least we would get to watch the people we longed to see, even through re-runs.

Much much rejoicing. The karmic gods of the world want us to be happy. We have done good. Maybe it was the squirrel I tried so hard to avoid. Maybe SK recycled something for once, instead of sneaking it all into the garbage can when I'm not looking. Whatever the reason, we have been blessed by the TV Gods.

We love it, extra. Because it was that special.

The next night, we had just unloaded the children into bed, and we are in total grown-up relax mode (don't worry, it will come for everyone, someday...) and the channel-surfing has begun. SK is heating up some leftovers, I'm in remote control (which almost NEVER happens).

Then, in highlighted blue text, WEEDS.  Is that even possible?  We don't dare look for the brief synopsis, no one can be that lucky. I click on it, just for kicks.


Seriously, by this time, I'm thinking it is time to buy a lottery ticket, maybe make a $1000 cash offer on that awesome home we have been drooling over on craigslist, something.

But, that would just be greedy, wouldn't it?

Friday, June 10, 2011

Ant Asylum

Ok. I admit it. I HATE ANTS. my husband had some traumatizing experience as a could that makes him go completely NUTS when ants are around, but I usually protest his evil ways, citing issues with Raid, wanting to protect air quality, dismissing his irrational issues with the ants, whatever.
I'm getting over it though. Shhh. SK may hear and jump up from his computer, sensing a weakness in my resolve. But, I am starting to HATE HATE HATE ants.
I might just let him go all murder death kill on their little any asses (ant thoraxes?)-us gotta love a Demolition Man reference, right?

We have tried coffee grounds,  windex, removing every trace of possible food, nothing works.
Today on the way to the gym, we noticed yet another pest company vehicle parked at the neighbor's house.  It led to us surmising that the ants have fled to our home, seeking asylum from all our neighbors' murderous ways.

I'm weakening.

I'm itchy, I think I feel them crawling on me even when they are not, and I hate the smell they leave when you squish ' em. Yep, it's true-it's the smell of ant fear, and it's an awful chemical smell.


My resolve against poison is failing miserably, and I need some more home remedies, STAT.

Incidentally, is it worse to mass-murder ants, or let the 12 year old "accidentally" take out the early-rising woodpecker that has moved into the neighborhood?

Me Like Cookies!

***First off, I am sorry I have no photos. We ate them all too fast.***

I was given a challenge this past week.
Who am I kidding?  I took another task on, completely by myself, with no goading. How's that for accountability?

Anyways-my daughter had a First-grade Completion Ceremony (don't get me started on rewarding NOT failing, or adding to the already overwhelming amounts of positive reinforcement our children are exposed to...), and there was a cookie reception afterwards. I signed up, as there are 3 GF children in the class (my daughter included, more on that later).

So, I pulled out my handy dandy Google, and searched "gluten free cookie recipes".  I had to avoid those with chocolate (and by then, what the HELL is the point???) for one of the girls. Which left me with few options. Or so I thought.

:::cue dun-dun-duuuuun music:::

I found 3 wonderful recipes, and made them ALL!  Yes, I know. Still working that out in therapy.

Here they are, with my additions:

1. Meyer Lemon Cookies (Let's stop right there, I did not have Meyer lemons. I used plain old organic.)
Oven preheated to 350.
Blend, in bowl:
  1. 1 cup GF flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill-it's a mix of rice, garbanzo, fava bean)
  2. 3/8 tsp salt (I don't have a 1/8 tsp, so I eyeballed it)
  3. 3/8 tsp baking soda (seriously??? 3/8? I guess I should be glad it wasn't metric. F-ing British.)
Cream, in a Kitchen-aid (or with child labor, if it's available):
  1. 6 tbl unsalted butter, softened (DO NOT use light tub margarine. It makes the cookies melt weirdly, all over the pan.  Yes, I'm sure.)
  2. 1 tbl rice milk or water (I used rice milk)
  3. 1/4 c lemon juice (I used a teensy bit less, I was sick of squeezing)
  4. 1 tbl lemon rind, minus knuckle flesh
  5. 1/2 c sugar
  6. 1 tsp vanilla
Add flour mixture slowly to creamed mixture. Blend well. Dough will be very moist (or soupy, if you use the wrong butter). Seriously, when they say moist, it means very runny, in my book. Each time I make something gluten free, I am alarmed by the drippy-ness of the batter. Then, sometimes I add more flour to make it like it should look. Do not do this. Unless you need some bricks to finish the patio.
On cookie sheets lined with parchment paper (this is also a key to gluten free baking. I am not smart enough to know why, but I DO know that it is important. I have ceased thinking about it) drop approx. 1 tbl of dough on paper, roughly 12 per sheet.
Bake 10 minutes, until edges are brown. I do each sheet separate, but make sure you switch the sheets mid-way if you do two at a time.
Let cool before removing from parchment.

These are very nice tangy cookies. Unfortunately, I messed up most of them, and felt like a loser bringing just 12. So I ate them. All.

Next up, #2.Vanilla Snaps
Preheat to 325
Beat together:
1/2 c butter or non-dairy butter sticks, room temp
1 c sugar
1/8 tsp (!!!) salt

In another bowl, put:
1 egg white
1 tbs GF vanilla extract
1 tbl vanilla milk (Rice? Soy? I used rice)

Add the two bowls together. Mix thoroughly.

In yet another bowl (sorry about all the dishes...), add:
1 tsp GF baking powder
1 1/3 c + 1 tbl (I have NO idea why the extra tbl...) GF flour mix (I used Bob's Red Mill)

Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet until totally combined.
I recommend fridging it for a while. 1 hour or more. Otherwise, they will be fairly thin.
Even if you fridge them, don't put them in your fancy Pampered Chef extruder thing-y. It's a wasted effort. Yes, I'm sure.
Scoop onto parchment,about 1 inch apart (further if you have no patience, or are tired, they will spread out more)
Bake for about 10 minutes, until edges lightly browned.
Apparently, they would make great crumbs for cookie crusts for a pudding pie. I will never know, we served ate them all.

And finally. #3.Mexican Wedding Cookies!
These are super yum.  Truly. Especially warm out of the oven, when you have to poison test them.

Preheat to 325
In a food processor, pulse:
1/2 c powdered sugar
1/2 c pecans
1/4 sweetened flake coconut (They say this is optional, but I can't imagine them without it)

Blend until finely chopped and well-incorporated.
In processor or mixer, blend sugar/nut mixture with 1 stick butter (or buttery sticks) mix until fully blended. Then add in:
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp orange zest (I skipped this, i think I did not have an orange, and a lemon didn't seem to fit)

Then, slowly add in:
1 c GF flour (Bob, my man....)
1/4 tsp salt
Until firm. It will be sticky. Chill until firm, 2+ hours. Yep, it does need to sit this long. Nope, freezing it doesn't seem to work the same, but faster. Yes, I'm sure.

Scoop dough into small balls (the size of a bouncy ball or so) and place onto parchment paper. Make sure to space them about 2 inches apart.
Bake 15-20 minutes (15 works well for me), until edges are browned slightly (a theme is developing, right?), Cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes (I left 'em on the parchment, but off the hot pan, I'm lazy that way). Sift tons of powdered sugar over them until it looks like there is too much. Perfect!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Open Letter to My Colleagues, Family and Friends

Dear family, colleagues and friends:
I love you all very dearly, and  I am writing to you today so that you may better understand some of the things I have been going through.
I have fibromyalgia. It is a crappy condition that has no cure. It also is a condition that brings lots of awful symptoms. Some of these are:
  • Chronic muscle and joint pain
  • Irritability
  • Memory loss (fibro fog)
  • Insomnia
  • Headaches
  • Anxiety 
  • Depression
  • Sensitivity to outside stimulus
And these are just some of what I face each day. Each day, I have to face the reality that I may wake with something new. And, I have other conditions-Fibromyalgia often comes with a few friends like Hashimoto's disease (still waiting for test results for this one) and Raynaud's phenomenon-this means I have to stay warm, especially in my feet and hands. Each person with fibromyalgia has different symptoms and problems. I actually consider myself fairly fortunate, given what I have read and heard about others' experiences.
I take medication daily, along with lots of vitamins. I have to remember to take them every day. They help with my condition, but bring other issues as well. I see 4 different doctors, two of them I see weekly.
I am not writing to gripe about my health problems. I am asking you for something. I need, from you, understanding.
I have never been flaky. I am known for being reliable and responsible. For taking on a lot, getting it all done in record time, and with a big smile on my face. This has had to change. While I still enjoy doing fun things, and taking on tasks, I never know when my condition is going to come into play, and change my plans for me.  One of the biggest changes I have had to accept is that some days I look completely fine, and I even sound fine. But, I'm not. I am having stress, anxiety, pain, discomfort. I'm not always going to gripe to you about the various aches, pains and stressors, but I will continue to listen to my body, and avoid things that I cannot do.
I may plan something amazing and get everyone excited, only to have to cancel. I may come along for something fun, then sneak away for a nap. I may forget a major event, leaving people with hurt feelings. I may neglect to do something that I promised, only to fail to remember I ever said I would do it in the first place. I know, it sucks. But I am dealing with it.
Even though I may not always act like the person you thought I was, I am still that person. I am just as disappointed when I miss a meeting. I feel horrible when I forget things that are important to you. I am doing my best, but one of the things I have had to do is learn to let go of what causes me stress.  Being forgetful is one of those things. I can't fix it-I have accepted it to the best of my abilities.
Things are very different for me know. Not bad, just different. please try to be happy for me-I am taking a lot of initiative in my life-I am exercising when I can. I read a lot, to relax. I have begun meditating, which has helped with pain management and stress. I have stopped working so much and I get more time with my husband and kids. I have learned to do nothing, and I think I like it. I have lost weight, and gained friends. I have quit eating garbage, and started taking accountability for my long-term health. Even though so many things have changed, I am working hard each day to embrace these changes. I have learned a lot about myself, and about all the wonderful people I have in my life.

Please know that I am doing as much as I can. If I say no to you, try not to take it personally. You are not the only one that gets rejected by me. I reject my own desires more than anyone else's. My health situation may be permanent, but my energy will fluctuate. I can't predict when things will build up too much, when I won't have time, energy, or patience for something. This is the thing that may be hardest for you to accept-it may seem like I have changed. But, you know me. You have for a long time. People don't change that quickly-please give me the benefit of the doubt.

I may have sold many of you short, as well. I thought for sure people would lose faith in me, see me differently. I have been bombarded with offers for help, wonderful letters, emails and notes, and tons of understanding. For misjudging you all, I am sorry. I wallowed a bit in my own misery in the beginning, and felt that my world was upside down. I now know that my true friends will stand beside me no matter what. I have realized even more all the wonderful people I have surrounded myself with over the years. They have all shown to me, over and over, how much I mean to them.

I love it when you call to check in-just like I did before. Please don't leave me out of things-give me a chance to decide whether I can manage it. Thank you for making accommodations for my food allergies-I know they are difficult to deal with, and I appreciate your effort. But, don't think I expect it. I will show up with plenty of options for myself.

everyone's expectations (even my own!), and some days, I will fall flat. Most days will fall somewhere in the middle.

If this is too much for you to deal with, I am sorry, but I am unable to help you with your disappointment. I have to put me first. And this means I may not always have room for a second place spot.

Love, as always,


***Fellow spoonies-feel free to steal this to your heart's content and tweak it as you feel necessary, as long as I get a little love (i.e. credit!)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sorry, Ladies-He's Taken


This post is chock-full of sickening sweet musings about my husband.  It is so sweet and over the top, I almost barfed, and I WROTE it.  So, if you don't have good dental insurance, avoid at all costs. You have been warned.

If you know me in real life, you know that my husband is a saint.  My family loves him, his family does (of course, right?), and everyone we know loves him.  Me, they can take or leave sometimes, but him-no enemies. If you don't like my husband, there is something wrong with you.
He's mellow, chill, nice, personable, and a great listener.  He's not wild about small talk unless there are several beers to coax him, and even then, stunningly charming, right up until he pukes.  Then, people even say things like, "Gee, he must've eaten something bad, take good care of him!". Barf, right?

Anyways, basically, he is darned near perfect.  Okay, there are some things that have driven me batty, but really, I'm sure not about to ask him to think through his list of things he would like to change about me....

So here goes-watch those insulin levels.

1. When I started dealing with the doctors, he came to the appointments.
He never doubted my pains, aches and complaints, despite my tendency for the dramatic. I cried "wolf" so much throughout our 17 years together, I figured I was going to get gobbled up long before this.   But no.  He listened, he even researched when I wasn't looking. He heard what I said when we talked, and he remembered it all, never getting bugged when I asked questions like, "Hey, remember last week when my arm hurt? What had I just done that maybe caused the pain, I want to write it down for the doctor."

2. He has taken over much of the chores.  He is mostly a SAHD with part time work that fits into his schedule, which he has adjusted to over the past couple years.  But, I would pitch in on the weekends, and some evenings.  Now, even when he works and I stay home, he STILL comes home and takes care of everything.

3. The other night, he was getting ready to go to Game Night with some other guys.  Total guy time, drinking beers, making foul smells, geeking out on games.  And, he asked if I minded he went. Then, right before he left, he checked in.

SK:Hey, you gonna be okay tonight?
Me: Yea, why?
SK: Just checking in. Seeing how you're doing. You know.
Me: Yep!  I'm doing great, have a great time!


4. Each Thursday, I have therapy.  $20 co-pay, forever. She is totally cog-behavioral and into mindfulness, remember?  Anyhoooo, each week we have our 48 minutes. It's nice to have this time, so I don't burden Sky King with ALL my whining. Sometimes things come up that need additional work. SK is more than happy to talk with me and help me delve a little deeper. He knows just the right things to say. He says that he is just "really into psychology", but I can see the love in his eyes when he talks to me after a particularly tough session.

5. After a camping trip, of which I skipped out on the last night due to cold, rain, and general malaise, he came home. He had mounds of stuff, and looked tired and dirty. After getting the stuff into the garage, he said, "If you don't mind, I would like to be able to deal with all this later", 'cause he knows the mess would drive my brain batty. I told him no prob, then he made his way to the couch. He said, "before I check out, how are you?" I responded that I was fine, and why, and he followed up with, "I was worried about you and wanted to make sure you were cool before I relaxed for the day."

6. His favorite phrase is, "It's all going to work out". This used to drive me crazy. Because, how does he know that? I used to stress and worry about everything, especially the imaginary stuff. Now, I have plenty of real stuff to stress about, and those crazy little words make me feel like it really WILL be all better, and soon.

7. He knows that the fastest way to put a smile on my face is retail therapy. And, he even pretends to enjoy it.

Well, that's about all the sugar I can take for now.

Once again, my sincere apologies to you and your blood sugar.

16 Minutes of Bliss

Never thought I'd go here.  Exercise???  Really???

My answer to the question, "how often do you run" is usually met with, "only when chased, and the dude has to have a knife---a BIG knife". People that say they LOVE exercise frankly seem a bit disturbing.

But really! I think I may have found a key to dealing with the yuck I get handed!

It's all about the endorphins.

The other day, I was bummed.  Majorly bummed. I had come off an overwhelming weekend with too much stimulation, and I was not recovering well. I had slept A LOT, brooded, griped, avoided humans. Nothing. Still crabby. Come Monday, I was still a wreck. I was avoiding the gym, and life in general.

Why was I so bummed?  I dunno for sure, but here are some of the things I had been dealing with:
  • I had a rough visit with my Rheumatologist the other day, where he didn't want to do the blood work another doctor wants
  • I had to schedule the blood work, out of pocket
  • I have to eat gluten, which causes me pain, to avoid a false negative on the test
  • I am due for a mammogram, STAT
  • The weather has been unseasonably cold, which hurts me more
  • Therapy had been tough lately, getting to some deeper layers of crap to deal with
I guess you could say my plate was full. So, I was having a rough time processing it all. It was making me very tired, and unmotivated, which is quite uncharacteristic for me (the old Me, anyways).

So, after my husband suggested some retail therapy (what a doll, right?) which helped a bit, followed by lunch with him, it was kid-getting time.
Then, my Doctor called, and told me my Vitamin D levels are not any better after 8 weeks of treatment (50,000 IU once per week for 8 weeks). WHY?

He does not know why. He says it's not a huge deal at this point. I get that, but it's not the low levels of D. It's the why, what, which. As in, why have my D stores not increased? Why is the D I take daily (1000 IU) not making a significant improvement? What are the conditions (besides the ones we know I have) that come with low D stores? Which ones might I have? What tests can we do to rule them out?
So, still bummed. Frustrated, feeling unheard, the usual.

This is why I turned to Sky King, and said, "What time do you want to go to the gym?" ...hoping his answer would be, "Let's skip it today.".  Nope. He said, "Whenever you're ready."  Ummm, how bout, never? Or, how bout, when you drag me, kicking and screaming? But, that make me feel like a fat ass, and lazy, so I got up off my butt, changed, and tried to accept reality.

We got to the gym, and I hit the treadmill, knowing to take it easy, because I had a tough class planned for the next day. About 32 minutes into "The Real Housewives of New Jersey" (seriously, how can people be expected to exercise without cable?), the endorphins hit.  And, I got to enjoy their lovely little buzz until SK came to gather me up to head home, after 16 minutes of endorphin bliss.

I had changed my attitude, and felt better, despite my determination to avoid all things exercise-y.

Not bad for a chick who can't drink anymore, right?

Sunday, June 5, 2011

Fibro update-ZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.............

I know, it's all about me lately. And food. And my crazy children. So, I will bless you all with some true Fibro complaining. There, satisfied?

I saw my Rheumatologist the other day, it went......ok. He was pleased that I did the things he wanted me to do:
  • Get a therapist
  • Get some Cymbalta
  • Lose some weight
  • Begin exercising
  • Do less
  • Prioritize
He was amazed I did as I was told. I was a bit surprised. Maybe because I got diagnosed quickly, didn't get the usual run around people that have been suffering for years get, but something in me made me do the things he said, give them a real try. Then, I could justifiably bitch when they didn't work.

But, they did work! My pain is truly low. I have pain every day. It's mild, though. And the accomodations I have made in my life have worked well.I have other issues, but the main thing-EXCRUCIATING PAIN, somewhat diminished. Woohoo!

He was pleased, and did his exam. He congratulated me on the efforts I put forth, and booked me for 6 months out, after approving the work for blood draws. And, I have to go to the sleep clinic. ICK.
The biggest problem this week is that I am exhausted. So so so tired. But not sleepy. I know I am not sleeping well, I know I don't get into that deep sleep that gives you a restful feeling. But, it's worse now. I feel drained. Truly depleted, and that is not like the old me. (And, I don't like the new me that can't go on overdrive for 12 straight hours. Shit HAS TO get done. By me.) Since I snore, he wants to have me sleep in some lab somewhere, with crap stuck all over me.  Cause that sounds like a restful night, right?
Grrr. And, if I have apnea, I would get one of those wonderful machines that hook to my head. So I can sleep better. I know, people do it all the time, but I HATE CHANGE. So it made me grumpy. And, he wouldn't do the blood work my acupuncturist wanted, so I gotta pay for that out of pocket. (Again, I DO know how lucky I am-I have coverage, and co-pays, instead of bill collectors and mounting debt.)

So even though each day sometimes brings something new to the table, I feel fairly fortunate. I have taken some amount of control over this whole thing, and I am doing well. We (my family) are in a good place, with lots of potential, and I get all this great time with my kids and husband. I am so very fortunate, and I recognize in this economy, that I am truly blessed to have what I have, and have things work out the way they have.

I have made SO MANY CHANGES in the past 5 months, I can't even begin to describe them all, and I think most of them have contributed to my feeling better. Some are easy, and each person needs to decide what they can and can't, will and won't do. Personally, I feel that a more holistic approach is critical for me. Before you do ANYTHING, talk to your team of doctors and decide what is right for you.But, my changes have, for the most part, worked for me. I feel better than I have in YEARS. YEARS!!! I dealt with another pain issue for 12 years (sciatica, and unrelated to current issues, so I know of which I speak.) But, except for the changes that I struggle with, I truly DO feel better. Just better in a different way.

I wish I could recommend what I have done to everyone-but I have a very unique situation. As the owner of a company, and a company full of wonderful people, I have the freedom (usually) to work very little. I was there 6 hours this week. It all went fine, and I am working on not worrying about what might happen if I am not there. Because the answer to that question is: the same shit that would happen if you were there.

So, I downsized my work. Because I could, but also, I just don't seem to have it in me. I still have the passion for what I do, just not the energy or inclination.

I gave up lots of food, mainly foods that seem to be pain triggers.

I exercise, to the best of my abilities. I feel better, and do have more energy when I exercise.

I slowed WAY down. I say no to just about everyone, and truly listen to my body over anyone else. And, it turns out my body has quite a loud voice, and that voice says, "Knock it the EFF OFF" to just about everything I contemplate taking on.

I have begun meditation. The connection between my mind and body is getting stronger, and I am more self-aware. I know, go sniff a daisy, save a baby seal. But, this has helped immensely as well.

Blogging-I have really embraced blogging, and have tried to help others. I know I am new to all this, but others are newer, and it helps me to help. I just have to listen to my body more, and do what I can at the moment, not all I can at the sacrifice of everything else.

The most important thing is relaxing. I have an amazing bed, but even my Sleep Number 7000 series Cal-King could not get me to do what my fibro has-lay around in bed, doing not much of anything. I know, many fibros CAN'T get out of bed. Or, maybe they are like me, and the don't wanna becomes the can't. Maybe my can't will get stronger. Then, I will have to deal with it. But for now, I think I am on to something. It is concerning a bit that I don't even WANT to get out of bed some days, but that is for the neurologist to puzzle out, not me.

I'm too tired.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Vegan, GF Peanut Butter Cups. I'm Serious!

My mother gave me the original recipe for these amazing peanut butter cups. She clipped it from a newspaper, and brought it to me.

Alicia Silverstone (Vegan) made them originally, and I made them her way the first time, subbing only the margarine for a brand I prefer, and the graham crackers (I used the S-moreables).

Here is the link for the original recipe:


The second time, I made them a little different, trying to tone down the goo factor, and the hip expansion feature. They were equally good, and I have a few more tips.

  • USE the liners. You cannot extract them from the muffin tin without mangling them all to hell. Yes, I'm sure. No, cooking spray won't help.
  • Reduce the margarine to just enough to moisten the crumbs, about 2 tbls. You can probably get away with even less.
  • Reduce the sweetener to 2 tbls, I used agave syrup, which has a tang I normally don't like much, but it worked, because the original recipe is a bit too sweet (and I NEVER say that about dessert)
  • I reduced the milk, so the chocolate would set more, which it did.
  • I left off the nuts from the top, and everyone loved them the same!
Peanut butter and chocolate is something of an obsession of mine-ever since Haagan Dazs came out with Deep Chocolate Peanut Butter ice cream (why, oh why did you discontinue this, Haagan Dazs? Did I not buy enough????). If it is yours, too, and you need to indulge, justify it by saying something about antioxidants, protein, endorphins. Or all three.

Or, make them, hide them, and devour them in a corner while growling. I do. But use the smooth peanut butter, so you don't choke. Safety first!

GFCF yummyness, #2

Here is an update to all the wonderful GFCF food that is available:

Trader Joe's has these amazing sausages in their meat department. They have an Italian one, a Jalepeno one, and an apple one. They are wonderful, because they are low-fat, only 3 WW points each-also, they are casing free, so they don't contain pork. I keep them in my freezer, and take them to BBQs when I don't know what is being served, just in case. And, the kids don't like them, so they are safe to have on hand, and will be there when I need them!

TJS dark chocolate truffle bar-Once again, Trader Joe's to the rescue. These are FAB FAB FAB, when you need some serious chocolate.  Seriously.

Lundberg Bean and rice chips-pico de gallo, and Santa Fe BBQ.  Wow. These go quick, so hide them from those that are not worthy.

Andean dream quinoa pasta-this is so far my favorite pasta-cooks up nice, stays firm-ish, doesn't get too mushy, and tricks even the conservative-est nutjobs.

Smart balance Light, Original with Flax-I used to be I Can't Believe It's Not Butter-Light junky.  This stuff is good, with no creepy aftertaste. The whole fam will eat it, which means the fridge isn't quite so Berlin Wall-ish. (My food being the oppressed communist crap)

Larabars-cashew cookie, cherry pie, carrot cake, pb and J, coconut cream pie. All of them. Great to stash in the car for emergencies, and you don't feel guilty. They are pricey, so watch for coupons and sales at Raley's. Each bar has between 2 and 5 ingredients. Seriously!

Artisana Raw Cacao Bliss-Once again, a biggie for splurges. Smear it all over the S'moreables graham crackers, and shovel into mouth. Repeat.

S'morables Graham Crackers-by Kinnickinnick (or something like that?).  They also crumble into graham crumbles for crusts. 1 WW point apiece, too!

Cauliflower cream sauce-Yummm! Lots of work, but worth it. See the link for the recipe.

GFCF chex mix-I make it myself, the kids love it. So do the neighbor kids. And their families. Yes, we are THAT house. Recipe is at the link, above.

For now, that should do. I will come up with more soon, as shopping is my favorite way to cope. Especially when I am shopping for chocolate.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Poision Control and Therapy

I came upon the idea for this post while reading another blog, Snarky Mommy. And, even though I have not had to call poison control in some time, this is the kind of crazy I live with on a daily basis, so I thought I would share.
As a renowned Child Development person (HA!), I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I have called poison control 3 times.


I am not sure how many I could/should have called, but officially, it is 3.

The first time, my son got into some amber resin.


I spent much of my teen and college years working for health food stores. And, I established good relationships with many of the wonderful hippies I worked with, and the hippie customers, too. At one transition in my life, I was moving on, and a regular customer that had grown fond of me had presented me with a small ornate wooden box with beautiful carvings in the top. The box was filled with amber resin, which smells wonderful. Over the years, this little treasure has moved with me.

Fast-forward to parenthood. I am living with my little family, working at my home day care, with my young son. He is 1 and a half, and very curious.

One day, he comes out, upset. He has something yucky in his mouth, and he has developed a rash. For some reason, there is a smell that rings a faint bell. As I get closer, I recognize the smell, and we walk into my bedroom, where the lid of the amber resin box is laying (lying?) on the floor. I quickly realize that MB has eaten some amber.

I look up the number to poison control in the phone book (it's this ancient book, filled only with people's names and phone numbers. And, a listing of all our governmental officials. Strange, I know.) and give them a call. The first thing they want to know is my phone number. This is how they keep track of calls. My paranoid mind goes to, "enough calls and they will come and strip you of your parently duties". So, I reluctantly give it, and go through the process of them trying to figure out what the hell he ate, and whether he will die.
About 15 minutes into it, we mutually decide it is classified as incense, and we move on, accepting he will not die from it.

Call #2. I am currently running an in-home daycare, and it is about 10 AM. I have 4 children in my home, one of them the infamous Monkey Boy. (Who senses a theme?) My son, the acrobat, has climbed inside the TV cabinet (back when TVs were big and heavy, and required a piece of furniture to hold them, along with all their debris). He has grabbed my new air freshener, the kind that you walk by and push the top on to release a blast of springtime freshness. (It has since been discontinued, and if it was due in part to my call, I formally apologize to the company) Well, apparently, when you hold it in your pudgy toddler hands to look at it, your chubby little pointer finger fits perfectly on the "launch" button.  Which seems perfect, since he launched the biggest scream fit I have ever seen.
And, the rash left a perfect ring around his eye. Way to go, chemical company, for expressing a perfect circular ring of air heaven. In his eye.

Poison control told me to flush his eye with cool water. And, at the last First Aid class, I was told that, when you have to flush an eye, to call 9-1-1 to get assistance, because it is impossible to do alone. Well, I weighed the pros and cons of the fire truck, along with the stress to the other kids, and the bad PR. I then called a friend who was a fire fighter, and he talked me through it.

It is NOT impossible to rinse an eye of a toddler alone.  I don't recommend it in public though, as it does look quite violent-me straddling his little body, his hands under my knees (gently, mind you-I'm no sadist), one arm around his head prying his eye open while the other pours a steady stream of cool water into the burning eye.

*Donations to his therapy fund will be accepted by PayPal.*

Thankfully, I changed phone numbers somewhere in here, because my relationship with Poison Control was not over.

Then, Princess came along. She was curious, too. Just not a climber.  Phew-while I was resting on my laurels, she was exploring the doors that were not closed.  Like the bathroom. (Did I mention that each time my son used the toilet, he was remiss in flushing? No matter what manner of filth came out of him?) So, there I am, walking down the hall, and I find my little angel sitting in the hall. At first, I think she has been painted by her brother. Then, I think, maybe she got into some chocolate. Then it hits me.

After fighting back the gagging, I managed to get her clean, get the bathroom clean, get the carpets clean. A stern lecture to the son, a warning to EVERYONE not to kiss Princess in the foreseeable future, and my (hopefully) last call to Poison Control.

Poo Facts:

Did you know LOTS of children eat poo in their toddler years? The difference (which made the poison control dude gag a bit) in my case is that most toddlers get into their own diapers. NOT the toilet, after their soon-to-be-yelled-at brother filled it to capacity.
Did you know that the e-coli in a person's colon is most likely the same as the e-coli in a close relative living with you? I didn't, either! The good news is, this meant that she would most likely not die from her escapade.
Did you know that what I now lovingly refer to as re-fried poo is exponentially worse the next cycle through?
Did you know that it also multiplies in volume the next "go round"?

Did you know that the taste is NOT a deterrent to toddlers?

Thought not.

* Donations to her therapy fund will be accepted by PayPal.*

See, now you can tell your boss that you were researching little-known poo facts and incense digestibility when you were supposed to be working.