31 January 2007

Lily's baby bathtub is sitting in the middle of my kitchen and the water in it is a murky yellow. No, she didn't have and "incident" in the tub. The water is filled with chamomille tea and oatmeal. There's a teapot and a couple of little cups as well. Yes, the kids really did drink her bath water. Lily's skin took a serious turn for the worse today and the tea/oatmeal bath was an effort to soothe her itchy, oozing back.

For those not in the know, Lily has been suffering from eczema for about a month and a half. It's been all over her entire body except for her head, hands, and feet. We've eliminated wheat, dairy, sugar, red meat, citrus, and tomatos from her diet. Since her consultation with our ND, she's been taking Sulfur (a homeopathic remedy), Astragalus (a herb), acidophilus, fish oil, and flax oil. I've also switched laundry detergent three times (each of them more and more mild).

Earlier this afternoon as I picked Lily up, I realized that what I thought were stains on her undershirt were actually wet spots from the open sores on her back. Ugh. It hurts me to see her in this kind of shape and I feel like crying. I'm the Mom so I'm supposed to fix things, aren't I?

Now I'm questioning all sorts of foods she eating and that I'm eating and possibly exposing her to in my milk. We've cut so many things out already that I just don't know what to do next. I really, really hate this. Right now she's got a layer of Polysporin on her lower back and gauze and tape over top. She looks like a burn victim or something.

30 January 2007

Yesterday morning, I was headed out to run some errands and I met our mail-lady in the driveway. She handed me the usual stack of envelopes as well as a large manilla envelope. My curiosity piqued, I started the car and immediately looked at the interesting package. My heart skipped a beat when I saw that it was from the law firm which handled the purchase of our new home. I figured it was yet another request to re-sign papers or some other unforseen hoop we'd need to jump through.

Fortunately, it was none of the above. I found instead a pile of papers relating to the final details of the purchase as well as a cheque. It turns out that the money which the law firm had held in trust for us was more than their fees had ended up adding up to. So, there attached to the cover letter was a cheque written out to Liam and I in the sum of $340 (Ok, it was actually something like $339.60 but $340 has a much nicer ring to it). Sweet. Who knew that you could actually GET money from lawyers?

The portion of my brain inhabited by the perma-child deep within me immediately burst out with "Wicked! We can go on a shopping spree and blow all of it since it wasn't money we were expecting anyhow!". Then (un)fortunately the adult me wised up to the situation and brought up the mature arguments such as "Weren't you just saying how nice it is having a bit of extra money sitting in the bank account at the end of the pay period?" and "Aren't you all into this non-materialistic stuff now?".

As things turned out, Liam and I did agree to spend some of the money. He will buy the Sandy Foster cd he's been pining after as of late. I will buy a YES nursing bra, a Diva Cup (guys, don't click if you really don't want to know), and some cloth shopping bags.

I also went on a shopping trip to Planet Organic today and was able to pick up some nice stuff. I splurged and bought a 1L bottle of organic maple syrup. Since it's pretty much the only sweetener I use in my baking and oatmeal, those little bottles just don't seem to last. I also got some organic extra virgin olive oil in a funky square bottle and some organic sesame oil. I was so sad when I ran out of sesame oil a couple of weeks ago since the tofu in my miso soup doesn't seem to have the same flavour or texture with olive oil. I also picked up a variety of items from the bulk section including a new kind of rice, quick-cook oats (so I can actually cook Nick's oatmeal before he gets on the bus for school), carob almonds (like chocolate almonds only more coacoa-y), and some nifty little things called energy squares (which taste incredibly like Eatmore's).

As I did a little happy dance over my bags of groceries at home, I realized just how much I've changed in the past few years. There was a time when groceries were taken for granted and I had no idea as to the cost of food. These days, I'm the one paying at the checkout so I realize just how little our dollars can be stretched. I'm also finding great satisfaction in cooking and experimenting with new dishes. Instead of opening the fridge or pantry and seeing a bunch of food to be eaten, I now see the little dollar signs attached to each item as well as the possibilities for the vareity of dishes I could create with each.

28 January 2007

Yesterday, I attended a workshop on voluntary simplicity which was being offered at our church by a few of the parishioners. There was a retreat a few months back, but being the mom of two little kids (one of whom still nurses several times each night) doesn't lend itself well to that type of activity. I was thrilled when the workshop was announced, both because it was something I could manage and also because it was free. I'm big into free things.

My idea going into this workshop was that I would learn ways of being fulfilled with less material goods and possibly find some ways of reducing excess spending. We're pretty good about keeping costs to a minimum, but living on one income means there's never a lot of extra money hanging about in our bank account.

I ended up learning much more than I would have thought. I learned how wrapped up we as a society are in material things and how much the media influences us to believe that spending money will put us in a better place. I was also given the chance to ponder how having, buying, and focusing on stuff draws my focus away from important things such as God and my family. I also found myself really thinking about the impact that my living has on our planet and how simple choices which I make can have very large results.

Since beginning my elimination diet at the start of this month, I've found myself thinking differently about the types and quality of foods I'm putting into my body and the bodies of my family. It seems like a very natural progression to go from healthier eating to healthier living.

I've also been focusing during the past year or so on streamlining my life and focusing on thoughts, people, and activities which enhance my life. It's so easy to get bogged down in scattered activities and negative patterns of thinking, and there's so much I want to do with my life. By the time I've worked through all my responsibilities as a wife and mother my time is very limited and I want to get the most out of my spare time and energy.

In all, I suppose I'm feeling drawn toward making more conscious choices about life which make me feel good about myself and satisfied with my actions.

23 January 2007

So red bell peppers and thumbs are completely different things. My knife and I learned this lesson together tonight.

In the last step of my mad-dash supper creation, I mis-judged the distance from the knife to my thumb and chopped myself instead of the pesky red pepper. I gave Liam the job of inspecting my thumb because I was too scared of what I'd see. His professional prognosis was "It's pretty bad" and he gave me a tissue to sop up the blood.

Ten minutes later, I pulled the tissue off only to have blood start oozing out at an alarming rate. On went a wad of toilet paper. As an aside, toilet paper is a BAD choice for dressing a wound. Fifteen minutes later when I removed the toilet paper I found that it was stuck and I accidentally opened the cut up a bit more. And I bled more. Of course.

At this point, Liam picked up the Lil and announced that he was taking me in to the ER for stitches. I managed to hold him off by phoning the Health Link to ask what the criterea is for getting stitches. By the time I got off the phone, the bleeding had stopped, the throbbing had mostly subsided, and I was fairly confident that I could forgo the two hours of waiting to see a doctor at the Medicentre. I contemplated following the Health Link nurse's advice to go in for a tetanus shot, but between Liam, my Dad, and I we figured that my clean and shiny knife posed little threat.

My lesson for the night is: chop more slowly, watch more closely. In the end, at least I didn't mess myself up as badly as Liam did. I'd be miffed if I lost the ability to make fun of his knife handling skills.

And on that note, off I go to watch TV. Liam has just put "Snakes on a Plane" on. I'm not sure if I'm excited or scared...

19 January 2007

15 January 2007

As of today, I'm down 9 lbs in 14 days. Who'd have thunk that cutting out all the crappy food in my diet and not snacking for emotional reasons would result in weight loss? (I should amend that statement. I do still occasionally eat when I'm not really hungry, but it loses its charm pretty quickly when you're chewing on carrot sticks and pieces of apple.) I'm sure a certain amount of the lost weight was fluid, but it feels great nonetheless. This is the lightest I've been since Lily was born. I think I'll throw myself a party when I'm down another 30.

The transition with changing Lily's diet has gone pretty smoothly, mostly because she's too young to really know the difference. We've had the occasional bumps in the road such as when she saw the yogurt in the fridge this morning and when she saw Nick eating a ham and cheese sandwich the other day. There's really nothing quite as sad as a toddler moaning "Cheeeeese. Cheeeese." especially when it comes out sounding more like "Deeee, deee!". The really nasty patches of eczema on her elbows and knees have faded quite a bit and now look more like dry skin than the red, raw patches they were a week ago. I worried a bit at first about what she would eat but she actually seems to be eating more now that I've cut dairy, wheat, and sugar from her diet. She's been devouring big bowls of oatmeal and kamut, entire boiled eggs and kiwis, and soups and casseroles of all sorts. She's also been nursing more lately and actually drinking lots of milk rather than wiggling around constantly like she used to. I get the feeling that a growth spurt is in the making.

I bought groceries today and it was a nice experience outside of the episode with Lily running wild in the bulk section (here's a tidbit for other parents: the bulk section is NOT the place to finally cave and let your toddler out of the shopping cart). I loaded up the cart with produce of all kinds, chicken, and various foods from the "natural" sections scattered throughout Save On Foods. I feel better about the foods that I'm buying and cooking since I know they're nourishing my family instead of filling us up and adding to my previously-expanding waistline.

11 January 2007

I feel the need to update since the comments on my last entry have been so lively. I'm starting to get jealous.

I'm now on day 11 of my elimination diet and I'm doing really well. In my first week I lost five pounds between the change in diet and having the flu. I'm sure I'm down a couple more by now judging by how my clothes are fitting and how well I'm feeling. Eating so much more healthily is actually really nice in a subtle sort of way.

I've also dragged my poor innocent baby down into the mud with me. About a month or so ago, she began to develop some patches of eczema in the creases of her elbows and knees. The patches are now red and angry-looking and new spots have shown up all over her arms, legs, and torso. At the suggestion of my ND, she's now completely off of dairy, wheat, sugar, and red meat (the alcohol and caffeine are kind of a given). I'm also shoving flax oil in her once a day and smearing various lotions all over her whenever I can pin her down long enough. It's starting to look a bit better after three days of this.

Watch for updates. I'm sure I'll have found a reason to overhaul Nick and Liam's diets before long. Mwahaha!!!

04 January 2007

If I like it, it's mine.
If it's in my hand, it's mine.
If I can take it from you, it's mine.
If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.
If I'm doing or building something, all the pieces are mine.
If it looks just like mine, it is mine.
If I think it's mine, it's mine.
If I saw it first, it's mine.
If you are playing with something and you put it down, it automatically becomes mine.
If it's broken, it's yours!

(Anybody else going crazy because of siblings picking on each other??)

03 January 2007

Oh Baby,
When your Mom
Drags her sick butt off the couch
To tidy,
The bin of toques
Is not
An appropriate sign of your appreciation.

01 January 2007

Happy New Year everyone!!!

Last night, I did my New Year's Eve reflecting from my bed. It was 9 pm and I was cozied up in bed between both kids and getting ready to fall asleep. You see, we ditched the party at James and Janine's in order to take the kids to the early fireworks in Sherwood Park. Then we ditched the fireworks in order to keep the sickly children from completely dying. Then I decided that going to bed as soon as I got Lily to sleep would be my best bet at shaking the early tinglings of their germ getting to me.

So, there I was going to bed at 9 on New Year's Eve while my friends were out at various parties and my husband was downstairs writing. I started thinking about how past New Years Eve's (which I will now type as NYE because I'm lazy) have set the tone for the coming year. I decided that instead of feeling sorry for myself for missing out on NYE I would instead appreciate stepping into the new year in a manner which was respectful and nurturing to my body. It fits well since today is the first day of my elimination diet and I've decided that it's time I really start taking better care of myself in general. You'd think that as a holistic health practitioner I'd be doing a better job than this, but you'd be wrong.

Looking back at past NYE and the way they have fit in with the following year...

2005: We took the kids out to the fireworks then once they were in bed Liam and I played Monopoly and had a really good time. The past year has been one filled with so many wonderful family moments and our marriage has grown in many ways.

2004: We went to a house party and announced our pregnancy to our friends. I was exhausted (thank you first trimester hormones!) and we went home shortly after the countdown. This one's pretty self-explanatory, but the year was consumed by my pregnancy and Lily's birth. I spent a lot of time tired and sleeping.

2003: We went to a party at The Party House. I remember being annoyed with Liam about something and not really enjoying my evening at all. In the coming year, I learned a lot of lessons about relationships, and the first few months of marriage taught me more than I could have imagined.

2002: The infamous party at The Party House where I met (or re-met if you want to get technical) Liam. I stayed up until 4 am talking to him and spent the next day exhausted and trying to think of a reason to call him. The following year was filled with falling in love and getting way way WAY too little sleep.

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