Friday, February 6, 2015

For The Sake Of My Health: Going Gluten Free

Prior to September 17th, I guzzled, on average, one bottle of pepto each week. I had a stomach ache three or four days of every week. And, every month or so, I would have a "flare up" deeming me essentially useless and confined to my bed. This coming from someone who is accustomed to being so healthy, I don't even have a General Practitioner.  WTH?  (My sentiments exactly, although I might have used the letter 'F' more than once or twice).

Since February, I have seen three doctors and had full panels of blood drawn. All to be told there is nothing wrong with me. But, there was! I knew it. Until I found out what it was, I wasn't willing to give up. Thankfully, I did not have to search past a fourth (naturalistic doctor). Someone who finally listened to me and took a different approach to discover the culprit: gluten.

Normally, we write about parenting here, and I get it, this is not nearly as exciting as say, potty training stories. But, this is important stuff. Feeling like I felt, there was no way I was being the best Momma I could be to Baba. I just felt so dreadful. All the time. And, I can safely, gratefully and confidently say that I have not felt better in almost three years.

Backing up: what is gluten? Gluten is a protein composite found in several types of grain; mainly wheat, rye, barley and spelt. (Yeah, not sure I even know what spelt is...)

What's the thing about gluten? The thing is this, and it's simple: It's the only nature-based substance we put into our bodies that we cannot fully digest. Did you catch that? We can't actually digest gluten all the way and so it sits in our guts. And, often times it leaks out - into our blood stream. OK, enough about that.

Going without gluten does no harm whatsoever. There is no benefit to gluten that cannot be found elsewhere in our diet. So eliminating it made perfect sense. But, full confession here: I was super skeptical. I didn't want to hop on another fad bandwagon.

I'm not skeptical anymore. Coincidentally (or not), my last stomach ache was exactly 144 days ago.  (Yes, I am counting.  It's that big of a deal.)  In those 144 days, I have more energy than before I got pregnant. I sleep better than I have in at least three years. My hair is looking shinier than I can recall it ever looking. And, my skin has cleared considerably - with my crow's feet looking shallower than that time when I was 20.

Some people have no issue with gluten. It does not negatively impact them at all. And, if that's you, good on ya. If you're anything like me, and wonder why you're constantly feeling like you ate a balloon, you're not alone. Take 30 days and eliminate gluten. When you add it back in (if you even want to, you might be feeling so good!), watch for your body's reaction.

I couldn't be happier in my decision and rest easy in the fact that I listened to my body and made clear changes that have positively impacted not only my physical state, but also my emotional and mental well-being. Add my ability to parent Baba like she deserves and it's a home-run to me!

Please and Thank You.

Monday, December 29, 2014

My Last Week as a SAHM

Big changes are coming for my family.  Again.  But, I have known this day was coming for almost, exactly, 12 months now. 

In some ways the past 12 months have passed in a blink.  And in other ways, it has seemed more like double or triple that amount of time.  It has been a great year and a hard year, all at once.  But now that the day is nearly here that I will return to full-time work, I wish that I could have just a little more time.  More time to play, run, and swing.  More time to do all the crafts and projects I still have not managed to have time to do.  More time for fun field trips and lunch dates with my two favorite little kids.

And, although I spent a lot of this year wishing away time for this day to come, now that it is here, part of me is still not ready.

I have so many mixed feelings surrounding this new adventure we are about to embark on.  I have searched long and hard for that perfect position and it seems I have finally found it.  I am excited, hopeful, ready.  And yet I am nervous, scared, overwhelmed. 

I knew that this would be a temporary situation...that has always been the plan.  But, as the days turned to weeks and then months, it has felt far less temporary and more our new way of life.  And a large part of me has been perfectly at peace with this reality. 

You see, I have loved this time with my kids where I was able to solely focus on my most important job: Mom.  If you caught me on a bad day, maybe it didn't always seem that way.  But I promise you that I have always remained grateful for the time and all of the experiences and memories I was able to create with my kids this past year.  For that matter, I already know that for the rest of my life, I will always look back at this year as one of the best...and most simple...of my children's childhood.

These memories will surely sustain me over these next weeks and months as I re-learn to juggle my "Mom" job with my new job.  (That's where the overwhelmed feeling is kicking in.)  I only hope that my kids will be able to feel the same as they see less of me than they are used to.  They will adapt, right??

I have seven more days to do all the things.  It feels too quick, daunting even, to pull off all that was left on that proverbial list of mine.  Seven more days to soak in this current life and prepare for the new one.  It feels big and so I'm trying not to think about it too much.  It's a good change...really. 

So now, I will put on a new hat, throw another ball back up into the air to juggle, get my brain back into the "zone" and hope and pray that I can do it all.   
These are the moments I will cherish.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

8 Reasons Having a Sibling Rocks (for the Parents)

While my blogging partner here has extolled on all the wonderful things about being one and done, I thought it might be nice (and only fair) to also give a little credence to all the ways having more than one can be a very good thing indeed.  Well...most of the time. 

1.  No need to have to sit in the playroom and pretend to eat that plastic pizza for the 59th time today.  Having a playmate is probably the BEST reason to have that second baby.  Seriously, sometimes it's the only way I get anything done. (Other times it's definitely the reason I get nothing done.)

2.  Sharing is caring!  Even if you don't want to share that dump truck, you better believe that Sister is going to either rip it out of your hands or scream until she gets her way.  Moral of the story: We share our toys.

3.  You only have to teach certain life lessons once.  Then that trickle down theory comes into play.  See: Sister going pee-pee on the potty at 18 months versus Brother not even looking at a potty until nearly three.  Also: manners, giving up the paci, and riding a bike.

4.  What good are hand me downs if you don't have a sibling to pass them on to!  Isn't that the plight of second children?  But now that I'm a parent, it just totally make sense to have at least one more.  Or find a good friend you can pass them on to. (Wink, wink, bestie.)

5.  Once they are of a certain mature age (what age exactly is open for discussion) the older sibling is now available free of charge to babysit at any and all times of your choosing.  (Ahem MOM!)

6.  What better place to learn how to take a little teasing and bullying than right at home.  I like to think that all the fighting going on is giving them a little backbone to stand up for themselves when they are out there in the real world.  (Seriously.  You should see our Sister go at it. She is for real.)  

7.  Secrets don't make friends.  So, who else is there to share your secrets and keep them from everyone else other than a sibling?  As an adult, it's definitely been the best thing I love about having siblings.  They love me no matter what I do! (Right guys??)

8.  I just asked Brother.  He said the best thing about having a sister is because she loves him and keeping her safe and hugging her.  So, there you go.  Pretty sure that is all you need right there.  Excuse me now while I go blow my nose and dry my eyes.

Another Reason: Mommy needed to take a shower and Sister woke up early from nap.
Solution: Brother and Sister played nicely in the crib until Mommy was done.  (Seriously! They really did!)

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'll Potty Train Her When She's Ready

Period. OK, end of post.

No, really.  If I learned anything from biting my nails down to the quick until she finally walked at the ripe old age of 17 months, it's to chill (the eff) out and let her develop at her own speed.

I'm pretty sure she won't show up to Kindergarten in diapers. Yes, I would love to invest the money I spend on diapers somewhere else, say, for her to go to college.  Yes, I would love to not wipe another squished-from-sitting-poopy butt. Yes, I would love to have this phase behind us.

But, the bottom line is, she's not ready. Yet.

Granted, she's getting close. And, I suppose I could do a three day potty-training boot camp (yes, she does have some camo shoes that could be appropriate for the event). But, ultimately, it's a lot of pressure on her (and me!) and, until she's ready, how well will it even sit with her? Will she get it?

She's pees on the potty at school. But, never (ever) at home. Sigh. And, #2? Well, that's still just better sitting in her diaper. How, I have no idea, but well, I've been potty trained for quite some time, so I don't remember the feeling.

Part of me is actually afraid to potty train - it seems like so much work. I know that sounds super lazy and if you know anything about me, it's that I am far from lazy. All the rewards (or not) for actually sitting on and going to the potty.  All the rushing to the potty every fifteen minutes. Sounds like a full-time job. And, I already have one of those.

I feel like potty training is one thing that is left out of the parenting manual. What? You didn't get one of those when you left the hospital? I sure did (insert sarcastic laugh here). There are a billion websites devoted to ordering charts and stickers and crap, but how do you actually do potty training?

Is there a particular method? Do you run to the potty every fifteen minutes hoping that something will dribble from naked toddler? Do you bribe reward with all kinds of usually-restricted treats? Do you rationally explain to said toddler that pottying is necessary to become the ever-elusive 'big kid?'

Sigh. I just don't know. Can I leave it in the hands of her teachers at school?  How irresponsible would that be?

I guess it's all moot anyway, since she's not ready yet. Maybe, just maybe, she and I will both be ready at the same time. I'll be ready to train her when she's ready to train.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

It Must Be Nice To Be My Husband

I have now been doing this whole SAHM/WAHM thing for 10 months.  That is nearly an entire year.  Sometimes it feels like I have been at this new routine for YEARS and then other times it feels totally brand new. 

I have learned so much during this time - about myself, my kids, my goals in parenting and in life.  And while this has all been fine and dandy, there is one thing that I now know FOR CERTAIN.

It's the most wonderful time of the day! (For Mommy too...)
It must be nice to be my husband. 

Yes, he works at an often stressful job with unpredictable and sometimes long hours.  His job frequently invades our nights and weekends.  The stress of it can feel like another appendage at times. I get it. 

But, now that I am home and not scurrying off to a full-time job with a long commute every day, his responsibilities at home have been FAR reduced.  I don't want to specify how reduced because he will read this and I know that he will disagree with me; however, let's just say the last time the man located a cleaning product he was aged in a different decade.

Now, I don't want to sound like Husband does nothing.  He definitely pulls his weight around our house and is most nights in charge of bath and bedtime, giving me a much-needed I can write humorous blog posts about our life.  Ahem.

BUT, and this is a significant BUT.  From my viewpoint, he gets off pretty easy in the whole scheme of things.  He gets to shower and leave the house 5 days a week ALONE.  He doesn't have to wrangle two kids to get dressed and brush their teeth, now please, so we can get out the door on time for school. 

I seriously find myself pondering what life would be like if I could shower in the morning and subsequently leave the house by myself with an entire commute to do, well, absolutely nothing but drive, listen to music and chew gum.

When Husband returns home, the house has been cleaned, dishes and clothes washed and put away, dog walked, dinner (usually) prepared and ready to eat.  Groceries have been purchased, children picked up and dropped off from school, and all the other items that used to fill our weekends are now complete. 

But, this is my job now.  A job I didn't necessarily sign-up for, but, shockingly, one I really wouldn't trade for the world (right now at least). 

And while Husband certainly misses out on all the grunt work and gets to walk in the door to a chorus of screams from two children who act like they haven't seem him in months, I know that I am the real winner. 

(See Husband, and you thought I was going to spend an entire post whining.)

While I may not always look pretty or even get a shower every day, I get to spend every day with the two of the three most special people ever.  And for that I will suck it up and clean the high chair tray, again.