Monday, August 31, 2009

Allergies Are Stupid (Part 2)

Yeah. The title *still* pretty much sums it up. (To read from the beginning, see here.)

We are a little over two weeks into eating properly for our allergies. This means eliminating soy(me only), brewer's yeast, baker's yeast (Ethan only), tomato (Aaron only), corn, and peanuts (Ethan only). We have to rotate (meaning eat only once or twice a week) chicken, egg, milk, oats, potatoes, rice, wheat, soy (Aaron and Ethan), tomato (Ethan only), banana, baker's yeast (me and Aaron), orange (Aaron only), peanuts (me only), and pork.

Needless to say, I am learning a whole new way to cook. I have made pancakes with many different kinds of flour: rice, Kamut, spelt, sorghum, barley, and buckwheat. (I'm getting tired of pancakes, which is something I never thought I'd say.)

When I was last at the allergist's office, I asked him about the possibility of Jerry having allergies since a) the boys have much worse allergies than me and b) he has daily headaches, drainage, and fatigue. The doctor indicated that those are indeed classic symptoms so we scheduled Jerry to be tested. The results are rocking my world. He reacted to almost everything they tested him on! He has to eliminate baker's yeast, brewer's yeast, orange, peanut, soy, tomato, and wheat. He has to rotate, beef, corn, gluten, oats, pork, and strawberry. Needless to say, he will be joining the boys in their LDA treatments starting with their next treatment. I didn't have to worry about beef or gluten before, so that is a bit more work. Especially the gluten. Spelt and Kamut act the most like wheat of any of the grains I've tried so far, and he cannot really eat them. But I will figure it out!

Thursday is the boy's first treatment. That means Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday are very strict food days for us. The ONLY things we can eat those days are: lamb, rabbit, venison, fish, sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabagas, tapioca or cassava root, turnips, cooked carrots, celery and cabbage, rhubarb, pure baking soda, plain sea salt, and filtered water. No oils or normal breakfast foods or bread type foods. In addition, for those days we have to use special soap and shampoo, no toothpaste (baking soda only), and no other thing can pass between the lips (other drinks, vitamins, medicines...) It is going to be a bit hard. I am doing the diet with the rest of my family to show my support, even though I don't need any treatment. On the positive side, I should lose some weight! :)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

One Down...

...179 to go! We had a great first day today! The boys enjoyed their studies, we got it all done, and Andrew tolerated things. It's good to be back in school!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Life Update

The boys and I just returned from a long weekend in Wisconsin. We went with my parents for my mom's oldest brother's wedding. I hadn't been to see all my family there in about 14 years, so it was great to see everyone. The wedding was a Bonnie and Clyde theme, with most of the guests, as well as the bride and groom, dressing the part! The bride and groom entered on the back of a convertible and exited in the same as a "get-away car" to the sound of sirens and a voice calling their names to pull over. They were leaning out the back of the car with rifles in hand shooting at the guests! It was quite something, I tell you!

While we were gone, Jerry was in Indianapolis for school. He only has one more residency before graduation now! He will go back for a long weekend in October, then we will all go up for graduation in December, then he will be done with his MBA! Woo-Hoo! I'm looking forward to that. It has been quite a lot having him work 50-60 hours a week and get his master's degree at the same time.

Anyway, Jerry's flight landed at DFW five minutes before ours, so we all met up in Terminal B and drove home together. Of course the boys were thrilled to see him after four days apart and were talking over each other to tell him all they had done. Once the initial flood of information was shared, it got quiet for a moment. Then I hear Aaron say with all the seriousness a six year old has, "So, Dad. How was the security in Indy?" LOL! That child cracks me up!

We start school tomorrow. I'm really not ready. I don't have all my curriculum mapped out as to approximately how much we have to finish each week to complete the course of study in this year. Since we are in "real" school now (first grade), I feel like I should take care of that and do less of the "fly by the seat of my pants" schooling that we have done the last two years. That is my plan for today. Of course, how much I get done is completely dependent on one particular, extra fussy, 9-month old babe. Maybe I'll just try to map out week one today... When are you starting school?

Our church has decided to start a Boy Scouts troop, and I have signed Aaron up to be a Cub Scout. I've really wanted him to do that since he was quite young. I think he will love it, and I think it will be a great confidence booster for him. I'm not sure when it starts. I hope to find that out this week.

We are now two weeks into eliminating and rotating our allergic foods. I plan to post an update on that soon. Learning to cook without wheat, corn, yeast, eggs, milk, ..... is taking up all my time right now, though. I am getting better at it even just after two weeks! This morning I made Kamut pancakes with a strawberry sauce that were actually fluffy! I've made quite a few varieties of pancakes in these two weeks and, trust me, without all the normal ingredients, none of them are fluffy. We are all feeling better, too. The boys start the actual treatments next week. I also have started treatment for hypothyroidism. I tell you, one small pill morning and night and I am a whole new person! That has made a world of difference in how I feel.

Okay, time to start on my day. Hopefully after we get settled into a routine with school again I'll get more regular posts. What is it about adding a ton more to my day that actually allows me to get more done? I love the freedom of summer, but I have to tell you that I miss the structure of school.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A Kitchen Set

See this? Heidi linked to it today.

See this? It's going bye-bye and we were going to buy a kitchen set for the girls for Christmas. Maybe I should re-purpose it. Is "re-purpose" really a word?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Sorry I haven't been here in a while...

...I've been busy. Wanna see what I've been doing? You do! Okay. I'll give you a glimpse. I've been...

feeding goats and sheep with my children...
taking pictures of my family with beautiful Mt. Hood in the background...

taking pictures of myself with beautiful Mt. Hood in the background...

discovering steamy, lost lakes...

hiking to waterfalls...

climbing to new heights...

having a little cheesy fun...

watching my children see the Pacific for the first time...

picking raspberries and marionberries....

and posing for family pictures at Multnomah Falls.
It's a rough life, but somebody has to do it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More on Obamacare

I'm really getting into this.

PajamasTV is awesome. I could watch it all day. Today I bring you: Steven Crowder Investigates CanadaCare...Will Obamacare be any better? Don't be freaked out by the man with the knife; it's not what you might think.

Sorry that it's only half on the screen. You can click on the link for the full video. I really don't have the patience to learn HTML code to fix this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Chuck Norris Can Eat Just One Lay's Potato Chip

Chuck Norris. I like Chuck Norris jokes. They're funny. Here's a good one.

-There is no 'ctrl' button on Chuck Norris' computer. Chuck Norris is always in control.

Chuck Norris also writes OpEd pieces. Did you know that? I didn't. He wrote an interesting one today about Obamacare and...home invasion.

Dirty Secret No. 1 in Obamacare

Go Chuck, go.

Friday, August 7, 2009


Two. Where does the time go?? Happy birthday little buggar.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Top Ten TUESDAY!!!!!

Since Jenni is busy homeschooling, I am going to go out on a limb here and make up my own top ten. Did you know that Jenni has a homeschooling blog also? It's very funny. Hmm...maybe I should put it in the side bar. Now that's a genius idea.

Today is Ella's 8th birthday, therefore I will do the top ten things I love about Ella.

Ella (and Sarah) at 4 years
1. Ella is incredibly patient with me. She has never shown that she was upset or angry with me even though I know she has been. I should emulate her patience and stop barking a her so much.
4 weeks old

2. She is very sensitive. Whenever any of her other sisters are getting their comeuppance for, ahem...misdeeds, Ella cries for them. She doesn't like it that they are being punished, in pain (curse the wooden spoon) or missing out on desserts because they tried to steal lollipops.

3. She loves to read. She stays up until all hours of the night reading books. She actually spent $14 of her own allowance on a pink reading light that wouldn't keep her sisters awake so she could read. She only gets $1.75 a week and we make her tithe first, split it in half and save one half, then keep half of that half in a "reserve" and the rest is spending money. She saved a long time to get it.
Ella (and Meagan) almost 3 years old

4. She is willing to save money to buy things she really wants instead of wasting it on dumb things like candy...not that she doesn't want to buy candy ever.
2 years old

5. She has the most incredible laugh. Sometimes I am shocked at how obnoxious her laugh is; it seems so contrived. When I go to look at her and tell her to knock off that fake, annoying laugh, she is holding on to her tummy and obviously tickled nearly to death. Everything is funny to her and she is so light-hearted that she can't help but laugh at life. I love her laugh.

6. She can draw. How'd that happen? She must have gotten it from Del.
4 years old

7. She is the only one of the five girls that has my eye color. The rest of them have dark brown eyes, but she has light brown like I do.

8. Talking to her is like talking to myself. Sometimes I have to remind myself that she is not me and although I might talk to myself like that, it's not okay for me to talk to her like that. But it's fun to know someone that is so like me. She reminds me of myself when I was a little girl.

9. She has lovely, curly hair and creamy, caramel colored skin. She is so pretty.

Ella (almost) 8 years old

10. She is not afraid of bugs, slugs, lizards and all sorts of other wild life and does not think of herself as an uppity princess.