Monday, August 12, 2013

Why I was away...or Re-learning how to eat

(I've been going back and forth about sharing about a major change in my life, but have ultimately decided to share.  In the past few months, I have found it very helpful to read about other's experiences, and hope to maybe help someone else who is going through this as well.)

It all started March 4th.  Yes, I can clearly remember the day that my life changed.  I felt a bit off, but by night, my husband wanted to take me to the hospital.  I was in enough pain to think I may be one of those crazy people who didn't know they were pregnant (just to jump ahead...I have still have two children, so no that wasn't the "problem.")

I felt awful for about a week and eventually went to the doctor's office...long story short, I went to several doctors, had several misdiagnoses, a couple rounds of antibiotics, and spent a couple of months with just about every sign of the worst urinary tract infection on earth, but without bacteria.

During this, my husband went to Europe for 10 days for work.  I couldn't have done it without my in-laws. I spent the whole time on the couch...I couldn't even be in bed because of the position I had to maintain to be in to be semi-comfortable.  They took one child at a time so I could rest and still have someone to snuggle with, because sometimes, the best medicine for a Momma is to have a little one to snuggle.

Eventually, I got in with a physician assistant in the urology department...who sent me off for further testing and suggested I change my diet since she was leaning towards a diagnosis of Interstitial Cystitis, but had to rule out a bunch of other things first (as in cancer of about four different organs.)

So I looked up the diet...and folks it wasn't pretty.

No acid, caffeine, carbonation, artificial anything or preservatives...with the option of slowly phasing things in.

I am glad I am a person with canning experience because canning has taught me one I had a basic understanding of what has acid and what doesn't.  When they say no acid, what they really mean is basically no fruit...if you can can it in a hot water bath, it is unacceptable, as in tomatoes are not an option.  If it has vinegar or citric's a no-no...and anything's a no go...lactic acid.

As for the other things on the list...this rules out the ability to have coffee, tea, chocolate, water and milk kefir, yogurt, prepackaged foods (I have a few items that I still use without too many problems, but I do have to read ingredient lists very I just use them for convenience such as one brand of jarred pesto, some crackers, and that's about it.

She did however give me another piece of advice...if you are having a flair up (aka a bad day) have a vanilla milkshake.  And another piece of advice I have never heard from a medical professional...use all the whole fat dairy you can...whole milk, cheeses, cream sauces, and homemade ice cream...they all have the "milkshake effect."  They all help the bladder calm down (in fact country sister once told me her pediatrician's advice for bed wetting is to restrict dairy since it can calm it to the point where a child doesn't wake up to go.)

Lo and behold, the diet worked along with some other behavioral modifications (stress reduction, sleep, rest, and massive amounts of anti-inflammatory medication as needed.)  I have never been a person to take medication and avoid it whenever possible, but some days it is the only option.

I can play with my kids, cook dinner, take a hike, and spend time in the garden and taking care of the ladies of the coop. All those things that keep me sane, are possible again.

So from here on in, the recipes will change from my front...I have found some really wonderful and tricky ways to change the traditional to wonderfully different.  Spaghetti with roasted red pepper cream sauce with basil...pesto...homemade sausage anyone?  Or I could go completely nuts and mix them all up like I do for my pseudo lasagna!  Stay tuned...I'm going to be posting a series of Interstitial Cystitis friendly recipes!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The great curriculum round up

As you may have noticed, I've been gone for quite a little bit, I will catch up about that subject later but for now...

Every year I look over what worked, what didn't, and what needs to happen for the next year.  This year is the first that we are "officially" homeschooling.  In our state, a child doesn't have to be registered with the local school district until they are eight within the first two weeks of the district's cutoff date.  Since my husband and I both hold valid teaching certificates (5 degrees in education and 20 years experience between the two of us) we are able to file under our state's private tutor clause so our documentation in minimal and easy if you know people who are willing to share their filing information (Thanks Barb!)

When it comes to paperwork I'm about as bright as this guy...a dodo bird 

We started out in a very Charlotte Mason type manner, in which you teach using literature and nature.  As the kids got older we transitioned from that methodology to a more Classical manner in which uses literature as a base for science and history, but it has a bit more structure when it comes to other subjects.

We have been researching curriculum choices, consulting methodology books and decided our course of study and curriculum map for the year.  This then brings us to the mass curriculum purchase that happens each summer.

C. is a very inquisitive and curious little girl who is determined to do work. She is self motivated and often found working early in the morning among a stack of workbooks. This year she will be working on:

Saxon Math K and 1- she is almost done with the K so we will finish that up before beginning 1.

Primary Phonics Book 3 and 4  with supplemental stories

Spelling Workout 1- I don't know where she gets her love of spelling

This year C. is also going to take ballet, tap, and possibly tae kwon do

W. is growing up fast! he is becoming a bit reluctant to do work that is not his idea he instead prefers to spend his time drawing cartoons and reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books.  He will be working on:

Saxon Math 3

Primary Phonics book 6- We're almost done with the series!

Spelling Workout 2

This year W. is also going to take tae kwon do and continue his therapies to help his body develop

And in case this list looks skimpy, we are doing the following subjects together:
Song School Latin- A very basic introduction to Latin
Science Explorer club (hopefully if it all works out!) and unit studies for Earth Science and Astronomy
The Story of the World Volume 2: The Middle Ages
-supplemental books including Beowulf (any suggestions on a child's version?) Augustine, and Vikings

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Detox, continued!

So, after doing a week of the sugar detox, I have decided to stop and revisit the challenge once the baby is born.  My body kept getting weaker and weaker, and it wouldn't be smart for me to continue at this point.

Technically, I stopped on the 7th day.  Since then, I haven't noticed a significant increase in my energy level, or improvement with fatigue symptoms, so it is hard to tell if the problem is due to a pregnancy issue or the diet.  Either way, I am increasing my whole grains and natural sugar intake.  More of a Paleo approach with approved grains and fruit.

J, on the other hand, feels great!  He has stuck with it and is doing amazing!  A quote from his mouth directly... 

"It's really working for me and that is the only reason I am commited to it. I can't remember ever having this much energy and feeling full all the time. So far this is what I noticed (but I also added T25 and shakeology at the same time, so I am not sure which to give credit to)...
-I literally feel like my metabolism is making me hot all morning
-I get out of bed no problem and feel great consistently for over a week (this never happens)
-I can do a ton of work and not feel hungry
-I cut wood for 10 hours, working very hard and lifting a lot and I did not have the usual aches I get in my right elbow and one of my knees if I work half that time.  I did not take any medicine.
-I eat a ton of calories and fat and loose weight and I eat 5-6 times a day
-I love most of the foods on this diet and am happy to sacrifice the ones that are not allowed because I can eat a lot of what I like."