Posted on Leave a comment

Dairy free, gluten free, lactose free… oh my

So, my 2 year old daughter and I ate out for my birthday with the rest of the family (My parents, husband and 6 year old). We had one of the best waitresses I’ve had- to the point I thanked her.

She made sure the croutons were on the side so I could eat salad, didn’t include cheese and added the dressing on the side so she could eat. She walked us through the allergy menu and made sure the items for me were totally gluten free and the items for her were fully milk/dairy free. Neither of us had reactions after eating there (I made the mistake of trying to eat around croutons last time and spent the whole next morning hurting and in the bathroom)

I swear, though, trying to get the hang of reading labels to make sure something is truly dairy free (not just lactose free) is really adding extra time to grocery shopping and the number of times we slip and give her something we don’t realize has it is too much.

I know, just like I have learned most of the red flags for gluten, it will take time but right now, dairy and cows milk free is overwhelming.

We have her next appointment tomorrow so I’m hoping we will have an answer- cows milk, casein, allergy, intolorance or virus (unlikely since its lasted since last month). I hate playing the waiting game.

Posted on Leave a comment

We took my 2 year old to the ER a few weeks ago. 

We were told to keep her away from dairy and her diarrhea (reason we took her) was likely caused by a virus. Well, we took her off dairy and her diarrhea cleared up. We reintroduced it many times and the very last time my mom attempted to give her cows milk, she spit it out and didn’t want to drink it. Each time it has given her diarrhea. It’s lasted way more than 10 days (did test positive for a virus- this specific one lasts 10 days and it’s been well over that and she still gets diarrhea when she eats yogurt, most cheese, ice cream or milk. She’s also developing a taste for my gluten free snacks instead of normal. I have read picky eating can be a sign of a food intolerance. We are pretty sure lactose intolerance (I am) because the diarrhea has been a recurrent issue her whole life. We have an order to have her tested for Celiac due to my medical issues, her sisters gene and her symptoms. 

If she isn’t able to to back to cows milk, it’ll be all three of us women in the house who don’t drink it. Her older sister could easily live without dairy and I’m lactose intolerant myself. 

This is a whole lot of fun going through the tests, dealing with the diaper and trying to figure all this stuff out. Even with the medical help, it is still too long a process. 

Posted on Leave a comment

I never thought I’d be the type to let myself go after a marriage and these past 2 years (last year and this year) I’m getting myself back.

I have been with my husband almost 8 years now. Before he and I met, when I was younger, it would take me over an hour just to leave my house. My hair, make up, clothes and everything had to be perfect. After we had our first baby, I had an extra 60lbs (went from 125 to 198 at the end of my first- complicated- pregnancy) and I started stress eating (before that, if I was stressed, I couldn’t eat). I managed to lose 10lbs down to 180 but stuck. I did workouts sporadically but the stress turned to fatigue and even laziness.

With my second pregnancy (the one we lost) my weight stayed the same after the baby was born and I was too depressed to really work on it.

By the time I had my third, I gained up to 220- higher than I ever weighed and was a size 18. This time, I was more active but my thyroid went into hyper due to the toxic cyst and I lost 30lbs in the first 6 weeks and another 20 recently. Now that I’m down to about 170 and a size 14/16 I’m gaining the motivation to continue.

After I had my first baby, I continued with my hair, make up and skin routine but over time, lost it.

In the past few months, I’m working on changing myself. I realized a while back I let myself go so now I’m working on undoing the damage before it becomes harder.

My daily skin routine now involves pre cleanse and cleansing, sometimes exfoliating (not every day- usually 3 times a week to every other day), spraying my face with either rose water or Dermalogica’s Multi-Active toner, moisturizer, then I’ll put on a mask 1-2 times a week. That’s my evening before bedtime routine. My morning routine is the same but after the moisturizer, I’ll put my make up on. That full routine can keep my eczema from acting up too bad. I have found that to keep it down, exfoliating and moisturizing is key.

I’ve studied skin care professionally (I’m a licensed skin therapist) so keeping my skin next to perfect is key. Luckily for me, when my eczema breaks out, it’s mostly still skin colored but the itching does me in. I still get compliments on my skin on a daily basis- I get rid of zits immediately, don’t have black heads and you would have to look at my skin under a magnifying glass to see my pores- my skin has been my pride and thanks to that, I still look as young as I did when I met my husband. I’m heavier now, but I’m also working on losing that (I did make it from 130 to 220, I’m back down to 170 and working on losing the last 40lbs if possible). I’m down 50lbs from 220 to 170 from two years ago (hit my peak weight at the very end of my last pregnancy- but there will be no more pregnancies so I can focus on losing the last bit)

I’m also looking at what types of workouts are best for people with Osteo arthritis and Ehler Danlos Syndrome to try to get my body toned back up.

I’ve been working on trying to get back to how I was in college. Back then, I was active and felt great. I also looked better. I’m not sure how to handle my thinning and really dry hair (the wrong shampoos grease my hair up and make it look wet, when it dries it dries like straw. It’s hard having greasy skin in that one area of my body but then having dry hair. The thyroid issues don’t help at all.)
The selected image is what I looked like in October. I’m hoping to get back to a slightly older version of what I looked like when I met my husband. I’m not trying to look like a teen again (or very young adult) since I’ll be 30 this week, I just want to be about the same size, weight and to feel good again.

The first picture was taken right before my husband and I met (same week)

The one with the hat was shortly after we got together, before I got pregnant and the third was our first Christmas with our new baby (she was 9 months old)

Posted on 1 Comment

Is there a perfect number of gifts to buy your young kids?

As the holiday season is starting to wrap up, I have been noticing every thing other people have been buying their kids. I have seen some people spending as much as several hundred on one child with a cart full of big and small items. I have also seen some people buy just one or two items. It’s just one store, but when it’s a full buggy you can get a pretty good feel for how they shop. I do not compare myself to others, but I do try to make sure my kids fit into the area as best I can.

We didn’t have a budget, per se, but did have a rule this year that we would get several small but no big toys. We just don’t have the room in our small house right now for another huge toy and still have one or two play sets boxed up that haven’t been opened yet due to lack of space. We also knew, more than likely, we would get something big from a family member. Last year, we came home from his family’s house (alone) with our full size truck loaded with toys the girls were given so we decided then that we wouldn’t get much since the family gets them so much.

On the other hand, I read the 4 gift “rule”

“Something they want, something they need, something to wear and something to read.” I think it’s a good principal, but always felt the need to get them more toys than just one.

We both are more materialistic by nature and we do own too much stuff. Since they see it from us, they are also becoming little consumers. I’d like to think we have hit that perfect balance. They opened gifts this evening after I got off work and loved everything they opened. We got them several small items that they will play with and we didn’t max out a single credit card nor did we break our bank. I would still love to know what that perfect balance is- between the year we maxed out two credit cards and the year we didn’t. Did we give them enough? Too much? I know it differs with everyone and I’m trying to remember from my childhood (I was an only child and would typically burn out by a certain number). My two year old seemed to get bored with opening by the fourth gift and we had to coax her to open the rest, my six year old loves the act of opening gifts so she finished the two year old’s for her.

It’s also making me think back a bit- how funny it seems now. Back when I was a child, I loved toys- and I loved having tons of toys at the end of the day. Today, I’m perfectly happy with the Starbucks gift card I got and the two tiny gifts from my kids. As you get older, priorities change. You go from wanting everything you see and giving a huge list to not being able to think of anything until after the holiday ends. My youngest’s birthday is in December and mine is in January- both of us within 3 weeks of Christmas, so that six week period wipes us out- both emotionally and financially. Luckily, since I’m the mom, the birthday isn’t as big a celebration as the child’s is so it’s not as draining.

 

What do you consider to be the right number of gifts to buy? I don’t necessarily mean a physical number. What is that perfect amount? Do they always have to be big or can they all be smaller? Is there a perfect amount or is it only based on the parents and the kids?