Wednesday, July 31, 2013

2013 goals, July roundup

Here's where things stand at the end of July!

Santa Fe Baked Chicken - Super easy and super delicious!

Hummus - So I really love hummus. But making hummus is a tad a lot harder than one might think. That or else I just did something majorly wrong. Who knows. This was not the best recipe ever. My hummus making skills are not the best ever. But in fairness, after sitting in the fridge for a few days, the taste improved greatly, so maybe not all was lost?

Easy Peasy Pizookie - If you've ever had a Pizookie at BJ's Brewhouse, or Cheddars (I think there it is called a Cookie Monster), then you know why this recipe is such a winner. And if you've never had a Pizookie at BJ's Brewhouse or a Cookie Monster at Cheddars (the horror!), then you need to make this ASAP, and experience the goodness for yourself. Your life will forever be changed. We have made two in two weeks!

Taco Lasagna - I'm making this tonight so crossing my fingers it's a winner. Looks easy enough (but then again. . . so did the hummus).

This month I thought it appropriate to choose verses that highlighted the amazing miracle that is our surprise pregnancy.

Psalm 30:5 ". . . weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning."

Psalm 130:11 "You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy."

If you translate weeping and wailing to mean infertility, then you can see how these verses are fitting this month. There has been lots of rejoicing and joy around our house as of late.

Still reading this book, continued on from last month. I simply have not fit in time for reading, and I'm not quite sure how that is going to improve considering I start my part time job today. Maybe the whole job thing will force me to plan my days a little better, in all areas (all areas = daily quiet time, caring for Clara + her extra needs, blogging, house work, personal "me" time, exercise. . .  etc! Time will tell!)

Blogging and Computer clean up - Well I am hit or miss with the blogging and completely miss with the computer clean up. Please refer to above paragraph. :)

Did you guys make any New Years goals? If so, how's it going for you?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sickness and a surprise

Our weekend was pretty low key. Clara has been sick since Tuesday night and unfortunately, her symptoms kept lingering. All. Weekend. Long. Lots of congestion, stuffy breathing, coughing, coughing and more coughing, and green snot have pretty much been our world. And this all happened after only a week of her being off an antibiotic for a sinus infection which means, there has been lots of sickness around here. Poor girl hasn't been sleeping well (at all) since of course her symptoms get worse at night, which I know is normal, just hard to watch her feel so pitiful. 

BUT. . . 
Despite all the sickness and snot, Clara surprised us with a HUGE milestone this weekend... 

She pulled to stand! 

Twice in therapy on Friday
(yes, I took her to therapy despite being sick, don't judge, I did take her to the Dr directly following so maybe that cancels out my stupidity?)

And several times Saturday and Sunday!

She crawled right up to the laundry basket and crate below, put her arms at the top of each, and pushed her cutie little self right on up... 

and then wiped three gallons of snot all over said laundry basket/crate. :)

And when she wasn't showing off her new skills, our weekend was pretty much spent like this...
We hardly left the house Saturday or Sunday. 
Being sick calls for a little extra Baby Einstein watching, right???

Here's to hoping that Clara's development only continues to flourish and surprise us,
while her sickness does not! 

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Clara 14 months

Clara turned 14 months on July 2nd! She is growing so fast and we are loving this stage of baby/toddler life. (I still call her my baby, but I know technically she is a toddler. How did that happen?)

Not too much has changed since last month except. . . .

SHE STARTED CRAWLING THIS MONTH!!! SO so so so proud of her!! She has worked so hard in OT over the last few months.

AND OFFICIALLY TRANSITIONED TO ONE NAP!!! She typically naps from 12-2:30 or 3pm. It is awesome. If she wakes too early in the AM then she will nap earlier around 11am-1:30pm or so. BEAUTIFUL!

Oh and started clapping!!! Cutest thing I have ever seen.

Other than that things are pretty similar to her 13 month update. Still no results from the EEG. No other major testing news/info to date. 

Here's a few pics of our cutie girl. . .

 Loves loves loves her piano. . . been a fav toy since she was 6 months old!

Her new thing is to crawl to the window and peek outside. . . especially fun when its raining!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Fear foods

Disclaimer: ED's are vast and complex, and cannot be summed up in cookie cutter fashion. Everyones story and experiences are different. While most who struggle with anorexia struggle greatly with the concept of fear foods, the information and ideas presented below are based on my story and my experience. 


Eating disorder patients often have a conviction and morbid fear that types or amounts of food will lead to instant and discernable weight gain. These may include any high-calorie items or groups of food such as fats, "junk food", or meat. Treatment aims to reintegrate these foods into the diet of the sufferer either gradually or, in the case of Maudsley/FBT, almost immediately. An integral part of the recovery process is developing a healthy relationship with food, eating and one's body; and this includes viewing food as neutral and fuel, not good or bad, safe or unsafe. (source)

When I was in the depths of my ED I had a fear food list that strung a mile long. 

Make that two miles long. 

To name a few: pizza, chips, ice cream, cookies/cakes/brownies/candy or basically any and all desserts, bread (unless it was the 40 cal/slice variety. . . gag me), cream based sauces and rich pastas, any drink that contained calories, french fries, high calorie salad dressing, donuts/cinnamon rolls etc, pancakes, hotdogs, bacon, mayo, certain Mexican food dishes such as Enchiladas, Lasagna, nachos, milk that was not skim, and basically any restaurant entree of which I was not able to scour the menu/calorie count prior to ordering... I think you get the idea. 

To someone who has never had an ED this concept might seem totally bizarre, but let me assure you foods such as these really do/can induce well. . . FEAR. Fear foods are REAL. 

When I first began recovery the thought of eating some of these foods made me want to cry and hide. And I did cry and hide. And I got mad. Many times. (Brandon had to leave me alone in front of the milk section at the store once. Because I could not bring myself to grab the 2% milk that my nutritionist was asking me to start drinking. . . true story. . . took me about 20 minutes to actually put the silly milk in my basket). But I knew I had to do it or else I would never have a healthy relationship with food ever again. 

I had to come to terms with the truth that there is no such thing as a GOOD or BAD food. I truly believe & embrace this concept now, but back then, not so much.

Yes, I understand and agree that there are healthy and unhealthy options, and none of us can/should eat anything and everything we want with abandon and keep our bodies strong and disease free, but for someone with an ED, eating well and having a normal relationship with food is about taking away negative food labels, and understanding that eating some french fries at lunch does not equal an automatic 25 lb weight gain. Eating well is about moderation, which for me means eating nachos one day is ok, and eating veggies and steamed chicken the next day is ok too. Moderation is the name of the game.

So for those of you who are working towards eating your fear foods again, here are a few things that worked for me. . . 

One fear food at a time - Incorporate one fear food at a time, not several at once. If you take on too much from the start, I guarantee you will get overwhelmed and give up. It's ok if it takes you a month to learn how to eat Bluebell again without having a panic attack. Once you get the Bluebell down, then pick another food from your list and start again.

And eat that fear food, in a small portion, at least twice a week - This is what my nutritionist and therapist suggested and it worked well for me. Don't go for 3 slices of pizza, just make it a goal to eat one slice, at least two times in one week. It's easier to desensitize yourself when what you're working with seems a bit more managable (vs. eating three slices of pizza every day for a week).

Accountability - Choose an accountability person that will ONLY encourage you. This is not the time for lectures or intensive questioning or guilt trips. You need someone who will sit there with you, as patient as can be, even if it takes two hours to finish a scary meal. 

Reward yourself - Come up with some type of reward system and celebrate your success. Every time I conquered one of my fear foods I treated myself to a manicure. :)

Two steps forward, one step back - Understand that set backs are part of the process. This is just the nature of recovery. There are still days (although praise God they are few and far between now) when I eat something that triggers some feelings of guilt and fear. It happens. It is normal. Don't expect perfection now or even years into your recovery. 

Your turn. . . What about you? Have you ever struggled with fear foods? If so, what helped you conquor your list? I'd love to hear from you! 

Have a great Monday! 

Friday, July 12, 2013

Weekend Links 7/12/13

Thanks for all of your congrats on our baby news! We are really excited and cannot wait to learn if we are having a baby girl or boy (and no, we don't care either way, we really don't). Hope you enjoy a few links for reading this weekend. There are some really good ones!

For When We Have to Wait - (in)courage "So next time we are forced to wait, for a child, for an ever-late husband, for a project or a venture to be born into existence, maybe we can rest in the waiting, knowing that it’s making us ready for the next thing." - Powerful message!
The time I spanked my daughter in the parking lot: or, parenting opinion vs. judgement - The Happiest Home (love the general message here that we can all have differing opinions regarding x, y or z, without actually judging one another).
That Time I was on the Today Show - Jen Hatmaker (I was able to catch her segment a few weeks ago. I thought she did a great job!)

Food and/or Recipes 
(Pizza, salad and warm, soft cookies seem to be my 1st trimester pregnancy foods of choice. Could eat homemade pizza and salad every. single. day.) 
Whole Wheat Pesto Pizza - Cait's Plate
Triple Berry Summer Salad - Iowa Girl Eats
Whole Wheat Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies - Eat, Live, Run

ED and/or Self Esteem
Resources for fathers and eating disorders -  Surviving Anorexia
The other side of hunger cues: fullness cues - ED Bites (As one who has recovered from an ED I can attest that the idea presented here is SO true!)
Eating Disorders Not Otherwise Specified - The Somethings Fishy Website on Ed's

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Proof that miracles can happen. . . twice

So this happened. . .

We just found out by home pregnancy test on 6/22 and confirmed via ultrasound at the Dr's office on 6/25 (when I was told I was already 10 weeks). 

I turned 12 weeks yesterday.

12 WEEKS!!!

100% unplanned.

No fertility treatments. At. All.

Like, we just had the conversation we would wait until Clara turned 2-2.5 yrs old before pursing an IVF transfer again. And now we will have two kids under age two. 

We. Are. Shocked.

(Baby at 10 weeks)

Because remember. . .  I'm not supposed to be able to get pregnant.

Not on my own.

Because I don't ovulate.

But apparently I did. Once.

And got pregnant the very. first. time.

(Baby at 12 weeks)

To say we are just a little excited is an understatement.

Feeling SO blessed. 

And we believe, 100%, without a doubt, that this little miracle is a precious gift from God himself. Words simply cannot describe the joy and gratitude we feel.

And here's some of the tests I took, because I was convinced I was reading them wrong, the second line was too faint etc. (I never had to use a home test with Clara).

 (These are from the Dollar Store so when I saw two lines I assumed they must be wrong because, hello, I bought them at the DOLLAR STORE.)

(Then I took two of these, because clearly the one above reads negative)

So there you have it. . . our little miracle in the works. 
Thanks for your prayers & support! So excited to share the fun news with you all! 

Monday, July 8, 2013

A lesson on grace. . . learned from one crazy night of toddler sleep

So last night. . .

Wait. That preface is not even close to accurate. More like this. . .

So yesterday. . .  the hours between 2pm - 2:30am were C. R. A. Z. Y.

Clara woke from her nap at 2pm acting 100% normal, happy, and energetic. The usual. And then the craziness set in. We are talking loud, uncontrollable tears, that all of our normal soothing techniques would not soothe. At first we thought her lip was hurting (she had scooted her way over to our side door window earlier in the day, lost her balance, and hit her face on the door while biting her lip at the same time which caused some blood and minor swelling). The tears kept coming, and coming, and coming, and she would have nothing to do with her milk, and only wanted to be held. We gave her a little bit of Tylenol to help take the edge off what I thought was an aching lip, and she basically cried so hard she eventually passed out in my arms from 4-5pm.

When she woke she seemed in slightly better spirits, so we decided to give her a bath (in Clara world a bath makes everything better) and feed her dinner. She lasted about an hour and then the crying started up again. Were not just talking fussing y'all, this was full fledged unconsolable cries, that are few and far between these days for our little girl. So we knew something was up.

To make a LOOOOONG story short, we finally got her in bed about 7:15pm, and she woke up every 45 minutes - 1 hour after that, until about 2:30pm, crying out in pain. We tried everything. Rocking, pacing the halls, bringing her in our bed, trying to give her milk. . . everything. We were able to calm her after each episode, get her back to sleep, and pray that she would stay down, only to be awakened by her poor ear piercing cries a few minutes later.

During one of those episodes, as I was rocking my sweet girl, saying a little prayer over her that this time would be the time she would settle down, God hit me with this. . .

"This pattern, sequence of behavior, is a lot like you, ya know? Time and time again you cry out to me and come to me with your hurt, pain, problems, behaviors, and every time I show you grace. Every time I scoop you up, hold you close, and pray that this time will be the last time you fall back into old ways. But no matter how many times you fall, I'm still here, waiting to scoop you back up again. Because I love you. Because I'm your Father. Because I give you grace."

Ummmmm Wow.

Nothing like THAT at 1:00am.

But it's so true. Isn't it? I always heard people say, and now know to be true, that being a parent gives one an entirely new insight to God's love, grace, compassion, and forgiveness towards us.

So while I in no way hope we repeat the events of yesterday, I thank God for the way He continues to teach and mold me, even in the wee hours of the morning.

Have you ever experienced something similar? What lesson is God teaching you today?

(And P.S. it wasn't the lip after all, it was all gas, which was really special) :)

Friday, July 5, 2013

Weekend Links 7/5/13

Hope you all had a nice 4th of July holiday. We did and like I usually say on any holiday, I could sure get used to having Brandon around everyday. Ha! We got Shipley's Donuts for breakfast, took Clara to the pool, all three took an afternoon nap, and then grilled out BBQ Chicken for dinner in our backyard. Pretty perfect if you ask me! Anyways, here's a few links for browsing. . . enjoy! 

When You Wish That Relationship Looked Different - (in)courage "It is never too late for Jesus to move. Nothing is too far gone. We may not see healing at work on this earth, but we trust the Healer at work." - Love that!
Curing the fatherless epidemic - Simple Mom
What I want you to know about having multiple miscarriages - RATM
HomeFries - Have y'all heard about this website that offers lots of great podcasts, on a variety of topics?   I like to listen to these when I am cleaning or doing other random tasks around the house. 

ED and/or Self Esteem
When your mother says she's fat - The Daily Life
Eating disorder independence - Libero Network via Surviving Anorexia
So Long, Insecurity - Teen Edition - Living Proof Ministries Blog

Food and/or Recipes
Let's Talk America: BBQ Chicken Bread w/ bacon, cheddar & red onion - Buns In My Oven
Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas - Buns In My Oven
Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Doughnuts - The Brunette Baker (Are you kidding me???)
Peanut Butter Oreo Banana Bread - Something Swanky (Again, are you kidding me???)

The best red, white and blue outfit I could come up with :)

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

2013 goals, June roundup

How is it already July 3rd??? June went by before I even knew it was here! Geez! Ok, so I know these summaries are most likely boring you to death, but it is the only way I will remain accountable to myself so, sorry!

Restaurant Style Salsa - We have been making the Pioneer Woman's salsa at least once every two weeks. It is SO delicious and we pretty much put it on anything. We leave the cilantro out b/c well, cilantro is probably the nastiest taste in the world to me. :) This recipe makes a TON of salsa and works out to be much much cheaper than if you buy the jarred stuff from the store.

Strawberry Caprese Salad - Very good. A perfect summer salad.

Beef & Veggie Meatloaf - We made basically this recipe but added in some colored bell peppers for some extra veggies & vitamins. Pretty good!

Slow cooker burritos - Yum! We put these in corn tortillas but I'm sure it would be delicious with flour, as the recipe describes.

Donut Muffins - Do I really need to say anything more???

Psalm 4:8 "I lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety."

Psalm 130:5 "I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope."

Both of these scriptures in Psalm are so very encouraging to me. At the end of the day we can rest in peace, and feel hope, because regardless of what is going on in our lives, the Lord has our back. He is our safe place and thus we can wait patiently for him to fulfill the promises laid out in the scripture.

The Circle Maker - This book is awesome. I am working through it slowly, and enjoying every page.

Computer clean up & blogging - Well, I have kind of really fallen off the bandwagon with these two things but oh well. Such is life. We are in a busy season of life, so I am considering this month a win regardless!

Have a great day and enjoy the 4th of July! We are having a family day and will probably take Clara to the pool to avoid a heat stroke! Have I mentioned lately that Houston is hot? :)

Monday, July 1, 2013

On getting away

I spend this past weekend on Lake Travis with five of my best college girlfriends (We missed you, Allison!). Most all of us left our babies/kids at home to enjoy some good quality girl time. And good quality girl time it was indeed.

We laughed.

Took walks.

Made some yummy meals.

Stayed up way too late reminiscing about college days.

Stayed up way too late discussing the love for our families, plans for the future, our personal strengths and weaknesses.

Asked for and received parenting advice.

Laughed. A lot.

Went to eat at a fancy pants restaurant that served things like Gnocchi and Pork Tenderloin, instead of chicken nuggets.

Opened up and shared our highs and lows over the past year.

It. Was. Amazing.

I love you, girls. Here's to eleven years of friendship. And may this friendship that we share continue to grow even stronger as the years pass us by. And let's never forget the beauty that is getting away from everyday life, spending time as just girls, and taking time to rejuvenate the soul.

Because that is what getting away is. . . rejuvenating for the soul.

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