Friday, July 31, 2009

The Waiting game... is over.

Well, no good news to report this month. It will be yet another month's wait, but that's okay. I am totally at peace with everything. It's still a little disappointing to get the negative test result, but, it's fine! I have a wonderful family and I'm very happy to be able to say that I know it will come in time. I know it will happen. I just need to stay focused on getting healthy and staying healthy so that I can have a better chance at getting pregnant in the next few months.

Until then, we'll keep trying!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


Well, I wanted to write a short little note to tell you that I have started knitting! I am so excited! I had bought some knitting needles and yarn a few months ago when I had decided I wanted to learn, and then forgot about them, as is often the case.

Two days ago I was looking for something and found the knitting needles and yarn and decided I would definitely learn. So, I went online and found a really good tutorial here: Mrs. Moskowitz' Knitting tutorial and started knitting a scarf with the very yarn I had bought all those months ago.

It's looking really good so far and I must say that I am really proud of myself for finally learning how to knit!

Years ago when I was a little girl, my grandmother who was a mast crocheter tried and tried to teach me, and all that would ever be produced was a long crocheted chain, and I would give up.

When I got pregnant two years ago, my brother-in-law, who has been crocheting for a while... he's straight and available... taught me how when I told him I wanted to make a baby blanket for the little boy I was expecting. Well, he taught me, and it was surprisingly easy, and the blanket, is still waiting to be finished... I had originally wanted it to be used during the baby's blessing, but it didn't happen. I got busy, the baby was born, and I just work on it still from time to time when I get bored. So, I have a little over 4 inches left to finish and it will be done!

Now, here I am with a new project started. The beautiful scarf I imagined I would wear last winter, and it is now about a 1/4 of the way finished, and I have started a new knitting project! I am making 100% cotton dish cloths! Yes, that's right, I now have three projects in the works.

So, because I have such a spastic brain I will make a list. Here it is:

1. Finish the baby blanket...maybe for my son's son? ha ha.
2. Finish my lovely scarf... in the next few weeks.
3. Finish a dish cloth before moving on to something else.

You see, I get bored very easily and so I always do this. It's not unusual for me to be reading two books at once either. When I watch television, I am one of those people who watches two shows at the same time. When one goes to commercial break, I flip over to the other channel to see what's happening there. One always takes precedent over the other, but I still do it much to the annoyance of my sweet husband.

So, this is why I have three projects going. When my hands and eyes get tired of crocheting (usually after one row!) I switch over to the scarf, when I get tired of that I'll switch to the dish cloth... when I get tired of that, believe it or not I have other unimportant things to occupy my mind and my hands. I'll draw a picture, or doodle a collage, or I'll scrapbook, or sew some project that has been waiting to be finished for a while... or I'll blog.

So, now that I've learned to knit, I want to learn how to do all kinds of stitches! I am really excited about it! (At least for now...)

I need to learn to focus, but I guess I won't take offense to being called a knit wit now... because I really am one! ha ha!

The Swine Flu and Vitamin D

I read a report recently that states that Vitamin D is one of the BEST ways to protect yourself from the flu... yes, even the Swine flu that everyone is so concerned about.

In fact, Vitamin D is one of the best things you can do for your body to PREVENT CANCER!!!

Vitamin D helps your body to absorb Calcium, and your body needs calcium also to ward off bone loss and osteoporosis.

So, go outside and soak up the rays (in healthy doses) because the sunshine helps our bodies to produce Vitamin D... not sure how, but it does!

Try to find foods that have naturally occurring vitamin D because the kind of vitamin D that you get in your daily vitamin isn't always a natural source, and your body may not be able to absorb it properly.

I hope this info is as valuable to you as it is to me!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Moms and Poops

Today, for the second morning in a row, my son has woken up 1-2 hours early screaming. I go in to his room, only to find POOP(!) dripping down his legs and puddling on the sheets below. Of course, he can't help but jump up and down when he's in his crib, so you can imagine the mess...

I don't know what he's been eating differently. I really can not recall anything out of the ordinary in the last two days that would have caused such a runny mess. I especially can't think of anything different that he's had right before bed. I don't know, maybe he's sick.

Being sick could be a possibility because the child touches everything and lately is always sucking on his fingers, (something I think he picked up in Nursery from one of the other children).

The only thing that somewhat debunks this theory is that he isn't acting sick. He's laughing and jumping and has a ton of energy.

I have discovered that as you become a mother poop just becomes something you get used to. It's just an everyday occurrence kind of like, laundry. You don't like to deal with it, but it's there, and if you don't take care of it the pile will only get bigger.

Yesterday morning, I tried my best not to get poop on me when I carried him from his bed to the tubby for a washing, but alas, after he was in the tubby splashing around I looked in the mirror, only to find poop smeared across my chest. Now, instead of panicking and running around crying and waving my arms spastically because a speck of poop has touched my skin, I calmly grabbed some toilet paper, wiped it, soaped my chest a little and rinsed it off and went about my daily business.

Just another day in mommyhood.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Gluten-free Chocolate-Coconut bars!

So, I am in LOVE with this blog called, Karina's Kitchen, which you can find on the left hand side of my blog under, "BLOGS I LOVE!!!" It is so wonderful. This lady has so many food allergies, and she has made these DELICIOUS recipes (I think there are over 400!!) that are gluten free, vegan, and completely divine!

When I started this whole gluten free thing a while ago, I was really concerned that I would have to stick to veg and rice and meats... anyone who knows me well, knows of my serious (I mean, SERIOUS) addiction to breads and pasta and sweet things. I was really upset at the thought of an empty breadbox.

Well, then I found gluten free flours that do the job of curbing my carb fix, but really are NOT the same at eating delicious whole wheat and white flour...

I have made gluten free bread, and pancakes, and pizza, and cookies, but like I said, it's just NOT the same, and may I be so bold, specialty stuff is EXPENSIVE!!!

So, we've pretty much gone without, and today my husband really finally told me how much he misses bread and sandwiches. You see, he is NOT allergic to gluten, as my son and I are, and he has had to do without purely because we have. Poor guy!

I stumbled on this blog, Karina's Kitchen and I just absolutely was amazed at how WELL she was eating and maintaining her gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, meat free lifestyle. The pictures of the cakes and the brownies and the cookies and the breads and the delicious looking meals she makes was just too tempting to pass up.

So, I tried my hand at her chocolate-coconut bars and let me tell you, they were DELICIOUS!

I substituted the tapioca/potato starch and the rice/sorghum flour and the xanthan gum in this recipe with Bob's Red Mill Gluten-free All purpose flour and it worked awesome! I am sure if you don't have gluten problems, dairy aversions or are not a vegan, you can use plain all purpose flour, regular chocolate chips and regular applesauce and milk and it would be just as delicious!

Vegan Coconut Bars Recipe

Chill before eating for best texture. or go the other route and zap in the microwave briefly to melt the chocolate chips. Life is short.

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease an 8x8-inch baking pan with vegan shortening. Dust with a bit of gluten-free flour.

Whisk together dry ingredients:

1/3 cup coconut flour
2/3 cup rice flour or sorghum flour
1/3 cup tapioca or potato starch
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

In a separate bowl, beat to combine:

2/3 cup organic brown sugar
1/4 cup organic unsweetened applesauce
2 1/2 teaspoons bourbon vanilla
1 tablespoon agave
1/4 cup light olive oil
1/4 cup warm vanilla hemp, coconut or rice milk, more as needed

When the wet mixture is smooth, slowly add in the dry ingredient mix and beat just until combined.

Add in by hand:

2/3 cup shredded coconut- sweetened or not
1/2 cup vegan semi-sweet chocolate chips

Dump the batter into the prepared baking dish and spread it evenly. Sprinkle on extra chocolate chips if you like (and press them gently into the top).

Bake in the center of a pre-heated oven until the batter is set and slightly golden brown - anywhere from 22 to 30 minutes, depending upon altitude (at high altitude these took almost 35 minutes to bake). The surface should be slightly firm, like a blond brownie (if a finger touch leaves a dent, bake a tad longer).

Cool completely on a wire rack; chill before cutting and wrapping for storage.

These bars are moist and chewy, and are best eaten chilled. Hot from the oven they fall apart.

Makes 15 cookie bars.

Read more:

I hope so much that you like these if you try them, because WE REALLY REALLY DID!!!



The waiting game...

As you may know... well, if you're reading this, you are probably a close friend or family member so you probably do... My husband and I are trying once again to have a baby.

Now, technically we've been trying since I stopped breastfeeding, but if you have read my older posts, you know that I've had, problems since then. So, honestly, it's only really been the last two months that we've been trying.

I hope very much that it works this month, but I am trying to stay very focused on the decision I came to last month that I am putting it in God's hands and trying to stay positive through my struggles. I don't know if I will have the opportunity to announce good news this month, but I hope very much that I will. It would be really fun to be able to say, "I'M PREGNANT!" But, for now, I am doing my best to remain calm and at peace...

So, the wait has begun and now it's a matter of time before we know if all our efforts in the,, baby making department have paid off this month.

The waiting game sucks, because I hate not knowing what is going on, but I guess patience is something I really need to work on!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Time outs

So, recently I've been trying to be diligent in giving constructive discipline to my almost-two-year-old. He is at the age where he is constantly pushing buttons, and when his favorite word is, of course, "NO!"

When he gets mad, we try to talk it out. When that doesn't work, and he starts throwing things out of frustration, we move on to time out. This involves sitting him on the stairs while I sit with him and talking about what he did and why it wasn't a good choice.

He is still learning, and so am I, but I must say that time out works at least for a few minutes... until the next throwing episode, when we have to start all over again!

Just a side note...

Today we went to a store with a $10 gift card and we picked out two cars from the movie CARS. He loves Chick for some reason... Anyway, we got them for free basically... and today when we got home he got upset (he hadn't had his nap yet) and threw Chick across the room. I immediately took Chick away from him and walked him to the stairs and explained that we don't throw Chick when we are upset, because we should talk about why we are upset, and what we need.

Since then, he has been walking around waving his arm as if throwing something and saying, "DON'T CHICK!"

I just thought it was funny.

Herbs and Such...

Some of you may know that I have been experiencing hormonal problems since I stopped breastfeeding a year ago.

I wanted to see if I could take care of the problem naturally and in so doing, turned to herbs.

Now, before I continue, I want to explain how I became the person who tends to stray from Allopathic medicine and veer strongly towards NATURAL alternatives.

Let me take you back to 2005...April to be exact. My grandfather had just passed away and my husband and I decided to start trying to have a baby. I went anxiously to the most respected OB/GYN in my area and was met with mixed news.

I had PCOS, or Poly-Cystic-Ovarian-Syndrome. While it was music to my ears to finally have a name to the problems I had been experiencing most of my life, the news that followed made my heart sink fast.

It would be difficult (at best) to get pregnant. He immediately put me on Glucophage which is a drug that helps insulin resistance in PCOS patients. The drug gave me stomach cramps and nausea, and I had to take them every day.

Then came the surgery. Pretty easy for surgeries, but invasive all the same. The laproscopic surgery found traces of endometriosis and my right ovary almost completely hardened due to the PCOS. So, again, news was not good.

I then went on painful injections of a drug called ZOLODEX which forces your body in to menopause for a month at a time in order to "calm down" my ovaries. The shots were awful, and I endured 3 of them. The after effects of the shots were HORRENDOUS! Hot flashes, mood swings, depression, anxiety... and I won't even go in to the side effects of the hormone replacement drugs he put me on!

Finally, the light at the end of the tunnel, after a year of this preparation, I was put on clomid... to no effect. I didn't ovulate, and infact, after the dose was upped to 150 mg, my ovaries started showing signs of "hyper stimulation" which, essentially, could have ended in a complete HYSTERECTOMY!

I was devastated. I felt like there was nowhere else to go. Finally, I prayed about it and felt without a shadow of a doubt that this was not the answer for me. I needed to seek alternative routes.

So, I turned to a friend of ours who happens to be a FANTASTIC chiropractor. After explaining things to her, she told me that chiropractics can actually help some people with infertility problems. I was floored. Heavenly Father had led me directly to the person and route I needed to take.

I started going twice a week, and my periods started to regulate, but I still hadn't ovulated. Then, life got in the way and over four months went by and I hadn't seen the chiropractor. In those four months, I also didn't have a period at all.

Finally, I went crawling back because I had sprained my low back at work, and started on a three times a week regimen. Within 2 weeks, I had a normal, painless period, and within a month I was pregnant!

Nine months later, I had my son, and I can honestly say that after TWO YEARS of trying, the wait was worth it. I love that little boy more every single day. And everytime I look at him, I am reminiscent of what I endured to get him here.

Now, back to the present... let me remind you again what this post started out about...

After I stopped breastfeeding my son, (about a year ago) I have been on my period almost every single day since.

So, instead of turning to a regular OB/GYN (much to the chagrin of friends and family) to be given artificial hormones, I turned to herbs.

I started taking herbs to regulate hormones, and thyroid function. I was immediately a new person. My period problem was still there, but I was feeling happy again, and I was more energetic and nicer, (my husband was eternally grateful for that one).

So, after about 4 months of this, I felt I needed more. I did my own research and came up with a formula to help stop all this period nonsense.

I started it on the first day of period (I had had a short break) and after one week on it, my period was over, and it hasn't come back!!! (I must note that it has only been a week and a half. But, after what I've been going through, this is a miracle, and I am sure my period will come back again... at the scheduled time!)

I can't tell you how wonderful it feels to know that through hard work and perserverance I was able to find my own solution to a very big problem I was having!

It is nice to feel self-sufficient, and I just wanted to write a little something about my advocation of herbs and natural alternative solutions. You can leave a comment if you would like to find out what I used, (if any of you are experiencing, or know someone who is experiencing the same problem).

Much love,

By the way, I am in no way trying to tell anyone that they shouldn't trust their doctors, or try to diagnose any problems with herbs, I am simply stating what has worked for me. I also want to say that I feel there needs to be a balance between western medicine and natural medicine. I don't think it should be ALL of one or the other. But, I do feel that there are alternatives to the doors shut in our faces by doctors. It is up to you to search out all of your options! If you have any questions, please feel free to ask away!

The challenge of being me

Recently, I posted this on my facebook account, and I wanted to re-post it here so that I don't forget the valuable lessons that I am learning, and the beautiful epiphany that I experienced only a few weeks ago.

I need constant reminding of why trials happen, because I am forever getting hung up on the here's and now's of things.

In the eternal perspective, these "hard times" are only a minute fraction of my life.

Here is the post:

Peace comes...

Through trials and struggles, I have often asked “Why me?” Who hasn’t, really?
I look at our bank account, a meager income for three people, and see it shrivel every two weeks when bills are due, and rent is due, and I think, “If only someone could give us everything we need while we’re going through school, so we wouldn’t have to worry about it anymore.”
When I look at the scale and see barely any difference, or perhaps, a difference in the wrong direction, I often think, “If only I could eat whatever I want and never have to worry about this. If only I were one of the ‘lucky ones’ who stayed thin regardless of what she ate, and actually LIKED exercising.”
When we decide as a family that we want children, and the months and years go by and we cannot conceive, and I cry and think, “Why us? We are good people. We would never hurt our children. Why do we struggle with this and others do not? Why can’t we be fortunate enough to be able to plan our family like other people can? Why are we denied this most precious desire of our hearts? Why do we have to endure such heartbreak month after month?”
I often think these things. This last week I really thought I was pregnant. We have been trying for about 9 months now, and just as it was last time when we were trying for Ezra, test after test is negative and the fear that this will again be a difficult task looms in our hearts. This last week was different, because I actually felt different. I could feel things happening in my body, and even though I tried not to get my hopes up, when I took that test, I was convinced we were expecting, and so was Bryan.
The devastation that consumed me yesterday was horrible. Not because I wasn’t pregnant, but because I realized again that this is again going to be a struggle, and I don’t know if I’m strong enough to make it through this time. A person can only handle so much.
So, last night I was crying and telling Bryan everything I was feeling, and he said, “At least we know the good from the bad.”
That got me thinking, and I said a very heartfelt prayer to my Heavenly Father thanking him for these struggles that we go through. I thanked him sincerely for not giving me everything, and allowing us to struggle and feel the immense pain of disappointment, and allowing us to feel also, the IMMENSE relief and joy of finally getting what we want.
I have so much appreciation for Heavenly Father giving me the gift of sacrifice and hardship because I do feel that I am a stronger person for having to endure these pains through out my life.
It is hard, and going through these struggles I often forget that I should be grateful. I often cry, “Why me?” But sometimes I think, shouldn’t I be asking, “Why not me?” I am truly blessed because of these things in my life. Because we must sacrifice entertainment because Bryan is the only one working, I get to stay home and raise Ezra. I get to be a stay at home mother, and I am truly and forever grateful for that.
Because I have struggled with weight my entire life, I can empathize with others and be less critical and judgmental of those who struggle with it too. I can be more accepting of people of all sizes who feel insecure and criticized and be a friend to those who really need it. For that, I am grateful because there are so many wonderful people out there that would be overlooked if I didn’t have this attitude of love and acceptance towards them. I know in my heart that the reason I can look beyond that is because of my own struggles in life. I know that if it were not for the attitude I have developed that I would miss out on wonderful relationships in my life, and wouldn’t I be the one suffering for that?
Because I struggle to become a mother, I can better help others with the same problem. I can offer a shoulder to cry on if they need it, or advice that helps me if that is what they desire, or simply be the one and only person they feel they can turn to because they know I have been down that hard and rocky path. What is better than helping others? No one should feel alone and if I can be the person that sincerely cares when people need an ear to listen, or an open heart to ease their own suffering, why shouldn’t I be grateful for being able to offer someone that?
So what if I have to struggle for a little while. So what if things are hard. When things get easy, even if it is only for a short period of time, I can look at my current situation and say to myself, “The struggle was worth it.”
Ezra was worth the wait, and I know our next child will be too. Bryan was worth the wait… after all the awful relationships I had before him. I know that when we finally are finished with school and we can feel safe and secure knowing we have enough money to provide for our family, and maybe a little extra to ease someone else’s burdens, it will have been worth the struggle we have now. I know that when I do lose this weight for good, I will be so much more thankful than I would if it just came easily.
After all, how can we know the sweet if we have not tasted the bitter?
I wish anyone reading this all the blessings in this world that Heavenly Father can give… even if at the time we don’t see them as blessings. Keep your head up and smile through the tears because in the end, it’s worth it… I promise!
Love, Susan

The smell of dirty diapers lingers in the air

My husband doesn't believe in the diaper genie, and so we use just a plain old trash can. I must say it is cheaper to use a plain old trash can, but however inexpensive it might be, the smell of poopy diapers that lingers long after the actual diaper change has taken place can be, somewhat, distracting.

In my own words...

The reason for this new blog is journaling. I want to write down what is happening in my life, and it is so much easier to me, to do it this way than to pull out my journal and hand write everything!

I chose the title of this blog, because that's really what blogs are about- How we sustain ourselves. Whether it's personal thoughts, our family, the food we eat, the experiences we have, it is all part of what keeps us going!

So, in short, this blog is about me, only me, and nothing but me... of course, I wouldn't be me without family, dear friends, good times, bad times and, obviously, food.

If you're still interested, sit back and enjoy, (or don't enjoy, just sit back and kill time) while reading all my innermost thoughts and feelings, along with occasional inspirational quotes, soap box politics, bouts of depression, mingled with the latest gluten-free recipe attempts, and a dash of laughter.

Oh yeah, and just for kicks and giggles, I might throw in a funny youtube video every once in a while.

This is my life!