Et Tu, ZPak??

WARNING: This post may…probably…OKAY FINE. DOES! contain whining.

Mama done got the plague.

From you. And you.

Trap had it. Over in 36 hours.

What's that virus?  You want a piece of this?  Yeah...I didn't think so.

What’s that, virus? You want a piece of this? Yeah…I didn’t think so.

Purple got it. Not over in 36 hours. Turned into pneumonia with a side of wicked ear infection.

"Thanks for waiting 4 days to take me to the doctor. Chapter 2 of my book, ma.  Chapter 2."

“Thanks for waiting 4 days to take me to the doctor. Chapter 2 of my book, Ma. Chapter 2.”

Of course it should come as no shock that after a solid week and a half of being drooled, crawled and chewed on by small sick creatures…it was my turn. Seriously. It was like living with spider monkeys. Not the cute, eats tiny treats out of your hand kind. The poop flinging, Ebola kind.

Cue the runny nose. The cough. The mucus. THE MUCUS. Oh the humanity! I thought I was detoxing from the juicing. I was not. Or maybe that made everything worse?? Who knows. And at that point, who cares?!

Tuesday morning I made my way to my doctor to check for a sinus infection. It was either a sinus infection or someone had punched me in the face and my teeth were about to fall out. She wrote me a prescription for a ZPak but told me to hold off on it since my immune system was already compromised from the steroids. Which I totally agreed with because I know that sinus infections can heal on their own. I also had my follow up appointment with my naturopathic doctor and she gave me a natural treatment so I started that.

(BTW everything a naturo prescribes is very fun to say as if you are casting a spell…especially if you say it very Monty Python-ish…KALI BICH KALI BICH KALI BICH!)

(I swear in the name of all that is holy I will write about the naturopathic doctor. It’s just hard to get it down properly.)

Remember the days when you could be sick and crawl under a blanket on the couch where you could alternate sleeping and watching bad daytime television? And you would wake up all sweaty and surrounded by gross tissues and NyQuil bottles and boxes of crackers and half empty mugs of soup? And then you would just fall right back to sleep. Remember?? Yeah…me neither. Sounds dreamy though.

If you watch The Walking Dead you know that a gun shot makes all of the zombies stop and head in that direction. The exact same thing happens when a sick mother hits the couch. Small, hungry creatures gravitate towards you.

Ohhh...you give the KIDS the NyQuil...NOW I get it...

Ohhh…you give the KIDS the NyQuil…NOW I get it…

Small, active boys are NOT good nurses. And leaving them to their own devices for days at a time only results in cranky, bored and restless kids.

These were placed beside me when I tried to close my eyes for a few minutes.  A warning?

These were placed beside me when I tried to close my eyes for a few minutes. A warning?

So to keep them busy we tried:

THIS DOESN'T LOOK LIKE REGULAR APPLE JUICE!  AND IT'S TOO NOISY!

Juicing. “THIS DOESN’T LOOK LIKE REGULAR JUICE FROM THE STORE!”

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Making crackers. A sharp blade in a food processor should keep them occupied, right?

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Watching crackers bake. FYI…they are arguing over which cracker is the biggest freakazoid. For real. Freakazoid??

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Yeah…not a good idea.

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2 seconds after this picture was taken they were wrestling in chicken salad.

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Best. Idea. Ever.

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Second best idea ever.

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Rocking Chair Races! Mama can sit!

Oh are you SITTING DOWN, Mom??  Excellent...you have made yourself into an excellent jungle gym...

Oh are you SITTING DOWN, Mom?? Excellent…you have made yourself into an kid approved jungle gym…

IMG_3707

And finally…a trip to the zoo. Where I saw the greatest donor gift ever. When I die, please please adopt a GIGANTIC pig in my name. You can see her up in the upper left…greatness.

Guess what? Despite all of that resting (ha ha) I did not get better. Did you know that a sinus infection can get so bad that the pain can radiate down your jaw and into your shoulder. Causing you to think that you are having a 3am heart attack? Nope. Neither did I. The next morning I had another doctor’s appointment and he suggested that I fill the prescription because he suspected that I had bronchitis as well.

So I gave in and filled it. And guess what?

In my new weird body reality…I am now allergic to ZPaks. Welts. Swollen throat (scary) and worst of all…the vasculitis came back. My doc took me off of the ZPak immediately and prescribed me ammoxicillin. Which I was too chicken to take.

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I’m not going to lie. This whole thing took me down down down down to a yucky place. To have that craptacular vasculitis on its way to being under control and then to see it spiral back again so quickly…blah. It made me feel like maybe I was imagining that my vasculitis had gotten better. Like maybe it was just a fluke and all of the changes and juicing had nothing to do with it.

Of course it did NOT help to have sick kids. And then to be sick. Everything just kind of goes to hell. It’s hard to eat as healthy. You’re all stuck in the house. The disgusting house because let’s be honest…you’re exhausted and your sinus infected face hurts too much to bend over to pick up toys/clothes/sippies/kids. And then the day you suck up being sick and pack everyone up and go to the zoo you get there and realize that the humidity level is 7000% and you spend the next 2 hours with tiny children wilting beside you saying “I’m hooooooooot…it’s hooooooooot…” and all you want to do is yell, “I KNOW!! IT’S DISGUSTING OUT HERE! MOMMY IS HOT TOO!!” and maybe put them both in headlocks in your gross, stinky armpits as you carry them out to the car but you don’t because you know the reward when you get home will be 2 children so whupped that they will not move for the next 3 hours so instead of going home you take them on the ZOO TRAIN which is SO lame that it’s awesome. It’s SO lamely awesome that you could charge $20 a ride and the hipsters would eat it up. The zoo train does not take you past animals. Oh no. The zoo train takes you past…I don’t even know how to describe it…weird faded things cut out of plywood.

My kingdom to whoever (whomever?) can tell me what in the hell that red thing is up at the top right??

My kingdom to whoever (whomever?) can click on this picture and tell me what in the hell that pink thing is up at the top right??

It's a faded frog.  In an old bathtub.  My kids flip for it.  I'm going home and throwing out all of their toys.

It’s a faded frog. In an old bathtub. My kids flip for it. I’m going to go home and throw out all of their toys.

But enough about the best zoo ever. (Seriously…it is. It’s a rescue and rehabilitation zoo.)

Throughout all of this mess, I just kept juicing. And kept juicing. And I keep on juicing. Beets. Kale. Spinach. Carrots. Apples. Pineapples. Grapefruit. Beet greens. Oranges.

And wouldn’t you know it. I’m making that vasculitis my bitch again. That’s right. I said it. That vasculitis can suck it. It’s fading so fast again. I showed my rheum today and told him about the juicing. He said, “Well who knows! Just keep doing it! It certainly can’t hurt!” I have a follow up appointment with him in 2 weeks and I told him to ‘PREPARE TO BE AMAZED!!’ He said he was looking forward to it. Oh no, good doctor…the pleasure will be all mine!!

And when I kill this vasculitis? I’m buying it a donor pig at the zoo.

Take Off Your Pants And Do A Happy Dance!

You should see my kitchen.  It’s kind of awesome.  I’ve got yogurt cooking, kombucha brewing, juice a’juicin’, chicken stock brewing, and a freezer full of whey.

In other words…I’m losing my damn mind.

But.

It’s the one thing I’M able to control right now.  I don’t know what my body will do on any given day.  I can’t make the swelling in my face and stomach go down.  But I can do everything in my power to make sure that everything I’m putting in my body right now is helping me heal.

AND ON THAT NOTE….

LET’S DO THAT MOTHER RUNNING HAPPY DANCE!

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BECAUSE…

Guess whose vasculitis looks AWESOME??

THIS GIRL!

Guess who is down to 40mg of steroids a day?

THIS GIRL!

My vasculitis was SO bad on Thursday night that I was in tears.  I had planned to run up to my doctor on Friday to beg for a steroid shot because I didn’t know what to do.  My upper thighs were blood red and throbbing.  But they weren’t any worse on Friday morning so I decided to hold out.  And started juicing 3x a day.

Guess what I found out?  Dark leafy greens are vital for vascular health.  Guess what I’ve been juicing 3x a day?  Dark leafy greens – mainly kale. (And that one unfortunate cabbage juice experiment…)

Is the juice the reason for the improvement?  I don’t know and I certainly don’t care.  Maybe it will all flare back up again tomorrow.  But then again…maybe it won’t.

It’s just awesome.  And I wanted to share.

xoxo

Say Uncle! Say It!

Oh hello there.  How nice of you to join me this evening.  What’s that?  What’s that in my hand?  IS THAT FOOD??

Yes.  Yes it is.

Today on Facebook I announced that ‘Today would be the first day of my 10 day juice fast!’  By 11:45 I was dipping red peppers in hummus.   Oops.

So what happened?  Well…a friend gently pointed out that with the high doses of meds I’m on, I probably shouldn’t be doing an unsupervised cleanse.

True.  But before she even called me I had decided that I was going to eat along with the juicing.  Why?  Well, a couple of reasons.  First up…I’m weak as a kitten.  I made my first juice at 9ish.  By 9:30 I was clutching my french press and weeping while seriously considering licking the yogurt and honey off of Trapezoid’s face.

Why. Don't. You. Just. Try.

Why. Don’t. You. Just. Try. It.

Quel dramatic, no?

But seriously, I forgot how weirdly hungry the steroids make you.  And also…I may have some food attachment issues.  And alllllso…who cares.  Really.  The foods I’m eating are so great right now, what does it matter if I eat a giant kale salad on top of the juice?  Or a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup?  Uh yeah…that happened today.  I ain’t gonna lie.  That thing was de-freaking-licious.

I don’t want to lose weight.  Well, I’d like to lose the face but that isn’t going to happen until I’m off the ‘roids…June 21st but who’s counting? 😉

Am I embarrassed that I made a big declaration and then didn’t stick to it?  I was.  For about 5 minutes.  But I promised myself when I started this blog that I would be TOTALLY honest about this process.  I’m not going to Instagram it.  So yes, juice cleanse fail.  I got scared and frustrated with the horrific vasculitis and the sore knees and I made a rash decision.  (Get it?  ‘RASH’ decision…oh Danielle…you SLAY me!)  But that’s okay.  I want to succeed at being healthy and I think going a little easier works better for me.

I’m still going to juice 3 times a day.  I actually LIKE the way it tastes and I don’t like juice.  It’s Micronutrientastic!  This morning I did carrots/grapefruit/kale/apple.  Awesome.  Then I was still hungry so I tried beet/carrot/apple/kale.  Really good.

Trap gave it zero thumbs up. “I no like this juice!”

Then for dinner I got schooled by the juicer.  I tried beet/cucumber/carrot/kale…and CABBAGE!  What???  Why??  That was a black belt juicer move that I had no right doing.  The juicer Karate Kidded me.  Flicked me right on the nose.  It was SO gross!!  Thank goodness I threw an apple in there at the last minute.  Kyle bravely downed the whole glass (but took a moment to gasp as he finished the glass “The end is the hardest part!”).  Purple tried it and let me know that it tasted like coffee.  I’m not sure if that’s better or worse than his last ‘green bones’ juice review.  Which BTW would make an excellent name for a juice company. (TRADEMARK TRADEMARK TRADEMARK!)

Girl...I'ma bitch slap your taste buds.

Girl…I’ma bitch slap your taste buds.

Also…beets get messy.  It looked like an episode of Dexter in my kitchen.

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FYI your pee will be the same color. TMI? OMG!

On this note, I wanted to share some great recipes we’ve been trying.

This kale salad.  Did you know if you just massage raw kale it breaks down and makes an amazing salad?  I am loosey goosey with this recipe…I’ve never used squash in it, I just add extra beets and throw on some chia seed, ground flax and avocado.  And what the hell is a satsuma?!  I don’t know.  So I use oranges.  I also double the dressing when I make it since we go through it so fast.

Original recipe here:

http://www.veganricha.com/2013/03/roasted-acorn-beet-satsuma-salad-with.html

I like a nice massage and long walks on the beach.

I like a nice massage and long walks on the beach.

This broccoli salad rocks my world.  The key is using the slicer disk on your food processor!  “But I don’t HAVE a food processor!” you say.  Get one.  Get to the store and get your ass a food processor.

The first time I made it, I almost ate the whole thing in one sitting.  Yes, that’s 2 giant bundles of broccoli.  So the second time I made it I went overboard (gasp! shock! surprise!) and made twice as much (see ridiculously giant bowl of broccoli below).  But I forgot an ingredient in the dressing.  So it was bland and I was stuck eating copious amounts of it for the week.  BUT…if you make it right…swoon!

Original not messed up recipe: http://smittenkitchen.com/blog/2009/05/broccoli-slaw/

Mmmm gassy!

Mmmm gassy!

Chicken in the crock pot.  I was traumatized by my horrific, skin crawling experience of pulling all of the skin off of a whole, raw chicken. (Skinless, headless baby.  I swear.)  So now I just throw the whole thing in there, sprinkle with salt and pepper and turn it on high for about 5 hours.  THEN I pull off the skin.  Then I strip the meat, throw the bones back in the crock pot with some carrots, onions, smashed garlic and bay leaves and turn it on low overnight.  I am overrun with chicken stock in my freezer but since we cook all of our rice, lentils, quinoa and beans in stock it’s getting used up.  And hello money saver because store bought stock adds up!

I know...strain it.

I know…strain it.

The chicken we use wherever but my absolute FAVORITE is this knock off recipe for Whole Foods Chicken Sonoma Salad.  You know the one with the grapes and pecans?  I’ve tried subbing greek yogurt for the mayo but sometimes a girl just needs a nice, fatty chicken salad.

Original recipe here:  http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/sonoma-chicken-salad

These slow roasted tomatoes.  They will CHANGE YOUR LIFE!  No.  Well they will TASTE REALLY GOOD!  They literally melt in your mouth.  You can blend them up and use them as a sauce or mix them in with your grains or put them on sandwiches or you can catch your husband standing over the dish with a fork and eating all of them and you can stab your husband with the fork and go to jail but you’ll always have the memories of the lovely, rich tomatoes to keep you warm at night.  Well, tomato memories and Fat Marge.  Good luck in the Big House.

'Big deal' you say.  I'll take your apology later.

‘Big deal’ you say. I’ll take your apology later.

Cook’s Illustrated blocks you from seeing the recipe so I’ll just tell you.

Heat that oven up to 325 degrees.  Thinly slice 4-6 cloves of garlic.  Pour a bunch of olive oil in the bottom of a baking dish.  Scatter half of the garlic.  Slice tomatoes about a 1/2 inch thick.  You really want a nice, thick slice.  Romas work great for this but I just use the most affordable organic I can find.  Place them in the pan.  Scatter the other half of the garlic and pour on a bunch more oil.  Sprinkle with salt.  Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours.  Kick your husband out of the house.  Remove from oven.  Eat them all.  Don’t be afraid to use lots of oil.  I reserve it to cook with or it’s a great bread dip.

Snacks…this coconut oil bark is amaaaazing!  I’ll give you the recipe I start with but I change it up.  I use honey, raw cacao powder, throw in cacao nibs, chia seeds, a ton of toasted almonds and toasted coconut flakes and right before I stick it in the freezer I sprinkle it with sea salt.  Even Kyle likes it.  Which makes me sad because that means he eats it.  (Yes.  I’ve said it already.  Food issues.)

Original recipe here:  http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2012/03/afternoon-snackchocolate-bark-made-with.html

The secret's in the salt!

The secret’s in the salt!

And stove top popcorn sprinkled with nutritional yeast.  Do you know about nutritional yeast?  Good for you!  And has this great nutty, cheesy flavor. When I make the kids’ pasta I let them sprinkle it on there and they call it cheese noodles.  Works for me.

From WikiWikiWhat!O’Pedia:

On average, 2 tablespoons provides 60 calories with 5 g of carbohydrates (of which 4 g is fiber). A serving also provides 9 g of protein and is a complete protein, providing all nine amino acids the human body cannot produce. It is also a source of selenium and potassium. While fortified and unfortified nutritional yeast both provide iron, the fortified yeast provides 20 percent of the recommended daily value, while unfortified yeast provides only 5 percent. Unfortified nutritional yeast provides from 35 to 100 percent of all of the B vitamins, except for B12. Fortified nutritional yeast adds 150 percent of vitamin B12 and 720 percent of riboflavin.

But mostly we’ve just been eating…better.  Like this was breakfast for dinner.  Normally that would have been bacon and eggs but now we throw greens in with every meal.  And those roasted tomatoes.  And avocado on toast…and man I want to get up and eat right now but it’s 12:46am and I won’t I won’t I won’t.  Maybe.

I literally want to go make this to eat right now.

Lame pic…not a food photog.  Obviously.

And let me leave you with this.  These potatoes were lame-o.  If you have a Pinterest account then you’ve seen these things 100 times.  I finally made them.  Meh.  First off…what a whupping.  Secondly, you have the get in between every slice with the oil.  Thirdly…am I the only person that can’t correctly cook a sweet potato to save her life??  AT LEAST AN HOUR!  Why can’t I remember that??  Maybe you had better luck?  Maybe you used a striped paper straw to drink Tiffany blue lemonade out of a mason jar while you whipped up a Pinterest perfect version of these potatoes?  If so…kudos to you.  Now go untie your kids and let them eat dinner.

Hope you like lots of cutting for lame eats!

Hope you like lots of cutting for lame eats!

I’m forgetting stuff…I made hummus (so good) and crackers…yes…homemade crackers.  That I can’t eat.  I’ve officially lost the plot.  And so much more but I can’t remember.

I hope this post wasn’t too food boring for you.  I tried stuff (juicing), I failed at stuff (exclusively juicing), I ate a Reese’s Peanut Butter cup (that’s fail/win).  I juiced a freaking cabbage.  I think we all know what category that falls under.

So juice.  Or don’t juice.  But whatever you do…just don’t piss off Fat Marge.

Get That Zombie A Martini

Guess what tomorrow is?? My first appointment with my naturopathic doctor!

Guess what tomorrow might NOT be? My first appointment with my naturopathic doctor. Because this is sitting beside me right now:

"Look at me, Ma...I'm lousy with the bubonic plague."

“Look at me, Ma…I’m lousy with the bubonic plague.”

I knew it was bad when I woke up with this beside me:

"For my next trick...I shall remove your left kidney using only my little toenail!"

“For my next trick…I shall remove your left kidney using only my little toenail!”

Mom confession. I actively dislike sleeping with my kids. Before I had children I thought I would love it. And we co-slept for the first 10 months. But then it just all went downhill. Don’t get me wrong…I love those first 30 minutes when they first climb in with us. They are all warm and sleepy and snug and sweet. Then they fall asleep and start doing what I like to call, “The Rotating Starfish”. This move somehow allows them to shove a big toe up each one of your nostrils while simultaneously kicking you in the groin with that phantom sleep foot they grow. It’s an impressive trick but I’m not a fan. So we’re an ‘everyone in your own bed’ kind of family. EXCEPT during times of illness.

Anyway, that is a sad, sick, feverish boy. DOH. Ain’t that just the way. So I called and put a tentative hold on my appointment. Which makes me kind of sad and frustrated. But. It’s all good because…

Last night Bruce Lee told me to ‘be like the water’. What? Bruce Lee doesn’t talk to you in your sleep? Whatever, weirdo.

Well hello there Mr. Lee...hope you like your gals rashy...

How nice of you to join me, Mr. Lee…hope you like your gals rashy…

What actually happened was that I fell asleep on the couch last night.

(Side note: I hate falling asleep on the couch. Subtract couch sleep time from total night sleep time because it doesn’t count. And then by the time I get up and brush my teeth and put on my pjs, I’m wide eyed awake.)

So Kyle was watching…something…I saw the words MMA and immediately fell asleep. But I half woke up to very enthusiastic Bruce Lee talking about water.

“You must be shapeless, formless, like water. When you pour water in a cup, it becomes the cup. When you pour water in a bottle, it becomes the bottle. When you pour water in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Water can drip and it can crash. Become like water my friend.”

That’s a good lesson for me this week. I’ve kind of been in a ‘when’ mindset. An ice cube, if you will. “When I get this autoimmune under control.” And that’s good. That’s better than an ‘if’. But it becomes so easy to focus on the far goal that I forget to embrace everything else that is happening during this process. I kind of think ‘just get HERE and everything will be better’.

Remember when our house burned down? Most of you know that. In 2011 we lost our house in the Texas wildfires. That’s not a boohoo-poor us statement because let’s be honest…we had a year of inconvenience and now we have a brand new house that kind of rocks my world. But the big statement from everyone after it happened was, “NEXT year will be your year. Just get through this and it will be all good.” When. When this is over then you will be somewhere else. But where?

I’m going somewhere with this, I promise.

My knees stopped working this weekend. Damn. Then they started again. YAY! Then they stopped again. Damn Damn! (That’s one for each knee.)

I guess this is why they call it a connective tissue disease…because it affects your connective tissues. Ohhhhhhh…NOW I get it. It’s very frustrating. It doesn’t fit into my ‘when’.

The downside is that when they aren’t working, I look like I fool when I try to get up off of the floor. It’s a very dramatic, embarrassing roll over and grab onto something to pull myself off of the floor.

The upside? Well the upside for YOU is that if you friend me before the zombie apocalypse you are almost 100% guaranteed to outrun me. Thereby leaving me to be consumed by zombies. Not like you would, right? Right?! 😉 Meh…it’s okay. I’d probably ditch you too.

In case you can’t tell, we’ve been watching The Walking Dead. I fought it. I didn’t want to watch it but since we’ve canceled cable Kyle has been watching the first 2 seasons on Netflix. Every. Night. It was inevitable that I would be sucked in. What have I learned? Zombies don’t move especially fast but they can definitely move faster than me right now. Which is good for YOU. You’re welcome. Also…there is ALWAYS someone out there worse off than you. My knees might hurt but at least I’m not being chased by a zombie herd.

And isn’t that the truth.

Because you know what is better then the 2 hours of knee pain I had? The other 46 hours of the weekend.

This:

I don't even have anything funny to say...it just makes me happy.

I don’t even have anything funny to say…it just makes me happy.

I watched this:

Mmmm...chunky guy juice...

Mmmm…chunky guy juice…

…and it was inspiring to watch someone else get off of the steroids. But also humbling to see what a slow, patient process it is too. It’s a great movie though, I recommend it. And I’m down from 60 mg/day to 45 mg/day as of today! Yay!

I conquered my first batch of homemade yogurt. Then I completely 100% ruined my second batch. I mean…I KILLED it. I boiled that milk to the point of oblivion. Apparently putting milk on the stove to boil and then meandering outside to sit and rock for awhile is a ‘bad idea’.

I absolutely stuffed my body with healthy, nourishing food. When I told Kyle that I had made him a delicious dinner last night, he gave me an enthusiastic, “Awesome!”. And when I told him that dinner didn’t involve lentils, he paused and said, “Oh that is SUPER AWESOME!” The point is that 24 hours of the day I’m married to a lovely man who supports me 1000%. Even if he does suck at diaper sizes.

And last but not least I read my medical records that I picked up for my naturopathic doctor. If you want fascinating reading, I suggest picking up your medical rec-zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…

Holy boring. I don’t know what I expected?

“Patient has a sparkling wit and great taste in earrings. I’d prefer if she’d wear underwear to her appointments.”

I'd like to eat your liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti...

This is how I show up in his office every week. Adorable, no?

Or…”Patient appears to be used by her children as a jungle gym…perhaps suggest she uses my beach house for a week of relaxation. After all, she is paying for it.”

"Wheeeeeee...vasculitis slide!"

“Wheeeeeee…vasculitis slide!”

Instead it was mostly stuff like, “Patient has vasculitis.” “Patient still has vasculitis.” “Patient is being a pain in the ass and continues to show up in my office with this vasculitis.”

Like Deepak said during my 43.2 seconds of successful mediation…my health is like a snapshot. It will never be the same from one moment to the next. I just need to embrace the moments of feeling good. And also embrace the moments of feeling crummy but then discard them and move on. At least I think that’s what he said…I had a child sitting inside each of my ears.

So I will TRY to be water. If my knees hurt, that’s the shape I’ll take. If I wake up covered in rashes and vasculitis…then that will be my shape for that moment. But just for that moment. Until I’m ready to pour myself into another vessel.

Just don’t judge me if it’s a martini glass. 😉

She’s Got That Certain ‘Glow’.

Scroll to the bottom for a yogurt maker update.

Am I radioactive now?  I can never remember what the CT scan does…I AM writing this while hanging upside down from the ceiling but that might be the coffee I had at 8pm.  Or I’m still reeling from drinking 3 banana flavored barium drinks.  And I use the term ‘drink’ very, very loosely.  I’ve decided that the taste testing focus group they used to come up with the banana flavor was a bunch WWII vets languishing in a nursing home.

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“I remember having this right before we hit the beaches at Normandy! 23 skidoo!”

So yeah.  CT scan today but nothing to report there.  I’ve had a few of them over the past few years and let me ask you this:  How on earth do I always forget how awful it feels when they inject the iodine??  Not painful bad.  Weird bad.  Have you had one?  They warn you… “You’ll…ummm…feel like you’re peeing your pants.  But you’re not.” It’s strange that I never remember that side effect.  A weird, pants flooded warmth.  Not like a ‘Channing Tatum’ happy warmth in your pants.  More like a ‘Tilda Swinton’ confusing kind of warmth in your pants.  And when you swing your legs off of the table you can’t help yourself.  You are compelled to feel for pee.  So that’s classy.

If you follow me on Facebook you’ll know that I’m trying out my new yogurt maker.  You’ll also know that I’m mathally challenged (I know it’s ‘mathematically’ but I like the way ‘mathally’ sounds better) so like an asshat I started the machine at 7:00pm.  For 7 hours.  That’s right.  I get to set my alarm for 2am to screw the tops onto yogurt jars.  Lame-o.  I’m making Judy get up for that one.

It’s kind of a pain because you have to boil the milk first and then let it cool.  See that thermometer?  It’s the second one I’ve owned.  I bit through the glass tube on the first one.  I thought it was the case and couldn’t get it open so I put it into my mouth and bit down.  On glass. Until it shattered. Duuuuuuuh.

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The milk looks good but that glass tube looks freaking DELICIOUS!

So now we wait.  Will it be worth it?  I dunno.  The reviewers on Amazon say it’s the most amazing yogurt you’ll ever have! You’ll never buy store bought again!  It healed my kitten’s broken leg!  As far as I’m concerned, unless it can take a shop vac and a bottle of Windex to the inside of my car it probably won’t be life changing.  But…I did the math (sketchy at best) and it works out to $1.83 for 42 ounces of organic yogurt.  So that doesn’t suck.

So now we wait.

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7…8…9…10…11…12…1…2…Son of a…

And lastly let me leave you with this.

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Waaaaait Foooor It…

This link popped up in my news feed one day.  So I clicked it.  ‘Cause I just can’t help myself!

http://www.modernparentsmessykids.com/2013/03/start-your-day-saying-hello-happy-drink.html

This freaking delicious coffee.  I had a bit of a half & half and sugar problem when it came to my coffee.  Like coffee soup.  But I stumbled across this recipe and I am hooked!  It’s even satisfies my mocha cravings!  I now substitute the half & half for canned coconut milk (this brand is BPA free so no learning disorders for me!  So no MORE learning disorders for me!)  And let me tell you…I tried the light coconut milk for a while and it was ‘good’ but when I switched over to full fat…dreeeeeamy.  And that is healthy fat!!  The raw cacao powder gives it a dark, rich flavor.  Ignore that the picture has a bag of cocoa NIBS.  They were out of powder the other day so I bought the nibs because I assumed they would melt.  Let me assure you…they do not.  At all.  I’ve been chewing my coffee for 3 days.  I even tried whizzing them up in my coffee bean grinder.  That just means I don’t have to chew as hard.  Take note!  Buy the POWDER!!  Anyhoo… It’s sugar free and chock full of healthy stuff.  Plus some people swear it gives you a ‘zing’ of energy.  A teeny squeeze of honey and you’re drinking something pretty awesome.  If I’m feeling extra super fancy I’ll give it a whizz around in the Magic Bullet to make it all frothy.  Who cares that there is a kid peeing on your foot…you’re drinking creamy, chocolatey coffee in your kitchen!

WINNING…even when you smell like toddler urine.  And that’s saying something 😉

Yogurt Maker Update:  I used to get horrible canker sores when I was a kid.  My grandma would pull that giant container of plain yogurt out of her fridge and stand over me while I gagged down bowlfuls of it.  Remember that almost throw up thing you would do when something was just too gross to comprehend?  But you still had to eat it?  Soggy tuna casserole, anyone?  That’s what this yogurt reminds me of…old school yogurt.  Which I think some people would like.  But I’ve only gotten back into yogurt since they introduced Greek style.  Which this yogurt is NOT.  I think I’ll brew (ferment?  yogment?) the next batch longer to see if it will get thicker.  For right now I’m straining it to thicken it up.  A friend mentioned that they sell an attachment to make Greek yogurt?  I wonder what that would be?  A tiny, hairy man with cheese cloth and a fishing hat?  I’ll look into it.

This yogurt tastes extra cottony!

This yogurt tastes extra cottony!

"Judy lets me eat yogurt on the couch!"

“Judy lets me eat yogurt on the couch!”

For the record…my grandma made probiotics cool way before Erin Andrews did.

Last update.  I swear.  With my fingers crossed.

Straining is the key!  It’s delicious!!!  WOOHOO!!!  I mean, it’s work, that’s for sure.  I’m one step away from milking a cow in my backyard.

Yes.  We all know what the liquid looks like, but we're too mature to say it...NO WE'RE NOT!  PEE!  IT LOOKS LIKE PEE!

Yes. We all know what the liquid looks like, but we’re too mature to say it…NO WE’RE NOT! PEE! IT LOOKS LIKE PEE!

Making Out With Scrooge McDuck Would Probably Be Weird. Maybe.

Money sucks, right?  Not having money sucks because you don’t have any.  (Don’t freak out…I know some people really don’t have ANY money.  I’m talking about the ‘more month than money’ type of broke.)

Having money?  I guess that could suck too because you might just THINK about it all of the time.  Will you always have it?  Is it being mismanaged?  Is someone going to take it from you?

Or maybe you’d just worry about which bathing costume to wear while you swim in your vault of gold coins…

Scrooge McDuck

This is totally what rich people do, right?

Can you tell we’ve been working on our budget?  We’ve talked about it forever.  I had a lot of big ideas involving poster boards and fun markers (Teal! Coral! Heliotrope!).  Every few weeks we’d say, “TONIGHT we’re doing the budget!  Right?  Right!”

Insert dinner/clean up/bath/pjs/teeth/books/bed/more clean up/few loads of laundry.

“Want to watch a Breaking Bad?”

“Okay.  We’ll do the budget TOMORROW.  Right?”

“Right!”

(That’s actually a lie…HE watches Breaking Bad.  I couldn’t make it past the episode with the bathtub scene…shudder…)

But whatever…you see the pattern.  We are an excellent couple but we have the horrible, horrible ability to talk each other out of anything.

However.  The doctors don’t want me working.  I had started waiting tables a few times a week.  It was great.  Out of the house.  Kyle watched the boys so no daycare.  Brought in just enough extra.  I loved where I worked.  And no matter how needy a customer was…I never had to change their diaper.  Except for that one time…(insert 1ooo yard stare).  But that’s on hold for awhile.  And Scrooge McDuck isn’t returning my phone calls. (I had pictured an Indecent Proposal situation but apparently it’s a no go. Maybe he has erectile ducksfunction…heh heh… My apologies. That was awful. Even for me.)

We. Had. To. Budget.

Have you done it?  It’s scary at first.  We accounted for every single dollar we had spent from December until April.  Guess what?  We spent a lot.  On food (oh so much on food).  On ‘entertainment’.  On…stuff.  Oh stuff…you’ll be the end of me.  I hated that first night.  What WAS that $50 at Target??  Shouldn’t I be able to look around and see $50 worth of Target goods?  I just wanted to bury my head under my West Elm Spring Ikat pillow.  But burying my head under that pillow is what got us into this mess.  And also makes me realize that I really need to wash the sheets.

But something else happened too.  Those numbers started to lose their power.  I went from feeling sick to feeling empowered to change things.  It’s not like we spend a ton of money, I was just able to see the areas that we could change.  Small changes.  One tiny baby step at a time.  Because that’s the problem, isn’t it?  You start thinking ‘CHANGES!’ (or at least I do) and then it’s all so big that you just…don’t.

Cut out all processed food.  Make own detergent.  Make all household cleaners .  Hang clothes outside to dry (actually, according to some numbers we crunched if we hung out 7 loads a week it would save $600/year.  But are we really going to do it??).  Make own bread?  Juice! Take dog to doggy dentist.  Wait, take kid to kiddie dentist first.  Meditate.  Meditate without children.  Yoga?  Raise chickens?  Goats?  Sea monkeys?  See naturopathic doctor.  Join slow food movement.  Join slow clothes movement. Shop local.  Vote with my wallet.  Start a garden. More houseplants for better air quality.  Filter on shower head? Make own yogurt?  Get a pen pal.  Write everyday.  Exercise everyday.  Exercise every other day.  Bend over to pick up toys and count that as exercise.  Take an art class.  Take a creative writing class.  Look for freelance writing work.  Spend quality time with girlfriends once a week.  Once every 2 weeks.  Once a month.  Call girlfriends and tell them how much you miss them.

You get my point.

So I started easy.  With my pantry.  Remember?  I cleaned it out.  I cleaned it out real good.  Then I went shopping.  Then I came home and redid the pantry.  I didn’t want to but I DID!  BTW we have a plastic bag ban here now.  Which is awesome.  For people that actually ever remember their reusable bags.  And not awesome for people who don’t.  Guess which camp I fall into??

Our goal is $150/week on groceries.  But I’m thinking $200 will be more realistic.  What do you spend?  This is $152 in groceries.

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I like a bulky grocery shop…get it…lots of bulk items…ahhhh fuhget about it…

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Cooking instructions for my special jackwagon.

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This still needs work…so much work…and yes that is Splenda.  Because I have guests that use Splenda and that’s fine with me.  No need to torture everyone!

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And cold items in the icebox…

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MmmmHmmmm…I like them potatoers…

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You would have been disappointed in me if there hadn’t been a jar of Nutella, right? I did it for you! Yeah, YOU!

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“Hey Ma…I’ma gonna throw all of them potaters on the ground, ‘mkay?” And he did. The End.

It’s been a really great week since the pantry and fridge clean out.  First of all, we’re eating much better. It’s not like we ate Crisco off of a spoon before but we’d just gotten lazy on convenience foods.  I’ll post a blog with different recipes we’ve tried and loved.  Basically we’re just eating clean.  Our sweet neighbors gave us some Swiss chard from their garden…I’ve never had it and I loved it!  I roasted cabbage!  It was great!  The boys are eating almost everything.  Except for tonight…I fed the guys hotdogs after a week of quiona, lentils, greens and veggies.  They were giddy with excitement.  Everything in moderation 😉

But the big change?  We had food left at the end of the week.  I need to go to the store for some staples but I can actually go into the fridge and cabinet and still cook a meal.  The boys are eating more fruits and vegetables…instead of giving them crackers in the afternoon, I’m setting out some veggies.  And if they are really hungry then they’ll eat them.

But let me tell you what.  I am cooking like a pioneer women.

Not shown in photo...children chewing on ankles.

Not shown in photo…children chewing on ankles.

Seriously.  I need to figure out big batch cooking.  This is a family of big eaters so if I don’t double batch cook then there aren’t any leftovers.  And I start over again the next day.  I’m getting better at just boiling eggs or cooking a pot of rice or throwing potatoes in the oven even if I don’t know what I’m going to do with them.  That helps.  But it’s about to be hot, Hot, HOTTER here so I need to figure out a way to not crank my stove during the day and I’ve never had much luck with the crock pot.

So this is my first baby step.  I’m not going to lie…I kind of want to rip into a rib eye.  And I will.  And it will taste extra delicious.  But for right now this feels great.

Also, I get a abdomen CT scan on Thursday.  I feel pretty good about it.  What I don’t feel good about?  Drinking THREE bottles of BANANA FLAVORED BARIUM.  If anyone knows who came up with this flavor I’d like to arrange for a few minutes alone with them.  And a bag of nickels.

And lastly…the newest member of our fish tank family.  The kids call him Froggie.  I call him Creepy Soul Sucker.  I hate this frog.  He just floats there all dead like and I yell, “KYLE!  THE FROG IS DEAD!”  And he yells back, “NO IT ISN’T!!” And then the freaking frog jumps and scares the crap out of me.  Ick.

photo-72

Sweet Dreams…I’m probably going to come out and chew your face off while you’re sleeping but don’t worry about it.

You’re A Jackwagon.

The following is a real life phone conversation between me and the hubs.  No husbands were actually harmed in the making of this conversation.  Barely.

My phone rings.  It’s Kyle on his way home from work and he’d like to know if we need anything from the grocery store.  Which is sweet, I KNOW.

Me: Uhhh…diapers and milk.  (Always with the milk.  Can we just buy a cow, already??)

Kyle: No problem.  By the way, I have told you what an amazing woman you are? Every time you walk into a room, my heart skips a beat…you…complete…(sob)…me…

Okay…he might not have said EXACTLY that…probably something more like:

Kyle:  No problem.  Can you check and see if I need deodorant?

Yeah…that’s more likely what it was.  Plus, I guess it’d be weird to see a huge, burly guy sobbing in the diaper aisle.  Unless it was the sleep deprived father of a newborn and then that would make total sense.

End call.

2 minutes later the phone rings again.

Me:  Yeeeeees…(Obviously I’ve seen the caller ID so I know it’s Kyle. I’m about 154% sure what his question will be.  And the answer has been the same for about a year.)

Kyle:  Uhhh…what size diaper does Trapezoid wear again?

Me:  *crickets chirping tumbleweeds blowing silence*

Kyle:  I KNOW I can never remember.  Is it a 5?

Me:  What number is Emmitt Smith?

Kyle:  22

Me:  What was the last year that the Cowboys won the Superbowl?

Kyle:  1996

Me:  What was Tom Landry’s last year with the Cowboys?

Kyle:  1989

Me:  He wears a size 6.  And you’re a jackwagon.

Kyle:  Well that hardly seems necessary.

Really Kyle?  I’m pretty sure 8 out of 10 moms would disagree.

(I know, I know…he’s a freaking awesome husband.  It’s just this ONE thing!  ACK!)

Image

That had better not be a size 5 diaper I see in your hand or I swear in the name of all that is holy I will poop on your bed.

Thanks For The Mascara, Tammy Faye.

There is a lady that works at our neighborhood grocery store.  She is perhaps…hmmm…160, maybe 170 years old.  Always with the smiling.  The English…ehhhh…iz noht so good.  But she is always there with that smile. And a kind word and fake grocery store money for the kids.  I’m pretty sure she stashes it in her bra but at least it’s nice and warm when they get it.  We call that ‘Meemaw Cash’.

I love her.

For her smile and words and all of that but what I REALLY love her for is her MAKE UP!  It. Is. Ah. Mazing.  And the hair…a swirling, sugary pile of color and light.  And more color.

Remember Mimi from The Drew Carey Show?

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MiiiiMiii…hand over the spray paint and no one gets hurt…

Yeah, she kind of makes Mimi look like an Amish nun. (Let me save you the Google…that’s not a real thing. But it should be.)

So I’ve always loved her, but now I ‘get’ her.  I just know that she wakes up every morning, feeds her cat, waters her African Violet (I can sense it…see owns an African Violet and it sits on a very starched doily) and then she marches into her bathroom and trowels on those layers because it makes her feel better and braver to face the world with a little armor.  And it works.  She just radiates happiness.

I’ve started ‘getting ready’ almost every day now.  Make up. Hair. Nice clothes.  EARRINGS!  That’s a big one for me.  If I’m wearing earrings, take that as an outward symbol that something is probably exploding inside of my body.

Like today.  Skirt. Boots. Nice jacket.  And a trip up to see the rheum again.  Biopsy results are in.  That weird rash on my arms?  Cooooome oooon dooown MORE vasculitis. (Say what you want about the ol’ sassculitis but he sure knows how to keep the romance fresh.)

So now they are pulling out the big guns.  Apparently I’m a bit of a mystery case…uhhh paging Dr. House!  I need a surly Englishman with a limp and a prescription drug addiction.

Here’s where we sit.  Weaning me off of the steroids…sloooooow like a herd of turtles stampeding through peanut butter.  I’m on 60mg/day and can come down 5mg every 5 days.  WHOA DOC!  SIMMER DOWN!  On the plus side we’ll be able to combine the the boys’ college graduation parties with my ‘No More ‘Roids’ party…

BUT.  Blub blub blub. I start Dapsone.  Okay, definitely don’t Google that.  Because that there is, uh, one of them drugs used to treat LEPROSY.  It’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds…despite all of my begging and pleading, apparently I don’t get to down my pills while lounging in a hammock in the South Pacific.  In a leprosy colony but still…show me a mom that wouldn’t take THAT vacation.  And I’ll show you a liar.

It makes me feel better to think that she's missing her feet because she's a leper.

It makes me feel better to think that she’s missing her feet because she’s a leper.

Next up…he’s worried that this ‘very unusually resistant strain of vasculitis’ is being caused by something bad that is currently asymptomatic (holy cheddar that was a hard word to spell!).  So something is lurking in there that has yet to rear it’s purdy little head.  We need to ‘go on a witch hunt’.  His words.  (Maybe I need to dial down the eye makeup.)  Then he threw out words like, ‘lymphoma, CT scans, colonoscopy, mammogram, chest xray’ while I nodded very thoughtfully and tried to make out the brand name on the arm of his glasses.  (Calvin Klein in case you’re interested.)  I had a mammogram last summer (patting self on back), I just had a chest xray to rule out Wegeners Syndrome and I had a lymph node biopsied last fall that came back clean (probably the start of all of this mess but I didn’t realize it at the time).  So that leaves the abdomen as the last place that lymphoma can hide.  We’ll hold off on the colonoscopy until everything is back in.  That’s okay…it will give the doctor time to save up for the nice dinner I’m assuming he’ll be buying me first. I’ll be glowing with radiation by the time this is all over but keep in mind that I will be renting myself out to light up your next nighttime backyard soiree.

Then it was up on the table to check all of my lymph nodes.

“Just put this gown on.  You can leave on your underwear.”

Uhhh…except.  It’s laundry day and I may or may not be wearing underwear.  (Not.) And I HAVE to tell him this so he doesn’t get a shock and drop to the floor clutching his chest because I’ve gotta tell you…despite the Calvin Klein glasses, he’s old and I am NOT up to date on my CPR training.

Gah.  I put on my leggings this morning and thought, “Just wait for your clothes to finish drying and PUT ON UNDERWEAR!”  But you know how it is once you actually GET the leggings on. Then the other side of my brain (I call her Judy…like from the tiny hands Kristen Wiig skit), Judy says, “Naaaaah…who is ever going to know??”  Well JUDY…just you and me the the doctor who you just made blush.  Geez.

"Don't put on underwear!  Eat a squirrel!"

“Don’t put on underwear! Eat a squirrel!”

I tell you this story to illustrate to you that rarely a day goes by where I don’t somehow embarrass myself.  The earth may in fact stop spinning if I ever behaved like a normal civilized human.  So you’re welcome for the gravity and oxygen and all that.

Anyway…I’m all for finding out what is going on inside my body so test away.  And bring on the Dapsone.  Hit me with what you’ve got and then if nothing works (or even when it does), I’ll feel confident knowing I’ve exhausted all of my medical options.  So until May the 7th…I’m all yours, Doc.  (Errrrr…maybe not the best way to put it in light of recent non-underwearing incident.)

And also…next time you see that little old lady with the lipstick waaaay outside the lines of her mouth…tell her she looks nice.  Because she does.

I Love You Rocky Dennis.

Hey kids.  Did I ever tell you about the time I frightened the girl at the Time Warner Cable office with my misshapen face?  Probably not, since it just happened yesterday.

First things first.  We canceled cable.  Because we are enlightened people who yearn to play chess and hold spirited political conversations rather than melt our brains with television.

Naaaah.  It’s all part of Budgetopocolypse 2013.  I’d watch Snapped marathons until my eyeballs bled if it was up to me.  Fascinating.  And it keeps the husband in line.

Pearls!  Lipstick on a napkin! A lit match!  Those are all signs of quality television show, amiright??

Pearls! Lipstick on a napkin! A lit match! Those are all signs of a quality television show, amiright??

So.  I woke up yesterday with the usual 38lbs of drooling toddler chunk sitting on my chest.  The additional 48lbs wandered in a few minutes later and the day began.  Except.  I noticed my face felt kind of weird when I talked.  I didn’t really think too much about it, what with the 86lbs of children earrings I was wearing into the kitchen to make breakfast but eventually (after milk milk cereal cereal smoothie smoothie I wanted the bulldozer spoon NO MINE NO MINE MOOOOOOOOOOM!) I made it to a mirror.

And. Oh. Em. Gee.

I was lumpy.  Lumpy like Rocky Dennis. Remember him?  The kid from Mask.

Awwww…that’s awful.  Of course I didn’t REALLY look like Rocky Dennis.  Just like I don’t REALLY have jowls like Winston Churchill.  I just FEEL like I do.

Also…I loved Rocky Dennis.  Remember the hot rock for the color red and the icy rock for the color blue?  So sweet.

But I digress.  Back to my face.  Or what used to resemble my face.  Lumpy.  Like, big weird lumps under my skin.  Forehead, chin, the bridge of my nose was swollen.  My cheeks felt like they had 2 square inches of hard pads underneath them.  I looked like one of those women who thought it would be a golly-gee-swell idea to get $50 collagen injections from a ‘doctor’ in a ‘clinic’ in South America.  Only to be shocked later on to find out he had used donkey urine.  I looked like Priscilla Presley…and not the Elvis Priscilla…

But wait…there’s more!  Order your weird misshapen face right now and we’ll throw in a new mystery rash!

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Anybody got a needle and thread? Cause I’m ripped.  Seriously…check out those guns!

Gross, right?  I know I publish a lot of weird pics but that’s mostly for anyone else ever looking for answers.  And the occasional vasculitisophile (hey, I ain’t judging).

I call my rheum and explain the symptoms to his nurse.  She calls me back and tells me that the doctor wants to see me the next day to check out my vasculitis (check it out, Doc…it’s STILL there!).  As for the lumps and arm rash?  He thinks it sounds like steroid induced acne and that I need to see my dermatologist as soon as possible to make sure.

Uh…no.

First of all, ANOTHER gross side effect??  Second of all, it’s NOT acne.  I had a wildly overactive sebaceous gland through my 20s so I know from acne.  And this ain’t it.

"Leave Mommy alone...she's finding her happy place in here."

“Leave Mommy alone…she’s finding her happy place in here.”

Now if it was up to me I would have hidden in the house all day.  It was that bad.  But as you may have guessed…I miiight…just maaaaybe have a little problem with procrastination.  And I MAY have put off returning the cable equipment until the last day.  Of the 14 day return period.  Oooof.  AND we were out of milk.  Double oooof.  I had to lump it up and leave the house.  No problem though, Time Warner has a big equipment return box right outside the office…I don’t even need to go in!

Except they don’t anymore. Which means me and Lumpy (I consider my face to be its own entity by this point) have to get both kids and all of the equipment out of the car, into the office and past the ‘Take A Number’ machine.  It’s a machine that pops out tickets.  It may as well be a chocolate covered clown juggling puppies.

I herd them into some chairs and YAY I’m the next number.  Phew. I luck out a second time and get the world’s most uninterested ‘customer service’ girl who doesn’t even look up at me.  Score.  I heave the bag with all my equipment up onto the counter.  She sighs a sigh that lets me know I’m perhaps the stupidest person that ever lived and informs me that I need to take everything out of the bag myself.  No problem, lady, just keep staring at your nails…do not look at my face.  I start to pull out the equipment.  Modem…other computer thingy…dvr…remotes…oh, did I forget to mention that my other half had been kind enough to unhook and pack everything up for me the night before?  Did I forget to mention that he didn’t dust or wipe off one thing so as I’m pulling out the equipment, herds of dust bunnies are stampeding and swirling through the air.  Through. The. Air.  Some of my hair is mixed in there.  It’s pretty gross and embarrassing (hey…it’s been living under the desk behind a box!).  This startles her.  She looks up at my face. I see her eyes widen.  I see her glance at the rash on my arms where my sleeves have fallen back because I’m literally trying to catch dust bunnies in the air.  I’m half laughing and half apologizing and mumbling something about killing my husband.  I look like a rashy fool.  But an apologetic rashy fool.  And what does she do?  She reaches for her hand sanitizer.  Twice.  That girl stared at all of my weird crap and then she sanitized herself.

Now part of me doesn’t blame her.  I’m obviously a mess.  But the other part of me is pissed.  So I stopped apologizing.  I signed my receipt.  Then I licked the side of her face and left.

Nooooo.  But I wanted to.

Flash forward to this morning.  I wake up and my face is back to normal!  Yay!  But my arms still look like I thought it was a good idea to reach into a fire. Booo.  I drop the kids at school and head up to see the doctor.

Here’s the good news.  I got taken off of 2 of my meds today.  Wooot!  I asked to be taken off of the Colcrys (the gout medicine).  First of all, what is it really doing?? Second of all…it costs $225.  A month.  He agreed that we could stop it.  He looked at my arms and immediately expressed concern that I was having an allergic reaction to the Plaquenal, so that is out too.  Happy dance!  Then we had a nice talk about steroid side effects.  He restated that although this wasn’t steroid induced acne, it was a future possibility but I assured him that I was holding out for enough facial hair to grow a hipster mustache that I could diabolically twirl while tying young girls to railroad tracks.  I also informed him that my face was getting fat to which he replied, “I know.”  That’s it…I’m bringing the kids with me on the next visit.  That’ll learn him.

"Now I shall untie you and make you babysit my children!  MWAHAHAHAHAAAA!"

“Now I shall untie you and make you babysit my children! MWAHAHAHAHAAAA!”

Then it’s downstairs for more bloodwork and upstairs to my derm for skin biopsy #5…I’m getting pretty scar-o-licious.  Don’t be jealous.

(Have I mentioned that I think my dermatologist might be 14 years old?  The first time I had to stand in front of him in my underwear I half expected his mom to bust into the room and yell at me to put my clothes back on.)

Aaaaaanyway…I ask the him if this could be sun related??  We all laid on the grass on Sunday and looked for cloud pictures for a long time and even though I stayed in the shade, I have been reading that people with autoimmunes can be sun sensitive.  He thinks it might be something called polymorphis light eruption.  Basically women with ‘rheumatogical issues’ (oh I’ve got issues all right) have this problem in the spring when the sun is higher and hotter.  Weird, right?  It should stop happening by summer but he recommended some good sunscreens.  But we’ll still wait for the biopsies for final results because it could still be a drug reaction.  “We’re seeing more of that with Plaquenal users lately…it might be a manufacturing change.”  Well that’s just fantastic.

Anyway, to make a loooong blog post even longer, something happened today that made me think of you guys.  I had the sweetest Thai phlebotomist with an accent so thick I could barely understand her.  Right as she was getting ready to take my blood another tech stuck her head into the room and asked her for help with a ‘difficult patient’ (of course I’m immediately picturing blood spraying everywhere).  My tech started to take my blood but I told her to go help the other lady first.  When she came back she gave me a hug and said, “You were so sweet to share, you were just so sweet to share.  Thank you.”  I thought that was a funny way to phrase it but then I thought about it and I realized she meant that she was thanking me for sharing my time.  And that’s when I thought of you guys.  The love and support I’ve received from this blog already have been overwhelming.  I’m blown away with I see the number of people who have visited this page.  You choose to take time out of your day to read this and I want you to know what that means to me. So thank you. You are so sweet to share.

xo Danielle

P.S.  I have my first appointment with a naturopathic doctor on May 7th!  Yay!!  It’s a 3 hour appointment and she sounds amazeballs!

P.P.S.  I didn’t want to do my pantry today but I DID!!!!  However I’ll blog about that tomorrow since this one got a little long-winded.  But here is a quick pic:

Oooh it's purdy!

Oooh it’s purdy!

Namaste To The Graham Cracker In My Underwear Drawer

I’ve gotta tell you.  This week won.  Not like in a… “Oh YAY!  What a winning week!  Blue birds on my fingertips blah blah de blah!” kind of way but more like in a “whomp whomp whoooooomp…” Deputy Dog kind of way.

Wednesday morning I woke up with some random underarm vasculitis.  Which has since hurled itself gleefully all the way down to my ankles.  Sucko bucko. This, by the way, is totally my fault because I was all like, “Oooh look at me…vasculitis free…I’m kind of a ‘big deal’!”  Point taken, universe.

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“Excuse me waiter…I ordered my bingo wings with NO broken blood vessels.”

Which of course gets my brain churning…what caused THAT?? I had some wine on Tuesday…could that have done it? (Sad).  I woke up sick on Wednesday.  Not wine sick, smartass.  SICK sick.  The kind where you wake up thinking, “Ruhhhh rooooh!” and you’re coughing up stuff that looks like this:

C’mere you sexy beast…

I spent Wednesday on the couch curled up under a blanket while the kids watched an absolutely disgusting amount of television.  A ‘this might affect future test scores’ amount of television.  It all evened out though…they took plenty of healthy physical fitness breaks to jump on my chest and yell, “WAKE UP MOMMY!!  WE’RE HUNGRY MOMMY!”

For the record, that day they survived on the early 1800s diet of crackers and milk.

Scurvy for the win!

I took the non-drug approach to this junk and spent an inordinate amount of time NetiPotting (is that a word?), hot showering, downing Emergen-c and eating garlic.  A whole head of roasted garlic.  On the plus side not one sparkly teenaged vampire tried to kill me that night. AND I woke up sans death rattle the next day.

Anyway the point of that ramble is that I don’t KNOW what would bring on the vasculitis.  Did my immune system kick into overdrive again because I was sick and that caused the vasculitis? Or as I’ve started to call it…The Sassculitis.  As in, “Ooooh guuurrrl…you are working that Sassculitis!  3 snaps in a ‘Z’ formation!”  I mean, if you’re going to have bursting blood vessels at least have glittery bursting blood vessels, you know?

So this is also the week that Trapezoid has decided he will arise to greet the day at 6am sharp.  And THAT is because on Tuesday I said to some friends, “Oh yeah, ever since the time change both the boys have been sleeping in until 9.”  I GET IT, UNIVERSE!

He’s also decided that pants are for nerds and squares…OY.  He’s in the 2-year-old ‘my body is beautiful stage’.  But instead of just cruising nude beaches like a normal hippie he mostly just flails his legs and screams “NO PANTS! NO PAAAAAAANTS!!  ATTICA! AT-TIC-A!” while I make an ass of myself saying things like, “Ooooh look, your pants are a dinosaur and they are eating your legs! Chomp Chomp Chomp! T-Rex pants!!”  Exhausting. So that kid running around in a winter jacket and no pants?  Yeah, that’s mine.  Move along, pants wearing people…next you’ll be telling me that your kids ‘wear seat belts’ and ‘brush their teeth’.

RELAX, I’m joshing…

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“Yeah Mom…I’m cold ‘here’ and ‘here’ but not ‘here’…”

I drew the line and made him wear pants to school.  He did not appreciate this and stood outside in the freezing misty cold rain refusing to look at me for 10 minutes.  And who’s the jackass that stood out there with him?  That’s right.

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Maybe he’s actually pissed about the Crocs…which would kind of make sense…

The house is DEFINITELY winning.  It’s very Lord of the Flies in here.  I did that awful thing where I just started throwing clean clothes in a pile to ‘fold later’ (touch side of nose/knowing wink) and of course it’s now turned into a churning mass of wrinkled clothes made worse by the fact that I caught the dog sleeping on it.  Somehow the dog still lives.  Congratulations to you, you mongrel bastard but remember…it’s only CATS that have 9 lives.

(At this point I’d like to implore the childless to NOT call the ASPCA on me.)

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A buffalo head nickel to the first kid that dives into that pile and comes out with Jimmy Hoffa!

And during the time I was sick and sleeping, I believe the children may have staged a prison riot.

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Overturned furniture? Toiletries in a toy pot? Times that by 1900 sq ft and that sums up this house. Also…I believe that there may be a shiv in that toothpaste.

I looked around today and had an irrational fear that for some reason a police officer would need to stop by my house to, I don’t know, pee, and upon entering he would gasp, grab his radio and call for back up to get these poor children out of this disgusting hovel they are entrapped in.

“And if the absolute filth wasn’t bad enough, Sarge…IN THE NAME OF ALL THAT IS HOLY…SHE’S MAKING THEM WATCH CAILLOU!”  Which, to be fair, should technically be a jailable offense.  Also, do police officers really say, ‘Sarge’?

But honestly, the house is awful.  The kind of awful where you don’t even know where to start so you don’t.

Pleeeease Mommy!  No. More. Caillou.

Pleeeease Mommy! No. More. Caillou.

I found a graham cracker in my underwear drawer.

I stress ate bacon jerky.  Followed by a half pint of Haagen-Dazs Salted Caramel Truffle ice cream.  One of those was absolutely disgusting.  Seriously.  50 lashes to the idiot who can jack up bacon.

We spent days and days working on a budget.  I’m not going to lie.  It was pretty much the most fun I’ve ever had.  Husband and wife…side by side…reading off numbers…Quicken! Downloadable statements! Excel spreadsheets…ooooh I’m getting all tingly just thinking about it!

Actually it was depressing.  And eye-opening.  How on earth does one family spend so much money on FOOD??  I’ll be interested to see how the food changes affect the food budget.

But I noticed something.  On the night we worked hardest on the budget, the vasculitis spread.  And spread.  Almost down to my wrists.  I was watching it happen.  COULD THIS BE STRESS RELATED???  Sorry…shouldn’t yell…but COULD it be??

There never seemed to be a better time to start my guided meditation.  Actually…there was a much better time than the time I chose…the next day…with children in the house.

Now I’m going to tell you something.  And I don’t want any eye rolling.  My guided meditation?  I downloaded it from the Oprah and Deepak Chopra Life Class website.

“Hold on…Just…HOLD. ON!” I can hear you say.  “Talk about PROCESSED FOOD!”

And yes.  Maybe. Oh hell, I don’t know.  I’ve never been a big Oprah fan (oh crap! do you think she heard that??) but for some reason this appealed to me. They’re short.  I like the message. I find Deepak’s voice extremely calming.  And also when I read ‘Eat Pray Love’ I kind of wanted to punch the author during her time of meditation in India.  Which I understand is VERY unenlightened of me.  But honest.  So I thought maybe I’d start a little more, I don’t know…American?  Also, if it counts for anything I really liked her when she was cramming her face with gelato in Italy.

Back to my fast food meditation.  The whole series is about having perfect health.  Deepak gently suggested that I make myself comfortable.  Which to me does not involve sitting hunchy on a yoga mat but instead has me sprawled out across my unmade bed.  Ahhh peaceful.  I should mention that Axel was asleep and Lev was watching a movie.

“Make yourself comfortable.”

Okey Dokey Deepak…nice and comfy…ouch ouch ouch earring caught on sweater…okay nice and comfy…

“There exists in every person a place that is free from disease, that never feels pain.  That is ageless and never dies.  When we journey to this place, limitations we cease to accept cease to exist.  They’re not even a possibility.”

That sounds pretty awesome and OMG has the DOG been sleeping on my pillow??  GROSS!

“This is the place called perfect health.  Stepping into this world, no matter how brief these visits may be can bring profound transformation and healing.”

mooooooooooooooooooom” Stage whisper one inch from my face. ‘mooooooooooooooom what’s this?”

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Objects are actually closer than they may appear. If that’s possible.

Pause Deepak. Open one eye. “It’s a money clip.” (Ironic, right?  Or is that coincidence?  I always get those confused.) Close eye. Resume Deepak.

“In this state of true mind body spirit connection all previous assumptions of ordinary existence disappear and we experience…”

moooooooooooom. moooooooooooooom. what are you doing?”

“I’m meditating.” (I clearly and simply stated this to him only mere minutes ago.)

“What’s mediating?” (All pretense of whispering gone.)

“Uhhhh…it’s ummmm…like yoga where you don’t move.” (With apologies to yogis and meditators alike.) “You can lay with me and do it too but you can’t talk or move.”  At this point he wander off, clearly confused by grownups and their strangeness.  Which is okay because I usually am too.  Resume Deepak. Close eye.

” …our higher, truly ideal reality.  Sometimes our health is less than perfect but we need to understand that is not our permanent state.  It’s only a snapshot.  Think for a moment about a photo you’ve taken, perhaps on the beach.  In the picture there are particular elements arranged in a particular way.  Waves crashing at high tide, birds gliding through the air, a couple strolling side by side along the water’s edge.  If you were to go back the next day or even the next hour, the scene would be completely different.  It’s the same for our…”

CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH CRUNCH

mooooooooooooooom’ whisper spray one inch from my face.

Pause Deepak.  Open eye.  “Yes?”

can i eat these crackers?”

(The crackers you’re already eating?) “Sure.  If you go. away.” (Yeah I said it.)

Resume Deepak. Close eye.

” …bodies.  Each moment is different from the last.  So while we can believe the diagnosis, we needn’t believe the prognosis.  We are the controller of our own physiology. And we can take steps to restore our health…”

“moooooooooooooom.”

Pause Deepak.  Open eye.  Practice deep, deep breathing.

“Yes?”

Uhhhh…I….errrr….ummmm…did you know I have a RescueBot fire station?”

“I do because I bought it for you.”

“WHAT??  I thought SANTA brought it for me!?”

Crap crap crap!

“Uh yeah!  Santa brought it.  How could I forget?? I love you. Go away.”

He doesn’t go away.  And I don’t finish Deepak’s lovely message.  And 10 seconds later, a pantless 2 year old does an MMA style scissor leap and lands on my chest.

So here’s what I’ve learned this week:

I’m more stressed than I let myself believe.

Pants are overrated.

Meditation is only for times when children are sleeping.  Or highly medicated.

Never ever ever talk about your children sleeping in.  Ever.

And hey Oprah?  If you’re listening and you ever want to give me a ‘BRAAAAAAND NEW CAAAAAAAR’ I swear I will kiss you straight on the mouth.  I can handle Gayle.  After all…I’ve got a shiv in my toothpaste.

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Awww look…you can tell I’ve already driven them apart. BACK OFF, GAYLE!