Monday, June 26, 2017

A bit of News

Well, hopefully in January Reuben will have a sibling.

I've spent the last two weeks worrying about miscarriages. Since I've had four I worry a lot in the first trimester! I'm nowhere near the end of it either.

Right now I'm eight weeks pregnant. Eight weeks to enjoy a little tiny baby! (okay, well horrible morning sickness set in around week 6 so...) But I plan to cherish this pregnancy for as long as it lasts.

he has no idea what is coming in January
With Reuben, I never got to enjoy my pregnancy. I had three miscarriages before conceiving him and I was certain he would die. I didn't buy anything until 34 weeks and even then I thought I'd just have to return it. I had anxiety and depression, two things I had never suffered from before, while pregnant. I hated alluding to my belly. I did not talk to him in the womb. I did not knit him anything because I was afraid he would die like the rest of my babies. I did not think I would want even hold him after birth because I felt absolutely no connection with him out of fear. When my husband would talk positively about our baby I would tell him to be quiet or change the subject or have a panic attack. I really thought he would die.

Luckily he was born one day after his due date (all 10p 6oz of him) and I immediately fell in love. 

I had another miscarriage when Reuben was 8 months old.

And now I am pregnant again. I know there are a lot of loss mamas who read my blog and I hope this news comes gently to you. I know it hurts.

I am around 8 weeks now and I hope pregnancy will be different this time around because I am different, I've learned a lot. Yet I am filled with fear and anxious. Is there any such thing as depression and anxiety and brain fog with pregnancy? I do not have it normally. It seems to be connected to pregnancy. I don't know if I will lose this baby or not. I feel positive about it staying, but I feel depressed and couch ridden otherwise. And nauseated.

I want so much to enjoy and celebrate this baby while it is here for however long it is here. And that is what I try to point myself towards.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

It's Not a Fad, and other Crunchy Confessions

My crunchy lifestyle is not a fad.

I don't get it why neurotypical adults act like I'm infringing on their food safety bubble when I talk about my food allergies. Or my kid's food allergies. Or how diet healed my body. Or how I'm not in chronic pain or suffering from chronic constipation anymore because of my diet. Sometimes I feel like I am practicing voodoo or black magic from the looks they give me!

I try really hard not to be judgmental about other people's choices. But I expect the same in return. I am not standing on the rooftop demanding everyone be paleo; that would be insane! I advocate for paleo and how it changed my life, but I respect other people's decisions and I realize that all bodies are different. My husband feels better vegan. However, he does not pressure me to be vegan! He respects my food choices, and I try to respect his.

Just a few short years ago I was in chronic pain. I suffered from chronic constipation since EIGHT YEARS OLD. I had brain fog, joint pain, and reoccurring miscarriages, just to name a few of the issues I've dealt with since a young age.

After three miscarriages I finally had my rainbow baby. But Reuben did not nap or sleep until around a year old and he cried all the time as an infant. He was covered in eczema. I was frantic to find out what was wrong, frantic for answers and help, not condemnation and sneers! Doctors had no answers and largely dismissed my fears while offering my four month old steroids. I researched on my own. Steroid creams only made his eczema worse.

Reuben, 11 months, Healing
It took me nine months to find out his major allergies and a few short months later, his skin was clear and he started actually sleeping.

I wish I could show those who judge the tears I shed as I held my sobbing, bleeding son, trying to keep him from scratching his eczema, not knowing how to help him. I will never forget how helpless I felt and how much I sobbed to God during that time.

So many people badmouth "the google degree". GUYS, the google degree saved my life. A biomedical group on Facebook saved my son (Recovering Kids Biomedical Healing) and their protocol HEALED my son.

I myself went to western doctors for years. YEARS. They did nothing to help me. I was told to eat more fiber. That made my constipation and pain worse. I was told I had arthritis and there was nothing they could do. Since being paleo (it took six months) I have no more joint pain. I am not randomly confined to bed, barely able to move in pain. I haven't worn my arm brace--a monthly occurrence--in over a year.

So, no. My crunchy lifestyle is not a bandwagon fad. I'm not doing it to prove how I'm so much better then you. I'm not doing it to make you feel bad about how many oreos or cheeseburgers you feed yourself or your kids. If I could digest oreos, I'd eat them too!

It's saving my life. It's saving my son's life. Perhaps you could understand this before you tell me you "hate those food snob all organic people" who have "high minded ideas about food". Do you think I LIKE spending a house payment a month on organic food at the grocery store? I have a (few?) autoimmune diseases. Eating this way significantly raises my quality of life. So take your smug expression over my organic health eating choices elsewhere. I'm happy your body can digest and process every food known to man. Mine can't.

I like being a functional human being who is not in pain. I like having a child who sleeps and who isn't broken out in bloody sores all over his face.

And that is why I follow this crunchy path. It is not a fad. Don't belittle the fierceness of a mama bear researching at 1 am or call her desire to heal herself or her children "misguided" or "playing doctor". And don't ever utter the words "all in her head" or "making it up".  Yes,  I've been told that.

Biomedical healing does not work for everyone; that is not what I am trying to say. But don't limit your choices. I would have tried almost anything to help my son sleep for his mental, emotional and psychical health and mine! We went to doctor after doctor and specialist after specialist. It was a nightmare.

I am my child's greatest advocate, especially when he doesn't have a voice. Doctors can see between 20-30 patients a day . I have only one Reuben and a lifetime to devote to his care. I also have a lifetime degree in learning my own body and knowing my own heath. I can find out what is wrong and I can fix it. I know myself. And there is a wealth of information on the internet at my fingertips.

I'm not saying to believe everything you read on the internet. I am not saying to abandon your doctor. I am just saying that perhaps we put to much faith in overworked doctors who don't live inside the vessel they are trying to heal--and not enough faith in our own hands.

Work with your doctor. Work by yourself. But don't give up hope for healing, even in tiny steps. We are all on a journey towards death, as morbid as it sounds. I know I can't escape the inevitable.

But I know myself best. I can delay my sickness and even heal the body I've been given. I can learn more about how it works and how to care for it.

Thus my crunchy-mindedness is not a fad. No, it is a deep vein of research I have poured hours and hours and hours of my life into. And I haven't even scratched the surface. 

So before you judge why I panic when you hand my son a treat I am not familiar with--before you judge my hesitation to a request to eat out, or come to a meal-related event...perhaps you could just ask why. And listen. Because it's a long story, and there are a lot of tears along the way.

Monday, June 19, 2017

What I Spent April 2017

Another month, another budget.

Bills: $385

Our bills for this month are:
  1. YMCA ($75)
  2. Audible ($25)
  3. Cell phones, mine and husbands ($25)
  4. Electric bill ($200)
  5. Internet ($60)
No water bill this month because it's every two months. I expect it to go up since we will be watering our garden every day now.

Eating Out ($90)

We did great eating out this month! We ate out four times, twice for pizza (they have gluten and dairy free in our town now) and once for Mexican food, and once at Zoe's Kitchen. Win.

Grocery ($797)

I say we did pretty good on groceries this month. My goal is to keep it under $800 and we did that. Next month our CSA starts and hopefully that will lower grochery cost even more.

Reuben ($225)

Reuben needed new diapers and some training pants for potty training. I love our cloth diapers, and I bought some wool covers and a bunch of training underpants from Green Mountain Diapers.

Home ($1082)

This month my car died. We bought a car from a lady at church as well as paid to get new plates at the DMV. It's a nice car. I feel like I'm driving a boat. This will have to be split up into monthly payments so as not to totally ruin our budget. (going to do 136 a month for six months)

Personal Money ($504)

Carolynn ($385)

I bought myself a new diaper bag, some rainbow leggings, gas for my car, a bookshelf for our living room (I love it, isn't it awesome) and some babysitting.

Brian ($119)

Brian ate out at a fast food places on his own, bought a teemo hat (that Reuben is wearing above) and random things on amazon...and a gift for me.

Tithe ($150)

That brings our total spent in January to $3188. We also earned some money. Brian sold a junker car that had been sitting behind our house for $100. I made $75 from selling my foxy tula that Reuben outgrew. I sold some other baby stuff for $30, and I received $40 as a gift from my mother in law. That brings our total to $2943, still $1000 above budget. We have $123 saved for our fence, but that was eaten up, bringing it to $2820. The $820 above budget is because of the car we bought, and I will be spacing it out over the next six months in payments of 136 a month.

Money saved for fence: $0. can you see my crying emoji face? Better luck next month!

The 2017 budget series:

January : February : March : April : May : June : July : August : September : October : November : December

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Week 89

Oh, week 89. How hard you were. We started with finally getting our garden planted. Reuben decided to get FOUR TEETH at once, and also have a growth spurt. Yes, please buy me coffee. Then I got the first draft of my book back and realized I love writing but I hate editing. It's tedious but so good, kind of like pealing off a bandied or receiving shock therapy. I mean, I've never received shock therapy but I can see how they might be similarly humiliating and soul crushing. 

But I am going to push through. I've created a rough draft, now lets shine it up. Why is it so painful?

Also, I don't think this is in the vlog, but my mother in law showed up TWICE this week without calling, and we had a fight. I hate fights. Please call before coming over. Just so I can make sure I'm wearing clothes. Please. Call.

I think she learned her lesson. I need more coffee.

Want to know what I was doing last year? There's video evidence, so here ya go.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

The 5 things I've learned in 5 years of Christianity

I was thinking the other day: I've been a christian for five years now! Five is a long time. At least to me.

So I thought I would postulate on the five things I feel I've learned these past five years.

1) Everything I know about God is wrong.

Okay, so I know I'm a Christian now. But that first year--I feel like I had to unlearn more than I learned. Because there was so many expectations, misconceptions and lies about God and Christianity that I internalized over the years. I had to throw it all out the window and start from scratch by reading the bible and learning what God actually has to say. I'm still learning. But realizing my foundations of what I thought God was were wrong was very traumatic for me. I cried a lot. I questioned a lot. It was very healing and very hard.

2) Christians are very diverse and this is frustrating  

Three or so years into my Christian walk I realized that the religion of Christianity is extremely diverse. I mean, I've seen arguments in Christian Facebook groups about the timeline of the tribulation. I've had heated discussions in my church about Calvinism (you are saved forever) and Arminianism (you can lose your salvation). I've seen people throwing out the exact same verses out to support one or the other. We fallen humans do not have the "key" to understanding the bible. So we have to guess sometimes, or assume, or even postulate--because some things are just not black and white. Or are they? Because for each questions you'll find one Christian that thinks it is obvious while another says it cannot be discerned. Add in another Christian who believes the exact opposite and arrive at the conundrum that is Christianity.

This is really frustrating for me as a young Christian. I hate the bickering and fighting among people who should get along. But we can't agree, we won't agree, and that is okay and also hard to accept at times. I...I count myself blessed that I have a God who knows the truth, who knows what is right and what is not--even if I mistakenly infer otherwise. I put my faith in Him to work it out all out even as I blunder around seeking answers. And if the answer can't be found? I trust in the wisdom that He has given me to make whatever decision I need to make. I will make mistakes. I am not perfect. Nor do I know the truth, or even pretend to be able to discern doctrine that Christians have been arguing about since the bible was written.

3) I let God down every day.

I am sinful. Salvation did not erase my sin nature, I still struggle with my own selfish wants and desires. I wish I had a pair of glasses that would let me see the world the way God does, so I could follow him easier. My own eyes see only a limited skyline, and my vision is continually distracted by my own finite, sinful attitude. I have never been more aware of my need for God's cleansing salvation. (If you are one of those Christians that believe you cease to sin after salvation, please reread point two above...and your bible.)

4) My life has been significantly altered by my salvation

I don't know how to accurately describe this point other then what I've stated. I see a huge difference in my spirit and my heart, my conscious and my compassion. I am not perfect, but I can tell God is at work in my life and in my heart. I can tell I belong to Him. I feel a joy in the depths of my soul that I know is rooted in God.

5) The mysteries of the bible are never-ending

There is so much in the bible to learn and read that I will never, even if I dedicated my entire life to biblical research--come to a complete understanding of God's word. This both awes and frightens me.

So that's what I've learned in my first five years of following God.

What have you learned? Was your first five years like mine, or different?

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Knitting, Crochet and Copyright Law

I tend to jump in head first without researching. What can I say? I'm impulsive. While this can be an admirable trait, sometimes I need to take a step back and research things. Whatever your hobby is, make sure to research any laws for your state and country before proceeding into any internet-related endeavor! It's very important!

Here is part of my research of knitting, crochet and copyright law, as well as how I've "technically" broken the rules and what I do now to make sure I am working within the parameters of the law.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

My Old Doll House

I had a really awesome doll house as a kid. Well, I think I did. My mom helped us make one with old crates and project board. I stumbled upon these pictures when I was going though some old photos last week, that I'd put on a jump drive and forgotten about! Oh, this brings back memories. My sister and I played dolls for hours and hours every day until I was around fourteen or fifteen years old. We would create elaborate adventures of escape and discovery games with our dolls. They would caravan around the country in the 1800s and go on space exportations to discover lost civilizations.

These pictures from our doll house were from when I was 8 or 9. I really hope I find some of when I was older, because we had a lot more walls up!

The kitchen. I wonder how long it took my mom to draw in all the squares on the wall?

Living room.

This is the kitchen in my sister's doll house. We each had a separate house.

 My sister loves animals. This was her pet room!

Wow, so many memories. And yes, in the above room I did tape Pokemon to the wall. I was obsessed with that card game as a kid!

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Knit Ruffle Cuffs

I love ruffles. They are so fun! And I also love this variegated pink yarn! It had to be ruffled, guys. It had to be! Thus, my ruffle boot cuffs were born.

You need DK weight yarn for this project, 240 yards for the large size. Needles used are 3.75mm to knit the cuff and 4.0mm to knit the ruffles. The video can be seen here and you can download the PDF file for 3.99 here. Happy ruffling!

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Week 87

A week of adventures. I really can't remember what stuck out this week. Planting flowers? Playing with the Roo? Going on walks? Swimming at the pool? Things we do a lot (well, except the garden) but wonderful things even if they are repetitious. This is my life.

One Year Ago is here!

Friday, June 2, 2017

What I Read April 2017

I read a measly 10 books in April! I've been reading up a storm this year so I really slowed down this month. Like really.

In the Meh Book Category:

I didn't like most of the books I read this month. It was a pretty disappointing month, to tell the truth. I thought Deadly Flowers by Sarah Thompson would be really good. I was planning on giving it a five star review until half way through it just went downhill fast. Suddenly there was a lot of mysticism and all the bad guys turned out to have something lame in common (no spoilers), and the main male character just up and left the narration 75% of the way through for absolutely no reason. And I still don't get the demon-that-looks-like-the-love-interest part.

The Twin's Daughter by Lauren Logsted was just creepy. Really creepy. Too creepy for me. The twist at the end, where what you think is a loving character turns out not to be loving at all...through me for the biggest loop. Dislike.

The worst book I read was The Falconer's Knot: A Story of Friars, Flirtation and Foul Play by Mary Hoffman. It was truly awful, full of stock characters with no emotional depth and every trope known to mankind. And it wasn't written well either. I couldn't finish it.

I also read Behind the Attic Wall by Sylvia Cassedy. Is she crazy or is she crazy? And isn't it sad? It was too sad. I don't recommend. Also, I remember reading this as a kid because of the backwoods girls...but I don't think I finished it. At least, it wasn't memorable enough if I did.

In the YAY Category:

The only book I really read that I liked was Hannah by Kathryn Lasky. And it's not even a particularity good book. I just happen to really like that genre no matter how many tropes there are.

I'm also currently reading a gardening book that I really like by Deborah Martin (Rodale's Basic Organic Gardening: A Beginner's Guide to Starting a Healthy Garden) but I haven't finished it yet and have not even started gardening, so I can't report on it's usefulness. Right now I just feel apprehensive and overwhelmed. But a lot more informed than I was sans book...

Honorable Mentions:

I read Ophelia by Lisa Klein and liked it okay. Ophelia is interesting and lovable and intriguing, and I liked seeing the world though her eyes. I want to read more by Klein, but it wasn't love if you know what I mean. It was enjoyable, for sure, and entertaining, but not...memorable. I enjoyed my one read through and won't be picking it up again.

Another honorable mention is Winnie-the-Pooh. I adored it, but it's a kid book. And that about sums it up. Maybe if I'd ever read it as a kid it would be more memorable to me. I did give it five stars, but I'm not bubbling over with excitement about it. I do want to read it to Reuben. I'm just not into idealistic chapter books anymore. That ship sailed when I turned eight. 

What did you read this month? To see these and other books I read, check out my goodreads here. Also, I am always open to book suggestions!