90 Day Challenge

90 Day Challenge

I just started the 90 day challenge with Body by ViSalus.

I think I have steadily gained 10 pounds per child I delivered!!! I am done having kids and ready to get back in shape!

Follow or join me on my quest to a healthier me!!!


17 Days Until Christmas!!!

I am so excited!!! This is my littlest boy’s first Christmas. The twins are 2, but this is the first one they will really be old enough to look forward to and enjoy.

And besides one last minute gift for my youngest, we are all done with shopping!!!

I have to share one of my favorite gifts for my oldest boy, Ethan. He has been asking (aka begging!) for a Kindle Fire. He is a big reader. His favorites are Rick Riordan and the Percy Jackson (and beyond) series. He will finish those 400+ page books in a week!!! We decided to take the cheap route and give him my old Nook (that I don’t use) and a nice gift card to B&N for books. When I tried to power it up, it didn’t work. Thankfully we bought the extended warranty. They gave us $150 in credit for anything in the store . . . and the Kindle Fires were $159!!! So for $9 (plus the additional warranty!!!), my son will be getting a Kindle Fire. He is going to be so very excited. I’m not so excited that he will have such easy access to games. Hopefully he spends more time reading and less time playing!!!

So, to give it to him, I wanted to do something fun (though I haven’t finished it!). We are giving my daughter his old Nintendo DSi, and I did the same packaging idea. So pics are of hers . . .

Thanks to Pinterest, I made a hollow book out of this Sarah Palin book. I put the DSi inside the book, in a box, and wrapped it. I can’t wait to see the look on her face when she opens the gift to think we bought her a Sarah Palin book!!! The Kindle will be in a John McCain book (they had to match!!!!). It’s kind of a running joke in the house because Ethan was old enough to understand the elections a little when McCain was running. He asks about McCain still and says how much he likes him (you know, as much as any then 5, now 9 year old can like a politician!!! So for him to be a big reader and curious about McCain, I guess it’s not a far stretch that he would get a nice McCain autobiography for Christmas!!!! Image



It was fun to make though mine isn’t quite as pretty and perfect as the others I have seen. I’m hoping to have the video camera running to catch their confusion . . . hopefully followed by excitement!!!!

Celiac Disease

I just realized that I have never explained my gluten-free life on this blog. (Must have been one of the other 10 I have started and forgotten!!!)

My youngest son was born in February 2012 at 32 weeks. My water broke at 30 weeks, and I was hospitalized until delivery. He was in NICU for a month, and I was back and forth between my 4 kids at home and my little man in the hospital.

Adorable, isn’t he??

After a couple weeks (March), I noticed a very itchy rash on my elbows and forearms. I thought it had something to do with all the hand/arm washing I had to do every time I went into the NICU unit (which was 4 times a day at a minimum). Then the rash appeared on my knees. It was so itchy, I would wake up rubbing my legs on the sheet trying to scratch my knees. When I googled rash on elbows and knees, Celiac Disease always came up. I mentioned it to my doctor at my 6 week check-up, but we both dismissed it saying I couldn’t have Celiac because I have no other symptoms. She gave me something for the rash and said let her know if it gets worse.

The rash never went away. After more research, I stumbled upon this blog. I was shocked at the atypical symptoms and how many I had. The one that hit me the most was the family history of non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. My father died from NHL in 2001. I was in the Air Force and stationed away from home the previous 6 years. So I don’t know if he had any typical or atypical Celiac symptoms, but that plus the other symptoms was enough for me to push for further testing.

For my symptoms, I could explain everything away. Exhaustion – I have five kids, and the youngest is still in the hospital expecting daily visits from me! Of course I’m exhausted. Allergies – check. Infertility – check. Premature babies – check (all 5 of my kids were born prior to 36 weeks!). Cold sores – check. Canker sores – check. Just random things that wouldn’t normally mean anything!!!

I mentioned this to my allergist, and she actually said, “Do you have a medical background?” Sure do . . . got my PHD from Google University!!! She sent me in for lab work. I also went to a dermatologist who tested the rash. Ironically, the rash was negative (which I still don’t believe. That was the ONLY reason I set out on this journey!), but three of the five blood tests were positive. So I had an intestinal biopsy in May, and it came back Celiac positive with severe intestinal damage. I was in shock!!!!

I am thankful to have a wonderful team of doctors that listen to me and order tests when warranted. My time from initial symptom to diagnosis was two months! Most Celiac sufferers go 10+ years before they get a diagnosis.

I do get some of the stomach symptoms now if I am “glutened.” For the most part, my main symptom is exhaustion. If I consume gluten, I can’t get out of bed a couple days later. This is bad because when I wake up with that feeling, I have to think back a couple days to see what may have had gluten in it. It’s hard to pinpoint the source by that time!

Going glute-free hasn’t been as difficult as I thought it would be. There are definitely some things I really miss. Over the last few years, I have changed my style of cooking and eating to more clean eating and dumped the prepackaged meals. That would have made for a much more difficult transition! I love to cook, and now I just have to make a few substitutions! The hardest part for me is eating out. We love to go out to eat once a week. There are times I feel like no place is as safe as my kitchen!

So, this is my new life, and I’m sure it will make many appearances in this blog!!!


Thanksgiving update . . .

It was AMAZING!!!

You wouldn’t have known it was gluten-free. The dressing was delicious. I have to say it is a close rival to my grandmother’s!!! ❤ The real fried onions (vs. the canned) in the green bean casserole were so much tastier. I probably ate half of them before putting them in the casserole!!! The pecan pie was so good, and the crust was perfect!!! I am so happy that after I was upset and feeling sorry for myself and this dreadful disease, everything turned out just as good if not better than any previous gluten-filled Thanksgiving (well, minus the melt-in-your-mouth buttery dinner rolls!!!!). Everything else was already gluten-free, but I feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment because it was all made from scratch by me!!! (And, I was able to put some of the dressing, green bean casserole, and pecan pie in the freezer. I will take it to my family’s at Christmas so I can enjoy those foods with everyone else!!)

Even the littlest of the crowd was pleased!!!

I will add recipes later. 🙂


Woe is me . . .

This is a silly feeling sorry for myself vent . . . so stop now if you don’t want to listen to someone over the age of 7 whining!!!

I HATE having Celiac disease. This is the first holiday I have had to deal with it. I can do a ham, turkey, cranberry, sweet potatoes . . . but I have to figure out how to make:

My FAVORITE . . . green bean casserole without the fried onions in a can (the BEST) and cream of mushroom soup (easily adapted, but I don’t know how it will taste compared to the canned stuff because I don’t have my gluten free flour knowledge down yet.).

Dressing . . . I have the BEST gluten free cornbread mix . . . and some gluten free bread. So I’m going to wing it.

Forget about any dinner rolls. Nice yeasty dinner rolls do not exist in the gluten free world. There are some similar . . . but you never get those soft, buttery, melt-in-your-mouth rolls again.

Desserts . . . I can’t find gluten free vanilla wafers (for my grandma’s banana pudding) for the life of me. I want to make a pecan pie, too, but I have to figure out (or find) a gluten free pie crust recipe.

Nothing is easy. I just want to grab a ready made shell or nilla wafers in a box and make it like normal. I don’t want to have to spend all the time cooking vanilla wafers. Then making the pudding . . . when I have a ton of other things to worry about including five kids!!!

I know this is a silly vent, but you really take for granted these gluten filled short cuts. And I’m not looking for year-round short cuts for everything. I enjoy cooking . . . but sometimes, like a holiday, when you are pressed for time, some shortcuts are nice.

Oh, and those things that are gluten free, easily twice the price of it’s gluten filled counterpart. Sucks . . .

And my family has to suffer through this with me because I prefer the house be as gluten free as possible!!!

Thanks for listening. Here’s a gluten free cookie . . . yes, it probably tastes like crap . . . sorry!!!

Some people are so full of themselves . . .

I am very active on an online mom’s club. I have been an administrator on that site for a few years.

Yesterday, a member I have never even heard of posted a rude comment. It was reported to us, and I removed the post and sent a message to the member that we don’t want comments like that on the board. She said I removed the post because I was racist!!!!! :/ I told her that I was just the messenger, but she went on about the deeds you do will come back to you, good or bad. It blew up from there. She posted “For instance, when we go on our Thanksgiving feed the homeless outing this year I will feed more white women because of the racism a white women has shown me just to show the enemy you have no power over me.” FOR REMOVING A FLIPPIN’ POST!!!! What a moron . . .

I had to step away from the computer. Seriously . . . racially motivated?? THIS is why we still have hate . . . not from the “white women.” Only an idiot could turn this situation into a racially motivated move.

Can’t we all just get along???????