Food for Thought

This year has been a rough one as far as health stuff goes, who am I kidding; it’s been rough through most of last year as well.  My stomach has been giving me fits and I’ve had all sorts of tests done and medications prescribed without any lasting relief.  It culminated with a visit to the emergency room the night of William’s birthday where I received pain meds and the advice to go see my GI specialist.  The GI guy was zero help and really didn’t have any real advice for me except to call next time I had pain.

It was depressing and I didn’t feel very hopeful, but then a friend of mine recommended a clinic in Seattle that deals with food allergies and I figured I would give it a shot.  After talking with the doctor I started to feel hopeful for the first time in a long time.  The doctor said that my symptoms do sound an awful lot like they are being caused by food.  I had a bunch of testing done and I should find out in a few more weeks.  In the meantime, I’m experimenting with giving up dairy and gluten and have been able to see some improvements.

I should also mention that during this whole fun time I have been having ultrasounds of my neck to follow the progress of a suspicious lymph node that became swollen by my collar bone.  At the urging of my doctor, I met with an oncologist on Monday just to be safe.  He said it is most likely not lymphoma, but either a reaction to what is going on with my gut or a leftover reaction from the shingles.  It does seem to be going down which is wonderful.

If I’ve seem somewhat stressed these last few weeks, now you know why.

Chop Chop

Does my hair deserve it’s own post?  No.  It’s ridiculous really, but this is my life.  Descendants of mine, I feel a responsibility to inform you that I spend a sad amount of time thinking about and talking about my hair.

Discussions (are they called discussions if I’m the only one talking) went on and on for months about whether or not I should cut my hair.  It had grown to the longest length it’d ever been and when wet it reached my waist.  On days when it was clean and styled I felt beautiful, but most days I felt like a girl who had an enormous amount of hair tied in a bun on the top of her head.

I liked finding new ways to wear it, creating intricate designs out of braids that made me feeling like a cool milkmaid or aging ballerina.  Adelaide loved when I would braid our hair in the same way and on Sunday’s she often waited to get ready until she saw what I was going to look like so that she could request the same style.

And then spring came with it’s annual urging for newness and fresh starts and I bent to it’s will and scheduled a haircut.  I’ve been cutting my own hair for the last 2 years so it was kind of a big step for me to actually make an appointment.  It signaled commitment and a desire to not look awful.

The end result?  Good.  After my first appointment (yes, there was another) I felt like something wasn’t right.  I figured it was just the styling, but when I got my own hands on it and washed it and styled it… I hated it.  I felt like a preschool teacher which is fine, but that’s not who I feel like on the inside.  I was edging toward panic attack territory and contacted a couple of places but couldn’t get an appointment for that very day and I felt I would die if I had to wait over the weekend.

Luckily I found a place and the lady listened to me and fixed my mushroom hair.  She said that with my thick hair (I have a ton of hair, that is fine in texture) it really needed to be cut with a razor instead of scissors.  Listening to a razor gnaw off your hair isn’t the most comforting sound in the world, but she was right.  It laid so much better right away and even dripping wet I could tell that life was going to be okay and I wouldn’t have to shave my head after all.

I’m still clueless at styling it, but I figure I can get better with practice.  My hair got curlier with the weight gone and it’s kind of fun to play with.  I like how light and airy it feels and I can still put it back into a pony tail for teaching my ballet classes.

Molly isn’t a huge fan of my new cut, but she is nice about it and tries to give me ideas for styling it.  Adelaide hates it and has asked me to never cut it short again.  She openly mourns the loss of our matching braids.  Ben is happy that I’m no longer panicking.  His favorite style always seems to be whatever puts me in the happiest mood.  My only regret, (okay, my main regret) is that I didn’t think to donate my hair.  I was too caught up in the moment and that makes me sad because I probably cut a foot of hair off.

Chicken Update

The chicks are getting bigger!  They seem to double in size every few days and are good at flying for short little bursts and make all sorts of chicken noises.  They have their ugly teenage feathers starting to come in and the Buff Bramas have hilariously feathered feet.

We made them a new and bigger brooder using the pvc pipe fort kit that Ben made the boys for Christmas and a flexible sided kiddie pool that the neighbor let us borrow.  He used the pool with his chicks, but I couldn’t figure out what kind of lid/top would work with it so that’s why I went with the pvc pipes.  The pool makes for a nice bottom though.  The chicks seem to like their new space and love to roost on the top of the little box I have inside.  I’ll have to get some chicken wire to drape over the top so that they can’t escape as they continue to grow.

We have one little chick that we call Baby Chick because she is much smaller than the rest.  She seems to have a splayed leg that makes it hard for her walk.  After consulting friends and doing some research, I taped her legs together to help her strengthen the week leg. I then made a separate living space for her so she wouldn’t get picked on by the other chicks.  Her leg has gotten stronger and she is able to put weight on it, but she wasn’t thriving.  I think it was hard for her to be separated from the other chicks even though she could see them through a screen of chicken wire.

Over the weekend I removed the barrier and let them all mingle in hopes of perking her up a bit.  I think she seems happier and they don’t seem to be picking on her, but I check on her all the time because I’m still worried.  I’m hoping that as she gets stronger, she’ll be able to eat more and catch up to the other chicks.  She is such a sweet bird.

Easter Weekend

It turned out that Oliver’s bout with a stomach bug was not just a random occurrence.  All was fine and dandy until 6:30 Friday morning when Molly fell ill causing her to miss a much anticipated choir field trip at school.  That evening she was starting to feel better so I went ahead and did our little family egg hunt.

Right in the middle of the hunt, Adelaide projectile vomited all over the entry way.  Bless her heart she only hit the hardwoods, but while I was cleaning up William fell sick too.  Everyone found their baskets, but no one ate anything and I was glad.

We spent the weekend watching General Conference and falling pray, one by one, to the stomach bug.  I didn’t do anything fun for conference on Saturday, but by Sunday I was feeling better so I made orange cinnamon rolls.  No one really felt like eating them, but I felt good for making an effort.  I always try to make conference weekend special and this weekend was kind of a dud.  However, the messages at conference were so inspiring and uplifting and they gave me many good things to ponder over.

By Sunday the kids were feeling much better so we went down to share Easter dinner with Ben’s parents and his extended family that was in town.  5 minutes from their house (it’s a 45-60 min drive mind you) William threw up all over the back seat and I mean ALL OVER.  It was hard to tell whether the kids were more upset about the horrific smell or having to miss Grandma’s epic Easter egg hunt.

William had been fine the whole previous day, and since he frequently gets car sick and has the most sensitive stomach of the bunch, we ended up going to Grandma’s anyway and just keept him outside.  We borrowed a pair of pants from one of his cousins so he could maintain a little dignity.

The kids did the hunt and had a great time.  Grandma and Grandpa cannot be outdone when it comes to egg hunts.

Those who were healthy were allowed to mingle with other people.  Adelaide is in love with her little cousin Leora.  She tells me all the time how much she LOVES new little babies and how cute and little they are.  She really wants me to have another baby, but I explained gently but clearly that it was definitely not going to happen.

We packed up quickly and got the kids home, but left Molly behind so she could go on a big kid hunt after dark.  She originally wasn’t going to be here this weekend, but she stayed to keep from spreading the bug to her other house.  It turned out to be a blessing because she got to see her cousin Rebekah who was in town from Spokane.  I picked her up after the hunt since she has school this week.

Everyone woke up this morning feeling much better and I cleaned, washed, and sanitized everything so I’m feeling better too.  Even if the weekend was kind of gross, it was still a nice Easter.


I noticed that Oliver had suspiciously slicked backed hair that smelled like coconut conditioner and asked him about it.

“Oliver, did someone put something in your hair?” — Me

“Naughty me!” — Oliver, said with sneaky satisfaction


“Mom!  Henry is using poor sanitation!” — William, complaining about Henry’s dirty hands or some other minor crime.  He is our resident germaphobe.


We are currently renting out our mother-in-law apartment to our friends who are in the middle of remodeling their house.  Our kids are having a blast with their new playmates.  Molly looked out the window and saw that one of their little girls was selling flowers on the back step for a nickel so she took Adelaide out to buy a flower.

“You don’t have to give me any money for the flower.” — friend

“Oh, okay.” — Molly

“I think we should tip her a dime anyway.” — Adelaide, nicely offered

Molly puts a dime in the cup and selects two flowers.

“This me and (friends) shop too. I get half the money.” — Adelaide whispered with pride at having conned her sister out of a dime


“Now that I am reading more, I found out that some of the answers you gave to my questions when I was little were wrong.” — William

“Like what?” — Me, extremely curious

“Oh I don’t remember now.  The things I read were different than the answers you gave me.  I used to think you and Dad knew everything.” — William

“Well if you find one of the questions again, I want you to let me know.  I wouldn’t ever tell you something that wasn’t true on purpose.  If I have it wrong I want to know.” — Me, humbled

“I think you were just busy in the car or distracted or something.” — William, throwing me a bone


Definitely 2

This little guy has been keeping me on my toes lately.  He is most definitely two.  After figuring out the whole potty training thing and staying dry for several days, he figured out that he can go in his pull-up without it soaking his pants and has decided to abandon the toilet.  Curse those pull-ups.  They are expensive so I’d rather just have him in diapers, but he throws a fit if I try to put a diaper on him.  He only wants the pull-ups because he can put them on by himself which he is very proud of.  I refuse to buy any more pull-ups and we are just about out so things will get interesting in a few days.

Oliver is also trying his best to give up naps.  I have to fight him most days and even then we’re down to a nap every other day or so.  But he still NEEDS naps, oh how he needs them.

On top of this fun he shoved a gum wrapper up his nose while we were in the car the other day.  Ben pulled over and I was able to get it out using a McDonald’s straw and the pocket knife/tool in our glove box.  It was hilarious and scary and gross all wrapped up into one.  Afterwards we were telling him “NO gum in your nose!” which he happily repeated and then quietly said, “Yes gum in nose.”

Lastly, my sweet little cherub puked all over me at church on Sunday.  It was during the closing prayer of sacrament meeting and my eyes were closed so I wasn’t quite prepared.  I still managed to trap all of it in my maxi skirt and hair, but I was soaked clear through to my underwear.  We striped him down in the pew and then he threw a fit because he wanted his shoes on but wanted to do it himself all while Ben stood with his arms full of bags and I was clutching a towel to the contents of my skirt.

That sweet Oliver is really lucky that I think he’s so cute.


We got chicks!  It was a spur of the moment decision, at least 5 years in the making.  We’ve talked about getting chickens for a long time and really started to get serious about it once we moved into this house.  We wisely put it off because the first year in our house we had a baby, and the second we hosted a family reunion, but this year was the year.  At least that’s what I told Ben when I told him I was getting the chicks.

Our little flock of chicks contains, two Buff Bramas, two Red Sexlinks, two Australorps, and two welsummers for a total of eight chickens in case you are counting.  I wanted to have six chickens but was afraid that we’d get a rooster or two in the mix which is how I ended up with eight.  It’s a slippery slope.  Chicken ownership that is.

Right now the chicks are in a large cardboard box in our garage, but our friend brought us over a larger box/kiddie pool set up that they used for their chicks last year.  I’m going to move them over to the new digs as soon as I buy more pine shavings.

We are all excited about the chickens, but no one more so than William (though Adelaide is a close second).  He loves chickens and has been begging for chickens for years.  In a few months all his egg dreams will start coming true.