Saturday, February 26, 2011

Day 26: I love...

I love that my head and neck have finally stopped hurting. I gave myself a mild concussion on Tuesday when I fell--it was bad. I've seen the chiropractor a few times and that really helped with the whiplash. But the headache just wouldn't shake until yesterday. Today I'm feeling much better and much more with it--I was just kind of spaced out before. Who knew you could hurt yourself so badly just falling down on the ground?

Day 25: I love...

I love when Jay takes a PTO day! His PTO bank has filled up so he had to start using them. We went to Wildfire for lunch today for the tasty salad there. Pibs came with us and did a really good job. Then we walked around the mall for a while, got coffee, laughed at Pibs. It was a good time! As a stay at home mom, weekends don't mean much anymore except that I get help. So for me it was like a long weekend!

Day 24: I love....

I love gel nail polish! I just tried this for the first time and am super happy with it. It goes on just like regular nail polish but you let it set under the lights. Then it becomes hard a rock and doesn't chip! I've had mine on now for 3 1/2 weeks and the only part that is coming off is at the top of my nail where it has grown. I will need to go in to get it soaked off but there won't be any damage to my nail (unlike with gel nails, where your entire nail bed is trashed for 6 months). Cost was $30, so quite a bit more than a regular manicure. But it has required no work from me and I haven't broken any nails off. Totally worth it!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

New poll is up!

How often do you run your dishwasher? I think we run ours 2-3 times per week. I am not an ecoterrorist but I do try to conserve where I can and somehow it feels like a waste to run a half empty dishwasher. So then I wash quite a bit of stuff by hand. But I am not sure that even makes sense because I probably use more water doing that than the dishwasher uses!

Day 23: I love...

I discovered these at The Container Store yesterday and I don't know how I missed them before! I am using a few in my kitchen "command center" to organzie magazines, papers and all the stuff that needs to get organized. I'm going to use a few up in my craft room as well. They are on sale right now!

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Day 22: I love...

I love having a family (both immediate and extended) that cares about me!

Today I had a big fall while walking Ethan out to the bus stop. I landed flat on the back of my head. I thought I was going to pass out for a sec and was trying to figure out how to tell Ethan to help me. I laid on the ground for a few minutes (my clothes were soaked after this--not pleasant). Thankfully I didn't pass out and I wasn't bleeding so I got Ethan on the bus and headed home.

I called my mom and asked her to come down, which she did right away. Then I called Jay and asked him to come home, which he did right away. I laid in bed all afternoon with a headache and the start of whiplash ache. I am so thankful that I have people around to help me at times like this!

I called the nurse line and they told me what to watch out for. So far I am okay. But be careful! I walk out to the bus stop every day and have never fallen so you just never know when your feet will fail you.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Day 21: I love...

I love jammie day! Today is a school holiday and since we are trapped inside, we are all still in our jammies and laying low. Our days are usually quite busy so a break from the pace is very welcome. The kids are having a great time playing together and I'm catching up on some podcasts.

On a related note, I am sure many kids across Minnesota are cursing their luck today. I think school probably would've been canceled (especially since it is STILL snowing!) but since it is President's day they miss out on a snow day. That always happens! Remember the Halloween Blizzard? That happened on a 4 day weekend.

Day 20: I love...

I love driving in a snowstorm! Seriously, I do. I love the drama of it, the excitement, not knowing if I'll actually make it to my destination.

I decided today would be a good day to check out a new store up in SLP. I took Pibs with me and we had a snowy adventure. We made it there and back without issue. Then we went to the grocery store and nearly got blown away while trying to get back to the car.

Good thing I got the groceries yesterday--today I am trapped in my house! The plows finally came by around 10 and now the pile of snow at the end of our driveway is at least 3 feet. Jay will be busy this afternoon. :)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Day 19: I love...

I love that my family wholeheartedly participated in Family Clean Up Day!

I don't mind being the cleaner in the house. I understand that it is my role as a stay at home mom to keep this place running. It is my office, after all. But no one likes a messy office, and I don't like having to constantly chase clutter to all ends of the house.

Today I made a list for Team Mom and Pibs and Team Dad and Ethan. We started in the basement and worked our way up to the top of the house. So much mess and clutter got cleared away today! It took about two hours of working (and dancing, and stopping for a snack) but we got it done. We didn't tackle things like the kitchen (I do that happily) or the master bedroom (that will require much more work). But the pile of junk sitting on the stair railing? Gone. The drawer in the kitchen full of odds and ends? Empty. It is a great feeling. We celebrated by going to Lion's Tap! Ethan got to pick our seat--he picked the high stools. And Pibs wore her (way too small) kitten costume. Yep, it was a good day. :)

P.S. One more thing I love--dinner with the Elliott's tonight! We had such a great time--thank you for a fun night!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Day 18: I love...

Today I loved seeing my little man's face light up when he realized I was the "mystery reader" for his Kindergarten class! I had a great time. I read a book called Suddenly Alligator and then read a few poems out of Where The Sidewalk Ends. The kids were great listeners and kept coming up to me to tell me that they were one of Ethan's friends. It was fun to see him in action. He has said to me at least 10 times tonight that this was the best day ever. Ever. Got that? :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 17: I love...

I love kicking snow chunks into the street drain with Ethan. It has become our entertainment while we wait for the bus this week. With everything melting, there is lots to kick at! We really cleared off a big space today--it was pretty exciting! Next week we'll probably have to go back to huddling together against the wind but for now we kick! :)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Day 16: I love...

I love my Honda! My car is seven years old now and aside from a few wear and tear issues with the seat covers, I have had zero issues with it. Many of you know that I was a die hard VW driver....that is, until I had to start paying for all those repairs myself! ;) Seriously, hardly a day went by when something wasn't falling apart on my Jetta. So we ditched the Germans and joined the Japanese. So glad we did it. I will be a Honda lover for life!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Day 15: I love...

I love watching Teen Mom on MTV! I know, I am 33 and kind of outside the demographic. But it is my guilty pleasure and I love it! I got hooked on 16 and Pregnant and have kept watching the moms as they move on. I know some feel these shows glorify teen pregnancy but I really don't agree with that. If anything, I think they serve as fair warning to any person wanting to have a baby at a young age.

FYI, just so I don't get any phone call interventions, I only watch Teen Mom and I Used to Be Fat--no Jersey Shore, promise!!!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Day 14: I love...

I love my Vibram Five Finger shoes! I've been wearing them since May and will never go back to sneakers. I know they are kinda ugly but my feet and legs feel better than they have in years! I wore them on my Grand Canyon hike this year--only got one blister instead of five and didn't lose any toenails. That is a victory my friends!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Day 13: I love...

I love 37 degree days in February! I didn't even wear a coat today. The warm air felt like such a treat after last week.

Day 12: I love...

I love weekend naps! Okay, I love naps at anytime but I especially love them on the weekends! I can actually enjoy the nap when Jay is around to handle the kids. It feels like a treat rather than a necessity of survival on the weekend somehow.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Day 11: I love...

I love planning for Disney! We leave in 39 days and it is true that anticipation is half the fun! Right now Jay and I are sitting at the computer looking up rides and restaurants, trying to figure out what our kids would most enjoy doing. This trip is one of the highlights of our year and we feel so blessed to be able to take in this experience!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Day 10: I love...

I love that when it is -2 degrees out, there is no road gunk spraying up on your windshield and there is no snow being tracked into the house!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Day 9: I love...

I love a clean kitchen sink! All traces of food and other gunk gone, nothing but a shiny, sparkling white sink staring up at me. A wonderful start to the day.

Alas, mine is not clean at the moment. Maybe tomorrow?

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Ethan's 2nd tooth....

The pulling of Ethan's 2nd tooth. Don't worry, not gross. But watch for the Nintendo DS to make an appearance during this important milestone! :)

Day 8: I love...

I love America! Last night Jimbo, Jake, Heidi and I had our first John Adams miniseries viewing. Apparently we are the only history buffs in the family. We watched the first two episodes in the HBO Miniseries and if there had been time we would've loved to watch them all at once!

The story of our country is quite amazing and the courage of our founding fathers is quite extraordinary. Sometimes the current state of politics can lead us to complain and talk about everything that is wrong. But when you compare it to what was happening in the American colony in the late 1700's you will quickly see that we have it pretty easy! These men got together and created a form of government unknown to them. They had the opportunity to dream big and that they did. It is remarkable that their ideas are still working over two hundred years later. No, it isn't perfect but it is better than anything I could come up with!

Go watch John Adams. It is extremely well done.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Day 7: I love....

I love the Stuff You Missed In History Class podcast! It is one of my favorites. There is always something to learn about some obscure topic that they didn't touch on in school. It gives me at least a half hour to just zone out on my home life and listen to a story. Go find it in itunes!

Day 6: I love...

I love using the bathroom ALONE! Those of you with small children can totally understand what I am talking about. For the past six years, my bathroom time has been a family affair. I have held crying children on my lap, broken up fights and answered innumerable questions while trying to do my business. In the past six months though, the door has been closed and I am alone! It is wonderful.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Day 5: I love...

I love my witty family! We banter back and forth via email on a variety of topics. Past gems have included The Scent of a Leader, National Mulch Day, TWSS (That's What She Said), and many event planning emails that devolve into wisecracks.

Recently my dad sent an email with all the phrases found in the Bible that we now use in our everyday conversation. A few thoughtful emails went around and then we blew the lid off it. We spent today coming up with funny ways to incorporate our "Louwsma Speak" into bible verses. There were many good ones, such as:

-After wandering for 40 days in the desert, Jesus said, "I must rest as my dogs are barkin'. "
-When Jesus is asked if he is the Son of God he replies "I'm not sayin, I'm just sayin..."
-After betrayed by Judas Jesus says "Thou hast dog faced me"
-And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I have major dirt."

Then Jay took things to a whole new level with this gem. Jaws dropped, all were stunned. It is amazing. Louwsma Speak is in red.

Mathew 22:23-33 (NILDV - New International Louwsma Dictionary Version)

Marriage at the Resurrection

23 That same day the LSOP (Little Sadducees of the Poor), who say there is no resurrection, came to him with a querry. 24 “Bueno/que bueno, Teacher,” they said, “I have a memory cloth of Moses telling us that if a man isn't in shape he may as well just die without having pies, and his main man must marry the widow and raise up pies and grand pies for him. 25 Now there were didy nine, didy didy nine brothers among us. The first one married and died, and since he had no children, he left his wife to his brother. 26 The same thing happened to the second and third brother, right on down to the didy nineth. 27 Finally, the woman died from being speewacked on the most scenic highway in Jerusalem. 28 Now then, at the resurrection, whose wife will she be of the didy nine, since all of them were married to her and considered her the last of the good deals?”

29 Jesus thought, "Leaders gotta lead," and replied, “I'm not sayin', I'm just sayin', you are onfortunately frowed off and fused up because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God. 30 At the resurrection people will neither marry nor be given in marriage as that would be both crunkle junk and crinkle dink; instead they will be like the angels in heaven. 31 But about the resurrection of the dead—far be it from me to say have you not read what God said to you, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’[b]? He is not the God of the dead but of the living.”

33 When the crowds heard this, they were astonished at his teaching and realized they had got a learning on. And Jesus stated, "Booya."

Friday, February 4, 2011

Day 4: I love...

I love having friends over for dinner! Tonight we have an old friend of mine coming over and I am so looking forward to catching up with her and her husband!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Day 3: I love...

I love same day doctor appointments!

Olivia failed her vision and hearing tests yesterday at her Early Childhood Screening. I spent the evening worrying how I would keep glasses and hearing aids on a girl that refuses to wear her pants most of the time. I called our doctor this morning and was able to get in at 11 AM. She has an ear infection but other than that she is absolutely fine! All that worry for nothing.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Day 2: I love...

I love my gym membership! No matter how tight our budget gets, I refuse to give it up. I get two hours of childcare a day there and on days like today, having that time away from the kids is needed. And during the summer it gives us a great pool to hang out at with our friends!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Day 1: I love....

For the month of February I am going to post one thing I love each day.

I love my FUGGS! (my fake Uggs) I wear them everywhere in the winter. I don't have to wear socks because the insides are really fuzzy and my feet stay nice and toasty. I can stomp through the snow with Ethan without worrying about my feet getting cold.

gluten free for 32 days!

On January 1 I decided to stop eating gluten. I wanted to see if I had an allergy or intolerance to it. I have been struggling with my weight since I had Pibs despite trying all kinds of diets and doing regular exercise. I have spent an astonishing amount of money on trying to get my old body back to no avail. Food allergies can accompany gallbladder issues and this struggle began when my gallbladder went bad. I also had mystery inflammation after the gallbladder removal that they thought was either RA or Lupus but turned out to be neither. They never bothered to find out where it was coming from--maybe a gluten intolerance?

So I decided to stop eating gluten. I skipped the blood test because I am completely frustrated with doctors who refuse to listen to me or try to help me. They just told me to eat less and move more. And when I said that wasn't working they thought I was lying.

The first two weeks were the worst. Seriously, my body craves carbs like nothing else! But I stuck to it pretty closely. There were a few times when I just decided to eat the gluten despite the consequences. But the further I get down this gluten free path, the worse the payback when I do eat gluten!

After the first three days, I noticed a MAJOR mood change. I felt like this fog that has been over me for the past four years lifted. I started to really enjoy my kids for the first time in a long time. I started to parent creatively again instead of just going through the motions. I always felt so beat and exhausted that I could do the bare minimum but that was it. I used to take at least 6 Advil a day--I've taken 2 in the last 32 days. My body just doesn't hurt the way it used to.

So now when I do eat the gluten, I know that I will hardly be able to walk the next morning due to the pain that shows up in my ankles. I know that my brain will feel fuzzy and I will feel so tired. I know that my tolerance for children will be diminished. It is to the point now where those feelings are starting to outweigh my desire for pizza! Never thought that would happen.

My food cravings have all but disappeared. I eat almost no processed food anymore. My one indulgence is gluten free tortilla chips--they are so tasty!! I eat a lot of fruit and veggies, nuts, chicken, brown rice, quinoa and greek yogurt. I haven't really tried to replace the gluten filled items with gluten free ones. I do have a loaf of gluten free bread but it really only tastes good when it is toasted so I save it for the panini press. Plus, it is $5 for a very small loaf so I try to make it last!

I've read some criticism of eating gluten free. I think that if you just replace gluten crackers with gluten free crackers or eat gluten free brownies, you really aren't catching the point of this. I am doing this because it makes me feel so much better and I realize I don't need all those empty carbs that come with gluten. I'm trying to eat as little processed foods as possible instead of eating gluten free processed foods.

I didn't have to worry about any of this until I was pregnant with Pibs--I've never had a food allergy before. But even if I did a blood test and it showed no allergy I would continue eating this way because I think the way I feel now is totally worth. Never discount the power of food to heal your body!

And the best part? (TMI alert) I haven't had diarrhea since I started! That is the longest I have gone without it since I had Pibs!