Sunday, March 25, 2012

a silly yack boy

I shared how my first born, my little man was recently diagnosed with Celiacs. i shared that it was quite bittersweet news for us. I want to share our W's story now, to encourage others.

He was a super content, good sleeping newborn. A model baby. I thought I had hit the lottery. As he rounded the 2 month mark, he did seem a little "grunty" a bit mroe fussy, but we figured it was just normal baby stuff and he still seemed rather content. There was always a way to keep him happy.

On the day he turned 3 months W got the prevnar vaccine. Let me insert here that i'm not anti-vaccine or pro-vaccine. I'm cautious but i recognize the need for them. So i give them to my kids in small amounts, a little more spread out, that's all! He didn't react too well to it. Spiked a fever and wailed all. day. long. Then he woke up the next morning and wailed some more. Then every day after that, the crying got worse. He never stopped crying.
Sure when he was with others it wasn't as bad, sometimes they couldn't see what i did. He stopped sleeping well. Stopped napping, stopped sleeping at night. A good night was only getting up with him 2 or 3 times. Even when he slept in bed with us.

I went to 3 different pediatricians, tried reflux meds, and visited a very good pediatric gastro dr. He tried things, did tests, but he called me after two months and said he didn't know why. He assured me it couldn't be food related. We had tried an elimination diet for a few short weeks, and he didn't get better. He basically shrugged his shoulders and said he couldn't help anymore.

For a while I gave up. i accepted that I just had a miserable kid. As he got older, started talking he became constantly defiant.I disciplined him more times that i could count a day. He was high energy, and most people just figured he has a strong personality. He was just a difficult kid. Period. I would have to adjust. I tried. i prayed. But in my mamma belly i still felt it wasn't right. How could a child, unpolluted by the mess of the world be so out of joint?

A few months ago I found out that a friend at church has a son with a gluten intolerance. It re-sparked a question i had asked when W was 6 months old. Could it be food? Could it be Celiacs? His diapers were never normal. the pediatricians said some kids just have weird "movements" and they always brushed it off. But at his 2.5 checkup I decided to push it. I armed myself with some Celiacs information (not much!) and insisted on testing. Thankfully our current pediatrician is super kind and respectful of parents, and she agreed that it was worth checking, and that she would throw in several different celiacs screenings in W's routine blood work.
She called back a week later with the results. Yes. Celiacs.
We breathed a sigh of relief, and then started to worry. Gluten is in everything. how are we going to heal him.

Let me just say right now, this is a PROCESS. If you start the gluten free journey do. not. give.up. It WILL be hard. Gluten free stuff is expensive off the shelf. My advice is stay AWAY from processed gluten free stuff. Go simple, go natural. That's what we do. it takes AT LEAST 1-3 months to see improvement. With W we just started seeing a marked change last week, a month in to the diet.

I could cry as I honestly say that my little boy is different. He is my BUDDY now. He listens, he obeys. He SLEEPS. we've had a few nights where he has not cried ONCE. That is so unbelievably huge for us.
W've had several slip ups in the past week. He's been unintentionally given (and stolen!) things he shouldn't eat. And he went RIGHT back to being the miserable W. Saying NO to everything. It kills me even more now to see him like this, because I KNOW who he really is without the POISON of gluten in his body.

If you are reading this and wondering about celiacs, or a gluten issue. JUST DO IT. It will not hurt you, or do any damage to your body to try it for a few months. It WILL be difficult. Stock up of tons of fruit, veggies and beans. Throw out/box up everything that is even SUSPECT of gluten.

It's in EVERYTHING and even TRACE amounts will keep you from getting a conclusive result. But please, take this story as an encouragement to take charge of your health through food.

Food can hurt us and heal us in ways we can't imagine. God knew how powerful food was. Food symbolically killed us in the Garden of Eden. Jesus used food as a symbol of how he would give us new life. Don't underestimate it. DON'T GIVE UP.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

I wish I had more to report in the way of progress with my two mini people.
Sweet P is still not a happy camper. We've had her on SUPER hypoallergenic formula for a week now. We thought we saw some improvement at the beginning, but as I seem to be so good at, I sabotaged it. I had a weak mama moment and I tried "just one more time" to see if I could feed her. I have a hard time letting go apparently. Just once is all it takes to derail a train going in a good direction. Most of the time I can't even hold her she squirms so much. I put her down and she screams. I know many people tell you to slow down and enjoy these days when they are little, but I find myself doing exactly what I did with W. Hoping and wishing the next milestone will bring relief. I'm not going to ever wish on my children that they return to this state, or for me to return to the helplessness of a screaming baby.
W has been on a gluten free diet for a few weeks now, and so far we're still not seeing a lot of improvement. I am hoping that it will just take a little time for his body to re-adjust. Thankfully we have found some GREAT recipes for Gluten Free fare, and our eating hasn't suffered one bit! As I type I'm indulging in brownies that are ten times better than the gluten filled boxed stuff.
I hope to share some of the recipes I'm loving, very soon. I'm a recipe tweaker if there ever was one...what can I say? I'm a rebel. I'd like to share them soon, but finding that second to take a photo while I'm rushing to make whatever it is and then feed it to know, it just isn't happening right now!
Honestly I'm lucky if i get through the day with a shower and having eaten three meals (that don't consist of shoving a handful of dry cereal, or brownies in my mouth!). Not that I want to have myself a little pity party here. But yeah...I'm really REALLY looking forward to having two satisfied children. Whenever that happens.
So if you happen to see me walking around looking like this:
 you know why!

Thursday, February 23, 2012


I said a prayer. . .and for now the answer seems to's going to get harder. 
I hate hearing that really feels like no answer at all. Especially when it's my children. I've heard that same answer before...for the past 2 and a half years i've heard that answer.
When i thought, hoped for W that the next milestone would bring some relief from the screaming, the unnamed agony and misery he was in. Drs shook their head "Sorry, we don't know why he's screaming like this". Friends leaving, stopping communications because i couldn't bear another screaming day. I couldn't handle it. My child didn't have a disability, or anything that LOOKED wrong with him, but still he screamed. The answer was will not get better.

But Monday I got a phone call. I had butterflies in my stomach, i answered it after one ring. I has been waiting for this call for days. The peppy voice on the other end a Dr I actually trust...and like. An ANSWER. Celiacs. A huge sigh of relief. Tears. Tears of joy for an ANSWER, but tears for a child who will have to spend the rest of his life with people not understanding why he can't have that doughnut. But we know. It won't change his personality, but i hope, i pray for him that it changes how he feels. A 2 year old can't really tell you that his stomach hurts every day..or a host of other symptoms that would have pointed to it. With him i can move forward.

But where to go with a wee one, who can't do anything but scream to communicate. Here it is again. Me the helpless mom holding a writhing, screaming infant. Wondering how i will fix this. Does anyone BELIEVE me? Do they think I'm exaggerating? Will i loose friends again? Will my marriage survive another miserable child? Why are my babies so tortured? HOW AM I GOING TO LIVE THROUGH THIS AGAIN?
Truthfully i scream it all at the can this happen again? I just want to know what it's like to ENJOY the babyhood. To have a cooing, giggling baby that PLAYS with toys next to me as i fold laundry. I desperately want that.
We've tried the hypoallergenic formula, we've tried the soy, we've tried the chicken/rice/veggies diet and still she gets worse. Less sleep each night, more screaming and squirming during the day. Mama growing more tired and burned out every moment.
I want a good attitude. I beg for it. Other mama's have screaming babies and they're still cheerleader perfect peppy. I want to be that. Because i KNOW my life is far from horrible. But my does it wear this girl to watch my babies suffer and i can do nothing.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A prayer for Sweet P


I don't know what I'm doing. I am out of my depth, in this trial you have allowed me. I need you.
I love my children. My babies. I fought hard to get them here, and yet in my arms, the fight did not stop. No my fight is not like others mom, some have it so hard I can barely breathe thinking of how they fight for their babies. My babies are healthy and well compared to so many...but they still have troubles that their mama can't figure out.
My sweet P is having a hard time like her brother did. So much unhappiness, and pain. I know there must be something I can do, but I don't have the insight...the all knowledge that you do. Give me wisdom to care for her.
Just a few feet from me she tosses and turns, grunts and groans, trying to cling to sleep...something that just so easily gets taken from her right now. Please show me how to help her get rest. Help me to find MY rest, even when physical is impossible, in YOU. I get so frustrated, so burned out. Only You can keep me going.
Heal her belly. I don't know what's causing it, really. All I know is the nourishment my body is meant to provide her in these wee months of her life, are in a cruel twist, making her sick. I can see every day how it makes her feel worse. It heavies and weighs my heart to give her something man-made, even though I know it's best for her right now. I hate breaking that special bond, but i know that it doesn't change my love for her, or YOUR love for either of us, for me to give her the man-made to make her better.
What a comfort to know You can see the other side of this, the outcome, just the same as you see me struggling in it now. While i can only wonder as i try to soothe her, crying and kicking, you see her as her happy little self, without the belly troubles.
Let me not forget how you carried us through this...I want to tell her when she is 2, when she is 4...when she is 16, how good you were to us in these times...always.

Thank you for her world-ending cute smile..if ever the earth could stop moving for cuteness, i am convinced it would have when she first smiled. You MADE that smile, to MAKE my day. And so many others. Thanks for that. When it's hard, that smile melts my frustration, and reminds me of why i will keep fighting.

You are always good.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life. . .

Right now the speed of life is both in fast forward...and slow motion. How ironic that things can be like that at the exact same time.
It's hard to believe Sweet P is 3 months old now.  . .somehow it felt longer getting to 3 months with W. Of course Sweet P was born right before several major holidays, and we all know those just fly by.

I want to blog more. . .I have tons of ideas and things to share. . but finding the chance to take photos is hard!

Sweet little girl is a fussy one. Thankful that she's not a screamer (like W was), but she's definitely crying more than smiling right now. We're trying some diet changes, hoping it improves her mood, praying that it's fixable. Most days I spend sitting right here at the keyboard, bouncing her away in the bouncer with the vacuum going to help soothe her. I know someday it will all just be a memory, a story i tell her, and I'm determined to find the things to be thankful for in it.

Not that it makes the hard any less HARD. . .but i think thankfulness despite difficulty is how God gets us through. It's how he fulfills those promises-the ones about joy even in sorrow, even in the face of the impossible.

I'm so grateful i started reading Ann Voskamp's book last's helped tremendously during the day to day with a 2 year old, and a fussy baby. Looking for the thing to give praise for makes the "trials" so might lighter. Read it. Especially if you're going through a struggle right now.

So for now I will just share some photos I've been able to (quickly) snap recently.

 (these really were taken yesterday! It was over 60 degrees here in Jersey!)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A Month in Pictures. . .

From Dec 19th to January 19th....

Making Salt Dough ornaments (Which BTW did NOT come out very good!)

Helping "Beeebeee"

The Fam (Hubby's)

It's not a family photo unless W cries

Foods (By Hubby)
Apple Oven Pancake
Homemade Soft Pretzels


Little Feet (that almost never stop moving)

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

I'm going to take a break from the house sharing, and be a little honest. Share a little something that..well I'm afraid of.
You see I'm a play it safe kind of girl.
I follow rules, I do what is expected of me, I don't go crazy, or out on a limb. Those can be GOOD things...things that keep you from doing something stupid. But I know the downside to those traits is big too. . .I never DO anything.
I don't put myself out there. I wait for others to come to me when I'm wanting a new friend-because I'm AFRAID of being rejected. Of being the WEIRDO.
It means I pick safe things to wear, so I don't look silly...but it leaves me feeling boring.
And it keeps me from trying something so big/scary/new because I JUST DON'T WANT TO FAIL. Or look STUPID. or be LAUGHED AT.
I have been feeling a little tug to do something that I've been afraid of for a while now. You see I never thing myself terribly creative...but I still enjoy the creating. I've been feeling a pull to use what I create to BLESS & lift up others. To share encouragements I've received, with others, so that they may be encouraged.
The thought of that excites me and makes me want to dive in head first, and put myself out there. . . but the other part of me. The SCARED, PEOPLE FEARING me makes me stop. WHAT IF I FAIL AND EVERYONE I KNOW THINKS I'M a JOKE. That I can't DO anything.
The line "I just don't think I could take that kind of rejection!" straight out of Back to the Future is/has been my mantra.
But I want a new one. One that will make me take that jump.
"I can do all thing. . ." You know the rest don't you?
through CHRIST who STRENGTHENS me.

 I'm praying, and hoping that this tug is from God. And I know if it is truly from Him, what He wants me to do...He WILL strengthen me. Quiet the butterflies and the paranoid rambler in my head, so i can do.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

House it going. Part THREE

Pardon my inability to get this in when I said I would! A nasty stomach bug has TORN through our church this week, and we were sadly not immune. W started on monday, and me & hubby followed a few days after. EVERYONE we know seems to getting it-I have to admit this kind of stuff freaks me out! I feel like it's some sort of movie, and somehow a stomach bug will end the world.
I know. I'm silly.

But on to what I was going to show you in the house series part 3!
W's's coming along! When he was in my belly cooking, I had this great idea to paint stripes across the center of the room, and decorate it baseball themed. I loved it..for about ten seconds. I quickly felt like it just wasn't me...wasn't W. But I lived with it for a while. But when I was cooking Sweet P I decided it was time to change it to something I felt was for fitting for us. Here's what I've got so far!

 I picked up that toddler bed at the Dutch Auction for $'s originally IKEA and retails for $100! It was in perfect condition! I decided though that the plain wood look wasn't W, and used the leftover paint from the Dining Room (which is Warm Gold from Better Homes & Garden) to paint it. I still plan to cover up the somewhat weird dog and cat cutouts with upholstered panels!
The cool vintage blankie belonged to hubby's uncles, there are two of them we scored during a house clean out! I LOVE them. They're warm and vintagey perfection!
  W loves his "moooon". Oma picked it up for him at...guess where?! Yup-IKEA! The "artwork" is a super simple DIY.
I picked up a TON of canvases when Micheal's has a sale months and months ago so i already had this canvas on hand. I spray painted it with the $1 gray spray paint at Wal Mart. Then I found a free font online that I loved, and I printed it out extra large (I believe it was about 200 point). I then cut around each individual letter (no Cricut over here!) and Mod Podged them on the canvas. That's it! See it's easy!
 I saw this idea on Pinterest and I couldn't help but run out to IKEA and get me some spice racks. I LOVE this for storing books in a cute way. If course W has WAY more books than will fit on two shelves, so only his faves made it on these..the rest are stored under his bed!
  Of course alot of the time the books are still ALL OVER the floor. :sigh: Life with toddler.
I love that little cubby shelf. I picked it up at the Christmas Tree Shop (Which is oddly NOT a Christmas store) when I was prego with W for like $2 because the box was damaged. The canvas boxes used to be bright red and navy blue..they went with the baseball theme, but not so much with a more vintagey yellow and orange. So I hit'm with a few coats of that same gray spray paint, and there you go! Making over things you already have to fit your new style is usually EASY and CHEAP.
The "artwork" below the cubby is another DIY. Dollar Tree (my second fave store-IKEA being first of course) have little flower print wooden plaques. I knew they would be a great way to make some cheap art so I grabbed a few. I sprayed them with white spray paint, and then scoured the internet for cute posters from W's fave movies. I used a feature on Picnik photo editor called 1960's that gave them a more vintage look and printed them out to the right size on REGULAR paper (not photo). Then I just Mod Podge those bad boys on the plaques..and there you have it!

another time I would use Matte Mod Podge. They're a little too glossy for my taste.

And just in case you forgot what W looked like.

Next in the house series is our Living Room!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

House it Going Pt.2

 The Kitchen is slowly becoming my favorite place. I still have work to do on the counters and the backsplash. But it's come a long way from the blah cabinets and the FORMICA WALLS!!

 I LOVE chalkboard paint! Especially with a 2 year old who doesn't grasp the concept of only writing with pens/crayons/markers on PAPER, the only medium I trust him with is chalk! As you can see he uses it! It's super easy to use chalkboard paint. I bought Rustoleum Chalkboard Paint in Black. I lightly sanded the fridge, applied a primer, and then 5 coats of chalkboard paint using a paint brush. I did five coats to make sure it wouldn't chip off (even with the primer the lesser coats could easily be taken of with the nick of a fingernail).  It was a tiny can of paint, and i still have more than half leftover from this project! So I put another chalkboard surface on the opposite side of the kitchen for grown ups to write on without fear of little hands erasing it!

I'm planning on painting a bright yellow border around this chalkboard to match the dining room color!
 Another thing I love in my kitchen is the Peg board we put up. We don't have much cabinet space , but we did have a wall behind the door that was free! This was a super simple DIY ANYONE can do to maximize their kitchen storage. we measured the space, the went to Home Depot and them cut the peg board to fit. I brought it home and did two coats of Krylon Cherry Red spray paint on it! A package of different sized peg board hooks and there you have it!
I eyed this clock at Target for a while-but once it went on sale I had to have it! Love the retro diner feel of it!

 The Dollar Tree carries lots of great storage items, one of them being those glass jars! They have nice sealing lids on them, so they are perfect for storing baking soda and powder! The canisters were in a box of mismatched junk i got for $1 at the Dutch Auction. They were originally metal, I hit them with a few coats of Krylong Sunny Yellow spray paint! Ikea carries these cute little tins in their plant section for $1-makes a perfect place to stash the multitude of little one friendly utensils (which are also from Ikea!).
 Oh yes. My newest lovely. MMM i could kiss it. This sweet thing has made making coffee so much more pleasant for this caffeine needing mama of two! I've wanted a Keurig for 2 years...and on black friday i finally got one. Coffee in minutes with little to no work...and it's RED. 'Nuff said.
  Since counter space is also at premium for us, my spices which came  in a pretty little spinning rack, are stored on the back of the stove. Easy to grab and use right where i need them, and not taking up precious counter space! I plan on attaching little magnets to the bottom, since they do sometimes slide off when there's lots of activity going on on the stove.
 Got this little beauty in the IKEA as-is bin. They sell them for 3 or $4 normally, but this one has a TINY chip in the paint on the BOTTOM so i got it for $1. Never turn up your nose at the reject bin in a store..most things are BARELY damaged or imperfect, and can be fixed easily for a big savings!

I'm still hoping to do something cool with the backsplash....
I love the look of penny tile!

Tomorrow I will be showing you W's room!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

House it going. Part ONE

So it's not fabulous. But let me share with you some of the progress I've made in the past few months on making my house more "Me". I love the changes I've made..but I still have a ways to go. Biggest on the list of seemingly impossible right now is remodeling our upstairs. As of right now it's difficult to use. There is one bedroom, with no overhead lighting and no insulation. Yeah..not putting my kids up there, and the ceiling is too low for Hubby to be comfortable with living up there. Definitely needs a redo!

But here's where I am with the rest of the house. Be warned..these photos are REAL. There may be toys laying around, dishes and cups, and who knows what else. We LIVE in our house, it's no museum. So just remember that.

The Dining Room....I'm in love with this color. It was my first step into something actually colorful instead if muted tones...and it still makes me smile every time i look at it.
It's got even more of a punch in person!

The buffet I scored on craigslist for...FREE. Crazy right? It's so mod and cute, just some minor wear here and there..I haven't gotten around to painting it yet. But I'm waiting to find just the right dining table before I do they look like they belong together.

I love that white chair has a sister, that lives in the living room. Snagged the two of them for $5 at the Dutch Auction! I was going to redo them..but the more they sit there the more i like them they way they are. W sits in this chair and watches the bus, garbage truck and visitors come and go! I am so glad I have this chair!

This E is a simple little thing I threw together. I got this at Marshalls, those types of stores always have giant letters hanging around ( I liked the shape of it way better than the ones at Micheal's or AC Moore). It was originally black...BLECK. Too Pottery Barn for my taste. I picked up a can of $1 white matte spray paint at Wal-Mart and went to town. I did purposefully not cover every inch perfectly..i wanted it to look a little imperfect! Don't be intimidated or turned off if something isn't the color you want it to be..PAINT is your friend. Especially spray paint. Comes in a BILLION colors.

Things I'm planning on doing in here:
Overhead lighting...UGH the people who designed this house just were into lamps I guess. NO overhead lighting in this room. We have a lamp right now but i hate not having the table lit. We're going to have to go the plug in hanging light route..but i'm ok with that. I've actually already got what I need and there's a little DIY involved I can't wait to share!
Here's what I'm thinking for the lampshade.

I'm also on the hunt for the right table. The one we have now...well I'm not showing it for a reason. It's beat. It was a free gift we're super thankful for, since it's served us well. But it's time to retire it. I'd really like something like .....
or this....

or really....
But we'll see what I end up with!
I'm also hankering for a cool patterned rug in there like this....
And I'm planning on doing an artsy frame wall.

Tomorrow I'll share my kitchen!