Wednesday, May 2, 2012

An Unexpected Passing

Providing end of life care is an honor and a heart-wrenching experience all at the same time. We experienced a death in our Adult Family Home recently that was both.  I had the honor of providing end of life care to a God-fearing woman ready for the arms of Jesus.  It was also the most heart-wrenching experience I've had thus far in this business (I, however, won't go into details as to why).  It's going to take me awhile to move on.

We met her just once and I absolutely adored her.  She had a sweet, tender heart and had lost three babies, one a few days after birth, one a still born, and the other a miscarriage.  She seemed at peace.  We talked and had a lot in common.  I was excited to have her around.  Her husband was on hospice and we were going to provide end of life care for him and emotional support for her as she was losing her spouse.

I would like to say they moved in like normal, but they didn't.  It was stressful right from the beginning.  Drama doesn't even begin to describe their situation.  Boy would I love to type it all out on this page and get it out of my system, but unfortunately I can't.  As we attempted to get them settled and care for the hubby, the wife became weak.  We started brainstorming what it could be but she was worsening faster than we could come up with ideas.  We tried a few things to no avail.  Maybe it was just depression?  I ran out and bought her a parakeet since she had requested one before moving in.  It cheered her up and I was so happy to see that smile on her face, but as we were tucking her into bed and attempting to get some food down her, she threw up what little applesauce Josh had fed her. We both knew at that moment, she was dying.  I was so unsettled by the feeling that this wasn't her time.  I was still hoping we were wrong and that she just had the flu, but a few days later she was embraced by the arms of Jesus.

It threw us for a loop.  I'm still confused. All the while, we had been providing round the clock care and have been exhausted, which I know adds to the stress, sadness, and confusion.  She had been dying for awhile, but by the time it was figured out, she didn't have much time left.  It's left everyone shocked.  It's going to take me a long time to get over her suffering.  I find comfort in the fact that she is no longer in pain and gets to be united with her loved ones and the babies she lost.  That's something I look forward to as well.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Hi There

It's been awhile so here's a little update. Emily is already 8-1/2 months old!!!! Carson is no longer a toddler but a little kid.  I feel like that happened over night.  He is probably the cutest little kid I know.  I may be a little biased ;)

Emily is still in the middle of our bed and this time around we actually like it!  I may fib once in a while and tell people she's a perfect angle and sleeps all night long, but really she's this super happy because she gets a significant amount of extra snuggle time.  I really can't blame her for being a snuggle bug because so are her parents.

Carson still jumps in bed with us from time to time as well.  Sometimes it amazes me that we all fit!  Poor Daddy gets squished against the wall that our bed is up against.  Thankfully I married a patient man that handles it very well :)

God has been pouring out direction on our lives.  We felt a very strong call to continue on with the Adult Family Home.  We have been luke warm about our business, well, since we started it.  A passion for it has overtaken us and we are very grateful.  We have six residents now and no employee, which is probably a little crazy but it will allow us to get ahead financially.  Getting ahead financially means more employee help!  It's hard to believe that if our plan actually pays off that in a couple months, we will be down to a 40-hour work week!!!!!! So exciting.  Looking forward to a normal family life again :)

Well that's what has been happening in our household.  We did get a couple of chickens so I will have to post about the amazing chicken coop my Handyman (aka the hubby) built me.  We are also hand taming our chickens and they come to us and let us pet cool!!!!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Oh Bummer!

This is a phrase that we have taught our son to say after he picked up the word damn't from...I don't know where ;).  It has also become my go to phrase for anything frustrating or disappointing.

Josh and I (well, really I) have been on a quest for healthy living and because my husband loves me, he goes willingly along with pretty much anything I do (isn't he great!).  I truly believe that a lot of food intolerance issues can be healed by proper diet and nutrition.  This evening, I was successfully talking Josh into doing a 21-day detox program with me.  He asked me for more details so I went to the blog I have been following for awhile,, (you should check it out, Michelle is amazing!) and I was reading the details of her program to Josh when I get to the very end of the page where it says, "not recommended during pregnancy or while nursing."  This is where the "oh bummer" comes in.  We were finally ready! Such a bummer.

My mom, bless her heart, tried her best to feed us a healthy diet.  We were never fed prepackaged foods and in my lunch everyday without fail was a baggie of carrot sticks, which I hated.  Sometimes, if I was lucky, I got celery with peanut butter which I preferred but still didn't like.  My mom, despite her best efforts could not curb my sweet tooth, especially for pastries.  I come by this honestly.  My mother would tell me stories about how my Dad could eat a whole plate of cookies by himself....well sorry mom, so could I.  I have tried alternative sweeteners (the healthy kind) and going cold turkey but nothing has fixed the issue.  Then I get in this awful cycle of being too exhausted to eat healthy and yet exhausted from eating crap...even "healthy" crap.  Just because it's organic and gluten free does not make it healthy.   I have also had a hard time breaking this habit because I have had no outwardly consequences.  I have remained relatively the same size, even after two kids, all while eating crap.  Even though it seems silly to complain about such a thing, I can tell my body inwardly is suffering.

This year, we are trying to change this.  It's going to be a challenge of epic proportions.  We will be attempting to change habits that have been commonplace for almost our entire lives! Like the fact that just because I ate my vegetable sides at dinner, I thought I was eating healthy, never mind that the entree was sauteed and then smothered in butter and cheese.  However, I believe we can do it.  I am having to change things more slowly because I am nursing but hopefully I will be posting our success.  My goal is that by this time next year, dairy and the occasional digestion of gluten won't have me doubled over or prickly from eczema. Go kale chips and roasted chickpeas! We can do this!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Food Allergies

I'm pretty sure that at some point I mentioned Carson's food allergies, which we believe to be dairy and gluten.  Now that he's a toddler it's really hard to control what he eats, especially with a doting Grandma right next door.  However, I try to limit those two foods as much as possible and I'm thankful that Carson loves coconut milk, fruit, and veggies!

It turns out little Emily has the same two allergies which probably means I do to and have just been ignoring the symptoms.  Thankfully Emme is only nursing at this point so cutting certain foods out of her diet are fairly easy.

This last week I cut out both dairy and gluten.  Her pin prickly rashes instantly went away and a few days later so did her gigantic welts that were crusted over and now slowly her eczema is healing and nearly gone! So that is good news.

However, I miss bread desperately!   I'm thankful for all the gluten free foods on the market.  Plus, this doesn't mean I'm done with bread, I just get to now experiment with other grains besides wheat.  After I'm done nursing Emme, and my own gut has had a chance to heal from gluten, I will probably try Sue Gregg's soaking grain methods and see if we have any reactions to it.

Living without dairy has been the hardest.  I never realized how many of my recipes called for cheese or milk!  It's been fun finding new and tasty recipes though and I hope through this culinary change, 2012 will be the healthiest year my family has ever had!

I did want to post the symptoms of gluten and dairy sensitivity.  I was surprised to find that I had a lot of the symptoms on each list. Most of the symptoms are not major medical issues and may not even cause you to give it a second thought.   You just get used to certain health issues or don't even realize they're an issue at all, you just learn to live with dry skin.  Even if you do cut these two culprits out of your diet, it can take 2-3 weeks to see results from cutting out dairy and sometimes up to a year for adults to see results from cutting out gluten!  Here's a list just in case, you too have some hidden health issues!

Dairy Sensitivity:

    Abdominal Pain                      
    Canker sores
    Ear Infections
    Iron deficient anemia
    Irritable Bowel Syndrome
    Joint Pain
    Lactose Intolerance
    Poor Growth
    Poor immune function (frequent illness)

Gluten Sensitivity:

    Mouth Sores (canker sores)
    Cracks in Corners of Lips
    Tooth Enamel Defects or Discoloration
    Frequent Indigestion
    Malodorous frequent gas
    Malodorous light or clay colored stools
    Steatorrhea (floating stools)
    Abdominal Distension (look like gained 2 sizes, belly is hard)
    Chronic diarrhea or constipation
    Irritability or Moodiness
    Muscle Weakness
    Chronic fatigue, (Exhaustion)
    Bone or Joint Pain, (Aching Joints)
    Infertility (miscarriage, delayed puberty in girls, irregular menstruation.)
    Skin Rashes (eczema, psoriasis, boils)
    Dermatitis Herpetiformis (skin rash related to celiac disease)
    Failure to Thrive in Babies, Short Stature in Adults
    Peripheral Neuropathy (tingling or numbness in arms and legs)
    Ataxia (gait difficulty, balance problems, uncoordinated walking)
    Weight Changes (Sudden gain or loss of weight)