Monday, February 18, 2013

Snowy Saturday

What a surprise on Saturday morning to hear Carter say, "It's snowing outside!"  It had been 60 the day before and they were calling for some snow to start around suppertime, but we didn't know that this was coming!

We actually got a good amount of cumulation in Cary. We drove over to our friends' house for dinner that night and there was nothing on the ground where we still had about 1-1.5 inches covering our yard.

Of course, all four of us immediately got bundled up and ran outside to catch falling snowflakes on our tongues, have an epic snowball fight (it was perfect packing snow), create avalanches on the garage roof, and make this handsome little guy (Carter rolled the head, Landon rolled the middle, and Christopher rolled the bottom!).

I've got some great photos on my camera that I will share soon; these were a few that I snapped with my iPad.

It's Monday and our snowman is still in tact with the exception of one celery stalk arm and a few raisins off of his eyes and mouth. Carter makes sure to check on him every few hours.

What a fun surprise on a Saturday morning!

Friday, February 15, 2013

Heart Day 2013

I woke up Valentine's Day to find the inside of my van windshield and dashboard littered with love sticky notes. Tres romantic! (Landon got a kick out of the one that read "hot mama.")

Where I did think to wear a pink ruffly shirt, I forgot to send the boys in your typical Valentine Day colors. Landon wore a Spiderman shirt (with red sleeves!) and Carter wore a green superhero shirt. #momfail

I enjoyed a Valentine cupcake at work, one with the tiniest hearts on the icing.

The boys passed out their pixie stick (Landon) and gummy Lifesavers (Carter) valentines to their friends and teachers at school.

After a day of work/school, we had a romantic table for 4 at my house and ate the boys' favorite, spaghetti. They enjoyed their tube of Skittles with a heart at the top from us. And it looked like Cupid threw up on our living room floor as they tore through cards and care packages from neighbors, grandparents, and classmates.

I kissed my sick husband good night at 8:45 and settled on the couch for a night of Hay Day farming and HGTV House Hunters.

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Asthma PSA

When you think of an asthma attack, you think of not being able to breathe and needing a rescue inhaler. Or you think of wheezing. I was educated yesterday and wanted to share.

A little history first...Landon had RSV at 6 months old. After that, he would wheeze any time he'd get sick and we'd have to give him breathing treatments of Albuterol with a nebulizer. They told us that he had RAD (Reactive Airway Disease), which is basically asthma in little kids who are too young to officially diagnose as asthmatic. He was on Singulair for preventative measures as well, but we still had to give him many rounds of breathing treatments for wheezing when sick. We ended up in the ER one night when he was 3 as he wasn't responding quickly enough to a breathing treatment and things were getting awfully scary.

The past few years have been better for him. He'd wheeze a tiny bit when sick and treatments would knock it out within a few days. After a long stint of no issues, we were able to wean him off of the Singulair. I don't think we've done a breathing treatment on him in the past year.

He had the flu back in December, got better, then started with a cough in January. And he's been hacking ever since. I thought I'd wait it out a little as I know coughs can linger FOREVER. He was coughing incessantly, around the clock. I started him on his allergy medicine that he has to take seasonally to knock out throat clearing and that didn't help, so it wasn't allergies. I thought maybe he had developed pneumonia like I had.

I took him to the doctor yesterday, after about 5 weeks of coughing. The doctor could hear a slight wheeze when listening to him with a stethoscope, although you couldn't audibly hear it. I found out that in his charts he is officially considered an asthma sufferer (kind of wish I had been told this before!). And this coughing is from his asthma. Asthma doesn't always present itself as wheezing or gasping for air, and often goes undiagnosed because people don't associate coughing with asthma. They gave him a breathing treatment with a mixture of Albuterol and Pulmicort in the office and it helped. He has been prescribed breathing treatments morning and night for a week, as well as starting his Singulair back up temporarily. If I don't see a significant improvement in a few days, then I'll need to add an extra Albuterol treatment in the middle of the night. If he has another recurrence soon, we'll meet to discuss putting him back on a daily preventative medicine like Singulair or an inhaler. He was perhaps "growing out of it" but the flu set him back. He still may grow out of this illness-induced asthma (did you know that asthma can be triggered by many different things like allergies, exercise, respiratory illnesses, etc.?) or he may be a sufferer the rest of his life. After my education by the pediatrician yesterday, if he starts coughing in the future, I will be able to recognize this as asthma and can begin his breathing treatments quickly.

I am hoping this PSA may help someone out there. But obviously, talk with your doctor as I am not a MD. Just a mom. Trying to figure this stuff out. Godspeed, mamas.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Sledding on the Bagley Farm

After the ice melted, we headed north to Virginia to some real sledding fun!  We sled down the big hill in the cow pasture behind Christopher's parent's house. We built a fire at the top of the hill, but finally the kiddos ended up in the truck and then off to feed the cows with Grandpa.

Monday, February 11, 2013


A few weeks ago, we got enough ice for the boys to have a nice "bobsled" ride down our street. They'd get a good start at the top of our neighbor's driveway in the cul-de-sac and shot down the road and around the corner onto the next street. It may not have been snowman weather, but we sure did have some fun.

Saturday, February 9, 2013

11 years

I've been married to this one for 11 years today. Oh, how I love that man.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Clean Eating

I've been trying to eat "cleaner" lately. I'm cutting down on processed stuff with loads of preservatives, sugars, etc. If I look at a box in the store and can't pronounce some of the ingredients, I don't buy it. I cut out caffiene completely and a significant amount of alcohol. Splenda is gone (I have been somewhat on a soap box lately about that poison stuff). I try to keep a huge amount of fresh veggies and fruits (buying organic for the dirty dozen) in the house. I'm encouraging better choices at home for myself and the boys (eat raw broccoli instead of chips, fresh blueberries instead of fruit snacks). I'm drinking lots more water and a lot less soda. This is not an easy process and I still have not cut out a lot of the things that need to go (like Carter's beloved mini muffins), but I've already made a huge difference in the quality of food that my family consumes. Nothing earth-shattering or perfect by any means, but better choices for my and my family's health.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Saving Time by Planning and Prepping Ahead

I've been trying to save as much time as possible in the evenings to get some time back to spend with the boys. I feel like I work all day, sit in traffic, pick up Landon (Christopher picks up Carter), get home, stare at the pantry for a while trying to figure out what to fix for dinner, either eat junky boxed stuff or end up getting take-out, eat, clean up from supper, get the boys to bed, pack lunches, go to sleep so I can do it all over again!

I am taking my life back by just doing simple things like planning and mass prepping ahead of time. None of this is rocket science but I wanted to pass along these ideas as they have definitely changed my life.

I sit down with Christopher on the weekend and plan our dinners for the week. I know what I am having when I get home and don't waste time staring into the pantry abyss. Also, I can make sure to have my proteins thawing in the fridge the day beforehand so I'm not wasting time thawing meat when I get home to cook that night.

I am trying to use my crock-pot at least once per week. (Note: save even more time by buying crock-pot liners. Pull that baby out, toss it, and you are done cleaning up your crock-pot!) For a roast the other week, I cut all of the veggies (onions, carrots, potatoes) and mixed up my sauce the night before. I stored them in a tupperware overnight (seperately) so I just had to dump everything in the crock-pot the next morning.

I try to make casseroles ahead of time (ideally on Sunday afternoon when I have some time) that I can just pop in the oven when I get home. In this instance, I boiled my chicken one night while we were eating dinner, then prepped this casserole the next night to cook the following day.

And then there's lunches. Time-suckers! I tried my hand at packing all 5 lunches on a Sunday night. Yeah, there's some lunchables in there (they are expensive but are time-savers). There's also mini pepperonis, sandwiches, turkey rolls, etc. I always try to send one fruit, one veggie, and one dairy/protein like cheese or yogurt. I send berries earlier in the week since they tend to go bad more quickly after washing. I also add napkins and write a week's worth of love notes. I bag each of them seperately in grocery bags so that it takes up as less room in the fridge. At night, all I do is dump the contents of a bag into his lunchbox, add a freezer pack and BAM! It has really cut out some time. (And yes, I use a lot of Tupperware. I shudder when I see pictures of mass prepping using tons of baggies. I still use some baggies but try to be as environmentally-conscious as possible.)

Saturday, February 2, 2013

January Tweet Pics

January has been full of things like button sewing, marble shooting, and boy airplane flying.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Another GI Update

I get asked a lot how I am feeling and for an update on my GI issues so I thought I'd post here. All of the testing from last year checked out fine. My gastrin hormone level was a little elevated but nothing of concern. I also had some spots on my liver that checked out fine on a MRI; they are just collections of blood vessels that cause no harm and do not become cancerous.

I am continuing to have episodes. They are becoming more embarrassingly frequent. I decline lunch appointments now for fear of getting sick and having to excuse myself from the table if I even make it that far. I do have a nausea pill that I pop immediately and then follow that up with a shot of my belladonna "juice." This takes care of the episode withing about 15-20 minutes but damage has still been done.

I went back to my doctor this week. He is ordering a head CT scan just to check and make sure I don’t have anything going on there. He mentioned something about abdominal migraines!? I think that’s the last part of my body that they haven’t looked at! That is scheduled for Wednesday morning.

In the meantime, he is putting me back on a low-dosage medicine that was originally prescribed for depression at high dosages—Nortriptyline. They have found that, in order to work for depression, they have to prescribe this medicine in such high dosages that it puts people in a zombie-like state. They use newer generation medicines for depression now (like Cymbalta). Why it works for the gut? 15% of serotonin is produced in the brain, the remaining 85% is produced in the gut and keeps the gut in order. So taking this medicine at low dosages helps get the gut in order. Some people have to stay on this for a few months, some for a few years. I was on this for a few weeks before and it did help with nausea.

In addition, he has prescribed me Xanax for anticipatory anxiety. He does not think that my attacks are from anxiety, however, I have grown so accustomed to having attacks that I grow anxious out in public about having one that it just irritates the matter. I will take Xanax about an hour before something that may set me off. It only lasts 4—6 hours and then it’s out of my system. But I need to help my body chill out and not think that it’s going to get sick anytime I go out of the house. I’ll probably be taking it a lot at first, but then can hopefully back off as my body is tricked and hopefully the Nortriptyline reduces the nausea.

I also talked with my doctor about Splenda and we’ve decided it best to cut it completely from my diet. There are lots of people that have many issues from Splenda (all types of GI from diarrhea to nausea to vomiting as well as other issues like headaches, etc.). I urge you to research Splenda. I was under the impression that it was sugar that was refined differently and that it was nothing like the other artificial sweeteners (like Equal and Nutrasweet). Wrong! Even if this doesn't make a difference with my GI stuff, I do not want that stuff in my body.

We’ll see how the CT goes. And hopefully eliminating Splenda, fixing my gut with the low-dosage depression medicine, and tricking my body out of thinking that I am going to have an attack every time I go out with Xanax will fix me! Because honestly, the next step is just becoming a recluse. If I do get sick at home, at least I will be at home.