Thursday, September 8, 2011

Meal time is a little different now

Meal time is a little different around our house now. About 4 weeks ago I had a bad allergic reaction to something; we weren’t sure what though. It started with my ears, they started itching and swelling and then my legs started itching and developing little bumps. By the time I made it home from work it was starting to spread even more, my arms, my neck, my chest, anywhere that would not be covered by shorts and a tank top. Strange. This was Monday that the itching started so we were thinking back on the weekend and the only time I wore shorts and a tank top was to cut the grass Saturday morning. That was a difference in 48 hours though, but we were thinking that it took a while to “bake” in. We couldn’t think of ANYTHING else. Tuesday morning I woke up to my eyes being swollen with what looked and felt like a burn under them, and everything else was worse than the day before. So after dropping off The Boy at school I headed to the ER to see what they could do to help me. They gave me the typical steroid, in pill form, which would take about 48 hours to kick in, so only about 48 more hours of this torture. Wrong!  It did get better, a lot better but it did not go away. All the swelling went down around the 48 hour mark and a lot of the bumps went away, but I still itched, constantly.
Week two, I headed back to talk to a family practice doctor to see what I can do to get this to get better or when I should expect to get better because we are still thinking it was something I came into contact with. The Doc told me to go back to anything I changed, which was nothing, and gave me some medicine to help with the itching temporarily, but I would need to slowly do some detective work to figure out what I reacted to. She also gave me a blood test to check me for allergins that I could have inhaled or came in contact with, such as, grass, pets, woods, etc. The results came back stating that I only had a slight allergy to cockroach, which I already knew. She said with confidence that it will clear up soon that we may never know what I reacted to. I changed and washed everything that week with still not much relief.
So, week three back to the doctor, a different one, still in my same clinic to discuss this detective work a bit more. By this time the itchy rash had subsided to my knees and lower legs primarily and occasionally on my wrist. I asked the Doc about the possibility of it being a skin rash not an allergic reaction to something, especially with the weird locations of the rash, she said that it was defiantly an allergic reaction and could be something I was eating. But at every meal or every day? I still didn’t have a time when I didn’t itch, it just wasn’t as intense. So she put in a referral to an allergist to have the reaction more closely looked at, but said to expect 2-3 weeks for it to process. So I left with not much hope I would stop itching anytime soon.
The only thing that that started about the time I start itching was an increase in my Coke & Pepsi intake, but are people really allergic to cola? I don’t drink caffeine after 1600 if I help it so I can’t figure out why I was itching so badly a night if I had cola only during the day or in the morning. With a little research it seemed farfetched, allergic to cola, Coke or Pepsi products, or caffeine, really? Farfetched & silly. So I figured I would just wait to see the allergist.
Lying in bed one night after having Olive Garden for dinner and then a beer afterwards I started feeling really sick, maybe dinner didn’t agree with me. Then a light bulb went off! Wheat, could it be wheat? It is in just about every meal we eat and is even in the caramel coloring in coke. The symptoms seemed to fit mine perfectly. So the next morning, at the 10 day mark I called to check on the allergist and it had just been processed, so I got the office information and call right away to make an appointment. What great news, an end is in sight. When I called to make the appointment I expected a week maybe 2 or 3 to see to Doc but the offered me an appointment that same afternoon. Who was I to refuse! What a great birthday present, a means to an end is now within my reach.
During my visit I was asked all the expected questions, what have you changed, what have you ate new, that have you been doing or going? I didn’t even have to mention my suspension of a wheat reaction; he recommended that I drastically reduce my wheat intake, including cutting out coke & beer.  So a little worried I wouldn’t be able to eat anything I left his office with some hope that I wouldn’t itch much longer.
A week later being on a gluten-free diet, I do feel better. I itch VERY LITTLE, my ears still itch here & there, but it seems like even that is solving its self. I have had great support from my family with this transition. Meals around my house are a little different, it takes a little more planning to bring my meals with me to work and snacking is a bit harder but I am eating better again and feeling better. I even had a monthly cycle, this may not seem like much, but I haven’t had one since I had gotten pregnant with The Boy, three years ago, and even then they were forced with medicine. I am also on the Depo-shot & have been for two years now, so it is expected that monthly cycles don’t show up at all. This is all either my body in shock or breathing a sigh of relief.
Since everyone asks “so what gluten-free mean you can’t have” here is a small list of the major ones I am finding a little challenging to adjust to:
Beer, pizza, bread, pasta, cake, cookies, muffins, pancakes, breaded fried items, soy sauce, dressings & condiments (ranch, bbq sauce, teriyaki sauce, syrup, etc), prepared & processed foods (seasoned packets of rice, lunch meat, hotdogs, sausage, seasoning mixes, etc.), cereals, crackers, flour tortillas, some chips, prepared coffee drinks, breadcrumbs (meatballs, meatloaf, meatrolls), some milk chocolates and candies, any dark cola, baked beans.
What I CAN have though:
Rice, potatoes, gluten-free cereals (chex and rice crispies have some), bread made with rice or potato flour (tends to have a dryer/stale kind of consistency) meats, dairy, oatmeal, corn and potato chips, corn tortillas, vegetables, fruits, things that come in a natural state and can be prepared at home.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Homemade Monday #4

This week is another work in progress, The Boy's room. I am going for a colorful transportation theme, this past week I was able to get a little work done in there due to a major allergic reaction I had. I was confined to the house due to my spots, puffy face, spots and medicine. Here are just a few pictures.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Handmade Monday (Christmas Project) #3

This week has been a busy whirlwind of production. I chickened out on trying the finger crocheting and went with trying the huge Q-19 needle. I have fallen in love with it, it makes such fluffy, large blankets, quickly too.  I made this blanket to cross off my Christmas list.

I have also been working on a few side projects, a pink & brown giraffe that is still in too many pieces to recognize and a hound dog pillow for The Boy for Christmas. The hound is also still in progress, his legs are made & read to be sewn on but I needed a break from him & they haven’t been attached yet. I hope to do that this week.   
Yet to be finished
We continued to work on our new kitchen furniture and cleaned what was getting to be our very ‘lived in’ house. I thought it would be easier to get down on the floor and scrub all the floors by hand since The Boy insisted on using the shark (steam mop), so I figured getting us both a bucket of water and a sponge would let him help and let me be productive, but now my knees look like I’ve taken a good stumble. He had fun; I didn’t think to ask The Hubs to get any pictures of my little Mr. Cinderella.
I also thought it was time to go through all my coupons. I had about 5 weeks of coupons sitting in stacks, some still in their Sunday papers. I buy 4 papers every week so they start taking over pretty quickly. I have tried several ways of organizing them and storing them & nothing seemed to fit my needs and style. I have seen the file whole inserts by week, use an index box, use baseball cards and tried them all.
The file by week left me with stacks of papers lying around the house & not really knowing what I had, the indexing box would have worked better if I wanted to staple my sets of coupons or if I only bought one paper.
And then there’s the baseball card binder, I used this for a while, even got a special bag to carry it all, ‘all’ meaning what seemed like 10 pounds of it. It was taking me too long to cut all the coupons, fold them and stuff the card inserts, I started dreading Sundays, hence the papers piling up.
Then it hit me, a new way of doing things.
I pulled out all the pages from my inserts that had even one coupon I wanted on it, chucked the rest of the pages (before I would have kept them for a just in case there’s a blow out sale on something I don’t even use, but could make $0.05 on), took me a whole 5 minutes or so. Bought a binder & some regular document protectors, slipped all my pages in & bam! Organized- enough for me, clean, tidy & quick, what more could a girl ask for. I don’t make quick trips into stores in hopes of an unadvertised sale, so I don’t need it to be portable, and I don’t mind looking through it and pulling the coupons as I need them. Perfect! I also added a few baseball sheets to the front for coupons I get in the mail, at the store or clip and don’t use. I am using a few tag post-its to remind me of coupons I don’t want to forget to use as well.
I already planned a large shopping trip & it took me no longer than any other way would have. I think I may have found my fix.
Here is a shopping trip I did not too long ago to help inspire.
All this stuff today for….ready?......$6.76!!!!!!!!! Summary, (2) men dove deodorant, (2) sargento shredded cheese, a cool blue listerine mouthwash, (4) tostitos chips, (9) bags of frozed veggies, (2) oral-b power toothbrushes, a large bottle of contact solution, (2) Lysol toilet bowl cleaners, (2) fab laundry detergents, and a womans secret deodorant!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Handmade (Mantic) Monday #2

I saw this amazing doily rug over at Someday Crafts and had to find out how it was made. I did a little digging and came across a few instructions on how to finger crochet. It is just how it sounds, you use your finger (whichever one is comfortable) as your hook and start stitching away. It was hard to find pictured instructions on how to do this, but there were a few videos to help me out like this one and this one. It would give the same effect as using a very large crochet hook, a fluffy and loose look. I am going to give a few stitches a try tonight to give a go at something new.

Photo courteous of Knitting and Crocheting Guide  
Side note: It has been one of those technical difficulties, frustrating Mondays, therefore, will be no linky party today. I will pick it back up next Monday with my Homemade Christmas edition.  

Friday, July 29, 2011

Favorite Friday

Here are some wonderful and fun things I found this week:
1.     Table Runner Leaves by L + J Blog 

2.     Tree Shelf by Whimsical Wall Murals 
3.     Melted Flower Pillow by My Little Pumpkin Patch 

4.     Subway Art Canvases by The Creative Imperative  

5.     Pillow Pal Puppy by Fiber Doodles

Have a great weekend!

If you were featured feel free to grab a button and thank you for being so creative and inspiring me!


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Freshening up for Fall

I am beyond ready for Autumn to arrive, I know it’s only July & here in Florida we wait a little longer for the chilly days, but I am counting down the days until I can send the hubby into the attic for all the fall décor. In the meantime I am freshening up the house for fall, there have been quite a few changes already. The hubs and I noticed that our house was lacking in color and personality, so I set out for some color for our living room. Since the boy started pulling up, walking and now running, climbing, throwing, and destroying, we put up all the breakable décor we had before children. I have enjoyed having my house pretty well baby safe and allowing the boy to run and explore as he saw fit without having to always tell him ‘no, don’t touch that’ or loom over him so he doesn’t break, misplace or eat something. The living room seems to feel right now like a work in progress, but that is nothing new in our house.
                                                  Material table cover not finished

New Simple Pillows Covers (Tutorial to come)

Scented Fake Lite Candle + Safe for The Boy = Happy Mommy
We have also moved some furniture around, got rid of some and build some new stuff. In the master bedroom, we cleaned it up and have tried to commit to not to let it become the catch all (for clothes, outdated toys, projects, etc.) this has left it feeling open, relaxing and more of a retreat than a utility room. I didn’t have to do much decorating and changing in this room as it is the most updated in our house. Last deployment (a year and a half ago) I decided as a nice coming home surprise for the hubs would be a newly decorated room. I added picture frames (yes, picture frames, not pictures. It took that entire year and a half to finally replace the couple’s picture that came with the frame with our family’s photos) to the wall, a new head board, new furniture, some wall accents and new bedding. It still felt a little not done though. About a month ago we changed the bedside lighting, added a window bench that looks great (by accident), and another floral arrangement. We still need to add a runner in front of the bed, but overall it looks done.

Notice the frames on the wall of the nice model couple in them.

Our Family Pictures
Bench by the window soon to be move to dinning room & replaced

We haven’t done much to our dining room; it is still just a lot of brown and black. I do plan to bring the window bench that we stored in the master bedroom (that looked great, by accident) back out and paint it to match the rest of the brown and have the hubs make me a hallway table for added decorations. I think some accent pillows on the bench will round it all out. Pillows seem to be such an easy way to dress something up a tad and make it feel a little more welcoming.

These shelfs and the little red tricycle is the extent of color for the dinning room.

The kitchen has had the biggest change so far. We spent the weekend building a bench for the bay window, a kitchen table and an island. They are built in full but not painted or finished; hopes to get that completed this week are high. We are planning on adding cushions and pillows to the bench, a couple end chairs and maybe a stand-alone bench for added seating. We do a lot of large family dinners and it is going to be so nice to be able to have the added table space.

Old Kitchen Furniture
The Boy's attemp to help & Mommy's to keep him busy  (notice coloring)
Waiting patiently for his turn

Window bench build & now to paint

New Kitchen Table (built but not finished painting)
The boy’s room is the last room that seems to be a work in progress; his walls are half decorated and impersonalized. I keep moving his furniture around hoping something will speak to be and lead me in the direction I want to go. Pictures to be added soon, he was sleeping when I was snapping pictures.

Linking this post to:

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hoo Are You?

I am partying with Night Owl Crafting today.

Here are this week's questions!
1. Have you ever attended a professional sports game?
2. Have you ever been to a concert and if so which one was your 
ultimate favorite performance?
3. Have you ever been to Disneyland or Disney World?
4. What is your favorite theme park?
5. Do you have a favorite vacation spot?

Here are my answers!
1.      Have you ever attended a professional sports game?
Yes, many. Living here in Jacksonville, there always seems an opportunity to attend something, I have been to a hockey game when the Lizard Kings were her, I have been to a Jaguar game, back when they were new and very exciting. My favorite is my latest attendance to a Sharks arena football game. I can’t wait until The Boy enjoys football and we can go as a family.
2. Have you ever been to a concert and if so which one was your ultimate favorite
            I have been to a few concerts mainly as a child with my church youth group. The only one I really remember is Carman.
3.      Have you ever been to Disneyland or Disney World?
Disney World, once with our neighbors when I was a child. It was a blast and I am looking forward to taking The Boy.
4.      What is your favorite theme park?
I would have to say Busch Gardens or Universal Studios, they were both great. They both have great roller costars.
5.      Do you have a favorite vacation spot?
Anywhere tropical. We are headed to Stuart, Fl this coming weekend to do some deep sea fishing and reef snorkeling. A trip to the Keys is on my to do list.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Homemade Monday #1 (Christmas project) & Organization

I have finished my first of about a dozen homemade Christmas projects. I started about a month ago on this throw and am thrilled it came out well; it was my first mile-a-minute blanket. I usually have a hard time finishing projects that take more than an evening or two to complete, I don’t like slow progress, but this was worth it. I have now started a crocheted hound dog pillow for the boy to put away for my Homemade Christmas (please feel free to join us, just leave a comment under my Homemade Christmas post.)


Share with me your newest homemade projects. Please note if they are for the Homemade Christmas project. ***Please also link my button back to your page if you participate.*** 

Everything is a little better with a little organization, and my blog is no different. When I started this blog, I just knew I wanted to share my latest creations, my life and family happenings and to be part of the group of creative bloggers. Through my efforts to get there I think I need a road map for myself and any future readers. So here is my plan: I want to keep my Homemade Christmas project going and easy to find and link to for anyone who is participating, I am going to highlight this project every other Monday on my new Homemade Monday link party. Wednesday I’m doing a Wordy Wednesday, this will be more for family updates. Friday is always a reason to celebrate and get geared up for the weekend and the best creating time, I plan on a Favorite Friday to send me into the weekend with a little inspiration. Hopefully this will keep my straight and forward.

Linking to:
Making Monday Marvelous Linky Party Keeping It Simple

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Homemade Christmas – A Goal in Mind

I have quite the family, so keeping a list and a goal will help me keep the prize in mind. I am planning on giving individual gifts for grandparents, parents & young children in my family this year & then an Angel Tree Donation for the older teen children in between. Here is my list and a few ideas to guide my way:
The Boy’s Greats:
1.       Grandpa Doyle – Jared and pickled goods
2.       Grand-Nita - ?
3.       G NaNee - ?
The Boy’s Grands:
4.       Papa – Jared and pickled goods
5.       NaNee - ?
6.       Grandma – Wine Glass
7.       Nana - Crocheted throw blanket to match her living room
8.       Grandpa – Jared and pickled goods
The Youngin’s:
9.       Uncle C (age 6) - ?
10.   Uncle A (age 5) - ?
11.   Male Cousin A (age 7) - ?
12.   Female Cousin A (age 6mo) – I really am surrounded by males, so I plan on sending her something very girly.
13.   The Boy – Crocheted hound dog pillow
I am still waiting for a few ideas to find me, I am keeping me eyes peeled & my mind open.