Saturday, February 28, 2015

Motion Sickness and My Good Samaritan

Soooo... last Wednesday I boarded a plane and flew to Louisiana to spend a week with my friend Melissa. I am having a great time... but I have to admit that I'm having a little bit of anxiety about getting back on a plane in a few days because the trip down here was straight up awful.

Motion sickness has always been a part of my life. I sometimes pass on trips because I know that if I don't sit in the front I will get sick... and I hate that I always have to ask to sit in the front so I just opt out.

I can't do roller coasters or other rides that so many people love and enjoy. I can't swing on swings. And don't even get me started on those IMAX theaters! Oh... and my poor kids! I often have to say things like "stop spinning! You are making me sick!"

My life is limited because of motion sickness... and I hate it!

I don't usually have too much trouble with flying as long as I take precautions like making sure I have my seabands and motion-ease. After discovering those two things I've been able to make trips without having to take dramamine.

But this last flight... I thought I was going to DIE! My first flight wasn't too bad but I was happy to be on the ground with a short layover. My head wasn't feeling the greatest so I actually took some dramamine and hoped it would help.

It didn't.

The second flight was on a small plane and we had rough air almost the entire two hours. Half way through that flight I lost it. I was puking my guts out into the little barf bag that the airline nicely supplies for you in the seat pocket.

So there I was... leaning toward the window, bent over, trying to hide and feeling totally embarrassed as I lost my stomach when the kind man beside me realized what was happening and saved this damsel in distress. He didn't ask questions... he just went into action.

He first reached over and said "I'm just going to take your glasses and get them out of the way." Then he handed me a plastic bag to put my barf bag in so that I had a larger target area. I told him I had tissues in my purse and asked him to please get them but he did one better and told me he had Wet Ones. He got the flight attendant's attention and she brought me some cold, wet paper towels... which the man took and started wiping my forehead with. He then said "I'm just going to get up for a moment to put my laptop away so that I can help you."

For the next hour he did just that... he helped me. He was not grossed out (as I would have been) or concerned with germs. He was very fatherly and gave me his full attention. When the second round of puking came... dry heaves because everything in my stomach had already left me... he put his hand on my back to comfort me until it had passed and then began again with the Wet Ones and wiping my forehead while I recovered.

And again for the third round as the wheels touched down in Baton Rouge. He stayed with me while everyone else got off the plane and then helped with my bags... even though he had to be at a meeting to give a presentation in an hour and his ride was waiting for him. He simply said "they can wait."

I never even got the man's name... all I know is that he is a retired physician and I am sooo thankful that it was someone like him instead of someone like me sitting in the seat next to me. I can't even handle it when my kids puke so I probably would have not done too well with a stranger puking.

The flight was awful but it was made a little more bearable by the above-and-beyond kindness of a complete stranger. He was my Good Samaritan and I look forward to a time that I can pay the favor forward.

(I would appreciate prayers for my flight home on Tuesday. I'm terrified at the thought of having a repeat.)

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Life Lately

If I was a "good blogger" I would have wrote up a post completely dedicated to my now seven year old.


His birthday was last Friday. School was cancelled and I had to spend my day at CPR and First Aid training because I'll be going back to work soon. But the evening was spent having cupcakes with friends, opening gifts, visiting with his grandparents and looking at baby pictures.


Jason is seven and more awesome than ever!


We have been having extremely cold temperatures, lots of cancelled days of school and nothing close to a normal routine because of it. Days have been spent watching Netflix and being lazy together... and I have enjoyed the past few days of being lazy together because I'm going to miss my family.

I'm heading to the airport today to fly to Louisiana where I will be spending a week with my best friend Melissa. Three years ago she came up here to spend a week with me and I'm super excited to be visiting her this time!

In an attempt to avoid checked baggage fees I managed to pack all my stuff into a carry-on and a backpack... and I even have room for some yarn!

I'll be back in a week and I'm sure I'll have plenty to share. :)

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Simple Vacation


Last weekend Mike and I had a babysitter for the kids and were able to get away for a few days. It's been a looooong time since we went away for a weekend. We just drove two hours and stayed in Ohio. We didn't really have plans... other than to relax and spend time together.

Our first stop was at a Panera near our hotel to visit with my friend Mary. She was a camper when I was a counselor at a summer camp years ago... YEARS AGO. She found me on facebook a few years back and well... I know they say you aren't supposed to have favorites but sometimes you just can't help it... so I added her and she is just as awesome as an adult as she was as a kid.


We took a really lame tour of a chocolate factory. It probably wouldn't have been lame if the areas we saw actually had something going on in them. Apparently everyone was pulled from the lines to go work on chocolate covered strawberries in a part of the factory we couldn't see. But the free samples were really good!!!

We took one day and headed to Cleveland. We went to the aquarium... which I have to say that our aquarium in Pittsburgh is better. :) After the aquarium we went to the rainforest which was actually really nice! And there was a baby orangutan. So cute!








Most of our time was spent relaxing, watching movies and playing games. It was just what we needed! We ate out for all our meals and we did go to see Old Fashioned. I won't lie and say it was the most amazing movie ever... but I did like it. It was a cute and sweet story. Definitely worth seeing!

It was nice to get back home and see the kids and eat my own food... but this time next week I'll be on vacation number two! I'm going to Louisiana for a week to visit my bestest friend ever! Can't wait. :)

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Finding Love Again

We fall in love.
We fall out of love.
And sometimes, if we are lucky, we get to fall in love with the same person all over again.

I shared on my anniversary in January that things have not been easy. We have had some really hard years... years filled with anger and even some hated. Bitterness and hurt. It was hard. It was painful. There were days that I wondered if ending my marriage would be best... because surely divorce would feel better than the heartache I was living with.

I remember having a conversation with Mike at one point and we realized that the kids just might be the only thing that was still keeping us together. I remember saying something along the lines of well that's a stupid reason to stay together. It's not good enough and if that's the only reason we are still together than we might as well just go ahead and end it now.

But we had made a promise that was meant to be for life.
And I was kind of stuck because we had decided I would be a stay-at-home mom and I hadn't worked in years and didn't even know where to start if I all of a sudden had to support myself.

I'm kind of glad that I was stuck like that though.
It made me have to find more reasons to stay together.

It wasn't easy.
At first we were lucky if we had an hour or two of peace between us.
Eventually that turned into full days without fighting.
Then weeks.
And after a while we realized we couldn't remember the last time we had an all out fight.

And now... now I am finding myself giddy with excitement as I wait for our upcoming getaway. We aren't going anywhere special or exciting. It's only for four days. But I'm a lucky girl because I get to get away with that guy that I used to hate. I'm lucky because he stuck with me even when I was absolutely awful to be around. I'm lucky because that guy I hated just two years ago has once again become my best friend.

We might have days on out getaway where we do nothing... but doing nothing WITH Mike is far better than doing everything without him.

I'm so glad we stuck it out during the hard times.

Taken May 2009... before we started hating each other. :)

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Food... Restrictions and Freedom

I've been on a healthy eating plan since December 29. It started with the Whole30 and then I started reintroducing foods to see how each one affected me. I have found that dairy and gluten aren't the best things for me. This past week I introduced non-gluten grains (think rice, corn chips, etc) and legumes. The non-gluten grains didn't give me any trouble. Legumes were kind of split. Peanut butter bloated me and gave me a headache and phlegm. I'll be passing on that from now on. The beans weren't really a problem. At least not in small doses.

I want to continue the food experiment and never stop paying attention to how foods impact my life. I want to stick with foods that don't have a negative impact and avoid the rest.

Yesterday, while thinking about food, I had a light bulb moment.

I have not had sweets since December 29... except for the day I reintroduced dairy and had a small bowl of ice cream. I have not had crackers or chips. I have gone to parties and passed on pizza and cake. I have done many things that in the past had me thinking I could never do that!

I have found that I CAN.
And I like knowing that I can.
And I like how I feel when I do go without those things.

In fact, I like it so much that I never want to go back.

Some might think it's restricting to not allow myself the sweets and breads and PEANUT BUTTER! Pizza and ice cream! What does one do without these things in their life? Restricting leads to binging right?


I have found that I do not feel restricted when I cut out these foods that have a negative impact on my health. Instead... it is those very foods that restrict me from living life to the fullest. Those foods that I thought I couldn't live without?? I'm living so much better without them.

The bloating, headaches, impact on moods and pms, anxiety, tiredness, achy joints, etc. that came with those foods are all things that hold me back. They hold me back from self-confidence... from living. Those foods cause me to feel restricted.

I'm done living with restrictions because of food.
I am loving the freedom that comes with good food choices!

Monday, February 9, 2015

Life Lately...

Sometimes I don't write because I'm afraid I'll say things that I later regret. Last week was one of those weeks. It is sometimes better to just be quiet than try to share what I'm feeling or experiencing. But life is still happening and life has been, for the most part, good. :)

Here are some kinda sorta recent happenings...

We have had a bit of snow and the kids really enjoy getting to go outside and play for hours!



Liza and Jason have this "game" they like to play. Every night we tuck them in bed and go back downstairs. Not long after, we hear their footsteps. They like to go into our room and steal our pillows. They especially like one that Mike has because it is big... two old pillows stuffed into one pillowcase. One night we went to get our pillows back and found Liza like this...


She thought that if she fell asleep on it that she would be able to keep her dad from getting it back. Silly girl. :)

Jason's bedroom is the only room in the house without a heat vent. He says he needs a heater in there because he gets cold. Perhaps he wouldn't get so cold if he actually used his blankets!!


Jason really loves to use his "pretty please" face... what he doesn't realize is that it will never have the desired effect that he hopes for. The only response I can find is laughter. Every. Single. Time.


Liza isn't much better at it...



And the biggest news we've had recently... which you've already seen in some photos above... Liza got glasses! She put them on at the store and said "ahhhhh!" She loved being able to see again. And I think she looks absolutely adorable with her glasses!



Monday, February 2, 2015

Food Is Not My Friend

Last week I shared a little bit about my second round with Whole30... a 30 day eating plan to help detox and reset the body. The goal is to clear your body of all the junk and pay attention to changes that happen and then reintroduce foods that have been excluded from the 30 day diet one at a time to see how they impact your body.

I've reintroduced dairy and gluten so far.

On day 31 I started with dairy. I had yogurt for breakfast and by mid-morning I found myself overcome with complete exhaustion. Now, I want to retest this some day because I had also woke up that morning with a bit of a cold and I had been out grocery shopping when the fatigue hit... so I'm not sure if it was because of the dairy or a combination of things. But I can say without a doubt that the cheese stick I had for lunch was the cause of almost immediate bloating... and not just a little bit of bloating but a bloat that left my stomach feeling like it couldn't stretch any further without exploding. After dinner I had a small bowl of ice cream and while it didn't greatly mess with me, I did notice that my hips and knees were really achy. Achy joints apparently can be caused by dairy according to some friends.

Dairy is not my friend. I will be eliminating cheese from here on out and that means some big changes for me because I love cheese and want it on everything. But cheese is not good for me... and I CAN live without it.

On day 34 I reintroduced gluten grains. For breakfast I had a whole wheat bagel. It caused me to have phlegm and irritated my throat. For about a half hour after eating breakfast I found myself coughing and had also had a slight headache. Both of those symptoms were gone by lunchtime. For lunch I had a sandwich and shortly after eating it I found myself feeling extreme fatigue... I-just-have-to-close-my-eyes fatigue... and a slight headache. For dinner I had some whole wheat noodles and again got the headache and tiredness.

Gluten is also not my friend.

I remember saying to some friends during the Whole30 that I never really experienced the burst of energy that they say most people get while following the plan but I am now realizing that while I didn't have a huge burst of energy I was also not extremely exhausted all the time. (I am someone who is always tired.) I'm really starting to think that my chronic tiredness is, in part, food related. And I am finally at a place where I am ready to make real changes in order to feel good.

Yes it will take sacrifice because I LOVE bread almost as much as I LOVE cheese. Yes I am going to have to continue to learn how to cook food differently. Yes I am going to have to continue to battle old habits until new ones form. But I'm ready this time... and that can make all the difference.

And I guess I shouldn't say that all food is not my friend as the title suggests... food is my friend... as long as it is the right kind of food. :)

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