Saturday, June 26, 2010

Nu Life Allergen-Free Foods

We were fortunate enough to participate as a founding family for a wonderful new line of frozen foods for people with food allergies. I was beyond impressed by just how great tasting their products are!

Now that their web site is live, I strongly recommend you check them out!

My favorite products are the chicken pancakes and shepherd's pie. I just placed an order for both and am going to give their daiya cheese pizza a try as well.

Thank you, Nu Life!

Friday, June 25, 2010

La Da Di, La Di Da

Time is passing me by, faster and faster as the days progress. I just realized that I--the one who was fairly anal retentive about this task--am over two years behind in uploading family photos from my laptop onto Snapfish. I used to have a system whereby every few months I'd upload to Snapfish, create a backup on cd, delete from my hard drive, and then print out my favorites for a chronological photo album. Sounds a little nutty probably, but I love going through those photos with the kids, reliving all of the hand-picked, happy moments.

I thought we were going to put this crazy-ass house of stairs on the market 1.5 years ago and move back to the mother ship. I really, truly did. And in an effort to get it 'show-ready' I packed up all of my pictures in frames along with books that made the shelves look too cluttered and photo albums that took up too much space. They now reside in a lonely storage center where I haven't laid an eye on them in over a year. Oh, and the house still hasn't gone on the market...sigh.

We just got back from a 9-day vacation to the most beautiful place, Flathead Lake in Montana. We went with my best friend and her family for the second time. The first trip, three years ago, was so gloriously relaxing that I was chomping at the bit for this one to arrive. My black cloud decided to follow me, however, and I ended up sicker than I've been in a long time for the entire flipping trip. Woe is me. I know, I know. I have much to be grateful for, but sometimes I feel like I have really shitty luck.

Everyone had a fantastic time (well, everyone else), but I had lots of time to ponder where I am in life and how I am living it. The outcome? I'm not at all happy with the way I pass each day and know that I am not living up to my full potential. I am too-this and not-enough-that. I don't laugh like I used to. I fret over shit I don't need to fret over. I am on edge. I have a lump in my throat. I don't know where the heck the flip switched from 'then' to 'now,' but it's switched and sort of feels like the damn thing is stuck. I realized recently that I, the one who fostered dogs for six years and held that fact dearly as a big part of who I am, can't even stand to have my own two dogs underfoot anymore. I have not sung in public in nearly two years. I feel uneasy for the first time in my life when on horseback. Seriously, folks, these are three of the most important 'me-things' I've got, and I am losing sight of them all quickly.

One thing is for sure, I am no good parenting around other people beside my immediate family. Hell, I'm probably not even that good around them either! But my sensitivities and insecurities that have always been just beneath the surface are now open, festering wounds for all the world to see. Bandaids, please! Stat!

M did great overall on the trip. The boy truly loves it when we rent a vacation home, and it is a joy to witness. However, his food obsessions were in full-force during this trip, and that is a tough one when you are traveling with another family who also has two young children. M was constantly swiping food from the 9 month old's high chair or their three-year-old's plate. And most of it was gluten-containing, so that was an added hyperactive bonus for us all. I found myself so infuriated by this that I was constantly yelling, "M! NO!" when I caught him doing it, and naturally putting the rest of the group on edge. I guess that sometimes I feel like I'm the only one paying attention, though, and I'm sort of tired of it. I very much want to relinquish all concerns in that regard for a few days, but I can't.

The weather sucks currently where I live, and I know that plays a huge part in my melancholy. I love that word, by the way. "Melancholy." I saw a doctor of osteopathy a few weeks ago to check out cranial sacral therapy and to look into alternative/complementary means of aiding my overall health. After going through my lengthy history and coming to the part where I said that over the past couple of years I've definitely noticed an increase in anxiety and depression--but not really depression, she said, 'So you're saying you've noticed more melancholy?' And I paused for but a moment and said, 'Yes, I'd say that's exactly what it is!

I am taking my vitamins; mutli, omegas plus vitamin D3, calcium, and probiotics. I just ordered the Turbo Jam dvds hopefully to not waste them as I have with previously purchased workout videos. I have a sitter coming tonight after a week-long solo flight while the other half has been across the country on business. I am trying, and yet it does not seem to be enough. I need an attitude adjustment. I need a house that doesn't have so much negative energy floating around it. I need a school district I feel is more qualified to help M. Oh-wait--a bright spot! I adore our new ABA therapist, as does M, and am so grateful for that huge weight that has been lifted from my shoulders.

So it's not all bad, right? RIGHT?

And it's going to get better, right? RIGHT??

And maybe I'll blog more than once every two or three weeks, right?!

Let the sun shine!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

I Need To Write More...'s good for me to put my feelings down someplace other than inside my scrambled brain.
It's good for me to know that I have people reading who love me and my family or relate to our lives through their own.

So why have I been so absent lately?

I suppose it's that lack of THE word I've mentioned as being at the top of my 2010 mantra list: BALANCE. I swear to you, the word itself is magnified in volume in the world around me. I'll not hear a single word spoken from a person standing near me or from the tv, etc. but I always seem to hear it when someone mentions that word. It's as though it's enlightenment's way of teasing me; reaching out her arms to pull me in.

Balance, balance, balance. If only you can find the way to BE balanced, then the rest will fall into place.

Heck, one of my oldest friends and a reader of this blog (Hi, J!) recently started her own blog. Guess what it's called? Be Balanced Houston. See? It's everywhere!

It's amazing how when you're filled with a particular vibe, you discover that so many around you are in the exact same place. I've noticed quite a few friends who have slowed down the pace of their writing. And when they have sat down to share some thoughts, I can't get over how their topics of conversation are so on point with my own. I just read a blog I hadn't caught up on in a few weeks to find a guest blogger writing about being stuck, writing pros and cons lists for places to live. Then I read that the author of the blog was ready to move away from her lifelong home due to the dreary, cold weather. People...I was just thinking not an hour ago about writing out a pros and cons list to show the other half so we can once and for all decide where the hell our family should set down some roots. And not an hour before that (okay, and for a month before that as well) I was bitching and moaning about how flipping cold and gloomy my little coastal town is. Mama needs to put on some flipflops and a sundress and take in some vitamin D, people! Clearly the weather is currently at the root of my inability to achieve balance.

But we all know the main crux of the balance issue and that is my comfort level with where M is in life. It is so painfully clear that I will likely never achieve any sort of balance--not even that teeter-tottery sort where you're not sure if the person on the other side is going to hop off unexpectedly making you crash into the ground--until M is in a good place. Hell, even a better place. But I'm still making baby steps in the right direction.

I didn't spell it out in a recent post, but I will now: After nearly two years of fighting my insurance company, I finally succeeded in getting them to qualify M for 25 hours/week of in-home ABA (applied behavioral analysis) therapy. For those not in the know, this is HUGE, HUGE, HUGE!
Our amazing therapist began working with our little guy just over two weeks ago. We are currently only using about 16 hours/week because it is definitely a lot for him to go to school and continue to do work at home afterward. But there is so much general learning that is wrapped up beautifully in the art of play that he doesn't always realize it should be considered work. The weight lifted from my shoulders is immense. We had gotten into a real rut of doing nothing after school. It had become next to impossible for me or B to engage M in any activity. We couldn't even get him to sit still or quietly through a simple storybook. And forget any chance of going anywhere. No, sir, that ended close to year ago. I simply was not capable of many outings with both boys, by myself.

So as much as I hate to admit it (it's that Mama guilt thing of not adding up) this in-home therapy is the best thing we could have possibly hoped to have happened in the current position we're in. (i.e. no family support nearby, not-ideal school environment) I am so grateful for the bit of balance I am starting to achieve simply by not feeling guilty about my son pacing back and forth making verbal self-stimulatory sounds for hours and hours after school with me too fried to do much about it.

I am not a quitter, though I've not always pushed myself as hard to reach the finish line as I should have. So one day, maybe I'll find the right place to live. Maybe that place will have the right school for M. Maybe I'll figure out a way to get back to the me I used to know. (well, the good parts of me, that is) And maybe my family will plant some roots that spread widely and firmly; enough to balance us all. Enough to make us feel happiness on a more regular basis.