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Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Who Are You?

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A weed cannot stop being a weed

It is simply what it is destined to become.

A thistle cannot become a rose.

A skunk cabbage cannot change to a rhubarb plant.

They are what they are.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately, and how we cannot alter the fact that we are human beings; we cannot change that we are people any more than any other creature can change its species or genome.

There is something that we can change, though. We can change our nature. We can alter the decisions we choose to make from day to day…we can decide how to treat others around us.

There is nobody that controls our destiny.

We are whom we decide to become.

Who are you today?

Image garnered from here.

Friday, July 15, 2011

"Gluten" for Punishment

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In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired. ~Author Unknown

So, awhile back I wrote a piece called “Requiem for the Perfect Chips.” It was about one of our favorite little mom and pop Mexican restaurants and how they changed their wonderful chips. Well I think that now I’m going to have to write a requiem for pretty much all of my favorite food.

Here's why.

I just haven’t been feeling quite right over the past little while, extra extra tired, extra extra cranky and some other kinda weird girl stuff going on if you know what I mean. Since it was time to go to the doctor anyway, I got the number for this super efficient Nurse practitioner that kind of goes beyond the normal screenings to check for hormones and allergies and stuff like that.

So along with all the embarrassing girl check-up things, I had a bunch of blood drawn so they could test it for all this other stuff. Well, I just got the results back a couple of days ago and while there’s nothing terminal or anything, I believe that my life (or at least my eating habits) has just changed forever.

First of all, I found out I have hypothyroidism which means that my thyroid gland isn’t producing enough of the hormone that it is supposed to efficiently run my metabolism. I’m actually a little bit gratified to hear this because I’ve felt for a while now that I diet and exercise and diet and exercise with about as much result as an iceberg at the North Pole (a pre-global warming iceberg that is). Second, I’m apparently super anemic. I’m told that normal iron levels are around 120 (I don’t know 120 of what…grams, milligrams, parts per 1000?) but that my iron level is at a 7. My vitamin B12 level should be 1200 and it’s 400. My vitamin D level should be 80 and it’s 17. Sounds like it’s amazing I could even drag myself to the doctors appointment doesn’t’ it? So needless to say I’ve got a thyroid prescription and I’m also taking a bunch of vitamins and I’m probably looking at having IV iron infusion therapy too.

But on top of all of that…actually adding to all of that is the fact that my blood tests show that I have food allergies. I haven’t been aware of any food allergies in the past. But I’m one of those lucky adoption kids and I just don’t know anything about my family medical history. Superdude has allergies. He is allergic to Penicillin and super sensitive to different kinds of soaps and detergents. I told the super-efficient Nurse Practitioner about this and she said that if one of my kids has allergies, chances are that I probably do as well. So she added that to my blood panel and found that I am allergic to Gluten…wheat gluten…as in bread, pasta, crackers, cookies, pies, cakes and pretty much everything else that makes life worth living. Add to that that I’m also allergic to eggs which are in the cakes, cookies, pancakes not to mention breakfast burritos and pretty much anything at IHOP. And then just to top it off I’m allergic to Cow’s milk. At first I thought, well, ok. I don’t really drink that much milk anyway. But then it started to hit me…yogurt, cheese, pudding, chocolate, butter and worst of all ICE CREAM (WAAAAAAAHHHHH!!).

I’ve only had a couple of days to absorb this and I’ve really been trying to focus on the positive…you know, focus on all the food that I can eat rather than on everything I can’t. Rice is still ok; Corn is on the good list. All the fruits and vegetables of course…including potatoes, which means French fries (whew!) But I did my first round of Gluten-Free shopping last night and it’s pretty bleak. First of all – Holy-Super-Expensive-Food-Batman! I bought a little loaf of gluten-free bread for almost $6. It feels like cardboard and tastes like sand. I think I’m pretty much going to have to look at it as just the best way to convey peanut butter into my mouth (but without milk, why bother eating a peanut butter sandwich?).

In reality, even though I’m fussing and pouting about this I really am going to hit it hard. I’m going to give this gluten-free, dairy-free thing a serious try and see if it works. See if I feel better, see if I lose weight, see if I have more energy and focus and all of that.

To be honest though….I’m already starting to dream about Ice Cream.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Muddy Feet

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Rebeckah is a 35 year-old mother, social worker, and photographer. She enjoys spending time with children. She believes that every person can make the world a better place by being kind. Rebeckah lives outside of Philadephia with one husband, one kid, and one cat. She also enjoys raquetball. You can find more of her at Life with Kaishon.

You know those days?

Those days when you have a ton of things to do for work; when none of it is making sense?

When it is raining and dismal outdoors?

This is what happens to Kaish on those days:


On a sunny, happy fall day, when muddy feet would make me smile, they are nowhere to be found!

But when I up to my eyeballs in paperwork, when I am racking my brain about what to make for dinner, when I am popping Advil like jellybeans…

This happens!

And he WALKS through the house to show me.

I kid you not!

Now, I would like to say I handled it with grace and love.

I did NOT!

I yelled.

I think I scared the neighborhood kids.

Oh well...

After we got out to the garage and started getting clean, I got nicer : )

and I smiled.

And I listened to the story of how they were playing at the ‘pond’

(which is really a sewer…in case you were wondering)

when Kaish fell in.

I thanked God for the precious boy he gave me!

The precious, wonderful boy!

The boy who loves mud!

And then I did something that always makes me smile!

I forced them to let me take a picture.

Only Shoshi complied!

Did you play in the mud when you were young?

My Daddy used to take us out to the edge of the cornfield in the summer after it had rained.

That mud felt glorious!

I have to ask my Mom how she felt about clean up!

I am sure she was DELIGHTED...

Two Days Late and A Dollar Short

Pin It Teachinfourth, here it is a Thursday and you are finally posting? What’s up with this?

Yeah, I’m a slacker…tends to happen on occasion with all of us, doesn’t it? My dad used to call it being a day late and a dollar short.

In this case it’s two days late…and probably two dollars.

In the pregnancy world I’m told that this is not so much a big deal – you know – being two days late, but this is Mel’s day. I guess it’s a good thing I had dinner with her the other night, and we had a great time enjoying each other’s company, so I figure that she won’t mind…of course I didn’t ask her permission though.

I guess a good thing she and I are such great friends.

Good friendships.

I’ve been thinking about this quite a bit lately.

It seems that the older I’ve been getting, the more selective I’ve gotten in those I include in my circle of ‘good’ friends. That circle appears to get smaller and smaller all the time, too.

Of course, when I was in elementary school the circle was HUGE. My attitude back then was something more like, I’m having a birthday and I want the WHOLE WORLD to come (after all, more guests = more presents) but as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that my circle of friends has diminished drastically. Not that I don’t have friends. But those that I choose to hang out with on a regular basis seems to have declined drastically over the passing of years.

I was thinking of this the other night when I went through my Facebook account and deleted all of my contacts, everyone, even my family members. I remember thinking that I didn’t have anywhere near 600 friends and that some of these people were simply those I’d pass on the street and wave to, and probably not have more than a two minute conversation with.

I couldn’t even pass the Facebook test with some of them.

It felt liberating. Nobody could say that I’d simply deleted him or her and was a jerk; after all, I’d deleted everyone.

Today I’m up to somewhere around 150, people started to notice that I was no longer their contact and I’ve started to get some re-requests. However, this is still a far cry from where I started.

I’m comfortable having fewer friends.

I’d like to have five gourmet chocolate chip cookies rather than an entire boxful of those that just aren’t quite so delicious.

So, I’m two days late.

And probably a dollar short.

Well, that’s what my dad would say.

But at least I have some good friends.

And it’s a Thursday.

Friday, July 1, 2011

My Nephew, My Uncle

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Karen is not a teacher, but she hopes to be one when she grows up. If she ever gets around to it. In the meantime, she enjoys life in Southern California, spending her free time at Disneyland, and watching the Angels play baseball. Despite her proximity to Los Angeles, she prefers gazing at the stars in the sky to the stars of Hollywood, and her blog A Peek at Karen's World, is as random as she is.

The Nephew will be 6 in a few weeks, but most days you’d swear he was closer to 40.

Since I have no children of my own, it has long been my mission to become the undisputed Favorite Aunt. The fact that he doesn’t have many to choose from is beside the point.

To firmly secure my position of favored relative, I recently spent an entire day with The Nephew, in which I learned a valuable lesson. The lesson being that he has now come to that age where he’s decided that if you don’t agree with him, it’s because, clearly, you didn’t hear him.

(It’s scary how much this kid and I have in common.)

We were in the car. I took him to a movie. Part of my quest to be the Favorite Aunt included introducing him to his first Jim Carrey flick. Sadly, he didn’t enjoy it as much as I did. But at least he liked the penguins.

As we were driving, we passed a miniature golf place that also has a few roller coasters perfectly visible from the freeway.

“Whoa! What’s that place?” His eyes were wide with wonder.

“Scandia,” I answered, thinking that he might still be too young to have any real fun there.

“No it’s not,” he said. “That’s the berry place.”

The berry place?

“What berry place?” I asked.

He started to hum something that reminded me of a TV commercial.

“Are you talking about Knott’s Berry Farm?

“Yeah,” he said. “That’s Knott’s Berry.”

I smiled at him and shook my head. “No, buddy. It’s not Knott’s Berry Farm. That place is called Scandia.”

I thought his five year-old sensibilities would know I was telling the truth, but he was sure he knew better. It’s weird because stubbornness doesn’t run in my family AT ALL…

He insisted that it was, indeed, Knott’s Berry Farm even though he’s never been there and has no idea what it looks like. “You aren’t listening to me,” he said. “That’s Knott’s Berry Farm. You don’t even know.”

It should be noted that I was perfectly aware of how silly I sounded, arguing with a boy fresh out of kindergarten. But he needed to KNOW that he was WRONG.

Finally, he said, “Okay, it’s not Knott’s Berry Farm.” I sighed with relief. “It’s The Mountain.”

He was referring, of course, to Magic Mountain. Which is some 60 miles away and another place he’s never been.

“[Nephew], listen to me. That is not Knott’s Berry Farm. It is NOT Magic Mountain. You are wrong. It’s called Scandia. I don’t know why we’re even arguing about this.”

Silence overtook the backseat. He stopped talking and I was relieved to think he had finally understood and started to believe me. And then I heard singing. I glanced into the rearview mirror to see him sitting there in his booster seat, feet kicked straight out in front of him, his hands crossed over his chest. He rocked back and forth, singing:

“What’s wrong with Kaaaa-ren?
Why isn’t she listening to me?
Does she even HEAR me?”

I heard, all right. Loud and clear.

He may be nearly 5 going on 40, but I’m 34, going on 4.

Maybe I should start calling him my Favorite Uncle…
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