#TenThoughtsTuesday … Connecting All My Medical Mysteries

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Ten Thoughts Tuesday1. One month ago I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue and leaky gut syndrome. I’m kind of surprised by this but the most common reaction I seem to be getting is, “I didn’t even know you were sick.” That’s the thing. I am not sick. I function. I do what I need to do. I take care of my kids and finish my freelance work before my deadlines. My symptoms were so drastically different from what the average person saw of me. I often hide behind my smile.

2. I knew something was wrong. I’ve known for a very long time that something was wrong. I saw specialists for just about everything you can imagine, did blood tests and urine samples and MRI’s and CT scans. Gosh, I don’t even know how much money we’ve spent trying to figure out why my body is this way. I almost started feeling like it was all in my head. I asked my best friend on more than one occasion if she thought I was a hypochondriac. I have been mentally beaten, being told “everything is normal” over and over and over and over again. I don’t know how long that will take to heal. Part of me is still in disbelief. I say my diagnoses out loud and feel like I’m having an out-of-body experience, like I’m talking about someone else I know. Read the rest of this entry

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30 Books in My 30th Year

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To celebrate turning 30 with my next birthday, I am challenging myself with these things. This is my book challenge. Here are the books I’ve read so far: (I’ll update as we go along.)

1. The Fault in our Stars — Highly recommend

2. The Mystic Wolves — Not my thing

3. Brain on Fire — Amazing memoir of a rare autoimmune disorder

4. More than Two — Interesting to see different lifestyles out there

5. Divergent — Highly recommend

6. What Your Doctor May NOT Tell You About Fibromyalgia — Wasn’t as thrilled with it as I hoped

7. 14 Days of Foreplay – In Progress

8. The Wolf of Wall Street – Gave up after the first “book” (9 chapters in, I believe.) I’ve seen the movie and knew what I was getting myself into but the book reads like the author wrote it on speed. It jumps all over the place, drags on with way over detailed descriptions and makes so many references to pop culture that I felt lost the whole time.

9. Pretty Little Liars – I watched the first few seasons of this show on ABC Family and really enjoyed it. I flew through the first book of many. I couldn’t put it down. The chapters are short and captivating making it easy to get through. I can’t wait to get the next one.

10. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe – I listened to this book on audio. I really enjoyed this way of reading as I’ve never done it before but I feel like I missed some details, like when you watch a movie instead of read a book. I mostly listened while biking so multitasking, right up my alley 🙂 I’ll definitely be listening to more of these books soon too.

11. Winnie-the-Pooh – I’ve read many a Pooh story before but this is the first time reading the classic chapter book by A. A. Milne. I read it out loud to Orange. I can’t wait to read more chapter books with her. We are working on another and plan to order a few from her book order at school too.

12. Flawless – Another enjoyable PLL book.

13. 50 Shades of Grey – My second read through. I enjoy this series, despite the negative reviews. There is a good chance this won’t be the last time I read it either.

14. Gone Girl – This book is seriously messed up. Every new chapter brought a twist I wasn’t expecting.

15. Prince Caspian – In Progress

16. 50 Shades Darker – See above. Same story.

17. The Hormone Cure – This was a recommendation from a Facebook page I like. I love the premise of this book. I only skimmed through most of it and read the parts that most applied to me. There are great tips for anyone getting started. I’m pretty well familiar with how hormones are affecting my health at this point though so there was only a minimal amount that was new for me. Still a good source.

18. 50 Shades Freed – Finished and now waiting for my turn to read Grey. 

19. What Can I Eat Now? 30 Days on the GAPS Intro Diet – This is a great eBook for anyone attempting GAPS for themselves or their family.

20. Gut and Psychology Syndrome – So much good information on leaky guts and the abundance of issues that stem from them plus a detailed description of how to heal one.

21. Explain Pain – This one is VERY hard to get a hold of. I have been waiting for months to get it from our library and I ended having to request it through the inter-library loan system and they only allowed me to keep in 4 days! I had to skim pretty quickly through it but it was really amazing to read examples of the connection between the brain and pain and ways to retrain the body to understand trusted movements.

22. Bridesmaid Lotto – Very cute romantic comedy only I didn’t realize it was part of a series until I got to the cliff hanger at the end. Ugh. 

23. Stuart Little – It ended so abruptly. Orange and I read it together and she kept asking, “But what happened?” Is there a sequel I totally missed? 

24. Grey – Loved it! I know it’s not some people’s taste and that’s fine. I’ve read all 3 Fifty books twice and I’ve seen the first movie (a few times) and Grey has been my favorite so far. I really hope she continues the series from his perspective. 

25. How to Eat Fried Worms – In progress

26. Wild – In Progress

27. 20 Kids and Counting – In Progress

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My Countdown to 30: Happy Birthday All Year Long!

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An Aging Beauty: Yes, I'm Full of Myself

An Aging Beauty: Yes, I’m Full of Myself

A little over a month ago, I celebrated my 29th birthday. I am not afraid of getting older. Honestly, I think the only person that still believes I’m not already in my thirties is my mom and really, it’s just because she gave birth to me. I don’t exactly act like your typical twenty something. I married at 20 and settled quickly into adulthood because that is exactly what I wanted to do with my life. My bachelor’s degree reads my married name, not my maiden like most people I graduated with. Life isn’t a competition. I am an old soul. I know this. I always have been. I’m mature way beyond my actual age so who really cares if I turn 30 on my next birthday?

Still, I thought it would be fun to celebrate the event with some kind of important accomplishments. I’m already happily married with plenty of kids so you won’t see any of those milestones on my list but after spending the last month really thinking things over, I came up with 5 things I want to do before I turn 30, 5 personal development things that matter only to me. You can search for ideas on Pinterest. It’s really an interesting collection of bucket list items, traveling to foreign countries, charity work, savings, life events: it’s pretty extensive. Anyway, here is my list, in no particular order:

1. Run a 1/2 marathon. I will train this winter and sign up for a local race in April. I already have many plans in place to accomplish this one. Read the rest of this entry

5 Tips to Remove Plastics from Your Life in a Plastic Obsessed World

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Photo from Creative Commons Search

Photo from Creative Commons Search

This summer before having any clue about just how severe my medical issues were, I got the results of a basic hormone screening from my gynecologist. He’s a good guy but being told yet again that “everything is normal” when everything was very, very much NOT normal was extremely infuriating. I never advocate for using the internet to diagnose problems but with my range of symptoms, there was no way that it was all in my head. I knew something had to be wrong somewhere and I wasn’t giving up my fight yet to figure out what. I took to my trusty Bing search and tried to find ANYTHING that could explain. I came across a wide variety of [scary] articles about plastics and the endocrine blocking chemicals that make them up. It was overwhelming. I think everyone had a good idea about BPA these days but BPA is just the icing. There is so, so, so much more.

I began the extensive task of removing dangerous plastics from my life and my family’s lives as best as possible. I think it’s impractical to eliminate plastic completely but for anything controllable in your home, I highly recommend making the attempt.

Here are 5 practical ways to remove plastics from your life:

1. Dishes: It is easy for adults to use glass or ceramic plates and bowls but with small kids involved, finding a solution was hard. For our family, we selected a 5 piece set (plate, bowl, cup, spoon and fork) from Untangled Living. We’ve used them 3 months now and still really love them. They are the perfect size for small kids. The girls think they are awesome too. And there was no looking back. We have just one set per kid as they are a bit pricey and we wash them every meal by hand. It keeps our clutter down as well so win-win. Read the rest of this entry

#TenThoughtsTuesday … A Mess of Being Sick

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Ten Thoughts Tuesday1. This past Friday I saw my doctor for the results of a massive amount of bloodwork I had done a few weeks prior. (They took nearly 30 vials of blood.) (I posted about it on Twitter.)
2. One of the tests was an ALCAT food sensitivity test that does a gut health profile.
3. My results and symptoms are consistent with patients with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue. There are no official tests to diagnose these diseases.
4. It is a hard pill to swallow finding out I have an autoimmune disorder.
5. It is even harder to think of all of the healthy changes our family had already made, that I strongly advocate for and how they simply weren’t enough. (Side note, had we not made changes, there is a good chance my conditions could be so severe right now that I’d be bed bound some days with so much joint pain and inflammation.
6. In addition to these results I am vitamin D, iodine and melatonin deficient (I have since started natural, food based supplements to correct these issues. I’ll retest in 3 months.)
7. Furthermore, my ALCAT tests show I have an extreme case of leaky gut syndrome.
8. Out of 200 foods tested, 63 reacted with my blood, 10 of those severely reacted and I may never be able to eat those foods again.
9. I can no longer eat dairy (to be specific, casein), gluten, white potato, garlic, coconut, olive [oil], pineapple, pear, grapes, certain melons, carrots, cucumber, zucchini, chicken, rice, pinto and black beans, and so much more, obviously, since that doesn’t equal 63…
10. ALCAT provided a very detailed rotation of what foods I can eat on what days. It leaves me with kind of some strange combinations and I’ve had to get creative for sure but it’s taken a lot of he guess work out of meal planning and after just 3 strict days I’m already noticing some subtle changes. To follow along with my daily meals and snacks, check out my Instagram where I am keeping my picture food journal.

National Stroller Running Day

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National Stroller Running Day

For all my running friends, check out this great event!

Journey To the Finish Line

Recently, I was accepted to be a part of the Sweat Pink ambassador program. As an ambassador, sometimes you have the opportunity to participate in reviews and programs, but mostly it is just nice to have a group of women who are as passionate (if not more) about fitness as I feel.

One of the things I was excited about after the birth of the twins was the ability to run with them.

Twins first 5k Twins first 5k

Last winter we ran a couple of 5k’s. We haven’t done as much stroller running lately because the summer was so hot, but as the temperatures drop again, I plan to take them out more often.

A few awesome people and companies (BOBNew BalanceFit4MomMoms Little Running BuddyLinkouture and Run Stroller Run) have come together to create National Stroller Running Day, which will be on…

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Writer Road Trip: Our New Home and Where I’ve Been Writing About It

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Writer Road TripGuys, life is CHAOS. We are so busy there are some days when I don’t even know which way is up. I am dealing with some health issues on top of other things so blogging has had to take a backseat… well… blogging HERE has had to take a backseat. I promise I’ll get more great pieces up soon but in the meantime, head over to Mumbling Mommy where I talk about moving and our new house.

Practical Moving Tips from a Mom that Just Did It

The Surprising Way Our Family Grew Closer in a Bigger House

And just because I really like you guys, I’ll leave you with a picture of our new beauty to hold you over:

IMG_9661

 

P.S. If you have been following me on Instagram you saw this picture months ago 🙂

If you liked this post, please click below to give me a vote. Thank you!

Guest Post: Exercise Tips for the Busy Mothers

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by Erika Schmidt

Busy TipsBeing a mother is no easy task – especially when there are little kids involved and a career. Most mothers would prefer to stay at home and work full-time being a mother than to continue with a career and leave their kids at home in the hands of a stranger or in this case, a babysitter or leaving them in child care centers. Sometimes a mother gets too focused on caring for her kids that they forget to care for themselves. As a mother, to be able to care for your kids more, it is advisable to stay healthy and fit. Although going to the gym might not be a good idea while you leave the kids at home; there are still ways where you can exercise with your kids.   Read the rest of this entry

I’m Not a TWIN Mom, I’m Just a Mom

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just me and my momLabels. Society is obsessed with labels. More often than anything these days, my label is “twin mom.” I owned it and used it often. I mean, I do have twins. But labels really aren’t helping us any, are they? What does that even mean to be a twin mom? Does it make me more exciting than other moms? Does it mean my life is harder or more blessed or completely insane? (By the way, it doesn’t mean any of those things…)

This morning I was walking to the library, pushing my double stroller with Pink and Purple inside and yes, they are twins but honestly, they have no idea. They are of the assumption that every other child has a sister or brother or friend or whatever. They play. They fight. They think that Orange is one of them just the same. If you ask them if they look like each other, they laugh and think you are crazy. So here I am walking. I do a lot of thinking when I walk so I’m walking and thinking. Read the rest of this entry

Product Review: Nani Kalani Clothing

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Picture Day!

Picture Day!

Who has a daughter out there? As you all know, I have three of them. Girls. My little ladies are runners, climbers, and diggers. Their favorite place to play is outside. They are true and true tom boys. But oh lord, let me tell you about their love for dresses! These ladies. I tell you.

Okay, so my point… a fellow momma friend shared a status on Facebook (before I left) that caught my attention. It was a blogging opportunity to do a product review for clothing for little girls. Since I thought I was obviously perfect for the opportunity, I contacted Melissa and she agreed with me! It took about 3 weeks total from the time that I first made contact till I received my samples. Here’s the full scoop: Read the rest of this entry