Saturday, May 2, 2015

Post Reading Program Reading

Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story (Gallagher Girls, #5.5; Heist Society, #2.5)Double Crossed: A Spies and Thieves Story by Ally Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a very short read that I got for free on Amazon. I very much enjoyed it. If you like Gallagher Girls and Heist Society then I assure you will like it. It reminded me of how much I like the Heist Society books (much more than Gallagher Girls). Its a book about Macey McHenry and Hale running into each other in their high society life since they are both blue bloods. After reading this book, I wish there were more stories about Kat requisition Nazi stolen art. This book had nothing to do with Kat and Nazi art.

View all my reviews The Invention of Hugo CabretThe Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got this book for my 9 year old to read. After he finished he told me I should read it too. I didn't want to but the for the sake of looking like I care about the things he cares about, I read it. I loved it! I read it in a day which isn't that hard because 3/4 of it is pictures. I loved the story line and the characters. I enjoyed how the plot developed. I would totally recommend it.

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Jackpot: A Swindle MysteryJackpot: A Swindle Mystery by Gordon Korman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Fun read, finishes off the series, I believe. I don't know what else to say, Book #4 was my favorite.

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Hideout (Swindle, #5)Hideout by Gordon Korman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Book five in the Swindle series, Swindle comes back with vengeance. While I was reading this we went for a hike in the mountains, it definitely set the scene. I enjoyed the read.

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ShowoffShowoff by Gordon Korman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was my favorite of the series. I really enjoyed this one. I'm not sure why I enjoyed a book about two 13 year old boys trying to enter a dog show. But it was a fun read, I also liked the dog trainer.

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FramedFramed by Gordon Korman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is more of the same series. I'm still reading them so they aren't bad, but this book had a little more teenage angst than I usually prefer. As the title implies the main character gets framed. It did a have a cute ending.

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ZoobreakZoobreak by Gordon Korman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book was a little too juvenile for me, but my 9 year old is getting a good kick out of me reading a series with him. This is book two and this is enough for me to be annoyed that the characters all think they are smarter than adults. I'm sure that is one of the reasons my 9 year old likes it. But the end of the book redeemed itself, when his mom asked him why he doesn't trust grownups, why does he treat them like the enemy. I was going to quit the series, but the end had a cliff hanger. (view spoiler)

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SwindleSwindle by Gordon Korman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This was a fun book about a bunch of 6 graders, but I'd hardly say I loved it. My 9 year old very much enjoyed reading it and is now continuing in the series. I love heist stories so I was hoping I would enjoy more than I did. I might read more books in the series to bond with my 9 year old. But then again, I might not make time. Definitely a kid a book.

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United We Spy (Gallagher Girls, #6)United We Spy by Ally Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Well this is the end of the series. I enjoyed the series more than I expected. I enjoyed this book. I don't know what else to say without including spoilers. It pretty much ended in a "and they all lived happily ever after" disney kind of way. Which was nice, and also makes sense because since the publisher was Disney Hyperion Books.

Out of Sight, Out of Time (Gallagher Girls, #5)Out of Sight, Out of Time by Ally Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I very much enjoyed this book. As the cover would suggest the plot is much darker in this book then the others. For some reason I never fail to be surprised that books in a series reference each other. Really what she wrote in book 1, has to do with book 5?! She's had the whole series planned out?!

Only the Good Spy Young (Gallagher Girls, #4)Only the Good Spy Young by Ally Carter
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is series is getting good. I can't wait to read what happens next. The plot is getting a lot more involved and deep. I don't know what else to say without including spoilers. But I definitely didn't expect the lady with the eyes from Boston to be who it is.

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Nut Allergy?

WARNING: A post that contains health concerns. could be deemed #tmi

So it has come to my recent attention that I might have a nut allergy.  As long as I can remember I've hated peanut butter. Its not even that I hate it, I am unable to eat it. I've tried but I just can't end up swallowing it. It just gets stuck in my mouth, I physically can't make my mouth swallow the bread with peanut butter on it. For years I've thought I wished I like peanut butter it seems like such a versatile snack, not only it is full of protein and healthy fats it is shelf stable!

I am the same with almonds and walnuts, I can chew them up but I physically can't swallow them, no matter how much I try they stay in my mouth.
Funny thing my oldest child as a toddler absolutely refused to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with his father. He had no idea I didn't eat them, he just knew he himself would not eat them. His grandfather use to feed him almonds and he would chew them up and then come and spit them up in my lap. It drove me absolutely batty every time his grandpa would feed him almonds! Never once did I see him swallow a single almond. It took months before my son finally stopped taking them.

So fast forward to the last few months I've been trying to eat "healthier". Everyone talks about how healthy nuts are and then I'm filled with shame that I'm such "picky eater" and don't like most nuts. (I use the quotes because this is what other people say to me.)  So I bought a large bucket of cashews at the store, they are one of the few nuts I can physically swallow.
Also as the time went on, I was getting these wicked headaches, that would last for days, and my mouth would break out in huge canker sores all over my mouth. Covered-- I felt like I maybe should visit the CDC. I assumed it was related to hormones since I was in the process of weaning my baby.
We went on vacation for spring break and I didn't eat any nuts all week, and I was taking the herb myrrh because it is antiseptic and I thought it might help the canker infestation. It did, I felt great by the time we got back from vacation. My mouth after months finally stopped hurting every waking minute.
One day after this I was feeling great, but hungry for a snack, I grabbed a handful of cashews. I instantly got a headache. So thinking that I should "eat more non-animal protein" grabbed another handful. My head hurt so bad, I had to lay down. So I stopped eating cashews.
Then a few weeks later I was talking with a few friends and one mentioned her nut allergy. After awhile another one said yeah, I have a tree nut sensitivity and my mouth breaks out in canker sores when I eat them, but sometimes I really just crave walnuts. All of sudden all the dots clicked. I practically jumped out of my seat asking for more information.

All the stars aligned, that's what was causing the canker sores, the headaches, why I've always been a "picky eater" and not liked nuts, why I'm physically unable to swallow so many nuts.

Here is the real question, I hate coconut. For very much the same reason. I'm physically unable to swallow coconut, it just stays in my mouth. Now I know its coconut, but I've assumed its not really a nut. Its just called a nut, but it does grow in trees....  
So I googled it, this is what I found "Coconut is not a botanical nut; it is classified as a fruit, even though the Food and Drug Administration recognizes coconut as a tree nut. While allergic reactions to coconut have been documented, most people who are allergic to tree nuts can safely eat coconut. If you are allergic to tree nuts, talk to your allergist before adding coconut to your diet." source
Hmm, it says most people, what if I'm not most people...

I'm pretty sure my oldest inherited this lovely tree nut, peanut and coconut sensitivity from me. My daughter liked peanut as a toddler when her daddy would eat it until she noticed her brother and I never ate it. I don't think she has the same problem. She also likes coconut. My third child, LOVES nuts, every type of nut I've feed him, including peanut butter sandwiches.
Funny back story, years ago we mentioned to a cousin of mine that my oldest didn't like peanut butter. They said he might have an allergy, because they just found out their toddler was allergic to peanut butter. She said they were always trying to feed it to him, and no matter how much they hid it he would not eat it. We said, nah, he is just picky. Hmm, maybe he might be allergic too....

Lastly, before I posted this I wanted to make sure I wasn't totally crazy, so I looked it up.
The Mayo Clinic website says,
The precise cause of canker sores remains unclear, though researchers suspect that a combination of factors contributes to outbreaks, even in the same person.

Possible triggers for canker sores include:
  • A minor injury to your mouth from dental work, overzealous brushing, sports mishaps or an accidental cheek bite
  • Toothpastes and mouth rinses containing sodium lauryl sulfate
  • Food sensitivities, particularly to chocolate, coffee, strawberries, eggs, nuts, cheese, and spicy or acidic foods
  • A diet lacking in vitamin B-12, zinc, folate (folic acid) or iron
  • An allergic response to certain bacteria in your mouth
  • Helicobacter pylori, the same bacteria that cause peptic ulcers
  • Hormonal shifts during menstruation
  • Emotional stress
Now I know this is #tmi, so continue under your own choice. Other than helicobacter pylori and other bacterias, I pretty much am a case study for every thing on that list. :(
I can't use crest pro-health toothpaste.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Pinewood Derby

Two weekends ago I was deathly ill, like could barely move ill. It was my son's second pinewood derby. I missed it. I felt terrible. He won a lot of his races but still only came in 9th overall, ce la vie. 
 The day before the pinewood derby, we got lots of snow. School was canceled which was convenient because I was sick as was my daughter.  And I really have no interest in getting people places when all I want to do is not ever move.
 Seven and half inches in one night in April?!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

"they did not know they could be happy"

Back in March I attended the temple. I was thinking about why I had to endure this stupid depression. Here is my real problem with it. I get that crappy stuff happens, I really do. What truly bothered me about it was, it was affecting my kids, and I didn't think that was a fair. It worried me most people have memories of their parents by the time they are 8 or 9. I didn't want my oldest son to look back and remember how his mother never got off the couch unless she was yelling and screaming. It wasn't fair to him. It didn't seem fair to my other kids but I assumed the toddler wouldn't remember his mom didn't know how to smile on his second birthday. Although I also worry about my daughter, I have crazy mad remembering skills, and I worried she would remember the summer she was 5.
Anyway, so that has been a struggle for me. So back in March I was trying to figure out how I had to be so dang miserable. While in the temple I thought ok. I get it. Out of the temple, I didn't. But that night while driving home, I listened to Elder Richard G. Scott's talk Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority, from Fall 2014. In it he says, 

Because they had never experienced hard times, they did not know they could be happy. They had never felt turmoil, so they could not feel peace.
I do not declare that your life will cease to have challenges. Remember when Adam and Eve were in the garden, they were free from challenges, yet they were unable to experience happiness, joy, and peace.7 Challenges are an important part of mortality. Through daily, consistent scripture study, you will find peace in the turmoil around you and strength to resist temptations. You will develop strong faith in the grace of God and know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ all will be made right according to God’s timing.
I am not suggesting that all of life’s struggles will disappear as you do these things. We came to mortal life precisely to grow from trials and testing. Challenges help us become more like our Father in Heaven, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure those challenges.10 I testify that as we actively come unto Him, we can endure every temptation, every heartache, every challenge we face, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
Hearing that was immensely comforting. It was as if the Lord was telling me directly, I am aware of all your feelings. It was the first time I had felt that in a long time. After that I slowly started to accept that its alright for children to see their mom on the ultimate breaking point if she has no where else to be. 
A few days later I was packing for a trip. I mentally prepare myself to see people I haven't seen in a long time when we visit family because you never know when you'll run into an old friend or acquaintance when you visit family in places you use to live. (The same trait that makes me never look back, never have regrets, makes it sometimes mentally hard for me to revisit past me/past living areas.) So I thought what if I ran into someone I use to know. We would exchange pleasantries, we would say hey how are you doing? I wondered what I would think, what I would say if someone asked me how I was doing. I'm so very blunt/honest/transparent, I usually tell people exactly how I feel. After a second or two of thought, I knew I would say, "I am doing so very good". I would hope I would keep the rest to myself but I would think, I didn't know how well I could be doing. But after knowing how bad I could be doing, I know how amazingly awesome I'm doing. When I finished that thought I thought oh my goodness! Elder Scott was right. "Because they had never experienced hard times, they did not know they could be happy."

As a footnote, Elder Scott in that same talk said, "Don’t yield to Satan’s lie that you don’t have time to study the scriptures." I need to remember that quote and post another post about it. That and railroad tracks. 

More of the Same

Today while eating lunch I was listening to conference. The Lord Is My Light by Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Saturday afternoon session was up in my queue. In the end of his talk he said,
If the grim realities you are facing at this time seem dark and heavy and almost unbearable, remember that in the soul-wrenching darkness of Gethsemane and the incomprehensible torture and pain of Calvary, the Savior accomplished the Atonement, which resolves the most terrible burdens that can occur in this life. He did it for you, and He did it for me. He did it because He loves us and because He obeys and loves His Father. We will be rescued from death—even from the depths of the sea.
It was a good reminder. Especially since I'm trying to understand my trials. 

Normally I live a life of no regret. Brent and I both agree years ago there was no reason to live with doubt and regret. We make a decision and never look back. I often hear moms talking about how they could have done such and such better or they failed at such and such. I don't do that. I don't know why, I simply don't. I have always done the best I can, I have I failed often. Do I make mistakes all the time, but I don't fill myself up with dread about the past. Sure I've yelled at my kids, but when I calm down I apologize, we discuss it and move on. I refuse to allow people to take control over my emotions. If someone offends me, I think about the situation, come to peace with it as soon as I can and move on. I often worry I put my foot it my mouth all the time, I often feel bad at how something came out. I apologize if needs be, and move on.
 So last Sunday I was talking to Brent about my inability to let go of this last bout of postpartum depression. Normally I accept things for what they are and move on. But for whatever reason I can't this time. I told Brent every time I bring it up you are probably thinking can we move on? (I sensed a head nod that he was smart enough not to do.) But I can't move on until I have understanding. Until I understand it, it was just mindless suffering, and I don't believe the Lord gives us mindless pain. I think all our trials can be for our good, they can lead us in a direction for our benefit if we but understand the Lord's will. I'm not there yet but I'm getting there. This quote from Elder Cook helps. 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Two Things

  1. Something reminded me of something I learned a few months ago. Without the experiences I had last year, I would never have known how strong I could be. I would rather have not know. Surviving postpartum depression, beyond strong. Surviving the hardest 10 days in my life-- Turbo on a nebulizer  in and out of the doctor every other day. They knew me by name. *insert crying* Slipped disk problems at the exact same time, had pain every single minute of every day. Could not sleep the pain was so intense. Let's not forget my nursing infant, and my husband being in a third world country off the grid. Yeah, I survived that, I'm not sure would again.
  2. Brent and I were talking yesterday about something unrelated to marriage and I made an analogy to marriage. Made us both remember that we are blessed to both have parents that are rooting for our marriage. Not everyone has that. So grateful our parents aren't undermining us as a couple.

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Depression wrestling

For months I've been questioning why I had to go through postpartum depression. I'm not sure why I can't just accept it. But I'm not. Yesterday I had the opportunity to listen to Sheri Dew speak in person her message was questions are good. Referencing Enos it can cause us the wrestle with the spirit. While in the meeting, I thought I understood my trial. When I'm in a setting where I am feeling the spirit strong I start to understand, when I go back to the mundane life I don't. It's because when I was in the depths of depression I knew the spirit in a more intimate level than more normal life. My brain was too sick for any logical thought and so it was so easy to recognize the spirit. Moments when something said feed your children cereal. That was the Holy Ghost, taking care of my family. Because honestly there were times I was completely unable to. At the time I was confused where those thoughts where coming from because I KNEW they were not mine. Coming out on the other side, I could look back and recognize who it was. This is all going to take more of a wrestle, I need more understanding, and eventually the Lord will give it to me. It may take awhile and it will apparently be a lot of work.