Tuesday, June 23, 2015


After turning 30 and having two babies in a less than two years, I had no muscle strength, no endurance and overall my body was gelatinous goo.

We went hiking a year ago and my 5 year old could hike faster than me. It was in a different part of the state and it below the altitude of our neighborhood so I couldn't blame it on oxygen. Overall my body just stopped being able to keep up. I didn't like it. Brent had both babies strapped to him, and would wait at each switch back for me, while the kids were long gone.

I spent a year getting in shape. That and my slip disc, I had to get in shape to get rid of that pesky problem, I'm glad to say I can't remember the last time I had problem with that.

But I'm not an exercise junky, I don't exercise because I love it. I exercise because I know what its like to not be able to walk ten house down the street. I exercise because I know what its like to have every step cause pain through my body. To avoid ever using the stairs because every step hurts. I exercise so that never happens again. (My pregnancy pain was not caused by a lack of exercise.)

So I now I exercise everyday, the year after postpartum depression is the easiest years for me to exercise. I'm not an exercise junky but I can definitely tell the difference between normal life and an endorphin high from exercise. A few months ago I stopped taking a nap/reading/watching tv during nap time. I started exercising while watching tv. Its a little something I've done to hold myself accountable, I don't watch tv during the daytime until I'm exercising or folding laundry. I don't quit my workout early because all the tv shows are 40 minutes and I wanted to watch the whole thing.

Still its hard to be motivated everyday. They say exercising with a buddy has better success. So I text my husband a lot through nap time to stay motivated. One of the reasons I exercise is to keep up with my husband. I will never be able to hike as fast as him, or anything similar but I don't want to be left on the couch because I can't try to keep up. Since one of my motivating factors is him, I feel like my daily texts are justified.

The other day I told him before work, I'm going to be hotter than you because I work out daily and you don't. That's the other reason I text him about my workouts in hopes it wears off on him. He too has felt the passage of time and now comes home from a hike/basketball game/cycling being sore. Yes, my husband has been blessed to rarely feel sore before he turned 33, but now he needs to keep up his health too.

That night as we were getting ready for bed, he clarified, did you tell me you would be hotter than me, because you work out? I replied, yes. He laughed, and said, you already are hotter than me.

So fast-forward to today. I texted saying, I'm so tired, I don't think I can work out today. He responded saying, well then I guess you won't be as hot as me. That is all it took, I got on my exercise bike, I did my hand weights, I did my core strengthening. My husband, was planning on taking the varsity scouts on a mountain bike ride tonight, I didn't want him to workout on a day I did not. I felt better after my workout like I usually do. Then I passed out on the couch at 3:30 for 5 minutes at a time while my daughter repeatedly asked me to play a card game. At 4:15 she finally got her wish.

Carpal Tunnel

Along with the blood work for hormones, I went to the doctor for my carpal tunnel. I ALWAYS get postpartum carpal tunnel. Some people don't think that is a real thing, but it is.

With my first child, my mother paid for super poor/broke me to have a couple of rounds of acupuncture to get rid of it, when he was a little over a year old, and been weaned for four months.

With my next two kids it went away after I weaned them.

This time, I think it got worse after I weaned him. I pretty much was in pain every day all day, before I went to see the doctor. I was planning to demand physical therapy.
I got x-rays and she sent me home with a treatment plan/exercise. I was suppose to take anti-inflammatories until I came back in. Wear a wrist brace and do exercises twice a day. When I started the exercises I couldn't complete a single one without crying my wrist hurt so bad.  And never once did I do them twice a day. But within two weeks, there was huge improvements. So the doctor didn't refer me to physical therapy. I assume it because I didn't ask. Maybe? I'm not sure why, I think I was more concerned with my blood work, and the garage sale Brent was doing without me. :/

I have a follow up in three months so I could ask then if I want.
I think the real reason it flared up so bad is because I have a big only partially walking baby. My first baby didn't walk until 14 months, and I had carpel tunnel for months after he weaned. My second baby was walking at 10 months and fully walking independent by her birthday. Plus she was my skinniest baby. My third baby walked at exactly a year, and HAD to become an independent walker quickly because I was pregnant, and knew I couldn't carry him and a new baby. I didn't want him to associate me not holding him with the new baby. Plus by the time I was 4 or 5 months along, every step I took was painful.
But baby #4, he is the BABY. He is my tubbiest, chunky baby. He can walk, he can run, he can climb a full sized playground. But he can't walk on my schedule, he refuses. He trips over everything when I try to lead him somewhere, and in a parking lot, its easier a lot easier to carry him, and only keep one toddler from walking in front of cars. Oh yes, Turbo has walked/run in front of multiple cars, no matter how tight I hold on to him. So I'm still carrying baby #4, all the time, and that is what is killing my wrist. But honestly, nothing is going to change until he is capable of holding my hand and walking. So I wear my wrist brace everywhere I go with my 16 month old, because if I do that, and sleep in it. I have barely any pain.

That and I've started exercising with hand weights. Its amazing the difference, if I get busy and miss more than a day I can totally feel it in my wrist.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Non-fiction Summer Reading

The other day a friend asked for a book recommendation, and I could come up with a fiction one. Then realized its because I've only been reading non-fiction. Not only non-fiction but only psychology and child development. Not everyone's cup of tea.

The Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing DisorderThe Out-of-Sync Child Has Fun: Activities for Kids with Sensory Processing Disorder by Carol Stock Kranowitz
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was referred to me when it became painfully clear yet another one of my children has sensory processing disorder. I read the first book, and this is a good follow up. It is easier to read and scan. I don't always agree with Kranowitz opinions, but the book does have a lot of ideas. Some seemed painfully obvious to me, but then again I think my kids are a little more free play in the backyard then a lot of modern kids.
It was organized in a clear way, and had good some good suggestions. I'll definitely be trying some out.

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Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex DifferencesWhy Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leonard Sax
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

My friend recommended this book to me and it was beyond interesting to me. Four years later, it finally clicked why my oldest child who loves school, hated kindergarten. He loved preschool and loved first grade but not kindie. Why because he had a soft spoken teacher who wanted him to describe colors and read fiction and sit still. He does so good with loud teachers who allow him to stand at his desk instead of sit in a chair. But yet my daughter who always struggled in preschool thrived in kindergarten with a calm soft spoken teacher. (Those poor boys in her class.) On page 24, it said, "Girls draw nouns, boys draw verbs..." Oh golly, duh, never realized it but makes complete sense. I love hearing children describe their pictures before kindergarten, especially boys.
Since I just read a different book on neurology, I was surprised when he said males feel emotions in their amygdala while women experience it cerebral cortex. Which explains why my husband never wants to discuss his bad moods. Its hard to verbally express what is happening in the amygdala. Also I thought it was useful to hear the difference in how boys prefer to discuss books. Makes so many conversations with my husband or oldest son make so much more sense.
I also thought it was interesting when the book said, "Ironically, the result of her lack of awareness of gender differences is a reinforcement of traditional gender sterotypes." Accepting that males and females are different allow them to thrive beyond gender stereotypes.
Since I only have small children I loved the beginning of the book. The chapter on teenage sexuality was beyond depressing. I hate the sexual revolution because it seemed that instead of empowering females it has turned them into objects by males instead of liberating them.

I'm always pleased to be reminded as a parent "Your job is not to maximize your child's pleasure, but to broaden her horizons." 172

Lastly the book mentioned in 1999 the Colorado state school board approved a resolution advising teachers not to recommend or suggest psychotropic medications for any student because they are utilized for discipline. I thought now I know why I love Colorado. I don't have a problem with medication as long as it is needed, but I think its used too early when diet and exercise can change lots. Not to mention active children are normal not sick.

View all my reviews Mindsight: The New Science of Personal TransformationMindsight: The New Science of Personal Transformation by Daniel J. Siegel
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I enjoyed this book it was a little dry at times but come on its a psychology book, that often explains brain neurology how could it not be dry. Understanding brain neurology is not my strong suit, but in the beginning of the book the author mentions people who study the brain for a living don't understand it so that made it easier to wade through this book.
It was a timely book to read for me. I feeling some residual anxiety left over from my postpartum depression last year so it helped me find the tools I needed to shake off that anxiety without a prescription from my MD. (I don't have a problem with prescription I just prefer to use other methods first.)

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Thursday, June 18, 2015

Bilirubin and Lycopene

I recently went to see a doctor for myself. I haven't done that much since I was a child. Sure I've seen plenty of OB/GYNs but overall health exams haven't happened much. Mostly because I go see a doctor and they say you seem to be in good health I don't know why you are here.
Before I got pregnant with my daughter I went to see a family practice doctor. We discussed my overall health. We discussed that I was concerned with my low weight. He asked how much I ate, he said well if that is true, then I think you are just suppose to be thin. Now looking back I think he was a dork for saying that, at the time I thought oh alright.

So now 7 years later, I went to go see a doctor. We discussed my concerns then she order lab work. Duh, why has no doctor ever order lab work unless I'm pregnant?

In my opinion, the most interesting thing the blood work told is I have elevated bilirubin levels. Not high enough to request more tests, unless I want them but still high enough that it was marked up special to be noticed. Since its not causing jaundice the doctor is unconcerned. But like I said other tests- she told me I could one day ask to be tested for Gilbert's syndrome, which is a condition that is not harmful, but causes high bilirubin, and since its not harmful it doesn't matter if you have a diagnoses. But I had previously mentioned to her that from time to time my liver feels achy. Now I know why. I always thought it was from stress or something. I don't know, what, that's what everything is blamed on is stress right? So then a few days later it was aching again, so I looked up how to lower bilirubin levels, it said eating red foods. Some red foods like tomatoes and watermelon, are rich in lycopene. Thanks to Brent we just happened to have a bowl of cut up watermelon in the fridge. So I ate a bunch then we had spaghetti the following night for dinner, tomato paste is high in lycopene. I haven't had a problem since. Not to say it won't be achy again, but I'm glad I know what to do to help it now. Also the internet says, sweets and sugars aggravate inflammation of the liver. Yeah... that's what the natural health providers keep telling me over the years. Don't they know that I love a good cookie without nuts of course, or cake or ice cream... I guess the positive thing is I don't drink alcohol.

The luckily thing about my blood work is all my hormone levels were normal! Wahoo, I can't tell you how exciting that was to hear. That is the reason I went in, to have my blood taken to see what was up with my body. Turns out nothing, I'm just detoxing from three years of baby growing hormones. The doctor told me don't expect to feel normal until its been 6 months since you weaned. Since it had been 4 months when I first saw her, and I was still feeling off. I believe her. Sadly. My iron, everything else other than vitamin D was good. Vitamin D isn't surprising considering my complaints.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

A year ago

This picture is a year old. But I just found it, and its great because they look so much alike.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Bookcase Sale

We had a garage sale the other day. We had been preparing for about 6 months. I couldn't believe how much we had boxed up when it had come time to set up. We covered our front yard and driveway (we have a three car driveway). We also got rid of two 6 feet tall bookcase and more books then could fit on them.  Years ago when we were newlyweds we said we would never get rid of a book, because why would you? Then fast forward to last year, the only books we were reading we from the library, I had three bookcase crammed full of children's books that I never ever read to my kids because they were too full for anyone to get a book.
 Once we thinned our bookcases, my kids started using those books! Imagine that. We got rid of boxes and boxes of books. At first it was challenging, but now we are actually using the ones we have. Plus of course the library too. Pretty much my oldest only gets books on his birthday or Christmas, he read a chapter book in a few days, we would run out of space in our house, if we bought all his books.
The only tall bookcases we now have are in my oldest's room, and in the basement. I love love love it. I love my room with a short bookcase instead of a 6 foot one, and I love my daughter's room with a short bookcase. The upstairs feels so much more airy. Plus we took out the fake cherry bookcase from my son's room, and put in a real oak bookcase. I know, I know pinterest would tell you oak is so out. But I like the oak in his room, the cherry was too dark. Plus it was the fake partial board bookcase. Every since we bought I've hated it. Which is odd because we a different partial board bookcase that I've always liked. But the quality is definitely different.
Our house is so much more livable after our garage sale. But we both feel like we have a ways to go. I think in modern society you always have a ways to go, there is always another present given, another grocery store visit, another magazine in the mail. The outflow of stuff has to equal the inflow or the house gets taken over. When I'm pregnant I don't notice that there is no outflow, so the house gets so packed. And when you have an infant, they have so much stuff you forget what life is like without so much stuff everywhere.
But now, we have hardly any extra baby stuff. A high chair, a crib, two travel cribs, a few strollers. No baby toys, no baby gates, none of all that extra holding baby stuff ALL over the house! The benefit is our last baby has never liked baby toys so they were easy to get rid of.

I don't know

I have a blog post completely composed in my head. Yet, when I have a minute to sit down at the computer I have no idea what it is about.