New Life

AANNDD… We’re Back, Right?

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Hello everyone!

Yeah, I know. It’s been a while. Don’t worry. Stuff is happening.

Life has definitely changed in the last year. Friday, Shawn and I will be celebrating our son Austin’s first birthday. Its exciting and yet scary. The last year has been filled with learning new guidelines, new games, new sleeping schedules and new diets. But its all worth it… to hear a giggle or see a smile from this little guy. Lots has changed and its all for the good.

Family Photo1

That moves me onto my next topic.  Finally this year I found an OBGYN in Fallbrook, CA (about an hour away) that has really been working with me to help me be overall healthier in addition to help me address my PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome.)  And for once… its working. But not without sacrifice.  To date,  I have lost 35 lbs. Yes–gone is the baby weight and i’m slowly moving towards my wedding weight (which is about 5-7 lbs away.) Having these little goals has helped me feel like i’m really achieving something. After I reach my pre-wedding weight… my next goal is to make it to the lowest weight i have been in the last 10 years. Its only 25 lbs less and totally doable but if I actually reach this… I think i’ll cry a little. After the lowest, i’m going down in about 20-25lbs each increment until I reach my ultimate goal weight.  Now this one is actually difficult…but if I can get back on getting some exercise/walking (something hard to make time when all you want to do is get home to your son,) I might actually make it. Which is a nice thought.

As I mentioned–the weight loss is not without sacrifice. I have made changes in what I eat. First–i am trying to give up all sugar…both artificial and regular. Regular sugar I have so rarely that when I decided i’m going for it with a smoothie or ice cream cone…it knocks me out. I do drink a lot of diet (yeah, I know peanut gallery) but it has forced me to choose alternatives to what i used to eat. My second sacrifice was gluten. Yep-gluten. Gone is the bread, the pasta, the heavy laden carb plates I was stuff myself with. You see–when my doctor ran my blood work, she discovered I had elevated levels indicating I have what’s called a “Leaky gut.” It doesn’t mean I have a celiac issue, but that my digestive tract does not thank me when I decide to eat something with gluten in it. Now–i don’t recommend this unless guided by a doctor as it is not easy nor is it meant for everyone. But for me it has work tremendously–I don’t feel so overwhelmed and bloated and actually my body is burning calories. I use the Lose It! app to help me monitor what I eat and I was thinking for the first time… I’m several weeks into a diet (been monitoring at least 90 days) and I don’t feel like i’m starving or suffering. I actually get some days where I don’t even eat all my calories.

So hopefully as this next week, there will be more travel blogs, more details of the attack on PCOS and maybe an interesting note or two about academics, baby stuff or just plan ol’ geeky-nerdy items 😀

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Eating “Normal”

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WARNGING: FOOD VENT

 

At the beginning of Lent– I began a new journey towards better health. In going to a new OBGYN, I received new supplements, vitamins and a new diet.  The supplements and vitamins were not a shock to me, but the new diet was definitely going to be a change. A sugar free wheat free diet (no gluten.)

So just to give you an idea of what people on restricted go through when going out, here is how my thought process went:

“Ok– let’s see what we got here…. hmmm…. i’m hungry for a hamburger.

Oh, wait no bun. Eh, ok, i really don’t want a lettuc burger. They’re messy. Everything falls out and plus I wanted something like a bacon cheeseburger which is hard. Well… how about something from the Mexican menu. Oh, wait, all burritos. Any corn options? No-nothing. Dang. What about fries? well I can’t just have fried for dinner… I really want protein. In fact, I prefer no salad if possible (scans the ENTIRE menu, thru breakfast that’s only good until a certain time of which it is not…)

Dang it… salad it is. With beef. And no croutons. And i guess the tomato and hard boiled egg can go to shawn. Ugh. Not what I wanted. I hate this but i want to do this.”

I found out I had a new appreciation for people who had limited diet options. Seriously America–your fast food needs to get better. I don’t mean switch all bread to gluten-free…but just providing all things with flour less a salad is not the greatest option. The scenario I mentioned above was at a local place–luckily at places like Applebee’s and such I can order a steak with green beans and potatoes. But I can’t imagine if I was, let’s say, a vegatarian with this restricted diet. I’d be eating a ton of beans, rice and cheese.  Or a lot of (as one friend put it) “Rabbit food.”

 

end vent

Day 3 Texas Thoughts

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Let’s just say this was the morning I slept in. I was absolutely exhausted from yesterday and staring at houses along with trying to mentally take in the idea of us moving here or not.  For our last day our goals were to visit Daley Plaza and the Book Depository along with a Scouting Museum and some of the areas we had not considered yesterday in our tour of the DFW area. We only made it to Daley Plaza and the Book Depository.  Mostly because they take so much time. I highly recommend them both!

The Actual Grassy Knoll
I’m pointing at the window supposedly where Lee Harvey Oswald made the final shot
HistoricL landmark-they are all over here
The final road: Elm Street. If you look closely where the gentleman is crossing…”x” in the ground are the shot locations

 

So overall the trip was a success. But in he end (as I conclude these in March)…were taking it slow and probably not moving for a bit. 

Day 2 Texas Thoughts

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Welcome to the second day of our experience of looking at Dallas, TX as a viable living place. 

We woke up around 9am to notice no change in the visibility. Yep, you got it–heavy heavy fog. But luckily as the day went by, the fog cleared up and changed to just general rain. We first met up with our real estate agent at a local place called the Old West Cafe. Boy was it tasty! I enjoy Tex Mex food and this had an egg included 🙂

Afterwards we went house looking. It was a lot of fun. The first home was huge inside but on a small lot. However, the view of the creak was adorable. The second house we tried was closed (with wasps so that was out) and the third house had spiders in the tube. 

The final house we looked at was a brand new community. Grant it it was a good 35-45 minutes outside of town…it was so new that we would be able to pick our countertops, colors of paint and details from the ground up. Crazy, right? Ther’s NO WAY we’d be able to do that in CA. 


I absolutely loved this community and was about to sign on the dotted line. But there’s still a lot to consider — especially because CA has a lot of friends and family close by where as in TX we’d be forming a new network.   Value here is so important and it’s starting to increase because of all the businesses moving out this way for cheaper work costs. 

On our way back–we finally stopped at a Texas BBQ place during the Dallas/Green Bay game. It’s called Hard Eight BBQ. It was amazing because you walk in, pick out your meat by the pound and then add your sides. We had brisket, sausage, ribs, corn and a potato. Shared cornbread and some crazy sides (the beans are free here!) It was tasty and WAY too much food. But when you’re in TX, go big or go home. 🙂


So since our arrival, the weather of TX has been crazy. There was fog, then there was rain, then it cleared up for a little bit before it decided to rain again. Eventually the wind and rain got so bad, tornado warnings were issued and we had to stay inside during our originally planned trip to see a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse ( a location where they kick you out for taking during a movie–huzzah!) It was kind of a wild moment because we were hanging in the lobby when a single mother and her two girls rushed in, soaking wet and the kids were screaming because it was just plain ol’ scary. So I pulled out my phone and froze it on the kiddo game I had originally downloaded for Austin and the little girl(Jopline was her name) managed to stay focused while mom was trying to pull herself together and find a room to stay in because it was practically raining sideways.  Luckily someone game up their extra room for them because the hotel was full. Good people–it’s always good to see that. 

Eventually we made it out for food once the winds died sown. Grab a bite to eat and came back to go to bed. Such a crazy day. But anything can happen while you’re in TX. 

Texas Thoughts

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Over the past few years (despite moving in 2014 to Rancho Cucamonga) – Shawn and I have considered moving out of state.  Since my job has a few locations–we decided to take a look at the most available spot-Dallas, Texas. So we hopped on a plane over the MLK holiday to check out not only the area but also some available houses and what it would be like to live in TX

Our journey started off at 7am from our house to LAX. We took an airline I had never flown but heard plenty of negative thoughts about: Spirit. To be honest — it wasn’t half bad. Since we were only coming out for two days we were able to bring a small backpack and not pay for any luggage. When we landed, we picked up our rental and began our journey.

First: the FOG! It’s so bad here that you can barely see 500 yards in front of you. So there’s little room for seeing things on the side of the freeway. We had plenty of time to check in– so we went in search of local interests. The main being food.  Luckily, in Dallas there is a location for my favorite restaurant-Moe’s Southwest Grill. It’s very much like Qdoba or Chipotle–but has the white quest sauce and tastes amazing.  Especially the steak. They have nice thick cuts instead of small little chunks with no flavor.Then we drove around (getting lost) downtown and while deciding to head out to the AAA Texas building (where I would possibly work), we accidentally ended up traveling onto the grass knoll taking the same path as Kennedy’s car. Oops and cool at the same time. 

Our third stop was at a mall. Now-you may be thinking why a mall but there was a distinct purpose to this. There was a ThinkGeek store inside.  We purchased some items (mostly t-shirts), but it was amazing to be actually able to pick up the things we had seen online and ponder purchase in our heads.  We left the mall with only a few goodies but overal productive approach to our geekiness.

Finally we headed to the hotel, checked in and turned around to head out to dinner. (Yes-shopping took some time so by the time we checked in it was 9:30pm.) So we decided to try a local “treasure” and head to a Whataburger

I’d show you a picture but its really not all that exciting.

While I did not feel it was anything special-it was interesting to have a bbq chicken strip sandwich with Texas toast.  Very much like Sonic or Wendy’s. Nothing like In&Out-sorry Texans. However, there was a Steak & Shake next door and because I was craving onion rings, we stopped and picked up a shake to share with some good ol’ fried rings to go.

The first day was quit an experience. Today (day 2) , we are heading out with a real estate agent to look around the different communities and. At houses about living here. There is one community I am excited about because it was be a brand new house. Brand new kitchen, brand new garage. Everything. There would be no worries about dated walls or furniture–just our own nostalgia that we would bring to living there. Well–off we go!

Book Review: Period Repair Manual

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As I noted in my last blog–2017 is a year of refreshment for me. It’s a perfect time to begin restructuring many parts of my life-little by little to incorporate good and healthy change. 

So while we were flying out to Dallas (blogs to follow-enter reference here), I decided I would get back into reading several of the books I had purchased over the last few 2-3 years. So I scanned my kindle app and noticed I had forgotten a book referral I had received when I first wanted to get pregnant. 

The Period Repeair Manual is a book that address the one thing every woman fears and dreads: your monthly cycle. After the birth of my son, I made a conscious effort to work to understand what my body does naturally and help support that through my diet instead of letting doctors prescribe things to me without explanation or review. This quickly escalated after I spent time going to both my obgyn and an endocrinologist to try and get help for my PCOS only to be told “pill or metformin”–two answers I der were not only lazy medical work but lacked looking at the real problems I was having. 

Beginning this book was difficult for me. I was scared to look at natural repair and approach to my pcos issues because I didn’t want to given into “guru” approaches to everything. There are plenty of examples of modern medicine helping our society (the birth of my son has definitely taught me this) and I do want to use all resources when apprised. 

So I started with page one. As the book continued through explaining what we know about menstral cycles, what the true “norm” is and how to address the spectrum of problems that arise from poor period health–I realized this book was placed in my hands at the perfect moment. Coupled with my appointment in two weeks with a natural approaching doctor–it makes me excited about reforming my life.
I think the biggest change I will be making is saying goodbye to sugar. Stevia and the other natural sweetness I’m willing to look at very occasionally–but basically eating a sugarless diet would benefit me in mass quantity. And while I will cut down on processed carbs (sticking to no French fries), eating a baked potato with butter is not going to kill my diet if I decide I’m extremely hungry for this. So no soda, no ice cream, no fruit juice (bad bad sugar levels) and definitely no syrup on my pancakes. 

Another modification I am considering to work in is no diary. I already drink very limited amounts of diary and only keep coconut at home for breakfast cereal. My immunologist highly recommended this already but after doing some reading (both my own and that she provided), I humbly agree to give up my other diary friends. Trust me-my gut will thank me later. 

The last modification: I am working to make is clean eating. Luckily we live in a society that is gradually movi towards cleaner eating but we are definitely nowhere near something positive. This is going to be my Lenten project. Clean self. I mentioned I would be going on a Paleo- type diet. I want to do this even more. 

Again–I ask that those of you who know and interact with me daily help support me in this. I don’t mean to change your life with me. But asking to go to McDonald’s when Panera is in the same parking lot is not helpful. 

What children do to You

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So I am gradually welcoming myself back to the land of the living. Since the birth of Austin–it has been a whirlwind of learning his habits, his necessities and his milestones while trying to keep my head somewhere in the range of my body (because expecting it to be even slightly screwed on somewhere is a joke at this point.) is a miracle.

I will say that I have a learned a lot from having a child. So here I will leave you with little tidbits I have learned so far (remember first time mother who DOES NOT know what the hell she’s doing sometimes.)

  1. Make you Aware whether it be an oversensitivity to every sound and image in and around your home and community, i can definitely say that over the past few months my ears, eyes and thoughts have been tuning into everything Austin. The TV is always too loud, the lights too bright, the details too shocking. And while I would like to think some of these things don’t affect him– in reality all nurturing affects the nurtured in some way. I just know I want to give him the best environment to thrive in the best way. And yet-at the same time love him for every ounce that he is–or will be–or whatever. It’s a crazy thought when I go thru “how do I tell him about such and such” or “what do I say when he asks about that?” I know i’ll figure it out or at least admit I can’t and try to be the best mother to my son. That’s all one can ask for.
  2. Secret Code parenting and babies have secret codes. Smiley faces with tongues sticking out and goggly eyes are not always happy signals but sometimes presents down below. There is clearly a language between little baby mothers for when I was at Disneyland–the three week old baby mother and myself (7 week old austin) could look at each other without saying a word and knew where we each were–sleepless & exhausted with hungry but joyful kids.  Maybe its because our children are closer in age… but even the older children parents know what is going on and its a comfort to know you’re not alone. Actually–its a bigger comfort to know that you aren’t the only one who has gone thru sleepless nights, disgusting cleanups (either of food or something else) or even a stressed out/tantrum kiddo.  My biggest accomplishment as a mom: admitting I do not have my shit together–at all.
  3. Being Prepared is not just a Lion King song Luckily I haven’t run into this too often… but i will say when you’re without formula, without a diaper, without a blanket–even at this age can be daunting. You get creative and crafty — and I swear its only going to get worse in having a small human being.
  4. In the End–All of Life is worth it! No matter how many poopy diapers I change or spit up shirts i wash– it will all be worth it in the end. I keep telling myself this because there are moments I want to cry and just press pause for a few minutes so I can breathe or sleep or eat. Luckily my husband, friends and family are all really good about redirecting my focus to the right locations. That God does good things (insert all applicable bible verses here about surviving life’s challenges) and that in the end watching my child grow will be all worth it. It’s a crazy thought to realize I brought a tiny human into the world and that it will be my responsibility to take care of him. And to be a parent means you would do anything for your child–whether it be starve & suffer or celebrate and share.

Dear Austin–I can’t wait to see what life has in store for you! Remember I will always be your mommie (from 1-100) and will always seek for you the good in life.