Sunday, November 13, 2011

Getting Healthy

It's been 100+ days since writing my last post. Where have I been you ask? From July 7th through August 29th I was sick and from August 30th through today I  have been getting healthy. Here is the story.

This is me on July 5th the night before I started to get sick. I wont bore you with the details, so here are the highlights...or should I call them low light of what happened.

I broke out in a mystery rash over my entire body on July 6th. After 2 trips to urgent care I was put on steroids for what the doctors diagnosed as an allergic reaction. Over the next  2 months I saw 5 different urgent care doctors on 7 diffrent trips to UC, saw my primary care physcian, got 9 viles of blood drawn, saw 2 dermatologists, and got a double ear infection when the rash spread into my ears.

Here are just 2 pictures of what the rash looked like. These were taken on my "good days"...on the bad days I couldn't move.

In late August while on my last round of steroids I decided to do my own research. I found a book called The Candida Cure by Anne Boroch. It talked about the cycle of illnesses that happen when your body is thrown off balance while  of antibiotics and steroids. Considering I had been on steroids the majority of the last 2 months I thought the diet she suggested couldn't hurt. 

I gave up soda and sugar first. Then I gave  up almost everything else, essentially it's a Gluten Free-Casein  Free diet. I basically ate vegetables and seeds for the first few weeks. As I became use to my diet I started adding in brown rice pasta instead of regular pasta, GMO corn tortilla chips instead of my usual chips. 

I stopped my steroids on August 30th and to my surprise and happiness the rash did not come back like it did when I went off the steroids the times prior. 

I also watched a movie called Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead which is a documentary about 2 men going on a juice fast. The movie is amazing and I suggest you watch it as soon as possible. I'm pretty sure I had what the guy in the movie suffered from but thankfully I caught it early instead of being on steroids for 9 yeas like he was. 

I have lost 30lbs and I feel great. I still follow a Gluten Free Diet and I don't drink anything but water. When I do eat Gluten I feel like shit, my stomach bloats out so I  look pregnant, and I get a few itchy dots again. I'm still not 100% sure what happened to my body this summer and I don't know if I ever will. 

Here's a before and after photo.  On the left I am 161 lbs and on steroids, the photo was taken August 28th. On the right I am 131 lbs and not on any medication, it was taken November 6th. 

Hopefully I can get back into blogging now. While I will still write about my husband and I on our adventures here in California I will also be posting about my new diet and better health too. 

Thank you for stopping by and continuing to read my little old blog. 

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Home again, home again, jiggety-jig

During our Surprise, Surprise visit home to North Carolina we kept ourselves very busy and the time flew by. It's hard to believe that we've been back in California for 2 weeks already. Here are a few (quite a few actually) of the highlights of our trip.

There are just certain "things" you can't get on the West Cost and for the last 18 months we (Carl mostly) has had a hankering for good old BoJangles'. If you're not familiar with BoJangles' it's a southern fast food restuarant chain famous for their Chicken n' Biscuits. I was never a huge fan of biscuits, but I credit Bojangles for turning me on to Biscuits and Sausage Gravy. YUM! My mouth is watering just thinking about them. Here's Carl enjoying our first  morning with his favorites.

After the of day of Surprises on Friday we were able to coordinate quite a large cook out. Thanks to Carl's brother Craig and his family for hosting the "event" at their home for 22 people on such short notice.

Craig manned the grill to cook some awesome hot dogs and hamburgers. Carl relaxed in the shade and caught up with his dad and friends, Brian, Heather, and John. 

I shared a clip of the video from surprising our mom with my brother Wesley. 

My aunt Bobbi and her DH, Kevin, joined us from their home in Raleigh, NC after just getting back from their own summer vacation.  The next day we shared a quite breakfast with them at Cracker Barrel, which we also don't have on the West Coast. 

Carl enjoyed a little rest with our nephew Darren.  

Even in the dark Carl gave the kids a little sculpting lesson. Our niece Zoe is becoming quite the little artist. 

Little Man is so cute, like a mini Carl!

Why does Carl look like that? He' trying to comprehend a story Little Man just told him but it was a little difficult....

... because Carl had drank a little of this. Crystal Skull Vodka....
or as Carl called it Vod-ick-a.

Which  also made Carl become fascinated with a sparkler. 

The next day we headed to Carl's dads house for a little pool time. 

Les and Zoe had  a little diving fun while Hilary snapped a few underwater photo's. 

Later in our trip we got to spend quality time with the kids. Carl gave Little Man a drum lesson. 

And even my Big Man can't help but play the drums, even if they are designed for children. 

This is one of my favorite video's from the trip. 

And while the boys played drums the girls and I stayed busy with crafts.

  We were both very happy that our friends, Brian and Heather, were able to come into town from their home in Sevierville, TN to spend time catching up face to face. And they brought their dog, Jane, who just loves Carl.

We enjoyed a nice dinner out and a little story telling. Brian is by far one of the best story tellers ever.  

Of course we ate way to much while we were in town including at this dinner out with Les and  Hilary at The Chop House,  just one of the new restaurants that have popped up since we've been gone.  

The visit could not be complete if Carl didn't take a nap on his moms SUPER comfortable couch. 

Or devour his moms cooking. 

On our last night home we sat on the deck and just  listened to the sounds of the country. I will end this post here, so sit back, relax, close your eyes and drift back to NC with me and listen to this little clip. 

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Surprise, Surprise

After 18 months of Living and Loving in California my husband and I decided we were long overdue for a visit back to North Carolina. It was a pleasant surprise when our schedules actually allowed both of us to be off for a week at the same time. We couldn't pass up the opportunity since we were unsure of when our schedules would align again.

We got the idea to do a spur of the moment surprise trip home on  Monday (6/27) and by Thursday (6/30) we touched down in super humid and hot Charlotte, North Carolina. Of course we couldn't pull off this surprise without letting a few people in on it so Carl's brother, Craig, picked us up at the airport and we were off to start surprising people.

Since we got  in late Thursday night there were only 3 people that we could surprise that night. Our nieces Zoe and Reece, and our nephew Darren were completely shocked when their mom called them into the kitchen where we were hiding. They had gotten so big and even though we've done video chats and seen pictures there was no way to really see all the changes until we saw them in person. It was amazing and a great way to start our week.

The next day we started Round 2 of Operation Surprise by popping into Carl's dad's office. Of course he knew something was up when he saw Carl's brother standing outside with a  video camera...but I don't think he had suspected us. Thanks to Hilary for helping us keep this secret for a few days.

Next we were off to surprise my mom. She had coincidentally taken that day off of work which worked out well.  We drove about 40 minutes to Concord, NC and pulled into her drive way only to find that she wasn't there! I casually called her cell phone and after a minute of chit chat she revealed that she was at the store Dollar Tree and that she was going grocery shopping after. While still hiding our secret I told her to call me when she got home. I then called my aunt and asked her where the Dollar Tree was (because I'm not familiar with that side of town)  and that we were going to go there and surprise  mom since she wasn't home. We found my mom's truck in the parking lot and made our way to the front door of the store. The following video pretty much sums up the rest of the adventure.

May I suggest you hit the play button and then immediately pause it so that you can see my moms face through the glass! What you didn't see is that when she got to the door she looked at me and then looked back at her purse, then she looked at me and smiled and looked back at her purse, and THEN it registered that it was ME standing there are she lost it. Afterwards she said she thought, "Wow, that girl looks familiar". We went back to her place for an hour to visit before we had to head off to surprise one more person, Carl's mom.

Cal's mom had to  work all day so after she got home and had time to relax we headed up the road for our final surprise. We pulled into the driveway and unload ourselves (Carl's brother and family joined us to see and video tape the surprise but I don't have that video to share). Carl gave his signature knock and a minute later his mom, Gill, peaked  out of the blinds...and then peaked again before opening the door. She was shocked and it took her awhile to realize what was happening but after a moment her shock turned into joy and excitement. 

The first  24 surprise filled hours were everything we had hoped they would be and we kept pinching ourselves that we were home. If I can get my hands on the other surprise video's then I'll upload them here as well. 

On a side note, there was one funny "reaction" that almost everyone had. As you can hear in the video my mom kept saying "What are you guys doing here?" while Carl's mom kept asking "How come?". And when Carl told his brother that we were going to take a trip home he must have said it rather cryptically because his brothers first thoughts were that something was wrong. Thankfully that was not the case and we were just able to make the trip leisurely.

I'll stop this post here but I'll be writing again soon to share stories from the remainder of our North Carolina vacation!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Too gross to share but too funny not to share

This is bathroom have been warned!

After not seeing her husband for a week my friend and her husband sat down at a restaurant for a nice dinner. After dinner they decide to go to an electronics store. They went in to look at TV's which are located all the way in the back on the left side of the store. Just as they get to the TV aisle my friend suddenly and without warning is struck with tummy trouble. My friend dashes to the bathroom located in the front, right side of the store. As my friend nears the restroom a store clerk wheels one of those giant ladders in front of the restroom door and manages to get it stuck on a sign hanging over head. My friend debates on whether or not to climb under the ladder or give it a giant shove to un-stick it from the sign....thankfully the clerk figures it out with out my friends assistance. My friend makes it to the restroom only to be followed in by a store employee. My friend waits patiently for the employee to leave so that she doesn't embarrass herself by making unflattering unladylike noises.

My friend enters the stall only to realize that there is another patron siting in the neighboring stall who is also apparently having tummy trouble. My friend finds this hilarious since both her and the other patron  are now sitting side by side in silence waiting for the other one to make their move. My friend starts laughing hysterically and is unable to "contain" herself which only causes more laughing. Finally the neighbor patron leaves (probably because she thought my friend was laughing at her) and my friend is left in peace and quiet...for about 2 seconds before a new potty patron enters the neighboring restroom stall and sits down beside her. My friend decides that this situation can't get any worse and texts her husband (who is still in the TV aisle) to meet her at the car.

My friend cried with laughter all the way home...her husband did not.

For the record I would like to remind you that EVERYONE poops...just not everyone talks about it. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Best $3 I ever spent

Just in case you needed proof that I am still a big child!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Summer Count Down: 16 Days

There are many reasons why I look forward to summer vacation, but one has been glaring at me for quite some time now. 

Each day I come home and take off my shoes and I have to ask myself, "Are my feet dirty or are those tan lines?"

I admit that I wear the same shoes almost everyday to work. They are comfortable sneaker/ tennis shoes. Perfect for running after kids in. Unfortunately, they have straps that go across the top of my feet and since we spend at least an hour on the playground each day they have left me with quite the tan lines. 

I did apply a self tanner last night, so they don't look as bad as they did, but do you see what I  mean? Add to it that my arms are several shades darker than the rest of my body and I look like a mis-matched Bride of Frankenstein. 

So, I am counting down the days until I can bask naked (not really) in the sun and even out my skin tone. Counting the days until I can wear strappy sandals.
Counting the days until I can wear shorts.  
Counting the days until I can wear tank tops. 
Counting the days until I don't have to wear a bra if I don't feel like it. 

And counting, and counting, and counting....

Friday, May 20, 2011

Late Night or Early Morning?

I'm not sure what these little guys (and their huge mother) were doing out at this hour of the morning but it was so darn cute I had to grab the camera. 

Mom climbed up on the fence first and then the little ones got stuck and could reach. 

Although furry and little, I kept my distance since their mom was screeching the whole time.