Monday, April 30, 2012

Daybook ~ Last Day of April

My First Daybook


Around the house....

It's actually all clean, all at once and we aren't having company or a birthday party.  It's amazing.  Saturday I gutted the girls room.  There were just too many toys in the room for them (mostly Sophie) to even begin to keep clean.  The toys have been re-homed to the unfinished basement that I will attempt to clean on rainy summer days.  That might just get started later this week.

Listening to....

Sadly, Phineas & Ferb. 

Reading....

The Interior Castle ~ St Teresa of Avila

Daily Reading if possible...

A Year With The Saints

Give Us This Day

On the Menu....

Working on getting a two week menu planned up.  Until that happens it looks something like Tacos, lasagna and sloppy joes.  Thinking lasagna will be my carb load for Saturday.

Moments of Gratitude...

~ Seeing my husband at mile 15 with kids, windows down, cheering, "Go Mom, Go" for the last mile home
~ Getting an afternoon nap after running 16 miles
~ My sister
~ Henry healthy again after being sick for four days
~ Husband who understands my running
~ Another month of spiritual direction
~ Mother's Rule Binder getting cleaned up
~ Inspiring women
~ Clean fish tank (thanks Tonya)

Home Learning...

We are leaning to pray the Rosary as a family.  Currently we do three decades on the way to school and then when either Henry or Karley is picked up we finish the last two.  I like doing it on the way to school and will have to figure another time out in a few weeks.

School Learning....

Will come to a close in three weeks.  I am happy for the summer and sad that in a few short months Henry will be in school all day, five days a week.  Just the thought of him not eating lunch with us could make me cry.  He's ready, I'm not.  Pre-school is for fun but now we'll be in serious business and I won't be able to seem him for hours.  I think I'll have to recess volunteer soon.

Running....

I made all the runs for my marathon training program this week.  Total mileage was 32 with 16 being the furthest.  4, 8, 4 & 16 was the scheduled runs.  It was super weird to think 8 miles was a mid-week run.  Sixteen was the furthest I've ever gone and it wasn't that bad.  I think the cooler temps (40-50) and cloudy skies helped.

Thnking about....

Making a new Rule for summer.  I've been running scenarios in my head.  Thinking about running, cleaning, playing, where to schedule it all.  Camping.

Praying....

The Universal Prayer

The week ahead...

Not as busy as I thought, especially since today Henry didn't go to school.  Somehow I have 29 miles to run this week.  Wouldn't be so hard to fit but I have a meeting at church on a normal run night and it's too long to do during the day.  Dance.  Play date later in the week.  Saturday morning my friend's first ever Mother's Group meets.  Fun week!  I think I should ask Big Daddy for a date night.  Looking forward to this little man feeling better this week.



Hope you have a great week.  I've link up with Jenny who also posts a daybook she calls Minutes.






Friday, April 27, 2012

Earth Day Half Marathon Re-Cap

My sister and I ran the Earth Day Half Marathon last weekend.  It was her fifth or sixth half and my third.  We both had PR {Personal Records} on what was a cooler rainy day.  The race was on April 21 and the weather can be very iffy.  All in all it was okay running but the kids {all five of them} could have used a little sunshine. 

As I laid in bed the night before the race I was calculating out my time, trying to see how fast I'd have to run to be under two hours.  In doing the math, I knew there was no way I could hold the under two hour pace for that long.  I wanted to do better than my previous PR of 2:12 two years ago, but that was really already fast for me. 

Tonya already had a PR of 1:57 {I think} and she was hoping to make 1:50 {I think, it might have been 1:55}.  I told myself 2:05 would be great but anything under 2:12 would be good too {and really just finishing would be a worthy achievement for me}.  So we lined up in between these two pacers then after we crossed the start line we parted ways.  Go sister go!

I was expecting to see Adam around mile five or six depending on the weather.  He took my sister's two girls and our kids but wasn't sure about going if it was pouring rain.  Can't blame him, we were thankful that he would even consider taking five kids from 2.5 to 8 by himself.  {You mothers with that many or more all on your own are probably laughing at that!}  I did see them at what I think was about mile four, then again around mile 6 and at the finish line.

I struggled the most just after mile three.  That's about where I heard two guys talking and turned a little to see that it was the pacer for 2:05.  I then realized that there would be no way I could keep that pace for 10 more miles.  Shortly there after I started taking gel packs.

From there things were pretty good and all in all I took four gel packs.  That's probably a lot but they work, so I took them.  I also wore my water belt which allowed me to passed through water stations.  Maybe good but maybe not.  I think it did save some time and some would say not much but the real reason I wore my own belt, I always seem to need it at times other than the every two miles offered on this race.  {During the marathon I'll take water at the stops and probably walk through them}

There are a lot of twists and turns on this course as it goes through a residential part of town.  There was one strait stretch for about a mile that was on a walking path.  Sounds like it would be great but there also weren't very many people there so it seemed longer without the crowd support.

All those twists and turns allowed for a weird opportunity to see my sister.  She was doing really well and it was such a boost to see her.  From the point I was passed by the 2:05 pacer I kept thinking the 2:10 pacer was breathing down my neck.  So when I was at the point my sister was at when we saw each other, I saw the 2:20 pacer and thought I must be doing alright cause it took me more than 10 minutes to get to that spot. 

The last part of the race was all downhill without a hill to get to it.  So happy for that!  All in all it was a good race.  We had fun getting there and surprisingly it was the first race Tonya and I ever ran together.  Afterwards we went for a burger and a beer.  Neither of those two things were a good idea.  I feel way better with just a protein shake and honestly, I think I should have ordered the pasta.  Oh well, now I know and won't make that mistake come June!




My results:  Actual Finish:  2:08:37 / 9:50 pace.  PR.
Tonya's results:  Actual Finish: 1:54:14 / 8:44 pace.  PR {She totally rocks!}

Now on to the big event, that is if I make it past the 16 this weekend. 

In Christ,

Tina

Thursday, April 26, 2012

First Haircuts, ENT, Babies & All Things Sophie

Here's an update on our little Sophie. 

Sophie has struggled with strep infection after strep infection and then just when we think she's going to get a break a week or two after being off antibiotics she'll wind up with a cold that seems like eventually is strep.  Her signs of having strep are very few, if any.   We are most thankful to have her healthy right now.

After so many strep infection, because we don't want her on antibiotics time after time, we decided to see an Ear, Nose & Throat doctor.  Without a doubt he said tonsils and adenoids out.  Besides the fact her tonsils are so large, {he rated them a four out of four} she does have sleep apnea.  There was more cause for alarm with this than the tonsils.

This is not without worry.  The doctor said they don't do this on children younger than three and she would need to wait until she was closer to that age.  So we are looking at sometime this summer, if at all.  I did also inquire about her speech, which isn't bad, just not crystal clear.  She has trouble with s, f, and a few other sounds.  He did say most likely this would clear up after surgery.

Once I heard surgery for sure, my thoughts changed from relief of her being sick and tired, {literally with how much she wakes up} to scared about the thoughts of surgery on an almost three year old.  A friend of mine has also been advised to have this done and after a second opinion decided to wait.  This has led us to at least seek out a second opinion.  We will be doing that middle of May. 

I was hoping to see if her tonsils would shrink once she was "well" and if the sleep apnea would go away then as well.  No such luck.  Her tonsils are the same size ~ basically they touch or there isn't any visible clearing  and her late night slumber, or lack of, was proof that the sleep apnea is still present.



On a different note.  She's wonderfully made for sure.  She loves to help me with whatever I am doing.  She loves to set the table and always asks, "what now" and is mad when I tell her it's all done.  She will do any "job" she's given and loves to take Henry and Karley's job away from them.  The only thing she "don't know how" to is clean her room or pick up her own things.

She still loves Dora, yet, Mommy is her favorite and Daddy is her "second favorite".  She also loves baby "Mary" and likes to keep her teeth clean.



Sophie had her first haircut about a month ago.  I had been thinking about it then one day while cutting some of the Soley Smalls I called Adam to ask if he would mind.  He quickly said, "No, cut it.  It's kind of scraggily (is that a word?)"  It looks really cute and has already grown out quite a bit since. 

Before

Before

During

After


She loves to change clothes, faster than I can keep up with what's clean and what's dirty.  She has been dressing herself, brushing her teeth, getting her shoes on to be ready when we need to leave for school.  By the time she goes to school she'll have this all down pat. 

She loves to show us her "grumpy face" which can turn into a "happy face" in less than a second flat.



Speaking of school, since she has a summer birthday she could go to pre-school this next Fall.  That would mean we would have them all in classes right after each other, but we have decided to wait a year.  We'd rather her be the oldest in her class instead of the youngest.  I'll have one more year of a little one with me all day.  I'm so happy about that, I'm going to be a wreck when Henry goes to Kindergarten all day in the Fall.

Sophie has been such a delight and we are so honored to be blessed by her.




In Christ,

Tina



Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Short Anagen & Gluten Free Update

We have officially abandoned gluten free living for Karley as of about a month ago (March '12).  After the first six weeks we didn't see any significant hair growth.  We then let up and things started to slide.  My husband and I went back and forth on whether or not we were seeing any growth. 

Friends and family thought it looked thicker but not really anything in length.  We were unsure and went on a couple weeks further.  We thought about going to see a pediatric dermatologist who does research at the University and then decided against it. 

A fellow member of the facebook group  [found by typing these words: Short & Loose Anagen Syndromes (SAS & LAS) ] had the opportunity to bring her daughter to a convention where 200 doctors studied her daughter.  They offered little advice and this is what she posted via the group page.  {re-posted here with permission}

Hi Moms! I posted that I was lucky enough to attend a convention with over 200 dermatologist. I attended the event, but unfortunately, I think that I educated them more than they educated me. :(. I only heard one piece of advice out of 200 dermatologist... and that advice left me in a state of confusion on what to do. I informed this particular Dr. (as I did with about 3/4 of them) that my daughter was on a gluten free diet, and asked if he had any insight into that. He nicely told me that by doing any vitamin, specific diet, ect. that I was wasting my energy! Ouch! You mean these past 2 months have been a waste when I thought I was seeing improvement?? He said the internet can be a very tricky place and getting false information seems to happen a lot. He used this example: If a mom posts ...online that they tried Burts Bees Wax and she saw growth from it, it was only because she tried it at X age when the hair was in a state of growth. He said the only thing there is, is Minoxidil and time. Hmmm... do we know more than him? Or is he right??? I have to believe he is correct in some aspects. As I was so confidant that I was seeing growth from the GF diet, I have also read that between the ages of 5 and 6 there is a significant amount of growth. My daughter is 5 1/2. Maybe it's her age helping me out and I just had awful timing with going GF. He said there was a lot more out there for LAS, but the truth is with SAS, you need time. Good luck moms! I am now faced with the descion on what to do with going GF. He also said that his 12 year old niece has SAS and she now has hair at her collar bone and it's all the same length. I asked him is his sister used to minoxidil for her daughter and he said they did nothing. Gave it time.
 
We were headed in this direction.  There were so many variables and so many unknowns with a gluten free diet.  It seemed that it could be so hit or miss and was it because of the diet or just luck?  We didn't see any significant growth while on a gluten free diet.  We also will still stay away from Minoxidil.  

I still monitor Karley's hair growth and do see a small small amount of growth in the very front of her "bangs".  I also do see more growth on both sides behind her ears.   This is the one place that I previously cut because these "tails" were so much longer and were growing further from the middle back and the sides in front of her ears.  Hope that makes sense and this growth has been since she is on a normal diet.  We do eat pretty healthy and I make most things from scratch and if I don't, I pretty much know what ingredients are in things and why.

I think the girls that the gluten free diet has worked for are girls with LAS (Loose Anagen Syndrome) but from what I might guess they could have also been in that age range of 5-6.  So hard to tell.  I'm not opposed nor am I convinced, it just didn't seem to work for us.

One of the reasons we were going to check into the doctor at the University is that I had heard of some additional vitamins from the facebook group.  I didn't want to chase down ideas or theories and put my daughter through trials if there wasn't some concrete evidence.  I really just want her to be a little girl and not experiment. 

Yesterday while we were outside playing the kids were drawing stick people and Karley mentioned that "Girls have long hair and boys have short hair, right Mom?"  "Actually Karley a lot of girls have short hair.  Some do have long hair.  And some boys have long hair or short hair."  Other than this, I haven't heard a peep about hair in months.

Either way, long or short, she's a gift from God and I want to make sure she knows this first and foremost.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Parish Priest

We sat back down nothing too unusual, we knew a second collection was coming.  What we didn't know was what would come next.  On Divine Mercy Sunday our beloved by many, parish priest told us he would be leaving us in July.  He told a story about a phone call he received, where he was going and who would be coming in his place.  I barely heard anything.  My tears flowed and my head hung low.  I wasn't able to look at anybody and hoped nobody would look at me and I asked my husband if we could duck out the side door. 

We came to this church for two reasons.  The first was that it made sense for our children to attend church where they also attended school and the second is that we absolutely loved how Fr. T was so present among the children.  He genuinely connects with them and it was apparent from the first couple of "test" runs at Mass two years ago, before becoming official members of this church.

After about a month of attending church, by the grace of God and permission from my husband, I called Fr. T to ask him if he could be my spiritual director or if he knew somebody who would.  He graciously and willingly accepted and I've been guided by his knowledge and faith for almost two years  I've been tremendously blessed and thereby my family as well.  I've learned, cried, confessed, healed, prayed, shared, listened, and laughed.  I am very sad to have this end.

My children have gotten to know and connect with Fr. T as well.  We've had him over for dinner, where the kids bombarded him and really, I think they took over hosting him to which, he finally had to be rescued.  Quite often the kids will make pictures for him and they offer pray for him.  I remember one time Henry had just turned four and he gave him something, I can't remember what it was, in the collection basket {kids at our church walk their own offering to the priest near the altar while we give our offering at the pew} after Fr. T was going to give it back to us.  We said no, he gave that to you.  I think that was the start of the kids always wanting to give him something from their heart.  And now they've learned that when they give Fr. T something they will get a thank you card in the mail.  They are so excited for that!

Adam also really likes Fr. T and thinks he's great for our kids, their school and he's never ever minded that I go for Spiritual Direction.  He respects him and is sad to see him go.

We've seen Fr. T drive a convertible at the Homecoming Football game carrying the King and Queen, gather the children around the altar many times for stories, homilies with props for kids are common {but truth be told, they work great for adults too}, many songs shared as well as videos via youtube.  He attends school sporting events, gives the kids high five's as he recesses the church, on school Mass days the kids are raising their hands in excitement to be called upon, and there are the many, many other things he does for the Parish and school.  He also attended parents day for pre-school and I can say without a doubt, the kids love him. 

For us, it's all about the connection with kids, in particular ours.  Because he's a priest they can relate to and admire, it's an easy thing for me to add in conversation with Henry that when he grows  up he could be a priest like Fr. T.  {Visiting The Handmaids has offered a conversation similar for the girls.}

Here another example that will give you an idea of who Fr. T is:

I went by myself to the Easter Saturday Vigil.  For the homily Ft. T asked if there were any kids who wanted to come forward to gather around for a story.  He then went in the back as the kids gathered and brought out a lamb.  It was the cutest little lamb.  It was bahhing and bahhing, made for good laughs and the church became even more magical.  All the kids were excited, it was the perfect time because as you know Easter Vigil can get long.  Fr. T told a story of Lambert the Lamb and I the kids were so engaged.  I would say, the kids at our church think it's cool to go to Mass, ours do and they look forward to seeing Fr. T there.
As a family, we went to the Sunrise service on Easter Sunday and Fr T was concelebrating.  He did not deliver the homily and therefor the lamb and the Lambert story were not present.  After Mass we had rolls and Fr T joined us and said the lambs would be arriving for the 8:30 AM Mass and if we waited we the kids could see them.  For some reason Karley was a little skiddish and I didn't get a picture of Henry.  I was able to only get a few pictures, you just tell what a good soul our priest is. 








I think when kids are formed with example like Fr. T, they will be less likely to ever leave the church. This is one of the many reasons we are so very sad Fr. T will be going to another church.  We are going to miss Fr. T tremendously and yet we do wish him all the best at his new parish.

God bless Fr. T and thank you for all you have done for our family and our Parish family.

Tina




Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Soley Granola

I would actually have to put the spoon and bowl down long enough write a post about how wonderful this granola is.  The recipe comes from my good friend Kristen, previously called Mrs. S.  {I did this because I don't always know if people are okay with names or photos in my blog, therefor I disguise and/or don't add photos}.

Back to the granola.  Chocked full of good stuff.

5C       Oats
1 C      Mixed Nuts (Pecans & Walnuts)
1 C      Almonds
1/4C    Flax Seed
1/2C    Brown Sugar
1/3C    Honey
1/3C    Maple Syrup
1/3C    Coconut Oil
1 tsp    Vanilla
1 tsp    Almond Extract
2/3 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

Heat oven to 325 degrees.  Place oats, nuts, flax seed in baking pan (I used half sheet cake ~ worked wonderful)

Melt coconut oil; mix honey syrup, vanilla, almond extract, cinnamon, brown sugar and salt.  Melt in microwave.

Pour over oats and nuts ~ mix well

Bake 15 minutes ~ Mix and bake 15 additional minutes, repeat until desired brownness.  (I mixed once and baked 15 minutes twice. 

So yummy! 











{Sorry the format isn't all that and you can't print a recipe card from here and photos certainly aren't food photography.}