Tuesday, May 31, 2011


Remember that Barbie City that S and I made out of cardboard last week? Well, it's turned out to be a pretty awesome idea. Here's why. For starters, (after I drew the parts of the city that she requested...a road, a palace, a playground, a church, and houses) we had to color it. And that took awhile. Then she played with her Barbies on the city. Between the coloring and the playing, a whole afternoon was taken care of. Also, the city is almost exactly the length of our sofa, so when she's not playing with it, I can slide it between the sofa and the table that sits behind it. She can get it out again on her own when she wants to play with it. Being able to get it out and play with it has eaten up loads of half-hour increments since we made it.

Then I had an idea the other day when T was fussy and I needed to make dinner and wanted S out from under my feet for half an hour. I grabbed the empty Cheerios (regular, not Honey Nut!) box and cut it into a few pieces. I drew a dog house and a tree with a swing on one piece, a car on another, and a school bus on another. I gave them to S, and she sat down for my much-needed half an hour and colored them. Then she taped them to the city because tape is her life right now. She tapes everything. Now I know that I can add to the city with box board anytime we want.

Today, I grabbed the animal pictures that I've been cutting out since she was born*, and she sat down and added animals and a zoo to the city. Boom. Another half an hour gone, and the girl was happy.

The whole point is this: if you're the mama of a small child, give that kid some cardboard and make a city. It can be a Barbie city or a Princess city or GI Joe's base or Gotham City. It doesn't matter. It will occupy children. Go forth and draw and thank me later.

*Before I recycle our magazines, I regularly cut out interesting pictures of people, animals, places, plants, and foods. Then I sort them because I'm me, and I stash them in plastic bags. When S needs something to do, I can break out a bag and a glue stick, and she has something to do. Viola. Again, you can thank me later. Apparently, I'm a mom genius today. Not really.
Unrelated to kiddo craft time. I went back to the doctor today. I woke up so hot I couldn't stand it, and the scanning thermometer that we have wouldn't even work on me because I was sweating profusely. (Sexy, no?) I called Mr. Ouiser, who wasn't out of town yet on his morning commute (it was 545am by the way). I felt way, way wrong. He came home. By the time he arrived about eight minutes later, I was so cold that I was shivering. I went back to bed. While I never got so hot as to cause concern again, my body temp was fluctuating like crazy, so I just decided to go to the doctor. It could've been sugar withdrawals. It could've been hormones. It could've been something related to yeast that I know nothing about. It could've been something else entirely, and I decided that the time to consult Dr. Google was over and that I should talk to an actual medical professional. Now, I've got a couple of doses of Diflucan, and I'm hoping that it'll knock this out. I'll keep up with the ultra-low sugar thing, but I feel like I can relax about it a little bit. As in, I don't have to freak out completely when I read that a banana has 12 grams of sugar. You're welcome for the update.

Sunday, May 29, 2011


TJ Hooker.
Hook 'em, Horns.
Hooked on Phonics.


Really, hooked on sugar. Oy.

All you mamas out there are probably familiar with thrush. I only ever knew about it in babies, but apparently mamas can get it, too. This mama got it. I got it bad*. If mama gets it, it's referred to as a yeast overgrowth, not as thrush. I prefer to call it thrush, though, because saying I have a yeast overgrowth makes me think of horrid Vagisil commercials, and that is emphatically not a problem that I've got.

Anyway, I was having some pain nursing since just after T was born, but it took awhile for the discomfort to be bad enough for me to start paying attention to it. Then it became actually painful. Then I started having pains really deep inside my chest. Then I started feeling like my breasts were filled with broken glass every time we nursed. Then I took to Google. I'd heard the phrase "broken glass" in reference to nursing before, and it's one of those things that Google automatically figures out for you. The blessed internet told me I had a yeast overgrowth.

Of course I figured that out when I was in quite a state of discomfort, which was, inevitably, a Sunday. Luckily, Drew's girlfriend works at an Urgent Care Clinic, and she was working that day, so I went a-visitin'. Most internet sites will tell you that you need Diflucan, but you don't need the same dosage that you need if your yeast problem is the typical "lady variety." You need a stronger loading dose, then 13 days of the regular dose (the regular dose is one dose, one time). I walked away with a prescription for the regular dose, but I didn't realize it until I picked up the prescription. I took it anyway, and I called my OBGYN the next morning. He thought the one dose should take care of me, but I was to call him back if I needed another dose. Which I did. He called me in another dose on Wednesday, and between the two rounds of Diflucan, copious amounts of Vitamin C, and loads of acidophilus, I seemed to be better. But it came back, which is apparently the reason most people need to keep up the Diflucan for two weeks. Yeast is a beast. You can fight it back, but it keeps growing. Like yeast.

I don't want more Diflucan if I can help it. Especially since it's not nearly as bad this time, so I'm hoping the yeast isn't so prolific. I'm trying a more natural approach. This has included a lot of research.

Yeast feeds on sugar, which as a bread baker extraordinaire, I know. That means that the yeast in my body (and your body) feeds on any sugar consumed. Therefore, I am now trying to eliminate most sugar from my diet. I say most because really eliminating sugar from my diet is rather impossible right now. I can't eliminate carbs and all fruits while I'm also eliminating dairy, soy, peanuts, and "gassy" vegetables. I'd be walking around gnawing on chicken legs and hunks of meat all the time. I am, however, trying harder than usual to stick to whole foods, and I'm steering clear of things that clearly have added sugar.

This isn't so bad. Really. But I've been doing this since Thursday, and I've had a couple of moments wherein I would've murdered a person for one sip of Coke. One sip.

What I have figured out, however, is that I have a little sugar problem, and frankly, you probably do, too. I'm hooked, and I didn't even realize it. I knew I craved fountain drinks sometimes, and I've always loved carbs, but wow.

Did you know that the RDA for sugar for a woman is 25 grams (about 6 teaspoons)? Did you know that one TBSP of French Vanilla creamer has SIX GRAMS? Did you know that if you, like me, use at least 2-1/2 TSBP of creamer in your morning cup that you've already had over half of that allowance before you even lift a fork to your lips? Forget about a second cup. Now I'm measuring my coffee creamer.

It's ridiculous really. The amount of sugar that we eat/drink. It's in everything. Granted, some of those sugars are naturally occurring. Like the sugar in fruits and vegetables. Or the sugar in milk. But, those Special K fruit crisps? Those suckers have added sugar. Seven grams of it. A little under 1/3 of your RDA. Honey Nut Cheerios have 9 grams in a 3/4 cup serving. Basically, you can take care of your daily sugar intake easily before you step out your front door. Check it out.

I've always been pretty maniacal about the things we eat, but I've always just glanced at nutrition labels. Now that I'm looking, I realize that S must walk around in a sugar coma most of the time. M probably does, too, because he believes in juice (to the tune of at least double his RDA.)

The amazing thing about this sugar revelation is that I'm a person who already thinks about stuff like this. My family eats a comparatively small amount of processed stuff. I cook a lot. With real ingredients. If we lived on things like fruit crisps, I can't imagine how high our sugar intake would be.

Seriously, look into it. Spend ten minutes looking into how much sugar you consume and what it can do to your body. It'll blow your mind. And I'm not really advocating that everyone run out and try to eliminate sugar from their diets, but even trying to stay within your RDA is probably cutting back for most people. If you drink French Vanilla creamer, that is.

Now, I'm getting off my soap box...or my sugar canister. I need to go marinate some chicken for dinner because there's meat in our lives these days.

*It's common in mothers who were given antibiotics in the hospital, which I was because we didn't have the results from my group b strep test...if you find yourself in this situation, take some probiotics to keep all the lovely flora in your intestines from being annihilated and causing this problem.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

trucking along.

I'd love to say that I've been too busy to blog, but I don't know if you can qualify my recent activity as busy. We don't ever seem to stop, but nothing really gets done, and that's alright. I think.

I don't really have time to post right now because my darling four-year-old and I are working on a project, and I probably have about twelve seconds before she realizes that I've stolen away. I'm just here to share a few pictures...

I'm sure I'll be able to use my words again someday...maybe about the time that T starts using his.
S...ready for the last day of preschool...BEACH PARTY!!
T and Uncle Drew at preschool graduation.
Ms. 'retta gives S her diploma. Please note the dress she is wearing was mid-calf last July when she got it.
S and T with Great Grandma.
My sweet Abbe Grace (the tall one) graduated Friday night from DCHS. I cried.
The men in my life. I'm sure you see the resemblance.
This is what S and I are up to this afternoon. I saved all the cardboard from our new storm doors. This piece has become a city for Barbies. Complete with pool.

The aerial shot.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

some observations

Observations about baby T:
  • He's growing like a weed. He looks chubby...compared to how he looked a month ago. I might have to stop calling him the following nicknames: The Shrimp, Shrimp Toast, Shrimp Biscuit, Mommy's Little Shrimp Cocktail. To prove that he's growing, we weighed him at the coffee shop last Wednesday. To see pictures you'll have to get on Facebook and like House Blend. I could post the picture, but I want HB to have loads of Facebook fans.
  • His tummy seems to be doing better. I think it's more a combination of milk overload and my having a little thrush issue. Yikes. However, I don't think that I'll have to eat nothing but plain potatoes for the rest of my natural life. Hooray!
  • He's sleeping in his bouncy seat now, and he seems to be sleeping better. Or maybe I'm just sleeping better.
  • I adore him. Adore. Like, I want to lick the kid like a popsicle.
Observations about S:
  • She is still an awesome kid, but she gets on my nerves like nobody's business these days. Seriously, was she always so loud?
  • She has become the world's most prolific artist. We've got a stack of new art that's an inch and a half tall.
  • I caught her "reading" Charlie The Ranch Dog to T yesterday. It was precious. Totally worth all the trouble...
  • She is obsessed with these books. We read several chapters every night.
Observations about me:
  • There are janitors who don't clean toilets as much as I. Sincerely, I have a problem.
  • I might kill a person for cheese. Beware.
  • I haven't baked anything in five days, and it's killing me.