An Update on Me

Back in July, I posted this picture on my Instagram page.

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It got a lot of people worried…so I thought I would fill in my health woes.  I’m not sure if you’ll remember, but back when I was pregnant, I was admitted to the hospital with strange stomach pain.  The doctors couldn’t decide if it was my gallbladder, an ulcer, or just a whiny pregnant lady.  I thought for sure it was my gallbladder.  I mean, I was in some serious pain – bad enough that I went to the hospital.  The doc told me to lay off coffee and left it at that.

It wasn’t the coffee.

Since the baby’s been born, I’ve been on and off with the crazy stomach pain.  I thought it was due to eggs – it seemed that every time I ate an egg, my stomach would go into terrible spasms.  I went to my Family Doctor who listened to me and ran a whole bunch of tests.  She sent me for allergy tests to see if the egg was an issue.  She sent me for a bunch of blood work to see if anything showed up there.  And she sent me for a CAT scat to see if, God Forbid, there were tumours.

Turns out that I’m not allergic to anything (yay!) and that, thank God, there are no tumours.  However, my blood test did show something.  I have Celiac’s Disease.

Now, before this diagnosis, I thought Celiac Disease was a fairy tale…that all this “gluten free” stuff I’d see was over kill.

Lord, how the tables have turned!

My stomach pain is real guys.  To me, it’s the equivalent of swallowing razor blades and then having labour-like contractions in your gut.  I get the brain fog (here I thought my inability to write my blogs was due to the loss of my muse…turns out, I couldn’t even physically think clear enough to string words together).  I felt like I was getting dumber and dumber by the moment…losing my ability to think things through.  Nope – Celiac Disease.  I also get this horrible itching, burning rash on my hands and legs.  Once it even came on my face.  Other issues include depression and thyroid problems.  All of these (and likely more) are due to Celiac’s Disease.

So – what is Celiac Disease?  “Celiac disease is a medical condition in which the absorptive surface of the small intestine is damaged by a substance called gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, triticale, barley. At present there is no cure, but celiac disease is readily treated by following the gluten-free diet.” (Canadian Celiac Foundation)

The solution is simple enough – don’t eat gluten.  Trouble is – it hides in a lot of things like Soya Sauce or even your face creams.  I’ve been avoiding it for about 3 weeks now – and though I know that there’s still a ways to go before I really start feeling well again – I can already tell if I’ve eaten something that’s got gluten in it.

So, take it from me guys – if someone you know is suffering from odd stomach pain – a simple blood test is all you need to diagnose this.  Avoiding gluten is relatively easy.   I know some people who still “gluten binge” every now and then…I don’t think I will be one of those people…the pain that I get is too much for me to take lightly.

What’s with people stealing my bottles?

It’s not often that I get a day off in the middle of the week, but it happened a few months ago.  No daycare kids at all, and all my own (except for the baby) were at school.  It was very nice.

So – I sat down in front of the tv and folded laundry while I binged on Supernatural. I was happily folding away while Ibrahim was jumping in his jolly jumper when I heard my house alarm alert me that someone had opened my garage door.

The first thought to go through my mind was that it was my brother-in-law come to borrow a tool or something…but I knew he’d have at least let me know he was coming.  I got up to look out my window to see who was there…that’s when I saw some strange man coming out of my garage – and he was taking our recycle bottles!

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Photo Credit Johnny Grim https://www.flickr.com/photos/grimages/

I was so angry!  I mean…it’s just my recycle bottles, but seriously, the nerve of the guy – to go into my garage and just take them?!  So did what any rational woman would do – I ran outside and confronted him.  By the time I’d gotten outside and run to the garage, he’d gone back in for seconds.

“Excuse me,” I screeched, “what do you think you’re doing?!”

He jumped, turned around and said, “I’m sorry, man, I’m just hungry man!”

The guy did not look hungry…or homeless.  He was beefy looking and clean cut.  He kept apologizing to me and telling me he was hungry…but there was a moment when something in his eyes flickered and my anger switched immediately to fear.

Here I was, alone…in my garage with a stranger who was bold enough to break in to it  in the first place.  I’d left both my house phone and my cell phone inside.  No one knew I was there.  My neighbours were all gone to work.  The only person who knew I had gone outside would have been the baby…I realized that there was not a single person who could have helped me had something horrible happened…and so did he.

I backed out of my garage and told him to go…he kept apologizing and I said “Just GO!” and scurried back to my house.

Then I decided to call the police.  They rushed over – seriously…there were like 4 cars that were here within minutes (as they considered it Break and Enter in progress I think).  They found him (and my bottles)…and then gave me hell.

“What if he’d had a knife or a gun?  What if he had beat or raped you… or worse?” they admonished me.

And they were right!  What if something had happened?  Why did I feel such an urge to go out and protect my stupid bag of recycle bottles?!

Recipe Request – Oozie

Oozie is a recipe that I discovered a few years ago.  Apparently, it’s a traditional Palestinian dish…but I’ve had people of other backgrounds tell me it’s from their region.  I just throw my hands up in the air – it’s delicious and I make it…I leave it there.  :)

Anyhow – I made it last weekend when Mr. D’s family came over for iftar.  There were a few requests for me to pass the recipe on…this is the easiest way.

Oozie

1 kilo cubed meat (we use lamb OFF the bone)
4 cups water
2 carrots, rough chopped
2 celery sticks, rough chopped
2 onions, quartered
2 bay leaves
3 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
salt & pepper

1/4 cup each, pinenuts and almonds
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup peas (fresh or frozen)
2 cups cooked basmati rice
1 package phylo dough
melted butter (probably 1/2 cup or more)

1.  Add first set of ingredients (meat, spices, water) to a stock pot.  Bring to a boil and simmer 40 minutes.
2.  Meanwhile, toast nuts in olive oil.
3.  When meat has finished cooking, remove it from the stock (reserve for soup if you like) and add it to a large mixing bowl with rice, peas, nuts, cinnamon, and cloves.  Mix well.

*Next  comes making the packets.  This can be time consuming.  I have found that if I make my rice/meat mixture the day BEFORE, it’s much easier to make the packets, as the heat of the mixture doesn’t affect the phylo dough as much.

1.  Heat oven to 350°
2.  On a clean, flat work surface, lay out a sheet of phylo dough, lightly brush around the edges with butter and fold sheet in 1/2.
3.  Add 1-2 serving spoons of rice mixture.
4.  Fold over edges and brush with butter to seal.
5.  Place edge side down onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.
6.  Brush tops with more melted butter and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden brown.

I love these as they’re much like a pita pocket – you can grab a little puff ball and snack on it (no forks/knives required!).  I also like to make them ahead of time – they can be easily frozen before baking them, or even after and just reheat them quickly.

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One last shot

It’s been nearly a year since I’ve blogged.  I’ve wanted to…then I’ve wanted to delete the whole thing and never look back.

You see, there are posts that I’m proud of and some that I’m ashamed of.  And…ever since my dad passed away, I haven’t been able to get up the nerve to do get back to it the way I was before.  And it’s odd – I can’t even explain why that is.  What does my dad’s death have to do with whether or not I write?

Anyhow – I’ve decided that I’m going to give it one last shot.  So let’s just see how this goes.

Skincerity Review

So way back in September (God, I’m a horrible review blogger!) I was asked if I’d be willing to do a review of a product called Skincerity.  I said I would and was sent a bottle of Skincerity to use nightly as well as a jar of another product called Rejuvenating Barrier.

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It’s a pretty simple concept, you wash your face with your own favourite product, put on any creams or whatever you’d typically use, then roll on the Skincerity over all that (or over nothing if you’re like me!)  The Skincerity makes a sort of “second skin” that holds in all the goodness from any products you use (or your own natural moisture) and is supposed to help repair any damage/fine lines, etc.

I took before/after pictures – and am a bit disappointed that in the pictures, it’s hard to see any difference…in real life, I saw tons.

Here’s my before with absolutely NO makeup

Before

 

I used both products as directed (Skincerity at night, the Rejuvenating Barrier in the morning) and after a week I felt that my skin was looking healthier and my pores smaller.  The darker circles under my eyes seemed lighter too (this is a major problem in my family!)…but then I wasn’t sure if I was just seeing results I wanted to see.  Within 2 weeks, my daughter randomly commented “Your skin looks nice lately.” (it’s not common to get a complement from your child once they reach their teens!)  Later that night, I asked my husband if he noticed any difference and he asked me why….so I said “I’ve been using this stuff and …” I didn’t get to finish – he grabbed it from me and used it on his own face then and there!  By the end of the month, I no longer felt that I needed to wear foundation – my skin was healthy looking, an overall even tone, and my pores were visibly smaller.

 

Here’s my after (again, no makeup)

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So – after using it for over a month…here’s my final thoughts

Pros:
It works – it’s amazing.
Your skin looks and feels great!
In turn, YOU feel better!
You will save money on products like creams, foundations, etc because you will no longer need them.
It can be used anywhere on your body – stretch marks, scars, etc.

Cons:
Cost – it is an expensive product (but keep in mind, you’re also cutting cost of other products you will no longer need to use)
The smell (of the Skincerity)…wow…it’s strong…it’s gone within seconds, but it’s strong!

Overall – I’d use this product again and again.  The nightly mask made a huge difference in how healthy my skin looked and felt.  The Rejuvenating Barrier smells SO good and replaced my morning cream, toner, and primer – which also meant it saved me time by eliminating 3 steps of my morning routine!  Skincerity is available almost anywhere in the world :)

the Incident

The other day I got a call from Adam’s school. Ironically enough, getting a call from his school isn’t a common thing. Anyhow, the secretay said there had been “an incident” during recess and that Adam had gotten hurt.

I’m instantly imagining his leg being broken or him in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital for stitches.

“He got hit in the face with a skipping rope.” says the secretary.

Not a big deal, I think to myself. I send a text my daughter to check in on him during her lunch break. A few hours later, I get this picture.

The incident

Yowza!!

Turns out that Adam and his buddy were playing Indiana Jones and Adam was on the wrong end of the skipping rope/whip. (no hating on the other kid, guys- they were just playing!)

Anyhow – as horrible as it looks, it didnt seem to bother him at all. He happily accepted all the doting that came along with such an injury for the first few days…then it got old real quick. People would see him and say “Oh my God! What happened to your face?!” and he’d have to go through the story. I think he got tired of saying the same thing over and over and over.

So a week or so later, my girlfriend stopped in for a coffee – Adam came in and she said, “Oh my God, what happened to your face?”

And Adam replied, “My mom told me not to talk about it.”

WHAT?!? Way to make me look like I beat you, kid!! Good thing my friend knows us (And Adam) and knew to go beyond his answer to find the real story.

Free Stuff!

Who doesn’t love free?  I certainly do!  I just wanted to share some codes that get you free stuff (though you will have to pay shipping)

1. Carseat Canopy – I just ordered mine after seeing a friend’s this weekend (she’s the one who told me I could get it for free – I love her).  Use coupon code carseatcanopy8

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2. Baby Slings – Seriously, how adorable is this?! Use coupon code carseatcanopy8

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3. Nursing Pillow – Okay, this one I didn’t order – Ibrahim is big enough now, and expert enough to breastfeed like a pro.  But these pillows are GREAT for newborns.  If you’re pregnant and planning to breastfeed, I suggest you get one! Use coupon code carseatcanopy8

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4.  Udder Covers – I love mine (though it’s a different brand) but could always use a second (or 3rd!) Use coupon code carseatcanopy8

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5. Belly Button Band – I don’t know about this product, but hey, I got the code.  I’m (obviously) not pregnant, and don’t plan to be again, but hey, I got the code for it, so I’m sharing. :) Get 2 free Maternity Bands using coupon code carseatcanopy8 

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6.  Baby Leggings – I love baby leggings.  I’ve used so many different brands with Adam…as little leggings when their smaller, or as arm warmers when they’re bigger.  Adam still wears his – 6 years later.  This coupon code will get you 5, yes FIVE pairs of baby leggings for free!  Use coupon code carseatcanopy8

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7. Breast Pads – Washable, reusable.  Awesome.  Get 5 free pairs using coupon code carseatcanopy8

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Scary Visit

Well, Ibrahim is almost 3 months old.  I don’t know where the time has gone.  Seriously, I feel like it’s only been a couple weeks.  I apologize for not writing more often…but – you know…I have a new baby and all.

It’s taken a bit of an adjustment to get used to having such a small baby again.  More sleepless nights.  Diaper changes 100 times a day (okay, maybe 10 or so, but it seems like so much more!).  Breastfeeding hunger….it’s amazing how hungry you are when breastfeeding!

Well-baby (or healthy baby) visits are another thing I’m not used to.  In fact, I’ve never taken any of my other kids to a well baby visit at the paediatrician.  Where I live, babies regularly see registered nurses when they get their immunizations – so I had left it at that.  When Ibrahim was born, I decided to “register” him with the paediatrician associated with my OB’s office.  Apparently it’s the thing to have a visit with him not long after each immunization.

So – we go in for his 2 month visit.  Doctor weighs and measures him.  Asks about his eating, sleeping, and pooping habits and then does a check of his eyes, nose, ears, hips, tummy, etc.

Then he sat him up and started examining his head.  He kept going from his soft spot and then to the sides of his head.  Rubbing, gently poking, feeling around.

And he was quiet.  I could almost see the wheels in his head turning and I knew that there was a problem.

“Did the nurses at the immunization clinic say anything about his head shape?” he asks me.

No.

He feels around his head again, makes notes, feels some more, makes more notes, feels again.  Then he pulls out an x-ray requisition form.  He says, “I’m concerned that his skull is fusing too quickly and would like to send him for xrays.”

I ask him what that means.  He says, “I don’t want to worry you,” (too late), “let’s talk about that after we get the xrays back.”

I leave his office with a nagging worry in the back of my mind.  So I did what any mother would do – I Googled.

What I found was Craniosynostosis.  This jived with what he’d written on the xray form.  I Googled images, so I got terrifying pictures of what happens if you don’t do anything and the skull continues to grow.  It was alarming.  Then I Googled treatment for it – and that was just as horrifying.  I was a nervous wreck as I waited on xrays.  Once that was done, I impatiently waited for the results to be sent to the doctor and his ultimate diagnosis.  Since my xrays were done on a Friday – the doctor wouldn’t see them until Monday at earliest.  What a horrible weekend.

Anyhow – his results were normal.  No issues at all.  Thank God.  I just wanted to let you all know what the “growth” was that doctor was concerned about and most of all – to thank everyone for their prayers and concern.

Baby Products I Love

This was supposed to be a video.  I originally intended to film it before I gave birth…obviously that didn’t happen.  Then I’d hoped to do it after he was born…and it looks like that will never happen…so I’ve given up and have decided to make it into a post.

People have been asking me all sorts of things.  “Review this product please!” or “What kind of diapers are you using?” and even just “Where’d you get that?!”  So I thought I’d review my list of things that I’m loving for baby right now. (no, I haven’t been given any of these products to talk about here – everything I’ve listed has been purchased by me without the promise or expectation of compensation)

  1. My Ubbi Diaper Pail – You may or may not know that I have a home daycare.  I’ve been searching for years for a diaper pail that doesn’t stink.  I’ve tried everything.  Some have been good for a while, but then the plastic ends up somehow absorbing the smell and no matter how long I soak it in bleach/disinfectant – that smell never goes away.  Not with the Ubbi Pail!  It’s amazing.  Truly amazing.  Sleek.  Simple to use. It has a child lock.  It can be used with the Ubbi plastic bags, or if you’re cheap like me – any brand of garbage bags (though I’d recommend the kitchen sized ones).  And if you choose to cloth diaper (as I do) you can even buy the Ubbi Cloth Pail Liner – I have 2 of these so that my pail is always ready to receive a diaper…and Ibrahim is usually always willing to provide one!  If you’re in Canada like me – you can buy your Ubbi pail from Well.ca and even use coupon code HethrDelusionalMom to get 10% off your first order!
  2. AMP One Size Duo Pocket Diapers – Oh my goodness, how much am I loving these diapers?!  When I’d had Adam, I’d used a bunch of Indian Prefold diapers and the Bummis Super Whisper Wraps…which I was more than happy with and even ordered more when I found out I was expecting again.  However, I was gifted some pocket diapers from a friend and really liked them, so went and got some more “manly” colors for Ibrahim.  I just happened to choose AMP brand because I liked the color options.  I ordered 3 diapers and after using them for 1 day, I went and ordered another 4.  I love them SO MUCH.  I don’t use them as a pocket diaper, but rather as an “All in Two” diaper – meaning I lay my prefold on top of the diaper rather than stuffing it into the pocket.  This way, I can simply toss the prefold into the diaper pail when it’s wet/dirty and use the diaper again (assuming it hasn’t also gotten wet/dirty).  I love the fact that this can fit from 7lbs right up to 38lbs (which is basically the entire time your kid should be in diapers).   Cloth diapering is expensive to start, but MUCH cheaper (and more environmentally friendly) in the long run.  Canadian readers – I bought my AMP from bynature.ca
  3. My Moby Wrap – Why didn’t I know about this thing with my two oldest?  It’s got to be one of the best things EVER.  Baby is comforted and secure and mom has 2 hands to get things done.  I love, love, LOVE my Moby wrap!  I leant the one I used for Adam to my sister-in-law when she had her twins…she gave it back to me and I washed it and put it some place “safe” and “where I wouldn’t forget it” so it would be ready when Ibrahim was born.  Unfortunately, I think my “safe” place was the donation pile.  The thing was nowhere to be found.  So…I ordered another one.

Hmm…I can’t seem to think of anything else at the moment…but if you’ve read/heard me talking about something and you’d like me to review it, let me know!

Yes, I’m still pregnant

“You have that baby yet?”

“Wow, are you still pregnant?”

“Haven’t you popped yet?”

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The answer is no.

No, I haven’t had him yet.
Yes, I did have an induction date scheduled…which was bumped, then bumped again, and yes…bumped again.
Yes, I’m grumpy, emotional, tired.
Yes, I have tried EVERYTHING to help things go along faster.

Someone on my fanpage complained that I needed to have patience and said that my status updates were “quite annoying now”…so I thought I’d explain.

I have NO issues with the child taking the time to cook as long as he needs to.  I was pregnant for 42 weeks with one of my kids.  Unless you’ve been pregnant for 42 weeks, you don’t realize how very, very long 2 weeks are.  VERY LONG, I tell you.

My issue here is that I am a self-employed home daycare operator.  When Adam was born, my mother-in-law (who was also a daycare worker at the time) came in to help me out for a few weeks.  She was there, along with all of her qualifications and security checks, to help with the kids should I need to nap, to breastfeed, or just to take a break.  Unfortunately, that can’t happen this time around.

I had planned on taking roughly a week off after baby came – considering that my oldest kids would soon be out of school (and big helps when it comes to both babies and the daycare) – they were my backup plan.  But when my induction date got closer, and there were no signs of baby deciding to make a bit of an early entrance, I started to worry.

Am I going to have enough time off?
Am I going to have to worry about finances? (being self-employed means no paid maternity leave)
Are my daycare parents going to be too inconvenienced and look for other care?

Those are just a few of the things at the tip of my pessimistic outlook.  😉  It’s not something I can control…just the way that I am. (And I have to state for the record, that my daycare families are all wonderful, caring, and understanding people who – though my heart knows won’t be upset about the situation, my head still allows me to worry)

So now – here I am, 3 days beyond what was supposed to be the baby’s birthdate – and still very pregnant…and still very much not showing any signs of having this kid any time soon.  And…more emotional than ever.

Seriously guys – I sobbed for almost an hour this morning when the hospital said that they were too full to take inductions (if things start naturally, they’ll make room, but otherwise, it’s a no-go).  Not just cried…I sobbed – the kind of crying where you start to lose your breath and just sit there heaving and gasping for air while tears and snot run down your face.

I’m not the type of person who cries over things.  I’m typically fairly stoic.  But seriously – I cried so long and hard this morning that I was then embarrassed to go out into public in case someone should see my red, puffy eyes.

So…there you have it – the reason behind my stressed, and thus annoying, statuses (which, by the way, you can feel free to ignore, or even unlike the page if they bother you so).  I’m off to pick up my kids from school and let them know that once again, their baby brother still hasn’t arrived.  Maybe we can all have a little “get out” dance party or something.