I had a huge long day of shopping at Michael's for photo frames today. Actually, I was only in the store for about thirty minutes, but I swear, it takes all day to get the timing right and get anything done with a baby. Bath time and food time then nap time then more food, then clothes change and maybe another nap and then a quick snack and... out the door. Not to mention the whole feeding and showering myself thing. I did laundry today, too. Wooo! Actually, I do laundry everyday, but I FOLDED AND PUT IT AWAY today... Go me! Oh, gone are the days where I could loaf on the couch all day and still have things done before Dustin got home. Ha! What the heck did I do with all of my time before the baby came?!
Anyway, ( I may be sipping wine and feeling fabulous, at the moment), my sweet friend, Miss Lacy of LacyLike, has been brewing something new for you, my sassy, amazing readers.
She, along with her friend Lisa, has launched a super important wellbeing and health coaching course, Thriving Through The Holidays. If you need more than just the desire to get healthy, need a little accountability and inspiration, this is totally for you. EVERYONE wants to be healthy and look and feel amazing. I don't know anyone who says, "I enjoy feeling bad not only physically, but mentally, as well." Do you? Like many things though, the urge is there shining and shimmering as bright as a Christmas candle, but the "getting there and doing it part" is where you get lost. Well, pretty lady, let Lacy help!
Not only has she been working on the above, she's personally launched a pretty little something called Campaign for Confidence. The message is: when you eat beautifully, you'll feel and look nothing but! She's taken a few (veg?) saucy, confident pictures with only the beautiful body that God gave her and some choice veggies. She wants you to do the same and share.
Racy Lacy! Join her and women everywhere by taking and sharing your picture, complete with the veggie or fruits of your choice, with the world. Dustin (who will have no complaints, I'm sure) is going to take mine this weekend! I can't wait to share!
[Yeah, I totally cried the first time I watched this.]
The Holidays are about family, traditions, giving and making beautiful memories, right? What better way to honor all of the above by honoring you and your well being? Like the saying goes, "If Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy." Let Lacy and Lisa help you find the most beautiful you, even if she's hiding deep down and scared.
It's time, friends. Do it for your Husband. Do it for your sweet children. Do it for YOU -- you're worth it. <3
Now for the giveaway part!
Lacy is also offering an eBook that she created herself: 12 Tip & 12 Recipes to Thrive Through the Holidays and one lucky reader will win a free copy! Just leave a comment (one per person, please!) stating which fruit or veggie you'd most like to take your picture with, plus your email address, and I'll draw one lucky winner's name on the 26th!
Have a great Thursday!
Veggie Lovin' Violet
Thursday, I had a hard day. It was difficult for me when my baby doctor, Dr. J., told me to gain 10 pounds in two weeks. I've gained seven pounds so far, and as I'm approaching my 24th week, he feels that I should have gained more.
I have a weird relationship with food. Not in the sense that I'm afraid of the food I eat or that I'm worried that I'll get fat. It's totally nothing like that. I'm not scared to gain a little chub.
The thing is, I connect food with health. I connect eating healthy with keeping my immune system up. I connect having a good immune system with keeping the cancer from coming back. Food is my secret weapon! It's my medicine!
My Oncologist -- cancer doctor -- told me that if my cancer were to come back again, he wouldn't have me do any chemo, because after two separate regimens, ten years apart, it's obvious that it doesn't work on my cancer. My kind of cancer, Osteosarcoma, is of bone. Osteo not only likes bones, but it likes lungs. Obviously. ;) And, after losing my leg, a lung, part of the other lung and some major parts to my digestive system, I don't know what else this cancer could steal from me without taking my life, too.
I kind of like living.
So, when I'm told to eat more, eat to gain bulk, not eat to for the nutrients, it scares me.
Ten pounds on my frame -- ten pounds of fat, mind you, because he didn't mention anything about the weight coming from muscle -- is hard for me to do. I had visions of gorging myself on McDonalds, Slim-Jims and eating grocery-store pies made with white flour and hydrogenated Crisco and cups and cups of white sugar. All things that I connect with being un-healthy, that my mind then connects with getting sick again.
I eat pretty healthy. Very little wheat (it hates my belly), small amounts of dairy (I LOVE cheese, but it triggers my asthma) and as little white sugar or things that are high in empty carbs. Sugar spikes my blood-sugar and make me feel like total crap.
How will I put on 10 pounds without upsetting my touchy, Whippled tummy and compromising my food/cancer beliefs, which will then cause me to worry like a wart? I already eat like a champ - lots of healthy fats and protein and fruit sand veggies and whole grains. I don't let myself get too hungry and never deny myself when I want almost anything. I eat big meals and snack all day long. I've surprised people with how much food I can put away and how often I pack it in. (That sounds dirty, sorry folks.)
Dr. J. recommended Ensure, which I totally hate. It's milky and full of sugar and tastes like watered-down pudding crap. The top four ingredients are water, sugar (sucrose), corn syrup, maltodextrin. GROSS! I'd rather have a real milkshake and pop an extra vitamin. He said that I could also do smoothies with protein powder, which I'm leaning towards. We'll see.
I know that he is trying to look out for what's best for both me and the Squid, but it was so discouraging to be told that what I'm doing isn't good enough. I think we all can understand how that feels, right? I know I'm not alone there.
After letting myself feel blue, bumming around the house like a hobo and talking with a few close friends, I came to conclusion that I was doing good enough. I am good enough. My doctor wouldn't recommend that I gain weight to make me feel bad about myself and how I eat, and he definitely wouldn't recommend that I do anything to make my cancer come back.
This is for me. Squid is getting everything that he needs from all the good food that I already eat and I'm just getting the left-overs. I need to continue to eat healthy foods, just more of them so that I am okay. To keep my immune system up. To fight as hard as I can to keep on living.
I'm not going to shoot for any number on the scale, even if he does want to see 10 pounds. I will shoot to eat even better that I do and eat more of all that good stuff. I can do this, I know I can.
Wish me luck, loves? Think the most un-cancer filled thoughts that you can. Send my body the best vibes and most healthy wishes that you can muster up. My little heart would sure love a break from all this worrying. I swear, I'm getting more gray hairs each day. I think I'll rock the salt-and-pepper look when that time come. Please, please, let me experience that time.
Who knew that growing this sweet little boy would be so much work and worry?
He's worth it.
While blog reading, I clicked upon a post of one of my bloggie acquaintances (I'm also sponsoring her blog this month!), Miss Maryam, who is a fellow pregnant lady. Her first little baby is due this June. Check out her blog, Pamplemousse1983, here.
She recently posted and was expressing how she wasn't in love with actually being pregnant. I was going to respond this whole long response on her blog, but I decided to make it a post here!
From her post,"I am not depressed" (which really is not as depressing as it sounds.):
" Things I don't like:
- Being tired
- Being gassy
- Being constipated (gross but true)
- Having to pee all the time
- Getting up in the middle of the night to pee (though I haven't all week thank the Lord)
- Feeling fat
- Feeling bad about not eating healthier
- Not fitting into any of my pants
- Not finding any maternity pants that I like
- People looking at my belly
- Mood swings (like yelling at my husband for no reason)
- Forgetting words while in conversation...or blogging
Even though this pregnancy is one of my life long dreams and each night that i get into bed with this little baby still safe inside me, there are things that I don't love about being pregnant either.
I find being pregnant scary! When you want something SO badly, with every bit of your soul, the thought of having it taken away form you is so scary. I don't like being scared all the time. I've gone from being terrified of dying from a remission to being terrified of having this Squid taken before its (He? She?!) time. If I could find some way to be less scared, that would be great.
I'm used to having my body feel weird and funky, but for the first time in my whole life, it's for a beautiful reason that has nothing to do with cancer! I think maybe it's easier for me to adjust to the aches and pains and tiredness, since I've had to so many times before, even though it never was caused by pregnancy.
About feeling fat... I've gone my whole life feeling fat. I was a bit heavier before my stomach adventure and had this distorted body image. Then, after I lost all the weight, I finally felt skinny, even though i looked sick-skinny. I was in a friendship where we both were very focused on it and it was just bad for me. I got very judgemental towards others and it was just an ugly time in my life. Since changing my diet and eating Real Foods (those Morning Star Farms "meats" are the from heck!), I've gained a bit of weight, but it's good weight. I no longer look like Ally Mcbeal and I now realize just how gross it was that I was obsessed with being scary-skinny. So, gaining a bit of weight because of this baby doesn't bother me. I wish that my belly was a bit more "baby looking", as it just still looks like I'm pudged out. The belly will come. Keep growing squiddy!
Oh man. The pants. Because of my stomach scar, I only buy jeans with a bit of stretch in them, which has worked in my favor as far as my thickening waist goes. My super lovely friend sent me a super neat maternity jean extender set called Belly Belt.
The set comes with four different elastic-y belts for all types of pants and these tummy covers in three different colors for when your belly gets bigger and there is a big gap. So far, I've been using the small extender (no fabric part needed, yet) and I can wear my jeans just fine! I totally recommend this set if you want to keep wearing your regular jeans and they still fit you in the thighs.
I know how Maryam feels about eating poorly. In my first trimester (I CAN SAY THAT NOW!!), I was SO not into food and the few things that I did want, were not super nutritionally dense. I did try and take my vitamins every day and focus on my Omega-3s (brain building material!), but yeah. I had many, many cans of green beans. It was also a bit scary for me to feel so woozy.. it reminded me again of being sick and and my tummy tumor adventure. In these past few weeks, I've gotten my appetite back! I'm making dinner again and having super yummy and healthy lunches and I feel so good about it. It took me a while though and I did have a few meals of (organic, white-meat) chicken nuggets. I'm feeling so much better now that I'm eating better, though.
The gas! Well, if you're close with me (in "real life") you'll know that my intestines after my surgery have been a bit... gassy. Audibly gassy. Farting is no new adventure for me, although, what is up with all this burping?! I'm like a frat-bro after a toga party. And the burps make ne nauseous if I'm laying down. I have to jolt up in bed and let the burps out so I don't feel like I'm gunna puke. TOTALLY not going to miss that part of being pregnant!
Oh dear! The belly looks! When I first announced that I was pregnant, everyone's first reaction wa sot look at my tummy. My flat, normal looking tummy. I felt like people were thinking that I was a liar! Most of the time when Dustin andI are out, I'm sitting in my wheel chair and I have my purse over my lap, so people don't really get to look at my teeeny bump. I don't know how I'm going to feel about the belly touching once I get huge. It will probably be when I'm standing (and using crutches) and I'm hoping that people will have the decency to ask before they push on a one-legged, round-bellied lady.
Oh! The mood-swings are up and down. It gets REALLY bad when I'm really hungry and Dustin is learning to just tell me to eat something and we'll talk about what ever is bothering me in a few minutes. Poor Husbands with pregnant women. My heart goes out to you men who get your faces clawed off over not folding the towels the right way. Sorry dudes.
But. BUT! Even after all the being scared and feeling fat and cranky and fart-y, this is one of the best experiences of my whole life. The juice is worth the squeeze! I think that every pregnant woman feels good about being pregnant at some point in their pregnancy. I'm sending so much love and good-body vibes to all of you pregnant women who are feeling unsure about the whole fruit in your womb thing. <3
P.S.~ Tomorrow I'm getting a haircut and I can't wait to share! I don't even know what I'm getting done - A trim? Something drastic? Stay tuned to find out!
P.P.S ~ I'm too tired to proof read this, so if there are horrible grammatical errors or I forgot a comma, please for give me. Plus, Sookie is calling me and I want AT LEAST 15 minutes of my guilty pleasure before I close my little eyes and sleep.
How is it Thursday already?
I've been lucky enough to have the luxury of just loafing around all week while all of my loved ones are either working at their jobs, working on their new and old businesses, finishing up the school semester (Brother, Sister and cousins!) or healing (my poor Momma broke her arms).
And me? I've made some phone calls, I went grocery shopping, I napped like a large cat (even though the sun is on vacation), I've almost completed my Christmas shopping and watched movies -- lots and lots of movies. I am so dang lucky. SO lucky. My Sissy never ceases to remind me just how so I am as she's rushing off to one of her two jobs or trying to complete essay after essay. I'm thankful that she serves as a reminder for just how lucky I am and I hope (hope, hope!) that one day, if she'd like, she gets to be a stay at home wife/Mom. (I love you Sissy!)
What's up with this blog? I have two amazing new series that I'm dying to share with you guys, but they're both gunna need a couple more weeks worth of work before I share. I can't WAIT!
Also, I have another series that I'm thinking of starting and it will have to with diet and healthy eating and will be laced with more practical recipes and tips. I'm still in the brainstorming stages of that one, though.
Oh, also, I now have 24 followers on here! I'm 76 away from achieving my "100 followers goal" and each time I see that a new person has joined, I do a little dance, laugh a little laugh and check out their blog.
I've been getting about 350 readers a day which just blows my mind! I know it might not seem like a lot to our more super fantastic bloggers, but I squee like a little girl each time I check and see that I've had a bunch of readers each day! Teehee!
On the home front, I need to show you guys our Christmas tree, large and in-charge, but we ran out of lights (we've never needed more thant two strings!) and we're having a heck of a time finding another string of yellow mini lights. I think we're gunna try the hardware store tonight.
I have the mantle all decked out with a garland and pretty beads and bows and twinkle lights that feel like they're gunna give me a seizure at any moment. We've been burning fire-logs and eating peppermint taffy and watching movies at nighttime. Totally romantic and just what we need!
We also need a new couch, a real couch because this guy is kind of weak-sauce. We're totally scouring Craiglist in hopes of finding a great piece at a good price.
On the body/mind front, I've decided to just let go and let God. I can only control so many things (even though I'd like to control most everything), so these past few months have been a lesson in just learning to sit back and let go. Let things happen when they're meant to. From cancer to babies to jobs and money, I can only do so much, you know?
I found this awesome quote on a wonderful little blog and though that it was entirely appropriate for what's in my heart.
"I have a lot of faith. But I am also afraid a lot, and have no real certainty about anything. I remembered something Father Tom had told me--that the opposite of faith is not doubt, but certainty. Certainty is missing the point entirely. Faith includes noticing the mess, the emptiness and discomfort, and letting it be there until some light returns." —
- Anne Lamott (Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith)
Some days just call for a nice bowl of soup. In fact, some days just DEMAND it!
After visiting Leigh-Ann's Grandma (in Canada) for lunch one day, I decided that I do, in-fact, LIKE tomato soup.. I'd never had it before that chilly afternoon. Yeah, I know.. I'm 26 years old and had never had tomato soup. LAME!
Anyway, I wanted to make some soup from scratch since good old Campbell's has a load of crap in it. High fructose corn syrup? Corn and canola oil? "Flavoring?" What the hell IS "flavoring" anyway? My guess? MSG or Monosodium glutamate, a flavor enhancer additive that's just no good. It gives me migraines , blurs my vision and make me puke. NO bueno.
Back to the soup. So, after browsing a few recipes, I kind of went into the kitchen and made one up myself. Hope you like it! Maybe some of you veteran tomato soup lovers can give me some feed-back!
Violet's Tomato Soup
Gather your ingredients. Aren't they pretty?
Chop shallots. These are the sexiest shallots I've ever seen. Damn.
Add to a large sauce pan with olive oil. Saute until soft. Add minced garlic and saute until fragrant, but do not let burn (burnt garlic = sour, gross garlic). Add tomato sauce and broth and stir until well mixed. [Now, here comes the tricky milk/no milk part. If you ARE using milk, then only add 1 1/2 cups of broth at this time. If you're NOT using milk, add the full 2 1/2 cups broth now.] Sprinkle flour into soup and mix with a whisk or a fork, being careful not to let the flour clump and get lumpy. Dump chopped tomatoes, if using, into mixture and stir.
Bring to a simmer. The mixture should thicken up a bit.
Turn burner off and add sour cream and milk, if using. Whisk until smooth and season with salt, pepper and a bit of sweetener if you want it bit sweeter.
MUST be served with a sandwich. Must! Must! It's just a rule!
Grilled cheese works best.