Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Freaky Friday

A couple weeks ago Titus wanted Leeann to wear his super man p.j.'s. So, we put them on her and I asked him if he wanted to pretend to be Leeann. He happily obliged and even posed for pictures!

So, the pants are a little short and the dress is a little long... but who cares?
They walked around all night making me call them Super Man and Leeann. Titus did quite well at acting out the part for being so young. Leeann is a good example of drama!

For Mother's Day we went to visit my Grandma. It's been far too long since we've visited! We had a good time and the kids were a delight to everyone in the dining room during dinner time. A lady who volunteers and plays the piano there even coaxed Leeann to sing a little. Grandma lives in Portland so it might not be any surprise to you that we ended the evening with a little trip to IKEA!

All is Well

Titus threw up twice before 8:30 this morning then slept until 11:30 and popped straight out of bed running like he always does! His color was back and he was insisting he was hungry, so I'm not really sure what that was all about!
In other news, I found a swim suit. It's a tankini with a skirt. Apparently skirts are totally in this season... not even just for the old lady suits! Sweet! I haven't taken the tags off because I'm still hopeful to maybe find something with shorts instead, but we'll see. At least it's here and purchased if need be. I found it at Sears. After looking at Target, Fred Meyer, Joe's, Kohl's, Old Navy and Sears, I only found ONE swim suit that fit well. ONE! I must have tried on at least 20!

As I was purchasing my swim suit I saw a beautiful dress that I decided I just had to try on. Dresses are another really difficult item for me to find something that fits well, is modest, and doesn't look frumpy on me. Well, it fit beautifully and was super cute and was half off (making it almost reasonably priced at $30), so I hemmed and hawed over whether or not to spend that much on a dress... but decided to go for it. I took an advance on my allowance to pay for it, but I think I'll be glad I did.

You see, over the past two summers I've been looking for dresses too. I've searched numerous stores, and tried on dozens of dresses to no avail. I always go back to my stand-by blue summer dress which has seen it's fair share of dressy occasions over the past 7 years. You can see it in my Disneyland pictures from last summer because I wore it to Mike's wedding, after trying on dozens of dresses that week!

For my birthday I did find a dress that I liked, and I bought it... but it's a little fancy. This one could be fancy or just plain cute. I'm a little anxious to find a reason to wear it! Hmmm, I might even wear it to church on Sunday! (I wear jeans 19 out of 20 Sundays).

For whatever it's worth, the dress is a size 4 petite. I'm a little excited about that! Not because I actually wear a size 4 in anything else... but hey I'm excited to have one article of clothing that says size 4--please don't rain on my parade by giving me a reality check about the difference in sizes between brands and yada, yada, yada! :0)

And I almost went with corn last night!

I was woken up with my least favorite words this morning. "Mommy, Titus is siiiiiick!"

I'm not a morning person. Not even kind of--so these words were certainly not my favorite way to start the day. Of course, my selfishness mostly disappeared seeing my little guy so groggy and mopey.

We washed him up, put his blankets and clothes in the washer, got him dressed and put him back to bed. I just went in for round 2. Unfortunately he hit his two favorite fuzzy blankets the first time, and just got his back-up blankey. It's times like these I wish I had 10!

So, we're gonna mope around the house today and take care of Titus. I had plans this weekend too, I'm not sure if/how this will change things. Bummer! At least we went with peas instead of corn for dinner!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

The Maker's Diet

Have any of my blog readers ever read this book? I'm fascinated by what I've been reading so far, but I'd love to hear from anyone who's read this book, or more specifically tried this way of eating.

I don't really want to go into too many of the details, because taken out of context many of these thoughts may sound a little fruity, but taken in as a whole--I'm intrigued.

Jordan Rubin is basically outlining how to eat to enjoy maximum health. He encourages to go back to eating what God originally intended as He outlined for the Israelites in the Old Testament. (I know, there's the section of Scripture in the New Testament that tells us not to call unclean what God has created... or something along those lines... which he doesn't address in this book, other than to give some compelling reasons for why God called those foods unclean in the first place.)

He provides a great deal of testimony throughout, including his own near death experience from an "incurable" disease where he went from 180 pounds down to 104 pounds and was near death on several occasions. He tried nearly every treatment available from the medical to the natural to the just plain weird. He saw more than 70 doctors in 7 different countries and spent more than one-hundred and fifty thousand dollars trying to seek effective treatment.

He finally began receiving treatment from a man in California who put him on a biblical diet and he saw immediate improvements in his health. Gradually he saw drastic improvement in his health and he's been living pain and disease free for more than a decade. He is now a doctor who has created what he calls "The Maker's Diet", and he gives testimony after testimony of seeing his patients overcoming a whole host of diseases (cancer, diabetes, arthritis, intestinal problems, heart disease etc.) by simply getting their body chemistry back in balance by eating foods God created and called 'good'.

You mean God didn't create Pepsi, or Doritos? Snickers? What about the nugget? How come he forgot to actually put a nugget on the chicken... surely he should have known that would be a money maker?!

He talks about how we basically have "it all wrong" by eating the standard American diet. That really didn't come as a surprise to me.

If you really stop to think about what we're putting in our bodies on a daily basis you have to wonder how we're even able to function! It would be like sticking dirt and grime and grease and rocks in our fuel tank and expecting our car to function at full capacity. Eventually it's just gonna clog up and function at decreasing levels which will effect every other area of the car. I don't know much about cars but I can only imagine that before long a clogged gas line would lead to a whole host of other issues with the car eventually leaving it with no other place to go than the scrap yard.

The problem in America is that we 'fix' the car by treating the resulting 'problem under the hood', without treating the junk in the fuel tank which caused the problem in the first place.

Well, that's what we're doing daily by chocking our bodies full of nastiness. I was most surprised, however by learning about things that I would have assumed were healthy that were not. Or things I assumed were unhealthy that he makes a strong case for actually being healthy.

Again, I can't do it justice here, but I'm quite intrigued. I'm not finished with the book yet, and I'm not really sure what I'm going to do with what I'm learning. I'd say it's worth a try though. I've kind of gotten to a desperate point with my pain (though I've been having a couple of good weeks!). It seems prudent to do what I can to take care of my body. It's the least I can do to try to fight whatever the disease is that's setting in inside of my body.

Somehow I always end up making posts much longer than I intend. I'll be going now! Our bathroom sink and vanity are now in and working upstairs so I'm going to finally unpack our bathroom today! Yay!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Are You Kidding Me?

I went swim suit shopping tonight.

As I left the door to spend a few hours on my own, I told Rob to be prepared for me to come home depressed. And, I did.

In the last 8 years I have purchased 3 swim suits. One was a bikini for my trip to Hawaii just after graduation. I figured, hey... I want a good tan I won't ever see any of these people again anyway--so why not? Of course I didn't think so then, but if I were to have the same body now I might just consider purchasing another bikini... but the reality is, I'm not 18 anymore!

Swimsuit #2 I purchased in Hawaii and I got a few good years out of it. It was a classic speedo type swimsuit. Very practical. It started to get snug and well worn a few years back so I decided to shop for a new swim suit. That was at the end of the summer in 2004.

Swimsuit #3 was a nightmare to shop for. It was the first time I deliberately had to start looking for swimsuits that hid certain 'problem areas' and deterred from the reality that was starting to set in. After hours and hours of scouring many different stores I finally settled on a black speedo-type bathing suit that had blue stripes that curved nicely on the sides giving the illusion that one is thinner than the actually are. I spent $40 on that puppy hoping it would last me many years. I wasn't planning on spending that much, but after so many hours of frustration when I found one that fit I decided to go for it.

Then I got pregnant.

I think I only wore it once that summer. By the next summer I was wearing a maternity swimsuit with a skirt. I actually liked that one because I was quite large and it was okay!

Needless to say, my speedo-type swim suit that fit well before my pregnancy still fits... but isn't exactly flattering anymore. For the last 2 summers I have been wearing it with Rob's board shorts over it and I still feel terribly self-conscious every time I put it on.

Hence my search this evening.

My search this time around was even more frustrating than the last. Is it too much to ask for a swim suit that actually covers your body parts? Call me unreasonable, but I thought you were actually supposed to be able to swim in a swim suit without fear of exposure?

They all look cute on the shelf, not one of them was even remotely an option when actually tried on however. Now, I'm not as thin as I ought to be, but I'm not exactly large either. How on earth do normal people find swim suits?

So the search is on for something modest. Not too tight, not too low cut, not too high cut and something that covers my stomach. Preferably black or dark brown. Really, is that so unreasonable?

I'm fine wearing board shorts or one of those little skirts if I have to. I'd really like to find one of those surfer-girl type shirt swim suits with board shorts... but I wouldn't even know where to look. Maybe Joe's or something? They've got cute ones for little girls. In fact, I'd love to get one for Leeann sometime maybe.

Bottom line, I'd like something modest, and I'd rather not pay an arm and a leg for it. Between Target and Fred Meyer there were only 4 swim suits that looked like they might somewhat do the job. Of course, none of them did--but I was optimistic. My optimism is gone... any thoughts on where I can get a modest swim suit at a reasonable price, or on how I can get away without ever needing to wear one again?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

No New is... Well, No News

So, my ANA test is elevated which flags a number of other possible auto immune diseases. However, when testing my blood for those specific diseases, my blood counts are smack dab in the middle of the normal limits.

So... that knowledge combined with my specific symptoms leaves my doctor recognizing that something is out of the ordinary but there isn't anything specific that he thinks it is. I'll go back in 3 months and get the same blood work done to see if anything changes and we'll go from there.

In the meantime he encouraged me to get lots of rest to allow my joints to heal and of course taking vitamins, eating healthy and exercising are always good.

I accidentally confirmed that caffeine wreaks havoc on me. I went to Starbucks yesterday with Kimmee and ordered a double chocolate chip blended creme (it has no coffee in it) and then saw a picture of the new summer minty chocolate chip drink and pointed to the picture and said, "Actually, I'll have that." In my mind it remained the blended creme, but the picture was of a frappicino and that's what I got.

Last night I felt icky after drinking it and today my joints and muscles hurt terribly in my legs. So... I guess it's caffeine free for me from now until eternity. I did remember today that Steamers does sell my favorite blended mocha drink in a decaf version so at least not all is lost!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Barely Out of Range

The Clinic called to confirm my appointment for tomorrow and since they were on the phone I asked if there was an obvious indication of what might be wrong so I could come prepared with some intelligent questions.

The assistant called me back and informed me that my results were barely out of normal range but that the doctor would fully discuss with me what all that might mean tomorrow. So, I didn't get immediate answers, but at least it appears to be something not too extreme? Though, I obviously have something that's abnormal even if my results are only slightly out of normal range. I'm super curious as to what that might be. Stay tuned.

Washington Trip Part 5

*You might want to start a few posts back to get the gist of the trip*

As Rob was packing up the car to head home Leeann and Titus crawled in the front, buckled themselves in and started talking about driving to Home Depot. It was super cute! Titus is especially cute the way he says Home Depot.
We stopped by Aunt Suzy's house on the way through and the kids got straight to work on some more surgery for Titus's tummy.
They barely skipped a beat before they started pouncing on Uncle Rob.
It's amazing how quickly things go back to 'normal' even though it's been months since we've seen them. It was great to see them even though the short amount of time went way too fast!
On the final stretch, just before we crossed back into Oregon (where they pump your gas for you, thankfully!) Rob taught Leeann how to pump gas.
She was pretty stinkin proud of herself!
We had a great trip, but it didn't last nearly long enough. It's always so good to see family. There's so much more I could post about the trip but I've already spent way too long blogging this morning, so I really need to be getting ready for my day. Enjoy what's here though!

Washington Trip Part 4

On the second day of our trip we visited Rob's dad's parents. It was a fun day! Here's a picture of the clan!
These are the Buhl boys. Titus seriously wouldn't stay still for anything!
Grandpa and Grandma.
Great Grandma and Leeann. She had lots of fun with Grandma, and Grandma certainly seemed be enjoying herself too!
This picture was taken in an attempt to capture the saying on Titus's shirt which was more true that day than ever. That many hours in a car is enough to drive any 2 year old batty!

Washington Part 3

These are Rob's Grandparents who celebrated their 80th Birthday (6 months late... but hey, who's counting?)

I used to think that 80 was old, these two are anything but! They've had a good 80 years and they do a lot to stay young. We stayed at their house a couple of nights and they chased the great grandkids around. We had a lot of fun! Thanks Gma and Gpa!
Another rare family photo! We can't get Titus to stay still for family photos very well, but cousin Josh can get Titus to do anything! Thanks Josh!The Birthday Party was in a movie theater. This is Rob posing with Patrick Dempsey. Don't they make a cute couple? I tried to pose with him, but even on my tippy toes I couldn't reach!
I've always thought Rob resembles Tom Cruise just a little...
Heempaw... enough said!
Josh and... uh, I can't remember his name.

Titus runs Josh ragged when they're together. Titus loves every minute of it! Josh on the other hand... well, his face might tell you something! It's hard keeping up with a two year old full of cake and ice cream!
Leeann adores her cousins. This is her with KayLee. I think she was 7 when I met her. I still think she's 7. And Josh is 6 and the girls are 2. Really... that's how old I think of them as, it always floors me to visit and be reminded of how fast they grow, and how fast time flies! This is Gpa hunting for lost change. He made 11 cents that day. He goes hunting for change almost every day... and finds lots of it!

Washington Trip Part 1

Last week we went to Washington. Here are a few pictures from the first part of our trip. We stopped by the summit on our way over the pass toward Eastern Washington. We let the kids out to see the snow that was piled up on the sides of the road (these pictures are in a parking lot of a ski area.)
Leeann almost immediately readied a snow ball... And had a blast chasing her daddy down the parking lot. This is after he stuck snow up the back of her shirt!
After a few minutes in short sleeves Titus decided that maybe the snow was kind of cold.

Leeann agreed.
We hopped back in the van and took a pictures of this. $3.99 a gallon just in case you can't quite make out the numbers.

Here's my beautiful family... oh, and Mr. Oooo too. Who's Mr. Ooooo? Good question! This is him enjoying some time with the cousins....
And here he is in a rare complete family photo. Take note that Titus is being an airplane. This is him with his wings out!
Mr. Oooo is the yard statue of some friends of ours, Craig and Mandy who are in New Zealand, just about to finish up their 18 month stint over there for Craig's job. Our friends Toby and Eroica are renting their house while they're gone so we got permission to take Mr. Ooooo on our trip so he can see the sites around Washington.
This is particularly funny because a few years ago Rob and some other guys took him on a trip to Southern California for a church conference and took funny pictures of him along the way to send back to Craig and Mandy who were wondering who on earth would steal their yard statue!

School Carnival

A couple of weeks ago we were invited to a school carnival with some friends or ours so we decided to go and we took Leeann's friend, Sarah with us.

They both spend a good 1/2 hour in line for this beautiful face painting!
Each class puts together a basket of stuff to be raffled off. I bought some raffle tickets and gave them to Rob to put in the buckets in front of whichever basket you want to win, because I was standing in line with the girls to get their faces done.
As soon as I walked over to where the baskets were I asked Rob if he put one in the drawing for the dress up clothes. He looked at me with a blank stare and said, "Uh, no?" I was bummed because that's the one I would have wanted... but too late now!
Well, our name got drawn for a $120 value Parks and Rec "teach your kids to golf this summer" kind of thing. I was happy to win something, but a little disappointed because I couldn't see either of kids learning to golf this summer.
Anyway, I stuck around wanting to see who would win the dress up clothes. This guy picked up the basket and I made a joke about him looking nice in the Cinderella dress. He laughed and just then his wife came up and said, "Oh man, of all the ones I didn't really want to win." So, I proposed a trade and she happily obliged. We came home with the basket of dress up clothes and we're all happy campers now! They got the better end of the deal dollar for dollar, but I'm tickled pink that we got a Belle dress for $5 worth of raffle tickets.

It's a bigger one too, so it should fit her for a while.
Brenna calls Titus Cinderfella. Hey, he asked to wear the dress!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Isn't it Ironic?

I will share with you a tid-bit of the little I understand about auto-immune diseases.

With many of them you have times of active illness and times of remission. Times of active illness can be triggered by:

Caffeine, Stress and Sugar (among other things as well).

Hmmm. You mean, something stressful like buying a house, trying to rent yours out, securing financing, packing, fixing up the new house, unpacking and continuing to repairs and such on top of daily life?

Oh, then to cope with the stress you indulge all too frequently in your favorite stress relievers like German Chocolate Blended Mochas, or Java Chip frappacinos or ice cream?

As a result you have months on end of really irritating and frustrating bouts of pain. Do you want to know how I know all this? I'm smart--that's how. Oh, and a little trial and error never hurt either!

I've been one full week without caffeine as of today. My joint pain has subsided significantly. I've got other new weird things going on though. During the last 3 weeks I've had my arms go numb and fingers get the pins and needles feeling in them. I had a pain in my back that wouldn't go away for the life of me a few nights ago. I slept it off though, no worries!

Most recently I've been experiencing an irritating feeling when something rubs up against my skin. Whether it's Rob just gently touching my arm, or my pant legs against my leg hairs, or rubbing my fingers across something that I normally wouldn't even notice. It doesn't hurt per se, but it almost hurts. It seems to be limited just to my limbs at this point.

I'm starting to feel like a walking freak of nature! I'll see my Rheumatologist of Thursday, I'll be sure to keep you updated

Saturday, May 10, 2008

For those of you keeping track at home...

No fear, Titus is talking up a storm! He's graduated from a completely foreign language to foreign language/English blend. He's very deliberate about each word he says and he's growing in his vocabulary daily. He's picked up more consonants in the last month and he's working hard at acquiring the rest. I think he'll be just fine!

Sometimes I think Titus is growing in stature... but he never seems to grow out of his clothes. I usually move him up in sizes before he really needs to because I'm anxious to pull out the next box of hand-me-downs and shake things up a bit.

Well, yesterday I was so excited to see that a particular pair of pants were looking a little bit like highwaters on him. Could he be growing out of his 12-18 month clothes? Yippie! Oh, wait... those are 6-12 months pants! Oh man! Don't get too excited folks... He's 24 pounds and nearing the 2.5 mark.

I know, I know--his parents aren't exactly giants and he won't stay so little forever. I just keep expecting a growth spurt. Maybe next month?

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Hair Cut!!!

Titus wanted to get his picture taken... eventhough he didn't get his hair cut.
He was jealous that I was taking pictures of Leeann.
Here she is!

Keep in mind that she hasn't been bathed yet today, and this is her hair without having done anything to it. So, here ya go!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Say Good Bye

Leeann has an appointment with Jill tonight, to cut off her hair at the top of her pony tail... nearly 12 inches long if I measured right! She's a trooper and we'll be sending it off to Locks of Love in honor of Boey. I'll miss her long hair, but I can't wait to see what she will look like with her hair short!

Monday, May 05, 2008

The Results?

My results are in, and I don't know precisely what they mean until I talk to my doctor in a week and a half. My blood counts are within normal limits, and my Lyme test is negative. My anti-nuclear antibody test shows a low titer of positivity.

When someone gets a result like this that makes no sense, what do they do? Google! Unfortunatly I don't really care for any of my options. I tried to self-diagnose myself by researching my potential options. I don't know that I would pin-point one of them though.

My options, if I'm reading my test results correctly (keep in mind I am not a doctor, nor the daughter of a doctor, nor anything resembling a medical professional... I simply googled the statement found on my test results...) are:

Lupus, Sjorgen's, mixed-connective tissue disease, Sjorgren's, scleroderma, polymyositis, and rheumetoid arthritis.

I have some symptoms from each of these, but not every symptom of any one of them. I don't think it's scleroderma though. I could easily see it being any of the others. I question rheumetoid arthritis because it doesn't affect my hands and fingers nearly as much as my other body parts, though in the last couple of weeks it's affected my hands more than ever.

I fear it being Lupus because that doesn't sound like a fun disease at all. None of them sound fun, I don't really like my options. There's no sense in getting riled up too early because I don't actually have any clue what my results mean... and any of these things will require further testing for a postive diagnoses. On that 'happy' note, I'm going to go stick my head in the sand for another week and a half until I meet with my rheumatologist again. I'll be sure to keep you updated.

Thursday, May 01, 2008

For Such a Time as This?

Some times I wonder why I blog so much. Does anyone care what I write, or how much I write, or why I write? Is it worth the time and an energy to keep up on this blog?

Sometimes I wonder if I will suffer memory loss some day and this blog will be the only thing to connect me to my past. Maybe my grand kids will stumble upon it and learn something fantastic about their family? Maybe something will happen to me some day and this is all my kids will be able to remember about me? Maybe my kids will want to read it when they're grown to learn more about themselves as kids? Maybe the words found here will inspire someone, teach someone or best yet, help someone give their life to Jesus Christ.

Some day, some way, some how I hope this blog will be a blessing to someone... or better yet, to many people over many years!

I crawled into bed last night wondering if maybe my blog was created for such a time as this? The Self family is a family near and dear to my heart. Since the day I heard Aspen was sick I wanted desperately to do something to help them. They are the kind of family that is more deserving of a blessing than any other family I know. They constantly give and serve and love and give of themselves some more. They are a hard-working, dedicated family that has blessed other people time and time again. I was inspired by this family long before Aspen got sick, and I want so desperately to be a small part of providing them with a HUGE BLESSING!

Maybe you'd like to help?

Who knows, maybe it's one of the reasons God's put in on your heart to keep up on my blog? Maybe you've been so blessed by someone else and are looking for a way to pay it forward? Maybe you've been pondering how on earth you could "stimulate the economy" with your rebate check? Maybe you've had the blessing of being touched by the Self's? Maybe you have nothing to give, but God's laid it on your heart to bless this family and is asking you to sacrifice something else and to band together with others to ease this family's burden? Maybe God isn't asking you to give, but is preparing your heart for a time in the future where you will be inspired to bless someone close to you?

For whatever reason, God has given me a platform to 'interact' with you daily via my blog. Maybe this is why? On an average day I have more than 100 unique visitors to my blog. Some people check it once every couple of days or once a week, so it's probably safe to say I have 150 people who check in here on a fairly regular basis. I'm no good at math, but it's my best guess! I have people in several countries and nearly a dozen states that come here often... you are obviously one of them!

If each of my 150 readers donated just $10 to Aspen's Medical Expense fund, it would take care of nearly 1/3 of their anticipated medical bills. $10! $33 per blog reader would completely wipe out their medical bills and the burden that goes along with it. Can you imagine? So, here's the deal. My lofty goal is to gift this family with $5,000 in a week and a half. Can you help? Please consider playing just a small part in this (or a big part!). Honestly, even just $10 would go a long way. Visit for more information about how to help. We're still working on getting the fund set-up so hold onto your money, decide how much you can give and check back soon for more information on how to make the deposit.

This is fun! Thanks in advance for taking part in this awesome adventure!