My Daddy

Words cannot begin to describe the pain I’m feeling tonight. Last night my Dad passed away. I’m still in a state of disbelief. My Daddy means everything to me.

He was the kindest, sweetest, most giving man I’ve ever known.

About six months ago, my little family went to Disneyland with my parents, sister, nephew and niece. My Dad complained of feeling dizzy, and thought it was vertigo. He’d had it a few years back on another vacation we’d taken. It didn’t go away.

Soon he was having more trouble with having double vision, then trouble walking. The weekend of the Fourth of July he began using a walker.

He’d been into the doctor several times, they checked his eyes, ears, blood, and heart. We’d thought maybe he’d had a stroke.

No signs of a stroke, no signs of anything.

Near the end of July, my Mom got him into the University Hospital in SLC. They thought he had something called Myasthenia Gravis. After almost 4 months we were so happy to have a diagnosis and began treatment.

It didn’t help. They found a tumor on his kidney, checked him into the hospital and began plasmapheresis (exchanging all of the plasma in his body, for new plasma.)

August 8, he had surgery to remove the cancer and more plasmapheresis. They now thought he had paraneoplastic syndrome, caused by the cancer in his body. The doctors assured us that he would begin recovering quickly as they had gotten all of the cancer out and he wouldn’t require chemo or radiation.

2 weeks later he was not improving, he was in fact getting much worse. He spent a week in a rehabilitation clinic before being rushed to the ER with a fever, pneumonia and blood clots in his lungs.

At this point he had been completely bedridden for a month.

We had him life flighted back to the University Hospital.

He was on a ventilator and feeding tube. Completely unable to speak, and hardly able to communicate with us. He used nods, blinks and hand squeezes to let us know how he was doing.

He slept so much.

The doctors ran more tests and he continued to decline. They had a suspicion he may have Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease. A rare disease affecting 1 in a million people. It is a terminal, non treatable disease.

On Friday September 13 he had a biopsy of his brain- this is the only 100% sure way to know if their diagnosis was correct. We waited until Wednesday September 18 for the results.

It was definitely CJD. We made the choice as a family to remove the life support and let him have peace.

My Mom laid in his bed with him and held him until the very end. He left this world with the love of his life in his arms, and his 4 daughters, 2 sons in law and 1 of his grandsons (the oldest) by his side.

I will miss him every single day. He was the most amazing man I will ever know. I’m proud to be his daughter.

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September 20, 2013. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Turning My Misery Into Humor…

530am- M’s diary entry 1:

I have a powerful need to go put my face one inch from Mom’s while she’s sleeping and see how long it takes for her to wake up…here I go!

 

535am- M’s diary entry 2: Success! She woke up pretty quick. She was pretty mad, I don’t know why- I’m cute. I plan on being quiet for about 15 minutes, then start making strange ritualistic noises to wake up J.

 

550am- M’s diary entry 3:

Ok, Mom flipped and now J is screaming bloody murder.

 

620am- M’s Diary entry 4:

J is still screaming. Mom changed his diaper, gave him some milk and put him back to bed, I’m bored…I think I’ll tell Mom. Real loudly.

 

625am: M’s diary entry 5:

Mom gave me some cereal and a cup of juice. This will work…for about 5 minutes.

 

640am- M’s diary entry 6: I need to watch Bubble Guppies NOW!!! MOOOOOOOOMMMMM

 

730am- M’s diary: final entry

I’m grounded.

June 21, 2013. Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

My Name Is Mandi…and I Am FAT

Today I read that the AMA (American Medical Association) has classified obesity as a disease. My heart sank.

I am obese.

God, that’s hard to even type. I have a BMI of 42.1. I know what I need to do to lose the weight, exercise, better diet etc. I just don’t know where to begin.

I don’t know how to pick the right lifestyle change for me. What exercise is best for me? What supplements (if any) are right? How can I change my diet so that I don’t freak out, go off it and binge (as I have many times before)? If I join a gym, how do I know what to do to get results? All in all I don’t eat terribly, I believe my issue is portion control. I am an over eater, and an emotional eater- a horrible combo. 

I’m going to wade through all the fitness stuff on the internet today…see what I can find to help me find a little light in this dark. 

 

June 19, 2013. Tags: . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Just Lose It…

Today I HATE being a Mom. I LOVE my kids today, but HATE being a Mom. My kids are young, and they’re learning but I’m getting really tired of teaching them the same lessons every day. There’s no relief once they’ve learned one lesson, because there will be something new to teach them after that. A new tantrum, a new bad habit, a new thing to get super irritated by, a new thing I can’t seem to understand why they can’t grasp.

Right now it’s a couple things that make me want to run away and quit my day job. 1. The morning; I’m jolted awake by a symphony of whining, crying and teasing. It’s pure magic. The cacophony of M doing something as loudly as possible to awaken J, which is promptly followed by J crying and whining for about 20 minutes until I finally cave, and get up with them. I wouldn’t mind so much if this started at a decent time, but this special event seems to happen at about 6 am. I am NOT an early riser- never have been. I hate mornings. My oldest son is definitely an early riser, he’s always awakened early and happy. My second child however, NOT an early riser.   When his brother would leave him alone in the morning he’d sleep in until about 10 am. 

The second issue is M does not seem to know how to listen when you talk to him about…well, anything. It gets him into trouble more than any other thing. He doesn’t listen about no teasing/waking J in the morning, he doesn’t listen about WHEN he can go outside ( I told him 3 times in a row that he could go out and play when his brother had his nap…he’s now lost the privilege of going outside because he kept whining and asking when he could go. This was WHILE I was trying to tell him that he could during his brothers nap.) He is now sulking in his room because I’m a mean Mommy. 

There are days like today where all I want to do is scream and cry…or run away for the whole day and let someone else handle them. Neither are an option…so I told M to clean his room while J naps and I’m blogging and looking for better ways to handle this Mom Stress. 

 

So yeah, LOVE my kids…hate their behavior today. That sums it up. 

June 17, 2013. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Overly Freaking Stressed (and some other news…)

Ok, so as pretty much all of you know I’m in the process of a divorce (meaning: waiting on the payment to come through so i can get the paper stating I’m legally divorced.) Now on top of that I’m planning for my wedding (we’re hoping for September) and….I’m pregnant. Yes I know, get your judgements in now… It was NOT by any means planned, we were taking precautions, but it is reality none the less and I’m trying to be excited about it without worrying about what everyone else is thinking. 

No one knows why my last marriage ended, at least they don’t know the whole truth and reality as K and I lived it. No one needs to, it’s mine and K’s business and really no one else’s. 

D and I are very stressed, between still adjusting to life together, raising 2 kids, and now we’re piling on a wedding and an unplanned pregnancy- I know we’ll get through this, but I get stressed so easily that there are days I wonder if I’m even going to make it to tomorrow. J (15months) is becoming more and more independent, while still being a pretty big “mommy’s boy”. His vocabulary is increasing, and his ability to do more for himself is as well. M was such a different creature than J. M has always been very independent, was never much a a cuddle baby, hated being swaddled and all that- J is the EXACT opposite. M goes through his “I need attention” phases, but they are usually him acting out more that asking for cuddles or loves. Point being right now, growing a baby inside of me, doesn’t leave me urging for more bubble invasion.

I am definitely one of those people that has a bubble, and I’ve been told (by D) that it’s a big one. I like my personal space. I don’t think I’m what anyone would call overly physically affectionate. I’m not a huge snuggler. I sleep way over on my side of the bed…I like my space. I am terrified of having 3 kids and a husband all needing my love, affection and attention. 

 

Anyone have thoughts on how to deal with it?

Anyone have ideas on how to reduce wedding planning stress?

June 21, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

New Diet…I hate that word

So I’m on a new diet…I hate that word. I’m hoping this isn’t a “diet” rather, a lifestyle change. I’m calling myself mostlyveg. To me that means I’m consuming a MOSTLY vegetarian diet (about 85-90% of the time). I’m a lacto-ovo vegetarian when I eat veg, which means I eat eggs and milk products. A normal Veg day for me looks something like this:

 

Breakfast:

Coffee with non dairy creamer

Whole grain toast ( I love Orowheat’s Oatnut bread, it has hazelnuts in it!)

1TBSP Natural peanutbutter

 

Snack:

Organic apple slices or a handful of raw almonds

 

Lunch:

Huge hearts of romaine or spring mix salad

1/2 C black beans

Small sprinkle of cheese

2 TBSP dressing

diet coke or coke zero

 

Snack:

Whole grain toast with natural peanut butter

or

apple slices

or

string cheese

 

Dinner:

Baked falafel

1 pita

couscous

steamed veggie

 

Dessert:

Whatever baked good I have made or a sundae

sometimes it’s nothing. Sometimes its toast with peanut butter.

 

Now before you start praising how amazing that meal plan is, I’m gonna be honest sometimes that’s not what my day looks like. Sometimes I forget breakfast, or I eat fast food for dinner. But I’d say 4 or 6 days of the week, that’s about right. I’ve been on this new “diet” for just over 2 weeks. I haven’t stepped on the scale- I’m trying to ignore the number on there and focus on how I feel. I feel much better. I sleep better, less migraines and I feel I have more energy. That is what is important to me. I have some serious digestive issues and this has eased them up greatly. I know if I cut out caffeine and milk completely the stomach problems would be even less, but I’m not ready for that yet. I love my coffee, coke and cheese.

 

So theres what’s been going on with me lately. Still not exercising (yeah I know…) I just don’t like to do it. I hate being all sweaty and getting the motivation to do anything more than keep up with the house, kids and boyfriend is about all I can do right now. lol.

 

May 7, 2012. Tags: , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Slump…

I’m in a slump.

The last few months (October-now) I’ve taken better care of myself than I have in a long time! I eat better, exercise AT LEAST 2 times a week (which is huge for someone who NEVER exercises) [side note:this was before starting my boot camp challenge which I have changed a bit..more on that in a bit], get more sleep, drink more water, take my vitamins etc. The conundrum is, I get sick WAY more now. In the last year, I didn’t have the stomach flu, strep etc, now suddenly BAM! I had a cold/flu for 2 weeks, last night I thought I was going to have the stomach flu, anti nausea meds saved me from vomiting, and have had this general malaise and exhaustion. I don’t get it. Am I going through a cleanse? Am I broken? What in the hell is going on with my body? May be time to go in for a complete physical and see whats going on.

 

Now onto that change in my boot camp routine. I’ve decided that 6 days a week was a LITTLE too much for me, the last couple times I exercised last week, I made myself sick- literally. So I’m changing my routine to boot camp 4 days a week, and yoga 2 days a week. Hoping that the yoga will help stretch me out and help with the break down of lactic acid in my muscles, thereby resulting in less soreness. Also D and I decided to go vegetarian 2 nights a week this week, I’m excited to see how that changes my mood/general feeling. I know that for the 2 years I was a vegetarian I felt GREAT and was a my lowest weight, also I remember having lots of energy. I would like to try and get back to that.

 

I’ve also been working on organizing and keeping things as clean as I can around the house. Things just seemed to fall into place last week for all of us, and we are starting to settle into a routine. It’s good for all of us, the kids do so much better with a routine.

 

I’d really like to get out of this exhaustion slump, being tired all of the time is so frustrating! Any thoughts or tips? Here’s what I do to try and stay healthy and energized…maybe someone can fill in a gap!

 

I take 3 Bio-35 vitamins a day.

I take a vitamin B complex that has vitamin C boost for immune health.

I have limited caffeine to one cup of coffee in the morning every day and one diet coke 3 days a week.

I drink AT LEAST 8 glasses of water a day.

Cut back on sugar and processed food and try to stick with healthy snacks- protein water, Special K cereals, low fat popcorn, Oatmeal, peanut butter and apples etc.

Getting 6-8 hours of sleep a night.

 

January 30, 2012. Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Crock Pot Oatmeal SUCCESS

So the crock pot oatmeal was a success! I found several recipes online, and after reading some of the comments on them, I got kind of discouraged. When I recipe hunt, I look for how many people were successful Vs. how many people were unsuccessful, with crock pot oatmeal I found more of the latter than the former. So I looked deeper into the comments to see if people had followed up with things that HAD worked for them. I found different ideas, and combined the ones I saw most often.

I used apple juice and water with a TOUCH of cream just to add to the texture. I also added spices and almonds to mine (I am a total almond freak, I’ll pretty much eat them in/on anything!) I also sweetened it with agave nectar (just my bowl) and wished I hadn’t. It was a little too sweet for my taste buds, so I would recommend a taste test before adding any sweetener, and I wouldn’t add any sweetener to it before you cook it either. I wanted to add flax seeds, but I didn’t have any, next time though!

J adores oatmeal, he eats so much of it, it’s absurd. M won’t try it (he’s in that no trying things phase again…). Actually as I sit here typing this, J has just finished his second CUP of oats. Yes, my 11 month old just ate 2 CUPS of steel cut oats….uhhh thought their tummies were the size of their fist…he out eats me!

So here it is, my recipe for crock pot oatmeal! Let me know if it works for you, or what other “flavoring” you’ve used to make it. I’m gonna try some fruit and cream in the next one since D likes the cheap, hardly any nutritional value fruit & cream packaged oatmeal!

 

Crock Pot Oatmeal

(must use steel cut or whole oats…DO NOT USE QUICK COOKING OR YOU’LL HAVE MUSH)

 

2 Cups apple juice

2 Cups water

1 tbsp cream (or milk, or soy milk, or almond milk etc)

1/4 C almonds

pinch clove

sprinkle nutmeg

healthy sprinkle of cinnamon

1 C steel cut oats (I use Bob’s Red Mill brand)

sprinkle of salt

1 tbsp butter (just to prevent sticking to the crock pot)

Put all ingredients in the crock pot and leave over night. Mine cooked about 8-ish hours. I started it around 12am and D turned it off this morning when he got up for work around 8am. The house smelled awesome when the kids and I got up around 10, and it was still hot! I will definitely be making this one again!

 

Again, let me know how YOU got creative with the oats, what fruit did you add? Need some ideas, here’s some other add-ins I’ve used in oatmeal before..

 

Mexican Oats;

healthy pinch of Cinnamon

1-2 tsp Cocoa powder

sweeten with agave nectar

 

Sugar, Sugar Oats:

1-2 tsp Maple syrup (or flavoring)

brown sugar (as needed to taste)

pinch of cinnamon

 

Almond Oats:

1 tsp almond extract

1 healthy pinch cinnamon

small pinch nutmeg

 

P-nutty Oats:

1 tbsp peanut butter

milk

brown sugar or agave nectar to taste

 

January 26, 2012. Uncategorized. 1 comment.

Uhh…I have to move? Really?

Yeah, how the hell am I supposed to do this Boot Camp every single day if the second day…I can barely move? This morning I woke up and went to get J out of his crib…this was me “Owowowowowowowowoowow…shiiiiiiitttttt…owowowowowoowow” all the way down…the first set of stairs. “Owowowowowowow…._)(&*^)*&%)*&%^)*&)(*)” down the second set. Yeah, I was DEF feeling it this morning. I’m getting ready to do my Boot Camp for today since J is down for a nap and M is involved in Barney, but I’m not so sure how much I’m going to be able to do- just gotta push myself I suppose. I’ve been avoiding it all day, cleaning the kitchen, cleaning M’s room, building M a tent, FB’ing….(ahem writing in this blog). Yeah, did I mention I have ZERO motivation when I’m sore? PA_THE_TIC. It’s really awful, I don’t know how some people get up EXCITED to work out everyday, maybe I’ll get there once I get into shape (yeah, a shape other than ROUND) and I’ll pop out of bed ready and raring to go….yeah I don’t see that happening either. I am however determined to STICK WITH THIS this time. I suppose that’s as good as being bright eyed and bushy tailed, right? I fully intend to start ramping up the fruits and veggies that are in the house, it’ll be good for D to start eating better too. His ex wasn’t much of a cook so they lived on a lot of fast food, I cook regularly and that has helped him feel better, but now he’s talking about starting P90X and if he’s gonna do that, we are definitely going to have to change the food we are consuming some more. More fruits, veggies, lean protein…and less of the home made goodies I’m constantly making for him (in the last week I’ve made, cookies, brownies and cake balls!!! Oops.).

 

I’m also going to try and put my new FAVORITE thing in the world, steel cut oats, into the crock pot tonight! I’ve been seeing a lot of recipes for crock pot oatmeal, and for someone like me who so does NOT do morning, will be nice to have a hot hearty breakfast for all of us ready. J is REALLY into oatmeal, he eats his weight in it when I make it, so making it in the crockpot will allow me to make a lot, and ensure that I actually get to eat some too! Between finding breakfast uses for the crock pot and the new cruelty free coffee maker (thats what I call a programmable coffee pot), mornings should start getting easier. I think God has a sense of humor, he gave me M who is a TOTAL early riser, while I’m definitely a night owl. So anything that will kick my ass in gear, will be a good thing. As I discover more breakfast uses for the crock pot, I’ll share for all of you other readers who aren’t morning people!!!

January 25, 2012. Uncategorized. 4 comments.

How Do You Squeeze It All In?

The only answer I can come up with is, you freaking don’t! I have yet to figure out (in my “WHOLE” 3 years as a Mom) how you get everything that needs to be done in, in one day. I’ve found it impossible to do all the laundry (wash, dry, fold and put away), clean the house, do the dishes, feed the kids, bathe the kids, get them in bed, exercise, shower, cook dinner, eat right, play with the kids, teach the kids, and give my S.O the time he needs/desires as well. As far as I’ve seen something always suffers, and it usually seems to be showering, exercising, relaxing, the stuff that I WANT/NEED to do for myself. Why is that? Uhhh, because as a mom I would rather my kids have what they need and me suffer. I am slowly realizing that letting things like my diet, exercise and relaxation go, are interfering with my ability to be a good mom AND partner. If I’m overweight, I can’t run around with my kids, or get some decent “loving” in with my man 😉 . If I’m tired, I am cranky, and not very fun for ANYONE to be around. If I’m sick, then I have to wander around in a miserable fog still trying to take care of everyone else’s needs/wants.

 

So, a few months ago I started trying to take better care of myself. Taking vitamins, eating better, and reducing foods that didn’t make me feel well (certain breads, dairy, fast food, refined sugars). Now I’m taking the next step- EXERCISE EVERY DAY. My goal is not a weight…it is a feeling. I want to FEEL good, I want to FEEL comfortable. I want to FEEL attractive. I’m not going to worry about what the scale says, I’m going to focus on how I feel. If it makes me FEEL good, I’m gonna keep going! As I said in my first post, I took some “before” pictures today…wanted. to. DIE. Holy hell, how did I get here? I used to be much thinner…not SKINNY, but at least healthier than I am now. So, today marks the first day in my journey. I’m going to stick to this…I’m going to MAKE time 6 days a week to exercise. I CAN do this. I CAN…and I WILL.

 

What motivates you to get off your bum and exercise? What keeps you from doing it?

January 24, 2012. Tags: , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

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