Friday, July 29, 2011

Day Seven ... The Cleanse END!

I made it! Pretty much without cheating, I made it!

Actually, yesterday my Mom said to me, "You know, you're doing really well. I cheated all the time! I'd eat turkey, blue corn chips ... to get me through the day!"

This was as I was almost fainted, sprawled out in exhaustion on the kitchen island. I dragged my gaze to her and with a heaving sigh said, "So, I'm sposed to be happy that I'm not cheating? As I feel like this?!"

But, she's right--I did it pretty much to the letter. And I do feel really good! I just got back from date night, where I had my first "real" meal in 7 days.

Day Seven Observations:

1) I discovered almond milk this morning. My sister Molly kept saying to me, USE ALMOND MILK in your shakes! But for whatever reason, I didn't. I think I thought it was cheating. Then I read the booklet. Apparently, it's not cheating. I was missing out on yummy calories all week because I didn't read the stupid booklet. So, the shakes today, my last three, were must tastier than the others!

2) It's important to read the booklet. Always always read the booklet.

3) Baking lasagnas was hard ... grilling hot dogs was hard ... but going to Harry Potter and sitting next to my hubby while he munched on popcorn .... UNBEARABLE! I had 15 kernels. And sadly, it wasn't even that amazing. Which continues to prove that ...

4) Cravings and food desires are SOOOOO in my head! Honestly, the veggies I had this week tasted better than those elicit handfuls of popcorn.

The appetizer that ended my detox week.
5) My "real" meal tonight was good, though I had to eat really slow and I definitely could tell, well, um, how do I say this sensitively ... I could tell that my colon and intestines were working differently than ever before and were quite shocked at the sudden arrival of hand made mozzarella, lavender sourdough bread, goat cheese biscuits, arugula gnocchi, porcini mushrooms and sweet corn nage.

6) I quite concerned about how to now ease back into normal life, without returning to my normal self. What principles of eating can I take away from this week? Veggies are yummy? Replace graham crackers with almonds? Fruit is incredible for dessert? One doesn't need popcorn to survive?

7) I'm glad I did it. That's an important observation.

8) I will do it again someday. And make my husband do it with me. :)

9) I hope I've encouraged someone else along the way to give it a go--even if you "cheat" and eat organic turkey as a snack instead of a carrot, it's better than our normal diets of fast food, quick-grab-carb snacks and very little whole, real foods!

10) You won't feel skinny during or after a detox. Just healthy. And a little bit less "cravy" than before. I still desire certain foods, but I'm--at least for now--much more able to say no thanks, or only take a few nibbles. I hope I can keep that up ...


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Day Six ... The Cleanse.

Day 6. I'm not sure I believed I'd get here! I think a huge part of my success (so far) was knowing I had to blog about it each night. :)

Day Six Observations:

1) I awoke today with my normal fatigue and desire to lay on Joshua's floor with his teddy bear as a pillow, but without weakness, intense hunger or cravings for bad food. Hip hip hooray!

2) Because of my renewed energy and lack of weak/hungry feeling, I decided to take a walk with my Mom.

3) Taking a walk was a bad idea.

4) I felt my stomach go empty 15 minutes into the 45 minutes walk. And I almost fainted. Stupid stupid idea.

5) After guzzling a nasty green shake, I felt worse. Sick, stomach cramps, nasty. Blah. Ick. Don't try this at home--or anywhere.

6) Finally, I felt better. And realized that today was the best of the days so far, as far as hunger, cravings, weakness etc. Yea for day 6!

7) I cheated. I had a bite of bread. My mother in law led me astray by pointing out that is had no preservatives and was all natural. *sigh* I can't even say it was that amazing. I think it was more the idea of it ... though is was soft, and warm, with a crunchy crust. Mmm.... In my head, it was HEAVENLY.

8) On that note, so much of my cravings are in my head!! I'm realizing this!!!

9) I LOVE veggies! They are so incredibly flavorful! I can't taste this normally because of my taste for chips, cookies and crap. Carrots=amazing! Zucchini=incredible!

10) Glad I did this .. and trying to heed my sister's wisdom. She said, "I was so excited for Day 7 and then I got up and realized ... I still had to do Day 7." So, I'm trying not to be too excited.

But I am .... :)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Dear Josh: Messy Wonderful

Dear Joshua,

Oh my goodness, are you just the cutest little guy ever? Yes, yes you are.

I love hearing you babble to yourself in your crib when you wake up in the morning.

I love entering the room and seeing you shake the whole crib in excitement!

I love how sturdy you are, and how exuberant you are in your reaching for me.

I love how when you recognize me across a room (or the airport baggage claim) you grin and run as fast as you possibly can and all the strangers stop to smile at this little son loving his mommy.

I love how the second you get into my arms, you twist your body and point--at what, we never know. I don't think you know either ... you just point until you find something good.

I love how you love escalators, elevators, cars, buses, remotes, keys, buttons of any kind and keyboard--musical and computer.

I love how you say "Hi" and wave at every single person at Walmart. Big or small, young or old, interested in you or not interested in you ... you force them to respond. Love it.

I love how obsessed you are with going outside. Ok, maybe I don't always love this, but it's better than never wanting to go outside!

I love how you love your Daddy. And of course how he loves you.

I love how you now know when we drive into Grandma and Grandpa's house and you kick and kick and kick with excitement to go see Roxy the Horse, Sammy the Snake and Nugget the Pug!

I love how lately we only read the first 2/3 of any book before you're hopping off my lap to find another one, climb back on to my legs, read another 2/3 and so on and so forth.

I love how when I say no more books, you sigh, give me a slightly evil eye, but then curl up in my arms for singing and prayers.

I love how when I mess up or try to change the melody in a bedtime song, you notice and look at me funny.

I love how you scwinch up your face and make really loud noises in an attempt to communicate.

I love how you make my life full and exhausting and joyous and loud and messy and wonderful. 

I love you Joshua Nelson Lindeen--and I want everyone to know. I LOVE being your mommy!

Day Five ... The Cleanse.

Sigh. Why did I do this again?

Nah, actually today wasn't that bad. Why? Because I cheated. :) I just couldn't get through a day of packing my house and chasing Josh with just a nasty tasting shake, veggies and a banana in me!

So, with my Mom's permission, I had a grilled chicken salad for lunch. Push off the corn relish, picked off the cheese and only used, like, 2 tsp of ranch dressing. HEAVEN!

Day Five Observations:

1) The second stage of the shakes is grosser. It's green. And no one told me it ups to three shakes a day--breakfast, lunch and 2pm snack. Who snacks on green goo?? Me, that's who.

2) The first batch of shakes (Days 1-4) were not that bad--very tolerable. This batch, not so much. I think because it's green. And three a day.

3) One should read the instructions of a cleanse more closely. I did--today. On Day Five. It actually tells me that I will feel "out of sorts" and "hungry." I'm not sure why I just put "hungry" in quotes.

4) I actually had a dizzy spell today. Not sure if that was lack of food, the new stage of actual colon cleansing wonderfulness or simply too much coffee.

5) Intriguing ... I'm sitting here finally reading the pamphlet that comes with the program. It's listing some of the possible "unpleasant short term reactions" --I've had a lot of them! I'm not abnormal! Yay!

6) It says to avoid caffeine. Um, have they met Joshua??

7) Wow. There are recipes in here for better tasting shakes. TOTALLY should have read this little booklet thingy.

8) Didn't get the usual headache today ... I wonder if, now that I'm done with the "revitalizing" part and moving into the "detoxification" part I'll experience new and different reactions. Oh goody.

9) I didn't realize until today that the first part of this cleanse was intended to prepare my body for the second part of the cleanse--the actual detox part. So apparently NOW we are ridding my body of metals, toxins and other such nasty buggers. Good to know! (This link explains the cleanse really well: CLICK HERE)

10) Observation: I really did not know what I was getting into or why. Story of my life ...

Only two more days to go!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Day Four ... The Cleanse.

I don't like Day 4. I didn't like Day 3. Honestly, I haven't really liked any of the days. I'm thinking I'll like Day 7 ... only because it's the end.

Day Four Observations:

1) Woke up exhausted ... that could be from crying about life changes until midnight, but whatever. Let's blame the cleanse!

2) I have decided that today I was in hoarding mode. I ate a lot today--a lot. Granted, veggies, hummice (I'm cheating with the hummice, but come on--it's HUMMICE) and fruit. And my trusty almonds. Now I know--one can overeat on healthy foods.

3) I was reminded today that eating is a habit. A habit a love. And one that I'm tired of doing with pea pods and dry nuts.

4) There's something called detox breath. And I have it. Nas-ty.

5) Um, when am I supposed to start feeling energized and amazing due to the lack of processed carbs, sugars and the increase of natural foods? I feel icky. Still.

6) I think I'm not drinking enough water. Just FYI.

7) I saw 123 on the scale for the first time since early early pregnancy ... it was strange. Strange but good...

8) My sister told me that she remembers dropping weight like crazy the first three days, eating a lot (must be a family thing) the fourth day, and then balancing out again days 5-7. I'll let you know if it's the same for me ...

9) Sometimes getting to 10 is hard. Maybe I should release myself from the perfection of 10 and go back to letters?

10) Day 4 IS the middle of 7 days! Whoot Whoot! Over the hill and rolling down--hopefully super fast with renewed energy and no more detox breath.

You ready for 3 more days of my random semi-worthless observations? Boo-yeah, me too.

Oooo---Hunger pains. Reaching for my water ....

Monday, July 25, 2011

Day Three ... The Cleanse.

I think I'm getting the hang of this!

Day Three Observations:

1) No gnawing hunger pains today--yay!

2) The shake really is better with a whole banana, not just a half, blended in.

3) I switched back to numbers because they are more organized. :)

4) I thought preparing lasagnas for the freezer was rough ... today I hosted a youth group event and grilled 24 hot dogs, tore open bags of chips, set out the makings for smores, and inhaled the aroma of pizza. Seriously--will power.

5) Will power--I do have it. Huh--who woulda thunk?

6) I still really needed/wanted that chicken/rice/veggie dinner by 3:15pm. Counted the minutes .... and it tasted AMAZING. As usual.

7) Still get a headache and feel lethargic around 2ish every day. Coffee slump? Probably. Sugar withdrawal? Definitely.

8) Is Day 4 half way in a 7 day cleanse? Yes, yes it is. YAY!

9) I sat at McDonald's today and truly honestly was not even the least bit tempted--weird! I just drank my water and ate my almonds. Intriguing ...

10) The smores tempted me more than I thought they would ... but I didn't give in. Will power--what an idea!

Tomorrow is half way! Whoot Whoot!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Day Two ... The Cleanse.

I hate this. I'm dying. I hate this. What was I, crazy? I'm dying--literally dying. 

Over dramatic? Yes. But that's me.

Day Two=I hate this detox.

Day Two Observations:

A) The shake was not nearly as good the second day. It was more watery--I'm not sure why. I used a little apple juice and used only half a banana. Not my favorite.

B) No amount of food satisfied my hunger today! And totally not a good idea to start this thing when I'm single-moming it for the weekend. Being the only parent in such heat taking crazy Josh to parks when all I can munch on are almonds and cantaloupe chunks was TOUGH!

C) Oh--I dropped 4 whole pounds between 7am and 11pm yesterday. CRAZY! (Water weight, I know, but crazy!)

D) My sister said that Day Two was her "I hate this" day as well. I think Day One I was like, "Yeah, I can do this. I'm awesome. It'll be great!" and Day Two I awoke to reality, gnawing hunger, a headache the size of India, and discovered, "Yikes--I want food. And not carrots--FOOD."

E) Don't ever think it's a good idea to prepare lasagnas for the freezer on Day Two (or any day for that matter) of a detox. BAD idea. Major temptation to nibble ...

F) I vividly recall glancing at the clock at 4:44pm and registering that I only had to wait 16 minutes for dinner. GLORIOUS!

G) I just realized that yesterday I used numbers for the observation list, today letters. Strange.

H) As I ate my bland chicken, tasteless brown rice, and steamed veggies, my sister Molly mentioned that she had put avocado in her detox dinners for flavor. I raced to the fridge, found avocado, sliced it into my bowl .... HEAVENLY! The clouds parted and angels sang--avocado is my new hero.

I) I've had a headache all day, my faces aches, my jaw bones ache, my vision feels hazy, and I'm lethargic ... What the ... ?!

J) Cherries are amazing. They are my dessert for tonight.

K) 1 through 10 is a lot cleaner than letters .... A-K? Weird.

That's all I guess .... Until Day Three ....

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Day One of ... The Cleanse.

Why a cleanse, you ask? Because of a few reasons, that I will now list:

A) Lethargy, poor diet, and consistent aches and case of the "blahs"-time to jump start my system!
B) Poor diet (I know, double listing) combined with the seeming inability to simply eat better--time to jump start my system!
C) Because I'm finally done attempting to get pregnant, being pregnant, nursing, being pregnant again, and miscarrying--time to jump start my system!
D) Um, time to jump start my system?

So, Day One Observations:

1. The shake for breakfast, mixed with water and a whole banana in my Magic Bullet (which I must say, is mostly magic, but no matter what, there's always one chunk of banana that is missed. My sister confirms this, as she has a Magic Bullet too) was not all that bad! Molly set me up to think it would be awful, but when I'm hungry, I'm hungry. Now, talk to me on Day 7 and shake 13 and we'll see what I think.

2. As I learned with Joshua on "Super Why!", carrots are a good snack. So, I had a carrot--a big one--for a snack. Why don't I do this normally? Hmmm...not sure. Because graham crackers are easy access? And don't require skinning?

3. Almonds do a surprisingly adequate job of satisfying gnawing hunger.

4. I must intake a lot of calories by simply eating a bite of everything I feed Josh! I had to stop myself from eat a piece of his string cheese, a nibble of his turkey, a bit of his cracker ... Seriously!

5. By lunch, I was definitely in need of that second shake with a whole banana mixed in my Magic Bullet. Definitely.

6. Dinner couldn't come fast enough. The almonds just weren't cutting it, so I ate like, half a cantaloupe. Not joking. I swear, it didn't make a dent. I'm not sure what my body was craving, but it did not want cantaloupe and water!!

7. Chicken, brown rice, mixed with carrots, pea pods and zucchini has never ever ever tasted so good!

8. After gorging myself on dinner, I still had an empty feeling in the pit of my stomach. That's probably the space that I normally fill with sugar, worthless carbs, processed foods and all sorts of other goodies.

9. I ate 1/2 a package--wait, hold up, 3/4 of a package of blackberries. Heavenly. And I'll probably finish it when I'm done here.

10. I'm tired. I'm assuming it's the sugar low, dip, crash mixed with the high heat and chasing a one year old. I hope this cleanse really does jump start my system ... 6 days to go!

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Luxury of an Oops

Ever since I miscarried last week, I've had this phrase rolling through my mind:
Luxury of an Oops
It has occurred to me that having an "oops" pregnancy, while unexpected and kinda stressful, is actually a luxury. At least from the point of view I'm coming from. See, I'll most likely, as confirmed by last week's miscarriage, never have the luxury of "Oops! We're unexpectedly pregnant! Well, haha---guess God decided it was time!" 

See, that won't be us because of my ridiculous genetic blood protein chromosome something something problem--the beautiful MTHFR. My problem is not necessarily in the conception--it's in the keeping of an embryo. I've conceived four times (to my knowledge), and I have one child. Bad odds. That's because my body doesn't seem to know how to sustain a pregnancy without lotsa blood thinner shots, baby aspirin and uber amounts of folic acid to help my own body combat, well, itself. In order to keep my child. Sheesh. What a mess! 

You may recall that Erik and I went a LONG time without conceiving before we struck gold with little Joshua. I truly believe God heard, and not only heard but answered our prayers. Our prayer was quite specific, and truly, I don't know if we really knew what we were actually asking for. We prayed:
"God please PLEASE don't let us miscarry again. Please don't let us conceive until it's going to stick and carry." 
Well, after miscarrying our second in September of 2007, I did not conceive again until August of 2009. Let me tell you--that's a LOT of trying and failing. A lot of praying and waiting. A lot of wishing and hoping. 

God does answer prayer. He knew we needed to find out about MTHFR. He knew I needed to be with the right, arrogant, aggressive doctor who would treat this contested disorder. He knew I needed to be on certain shots and drugs even preconception for little "Bubba" (now Joshua) to stick. 
He knew, He heard, and He answered. 
And after this quite unexpected pregnancy that ended not unexpectedly in miscarriage, I ask of my Lord again. Please, Please, don't let me have another oops if it's just going to end like this. I'd rather find the specialist, pay the money, do the shots that bruise my skin and turn me ugly shades of yellow, purple, black and blue. I'd rather take the horse-sized pills, cut the caffiene, endure the blood draws, and mess with my hormones. I'd rather do all this then be reminded again some time in the future that my body does not have the ability to--on it's own--sustain a tiny little embryo past 6 weeks. 

I won't ever experience the luxury of an oops.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Unexpected ... Miscarriage

It's amazing how something you weren't expecting and not trying for can change your whole train of thought. Alter your entire way of thinking about the near future. Morph the image in your mind of the next steps.

On July 4th, we were shocked to find out we were pregnant. And this morning, sadly, I am losing the pregnancy.

I'd forgotten how quickly that positive pregnancy test changes your life. I had a inkling I was pregnant. As we traipsed around New York City, and I was extra tired, ridiculously crabby, and quite demanding of food, a small voice in my brain kept taunting me saying, "You're pregnant! You're pregnant!"

And so I was. And the second we saw that test, planned or not, our visualization of our future changed. Suddenly there was a pregnant belly while unpacking our place in Madison. There was a newborn baby early in March, or most likely February.  Joshua would have a baby sister or brother before he was 2--definitely not in our plans, but now our new reality.

This is, was, the first time I've ever been pregnant without trying. I have a whole new understanding for the woman who has an "oops." (Please don't comment and rant about how no baby is an oops and every baby is created by God ... I'm aware. It's a phrase. Thank you.) This was our "oops!" (I like to tack an exclamation point on the end because it sounds like a happy oops then.) And Baby Oops really threw me for a loop. I'd never not planned on a pregnancy before. And this one startled me--and so did my emotions.

I remember laying down with Joshua at my Grandma's house to spend some time with him before nap time. And I cried. Cried with shock, cried with happiness, cried with those crazy pregnant lady hormones. And Joshua laid with me, forehead to forehead. He reached out his chubby little hand and patted my cheek, as if to say, "There there Mommy, we can handle another one like me."

I had thoughts like, I'm not ready. I can't do this. Wait! Maybe I only want Joshua!!!!
But then I had thoughts like, What a miracle. We didn't even have to try!

Then the cramping started, and I couldn't decide what to feel. Sadness? Relief? Fear? A mix of it all. Then the cramping went away ... then it returned ... then it went away .... Ugh--just happen already!

And so now, the answer is clear: no baby in March. No brother or sister for Joshua--not yet anyway.

I've miscarried before. I've sobbed and I've bawled. This one is different. I'm still a mother, so yes I am grieving. I'm heartbroken and sad. But this one is different too. Because this time, I was able to open a door, smile at a little boy, pick him up and receive the biggest most exuberant hug any mommy could ever receive. Having Joshua makes this okay, and trusting God gives me hope.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Me? Insecure? Never! ... Well, maybe ... a smidge ...

I was invited to do one last bible study with Discovery Church women before our big move to Madison, Wisconsin. I waffled on the decision for a while, knowing that this summer would be crazy and also knowing that I would love the time with these ladies. Then I saw the book title they'd chosen: So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore. And I thought, "Nah, I don't need to read that--I'm not insecure!"

Insert laughter here.

Because only a few pages into the book, I realized wow--I am in these pages, in these examples. Insecurity is not just what I tend to picture--a mousy wall flower woman who can't speak her mind and spends 19 hours choosing an outfit just to change it later. No, insecurity can and does look very different from that.

I could quote a dozen lines from this book, and you'd probably think, "Oh my--that's me! She's talking about me!" even if you are like I was and utterly convinced of your security. No matter what, we've all got something that triggers us. Some broken relationship, some failed promise, some shortcoming or fear that paralyzes us and causes us to forget who we are in Christ. For me, I'm realizing a lot of different things about myself. So anyway, I'll just quote a few:

I constantly feel unqualified, inadequate, and out of my league. I realized this morning that I not only lack security, I also lack faith. I don't just doubt myself, I also doubt God about myself. 

Some of us never seek healing from God for our insecurities because we feel like we don't fit the profile. We think insecurity only looks one way--mousy, maybe even inept--and that's not exactly who we see in the mirror ... Insecurity's best cover is perfectionism. That's where it becomes an art form.

The fact that she [an insecure woman] can be a complicated mix of confidence and self-consciousness is the very reason it took me so long to identify it in myself and admit it. 

Those above quotes are all from the first couple chapters of the book. Those are the quotes, just a sampling, that drew me in and helped me realize this book was good for me. This next quote I read just yesterday, and with my life the way it is lately, boy did I need to read it. This section is in the form of a prayer ...

Lord, help me to learn how to hang on tight to You when my life is rocked by dramatic change. Empower me to trust You and not to panic or fight for control. Help me to stop confusing a change in my circumstances with a change in my security status. You are my security, O God. You are the one sure thing. When everything around me shakes, You are unshakeable. Nothing has the propensity to reveal false gods in me like a sudden change in my circumstances. Help me to see them and surrender them instantaneously. Use change to provoke what needs changing in me, Lord, and to increase my appreciation of the only One who is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

I need to print this up and plaster it all over my walls, mirrors, car and laptop. What is it about change that gets me all jittery and insecure?? My God is in control, my God is orchestrating this change, and He is in it all, blessings, challenges, surprises, twists and turns. He is my Rock, my Guide and my Salvation. Whom--and what--shall I fear?

I'll close with this quote:

No, you are no the only one to blame [for your insecurity], but girlfriend, you are the only one you can change. God is willing, God is able. Let Him get to that terrified part of you that devalues the rest of you.

I highly recommend that you--yes you--read this book. :) Even if you think you're totally and completely secure, I promise you--you're not.