Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Writing Out of Control

Blogging is a strange tension. My life is far from exciting, my children are cute but deserve some level of privacy, my marriage is healthy but non necessarily fodder for blogging. I also attempt to be real. I would hate for anyone to ever read this and think I have got it all together, or that I think that I have all the answers or that my life is all rainbows and butterflies.

Eliana is learning that stories have a beginning, middle and end. If only that was so. The middle of my story might be the beginning of someone elses. What I feel is an ending might only be a new beginning in disguise. I believe we all play a part in a bigger story, that our tails are just chapters in a larger book of which we are not the author.

But some tails are hard to write about. They are sensitive or scary or just hard to find the words for. Real life is messy and not neatly summarized in blog posts. My heart is so scattered, my thoughts are fractured, my story isn't nicely wrapped up.

Jamison had a seizure last week. Wait. Scratch that. We think he had a seizure. It wasn't a full grand mal, twitching on the floor, loosing consciousnesses kind of event. It was a strange twitch that wouldn't stop and he didn't have control over. It looked like this

So off to the pediatrician we went. That alone should tell you something, that I took my kid to the doctor. He was weighed and measured, poked and prodded and referred to a neurologist  Turns out Jamison has lost weight and not grown in the last 2 months. We now have a hospital stay in our future for a video eeg to see if we can catch the behavior and the related brain waves.

Best case? It was a one time thing and we will never see it again. The neurologist said it could be a pain response to reflux. Or it could be what the call "self stimulation" which is a tick babies do because they think it is fun and it creates neurological stimulation. We might never know what it is. He might have a clean eeg and we never deal with it again.

Or not. It could be that my son is an epileptic  It could be that we will be dealing with this for the rest of his life. He could be suffering from brain damage. He could have an ugly disorder called West Syndrome. Maybe my son won't grow up to be "normal". Maybe he will struggle to do things that come so easily to his siblings, things like walking and talking and building with blocks. Maybe...

I am a fixer. I am an information junkie. We all deal with our need to control in different ways, my way is to gather as much knowledge as I can, place it in a neat box in my head and give it a label  But I can't control this. I can't help my son. I can't fix him. I can't gather more information because I don't even know if something is wrong. I am not, by nature, someone who loses herself in worry. I place high value on competence, my own and other peoples, and that includes being prepared. I crave to be the author of a nice, neat book, complete with chapter titles and nice transitions.

But now I wait, stuck in the middle of a story.

I must live in today. I am forced to carry on, lean into the discomfort of a world outside of my control. I read a book and snuggle my kids. I rock my baby to sleep, admiring the fact he is fearfully and wonderfully made by a creator God who loves him more than I can fathom and has know what his life would look like even before I knew he would be born. I make meals, sweep floor, talk with friends, embrace the now.

I don't know how the story ends. No amount of reading and learning can cushion my life or protect me from the discomfort of the unknown. So I cling to a God who is bigger than today, who knows my tomorrows and will give me the strength to carry on because Love always finds a way, no matter how the story goes.

Monday, February 4, 2013

GF on the Cheap

If you can eat "normal" food, feel free to skip this post...and go eat a donut in celebration.

We are now all gluten free at our house. Sad day. Or maybe not. Matt has found he feels 10 times better when he avoids wheat, Annabelle is a much happier little person and my other girls don't have belly aches. Oh, and now I won't be dying at a young age of cancer. So I suppose it could be worse than having to be gluten free. It is, however, brutal on the food budget.

Several years ago I discovered Pamela's Baking and Pancake mix. It rocks. From this magic I can make cookies, muffins, pancake and waffles in a jiffy. Oh happy day!! Except it costs $15 for a bag that we can kill in about 2 weeks. Oy.

Back to the drawing board. Through the combined knowledge of gluten free cheap-skates such as myself, I have come up with this recipe for a DIY Pam's mix. It is awesome. Cheaper than buying it, I make a double batch and keep it in a Tupperware. For pancakes, mix one cup of the mix with an egg and 3/4 cup of milk.

1 cups Brown Rice Flour,
1 cups White Rice Flour, 
1 cup Natural Almond Meal or ground flax (may appear as brown flecks), 
3/4  cup Tapioca Starch, 
3/4  cup Sweet Rice Flour or oat flour
1  cup Potato Starch 
3 Tablespoons  baking powder
2 Tablespoon Baking Soda, 
1 tablespoon Sea Salt, 
1 tablespoon Xanthan Gum. 

I use this for everything I used Pam's for and it has never let me down. Bring on the muffins and coffee cake! Bring on the chocolate chip cookies and corn bread! Bring on the bigger pant size!

Friday, February 1, 2013

A Very Snowman Birthday

I am not sure when it happened, my sweet little AJ getting so big. But it is official, she had the 5 candles to prove it.

 This girl, who so boldly marches to drum beat in her own little heart. The kid who chose to be a donut and and IPad for Halloween. The kid who chose to have a Snowman birthday, with brownies, not cake or cupcakes. The kid who wanted to go out for ice cream to celebrate when it was single digits. She is so awesomely herself. And now she is 5.
 So snowmen we had, in the shape of pancakes  her favorite food. Along with eggs, sausage and applesauce. The friends came over and we made indoor snowmen from a dough of baking soda and shaving cream. It was a giant mess, and oh so very much Addilyn Joy.
I am beyond blessed to be this girls mama. I am grateful for her each day. I love her spirit and her spunk. I can't wait to see the amazing adventures she is sure to undertake and the woman she will become. It is going to be quite the ride.