This week has been a doozy. Overwhelming and wonderful. A dear friend gave birth early this week and I was honored to be able to attend as a quasi-photographer-doula-friend-encouragement combo type person. There is something about a birth, no matter the circumstances that is incredible to witness. It’s a stretching of the limits of what a woman thinks she can handle and is overwhelming, surreal and wonderful all at the same time.

For the first time in a veryvery long time I went 48 hours without sleep. It was for a good cause…actually I take that back… For the BEST of causes. But still. It was a long time without sleep. My body has decided it does not tolerate such things anymore and proceeded to unleash a vindictive backlash of life altering side effects as punishment for a couple of days after the sleep-less marathon. A few days of rest later and my body and myself have declared an unstable truce of sorts. Just in time too.

On the heels of  big-life-stuff from the makeup project, to the birth, to the kids getting a cold and a bunch of other things looms this family trip to Maui in just one short day from now. In the depths of my fatigue addled brain, engulfed in waves of pity partying over the fact that the kids just HAD to get sick NOW at the most inconvenient time ever I began to feel quite put upon by life. Nothing has sounded better than to cancel the rest of life and spend it in bed. Sans interruptions, needy kids, needy business duties, needy household and needy every-thing-else. Oh if only such a Cancel All button existed in real life.

Tonight as we went out as a family to go shopping for some healthy snacks to take on the plane and a few last minute Maui oriented items (Sun hat for the bald extra white baby anyone?) a shift in my attitude and perspective started to happen. Somewhere between trying to find a pair of sandals that fit our extra-wide-footed firstborn and the aisle with the baby-swim-trunks the other side of my hectic life reared it’s head. And my perspective on my woe-is-me life shifted. A reality not centered around my stress, low energy, millions of details, mountains of lists and even bigger mountains of laundry became suddenly clear.

I have two kids. Two sneezing, runny nosed kids that need to be supplemented, snot wiped and loved on. Two kids! Me. Yes, me, has two kids with little faces that are beginning to look uncannily similar with sweet chubby cheeks and precious trusting blue eyes. Sometimes it just sneaks up on me how cool of a thing it is to actually have these little people in our life.

Spring Day Kids

Spring Day Kids

I have incredible friends. A  local friend knew I was beyond snowed under and came over. The house was a disaster. There was tons of laundry to be done and I could barely move off the couch in the thyroid/adrenal crash of epic proportions. Plus I had a little guy who decided to dedicate his every waking moment to nursing. She buzzed around doing  laundry, helping to pre-sort some into packing piles and began warfare with the dishes. Another one of my Woe-Is-Me moments this week was discovering that my dishwasher was broken.  Today she came over AGAIN to help out even MORE and left the kitchen perfect.  It’s humbling and amazing to have friends like this.  Perspective shift? I’m beyond lucky. I have a friend who takes a chunk of time out of her life, does laundry, dishes and stops for a hot cup of tea and a chat in the middle of all that.

The biggest bummer of my week out of the many small bummers? Discovering that the great deal on housing I had been so proud of myself for frugally bargain shopping for weeks…trying to find the best deal possible for our trip to Maui…Finding out I booked it for the wrong YEAR. Yeah. I did that. The wrong year. And because it WAS a clearance deal and such a bargain there is no trade-ins, refunds or cancellations. And no, we also cannot change our tickets to just go next year at the same time as our housing. We were stuck going and stuck with no housing.  Hearing about the situation friends of ours on Maui offered their home to us incase we cannot find housing. And there it is again…That reality that we are pretty exceptionally blessed with incredible friends who are above and beyond generous with their time and resources.

At the checkout line of the store tonight I had yet another moment of grateful reality shift. We have the money to buy the clothing items we needed. I didn’t have to panic, or worry when or how  I would get these needed items for our children. Sometimes it still shocks me to be able to just go and get what we need without it being an anxiety ridden ordeal wondering if adequate funds could be squeezed from an inadequate budget. If a bargain cheap enough could be found. It’s more than nice. It’s a luxury many do not have. And I am thankful. Very very thankful.

So I am taking my shifted self to bed and going to sleep with my little family. Yup. My very own little family. That I get to spend 12 hours on a plane with in just a day or so. Hope this shift sticks around for a while. It’s a good perspective to have and an even better one to keep.


Food on the Road

So I just got back from a week long business trip to Chicago. Allow me to say that doing a road trip with a potty trained 3 year old is fantastically easier than traveling with a colicky baby. Just throwing that out there. One of my biggest hurdles when traveling is the food. It tends to throw my attempts at an ideal diet back into the realms of the SAD diet we gave up a while back. (SAD = Standard American Diet) I give this trip a 5 star rating out of 10 since I had two totally “fail” experiences in resisting gluten foods.  Completely a flaw of my self control and not of available choices that a little bit of patience would have afforded me.  Traveling poses even more food problems for me now than it used to with the addition of gluten on my list of foods that it would be ideal to avoid. Previously on the list was high fructose corn syrup, highly refined/bleached white flour, MSG, Soy products/bi-products. And now, gluten.

Since eating out almost anywhere except whacky alternative places which are few, farbetween and often expensive (not to mention are often haven’s for all-things-made from soy) includes two or more of my “avoid” items it means I have to get creative. Creative for me in the past has included packing easy to prepare without a kitchen food stuff’s in a cooler to go along with us for a road trip. This is great when I can pull it off because I can get such items as raw milk and homemade cultured butter (both all but impossible finds in stores). However sometimes due to time constraints or lack of space in our car the cooler has to stay home. When choosing our lodgings a refrigerator is on my “must have” list, tied up there with Free high speed internet. Hey, we own an internet based business so the internet part really isn’t optional. Besides (cough cough) how else am I supposed to chat with all my friends that live in my laptop without internet? Or keep up with Facebook?? Or stalk great deals on craigslist??? (All said with tongue firmly planted in cheek of course)

This past trip we were fortunate enough to stay in a place that comes with a fully stocked tiny little kitchen. Huzzah! With no room for a cooler (our poor car was so loaded down it was laughable) we went shopping as soon as we arrived. Mostly for food stuff’s for the Doodlebug since she and caretakers would be operating out of the hotel while TheMan and I attended meetings and ate some meals out with the group. All natural cheese, frozen blueberries, Organic yogurt (low-fat, wasn’t able to find the full fat versions, darn those low fat dairy diet campaigns), Kefir in little individual containers (also low fat), Whole Grain Pasta, Organic Butter, all Natural/Kosher beef hot-dogs, advocadoes, Nuts and last but not least Bananas. Simple, fast and easy and customized to what the Doodlebugs likes.

In spite of having healthy-ish food at the hotel TheMan and I ended up eating less than ideal foods several of the days. After eating mostly organic, all natural, whole foods prepared at home it’s amazing the difference we feel eating “mainstream” food. Side effects may or may not include grogginess, fatigue, sluggish digestion, gas, indigestion and acid reflux. Where traveling food creativity leaves off for me personally appropriate supplementation takes over. I’ve learned the hard way by trial and error that there are certain supplements that can keep the body in balance even when eating less than ideal foods.

1) Digestive Enzymes with every meal. Bromelain can double up as an emergency anti-inflammatory/pain reliever and digestive aid all in one.

2) Probiotics. My personal favorites being Tummy Tune Up and Colostrum

3) Whatever your favorite General Immune boosting supplement is. Traveling just messes with immune systems for whatever reason. Either by constant exposure to germs and viruses that you haven’t built up an immunity to, being out of a normal routine, not drinking enough water or any other unknown factor.  My personal choices are Vit. D3 (mostly because I am personally horribly horribly deficient) Vit. C and BerryWell. Berrywell also incidentally takes care of any misc. travel related allergies that might pop up.

This poor blog has been SO neglected lately. I promise to try to post a lot more frequently although they might not all be directly food related. My life has taken a super busy turn and traditional foods don’t have the center stage they had for a while. Might be quite a bit about gardening and overall nutritional stuff though. I’m off to go have some sweet mango tea over ice. It finally warmed up enough here to enjoy a big glass of iced tea!