I am an adventure seeking wife and mother first! Travel, and endorphins are my best friends. I will try anything once, unless I know
I would be in danger. I have a crazy love of God, running, triathlon, the outdoors, dirt, wine, friends, good Vegan food, Yoga,
animals, happiness, and life! I truly believe the only limits in life are the ones set by ourselves. So get out there and expand the limits!!
~~Only she who attempts the absurd can achieve the impossible.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Allergies can kiss my a$$!!

Since Mother’s Day, and the last time I wrote a blog, I have been a bit funky…not stinky from sweat, funky, just feeling weird, and different…and OK before ANY of you say that I am always weird and different, Y E S…but this weird and different, is…weird and different from the norm.
I have been dealing with some horrible allergies, which I have never in my life had before now.  In all of my life, I have been pretty healthy and well.  Rarely having colds, or flu, never having to take antibiotics.  So when all of a sudden I wake up one day, with a huge puffy, red, face and eyes, I was like, WHHAAAA??? Several weeks of this was getting bothersome.  And I am not normally a “bothersome” person. Acupuncture helped it tremendously, but it kept going away and coming back, and quite frankly I was getting a little upset.  Plus, I just wasn’t “feeling right” I decided to try another Dr, at the request of a friend.  Wow!  Ok, evidently I had some sort of bacterial infection.  From what?  I may never know.  Just a virus.  Non-contagious.  I just trust those, that know better than I, and since I do not have a degree in any sort of medicine/health, I decided to go with that.  Also, had some allergy testing done. Conclusion to that was that have a wheat allergy.  Ok, here’s the deal.  I am already Vegan, eating no meat, fish, poultry dairy, eggs, or anything coming from animals.  Butter, cream cheese, ranch dressing, sour cream, baked goods with eggs…nothing.  So wheat….wheat is quite a staple of mine.  Along with my fruits and veggies, I eat pastas, and breads, all containing, you guessed it, WHEAT.  Ok, this one took me a few days to digest.  I immediately went to searching wheat free meals, alternatives etc.  I don’t have a Gluten allergy, just wheat, which was nice because there are a lot of delicious other grains out there to work with.  Whew!  So, the past 2 weeks, I have been trying really hard to get off the wheat.  I guess I took for granted the fact that it creeps its way into everything.  Even my Vegan black bean burgers contain wheat.
Fast forward to last week.  Face is looking great, and Wednesday, I wake up with spots, like Chicken Pox under my arms, and on my thighs.  Seriously?  Seriously?!!
Thursday, rolls around and I am covered, from collarbone to the bottom of my feet.  Not itchy, just a GAZZILION “chicken pox-y” looking spots.  I am Googling rashes.  Measles, chicken pox, shingles, dengue fever (ok, I was just in Costa Rica for 3 weeks) however, I had no fever, no symptoms of anything, other than a million, gazillion non-itchy spots.  This was getting me down.  I was really feeling horrible.  My workouts ceased from Wed on, which really bums me out, and I was just in a bad place mentally.  I had kind of “had it!” at this point.  I go another doctor, per request of another friend.  Guess what he finds????  A strawberry allergy.  Kill me now!  I LOVE strawberries.  And all berries.  When testing with the 1st Dr, he went through the most “common” allergies, and didn’t touch on fruits.
I just wanted to cry.  And in my mind, I cannot comprehend, how, in all my life I have never had an allergy, and now….TWO, major allergies (well major to me) and…just all of a sudden!!  Although, four different Dr’s have confirmed that you can develop allergies to anything at any time.  Even to pets you have had for years.
Strawberries and wheat.
This story doesn’t end here.  Friday, I woke up, with even more spots and speckles, and was on the verge of tears…Greg, my sweet, sweet hubs (man this guy puts up with me…LOL) tells me to see one more Dr.  YES…I am the ever-doubting Thomas.  In my whole life, I have not seen so many Dr’s.  Just my regular check up, but other than that, Dr free! So off we go, to yet another.  He then refers me to a Dermatologist, because he tells me, “I have never seen anything like this” What the heck?  Dude…thanks for freaking me out even more.
Off to the Derm.  And this is where this gets funny…to me anyway.  He says,…”Oh, this is an allergy” Maybe to the massive quantities of strawberries I have consumed in the past weeks in my Vitamix (which is a WHOLE other blog) He tells me to lay off the strawberries….really, duh. And to take a Claritin. 
I am sorry Greg, that I have seen 40 doctors and have spent who knows how much $$ to confirm the allergies.  My bad!    

Saturday came, and my face looked fantastic, and my spots were disappearing.  I woke up feeling like I had a new lease on life.  Seriously!  Ask my running girlfriends.  We met Saturday morning for a much-needed 7-mile run in the sun, and I stepped out of my car, fist pumping, and ready to dance a jig.  Which I think I actually did!  I felt like the weight of the World (to me anyway) had been lifted.  I guess, never being sick with anything, and then having all of this at once, was a lot on me.
I ran on Saturday, and it felt glorious.  My legs stretching.  The sun shining.  The fresh air. The birds.  The beautiful lake.  The buzz of Ironman in the air.  The great company I have with the most Bitchen friends!
The strawberries, I am in mourning about.  They are my favorite fruit.  The wheat….I am working on, but doing pretty good.
I feel great today, and have a lot to be thankful for, and to look forward to.  Another awesome, sweaty run today.  For ALL of my leopard spots to be gone, for good.  For my homeschooling year to be close to an end (YAY Alli, you ROCK) and for our upcoming trip to San Francisco on June 2nd with friends for the Escape from Alcatraz Triathlon.  I am really looking forward to this.  San Francisco is one of my favorite cities, plus sometimes it just feels good to be back in my home state of CA.  Ironman Coeur d'Alene is close, and I cannot wait to cheer on all of my great friends this year.  Ironman Canada in August, and signing up for my first IM out of the country, and Kona…..oh Kona, and the Ironman World Championships, I cannot wait for you! (This will be our 1st time in Hawaii) Also, all of the fun races coming up this summer!!

Seems that when you rid yourself of allergies, and can open your eyes…things look pretty great!  HAHA!  I can live without a few (million) strawberries, I suppose!!  Sniff Sniff!

Gotta Go!  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

The Adventure of Motherhood

It is Mother’s Day today.  A day that is still surreal to me.  Bittersweet, full of smiling happy moments, shared joy and laughter, and great memories. 
Surreal, because it still blows me away that I still feel so young, and have 3 children.   Two GROWN children, and our Cub.
I always wonder when this feeling will go away?  Hello…I feel 20, so where did I get this almost 20-year old boy?  Enter Jeffrey into the World.  I still remember every single detail of his birth.  I was so young.  Scared out of my mind.  Wondering if I would even know “how” to be a mother.  What I soon realized was that as young as I was, that maternal instinct would just kick in when it needed to.  That this scared little girl that was barely my son’s age now, could and would grow this kid into the amazing young man that he is today.  Of course Greg had nothing to with it.  HAHA!
This precious baby boy, who is now on the verge of turning 20, has taught me as much about life as I did him.  Time flies.  And now this kid is all grown up, living on his own, will be finished with his first degree in 3 months and is the owner of his own marketing company.  What I learned from him was kindness, honesty, determination, calmness, a lot of laughter, and how to grow up when I needed to.  This tiny baby boy now towers over me, and hugs onto me, like I am the baby!  So proud of you Jeffrey.  
   Then came Mariah.  My sweet-faced little girl in pink.  She was so soft, and beautiful, and dainty.  I wanted her in bows and dresses, which she detested and soon told me, that she was “no girly-girl” She is athletic, and strong.  A lover of all things.  Even used to get on the ground to try and kiss spiders when she was young.  (I have pictures to prove it)  I learned that Mariah was going on her own path at a young age.  She didn’t want to be caged in.  She taught me what being strong-willed was all about!!!  When I see her, it’s like looking in a mirror.  My passionate, stubborn self, looking straight back into my eyes.  She is beautiful inside and out, has a brilliant mind, very free spirited and care- free.  She is SO caring, and so loving.  She has taught me to “not sweat the small stuff, and on occasion (many occasions) to pick my battles, and also patience, patience, patience.  She definitely took me on the ride of my life.  We have laughed into the wee hours of the night together.  And cried on one another’s shoulders.  She kept me on my toes, as a toddler, and certainly as a teenager, and now is growing into such an amazing adult.  She will be starting her 2nd year of college in the fall, and will be leaving home.  Not just moving out, but away.  This is where the heartbreak really begins for me as a Mother, because she has become one of my closest friends.  
And….our Cub.  Allegra.  Allegra means “Exuberantly cheerful” and she has lived up to her name.  Always smiling, always laughing.  She laughs and giggles about everything.  She is artistic, and creative.  Has a huge heart, and is extremely caring and sensitive.  As a baby, she was my “snuggly” and still is.  She showed me how relax, and see the World through the eyes of a child.  Watching her react to things, such as walking on the lawn for the 1st time was amazing.  Every day for Alli is an adventure.  She looks at life with great expectations and wonder.  She loves learning.  Traveling and seeing new cultures.  Trying new things.  Definitely has her own style, and doesn’t like “fitting into the box.”  She taught me to S L O W down, don’t rush the wonderful.  Look, try, and see new things.  To learn something new everyday. To be “fearless” which she tells me often.  She is huggy, and mushy!  Loves being the baby of our family, even though she is growing into an amazing young lady.  She is smart, and witty, and always ready to make someone laugh.  She is very goofy, and full of life.  A dreamer.  Adventurous.
    Motherhood may be one of the hardest things I have ever endured.  It has had its ups and downs, ins and outs.  It has changed every single fiber of my being.  It is waking up every day, going into the unknown, the uncharted territory, out of bounds and out on a limb.  It has stretched me to my limits.  I don’t know of another thing in this World that can make you so furious, rip your heart out, make you feel so vulnerable, bring you so much joy, but so many tears, make you stronger, feel more loved or bring you more joy, and laughter than motherhood.  It has been the most wonderful experience of my life.  I cannot imagine what my life would have been without my kids and what they have taught me.  I would never be the strong, courageous woman I am today, if not for them.  Each individual.  Unique.  Each a precious gem.

Always makin' me proud! HAHA!

~~I love, and am so blessed by you three, Jeff, Mariah and Allegra.  Thanks you, not only today, but every day for showing me what life is all about.  You have each breathed so much joy and greatness into my life. You have taught me unconditional love and how to laugh at myself.  I have adored every second of this journey we have been on together.  I love you.