Christmas Just Wasn’t The Same

My mom was diagnosed with ALS. She is dying, and I am her main caregiver, along with my dad and sister.

This story is hers to tell but she can no longer do that. ALS is taking everything she has, including her voice.  So I am giving everything I have to her. I may at times sound selfish but the reality is that she gets everything I have and nothing is left over at the end of the day. This story is hers to tell but I’m going to tell it instead.

In mid November 2018 (less than a year before this post) my mom got sick. She came down with a high fever and weakness all over her body. Cold sweats, freezing but hot to the touch, couldn’t stand on her own, couldn’t keep her balance. She stuck it out and felt better after a day or 2 in bed.

1-2 weeks later my mom got sick again. The same kind of sick but worse than the first time. After a day of this fever, we brought her to the hospital because she could not stand or walk on her own. They diagnosed her with a severe bladder infection and possible lung infection.

After some meds, she felt better but her left leg was still weak and she would lose her balance often. She got tests on her lungs and bladder and all came back well and good after antibiotics.

A month or so goes by and the weakness in her leg and her balance kept getting worse but she pushed through. She was such a champ. We went on with life as usual. Hanging out, playing with our new pupper, Christmas was around the corner! But the Christmas spirit just wasn’t there for our family. We knew something was very wrong.

We couldn’t muster the energy or spirit to decorate, bake our traditional Christmas cookies, or even get my mom to go shopping. These were my mom’s usual things to do at Christmas. She loved this time of year and would set up our Christmas tree with lights and we would all decorate it together, she would put silly decorations everywhere, and get the lights and scenes put up outside. Every year of my life, we have decorated the Christmas tree as a family. That didn’t happen this past Christmas.

I put the tree up myself, strung the lights myself, and helped my daughter to decorate the tree just her and I. I didn’t put up my Christmas village, or extra lights outside. I didn’t wrap the banisters with ribbon or tinsel or bulbs. I didn’t put our wreaths on the doors or Santa pictures on the walls. I didn’t put the star on top of the tree. I didn’t put THE STAR ON TOP OF THE TREE!

Something was wrong but we didn’t know what. By early to mid December my mom’s leg was beginning to drag just a little bit and she was dizzy often. She said it felt like her leg was just not connected to her body, it just wouldn’t listen to what her brain told it to do. She would hold on to things if she needed steadying, but you could tell the dizziness made her tired. The doctors were convinced that she had vertigo. A really bad case of it, but vertigo none the less.

Let me tell you, that vertigo is no where near what was wrong with my mom. But it would take us another 6 months, lots of fighting with doctors, a 3 month hospital stay, and time away from our family, to find out exactly what was happening with our mother.

(to be continued)

 

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Its Been a Minute

Hello WordPress world!!

Wow it’s been a minute.

Recently, a good friend of mine told me that I need to start writing again. My life has been flipped upside down and I just don’t know which way is up anymore. So with her great advice of “it will help you” here I am, beginning over.

This post, or even the rest of my blog, may not be about ‘fitness’ or getting healthy or anything in particular. I am just going to write what I need to write, for myself. If it inspires people, cool. If it doesn’t and everyone hates it, that’s cool too.

Newest update on my life?

My daughter is 11. She has been diagnosed with Sensory Processing Disorder.

We got a pupper that I am training to be her service doggo.

My mom is dying, quickly. She was diagnosed with ALS a few months ago. They do not think she will stay with us very much longer.

I am taking a leave of absence from my job to take care of her.

I am not working out. Or eating right. And I don’t care at this moment in my life.

I’m bitter and resentful and completely lost in life.

I am still me.

Stand Up For Yourself-Even If Nobody Is On Your Side

So we all know how mean kids can be right? Calling names, ignoring people, telling other kids that they don’t want to play with them. You get the idea.

My daughter takes all of those things right to heart. Even raising your voice totally overwhelms her. She has been having a hard time lately with kids in her school and daycare being mean. I get that most kids have their moments, call someone a name or do something that may hurt someone else, but I also think that everyone has a right to their own feelings and body. Everyone also has a right to stand up for those feelings and their body or personal space whenever someone is infringing upon it. So now let me tell you how the last 2 days have gone in our house.

Yesterday morning I picked out my daughter’s clothes for her and asked her to get dressed. The first pair of pants that I picked out for her were too small (no big deal), “Here are your favourite jogging pants instead” I said to her. She looked at them and broke down in tears. “I can’t wear those! They make me look FAT and STUPID”.

EXCUSE ME? First of all, let me point out, that we do not use the word FAT in our house (in my blog yes I do, but not in spoken word). I grew up with body image issues. I know what that one word can do to a little girl, even when said indirectly. Even as I am working on my fitness I do not say that I am trying to lose weight or I think I’m fat etc. I say that I am trying to become healthier and stronger.

So I asked her, “What do you mean they make you look fat and stupid? They are your favourite. Your look great in them, you feel good in them. Who made you think those mean things about yourself?” Well apparently, the last time that she wore these particular pants, a girl at daycare told her that those pants made her look fat and it was a stupid outfit that she wearing. My daughter, being herself, did not say anything back to this girl or stand up for herself at all. She just was sad about it. After a bit of coaxing she ended up wearing those pants confidently with the attitude that if this ‘mean girl’ says something again my daughter would tell her that she was being rude and basically to get lost lol

Now onto last night. My daughter came home from school and told me that something had ‘happened’ to her at recess today. Apparently, while playing with a small group of kids, one of the boys asked her to take a look at something. She didn’t want to so he decided to force her head against the fence and hold her there until she looked. No teacher saw, no one did anything, including my daughter. She said she cried because it hurt and told him to quit but he didn’t.

Honestly, I lost my shit at this point. Not going to lie. Seriously? WTF?

So my best parenting advice came out at this point. I told my daughter that if anyone EVER does this to her again…to punch them. I told her that if anyone touches a part of her body without her permission to kick their ass. Lay them out. Push, punch, kick. Whatever you have to do to protect your own body. That is YOUR body and YOUR personal space. NOONE is allowed to enter it without your permission.

She was scared of getting into trouble at school but I reassured her that if that happened she would be ok at home. Obviously I stressed that we do not START fights. We do not hit because we don’t like someone or something or just for no reason. That is important. But as a child, as a girl, she has every right to protect herself.

Do I regret giving her this advice? HELL NO. It’s the truth! Everyone has a right to their own feelings and their own bodies. Do I hope that she punches someone? Not necessarily. But I hope that she does learn to stand up for herself one day. We all have to protect ourselves, no one else will.

 

Confidence Is Key

Self Confidence

Who would have thought, over a year ago, I would feel this good?

It is crazy to believe that when I started this journey I actually felt like crap. Physically and mentally.

A year ago I was always down on myself. I felt ugly and fat and uncomfortable in my own skin. I felt like none of my clothes fit properly and that everyone judged me on how big I was. I was SUPER quiet and introverted when out without my best friends. I couldn’t make it up the stairs at work without getting out of breath. My blood sugars were out of control! I really felt like I was going nowhere in this life of mine.

It is crazy what a year and a half can do. My confidence is at an all time high and I feel great, physically. I actually take selfies and LOVE the way I look. I know its not all about how I look but in all reality, the way I felt about my body totally brought me down. Not saying that I don’t still have those days, everyone does, but they are fewer and farther between. I rely on my girlfriends, in those low times, to help me remember where I have been and where I am going.

What really made me want to write this post was my Zumba class. Zumba is fast paced and you are constantly moving. Shaking your hips, squatting, skipping, jumping, among other things. It is hard but it is SO FUN. When I first started this class I could barely make it through. I did a totally modified version because the jumping and fast paced moves seemed totally impossible. At that time, they were impossible. It HURT to jump, it hurt to do a million calf raise dances, and it sucked! I could not get my body to do what I wanted.

Anyways, in time (AKA a year and a half later), I have built up my stamina, my strength and my stability. I’ve been able to make it through classes without needing to sit out for half of the songs. I am now able to make it through all of the songs in a class and put WAY MORE effort into them. I have even been able to do a lot of the jumping moves that I thought would always be impossible. I still cannot do all of the jumping for the whole class. I still sometimes take 1 song to sit out if I am absolutely winded. I still slack sometimes when I feel like crap. But all of those things are ok because I know that I CAN do it. I AM doing it.

You need to know that the key to a successful fitness journey is not being able to workout hard and for long periods of time. It is not going to the gym and being able to run for an hour on the treadmill or lift 50lb weights or complete an ENTIRE Zumba class. The key to a successful fitness journey is to begin. Begin and keep going no matter how little you can do at first. When I first started with T25 I could only do about 15 minutes before I felt like I wanted to puke. So I did as much as I could and then I stopped and I didn’t feel bad about it because I did SOMETHING.

Just start with something little. Go for a walk, do a 10 minute workout from you tube, take as many breaks as you need to but keep going!

I may not be anywhere near where I want to be. I am not yet be close to my long term goals. I have had set backs but I keep on going and one day I will get there!

This is my Journey ❤

 

Meal Prep Monday- Our New Breakfast FAVE!

 

 

 

Our new breakfast favourite

I know that I have already posted many breakfast recipes but I just cant help it! Breakfast is my absolute favourite, especially when it is something warm and flavourful. MMM.

So I have a new breakfast favourite and wouldn’t you know it…my daughter LOVES them too. Like refuses to eat anything else (I think I may have created a breakfast monster).

Instead of just plain hard boiled eggs or even egg muffins or peanut butter melba toast that I have been eating previously, I decided to make Lentil and Egg Breakfast Burritos. They are SO versatile, can be made with healthy alternatives and WHO doesn’t love a burrito of any kind?? The lentils add the extra protein that you need and will keep you full and it covers that craving for meat and that I get at breakfast time.

Another reason that I love these Breakfast Burritos is that you can freeze them! This makes it easy to grab them out of the freezer the night before and they are ready for you in the morning. Grab N Go! I made a big batch so we are good to go all week, into next week.

I have made them twice now and I will include both variations just for an idea of how to change it up!

Ingredients:

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This is only about 1/4 of the burrito left after I started eating it lol

 

  • 8 12” Tortillas OR 12 6” tortillas (I used whole wheat)
  • 10 eggs
  • 1tsp oregano
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped small
  • 1 onion, chopped small
  • 1 zucchinni, chopped small
  • 1 cup lentils uncooked or about 2 cups lentils cooked
  • 1tsp Olive oil
  • S&P to taste

Directions:

  1. Cook 1 cup of lentils (follow package directions) or use canned.
  2. Let lentils cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium high heat.
  4. Cook onion until starting to turn translucent, about 3 minutes.
  5. Add your pepper and zucchini and cook until soft, about 5 minutes (this is where you could use your variations).
  6. While your veggies cook, scramble your eggs and oregano. Normally you would add water or milk to scramble eggs but I don’t because I find it gets too watery when you re-heat your burrito later.
  7. Once veggies are cooked, add in your scrambled eggs AND lentils
  8. Scramble until eggs are cooked through. I sometimes will use a lid if the eggs are not cooking as quickly as I would like.
  9. Once everything is finished cooking let it all cool. Shred your cheese while you wait.

Building Your Burritos

  1. Lay out your tortillas
  2. Place about 3-4 rounded table spoons of egg mixture onto the tortilla
  3. Add a pinch of cheese
  4. Roll them up. I use the fold two sides in, then fold down the top and fold the bottom up. But whatever works best for you so that all of your ‘stuff’ stays INSIDE the burrito.
  5. Wrap them with saran wrap and either put them in the fridge or (if you won’t be eating them all right away) put them ALL in a Ziploc freezer bag and put them in the freezer.
  6. Take a frozen burrito out the day before you want it or you can heat from frozen. I usually do about 30 seconds per side for my thawed burritos, add an extra 30ish seconds for a frozen one!

Variations I have used besides this recipe include: red peppers and mushrooms with cheddar and feta cheese, spinach and mushroom with mozzarella cheese. Throw in whatever veggies you love to eat and I am sure it will be good!

Let me know if you try this and what you think. Or if you have any tried and true meal prep recipes that can be FROZEN let me know that too!

ADHD Life-A bad day

This is an older post that I wrote on a bad day. At the time I had decided not to post it because…*what would people think?!* But if you have read my blog, then you know that I try to be honest…sometimes to a fault.

I am going to post this today because well, I cannot be the only mother who has ever felt this way at one time or another.  This is not a constant feeling, it was just a feeling in the moment. This does not make me a bad mom, it makes me a REAL mom. A real PERSON.

A Bad Day

As I sit at the dinner table all by myself, tears falling into my untouched plate of food, I wonder if anyone else has ever had a moment where they hate their child?

It sounds so awful. I cried just thinking it. But I have had moments, like right now, where I have hated my daughter.

Maybe it is not hate towards her, maybe it is hate towards the life that we live or the way that we have to behave or the uncontrollable screaming and name calling that is coming from the other room.

It only lasts a few minutes. I should be able to handle it. But when your child is calling you an awful mother, screaming it at you with such venom, saying they don’t want to live because you are so awful, over and over, it is hard to keep your composure.

When we have a good day, it is SO GOOD. When we have a bad day, it is SO BAD. Sometimes it only affects the time that the ‘BAD’ takes place but a lot of time it puts tension on the entire day and it is so hard to shake it off.

Patience mommies…patience. It will get better.

-3rd Generation Mommy

Meal Prep Monday-Chicken Fajita Bowls

wp-1473704957978.jpgOk I know its Tuesday BUT I was busy yesterday so you get this post today instead!

I LOVE Buddah Bowls…or anything that can be mixed into a big bowl of goodness. That is what inspired this dish and my Meal Prep for this week and let me tell you…these were AMAZING! I actually did NOT get sick of eating this AND I was sad when I had eaten them all. That’s saying something after eating them for 4 days in a row haha.

For breakfast I had 1 package of melba toasts with 2tbs of peanut butter spread between them and a piece of fruit, usually an apple or orange. The melba toast and peanut butter gave me the carb and protein that I need and the fruit is great for giving me a little more fiber and carb as well as balancing my meal and keeping me full longer. For lunch I had my Chicken Fajita Buddah bowls.

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I had enough fixins left over for another bowl (minus the chicken) so I added 1/2 an avacado instead. YUMMO!

Ingredients:

  • 3 boneless-skinless chicken breasts
  • 1tsp Mrs. Dash Southwest seasoning
  • 1 jar salsa (I like mild but you can use whatever you want)
  • 1 LARGE red onion sliced in skinny strips
  • 2 bell peppers sliced in skinny strips
  • 3 cups (uncooked) Tru Roots Sprouted Rice and Quinoa blend
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • Shredded cheddar cheese
  • Cilantro
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Cooking spray
  • 4 bowls or containers that can be put into the microwave to re-heat!

Instructions:

  1. Pre-heat oven to 400F or 200C
  2. Spray sheet pan with cooking spray and lay the chicken breast in the middle with the sliced peppers on one side and the onion on the other
  3. Sprinkle Mrs. Dash Southwest seasoning on both sides of chicken (add any other spices you may want) and salt and pepper on everything, including peppers and onion.
  4. Pour salsa, evenly, over the chicken breasts.
  5. Bake in the oven until the chicken is cooked through (about 25 minutes).
  6. While the chicken cooks, make your quinoa blend by following the directions on the package.
  7. Once everything is cooked start layering all of the items together in containers!
  8. To layer I start with my quinoa blend (1 cup) in each of the 4 bowls.
  9. Put ¼ cup of corn into each bowl on top of the quinoa.
  10. Divide peppers and onions evenly between the bowls and put them beside the corn.
  11. Then I slice up my chicken and divide that into the bowls.
  12. Top with a pinch of cheddar cheese and cilantro (optional).

These will keep for 4-5 days in the refrigerator so stack them up and grab 1 on your way out the door!

I feel like this looks like a lot of steps but I promise its not and it is SUPER easy! Like the easiest recipe I have made while meal prepping! Only 1 pan and 1 pot are used to make the WHOLE THING! You cannot beat that lol

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Finished product!!

Are you doing any awesome meal preps? Please share! I am always looking for new ideas 🙂

Step Goal Schmep Goal

Finally some good news… I hit my 10,000 step goal 3 days in a row this weekend. I even surpassed it on Saturday getting in a whopping 13,266 steps! WOOHOO

Now to get real. Talking to a girlfriend yesterday I told her that I felt like 10,000 steps is really unrealistic for me. It will take me hours after work to get these steps in…hours that I honestly do not have at the moment. So she suggested maybe a smaller goal to start off with instead of such a big one that I don’t feel great about. So that is exactly what I am going to do. I will start a little smaller and once I am hitting that goal on a regular basis THEN I will up the goal again until I reach the final goal of 10,000 steps. Does that make sense?

Trying to hit that 10,000 step goal has stressed me out every day and made me feel like a failure. And feeling like a failure is not something I do well.

On a normal day I reach an average of 4,000-5,000 (at the MOST) steps. I am changing my goal to 6,000 steps every day this week. I think that this is a little more realistic for me and hopefully will help me to accomplish something and start getting back into the grind. I need to be doing things that make me food GOOD about myself and not think negatively. I definitely think this will push me in the right direction. Plus..the turtle won the race didn’t he? Lol

I did get back on the Meal Prepping wagon this week and killed it with my lunches and snacks. I also got all the meal prepping done for my daughter’s lunches too, as she heads back to school on her first day of Grade 4 this morning. My meal prep included lower carb and higher protein lunches and breakfasts but I will do another post on that soon!

I also joined a new challenge group! If you have read my blog before, then you know how much I love a good challenge group :D. This challenge group is a bit different than the others though. It’s different because while it is a fitness based challenge group, it is aactually a group that is only for diabetics. Specifically Type 1 Diabetics like ME!

This is amazing because there are NO other groups like this. It is focused on helping you figure out how your body and blood sugars react to certain workouts and how to deal with them so that you can complete a really GOOD workout without worrying as much about blood sugar crashes or spikes. They post workouts 3 days a week and have really great healthy recipes that I will definitely be trying. They have diabetes related challenges every day as well.

I am feeling really excited about this, as well as conquering my meal prep this week, so I would say that I am on the road to success! Even if that road has a few bumps or turns that I have to navigate.

P.S.

We got to have a little fun this long weekend as well. Spent some time riding all the crazy rides at our hometown fair ❤ She loves her carnival rides…me? not so much lol

 

Mother-Daughter Trip to Toronto

My summer, so far, has been really wonderful. I work a lot and I don’t get to spend as much time with my daughter as I would like to. So we carved out special time to go on a few vacations. One being our very first time going on a trip ALONE, just the two of us.

For our Mother-Daughter trip we decided to go to Toronto. Only a few (4) hours away from home, but we had been talking about this trip for close to 2 years. All of the fun attractions we would get to go to, the amazing sights we would see, and of course all of the shopping that we would do. And trust me…we did them ALL! Going into it I was really nervous about how my daughter would react to the noise and total chaos that is Toronto (remember her issues with change in setting etc). Honestly though, I was totally surprised by her grown up attitude and the fact that she literally had ZERO break downs the entire trip. Sadly, I cannot say the same for myself lol

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Our first subway ride #UnionStation

We had a lot of firsts (for both of us) on this trip. First time travelling alone, first time going to the CN Tower!! (WHAT?), first time riding the subway, first time at the aquarium. It was all amazing and we got to do all of these firsts together!

Our first day was The CN Tower and Ripley’s Aquarium. This was honestly the day that I worried about Brook’s reactions the most because  we were taking the subway, there would be a ton of walking and it would be super busy, and I just didn’t know what to expect. Brook’s reaction was not the one to worry about though because she did amazing, staying calm and keeping it together. I, on the other hand, did not keep it together. Before we left the hotel I

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CN Tower fun

had a panic attack. We almost didn’t go out. But after talking to my cousin (he lives in Toronto and gave me some direction) I got my bearings and we headed out. It was all about me not being able to take full control of our surroundings but my daughter and I empowered ourselves that day and it felt incredible.

We ended up having the MOST amazing day that day. It was actually my favourite day of the entire trip. Brook’s reaction to seeing the CN Tower was priceless. And the endless fish tanks at the aquarium, with a million different things to learn about, had us busy for a few hours.

We spent the next day at The Ontario Science Centre. It took us 5 hours and about 12,000 steps to get through it but we honestly loved every second of it. They had a Ripley’s Believe It Or Not exhibit that was pretty impressive and my daughter is all about science and experiments so it was the perfect place to spend the day.

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AMERICAN GIRL #lookatthatface

The third day was spent shopping. We found out before leaving for Toronto that it has one of the only American Girl Doll stores in Canada. Well my daughter is ALL about AG. Obsessed! So this was an obvious stop on our trip and I set money aside just for this moment. The excitement that radiated from her all the way there and then the smile that was PLASTERED on her face from the moment we saw that iconic red sign until she fell asleep that night. Lets just say these moments will be something we both hold onto for years to come.

Our entire trip I reminded myself (and my daughter) that we were here to have fun. There was no rushing aloud. We decided that if we didn’t make it to a certain place one day, we would just go the next day. We took our time getting to and from each place, exploring everything along the way and just taking in the scenery! Taking time to ‘smell the roses’ if you will.

Our trip together was part of building our Mother-Daughter bond.  It was quite amazing learning things about my daughter that I didn’t know before. Seeing how much of a young lady she is becoming before my eyes. Seeing how strong she really is. Seeing how she struggles but is learning to manage her emotions and reactions that come with the territory. I am happy to report that the trip was eye-opening and definitely brought us closer together.

As for the rest of the trip I will let the pictures speak for themselves 🙂

Life With My Daughter-Changing Plans and ADHD

You have heard me talk about my daughter’s ADHD and the yet to be diagnosed, “learning disorder” that affects her ability to cope with changes, deal with her emotions and regulate the way she handles responses to external stimuli.  Going to new places, trying new things, doing regular family stuff that involves being out in public or just around people in general (even our own family) and any kind of quick change of plans or change in routine…we do all of those things differently than most. We introduce things slowly. Brook has to be mentally prepared for pretty much anything that we do. We plan things well in advance in order to give her the best shot of being able to enjoy herself.

For instance at the beginning of each school year we go in the week before school starts so that she can be prepared and will know where her new desk is, where her new locker is, what the new teacher’s routine is. When having a family party we have to start talking about it weeks in advance, explaining that there will be lots of people in our home, it will be crowded, noisey, she has to use her manners and if she gets over whelmed to tell us and take a break in her bedroom with the door shut. The extra planning doesn’t always help. When we had her First Communion last year she was excited to have all of these people over and have a party, until the last second before we left for the church, when she started crying and yelling and asking us to cancel the party…she wasn’t going to First Communion at all! But for the most part planning helps.

I’ll give you two examples of what happens when we dont plan, or when we do plan but the plans change.

Example 1) Going to her friend’s birthday party at a family fun center. We talked to the mom and she told us exactly what we would be doing in the order that we would be doing them in (I love parents that are totally open to helping make experiences for Brook so much more enjoyable), I explained to my daughter what each activity was and how she would play it. We get there, everything is fun, she is having a great time but then the one activity that we were supposed to do (laser tag) was not working so we had to do bumper cars instead. She had a melt down. She was prepared for laser tag and not bumper cars. She could not wrap her head around the change until I explained to her exactly what she would do, from walking to the bumper car, getting in, and driving it around. I had to have her watch the other kids so that she could see how the cars were used. She eventually went on and had a great time (YAY) but the before was the struggle.

Example 2) Right after we learned that my daughter has this disability (whatever it is) but before we had learned anything about it, we planned a trip to Disney World. Every kid’s dream right? We made it a surprise for her…you can only imagine how that turned out! She was miserable for the first 2 days as she acclimatized herself to the new surroundings. She cried, whined, wants to go home, did not want to leave the hotel room…for 3 days! It was awful. I thought I had made the biggest mistake of my life. She eventually came around, got used to the crowds and the different setting and had a great time, but those first 3 days were brutal.

This is just a glimpse into our life. Everyone’s experiences are different. Everyone has their own opinions. These are mine.

3rd Generation Mommy