September 25, 2013

What's Cooking?

 What's Cooking?!? I have a lot on the burner both literally and figuratively! As many of you have noticed I have been preparing new recipes like a crazy woman lately. I know half of you don't give a rats ass about what I feed my family but it gives me something GOOD to share with my friends and family instead of the typical "unhappy" news of what's going on with Brody's health. Recently I decided to share my foodie posts on my social media outlets because I want to discuss happy things and possibly inspire others to try new and creative choices for dinner. I mean, seriously, who doesn't love food?? And most importantly....great food makes people happy! I don't do it to "toot my own horn" or brag about my cooking abilities; I honestly have been so inspired by the recipes I've found on Pinterest and that I want to share them! Cooking for me is also very therapeutic. I can get into my kitchen and forget all of my worries and just throw myself into a recipe that I know my family will enjoy eating. It makes me happy to make something for them that they are going to love eating! With this new cooking kick I have been on we have had some pretty amazing meals the past 2 weeks and they have been relatively inexpensive! I have also learned a lot more about how important flavors are to certain dishes and what compliments my main/side dishes. It has been a really fun experience that has been highly beneficial to my family because they've had full bellies for a couple of weeks now. I must say that I haven't grown bored with the whole cooking thing so this may actually last  a while! I also need all the therapy I can get these days so why not spend it in my kitchen being production?!

As far as Brody and his health is concerned everything is the same. He has good days and bad days. It's become pretty clear that participating in recess at school really runs him down to a point that isn't healthy. On the days where we have allowed him to stay for recess he has came home and has literally crashed and burned for that evening. On those particular days he lays around on the couch and usually winds up getting sick. He doesn't tolerate the heat well at all and looks like he is seconds away from a heat stroke when he's done with recess. When he is home we have to keep him on his pump so he's pretty much confined to the living room so when he's allowed to play he's at mach speed. The other day he asked me if I was picking him up early from school (so he misses recess) and I had told him I was and then he uttered words that ; "Mommy, why do I have to be different?". Oh my God how I wanted to stop the car and just hug him! Through this entire process I have never wanted him to feel "different" and for him to even say that broke me. How do I answer that? Once the weather cools off we will try letting him participate in recess again but until then he can either stay at school and participate in a music class with a younger class or I can pick him up. It's not the most ideal situation but it is what it is and we have to do what is best and the healthiest for him. We do have an appointment with the Neurologist in early October to discuss Mitochondrial Disease and what direction we will go in with that diagnosis. Until then we are just taking it one day at a time and trying to roll with the punches.

Victoria is busy as always with school and band; she has something to do every day of the school week except Wednesday (the Deep South shuts down on Wednesday evenings for Church). It's kind of weird that she is driving now but it does make things so much easier when it comes to practices after school and errands she needs to run. I must say it's also nice that she has her license and comes in handy when I need her to run to the store for me! Right now she is more than happy to go but I am sure the "newness" of that will quickly wear off but until it does I will take advantage of it. It's that time of year again for the Homecoming dance and as of right now she doesn't have a date but I am sure that will change! She has a dress already picked out so I am planning on ordering it this weekend. It's one of the cheapest dresses she has chosen so I can't complain! Vic has also been on a cupcake baking binge and it's paid off because one of her old classmates wants her to bake 50 cupcakes for her baby shower. Yes, I said a baby shower, don't ask. Anyhoo, it's extra money for Victoria and she gets to do something she enjoys so what more can you ask for. We have also talked to Vic about getting a part-time job so she can earn extra spending cash for those little things she wants here and there. She doesn't have a lot of time but she does have some hours she could put in on the weekends; especially with the holidays coming up she should be able to make some good money. I also think this will help with her communication skills and learning responsibility outside of her chores at home (which is just the dishwasher and cleaning up after dinner -- pretty easy if you ask me!). It's hard to believe she is in her Junior year of High School....where has time gone???

We have a new family member!! We adopted another Russian Blue from our local humane society. He's a 6 month old spit fire named "Church". We didn't name him but he has been called that for months so we decided to stick with it. He is such a sweet little guy who is full of energy! We decided to get another cat after our other Russian Blue, Caesar, acted like he wanted a playmate. We have a neighborhood cat that we feed on the front porch and whenever it would come up Caesar would go nuts. He would purr, chirp, roll over and basically beg for the other cat to pay attention to him. He does the same thing with our dogs -- he just wants a friend. Mike is totally not a cat person but he does love the Russian Blue breed so when I found one we could adopt he agreed. Of course I was happy because I would have a farm full of animals if I could so I wasted no time in getting down to the shelter to claim him! Caesar was a little standoffish at first but he's coming around. As much as he would hate for us to "think" he likes Church, he does. They play all the time and follow each other around the house. They sleep together and eat together; it's pretty cute to watch. I have nicknamed them Big Bit and Little Bit. The Russian Blue breed is such a joy because they are like little dogs. They love their owners and are always trying to please you. They are also very attentive to your emotions and react accordingly. If you are sad or need cheering up they are snuggled up beside of you and if you are joking around they are sure to be clowning around with you. I think I like this breed the best because they are a lot like dogs because unlike most cats, they "need" you and aren't as independent as most cats.  The craziest thing is that Mike hated cats when we first got together and now he baby talks them and they are constantly following him around the house and sleeping on his side of the bed!

As for me, I am just taking it day by day. I have a lot of people ask me "How are you doing?" and honestly I have good days and bad days. I can't really say that my depression or anxiety is any worse; it's just worry, frustration and exhaustion. Maybe that is part of depression and anxiety but I do worry a lot about Brody and that keeps me physically and mentally exhausted. I keep asking myself was there something I did that could have possibly triggered his illness. I worry that he will never get off his feeding pump and eat like a normal human being. I get angry that he can't eat without getting sick and it makes me furious he has limitations when it comes to normal things a 5 year old should be doing (like recess without issues) but it's all out of my hands. I have to learn to "let go and let God" but that is hard when you are a control freak! I am trying very hard to not let his illness dictate my life but when you go to sleep and wake up every morning to the sound of his feeding machine running it's a constant reminder that our life is anything but "normal". I have thrown myself back into volunteering with the Alzheimer's Outreach program while Brody is in school and that is truly a blessing. It gives me an outlet and allows me to do something fun and positive. Like I have already blogged, I have been back in the kitchen and that has been entirely too much fun! I look forward to prepping dinner because I get alone (for the most part) time while being able to be creative and productive. That's a win/win if you ask me! Mike and I still try to do a date night each week so that is always a welcome break but we still desperately need a vacation together sans the kids! I'm really trying to focus on the good things in my life because I do have a lot of blessings. And as much as I can't believe it; Brody's illness has been a blessing. It has taught me a lot about myself and has shown me how strong our family really is.

Well, I think I have yapped's time to start dinner :)


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