Sunday Night Check In

I’m tired. I’m REALLY tired. And I’m REALLY sick of winter – those winter blues are setting in hard core. I don’t think the temperature has been above 0 for a few weeks now here in Iowa.

Craig is exhausted, today he had to fix a broken busted pipe at the farm – he had to lay on the ground and fix it while water was still spraying with wind chills around -30 F – by the time he was done his coat had frozen to the ground.

The boys have hard core cabin fever and I can’t wait to kick them outside this Summer. Things have honestly just been tense in the house because we are all itching to get OUT OF THE HOUSE! We were going to go roller skating today but honestly it’s just so much work when it is this damn cold. Carver doesn’t have school tomorrow, I was going to take him to the fitness center and the pool but man. It. Is. Just. So. Dang. Cold.

Craig and I are laying on the couch here chatting – even if it warmed up to above 0 maybe we could even just go sledding for a bit. HOPEFULLY by Wednesday I think it is supposed to warm up. The more we spend time outside in the Summer like mountain biking or roller skating or going on walks or to the pool the harder it is in the winter when we are stuck inside.

Please keep in mind as well, while we are following out own precautions, we have all already had COVID, I’m fully vaccinated, and Iowa has completely lifted all restrictions.

Gannon is doing better – we had his follow up x-ray and he is CLEANED OUT! Check out the difference!

We used several enemas which was actually super easy – I’m not afraid to use those again. They were really effective and pretty painless.

When we were at the doctor Gannon was playing excavator 😂😂

On a lighter note, just a friendly reminder that I don’t choose the ads that pop up on my website – I saw this come up the other day on my site 😂😂😂

Anyway, thanks for reading, hopefully we can shake these winter blues. I hope you all had a wonderful Valentines day! We stopped and brought my mom a few truffles (she loves truffles) for Valentines day!

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Feta Baked PASTA!

Okay so there’s this trend going around on social media and I just had to try it! It’s so simple and so easy and OH MY GOSH I will for sure be making it again!

Here’s the recipe:

  • One block Feta cheese
  • Some cherry or grape tomatoes (I cut mine up)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Parsely
  • Spinach
  • Olive oil (be generous with this!)

Put it all in a pan like this:

Bake it for 45 minutes at 400 degrees and VIOLA! You have a delicious meatless dish! So flavorful, I had it for two meals in a row over some spaghetti squash!

While I’m in the recipe sharing mood (if you read often you know I hate typing out and sharing recipes and I’m really not great at it) I’ve fallen in love with spaghetti squash after I finally learned how to prepare it properly!

If you’re new to the land of spaghetti squash, here are a few tips that make it taste, well, less like a veggie and more like pasta!

  • Make sure it is DRY! I take a paper towel and soak up any extra moisture to make it more fluffy – no one like sopping wet spaghetti squash.
  • SEASON IT! I’m talking salt, pepper, Italian seasoning, and oregano! Veggies aren’t meant to be eaten plain!
  • Add parmesan cheese to the spaghetti squash! Don’t be afraid to season it some more!

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Gannon Update!!!

Today was an amazing day – we learned more about Gannon today than we have in a long time.

Gannon has not been back to his normal self in…a long time. There was COVID, then the 13 days of vomiting, then this week brought the worst, most painful bowel movements Gannon has ever had. He spent a full 24 hours either in the fetal position or screaming and straining to have a bowel movement or he was just so clingy and fussy – straining so hard his eyes rolled back in his head for a minute. It was the worst we have ever dealt with. Mom and I and Gannon were all crying. I had enough.

I called Iowa City and I called our old GI doctor at Milwaukee. Something has got to give after nearly a month of misery. Our Milwaukee doctor got back to me first – he told me several things:

  1. A normal genetic test does not rule out a connective tissue disorder. Up to 30% of kiddos with Ehlers Danlos Syndrome test negative for the condition.
  2. He is leaving Children’s of Wisconsin next week. He is going to launch a new motility practice (I think in Chicago) and we are welcome to see him there.
  3. Gannon needs an X-ray when he has trouble pooping. He needs an X-ray to see how backed up he is, then he needs to be aggressively “cleaned out” to give us a fresh start. Then he needs a follow up X-ray to confirm he is cleaned out. THEN start the bowel regime back up (Miralax BID and Senna daily). Give it a month, keep a diary of his poops and meds and symptoms. He recommend the clean out is done under close supervision and said if we lived closer he would bring Gannon into the hospital to do the clean out.
  4. If Gannon is STILL having problems, he needs to go to a motility specialist again. He needs to get Botox again, it needs time to work (2 weeks) and then he needs to be fully cleaned out again and have the anorectal manometry again to see if the Botox works. If it doesn’t work, Gannon needs to be referred on to either Nationwide in Columbus, Ohio or Boston Children’s hospital for a procedure called a manectomy. Only a handful of surgeons in the country are qualified to do this. Under anesthesia they make a cut in the internal anus. If they cut the muscle and not the anus, Gannon would be incontinent for the rest of his life. This is extremely risky and would be a last resort.

So we are super sad that he is leaving Milwaukee but we will likely follow him wherever he goes.

With that, I called our PCP to get an X-ray like he recommended- they said he has to have an appointment and we can’t just get an X-ray. Okay, fine. I questioned whether or not we even needed one because Gannon had gone several times since yesterday – figured he was starting to get cleaned out.

We saw my doctor who has never seen Gannon before but he was AWESOME and totally agreed with our GI doc’s plan. We got an X-ray.

Gannon is backed up to high heaven. HARD stool throughout the intestines – even with daily miralax, even with having several bowel movements, even with the stimulants. So much so, he offered us to be admitted to the hospital for a full clean out including enemas and an NG tube to give him fluids to make him go – attack from both ends.

I declined, as an ER nurse I’ve given plenty of enemas in my day. This was nothing new for me.

We learned so much about Gannon today – we have a plan. We now know we can’t rely on regular bowel movements to tell if Gannon is constipated. He will probably need regular X-rays and clean outs to make sure it doesn’t get to this extreme again. I feel validated. I feel like the power is back in my hands. I feel like it isn’t my fault.

While he isn’t vomiting anymore, that likely had something to do with this. I just know that I never ever want to go through what we witnessed yesterday again. That was so so hard to watch. It was terrible. I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy.

Is this all TMI? Probably. But in our house, poop is a very important subject. Nothing embarrassing about it. Might as well be telling you about a bum shoulder or a sore throat. We need to normalize it for Gannon.

Anyway, thanks for reading friends! Cheers to progress in management of Gannon’s constipation!

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The Truth About our Bathroom Remodel…

I’m always working to be as authentic as possible here and I think I may have been dishonest about our bathroom remodel. I’ve been sharing pictures like this:

I came to this realization when someone told me they were jealous of my bathroom remodel the other day. I laughed out loud! Who would be jealous of my bathroom remodel? Especially considering….

There is no trim…

There is no door…or decor….our guests cant even use our bathroom because there literally is no door.

There are no outlet covers…

Some of the pipes are exposed…

We have a wall with no texture and no paint…

and while I am so grateful to be able to start our bathroom remodel, it is nothing to be jealous or envious of.

I think this life lesson can apply to all social media – when you are feeling jealous or envious of someone or something, remember you are not always seeing the big picture.

We did cash flow this remodel so we are taking it slow. We will get there eventually, it will be finished some day but we are happy with the progress made so far. I would rather have a half done bathroom than a load of debt to go with it!

Thanks for reading friends!

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Friedman Family update!

Friedman Family update!

Gannon has been vomit free for 4 days now as we are tapering off of nausea meds. I so hope that rough patch is over now.

I’ve been working on a wild work stretch this last weekend so I’m thankful to be home and snuggled with the boys for the rest of the week.

Craig and I are actually going on a DATE on Friday night! I’m so excited! I’m not sure where we are going yet but there are a few new restaurants we want to try. Craig is a huge BBQ fan especially since we watch the American BBQ Showdown on Netflix so we will probably end up at a BBQ restaurant.

The boys have been doing this really strange thing. So growing up we had cheesy wheezys. A cheesy wheezy is a tortilla shell with shredded cheese and then microwaved and rolled up.

Gannon calls them “hot” because I always tell him to be careful because they are HOT after the microwave. He throws a huge fit every time I microwave them – I think it’s so funny when kids do that. Carver used to throw a fit when I warmed up his waffles too. Must be a two year old thing.

The weird part is, every time I make them a cheesy wheezy, they have to go in the living room and they do this:

Continue reading

Contagious.

I’ve been slacking on the blog posts lately – I’m not like my mom who is weeks ahead of schedule with plenty of posts. When I started blogging I would FORCE myself to blog and beat myself up if I missed a single day of posting. I’m definitley way more laid back about it now. I blog what I want, when I want, no pressure.

I also used to apologize to my readers every time I missed. I had one of my loyal readers (hey Elle) explain that there’s no need to start out each post with an apology, that people are just happy to hear from me when they do. So with that, HEY! and I’m NOT sorry I haven’t blogged much 😉

If you caught last week’s blog post about Craig and my workout mats, (you can read that here) I tell you what, that started a whole snowball effect. We’ve been trying to out do the other one ever since then – I went out of my way to buy him a Hardee’s mushroom and swiss and drop it off at work for him, (that’s his favorite), he went out of his way to sit down and read the boys a few books as soon as he got home from work while I made supper kid-free, I brought him home his favorite doughnuts, he scraped my car and filled up my tired after the big snow storm we had, it’s been back and forth trying to out do the other. The kindness is contagious.

This goes with a theory I’ve heard recently that kindness is a snowball effect. Good decisions influence more good decisions. Making a big frivolous purchase triggers the “well, if I can afford that, I can afford this too…” leading to more frivolous purchases. Paying off one debt gets you more excited to pay off another.

Ever wake up on the wrong side of the bed? Trip and stub your toe and spill your coffee on your way out the door? I feel like negativity is also contagious and causes more negativity.

Ever eat a cupcake? and then another cupcake? and then think “screw it, I blew it, might as well pour a glass of wine while I’m at it.” Then a glass of wine leads to two or three glasses. Before you know it you’ve polished off a bag of chips too.

But what if you woke up early and worked out. Then meditated. Then had a cup of coffee followed by a healthy breakfast. Would you be more or less likely to polish off a sleeve of oreoes after you’ve had a morning of healthy choices?

Ever have a ROUGH morning with the kids? Woke up late? Everyone is a little cranky, everyone is rushed, hustled and bustled out the door, it’s a cluster – doesn’t the rest of your day feel a little like that too?

I’ve just been noticing lately that actions are contagious. Smiles are contagious. Negativity is contagious. Anxiety is contagious. Acts of kindness are contagious. Complaining is contagious. So that lead me to this question: what are you spreading?

Thanks for reading, have a great day guys!

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