Saturday, May 29, 2010

Blah Blah Blah, I'm back!

Ok, here's the deal:  Instead of blogging the last 6 months . . . I'm just going to start blogging now - and probably put the last six months directly into my BookSmart program and skip the blogging step.  If I don't just get up and going I might never start again so here's a quick rundown:
  • Worked full-time during tax season and it was great, we got to pay off a LOT of debt and pay for most of the repairs on our flooded, damaged house.  We worked on fixing our flooded, damaged house.
  • After finishing work I picked up a few jobs: watching my baby niece 40 hours a week, being the bookkeeper for a local dentist in town (4 hrs a week), our local newspaper asked me to teach their coupon-ing workshops every other week (4 hrs a month), the tax firm asked me to work on call or when I had some time (3 days in May), correcting standardized tests from home for the company that runs the ACT/SAT testing (during may I worked about 40 hours correcting Arizona 7th Grade writing exams for Voice, Sentence Structure, and Word Choice.  They asked me to score a math project in June for them as well).  Each of the part-time ones are very flexible and I basically choose my own hours and I can get paid fairly well.  The babysitting job, surprisingly, is the hardest job that I make the least amount of money on . . . and I've been struggling to adjust having a toddler in my house trashing it every day.  But it will come along.
  • Darik's summer school doesn't start until June so we're using May to do ALL of our home projects that need to be done because once school starts I don't want to worry about it any more.  Here are some of our latest projects:  installing new light fixtures, painting front door, pulling our kitchen out and painting the walls and tiling the floor, weeding and planting 2000 square feet of flower beds (again, this never ends, does it?), installing drip lines in said flower beds, installing drip lines in square foot garden boxes, planting garden, installing the finishing trip on our bathroom and finish painting, and there are just a FEW more items on our to do list before school starts.
  • It has been a rough go of it between Ellie and I and having a baby around.  If I cuddle the baby she gets mad that I didn't cuddle her.  etc. etc.  I think it's because I wasn't around when I was working full-time so she expected to get me back when I came home and now she has to share me.  We are having insane fights and power struggles EVERY day.  We are still looking for the right balance where we can both have the control we want, but it's so frustrating when I CAN'T do something with her because I have to change a diaper or something for the baby.  All of you moms out there have all been through this, I'm sure but we're just struggling here.
  • We had to put most of Ellie's 4T clothes away and bust out the 5T.  I almost cried!!
  • I turned on the radio to the classic rock station ready to change it because I"m not into that oldies rock . . . and there was Bon Jovi and Brian Adams.  Since when did my iPod Rock become Classic Rock??! When did I get old?  I mean I had my birthday and I'm not in my 30s yet, why am I listening to classic rock?
  • I took a photography workshop from a good friend that has taught me how to shoot in manual mode.  If any of you have a DSLR that you are still figuring out I highly recommend this.  It is a business my friend started with his friend (they are both professional photographers) and they will be running different workshops: learning manual mode, portraiture, sports, landscape, etc.  I'm really looking forward to a time in my life when I can actually "practice" photography and just spend an hour a day shooting.   {sigh}
  • During all of this I felt motivated to take the GMAT and apply to a few schools for my MBA.  If I finish at ISU I could get free tuition . . . so I studied (as much as I could, which was a paltry amount) and ended up scoring fairly well.  In fact it was on the lower end of the scale to get into Harvard!  I was pumped, if I actually tried I could get into a good school!  So I have BYU and UofU calling and asking me to apply, and then ISU called and offered me a Graduate Assistantship . . . which would have required 9 credits and 20 hrs working a week.  Tempting, but this is Ellie's last year home with me and I don't want to take away from that.  So I scaled back my plans and I'm just seeing where this goes - probably plan on taking 1 class per semester for now.
  • Also what happened was I have been gluten free for two weeks now. I have a brother-in-law that has actually had a lot of the same mysterious health problems I have had. He recently went gluten free and a lot of his problems have gone away.

    So I do a little research into it and see this symptom list: (mild) anemia, headaches, chronic fatigue, joint pain, muscle pain, depression, bone disease, (severe) dermatitis, reflux & cramps, gastrointestinal problems.

    I realized I have ALL of the mild symptoms and one severe symptom. Apparently it's recently been discovered that you can have gluten-intolerance WITHOUT having gastrointestinal problems. They call them "silent celiacs" and estimate 3-5 million people in the US may be living with this without knowing. This is a very new thing and I remember doctors asking me about if I had digestive issues and I've always said no so they always thought it couldn't be this. For years I've felt like I've had all of these mystery health problems that no one could explain - even last year I had 15 vials of blood tested at the doctor’s (a $2500 bill knocked down to $250 thanks to insurance) to figure it out and they were still clueless. Apparently “All of my levels are normal.”

    Anyways I'm going Gluten-Free for 1 month and I'll let you know how it goes. It sucks to pay so much for groceries but I'm so excited that I might have found out what's wrong with me. Two weeks into it and I'm feeling great, I feel I have more energy, although still battling a little depression with all the craziness!

    The hardest part is we used to have pizza/movie nights and I LOVE pizza crust. So I've been cooking the frozen pizzas we have left from coupon-ing and it's SO hard to not snitch. Also half of ice cream has gluten so it's hard not to snitch from Girl Scout Thin Mint IC sitting in my freezer! Most of the safe things to eat are more healthy for you anyway - so most of my meals are brown rice, big leafy salads, and meat. Thank goodness for Bountiful Baskets (produce co-op I help run in town). I also get a gluten-free baking mix that I can make bread, pizza crust, and pancakes with - because I LOVE MY CARBS!

    • We did take a week and went down to Vegas to watch my older bro Tony's three kids while they went on a week-long cruise. It was nice and WARM!!!! On my bday Darik took the kids most of the day (3 parks & McD's for lunch) so I could just lounge by the pool reading all day. It was fabulous. We had fun, we went to the shark reef and to the discovery museum. At the end of it I think, as much fun as we had swimming and babysitting, I think we would have preferred to be ON the cruise with a week of vacation instead of babysitting :-) We'll see about next time

    • Anyways, as life always goes, our summer is quickly filling up - and this year we have penciled in something we've been wanting to do for four years now. A trip back to Iowa! with Chicago thrown in. We'll see how it works out but I think right now we have the first week of August written down.

  • Kristine - out!


    1.! girlfriend, you are so busy, i don't know how you do it! no wonder you haven't been blogging lately. you're amazing. i hope everything goes well and i can't wait to hear more about the gluten-free diet. i just might have to try it myself!

    2. I'm so happy you're feeling better on the diet!! ...and I'm jealous you're going to Chicago - I LOVED visiting it while we lived out there:)

    3. Hey Kristine! I found out that I am gluten intolerant in January- I don't have it bad enough to be called Celiac Disease. I have suffered from the same symptoms you mentioned since my teen years and have suspected gluten and dairy intolerance for a long time. Now I stay away from gluten, dairy, and refined sugar and I feel great! Let me know if you want ideas or recipes. I have learned a lot about baking without gluten.

    4. Thanks for watching my babies so I can have fun! Maddy and Jake still talk about how much fun it was to have you guys here!

    5. Hey, I am interested in the photography thing. Give me some details. Maybe then I will be able to see you!