Friday, August 9, 2019

7 Quick Takes about Taking the Circus to the Doctor, Paleo Puffs, and Things I Really Shouldn't Think About If I Want to Remain Conscious

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


People always say kids complain about dinner and we do get our share of that around here, but the other day I was cooking and the 5-year-old asked what we were having for dinner.

When I answered, he shrieked, "That's the favorite food I love in my LIFE!"

Unfortunately, I can't remember what the food was so that'll probably never happen again.


Two of our kids are on a gluten-free, dairy-free diet right now. Because of a variety of issues we're starting to suspect they're allergic or intolerant to something they've been eating, and those two things seemed like the most likely culprits to start with.

My plan is to eliminate dairy and gluten for two weeks, then reintroduce them one at a time to see if it makes a difference in how they feel.

The 5-year-old is tolerating this new diet really well, but the 7-year-old is utterly miserable. She mopes around moaning about the food she can't have and probably goes to her room and writes angsty poetry about it when I'm not looking. It kills me to see her so sad, but every time someone else in the family has a food she can't I tell her, "I'll get you that after this two weeks is over."

At this point I've promised her approximately 2,304 things. We may have to take out a second mortgage.


I often try to bundle my kids' doctor/dentist appointments as a time-saving strategy, but sometimes it turns out to be more trouble than it's worth.

Scheduling my three oldest kids' physicals back-to-back sounded like a good idea at the time, but in actuality it was a terrible one.

First of all, the three oldest are my three babysitters, so duh, it meant that the three littles needed to come along.

Also, we couldn't just do everyone's physical together in the same room like when they were younger because they're old enough to want privacy.

So we were there for over an hour, me hopping from one exam room to the next with various children while the little kids waited in the waiting room with whoever wasn't seeing the doctor. (And even then, one of the receptionists came to get me to take a preschooler to the bathroom.)

But it's not all stress and chaos. The next day we were running late for a kids' show/concert thing, but no problem. I dropped them at the curb a few blocks away, assigned the two big kids to partner with the little kids, and told the middle two to go save us some seats while I parked the car.

That would have gone so differently if I had fewer kids and I was trying to maneuver a gigantic double stroller through the parking garage while the toddler tried to run into traffic and the baby threw his pacifier on the ground 57 times.

Compared to that, life with a half-dozen kids is downright easy sometimes.


They were handing out snacks at the beginning of the show, and my 7-year-old asked me to open hers.

"Wait, is there milk or gluten in this?" I asked.

"No," she said, "the bag says 'no soy, no gluten, no dairy, no eggs-'" and seeing me struggling to tear open the bag, she added, "No opening..."

I have no idea what these could be made of.

My 15-year-old wasn't impressed, but maybe that's because of the two snack choices she opted for the Paleo Puffs.

No, I'm not kidding. Those are a real thing.


I've been spending a lot of time at the dermatologist's office.

I mentioned that I have some odd spots on my face, and they've been getting more noticeable than they used to be.

I went back and forth for a year with one dermatologist who never was able to give me a satisfactory answer, so I just switched offices to get a second opinion.

This one has been a lot more aggressive.

For one, she recommended that I get a second biopsy, and I almost passed out when she did it. I can look at my kids' bloody injuries all day long, but if it's me getting hurt then get out the smelling salts. In the past, I've passed out after cutting my finger with a kitchen knife and also after getting blood drawn.

During the biopsy I really tried not to think about how she was cutting out a chunk of my face, but that's kind of like telling yourself not to think about pink elephants and obviously I was not very successful.

Anyway, I went back this week to get the stitches removed and learned that the biopsy suggested an autoimmune disease called lupus.

Lupus is usually bad news because it can affect your heart and kidneys, but there are things about that diagnosis that don't make sense for me, so neither of us are totally sure.

To investigate further, she did a second biopsy (during which I distracted myself by playing on my phone.) She also ordered blood work, a urine test, and a witch doctor to roll some creepy dice made out of chicken bones to divine what in the world is wrong with me.


I try to keep it light on the blog because who likes a complainer, but I struggled this weekend.

Aside from the stress of the biopsy (afterwards I totally went in the bathroom and cried,) we are kind of overwhelmed with home repair projects and our little house is starting to feel a bit cramped for the 8 of us.

I generally like making do with less than the average person, but we've actually started wondering if we should remodel or move to make space for our big family, which then makes me think, "Whatever we do needs to be done now because pretty soon the kids will start growing up and OH MY GOSH THE KIDS ARE GOING TO GROW UP."

Before I even know what happened, I'm weeping over their baby pictures and listening to Sarah McLaughlin sing "I Will Remember You" on repeat.

Motherhood is not for the faint of heart.


My 7-year-old went to a church activity over the weekend for the girls her age in our stake (6 or 7 congregations grouped together.) The theme was "Putting on the Armor of God," which comes from Ephesians 6: 11 in the Bible.

Making a cardboard shield to take to the activity.

I drove her and the other girls from our congregation up to a nature camp about an hour from here that is owned by our church. It's a neat little area, with pretty trails and a little amphitheater area facing the lake.

The lake is public access, though, so right as we were having a spiritual lesson for the girls, a pack of shirtless 18-year-old guys zoomed by in a speedboat whooping and hollering.

It was amusing the first time, but when they turned around and did it again (to impress all the 10-year-old girls in attendance, I guess) I was dying laughing.

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Anonymous said...

I hope you get answers soon!!!
We have a family of 8 as well and have been worried about whether or not to upgrade too. Our kids are 3-13, 4 girls/2 boys. Part of us thinks, just sit tight. In 5 years they'll start moving out (insert mom bawling). But at the moment they're sharing 2 bedrooms with 2 girls/1 boy in each on triple decker bunk beds. My husband was saying the other day that we probably need to get a house with 4 bedrooms so the boys and girls can split up. He's most concerned about the 13 year old girl and 11 year old boy that are currently sharing a room. So I took my daughter aside and asked her thoughts on getting a bigger house and only sharing a room with 1 sibling. She was ecstatic and immediately said, "I call sharing a room with (her 11 year old brother)." I guess that helps make the decision for now! ;)

Ann-Marie Ulczynski said...

Doing the elimination diet is rough. Hang in there to those kiddos! I had to eliminate all meat, dairy, and bread/gluten one time. But it helped me figure out what was making me feel so awful. I’m sorry about the biopsy, and the lack of clear answers. On the way to my Mom getting her MS diagnosis, for awhile we thought she had lupus. I will definitely be praying for you, especially for peace of heart as you figure things out.

Jenny Evans said...

Thank you, Ann-Marie.

Tracy said...

It takes 30 days for dairy to get out of your system. Just a heads up. Poor girl. Glad you got answers for yourself too!