Author: Ashley
•7:01 PM
So I saw the new dr this week. She is a DO which is totally new to me but i really like her. Almost all of my bloodwork was perfect. The few things she saw that weren't where she wanted them, she has me taking supplements for ( MCT liquid, colostrum, vit d, vit a, probiotic, homocysteine, and GI revive). Most of those were inflammation markers and such. She also started me on the low dose naltrexone. Tonight will be my 3rd dose. I really don't feel any different. I stopped taking the lialda (again) so I'm kind of waiting to see if things get bad again. I have multiple ulcers and my tongue is still white so obviously there are issues but it's only been 3 days. Plus I just got the supplements in the mail and started them today. On a very interesting note, my total cholesterol was 150 and she said she'd actually like that higher. Totally random but I think it being low is affecting my hormones. I plan to have roast beef and a steak this weekend. Yum! Except I can't have a baked potato with it...oh yeah b/c she also wants me doing the SCD diet. I follow it mostly anyway with the exception of the sugar in my coffee (haven't cut that out quite yet).

Another interesting thing she said was I have hyposis (sp? or it might have been a different word) of my eyes. Basically, my eyes constrict with light but quickly try to dilate b/c I'm in adrenal fatigue. She wants to do another blood test and start me on a supplement for that as well but it will have to wait until our bank account has recovered from this last testing and buying all the stuff.

She also mentioned I have a scalloped tongue and said it was probably due to TMJ. That has grossed me out/bothered me more than anything. Seriously...rectal bleeding-no big deal; scalloped/swollen tongue-ew!

I see her back in 3 months. Hopefully things will continue on a good path and we can get this junk under control!

Author: Ashley
•6:47 PM
I love that we live in an area where we have access to a lot of different of them being Braves baseball. We were given tickets by my husbands' sales team and enjoyed a nice afternoon of the Braves and the Mets (Braves won but we left early). Little Monsters' funny sayings of the day:

*can we get some food when the Mats go back to bat? (I said "the who?") The Ats.

*there was a guy walking around selling "ice cold beer" and another guy selling icees. Little Monster heard the beer guy and saw the icees, turned to me and said "I want an ice cold!"

Little Bit and him were also talking about shapes the other day and she said that her cup was a circle. He looked at her and said "well mine's a cylinder". He never ceases to amaze me!


Author: Ashley
•8:39 PM
Hmmm...closing in on 2 months without an update. Geez!!

Mostly updating now to list the things I hear regularly at my house:

*Peach/Mario/Bowser- the kids are obsessed with Mario Bros and also pretend. What better thing to do than pretend to be the Mario Bros characters? Today Mario and Peach got married (little monster and little bit) and then Mario and Peach got married again (this time I was lucky enough to be Peach). Then I heard Mario and Luigi get married which opened up a whole new can of worms. Oh and we had to have the "don't kiss each other on the lips she you're pretending to get married" talk which neither of them understood, I didn't go into huge detail about, but made me feel better.

*ayuh-greese: little monster's oh so sweet term of endearment for his sister when he isn't getting his way

*"mommy can I make a craft?" little bit loves to cut/paste. She just makes up stuff to do. And when it is her idea, she really puts all of her heart and soul into it. She was looking at an oriental trading magazine a few weeks ago, saw a craft kit for a butterfly, and decided she needed to make that. She just looked at the pic and made it work (we didn't have the kit). She's going to be an innovative person.

*prayers at bedtime: little monster's are still pretty basic. He thanks God for mommy, mommy (yes, I get 2x the thanks), daddy, ag, mamaw, and papaw and then whoever we chose to pray for that night. Every once in awhile he will throw in a "...amen. And Lord please let us have a good night, and be with mommy, mommy..." and start all over. It's cute! Now, little bit has become a little billy graham. Her prayers have become very heartfelt and passionate. They consist of some of the following "I know you are the one true God...thank you for everything you are...thank you for your world and your beautiful creations..." and she will go on for 2 or 3 min like that. During some pretend time at a friends' house the other day I heard her say "you can't hurt me! My one true God is stronger than you and he will save me!" (can you tell the last 2 weeks have been VBS filled?)

*last but not least: screaming! Little Monster thinks he just needs to scream out loud for no reason. It gets old fast.

Oh and one more thing: we started a reward chart for chores and one thing they have to do is help clean the bathroom. LM knows his job is the potty so today (after I told him the bathroom didn't need cleaning) he peed on the toilet seat so he could clean it and get a star on the chart. (no star, big discussion)

Author: Ashley
•8:19 PM

Author: Ashley
•7:34 PM


Author: Ashley
•7:16 PM
Oh the goodness. This recipe was inspired by Namely Marly. I edited it slightly and it did not disappoint! Forgive the lacking presentation. The last thing I'm interested in when it is time to eat is finding my camera and making my food pretty. So i take the photo with my iPad and eat it up immediately! I am excited to start trying recipes from my Vegan Cooking book but I need to use what I bought for recipes from my Pinterest board first.

Onto the good stuff...


  • Tortilla chips (your choice of flavor/brand but I used a spicy bean variety)
  • Vegetarian refried beans (I personally don't think this added much but if it "ain't broke don't fix it" and since the recipe was amazing,I will use it next time)
  • Chopped sweet onion (I used about 1/3 of the onion)
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • Fire roasted red bell pepper
  • Vegan chick'n strips
  • Vegan cheese (I use Daiya and really like it)
  • Salsa

Preheat the oven to 350. In small pan, sautée onions in EVOO. After they have carmelized, take them out and put a few of the Chick'n strips in the pan and let them heat thoroughly (I used 3). This will only take a few minutes. Place the tortilla chips on a baking pan and spread each one with refried beans (no magic amount...whatever looks good to your taste buds). I layered the rest in this order: onion, Chick'n, bell pepper, cheese, and salsa (lots and lots of salsa). Put it in the oven until the cheese is melted. The chips under all the yumminess will be soft but I think it makes it better that way. And when you're finished devouring it, feel free to lick the plate. No one will judge you (unless they see you).

Author: Ashley
•8:19 AM
So this is where I started. It was (originally) just a little bit of lettuce juice (actually it was so little that the smoothie would be a little bit brown from the apples oxidizing) with 2 apples and a handful of grapes. It has evolved to a lot of lettuce and spinach juice (now my smoothie is a nice bright green) with 2 apples and a handful of grapes. My mom gave me a Champion Juicer a few years ago. Up until recently it had only seen carrots at my house (which I'm not a huge fan of). But now...that's all changed. I juice my lettuce and spinach first to remove the fiber and rough stuff my stomach doesn't love. Then, I change the screen and use my guard to purée the apples and grapes. Mix that all together, throw it in the freezer for a little while to get it nice and chilled and enjoy. It is really really good!! And now, if I don't have enough lettuce/spinach juice, it is too sweet. I'm branching out to other "favors" this week. Not sure what yet but I'm excited!!


Author: Ashley
•12:58 PM
So here we are at day...ummm...I lost count but 5 or 6 weeks out from the elim diet start. So much has happened since I started that I do not know where to start. Long story short my naturopath gave a good bit of misinformation that cost me a flare and (almost) $400. I ended up telling the clinic that I thought it was best I go somewhere else. Since then (2 weeks ago) I have read The Makers Diet, Self-healing Colitis and Crohns, and also the Hallelujah Diet. I have read numerous blogs and articles and have basically decided vegan is going to be my best option. I slowly started by only eating a small bit of chicken at night and now I'm on no meat whatsoever. I can't say if we go out to eat I won't have some but for now I think my gut needs a rest. the high protein is hard to digest and exacerbates my issues. I have also been juicing/blending a lot. I juice lettuce and spinach 2x a day and add to puréed apples and a handful of grapes to it. Then I let it chill in the freezer an hour or so. It is so so so good!

In school news, Little Bit is finished with science and math and only has 2 weeks of reading left. Crazy! She has learned so much! We ended math after an intro to multiplication! I know technically she's in kindergarten but it is first grade material. She needed that though. She was so far beyond learning numbers and letters. If I had set her to school, I would be happy with whatever but being home with me and "learning" letters would have frustrated us both. 

Little Monster is almost finished with preschool. His birthday is in a few weeks and he is super excited that he will be having a Mario birthday party! I kind of am too :) I enjoy planning their parties. We invited the whole preschool class plus others so there will be about 20 kids. God bless us!

More later. I want to start writing in my "tried and true" recipes. I don't want to be a "paid" blogger but if I even help one person, it's worth it!

I blog with BE Write

Author: Ashley
•2:51 PM

So I made it. 3 weeks officially ends tomorrow. And phase 2 officially begins tomorrow. I start adding foods back in. I think dairy is a trigger so we are starting with that since my body will be most sensitive. The last few days have been iffy anyway so to be honest, I'm not sure I should start tomorrow. I think I am intolerant to pistachios and possibly white wine vinegar (or maybe regular vinegar). Hard to tell, though, bc I am also in the middle of my cycle and that screws me up anyway. I definitely have a hard time processing lettuce (or when I eat 2-3x a day I do).

In the past week I feel like I have finally figured our stuff I can eat and be happy. Like, olives on a bison "burger". I used brown rice flower, water, and flax to make a flat bread bun, threw a bison patty on it, covered it in olives and devoured. Brown rice pasta salad is also good but I'm thinking the dressing I am using is causing issues. Or maybe it was just the lettuce and the dressing is getting a bad wrap.

We are also wrapping up homeschooling ALREADY! It's crazy to me that we have come this far so fast. We started multiplaction today. I am sure that we are going to do it again next year. I just wish I had someone to set up crafts/activities for me for major holidays each month. I know there are some "craft in a box" mail order places but they are all so expensive! One I was looking at the other day talked about going online and downloading something. Well, I don't need to pay $40 per month to download. I can search and download myself.

Little Monster is winding down in preschool. This is the first year I haven't like school at all for him but it feels like we are putting more time and energy into it than we are getting out of it. His birthday party is in about 4 weeks and I'm SUPER pumped about it! Since they are about 6 months apart, I don't get too frustrated or burnt out on parties.

Author: Ashley
•8:46 PM

In 10 days in. In 8 days I lost 8.5lbs. Crazy!! I tasted more new foods in 8 days than I did in 29 years...for example: buckwheat pancakes, cashew butter, cauliflower, quinoa, sweet potatoes, papaya...I'm sure I'm missing some. I have definitely expanded what I eat but it still isn't easy.

It seems like I am fine one day and the next I'm falling apart. The worst part is I can't keep up w/ the rest of my life b/c I'm too busy cooking and cleaning the kitchen. The laundry falls behind, school for Little Bit, my rest. I'm getting tired of that.

I am also having a hard time being around food. Little Monsters' Easter egg hunt was yesterday and it bothered me to be around the choc chip cookies, popcorn, m and ms...but I was ok today w/ the kids having pizza. Hmmm...wonder where my weakness is.

And it isn't helping that I'm coming off of my effexor. I think that has multiplied my issues by a million. I took my last dose last night. I hope the last little bit of withdrawals go by fast.

Author: Ashley
•5:09 PM

We are still clicking on with school but it has gotten to be so routine that there aren't a lot of things to update. Little Bit has come so far, though! She is reading chapter books and loving it. I think it really clicked with her last week. All of a sudden I noticed her wanting to take books to bed with her or taking them in the car. I'm so excited for her. I can't imagine not loving to read. I hope Little Monster is the same way.

I started an elimination diet on Wednesday. I am going to try to keep track of the changes in my body as I go but we'll see how far I get :) Wednesday was hard. It was really hard not to get a frappuccino after working out, not being able to take a sip of anything (orange juice, milk, gatorade, etc) except water, not being able to grab a jelly bean or piece of chocolate, no potatoes, no can figure out the rest. Thursday was a little easier in that aspect but then yesterday was BAD. I think the hardest part is making food for the kids. I can't even lick the peanut butter off the knife. I completely lost it this morning. It gets to me that I don't have a choice in this. This isn't a fad or just for fun. Its for my life. I know it will get easier as I start introducing things back in but these 3 weeks are going to suck. The most I have learned so far is not to try something new when I'm hungry. If I don't like it, I just get angry that I can't grab anything else easily and I can't fill myself up.

Author: Ashley
•8:49 AM

We have had a great weekend together. Our kids had fun riding bikes, playing outside, having a puppy playdate, and getting to go to church. We are in a series called Running with the Giants and it is amazing! I am enjoying it so much and am getting so much out of it.

Little Monster is officially a bike rider. He can make laps around the culdesac and also the driveway.

Author: Ashley
•8:07 PM
Time is flying by. I mean FLYING. I just realized the other day that I am almost with my first year as a homeschool teacher. AND I SURVIVED!! WOOO!! There should be a national "I survived Homeschooling" day and we should get free babysitters and unlimited funds to help "stimulate the economy."

*Little Bit has progressed so far! I definitely consider her a reader now. There is very little that she can't read. And she's getting so fast at it! I hope she loves reading in the same way I do. I can't even explain how much I love to read and the way it takes me to another place. I hope both of my kids get to experience that. Her handwriting is GREAT. It took a good bit of work but I have to admit that it was worth it. She is adding and subtracting 2 digit numbers, measuring things, reading temperatures...the list goes on and on. She is such a smart girl and I'm very proud of how hard she is working!

*Little Monster learned to ride his bike today. He can go across our cul de sac without falling/stopping. His legs are still a little short so he needs help getting going but he's mastered the rest. And speaking of being smart, he has decided that he is going to read. He pretty much started on his own (trying to sound letters in words out) and now asks me for help. Yesterday he asked me if "rose" was pronounced "rosy." I've been telling B that he is reading 3 letter words but I don't think he got a good glimpse of it until last night.

*Little Bit and Daddy went to the Daddy Daughter Dance Saturday night. There is nothing we could've given her to make her so happy. You would've thought she won the lottery! Since they were gone, Little Monster took me on a date. He said "no, you're taking me on a date." I explained to him that normally boys take girls out but he couldn't drive yet so I was just driving for him. Then we put the money in the folder together but he paid for it b/c he handed the folder to the waiter. I heard him telling a friend the other day that he paid for it b/c "that's what boys do for girls when they take them on a date." He also told me that he had been on "zero dates...well, except now I took you on one." He's so funny!!

*We are taking them to the Ringling Brothers Circus tomorrow. They don't know it yet but they are going to LOVE LOVE LOVE it! I'm so excited for them!
Author: Ashley
•5:19 PM

Just a few noteworthy Little Monster conversations heard in my household lately
*about a month ago I lost my voice. Little Monster cried and cried, concerned that I would never get it back.
*last night Little Monster had a bedtime breakdown b/c daddy and him had donuts w/ dad today and he was sad I couldn't go.
*Little Monster asked me tons of questions about dying the other day (he is extremely sensitive about that, which works as a pretty good inspiration to NOT run in the parking lot). After our talk he went to daddy and told him that he's going to die one day. Then he said "daddy, you can't die. You have to pay the bills"

Author: Ashley
•7:47 PM

Has it really been over a month since I posted? My how time flies. So the brief overview of the last month, followed soon by pictures (assuming I can ever get the energy to get to my computer and post them):

*we finished homeschooling for the year before the public school and had an entire month to be lazy. Around our house that means going non-stop without trying to fit homeschooling in as well. It was awesome and although everyone said I would come back in January refreshed and ready to go, I didn't. I even contemplated keeping Little Monster out of preschool bc I don't love his teacher and taking him on the 2 days I don't have to be at the gym drives me crazy.

*Christmas was definitely a full-swing event this year. Both kids were really into the Santa gig. Little Bit asked for a little bit of everything but mostly wanted an American Girl doll. I was fortunate to get one for FREE from my aunt and it was a huge hit!!  Little Monster asked for a helicopter hat and a real Yoshi. He didn't get anything on his list but was excited about what he did get. The funny (not really) part is he doesn't play with anything he got except a $10 pack of Mario trading cards.

*New Years was just like any other "I'm a parent now" new year. Kids went to bed, we rang in the new year with the eastern time zone, and climbed in the bed about 11:05. Woopee.

*Despite my lack of drive, school has gotten off to a good start. Little Bit had a math assessment the other day and only missed  writing her numbers. For example: she wanted to write 247 as '2047'. She can now add 2 digit numbers (if you don't have to carry anything) and we just started subtraction which she immediately picked up.

*We got a puppy 2 weeks ago. If you had asked me a month ago If we would get a dog, it would've been a big NO! But she is a great little dog. She is a shih-tzu poodle mix (shih-poo) and we named her Bella. She is mostly housetrained, crate trained (she definitely was NOT when we got her), and sleeps through the night. We have already taught her sit, stay, down, paw, and settle. This week we are dog-sitting my parents' dog so we have 2 kids, 2 cats, 2 dogs, and us. It is bound to be interesting.