Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Take Control of Your Health: Order Your Own Blood Work

For those of you who are new to this saga, here's the quick recap: Henry was struggling with self-regulation. We took him to therapy (and still do), had him tested by a neuro-behavioralist, had food sensitivity testing done (he should steer clear of gluten), and had a genetic test done by a child psychiatrist. His genetic testing reveals that he has MTHFR issues and his body doesn't process folic acid the way it's supposed to, which means he doesn't produce dopamine and serotonin the way he is supposed to (which means he can only self-regulate about 70% of the time). 

And since it's genetic, it means I have issues, too! MTHFR is connected to anxiety, depression, addiction, thyroid issues, and heart issues. So I had a 23andme report done and took it to the functional medicine doctor to have her decipher it. The functional medicine doctor wants me to make dietary changes and start on certain supplements, but I want to have baseline blood work done first so I can make sure that the changes she is recommending are really necessary. 

I tried to have blood work done back at my regular doctor's office, but she didn't think many of the tests were necessary. I didn't want to have them done through the functional medicine doctor because I worried they would be more expensive. 

So I discovered that you can order relatively inexpensive labs from the internet! I know it sounds crazy, but I tried it, had a great experience, and can now recommend it. 

I used Direct Labs to order a bunch of things that my functional medicine doctor wanted to see. For the celiac panel, the test kit was mailed to my house, I did a finger prick collect, and sent the sample back to the lab. For the other tests, I printed a requisition off the internet and then took it to my nearest Quest Diagnostic (which happened to be in a grocery store). Then the results show up in my dashboard online. 

It's such an easy and empowering system, although I am a bit freaked out. One of the tests (CRP-hs) shows that I have elevated levels and am at increased risk for cardiac issues (which is definitely connected to MTHFR). I'm not going to let my hypochondriac brain get too out of control; I'll let you know what the functional medicine doctor says as soon as I hear!

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram


JOIN US!: Registration is currently open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 8! Register now! We'd love to have you join us!

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Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Goal Tracking App

I came across a great app for tracking goals: Streaks

It lets you input things you want to do (or things you want to stop doing) and the frequency with which you want to do them (either per day or per week). 

It's a really simple interface for day-to-day tracking. I was using it (and loving it) to track my two runs every week, nightly meditation, skipping dessert four times a week, and stopping work at 8pm. 

(The epilogue to this post is that I stopped using any type of tracking whatsoever because it started feeling oppressive. I usually love a good tracking system, but I was using it to feel more healthy and happy and it made me feel more neurotic than I already am.) But it's a great app if you need a good tracking system in your life!


JOIN US!: Registration is currently open for the next Purposeful Conception Course: Preparing Your Mind, Body, and Life for Pregnancy, which starts on January 8! Register now! We'd love to have you join us!

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Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Math Games for a 1st Grader

I'm eager to make sure that Henry (1st grade) builds a really strong foundation for math fluency while he's young. I feel like I memorized math rather than build a really deep, conceptual understanding of it. The Montessori math he does at school is WONDERFUL, but I also want to support him at home. 

I saw this game pack featured on Kickstarter and went ahead and purchased it. It finally arrived! So far, we are having fun playing the math games. They mainly build number sense and fluency.

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Alternatives to Scouting?

After I graduated from college with a degree in American Studies with minors in English and Women & Gender Studies, one of my ideas for a career was to reimagine scouting to be more inclusive of all genders and sexualities. 

Now that I have children, I'm looking for that kind of option! I've been doing research about alternative organizations

Do any of you have any leads or experiences with inclusive scouting?

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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Monday, October 9, 2017

The Park Project

The boys and I are on a quest to visit every park in Austin. We purchased a real map, and we circle every park we visit. Sometimes we'll be out and about and we'll have some extra time, so I'll google the nearest park. Other times, we will intentionally bring out the map, look at it, and decide where to go. One day the boys decided they wanted to visit the "biggest park in Austin," so they selected Emma Long Metropolitan Park. It even has a beach! (The picture I have doesn't show the beach part.) It's such a sweet little ritual/tradition in our family. Living with children is so fun! 

For updates in between blog posts, check out Instagram

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Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Finding Balance: Reducing Holiday Stress

We are in the final quarter of the year, and I find myself wanting to have a plan. I like going into the new year refreshed and ready. 

Here are some of the things that are on my mind:

  • I want to go through our budget and refresh it for the upcoming year. We absolutely need to get better about sticking to the budget we have set for ourselves. Life is always changing and evolving, so we have to intentionally set aside time to update our budget to match our life and then track our spending against it. 
  • I want to go through our home to remove, recycle, and donate anything that we don't really need. It's so easy for stuff to accumulate that we don't really use, especially since the boys grow so quickly. (Living room, kitchen, boys' bathroom, boy's room, boys' closet, hallway, office closet, rest of office, master closet, master bedroom, master bathroom, outdoor closet, backyard). It feels like I need to carve out 13 different chunks of time to knock these off the list. 
  • Make our holiday card.
  • Make personalized gifts.
  • Finish our back deck. We are installing a shade sail and trying to create the feel of a little room on our deck. The project has been going on for way too long. I would love to get it finished! 
For updates in between blog posts, find me on Instagram

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Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Family Meeting Idea

I started reading The Secrets of Happy Families. So far I'm enjoying it! 

One of the first ideas is about a weekly family meeting. The idea is really simple and common (it also comes up in the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Families). The family gets together and discusses a set of things, such as: 

  1. What things went welling our family this week?
  2. What things could we improve in our family?
  3. What things will you commit to working on this week? 
I don't think we are quite ready for this weekly ritual yet, although I love the idea of it. Tate is only four right now. I think these kinds of reflective and self-aware exercises work better as children turn from five to six. 

I think it would be fun to pair it with another ritual like pancakes for dinner or a pizza night.

For updates in between blog posts, find me on Instagram

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