Low carb cheesey taco β€œshells”

Okay, I know. “Low carb” strikes fear in the heart of many, visions of a sea of cauliflower everything takes over your nightmares. I get it. Screw that.

These are incredible. Seriously. If you’re doing low carb or any form of keto (ketosis), make these now!

I started with two small handfuls of shredded mild cheddar. I placed them in thin circles on parchment paper and tossed them into the oven at 350F.

I left them in until the edges were browning, about 10 minutes in my oven (but maybe less in yours because mine is old AF).

Then I carefully lifted them and placed them on my pre made contraption. The thicker the spoon, the better as it leaves a bigger cavity for the taco goodness to come.

After a few minutes of cooling and setting (I used this time to chop my lettuce, tomato, and avocado), it’s done!

OH EM GEE! Seriously. I couldn’t get enough! But the fact the shells are cheese made these even more filling than I imagined and, after two, I was STUFFED! Sooo worth it. Soooo good. Soooo making these again tonight.

And yes, I’ll fix my nails if I’m gonna be doing food pics again. πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

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New life, who dis?

SO much has happened since I quit this thing. Yeesh. Shortened version:

The girl child is now three and a half omgggggggg. Boy child? He’s two and a half and I just can’t take it! How is it that time has sped up ten fold since having my babies?!

They are, hands down, the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced in my life. I end every day lying bed wondering “did I go it right? Did I do enough?” But once I look at their perfect little faces, I know I’m doing my best and I’m raising good humans. And that’s all I’ve ever wanted.

Since last posting, we’ve also moved (again). Less than a year after we bought our first house in Baltimore, we sold it and packed our lives into a few moving trucks and landed in Pennsylvania.

This place is…incredible. I’ve joined a local MOPS group (Moms of Preschoolers) and met some seriously awesome women and made some great friendships that I really hope continue to grow. I joined our local YMCA gym because it has child care and, for the first time in their lives, left them in the care of someone that is not me or my husband. The weight of the world was lifted off my shoulders watching them run off to play with the kids at MOPS and the Y. Legit cried the first few times because I was so happy, felt so free.

Oh, did I mention we’ve added to our family?

This little miss is Princess Zelda. We rescued her in January 2017 and her birthday is November 15, 2016. She’s a boxador, which is a lab/boxer mix. She’s proven to be quite a handful, but she’s so sweet. She’s pretty much become Bailey’s dog.

Home is…

It’s been quite some time since I’ve updated, so I’ve likely forgotten all I wanted to post. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‘ My last post was before we settled on the house, so I’ll start from there.

This moment. This was the second we got back in the car after signing the papers. It was just after all our dreams came true.Β 

Yep. My babies have a home.Β 

Words can’t even begin to come close to explaining how happy they are. How happy we all are. They have a huge yard with so much to explore. All the space they could ever need. Their own rooms. A home.Β 

Movin’ on up

Oh em geeeeeee it’s been forever since I posted. Cuz I suck. And I’ve been a little busy. Buying thisπŸ‘‡πŸ»

And it has thisπŸ‘‡πŸ»πŸ‘‡πŸ»

And settlement is July 22! The backyard is massive and has a virtual oasis of bamboo and shade trees, THREE gardens, and even a fire pit area and a pond.Β We’ll be having a separate shed type dwelling built in time to serve as our gym (so it won’t be inside the house and noise won’t be an issue at 4 am). This is such a huge moment for our family, you just have no idea. And I’ve been going Pinterest cuhrayzy with all the things I have planned for the place.

And can we talk about this kid?


Yeah. Him. In about two weeks…he’ll be one. One. Year. Old. What the actual fuck?! How did this even happen?! Where did my tiny baby go!?

Yeah I ain’t even sorry for the dude picture spam. This kid is amazing. He’s so full of smiles and life, you just can’t help but smile and giggle whenever he’s around. And he’s so smart! He crawled so early, walked early, he communicates and understands so much already. I was so scared when I first saw that pregnancy test. And again when I was diagnosed with ICP. But one look in this beautiful, perfect boys eyes and you just see that he was the most perfect ending to our family. My tiny little man cub, you will never cease to amazeme. πŸ’™

Why I wear “yoga pants” and why that proves I do put myself first

There are SO many groups on Facebook. Groups for everything you can imagine. I’m a member of many ranging from local yard sale pages to homemaking pages to fitness groups. But one in particular is always talked about. The Mommy Groups. Sometimes these groups are specific in their members. For example, you’ll have the local mommy groups which are excellent for play dates and local, kid friendly activities, and even moms night out. You’ll have the fit moms group which brings together mothers who share a similar goal of fitness and health and wellbeing. Hell, there are even (sancti)mommy groups made for the sole purpose of making fun of other mommy groups. And Mommy Groups can be amazing. I’ve made some great friends in these groups, met other people going through the same nightmares I was (oh, hey, colic!). I’ve asked so many questions to more experienced mothers and received so much support and information. But one thing I absolutely cannot stand? Putting other women down

Recently, there have been many discussions about one topic in particular. Yoga pants. Yes. Fucking. Yoga. Pants. Leggings. Active wear. Whatever you want to call them. Who knew pants could cause such drama!? But one thing someone recently said really struck me. There was discussion about why women who wear these garments on a daily basis are putting themselves last. They aren’t getting dressed up enough to tackle the day. They’d be more productive in their tasks if only they wore…a pantsuit, I suppose. But here’s the thing about that. 

I wear yoga pants every single day (let’s pretend my fat ass ever does yoga). Why? Because I don’t care about myself? About my appearance? Because I’m too busy putting everyone else first, showing the stereotypical mother trait? Uh, no. Because they’re fucking comfortable. Because I have two children under the age of two- and chasing them around all day and crawling on the floor and helping a toddler make her own PB&J and bouncing a teething infant and sweeping every 4 hours and snuggling them in bed for naps and loading the dishwasher during said naps with the quickness of a ninja on speed– cannot happen in a Hilary Clinton inspired pantsuit. Can’t happen in jeans. Can’t happen in heels. Hell, in this house, we don’t even wear shoes! Life works best when you’re comfortable

And about that whole not caring part. I wear this activewear every day because I finally, for the first time in my life, care about my appearance. I’m putting myself first. I’m no longer trying to do things because society said so or some celebrity did or some fucking off their rocker Christian blogger thinks they’re made by the devil. Jeans? Yeah, those are super comfy to sit on the floor in. Heels? Yeah, the stress fractures I get in my feet once a month would definitely love how much more productive fucking heels would make me. 

They’re pants, folks. Stop trying to read into them any further than that. Life works much better when you’re comfortable. And if you really don’t like it when I wear my yoga pants every day, stop staring at my ass. Better yet, come chase me in your designer suit. We’ll see who’s more productive then. πŸ’πŸ»πŸ’‹

Domesticing

My newest word. I dig it. Being domesticated is something I honestly never thought would happen to me. I was the type that was okay with not staying with the same guy forever, not getting married and promising my forever to someone else, never settling down and buying a house, and certainly never having kids. I liked my life of doing whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and with whomever I wanted. I could stay out till 2 am, come home and sleep for 4 hours, get a shower and get to work. Only to go out again that evening. That was my life. And I was okay with that. I thought. 

But today, I got giddy over finding the most perfect color paint for the bedroom to match my duvet. I got excited when my 21 month old drew circles and named 3 different colors. I played peek a boo for nearly 45 minutes with my 9 month old. And I squealed when I found a new house for sale and had to show my husband the pictures ASAP. It took only seconds for me to picture how I’d set up each room, where I’d hang my newest art buy, what colors I’d repaint different rooms. I’ve been married almost four years now. I’ve given birth to the most amazing, funny kids. I’ve added no less than a dozen new recipes to my book so far in 2016. I get excited about sitting and planning my week in my overpriced Kate Spade planner, scheduling which days I’ll mop the kitchen or clean the shower. And now I spend a few hours a week looking at real estate. 

I’m full on domesticated

And I’m pretty okay with that. 

9 in, 9 out

It’s hard to believe it, but 9 months ago, I gave birth to my second baby. Perfectly healthy, 7 pound 1 ounce, sweet little cub. But the 9 months before that…wow

I’ve touched on ICP but I haven’t really gone into too much because it’s not the easiest thing to talk about. Going on and on about all the ways your child could have died before he was even born is, well, hard

ICP, or intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy, is a liver disorder that causes a buildup of bile acids in the blood. The bile is usually carried out and into the bile ducts, but in ICP, the cells responsible for this transportation don’t do their job. This presents quite a few significant risks to mother and baby. Fetal distress, meconium passage, pre term labor, RDS (respiratory distress syndrome), breathing complications in the baby, maternal hemorrhage, and stillbirth. Doesn’t sound so great, does it? Which is why it’s so mind boggling that so few doctors know of this or how to properly treat. 

Proper (current) protocol for ICP, which is detected with a total bile acid level of 10 or above, is to immediately start a medication called Ursodeoxycholic Acid, more commonly known as urso. It’s a naturally occurring substance in the body that reduces bile acids. Continuous monitoring of the bile acid levels is also crucial to ensure they aren’t going above the severe level (40). NST (non stress testing) is also ideal to make sure the baby is still well and not in distress. The only known “cure” for ICP is delivery. Ideal delivery for ICP is in week 37 (or even earlier if the levels are rising and not controlled by urso). 

The symptoms of ICP are what usually trigger the initial blood test for the bile acids. The most notable of these is the itching. Not normal pregnancy itching. This is an itch straight from hell. It’s like fire ants are crawling just under your skin, but no amount of scratching, lotions or creams, medications, or prayers can make it stop. I spent many nights on the couch sobbing hysterically from the sleep deprivation and the itching, bleeding all over my legs from scratching. Itching doesn’t sound like a big deal, but this isn’t itching. This is something that can easily lead to suicidal thoughts. The itch is not associated with a rash like PUPPS, which is what so many doctors will claim. And that may be one of the reasons the In Memory list of our little itchy group is so long. Whenever I’m having a rough day with the kids and just can’t take it anymore, I remember the babies on that list. Logan could have easily been added to it. But, I guess for once, my loud mouth and stubborn attitude actually paid off. 

I know we all want to feel safe and trust our doctors. And there’s no reason to believe they don’t know what they’re doing or that they’re all wrong. But if you feel there’s something not right, there’s more going on, but your doctor won’t pursue it, there’s nothing wrong with raising your concerns or even finding a provider who will listen. Even if you’re 35 weeks pregnant. Fight the Itch. Save a Life. 

 

DIY all of the everything!!!1!

I’m on a mission. A money saving, earth saving, skin loving, something, something mission! Okay, no. Just trying to save some cash. So I’m keeping every reciept I get and itemizing each to see where our money goes every week. The biggest hit being food, but that’s my own fault. I buy enough to feed an army, half my army won’t eat it, half of it goes bad before I get a chance, and so on and so on. So! The Ladhar’s are now sticking to a weekly meal plan. Dun dun dun! We’ll see how it goes, but the Husband and I sat down last night and made our plan for the week and a shopping list to match. The list is only the things needed for those specific meals. So fingers crossed for me? πŸ™„

Back at it

I finally did it. Managed to get up, dressed, and out the door to the gym before 5 am. Did 30 minutes on the treadmill doing the c25k again. It’s what eased me into running before I got pregnant, so it seems like a good idea to try again. If I can’t lift right now, I’m gonna fucking run.

It felt great, too. My hams were a little tender by the 20 minute mark, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected. Plus, that runners high after you’re done. ❀️ 

 

The nitty and the gritty?

So let’s get down to it. The shit I don’t talk to anyone about. The shit I keep to myself because I don’t want to be thought of as some “sick” chick. 

Fibromyalgia and CFS I’ve learned the meaning of the word “flare“. Thankfully, my flare days are few and far between compared to some people I’ve spoken with or read about. But there have been days where I honestly didn’t know if I could get out of bed. My symptoms are…livable. The extreme fatigue, no matter how much sleep or exercise or proper nutrition, is brutal. Makes it hard to do some of the things I want with the kids. The pain is also killer. It’s not just normal aches and pains. It’s an ache that starts in your skin and just goes down through your muscles and tendons and right into your damn bones. I know most people without fibro will think “yeah, we all get pains sometimes”. I wish this was only that pain. But feeling like my whole body, my every muscle and every joint has been worked beyond its extremes is indescribable. 

ICP I bring this up because, although I’m not pregnant anymore and no longer “have” ICP, I still have it. Every month, for about 3 days around ovulation, the itch comes back. Not as bad as when I was pregnant with Logan and sitting up every night scratching until I bled. But bad enough that it is beginning to have an impact on my sleep. What’s worse is that it comes back again. For a day or two before my period starts until it ends. So that’s another week of intense itching that never goes away, no matter how hard I scratch. I had my liver panel done not long after Logan was born (maybe two months later) and all my levels looked okay. But with the itching increasing in intensity every month, I’m gonna be asking my doc to retest soon to make sure my liver isn’t being an ass. (For the record, my period is due any day and I’ve been scratching the entire time I’ve been typing this postπŸ‘πŸ») I guess my biggest issue with this happening is that it’s an almost constant reminder that my body has once again failed me. Failed my children. That the chances I’ll ever be able to have another baby are slim. I have about a 90% chance of the ICP returning in every subsequent pregnancy and with it, the risk of my baby being still born. All because my liver stops working like it should. It’s hard. 

Wrist I finally got to see a hand specialist about the wrist thing. My MRI looked okay, but not perfect. I have a few ganglion cysts but he’s confident they’ll go away on their own (if they get bigger and hurt more, draining them is simple. Gross). He did diagnose me with de Quervain’s tenosynovitis (which is just a type of tendinitis that’s commonly caused by overuse of the wrist/hand). He also said there’s some pretty severe inflammation around my joint and tendons on the outside of my wrist (the side where the pinky is). So before I left, he stuck a 63″ needle in either side of my wrist to inject some cortisone. The thumb side wasn’t too bad at all. But when he did the outer side, I wished I was in labor instead. Fuck, that hurt. Aaaannnnnnd lucky me, I had what’s called a cortisone flare afterwards. Basically just a reaction to the shots that actually makes the pain WORSE for up to 48 hours. Thank fuck that went away, I couldn’t do anything when it hurt that badly. I’m also under strict instruction to wear this stupid brace for 23 hours a day for a month until I see him again (for another round of super awesome shots!). Yeah, that ain’t happening. Can’t do a damn thing with it on (like change a diaper, make food). But I wear it when I can.