Life with a Chronically Ill Child 

Honestly without sugar coating it, life with a chronically ill child, sucks! It’s a living hell! I know I probably sound like a whinny, selfish mom but those who know me know how incredibly dedicated I am to my son.  The love I feel for him is immeasurable… What I hate is his disease and the situations associated with the disease.  He is always achy and hurts.  The medications make him feel nauseated, give him headaches and nose bleeds.  He is always grouchy and anxious.  I write this as he looks out the window at the rain and says … “Remember when I use to play in the rain?  :::sigh::: Those were the good ole days momma” I really think my heart broke yet again.  I’m surprised I still have a heart… It breaks all the time because of what my son goes through.  Want to know why my son can’t play in the rain? Because the arthritis is so bad in his hips, knees and ankles that if he were to slip and fall in the rain it can cause a catistrophic injury … Popped out or broken hip, hyperextended knee, a dislocated ankle.  Just one simple fall can put him in a hospital or wheelchair.  Not to mention the pain he will feel even if he does not fall… If and when my son plays or moves more than usual … He hurts for days to come.  Then there is homeschooling … Actually school in general … ! I seriously don’t know how we do it sometimes … I am trying to relearn things so I can turn around and teach them to him.  Because of the drugs he’s on he has difficulty concentrating for extended periods of time … Teaching him how to simplify fractions took us 6 days! 6 days of tears, screaming (yes both him and I) … And we danced and rejoiced when he got it only to realize his class by then was on multiplying fractions …. We were about 4-6 lessons behind. Then the tears started again… And his self talk is horrible “maybe I’m just stupid”, ” i’m just dumb”, “everyone in class says its easy mom but i’m just to stupid to get it”, “I wish I could just die mom”.  Honestly the pain I feel in my soul when my son says those things is indescribable.  We are always behind, he has such a difficulty putting thought to paper.  This is a child who before he became sick had straight A’s, and was always on honor roll.  If you have had ever had the opportunity to speak to Jacob you would know how sweet, kind, and intelligent he is.  But school has become so difficult.  I don’t fully understand his rights having that he has a disability.  I am always on edge and trying to argue his disease and condition to faculty and staff with no help.  Jacob has no help. I have no help.  How do I fix this?  What the hell do I do and where do I start?

Because of money issues, I had to go back to work this week.  So now I have a sick child, a house to take care of, 2 other healthy children to tend to, 2 dogs, homeschooling, no social life, my own health issues, and now work.  Hard work that kills my body.  I come home and I can hardly get out of my car.  But I come home to dishes, laundry, floors and homeschool.  Making sure Jake gets his medication, give him his shots, do his daily physical therapy.  My husband can not work anymore than what he already does.  He is a fire captain so work does not mean he leaves at 7am and is home by 5-6pm… nope… it means that as of today I have not seen my husband in 8 days.  When he leaves he is usually gone for anywhere from 3 days to 20 some days. I don’t get a break … ever.  It makes me edgy and emotional.  I’m tired, sick, fat and feel horribly guilty for resenting my son sometimes.  I can’t go to the gym, see my friends or even take a quiet bath without needing to do something for him or someone else in this house.  My hair is falling out, my body aches and I just want to pack a bag and leave. Just drive until I can’t drive any more and then just sleeping.  Sleeping until my body has had enough.  I sound like a horrible mother huh?

Jacob’s insurance and medications went up this year.  I spend at least 10 hours a month on the phone dealing with appointments, pharmacies, insurance, etc.  Does not sound like much?  Hold the phone to your ear for 10 hours then come talk to me.  I wake up everytime I hear a noise and run to Jacob’s room because I wonder… did he have a seizure?  Did he fall?  Does he need water or does he need to use the bathroom and can’t walk?  So most nights I sleep in intervals.  I also stay up wondering how we are going to make it through the month?  Will we have enough money for food, gas?  How will I pay for my daughter to go to college next year?  She was supposed to go to Santa Barbara to play water polo, but we can no longer afford to send her.  So she will stay here and go to RCC and play there.  Don’t get me wrong its probably a better team and a better situation in general but do you know how difficult it was to tell her that?  I am crying just writing it. I have to run now… meeting at Jacob’s school so I can hear how bad he’s doing and how behind he is.  I will continue my rant later. Much love !  Please pray for Jacob.

Life with a Chronically Ill Child 

Simply Chili 

My daughter asked me to make her Chili… Nothing makes me happier than when my kids ask me to make them something special! I contemplated making a traditional chili with beans (I even bought beans) but as always I had to at least attempt making it a bit healthier! This recipe is super simple, especially if you have a pressure cooker or a fancy rice maker !  This chili is delicious, a little spicy, rich and hearty! You honestly will wonder with in he world you’ve been adding beans to your chili! 

1 pound ground GRASSFED Beef 

2 onions, chopped 

8 garlic cloves, chopped 

1 large sweet potato, diced 

2 teaspoons sea salt 

4 teaspoons sweet paprika 

2 teaspoons smoked paprika 

2 teaspoons chili powder 

1 teaspoon of each of the following : 

Oregano, ground cumin, granulated onion, granulated garlic, ground coriander and ground fennel. 

1 (14.5 oz) can of organic fire roasted tomatoes 

4 tablespoons organic tomato paste 

1.5 cups stock or broth 

- I used my rice cooker which has a sauté and slow cook feature.  I browned the beef with the onion and garlic in my cooker.  Added the sweet potatos. 

- I followed up by adding the salt and spices … Cooked the spices with the meat, onions and garlic for about 5 minutes. 

- Add the tomatoes and tomato paste along with the broth or stock, stir and cover! 

- Slow cook at least 2 hours and you are done ! 





Simply Chili 

Lemon Cashew Cream Chia Pudding

This recipe turned out just as I imagined it. I am a lover of chia pudding but always craved the thicker consistency of “traditional” pudding. I achieved exactly what I have been craving all along. A thick, rich, flavorful pudding that is guilt free, gluten free, dairy free and most of all GOOD!!!

1 cup cashew pieces, soaked in 2 cups water at least 2 hours, strained
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup almond milk
1 teaspoon vanilla
Zest of 1 lemon (I used a Meyer Lemon)
Juice of one lemon
4 tablespoons chia seeds

– In a high power blender … Blend cashews, maples syrup, almond milk and vanilla until perfectly smooth.

– Pour mixture into bowl and whisk in the zest, lemon juice and chia seeds.

– Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours.

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Lemon Cashew Cream Chia Pudding

Pistachio Cream

I cleaned my pantry this morning and realized I had a few nuts I needed to use soon … I keep my nuts and seeds in large, sealed Mason jars, dated on blue painters tape (peels right off). Makes it easy to take inventory and see what I have with ease which inspires me to cook and create often!

1/2 cup cashew pieces
1/2 cup pistachio pieces
1/2 cup almond milk
1/4 cup maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

– Blend all ingredients, no need to soak, in a high power blender like a Blendtec or Vitamix until smooth.
– Keep in refrigerator until ready to use.
– This delicate cream is delicious over ice cream, over some fresh strawberries, or my absolute favorite is 1 cup of ice, 1 cup almond milk or your favorite milk or milk alternative, 3-5 tablespoons of the pistachio cream, shake and serve! Becomes a wonderful pistachio latte !!!

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Pistachio Cream

Nut and Seed Cups

I don’t get enough good fats in my diet … I honestly am horrible about eating nuts and seeds just for the heck of it ! I made these little cups of sweet and crunchy goodness that are jam packed with your daily dose of nuts, seeds and fats!

1/3 cup of each of the following :
Cashew Pieces
Pecan Pieces
Slivered Almonds
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Hemp Seeds
Shredded Coconut
Chopped Dates
Gogi Berries

2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons raw cacao powder
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1 cup enjoy life chocolate chips
1/4 cup coconut oil

– Combine all ingredients except the chocolate and oil in a large bowl.
– Melt the Coconut Oil and Chocolate Chips.
– Combine all ingredients with a spatula.
– Place 12 cupcake papers in cupcake pan.
– Mixture should make 12 cups perfectly.
– Place pan in fridge to solidify.
– Once cups are hard place in zip lock bag to keep fresh.

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Nut and Seed Cups

Mushroom & Asparagus Chicken

This is one of those dinners that happened by accident ! I looked in the fridge and found asparagus I forgot to put in water and some mushrooms… Such a simple dish and the word delicious does not even cover it!

4-5 organic chicken thighs
2 tablespoons avocado oil or ghee
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 pound bushel of asparagus, bottoms cut off and cut into thirds
1 pound mushrooms, sliced
Flavorgod Seasoning

– Heat up cast iron pan with oil or ghee
– Generously salt and pepper chicken thighs on all sides and place on hot pan.
– Brown the chicken on all sides … And I mean brown! Get it nice and crispy on all sides!
– Add the veggies and flavorgod and cover. I shook the pan around with the top on to make sure you get the veggies mixed in well. Cook for 15 minutes.
Serve it up!

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Mushroom & Asparagus Chicken

Roasted Curry Butternut Squash

I love anything curry! Mmm I am not a huge fan of butternut squash in savory dishes but this is super yummy! Best of all… Versatel too ! Eat just like this out of the oven…. Allow to cool and toss in your favorite salad or even a chicken salad … Or throw in blender with 4-6 cups chicken or veggie stock and blend into a delicious soup!

1 large butternut squash, peeled and cut into wheels
4 tablespoons melted ghee
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

– Combine all in large bowl
– Bake in 350 degree oven until soft and golden brown!

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Roasted Curry Butternut Squash