My Blanken World

My world of boys, textiles and moving.

Two down… May 23, 2016






Our second-born, also known as Michael, turned 18 today.  We wouldn’t dare say it’s been a breeze, because he was definitely our challenge.  The one where if it was going to go wrong, it went wrong… and yet, he still came out amazing!

From about the 5th month of pregnancy I knew something wasn’t right?  Born two weeks late but induced due to a slowing heart rate, he was literally pulled out by our midwife because his shoulders had become stuck.   He was already challenging us!  After delivery though, his little heart came back twice as strong.

He was quiet and strong.

After a couple of weeks with this perfect little bundle, his jaundice set in.  “Pumpkin” the nurses called him when we headed back to the hospital for the light therapy.  His bilirubin count was so high they nearly took him in an ambulance.  That’s when the quiet ended, but the strong didn’t.

For over four years this little man cried.  Cried like his fingers had been closed in a car door.  We went to doctor after doctor, all the while being told he was just fine, it was just who he was.  Four years of no sleep.  Four years of rashes everywhere.  Listening to screaming for the majority of the day.  Four years of having strangers whisper, or tell me straight to my face what a terrible parent I was because of his screaming.  Four years of not knowing how to fix his hurting.






But when he did stop, if only for an hour or so, he was so happy, and so beautiful.






After four years, we decided to take him to a therapist to see if they could help.  “Take him to a naturopath if the doctors won’t listen!”, he said.

Best advice ever!

Our son was allergic to several foods – corn, wheat (gluten) and dairy (casein).  All of his favorites of course!  After cutting those out, we were still left with a kid who only knew how to get angry, but could now at least function.  Four years of therapy to correct the damage that had been done and all the time lost, and some very caring church leaders, coaches, naturopaths, family and friends who stuck it out with us, he was a completely different kid.





Always challenging.  Always pushing.  Always trying something new.  I couldn’t imagine what life would have been like without him, his energy, his mischievous giggle from the other room and the lessons he brought with him.  Still strong, sometimes quiet.  Always a challenge.

Scary delivery, jaundice, food allergies, night terrors, stitches, multiple goose-eggs, Poison Ivy, two broken arms, and none of it slowed him down!


Michael 1


Yes, he still has his allergies, albeit less intense now.  Yes, he manages quite well with them.  Yes, it’s changed everything in our life, mostly for the better.  Not so much for out pocket book, but definitely for our bodies.  And I am thankful for that!







Our computer nerd through and through, he’s graduating high school with a certificate in Computer Technology, and is about to leave home for a new adventure.  I’m sure however, we’ll see him grocery shopping our pantry and finding his way home for the wash machine.  This strong willed, energetic, enthusiastic, kid is ready for the world… I hope it’s ready for him because he doesn’t knock down easily!








Let’s just go with annaphaltcic? August 10, 2012

Filed under: Boys,Broken/Repaired,Family — blankenmom @ 11:33 pm
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It turns out the second-born had to have surgery on his arm after all….








That’s ok, these things happen. 


But when you have food allergies, this creates a whole new set of issues.





The second-born is allergic to corn (gmo), wheat (gluten) and dairy (casein) – the three things that are in *everything*!  Right now, go walk into your kitchen and look at anything you can reach for – it’s ok….. I’ll wait.


Bread – wheat of course, but also corn syrup, corn starch and probably dairy

Steak sauce – corn syrup, caramel color (wheat)

Ketchup – corn syrup

Lunch meat – corn syrup, corn starch, wheat, caramel color and sometimes dairy



Now go look in your medicine cabinet – waiting…..


Your pills, most likely compressed using corn starch (modified food starch, so it could be any starch that they got in that day). 

Syrups, most likely sweetened with corn syrup and may be suspended in corn starch and maltodextrin (which is most likely made with corn). 





When you have food allergies, it can cause different symptoms; some mild and some extreme.  While at camp my son came across a few other kids with the food allergies – a wonderful woman there was nice enough to take on the challenge of all these issues and make an allergen free menu.  *SAINT*  There were kids who would get physically ill if they came into contact with certain allergens – as in hospital visit. 

My son happens to grow horns and become evil OR get’s depressed and we don’t see him for days.  It can also cause sores or rashes on his body. 

Besides these reactions, when your body is trying to fight this allergy, it brings your immune system to a halt while it has to do battle with what it perceives as an invader.  If you’re at home, this should be ok because you’re around all your usual cooties (technical term there), but if your say – getting surgery and having steel rods put in your arm, your body has to do battle on four fronts.  The fight against the rods, the incision, the cooties at the hospital AND the food allergies.

While *I* get this and have to deal with it every day, the poor nurses, docs and pharmacists think you’re nuts and figure – he won’t *die*, just deal with the behavioral problems when they show up!  Which, if we couldn’t find anything else we would do, but if we can find an alternative – WE’RE GOING TO! 

“He can’t have apple juice?”  (corn syrup)  “He can’t have apple sauce?”  (corn syrup)  “He can’t have crackers?”  (wheat, possibly dairy)

“He can have rice.”  Rice it was!

What if those behavioral problems turn into physical problems because he hurts himself in a fit of depression?  Or because he shows “manic” symptoms and won’t sit still?  What if his body can’t fight on all four fronts and get’s an infection?  What if the corn causes sores under his splint?

I honest-to-goodness thought the pharmacist was going to flog me when I went through all the prescriptions! 

Food allergies aren’t just about not liking a certain food or even a little stomach ache – they’re about real issues and sometimes horrible consequences, but if you’re not going to die, it’s hard to convince a lot of people that it’s real.

Trust me – we know we’re a huge pain when we go to restaurants, doctors offices or even the movies.  Sleep-overs are always interesting too.  If you think it’s a pain for you for an hour, try living this way your whole life.






I have to eat what? June 30, 2012

Filed under: Broken/Repaired,Random thoughts,What's happening — blankenmom @ 5:53 pm
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I’ve been having stomach problems for years…. and years.  After several docs just chalked it up to nothing I gave up.  However, that didn’t make it go away.  So I recently went to a naturopath in our new town and she put me on the “Elimination diet”.  Don’t look at me like that – it’s about eliminating food from your diet, not from your body – Ew!











The main portion of my diet for the next month will be rice, rice and a little more rice.  YUM! 









Ok, I can have chicken and veggies/fruit, but all the side dishes will be rice, rice noodles and potatoes. 









Day 2 and I’m starving!


It’s all for a good reason thought right?  You’ll keep reminding me of this while I’m on vacation with the in-laws and can’t eat all of their good cooking and yummy restaurant foods…. RIGHT!


A few things keeping me happy are the decaf she’s allowing me and the soda water in juice (no sugar juice).  Mmmm!





I suppose it wouldn’t be so bad if I actually knew how to cook.  I could come up with all kinds of tasties, but no, I have no cooking abilities and the first-born is gone on a missions trip, so he can’t even save me with his yummy cooking.  So I’ll just keep myself distracted with projects.  I’ve got several that are attacking me at once. 









On a lighter note – the second-born thinks this is hysterical; now he can actually eat more foods than I can.  Show off!


Perfect day! May 22, 2011

If you are reading this – you were not one of the chosen ones! 

But that’s ok, neither was anyone I know.  So the second coming is still alluding, well everyone.  Few – I had a few things I still wanted to get done.  *wink*

Last night we had “Armageddon pizza” and today we went to the Farmer’s Market and beach (might as well enjoy our last day on Earth after all).  Perfect day for the beach too; except that everyone else seemed to have the same idea, we even saw our neighbor there.  Even the hubby went; it was so much fun to watch him boogie board with the boys!  The first-born chose to sit in the sand, grousing that we made him venture out into the sun, but his brothers had a good time making sand castles, boogie boarding and beating each other with large pieces of drift wood.  We even had a small crab come join us – it even attempted to stow away in our wagon.  We did leave the girls at home though; to hot, to many people and I wanted to just sit.


Tomorrow will be back to the usual, short of the heat.  It’s supposed to 90*+, that should slow everyone down!  Monday will be a big day though.  Our second-born will be 13, an actual teenager!!  So on top of him being bi-polar, we’ll get teenage mood swings – just what I was hoping for… yay.  In all honesty, it’s has already started.  The eye rolling, the attitude; all the wonderful little mannerism’s of a teenager.  Still love the kid – just can’t wait till he’s human again.  We’ll have school off for the day, Chuck E. Cheese and the local ice cream parlor is the call of the day, #2 will be getting his usual “rice-cream” however.  And the big gift will be a new bike – you know, right before we move  just to add extra weight!
The knitting – the knitting is going slowly, very slowly.  Ok, I’m bored with the skirt.  I DID however find a LYS – EEK!  Of course I found it, we’ve only got 3 weeks left here!  But at least I’ll know where it is for when we get stationed here next.  I got two new yarns; how could I not?  To just go in and feel – that’s just crazy talk!   Now, if they’d just get a fabric store before we’re here next, I might not ever leave! 

Cascade Yarns - Alpaca Lace


Knit One, Crochet too - 2nd Time Cotton

If you’re wondering about the constant knitting and no sewing, trust me, I’ll be back to the sewing as soon as we get to the new place.  I can’t wait to get my machines humming again and to feel the fabric slipping through my hands!
On top of all this wonderfulness, I made an excellent meal!  Don’t laugh – it was good!  We’re trying to clean out the fridge to avoid our usual “handing out the meat” that we usually end up doing right before we leave.  Unfortunately, that left us with 8 pounds of tilapia.  It’s supposed to be a mild fish, without a lot of flavor.  But instead I found it had a very “fishy” flavor that I really don’t like – and I LOVE fish, so that wasn’t a good sign.  I found a Curry Stew recipe that was REALLY good.  It covered the flavor of the tilapia, but was very spicy, not good on a hot day.  But even the two resident fish hater’s had to admit it was pretty good and the house “chef” could only state that it needed more salt.  Not to bad for someone who can burn a grilled cheese sandwich!  The second-born even liked it; poor kid can’t have Casein so no whipping cream for him, just rice milk.  But the third-born was stoked that it was spicy, that boy LOVES spicy!  We will definitely be making it again, but in the winter.
Tonight we sat to watch a movie together, while running out to get something from the van for the movie we noticed 3 toads sitting on our front walk – one was HUGE!  No pic’s?  I was having to much fun catching them!
What a perfect day!

Happy Mother’s day and stuff May 9, 2011

I’m hoping everyone had a very nice Mother’s day – however you choose to celebrate.  Whether your into an extravagant day, being pampered and taken care of, or you’re more into no celebration at all.  I chose to go to the beach with the boys and then we had a nice casual dinner – very yummy!

The night before, we were invited (well actually ordered, it was mandatory fun) to a pig roast with all the hubby’s co-dentists, a good time as always.  Although I must admit, as much of a carnivore as I am, eating straight out of a pig was a bit much for me?  Didn’t stop me mind you, just slowed me down for a second or two!  (I was going to show you a picture, but it’s not very appetising.)

Last week was also very exciting, I got two new set’s (15 needles each, so 30 total) of circular needles.  Nothing fancy, VERY inexpensive, but they’ll do the trick nicely until I can afford nicer ones.  Besides, trying to knit 300 stitches on double-pointed needles was a bit more of a challenge than I was wanting!  Now I just need a new holder for them – hadn’t thought that far ahead?

I’m trying to knit a skirt, but I’m having to make my own pattern.  It’s 2 strand wool/silk on size 0’s, so it’s very tiny.  I so love working with this yarn though, it’s so soft and easy to work with!  This is as far as I’ve gotten though and it’s been about 2 weeks.  I’m thinking that now that I have the circular though, it should pick up.  I should also point out that I had to measure my backside for this and let’s just say I’ll be getting back on that treadmill very soon!  Eek!

Today was also very nice – I got two new items: A french fry cutter and a Carpet rake.  Do I see some confused faces out there? 

Yes, we really did need a french fry cutter!  The next time you go to the grocery store, try to find french fries without corn (syrup, starch or oil, or the dreadful “Corn/Vegetable Oil”  meaning they want you to guess what they used that day) or wheat.  Yes, it can be done.  My favorite store Costco sells them, but they are WAY far away.  And my second-born can’t eat anything with corn, wheat or dairy (as I’ve mentioned before).  So, we’re solving the problem by just making our own! 

Now, on to the carpet rake.  Yup, it’s just like what it sounds.  It’s to rake the carpet – and yes, I’ve completely lost my mind!  I WANT MY FLUFFY CARPET BACK!!  So tonight I’ll be “raking” my carpet and vacuuming to get that “just moved in” look.

(Also doubles as a dog scratcher)

Have I mentioned I miss my sewing machine?  One of the hubby’s co-dentists asked me to take a look at a dress of her’s to see if I can do anything to improve the look.  Which means my baby might get to come back out of his box!  YAY!


See – big week for me!

( Just as an update – My sister-in-law just called to let me know that the post office found the sweater I knitted for my dad – that I mailed 3 months ago.  She picked it up today.  Thank you LORD – prayers do get answered!)