All posts by Hubbard's Cupboard

Mom, Mormon Blogger, Computer Science Graduate, Photographer

Christmas Card 2017

Christmas Card 2017

Christmas Card 2017 Back

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! Sorry for the late Christmas Card and family update. As you can see it’s been a little busy around here with a new little one.

Dallin: He is in his third year of medical school (post-PhD). He has rotated through internal medicine, surgery, neurology, occupational medicine, rheumatology and psychiatry. He is having fun working on his side business and research project. This year he was called to be the primary chorister at church leading the children’s choir. How he finds time to do everything?…. I don’t know! šŸ™‚

May Bo: I have been busy running kids to school and teaching them at home. There is lots and lots of laundry now with 4 kids. The summer was really busy with soccer and swimming lessons. This year consisted a lot of doctor visits which took up a lot of my free time and it did not allow me to take as many pictures as I’m used to. The nice part of going to the doctors is that I got to run into Dallin at the hospital!

Micah: He discovered his passion for chess this year. He learned the game really fast through an online website called Chess Kid. We spend our weekends at chess tournaments and we are having a great time. Micah loves to read. He spends a lot of time reading and writing books. In August, he started Kindergarten but after 5 weeks we decided to advance him to first grade. Micah loves first grade!

Quentin: He is learning to read and is doing really well. He is on lesson 60 in the book called “Teach your child to read in 100 easy lessons.” Quentin’s strength is showing love to everyone including his brothers and sister. He loves to snuggle and play with legos. He really enjoyed swimming lessons this summer!

Emily:Ā She loves being an older sister. She is girly as girls get. She loves purses, shoes, nail polish, jewelry, shopping carts, babies and pretty things. She is dying to get potty trained but we’re not quite ready for that yet.Ā šŸ˜‚

Jacob:Ā We call him Jake, Jakey or JJ. He is just barely learning to smile. We love him so much and we are so excited he joined our family. We can already tell he loves music!

Enjoy this video we make of our little Jake! We love you all and love all the cards/updates we get from you.

Hereā€™s our past years Christmas Cards:

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

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Cute Santa

We had a cute professional Santa come to our Christmas party so I had to take advantage of the moment to take some cute pictures of my kids!

Santa with the littlest one:

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Micah was telling Santa he wanted a robot!

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Quentin says he wants a Star Wars lego set.

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Emily didn’t care for Santa at all! She insisted on wearing her favorite Halloween skirt. She was born in October so I guess she must like Halloween more than Christmas?

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Eczema or Psoriasis?

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I’ve had rashes ever since I was born!

First, I got diagnose with eczema.

Then, later on I got diagnose with psoriasis.

Then, again the dermatologist said it was eczema not psoriasis… hmm..

I still have a hard time telling the difference between the two disease. From what I understand eczema is not an allergy but can flare up when you’re around allergens. Psoriasis is an autoimmune disorder. Psoriasis is where skin cells grows really fast! Normal skin cells takes about 28 days to grow but people with psoriasis their skin cells can grow in as fast as 3 days!

I’ve had it all… rashes on my joints, hands, scalp, feet, ankles, back, face, ect. My mom worked hard putting topicals on me when I was little. I have never been good at doing it by myself. I would put it off and then get really bad rashes. It was really embarrassing!!! Sometimes it was terrible dry skin which crack really easy! Other times it was plaques of hard flaky skin… I’ve even had blisters and bumps. Most common it was just red itchy round spots of skin. Oh boy… it was itchy! Sometimes I would be up all night itching.

I realized throughout my life that I had seasonal eczema. My rashes would clear up when it was summer and then come back in the winter. When I lived in Ireland, I had rashes the whole time there because it rained so much and there was no sun! I went to the dermatologist to ask him why?! He told me sun helps eczema and psoriasis. He prescribed me 15 mins of direct sunlight a day on my rashes… ya kinda hard in mid-winter Utah… There are UV treatments I can do at a hospital but it’s just sitting under a UV light so I never wanted to pay for that. LOL. During the summer I would try to get sun and my rashes were significantly better. I usually was almost cured by the end of the summer!

Why direct sunlight works is a little unknown but UV light is a natural way to suppress your immune system. So for people with overactive immune systems like mine, it is good to have sunlight to tone down my immune system.

The other time in my life when my eczema and psoriasis went completely in remission is when I was taking a daily biologic injection called Kineret. The Rheumatologist was usingĀ it to treat my Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was on the drug for over 6 months. During that time, I was completely cured of my eczema and psoriasis. I was even cured for another 6 months after getting off the medication but the rash came back. Kineret is also another immune suppressant which is probably why my rashes went away.

Now miraculously for the first time in my entire life… I’m in remission for my eczema and psoriasis without any medications or sun!!!! Glory to God for being so merciful. I honestly don’t know the exact reason why I’m in remission right now. The only thing I can say is that I’ve been eating gluten free for almost 3 years now. My rashes started to go away after 6 months of being on a very strict gluten free diet. It hasn’t come back… yet! It’s even winter time right now where I don’t get any sun. I do, however, get a little itchy when I’m not careful and eat gluten contaminated foods but I’m no where near as itchy as I use to be!! I don’t know if my diet changed has put my rashes in remission or if it’s just a coincidence. I almost take it for granted because I’ve had these rashes all my life. Now I have almost forgotten what an annoyance it was to have it! I hope it never comes back.

Another thingĀ I changed in my diet is eating dairy free… but I don’t think that was what was causing my rashes… it was just causing me stomach pain. Well… this is a post for another day!

Do you have eczema or psoriasis or another rash? If so, what helps you?

 

 

 

 

Easy for Mom Preschool

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I couldn’t decide what words to use for this title. I wanted to say “Lazy Mom Preschool” or “Preschool for Dummies”… but I don’t want to call Moms lazy or dummies! I just mean this is an easy way to do preschool with very little cost and prep work. Easy and simpleĀ is my way of doing things now-a-days. With cleaning the home, teaching the kids, making dinner, church responsibilities and my hobbies… I need to maximize my time by doing things very simple and efficient.

Here are the general learning principles I follow:

  • Do every subject everyday
  • Be consistent & efficient
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Use a paper and pencil
  • Test knowledge

These are the subjects I try to do everyday:

  • Gospel Study
  • Handwriting
  • Scissors
  • Reading
  • Math

The only exception is that my husband is in charge of a science lesson once a week during family night. I try to add music or piano to the daily list… but I seem to never be able to get to that everyday… yet! My kids also to do crafts and art on their own so I don’t mandate that either.

I’ve seen people make weekly calendars… Monday is Math. Tuesday is Reading. Wednesday is Science… ect. The reason why I think this isn’t the most efficient way to do preschool is because preschool aged kids learn by repetition.

God tells us to read our scriptures and pray everyday. Why? It’s so we can learn his words, remember them and master them! Doing something everyday will help anyone master any skills they want to learn! I know from experience that reading my scriptures everyday has made me a better reader as well as a better person. Doing photography everyday has helped me get better at photography. So if I want my kids to get good at something… I’m going to have to help them practice it everyday.

So doing every subject everydayĀ has helped my kids learn these various subjects really well. The repetition really works and they are mastering skills like using scissors and handwriting. We do however take a break on Sunday to go to church and do Sunday activities.

Now… you may think… “Well you must spend an awful amount of time doing this everyday!” My oldest child is 5 years old. We spend 30-45 minutes max on all the subjects. My second child is 3 years old and we spend 15 to 25 minutes. My youngest is 1 years old and we spend about 5 to 10 minutes on it! So for me I spend about 1 to 1.5 hours total in focused learning sessions with my kids.

The key is to be consistent and making the time worth it! I try to get rid of distractions and putĀ my phone away and turn off the computer. These precious minutes are spent in one-on-one focused learning sessions. I make the time efficient by gauging their interest on the subjects. If they are bored then I changed it up. If they are wanting more I usually give them more but I eventually make them stop and say… “Sorry you have to wait to have more fun tomorrow!” “But mom! I LOVE Math… please let me do more math!” In order to be consistent, I have to make teaching a priority in my life. I try to teach even if the house is messy or my projects are not done.

Lastly, I test their knowledge.Ā I am always asking them questions to make sure they have master the concepts I’m teaching them. I test them in all the subjects including gospel learning, reading comprehension and math.

So here is an example of what I do every time.Ā I try to consistently do the same routine every time. I alsoĀ teach every subject every time.Ā IĀ make things simple by just using a notebook and pencil. Everyday I just make a new page or two in the notebook. It’s really nice to use one notebookĀ so I can see how they progress over days, weeks and months.

A preschoolĀ daily learning routine:

  • Pray
  • Book of Mormon Study
  • Writing (or tracing) their name
  • Tracing lines and shapes
  • Cutting out a shape
  • Counting & Recognizing Numbers
  • Letter & Letter Sounds

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Once my child is ready to write on their own then I add these into the curriculum.

Adjusting the way I teach for each child has been a fun challenge. My first son likes to do book work while my second son likes to play games especially computer games. No matter what the content is… the principles I follow are the same:

  • Do every subject everyday
  • Be consistent & efficient
  • Get rid of distractions
  • Use a paper and pencil
  • Test their knowledge

This all didn’t come naturally. I had to learn from my other mom friends! I also had to learn from trial and error. I get criticism sometimes… “Your kids are young… they should just play!” Yes it’s true… there’s lots of learning when they are playing. After I do the focused learning session with my kids… they get so sick of me sometimes that they run away and play the rest of the day. All I have to do after is referee and resolve conflicts with sharing toys… lol! Oh… and I guess I feed them too! So my kids do play hard and work hard.

Of course… I’m not perfect at this routine… we have good days and bad days! But I try really hard to be consistent. Over time I see thatĀ the routine is working. The repetition has really given my kids a foundation of skills and knowledge they need for future learning.

I have found great joy in teaching my children the basics and while I understand that this method may not work for all moms/kids. I would love to hear what works for you!

 

 

 

Living with Multiple Autoimmune Disorders

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I’m working on the “DefineĀ your Dash” challenge from FamilySearch.orgĀ Ā The challenge is writing 52 post/stories in 2017 that defines who I am. This year I plan to blog about my regulars: Temple Pictures, Kids, Family, Parenting and Photography.

In addition, I’m going to blog about something that I don’t try to focus on in my life but since I’m “defining my dash”… it’s just part of who I am! Ever since I was a toddler, I’ve been diagnosed with multiple autoimmune disorders.

I have friends who live with terminal illnesses such as cancer. Others live with diseases like CF which require extensive medical care. Then even other people with mental disorders that are silently endured. Friends with birth defects, special needs, heart problems… the list goes on…

Autoimmune disorders fall in it’s own category… a category which I feel like even after extensive personal research is still very much unknown and undefined. It’s about having good days and bad days. It’s about learning how to live with symptoms with an unknown cause! It’s about searching without finding solutions. It’s about going to the doctor and saying “I have all these problems… please fix me…” but all they do is send me home with more pain medications or take out another organ which is causing pain!! Please don’t take out any more of my organs!! šŸ™‚

My hopes about writing about my autoimmune disorders is not to complain but instead to share what I’ve experience in hopes to connect with others who may have the same problems. I want to share how I cope with these illnesses and also the blessings I see from having autoimmune disorders! ā¤

These are the autoimmune/immune disorders I have been officially diagnosed:

  • Eczema
  • Psoriasis
  • Grave’s Disease (Hyper Thyroid)
  • Still’s Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Drug induced Lupus
  • Chronic Idiopathic Urticaria (Chronic Hives)
  • Allergies to cats, pollens, trees and grass (Ranked 5 on allergy tests)
  • Chronic Gastritis in Stomach

Other annoyances and symptoms:

  • Asthma
  • Recurring Bronchitis
  • Recurring Strep
  • Recurring Ear Infections
  • Recurring UTIs
  • A hernia in my diaphragm which causes acid reflex
  • Unknown GI Problem – Irritable Bowel Syndrome? Gallbladder?
  • Hypo Thyroid due to radioactive iodine treatment to kill thyroid gland
  • Pain in upper right quadrant of abdominal/back – Kidney? Gallbladder? Arthritis in Ribs?
  • Daily Headaches @ ~1-2 pm – Tension Headache? Migraine? Arthritis in neck?

Well… that’s all I can think about for now… I might add a few more symptoms later… I will try to write about a few of these disorders this year! I know I don’t always see it this way but it really has been a blessing God has given me to deal with these problems.Ā I have a awesome hubby in medical school so it really helps to ask him lots of questions! I also know how to look up scientifically sound research on the internet which is a great skill to have because there is a lot of junk out there. I want to go about this in a very positive way and share what I’ve learned with you.

Now my question is: Do you experience any of these symptoms?!!? Or have an autoimmune or immune disorder?