Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Don't judge a book by it's cover!", is what Jonathan says in this video.  He is part of a duo called Charlette Jonathan who have tried out for "Britain's Got Talent". And he is a perfect example of why we shouldn't judge people by appearances alone.

Hope you enjoy this as much as I did.  It moved me to tears!

Friday, March 30, 2012


I have a new "weird thing" going on with me. And this time, I haven't the slightest idea what it could be/mean. My hands have changed. As in I suddenly have knuckles that looks like they belong on a cave man! My middle knuckles, on both hands, have suddenly become huge in comparison to how they have always been in the past. I am thinking of e-mailing, Dr. A, my rheumatologist to see what she thinks about the change?

Here are some pictures of my hands...

My hand looks fairly normal when I am holding it flat.

From above

From the side.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Expert Mama...

No one ever told me that when you become a Mama, you also become an expert.  An expert in all things that your kiddos love.

It started with The Wiggles and their songs...

Next we moved on to The Doodle Bops or more commonly known in our house as "The Bops"...

After this stage was Sesame Street, especially Elmo. This skit actually made Tim and I laugh as much as my girlie...

And, of course,, we had have the princess stage.  Everything princesses. Everything! Shoes, brushes, sheets, her clothes, blankets, everything is princess! I can't even tell you how many times I've heard L wandering around the house singing this song from Rapunzel...

We also are in the midst of the My Little Ponys Friendship Is Magic stage! We could literally build an entire pony village with all the My Little pony stuff we have. Here is one of L's favorite songs from the show...

I found myself in the middle of a whole conversation about My Little Ponies with my girlie the other day. I could tell you the name of all the characters on the show and what they look like.  It's amazing the things that you learn for our kiddos!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012


Another thing that I spoke with my rheumatologist about, at my appointment the other week, is inspiration.  There's no question about it... My inspiration is most definitely my husband and my daughter!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

New York

My parents and I had a fantastic time in New York!  It was supposed to be chilly and rainy.  We got two drops of rain! Yes!

Everything on our list was hit and more! We either went toured or walked around outside of...

*Grand Central Station and it's market (I am awed by their main terminal area!)
*Times Square
*Toys R Us on Times Square (Seems silly but when Toys R Us goes big, they go big!)
*Saint Patrick's Cathedral (I don't even have words for how beautiful it was)
*Rockefeller Center
*The Rockefeller ice rink
*Disney's huge store (Had to visit this for my daughter)
*M&M's huge store (Just because it was there)
*Winter Garden Theater to see Mamma Mia (This show was AMAZING and I would go see it again!!!)

So here are some of the pics I took...

The Jurassic Park T-rex in Toys R Us!

Yes, that does say $12.96 PER pound! Crazy!!

Chandelier in the Grand Central Station Market. Beautiful!

I had to take a picture of these Louis Vuitton's for my daughter.  I knew she'd think they looked like "princess shoes"!

The Rock Center

My Mom and I. Yeah, we kinda look alike. :o)

My Dad and I.

Monday, March 26, 2012

Couch Mama...

Yesterday was a pj day!  I was also a "Couch Mama".  What's a "Couch Mama"?  It's the name L gave me when I am having a bad day and need to stay on the couch all day to help myself feel better.  I am not at all offended by the name.  It just is.  And it helps L differentiate between a good day and a bad day for me.

We didn't let it stop us from having some fun. We played War with a deck of cards, as well as other things. I love my girlie's giggles!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

The Aftermath...

Long but wonderful day yesterday!  Needless to say I am sore and tired.  I have to take a raincheck on my post for the day. See you tomorrow, hopefully!

Friday, March 23, 2012

New York, New York

I'm headed to New York with my parents tomorrow.  This should be an exciting and interesting trip.  My father will be traveling through the city with my mother and I, who will both be hurting by the end of the day!

Our plans for the morning are Saint Patrick's Cathedral, Grand Central Station and it's market, Times Square, and Toys R Us on the square. We're having lunch and heading up to the Winter Garden Theater to see Mama Mia on Broadway! Then dinner somewhere and off to the bus we go.

Ex-cit-ing! I hope my mom and I can drag ourselves back on the bus, in the evening, before we collapse!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Like Mother Like Daughter

Last night L was crying. To say she was just crying, however, would be a gross understatement. She was downright sobbing her little heart out! Full on wracking sobs that shook her little shoulders and turned it into an "ugly cry" with snot dripping from her adorable nose. The thing was, I couldn't do anything about it.  She wouldn't let me.  If she even heard me put a foot on the stairs she was screaming at me to "Leave her alone! She didn't need my help! She didn't want my help! Just leave her ALONE!". I believe the bathroom door was even locked at one point until I put an end to it.

L in the bathroom while I tried to sneak a pic.
What brought us to this unfortunate episode?  A loose tooth.  Her second loose tooth to be exact, so she knew what to expect.  Apparently, this was a very small comfort, for my little one, with the weight of the world on her shoulders. L was not ready for this tooth to come out.  Oh, yes, she has been wiggling it for the last few weeks.  She knew it was coming out.  However, knowing it's coming out and being ready for it to come out are two entirely different things!

I cannot say that I am surprised to say the evening had come to that. The dramatics of this event bring to mind another time for me....

A time when I was a small girl terrified of my tooth falling out. I had been wiggling my tooth for weeks.  The thing was aimlessly hanging by a thread of root and my father had decided that, "Tonight was the night for the tooth to come out!".  He gave me the length of the Cinderella movie to get the tooth out myself or he was doing the deed himself. I recall sobbing the whole way through the movie, bravely wiggling my tooth in the hopes it would magically pop out for me. The movie ended and the tooth was no closer to coming out. My father plopped me in his lap hoping that I would meakly sit while he pulled out the tooth.  An hour later I had bitten my father's fingers, cried so much my eyes were puffy, and snotted enough to fill a bathtub. And then it happened... I had driven my father so far that he suddenly flipped me over on his knee, determined to to bend my will. My mother saw what he intended and threw herself on top of me, screaming his name...And he ended up walloping her hiney instead of mine!!! Oh boy! Then she got up and threw some type of comment my father's way before walking away rubbing her hind end. When it was all said and done I was left with a tooth under my pillow and little hicupping sighs as I fell asleep.  I think I may have gotten the better end of that deal. 

When I see this story in my head I envision it being of "The Christmas Story" proportions, and I cannot help but burst into peals of laughter.  Looking back, I know, I really truly deserved that spank that my father was aiming at me and cannot imagine how things ended up as epicly as they did.

Now I am left exhausted after my daughter's tooth dramatics, feeling sorry for my parents, who I KNOW cursed me!!! Cursed me to a doom far worse than others... Having a daughter who hates having her teeth fall out. Duhn duhn duuuuuhhhhnnnn!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Oh My...

 It was so nice this morning that I took my daughter to the bus in flip flops! I loved it! Until we stopped at the bus stop and I realized how white I am.  We're talking NEON white! Yikes!

Look at that! You could use those feet as reflectors at night!  I think my toes are calling for a new pedicure too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


I had a visit with my uber fantastic Rhuematologist this morning. I love her! LOVE her! Did I mention I love her? I can't say it enough!

We went through the medications I am currently on and how good I've been feeling.  I honestly think that, for the moment, we've hit upon a trifecta of pills that are working amazingly for me with a lot of sunshine thrown in for good measure. Plaquenil, mega-high doses of Vitamin D, and Ambian (to make sure that I get a healing night's sleep) are making my world go 'round right now!

Dr. A, cautioned at the end of the conversation that she didn't know how long this combination of drugs would keep me feeling as great as I am. My response to that was that I hoped I was able to give my daughter another 4 or 5 good months. She gave me a quizzical look at that point. To which I explain that I've been able to be a semi-normal mommy for the last five months. With a few exceptions I've been able to run around and play with L like I don't even have Sjogren's which isn't something that I've been able to do as much before. Yes, I have always pushed myself more than I should. I have often been willing to hurt the next day to be able to have amazing experiences or adventures with L. I was OK with that. I'm a mom first and I have always strived to not let my illness affect my daughter. But in the last few months I haven't had to worry about moving my "to do list" around to make energy for activities. I've just been able to do them. I'll be sad if the sponteneity gets taken away; my ability to just be able to "pick up and go" my with girly.

Being a mom, herself, Dr. A. could somewhat understood where I was coming from, and then said the thing...  The thing that bothered me. She said, "Kristen, you are just so selfless.".

I sat there dumbfounded and thought,   Me? Not me? FRAUD! I AM A FRAUD! .  I actually teared up. I realized that it bothered me that she said this. It made me feel like a fraud because I don't feel selfless at all.  I feel selfish. I feel selfish because even in these good times, with my illness, I still have to watch the people I love make accomodations for me because of my Sjogren's Syndrome. My family has to live in a messy house because I'd rather spend the energy with them. Friends make sure I'm the one sitting while they have to stand. Or I am given the comfy seat while they are obviously uncomfortable sitting on the floor. On the rare bad days my daughter has to come play with me on the couch.  And my husband is constantly keeping an eye on me to make sure I don't over do it. 

So here I am, again, putting one of my worries out there for the world to see. I am horribly vulnerable about this but want to express it anyway all in the name of honesty, about my heath, for this blog.  This is me. Kristen. My Sjogren's Syndrome has caused me to feel selfish. When I consistantly see people having to adjust their lives for me when they otherwise wouldn't, even for a few moments, how is that selfless?  

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Family Guy - Lois Mom Mum Mommy

This perfectly describes my day in one small cartoon clip!  Although, this clip is funnier than I felt my day was. Ha!

Saturday, March 17, 2012


I stepped on my scale this morning to find I've lost another pound. Yay me! However, this blog isn't about that because of course my girlie was standing right beside me avidly waiting to see the what the scale said.  When she saw the number she screamed, "Yay! You're more healthy Mommy!".  I instantly laughed while beaming at her.  Because her comment means that she was actually listening when I was talking with her about trying to become more healthy rather then skinny.  So the whole comment she made about Ritas was put out there but it didn't distract from the message I was trying to get across.

And a point goes to Mommy!

Friday, March 16, 2012


After about a week and a half of gorgeous sunshiny weater in the 70s, we're now dealing with a semi-blah, overcast, rainy kind of day.  Ordinarily I wouldn't disapprove but my body has decided to complain about it today.  The rain song comes to mind, so I changed the words to suit me...

Rain, rain, go away,
I don't want my body to hurt today!

Sheeeeesh! How old am I??

Thursday, March 15, 2012


I just found a new blog that I have begun reading recently.  While the author of this blog is not a fellow patient with Sjogren's Syndrome, she is a fellow "Chronic Chic". Chelsey over at HOPE-Helping Other Patients Everywhere , in my opinion, has written a very thought provoking post about helping others while we are down ourselves. You can read it here. Happy reading!

My mind has been returning to this post all morning.  Instead of focusing on my own burdens I should be focusing on helping others with theirs. It's definitely something to aspire to. I hope in some small way that my blog may be doing that already in sharing my experiences. After all, I know it makes me feel better reading about my fellow bloggers misadventures, knowing that I am not alone in my health issues. It almost fosters a feeling of family. However, the blog post on HOPE has inspired me to go beyond that. To, perhaps, find other ways to be a help and concentrate on other's problems rather then my own.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


We had steak, on the grill, and corn on cob for dinner. The weather definitely called for it!
L was afraid to eat the corn with her wiggly front tooth. So she chomped on it from the side. When she was done it looked like a rabid raccoon had gotten a hold of it. (Great mental picture!) 
 So we ended up giving the rest of the cob to our two dogs and they finished it off. At first they licked the butter off. Then they realized they could nibble the corn off the cob. By the time they were finished there wasn't a kernal of corn to be had.
 All I can say is that watching my girlie eat her corn that way and then seeing our doggies go crazy over the corn was the funniest thing I've seen in awhile!!! I'm glad I can still be so amused by the little things in life!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Mr. Roger's Neighborhood Intro Theme

Remember this guy???

...Well it's a beautiful day in this neighborhood! It's so sunshiny, the weather is due to be in the 70's, I've gotten my walk out of the way, and dinner in the crock pot. Now I plan to open all the windows and enjoy this weather.

Hope it's a beautiful day in your neighborhood!

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Bass Shoes

Ladies, I have found some amazing shoes! My honey took me out to buy some great shoes for work. I was NOT going to complain about buying shoes! Anyway, when I get called in to work I end up being on my feet the whole time.  (That ends up being a painful thing for me if it's all day long!) So my husband decided that I needed really supportive shoes. I was determined to have really cute shoes. Surprisingly enough we found a pair that fit into both categories at the Bass Store at the Tanger outlet in my area! Lucky me!

See... The insides of the shoe have a cushioned insole. Wonderful! Like walking on a cloud. They give with your feet and mold to their own special shape for a custom fit. And while I haven't gotten to try them out at work yet, they sure did spoil the heck out of my feet at church!

I managed to find the website for this brand of shoe. However, I have to admit that I am a little disappointed in their selections versus the outlet store that I was in, as far as prices and sturdy looking shoes versus cute trendy looking ones. (The average price at the outlet store was $30 with a % off and the website's prices look to be able $20 more.) Perhaps the actual stores offer more variety to choose from? I also found, on the website, that you have to wade through all of the shoes to find the ones with the "cushion like" insoles.  The plus side to that is that each shoe offers several different pictures of the product which should accurately allow for you to determine if you are buying the comfortable ones.

Perhaps if you are looking for some super cute, amazingly comfortable shoes you can check this website out. Which lists the Bass Outlets across the country, according to states, for you. Trust me, you don't want to miss out on these shoes! Happy Shopping!

PS- No, I have not been asked by Bass or any other store, organization, etc. to promote these shoes. Even though I should be!! He he he! Wink, wink Bass Shoes!! I am posting about this to share just in case someone else happens to find herself in the same shoe conundrum I was in.

G.H. Bass Shoes

Friday, March 9, 2012

Oy Vey!

For the last couple of months I've been upping my exercise every day (as much as I can taking into consideration my energy levels for the day) as well as seriously trying to watch my portion control. Happily, I can say that I've now lost 13 pounds!  I still have a lot more to loose on my way to being healthier, but it's a begining.

Every morning I've gotten into the habit of weighing myself to see where I am at for the day.  My daughter has noticed, because she doesn't miss anything. So she plunks herself down on the floor right beside the scale and starts cheering for me. It's usually something along the lines of, "Go Mommy! You can do it! Stay the same or loose a pound! No more pounds!".  It makes us both giggle every time. Fortunately, I've mostly either stayed the same or lost. Which I am happy about because it's just as important for me to stay consistant with the weight rather than gaining it back. On the unlucky days that I have gained a pound (most likely due to all the water I drank the day before), my daughter runs around the house dramatically yelling, "Oh no! Mommy gained weight! What are we going to do?!?".  You think I am kidding.  I'm really not. She's truly that dramatic about all things! Ha!

While we were driving in the car the other day L made a simple comment something along the lines of "Mommy wants to be a skinny girl.".  That's when I realized that I needed to make sure to carefully explain to her why I am loosing the weight.  (After all a girl's childhood is the foundation for her habits and self esteem for life.) So, I am loosing the weight not because I want to be a "skinny", although that is an added benefit, but because I want to become healthier.  Becoming healthier means less weight on my body which amounts to less stress on my joints. Loosing weight means being able to walk farther and enjoy being outside more with my daughter. It also, hopefully, means even more energy for me. All of this will allow me to be a role model for my daughter as well. To help her realize that we have to take care of our bodies since these are the ones we're stuck with. Anyway, I didn't really go into all of that with my daughter.  I think I just told her that I wanted to be healthier, because the healthier I am, the better chance I have to of living a long healthy life with her.

She paused to think about what I had said for a moment. Her response to my whole talk with her.... "Mommy! We have three more days til Rita's opens!!!!"

Oy vey!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

The Zoo

I went for a walk at the zoo, with friends today.  It was an amazing morning for it! The sky was the perfect shade of blue with fluffy white clouds and the temps were in the mid 60s! I couldn't help but take my camera with me to get some great pictures!    

I found these pretty blue flowers, in my front yard, before I had even gotten into my car!

I love the colors!

The kissing tower at Hershey Park, overlooks the zoo.  This could be a post card!

Buds starting to come up.. spring is soooo close!

He was so sleepy and content.

I swear he was trying to talk to me!

I like the buds on the trees.  A good sign that spring is almost here.

Another sign that spring is near.... Our local Rita's Italian Ice is opening soon. Yay!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

A Little Kindness...

I'm pretty sure you've noticed the added blogs that I've been doing lately.  I'm also pretty sure that my lovely readers are smart enough to put two and two together and realize that my winter blues are G-O-N-E!!!!! Yay me! The fabulous spring like weather that we've been having in PA, of late, have done wonders for my depression.  As in, made is disappear like a hotdog at an eating competition!  I feel like the Vitamin D has been helping with this as well.  It's given me so much energy lately. I've been able to run all over God's green (or semi brownish wintery) earth with my stay-at-home-mom friends lately.  There's mostly been a lot of junk treasure finding at antique barns and craft factories.

The downside to the Vitamin D is that when I have a bad day I feel like it hits me harder then it used to. And, yes before you think it, I know that's technically a "good" problem to have! I'm so used to running around like Super-Stay-At-Home-Mom now, who volunteers at school, exercises, runs around with friends, and works her job when they call, that I've come to expect it.  So when I have a bad-ish day, like today, it really hits me. I feel even more tired because I don't have to deal with it as much. Yes, again, good problem to have!

Today, I have no energy. At. All. I had to forget about my daily walk, run out briefly for my allergy shots, and then come home to crash on the couch. While I was out I felt my energy getting lower and lower.  In my head I could see the little energy bar that most of those cute little characters have in video games. (Because I just visualize stuff like that. He he) I had to drive my car to the doctors. Bloop....There goes some energy. I had to park the in a weird parking spot, with brain fog. Bloop...Bloop...There goes some energy. I had to walk a block to get down to the building. Bloop...Bloop...Bloop-Bloop...There goes some energy. Wah...Wah...Waaaaahh.....You are out of energy!

On the way out of the doctors I had  wonderful gentleman hold the door for me. That door was a solid, heavy, wooden door and would have cost me some much needed energy.  When it was time for me to use the cross walk a lovely woman waved me across rather then making me wait til she drove past. That saved me some energy. I also had a patient person let me take my time getting out of my parking spot and someone else let me turn first when they had the right of way.  All of these things seem so little and insignificant to most people.  They are usually acts that people don't even think twice about on a daily basis.  And yet, they helped me save some of the little energy that I had left for the day.  It's a good thing to remember.  Do the little things, when you are able, for others.  Because you just never know when it might mean so much more to someone else!

Monday, March 5, 2012


My honey took me to a new antique store this past weekend! Yay!!!  I fell in love with the place and it really got my creative thoughts flowing. I had to share some of the pictures from the store. And the proprietor was a sweet, delightful, motherly type who talked our ears off about all of the things in her store. There were stories for everything!

I love this green clay bowl. The tan bowl had an amazing pop of blue color.

I swear I developed a bad case of distractions with this shelf.  So many things to look at, and so many things to buy! As I reached out to touch things I heard my mom in the back of my head, from a childhood memory saying, "You see with your eyes not your hands."

This cabinet had so much personality with all the drawers, doors, and paint scratches.

The cash register was standing at the check out desk. What character!

This fake fireplace was so cute!! I think I saw it about five different places in my house.

This ceiling is am-A-zing!!! The building was originally used for a barn. The proprietor decided to keep the flavor of the former place. I'm so glad she did!!!

This cabinet called to me! Too bad it was over $800!!

So cute and versatile.

I found this folding door that was pulled from an old barn.  I instantly fell in love! I'll be leaning this up against the wall.  More pictures to come when I've got it all planned out and finished. 

As my daughter says, "The star cut outs are dazzling!"

I found this glass door knob that I'll be adding to the door as a decorative feature.  As well as a place for my girlie to hang her coat.