Friday, August 31, 2012


I'm taking a blogging break today. L has off school and my parents and husband all took off work. We're going to waste the day away at Hershey Park! I'll see you back here tomorrow! :o)

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Go Girl Go!

Isn't this girl the cutest?!?! She thinks she's a big deal in her soccer clothes. Right before practice last night she asked me what would happen if she got kicked above her shin pads. Well, she found out about an hour after that. She got kicked right in the knee. My girly is so dramatically inclined that I was sure that she would pitch a fit. Instead, she just hopped up, rubbed her knee, and was off again. Maybe it was her competitive nature coming out!

I can't wait until her games start. Though I think that I am a lot more vocal with my cheering than some of the other parents. Go Greenbeans!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

CSA Wednesday

This weeks CSA had...

This was a big box of produce! Even so, I didn't think that would be enough apples for us. L goes through apples like a horse! So I bought some more. They look super yummy! And if we have some that start to look like they are on the downside of ripeness, then I'll just make crockpot applesauce.

When life hands you semi-soft apples with brown spots....Make crockpot applesauce! That was my bit of silliness for the day!

OK, so maybe I'll admit just this once that I am silly all the time! Shhh.... you didn't hear it from me!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Fall Bucket List

Now that school has started I feel like it is fall.  Yes, we are still getting hot weather. No, the leaves aren't changing or falling yet. There's just something about the first day of school that sets off a trigger in my head that says, "Fall is here!". So I decided that I wanted to start a bucket list for myself/my family. There were so many things that we wanted to do this summer that we kept forgetting what they all were. So, I am actually writing down my fall bucket list. Right here....

*Rake leaves and play in them. (Take pictures!)
*Trick-or-treat at Hershey Park
*Go to Creatures of the night. (Which is so amazing! They open up Zoo America for evening and allow you to go in with flashlights. You get a totally different view of the animals at night. And of course the kids love the flashlights!!)
*Disney World!
*Going on a haunted hay ride with my friends
*Outdoor lazer tag date
*Make crock pot apple butter
*Make more crock pot applesauce
*Drink buckets of apple cider
*Pick out own apples at our CSA
*Pick out our pumpkins (Take pictures like we do every year!)
*Go through a hay maze

Monday, August 27, 2012


Dear Baby Girl,

Today is the first day back to school for you! You crazy first grader you! How exactly are you in first grade already??

Your Mama

L and I celebrated  the coming school year, yesterday, by giving each other mani/pedis. It was a lot of fun! Though, admittedly, anyone who looks at my toes will wonder if I was drunk when I painted them. I think I will have to forcibly scream, "My little girl painted them!!", if I should see anyone checking them out!

I dropped off my baby girl at school this morning. She was sure to go down and say hello to her old teacher. We walked up to her new classroom and the teacher gave her a great big hug. Which, stupidly, brought tears to my eyes because Mrs. Daily just so happens to have seen me grow up. Her daughter and I were playmates from the time I was nine and moved into the house that joins theirs. So, for her to be teaching my baby is touching to me. Yeah, and so, I am going to cry at the drop of a hat today about everything anyway! I helped L put her things at her new desk and she walked me back out the door. I gave her a great-big-I-love-you-so-much-it-hurts-and-I-will-miss-you-so-much-hug and wished her a great day. As I walked away I saw her teacher grab her by the hand and masterfully distract her from my departure. No tears for her. She wanted to, I could tell, but she was so brave. I, on the other hand, am proud of myself for saving them until I left the parking lot behind! "Good for you, Kristen!", I congratulated myself with as I tearfully drove down the road.

Sigh, today is a tough day for me. After having an entire summer of laughter and talking around the house now there is only silence. And sleeping dogs if you count that. It's hard. I'm so used to laughing and turning around to tell my girly something and she's not there. I'll pull out of my funk. I promise! I just need a day to pathetically sniffle into a tissue periodically until four when she gets off that bus to tell me how dazzling her day way. Dazzling? Yes, my daughter actually talks like that!

Have a dazzling day!

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I've discovered an area of myself that I need to work on.

I have been writing this blog for a few years now all in the name of getting my story out there so that I can show that people with chronic illness can live "normal lives". Or normal-ish anyway. I also had the hopes that maybe even one person would learn something about invisible illness.

I've realized that I need to think about an even closer audience more often. Like my daughter.

While preparing to go to Target, the other day, my body impressed upon me the fact that I needed to use an electric cart. I had no energy. None! I knew if I used my energy to get to the back of the store, where we needed to go, that I wouldn't be able to make it up to the front of the store. Especially with my six year old in tow! My mind immediately began to fight with itself.

"I don't want to use a cart!"

"You have no energy. You need to!"

"I don't want to, you can't make me! People will look at me funny. I might run into someone that I know who doesn't know about my illness and then I'll have to launch into an explanation. I'm so embarrassed to use the electric cart!"

And there it was. The reason I was fighting the idea, of using an electric cart. I was embarrassed.

That realization made me even more embarrassed. Because I don't know how to teach my daughter that people with disabilities are "normal people" unless I show her. And if I am embarrassed that doesn't show my daughter that it's OK to to be chronically ill and need help. I should be a living example of the way I want her to feel. After all, why would she feel like that if I am not exemplifying that right in front of her eyes.

It's a very fine line but I need to find a way to get beyond the embarrassment to get to a place where I can be an active example.

In the end, I used the electric cart and gave L a ride in my lap while I was at it. We made it through the shopping trip without any mishaps. *Cringing* (We won't talk about that one corner that I bumped off of will we?) The simple walk from the cart area to the car left me sweating and out of breath. I ended up collapsing into the car very glad that I had overcome my embarrassment and used an electric cart. And, maybe, taught my girly something while I was at it.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Goop; Busy Baby Resting Mommy

I realized that I forgot to post my Busy Baby Resting Mommy post from yesterday. So I'll just catch up today!

This is a great, messy, activity to do outside while the weather is nice!

What you need...
Liquid food coloring (optional

1. Empty a box of cornstarch into a bowl.

2. Slowly add water to the cornstarch, while mixing. (The mixture will be very crumbly at first.)

3. You know you've added enough water if... it looks like liquid sitting in the bowl but breaks into chunks when you try to pick it up, and turns back into liquid when you let it rest in your hand. You'll know what I mean when it gets to the right consistency.

This is so much fun!  It does make hands very messy.  However, the instant you run water over them, it begins to dissolve.

Friday, August 24, 2012


As I was walking into our local Target, for last minute school supplies, I was pondering a question... At what point does a person decide that they are "disabled" enough to get a handicapped placard? I have been going back and forth about that thought for quite awhile.

On my good days I feel like I could walk for miles. On my bad days I can barely walk the isle of the grocery store without needing to sit down. The effort that it takes to walk from the back of a parking lot takes up part of my precious energy needed to actually get my shopping accomplished. My worst days require the use of one of the motorized carts at the store. (Though that has only happened a couple of times, fortunately.) On Thursday, after everything I have required of my body this week with all the fun we've been having, I was wavering between a "bad day" and a "worst day".  And I ended up needing to use an electronic cart. My body just doesn't have any more energy to give!

So what's the breaking point that finally determines when a person can "responsibly" say that they actually need a handicapped placard? I ask your opinion because I don't want to be taking advantage of the system. If that makes any sense at all.

Thursday, August 23, 2012


I have been very stressed lately.  The reasoning behind it is not something that I want to discuss at the moment. Suffice it to say that it revolves around my girly and let's leave it at that.

In the past few weeks, in which I have been feeling the extra stress, I have also noticed an increase in my joint pain. I think that's a pretty good sign, to myself, that stress does affect my health.  And maybe a not-so-subtle sign that I need to chill out!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

CSA Wednesday

In this weeks CSA...
Green Beans

I have a recipe or purpose for everything this week. Except for the cantelope. In defense of the fruit, it's our fault not the fruit's, because last week's was very sweet. We are just not big fans.

The cabbage will be made into cole slaw. I think I am going to make a Rachel with it. (Turkey, swiss, cole slaw, and thousand island dressing.) Yum!

The corn, green beans, and tomatoes are a pretty obvious choice in that they will be sides. (Specifically the green beans will go into the crock pot for ham hauck's, green beans, and potatoes.)

I'll dice the peaches up, put a little sugar on top, and then eat them with my cereal.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Mail Frenzy

I got the mail today and found a letter in it for my daughter. She doesn't get mail very often and LOVES when she does. So it's usually a "momentous" thing, for her, when she does get mail.

This mail came from her soon-to-be-teacher!


And, please believe me when I say that the capitalized letters H-O-O-R-A-Y don't even begin to convey how loud and excited the actual "hooray" was!

You can see the glitter in the upper left hand corner of the picture.  It came in the envelope with a poem on the back...
Needless to say, L is VERY excited to try out her glitter the night before school!

First grade starts next Monday. We have a week left of summer vacation. Where did the summer go? Seriously?!? I'll have a first grader?!?!?

We went to see Brave today at one of our local favorite theaters. (The family fun cinema gets us two tickets, unlimited drinks, a kids combo, and a medium adult combo for $15. Yes, I know popcorn is a bad lunch but how can you pass it up for that price??) Tomorrow we'll be Hershey Park happy with our friends, Wednesday we have a playdate lined up, and Friday L is spending the day with Grandma getting spoiled. those are only our plans for the days!  We are packing every single second with last minute summer fun! And... I am going to be exhausted! However, this is one of those times when I am willing to deal with that to make some extra last-minute memories with my girly!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Top 10 Excuses...

My top 10 excuses that I wish I could be using for why I can't...

10. I'm sorry I can't help you move ....
If I carried heavy boxes I would hurt for a week.
.... I am going to be playing air guitar, on stage, at a Brad Paisley concert and won't be out of state!

9. I can't go outside today ....
It's just too hot, it would make me physically ill.
.... I'm off to my third home in Cabo and will unavailable for the next three months.

8. Lunch won't be good for me today ....
I have a doctors appointment to go to.
.... Wolfgang Puck is making me a private meal at his vacation home.

7. I can't meet you at (fill in the blank) ....
I am a couch-mama today.
.... My boyfriend, Ryan Reynolds, is taking me out for a drink!

6. A walk is not a good idea for me this afternoon because ....
I am walking like an eighty year old lady.
I am saving my energy for a million dollar shopping spree tonight!

5. I'm not cleaning my house today ....
My hands hurt too much.
.... The maid just cleaned the house this morning. And yesterday. And the day before that...

4. My grocery shopping should be done tomorrow ....
I can't bend over to reach stuff on the bottom shelf.
.... After all I do have that art class with Bob Ross planned. "Happy little trees!" (Yes, I realize he is dead! Like any of the other things on the list would actually happen to me?!)

3. The laundry can wait ....
Carrying the wash basket would really hurt my knees.
.... I have a closet full of new clothes and a personal shopper waiting in my second walk-in closet!

2. Going into work would be a bad idea ....
Because I cannot stand for longer than a minute at a time today.
.... I am having a Broadway marathon with Kristin Chenowith! Me me me me...

1. I should really help shovel the snow off the walk ....
But I would be in bed for the rest of the day.
.... Unfortunately, I will be in my jacuzzi bathtub, sipping hot chocolate, while my husband gives me a foot massage! Ha! As if!!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Evening Out

We decided to get out of the house the other night. L was bouncing off the walls. So we decided to walk around Zoo America. (Our local zoo, in which you will be through if you sneeze!) We figured it would burn off some of our daughter's energy and be great exercise for us. L asked to take a camera for pictures. She was taking a picture of the martins gambling around in this shot.
I took this picture because these little bobcats were my favorites of the night.  They were playing like little house cats. Adorable!

We ended the evening with a quick ice cream break at her grandparent's house. :o)

Saturday, August 18, 2012

These Boots...

 We had a rainy kind of evening last night. After dinner out it was still drizzling. The best part? L had just convinced her Nana to buy her some shiny new zebra striped rain boots! She was in heaven!
 And completely convinced that she had to put those boots into action after we got home from dinner!  I have to admit, she was one hundred percent adorable in those things! You can see for yourself!
 These boots were just, simply, made for my girly's one-of-a-kind personality!
 They just match perfectly! Though I have to admit that I cringed when she made a bee line for them in the store. My girly-girl had her choice of butterfly and flower covered rain boots and she just had to have the zebra print ones!
I think I uttered something to the effect of, "Oh, you're going to be an animal print kind of girl huh?" L's response... "Yep!!"

So we ended up bringing them
home while L's eyes twinkled with love. And mine twinkled when I watched her
have a blast in the rain puddles!

And I heard my own version of Nancy
Sinatra's song singing through my head....

These boots are made for splashin' and that's just what they'll do! And one of these days these boots are gonna walk all over you!


Friday, August 17, 2012

Rock Painting; Busy Baby Resting Mommy

Need something to keep your kiddo busy outside? I ran into that problem while camping this summer. The plus side was the pack of glitter glue that I had slipped into the "activities box" when I was packing. The solution? I grabbed a bunch of rocks and let L go to town! 

What you need...
Rocks of any shape and size (the bigger the rock the more surface to paint on)
Paint brushes
newspaper (optional)

This is one pretty simple.  Find some rocks and let your kiddos paint them.  If you have them paint the rocks on newspaper then you can eliminate a big clean up by just throwing the newspaper away once they are done.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Rain, Rain, Go Away!

It stormed at our house the other night. The one rumble of thunder actually shook the house. And the monitor in our room was making popping and sizzling noises every time lighting slashed through the sky. It lasted forever! There were flood warnings everywhere with how much rain fell. It rained cats and dogs for a couple of hours.

Unfortunately, the downpour made us realize that our gutters are clogged.... again, which causes the rain to flow over the sides of the gutters and down under our deck. And, for whatever reason, the genius that designed our house put a window right underneath our deck.  Where the water runs down. If the rain falls hard enough it fills the window with water and then leaks into our basement.

We had that happen last night. I could have, literally, done a "Singing in the rain" parody. In. My. Basement! It was a mess! Fortunately, the only thing that was damaged was our Christmas tree box, which is easy enough to replace. Everything else was either on tables or in rubbermaid containers. So My husband and I spent an hour and a half mopping up the water with towels, sheets, pretty much anything that would absorb water. At some point I was so tired, and hurt so much from all the work, that I ended up bawling in the middle of our basement. About our towels. From our wedding. Eight years ago. I was soooo upset to be using those towels on the dirty basement floor. Every time I picked up another one and saw all the dirt on them, that may never come out, I sniffled a little harder. 

Before going to be we turned fans on and left them on all night. We didn't get to bed til after one. And so this morning I was exhausted and hurting.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

CSA Wednesday

This weeks CSA....

Loring Peaches
Duarte Plums
White Sweet Corn
Red Skin Potatoes
Black Cherry, Yellow Pear, and Sungold Tomatoes

Yum! I can't wait to dive into those fruits and veggies!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Soccer Baby!

We signed our girly up for fall soccer and she had her first practice tonight.  She officially "graduated" to the next age group this year. Which admittedly, made me a little nervous because she wasn't really fully "into" the game last year.

L absolutely hated practicing last year. And I mean, literally, hated it. As in she wouldn't pull over and offer soccer practice a ride if she saw it walking along a stretch of dessert blacktop, kind of hated! Last year if she griped and whined at her coach he just told her to go sit on the sideline until she perked up and was ready to practice again. Tonight her coaches pushed her to keep going, and she wasn't happy about it! (My husband and I secretly loved that they pushed her to be better. She needs people like that in her life that don't take her monkey business and tell her "what needs to happen"!) About twenty minutes in, during a water break, L decided to have a melt down. She wanted to sit down and refuse to practice any longer. And when that didn't work she decided that she was quitting soccer for the season. Her Daddy and I explained that even if she did "quit soccer" that we would be bringing her to every practice and game and she would be sitting on the sidelines cheering for her team, whether she practiced or not. When she heard that her coach might not let her play in the actual games if she didn't practice, she hightailed it back onto the field.

Soon after that L got picked to be goalie in a scrimmage game. (Another team happened to be practicing on the same soccer field.) She did fantastically and stopped four or five goals from being scored. My girly even managed to get herself kicked and proudly went around showing everyone rather then having a fit about it. Which I am impressed with because I know first hand how much it hurts to be kicked by cleats! (My brother looooved to kick me in the shins with them when he was younger!)

So far I was pretty pleased and I think she will end up loving her coaches to pieces by the end of the season! And it was so fun for us to cheer her on! I guess that makes me a soccer mom.

Monday, August 13, 2012


I just HAD to share this picture!  Apparently, the city of Harrisburg is no longer satisfied with simply numbering their streets! I thought this was hilarious and had my husband stop so I could take a picture with my phone!

Sunday, August 12, 2012


Sick Mama, over at the Sick Mama blog wrote....

"We celebrate cancer survivors, so why don't we celebrate people living with lupus or multiple sclerosis or any of a thousand other chronic illnesses? Why do people who are sick feel like it's something to be ashamed of, a personal failure?"

I find this to be very poignant and completely agree. Why do I sometimes feel like I am letting myself and others down? Defeated by my disease? A personal failure? Why don't we celebrate the fact that we fight our "fights" every day?

This makes me want to throw a big party, to celebrate what we accomplish every day. All the small victories should count for something right? Like being able to tie our own shoes some days, walking up the stairs without pain, getting on the floor to play with our kids, standing long enough to make a meal for our family, or even a shower should be considered something of a conquest. And, the party, I'll call it my... Spectacularly Awesome Sjogren's Shindig! Or SASS for short!

Saturday, August 11, 2012


It doesn't seem to matter how much suntan lotion I put on, each summer, I still end up with freckles. Freckles! All over my nose and forehead!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Marshmallow Building; Busy Baby Resting Mommy

We're coming to the end of the summer. :o( And if you are like my family you probably have marshmallows laying around in the back of your pantry. (I wish they sold smaller bags of marshmallows because my family can not eat that many smores!) We've had smores all summer long and still haven't managed to kill an entire bag. I guess that means we need to have more people over next summer to help us eat them! 

This is a fun thing to do to use up any old marshmallows you have laying around...

What you need...

This picture is pretty explanatory. Give your preschooler some marshmallows and toothpicks and help them create "buildings" with them!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Here It Is...

I have been weighing the options of whether to make a Facebook page, for my little blog, or not to make a Facebook page. It's actually been running through the back of my mind for quite a while now.  I didn't want the extra page to make more work for myself. But on the other side of things there have been so many times that I have just wanted to share a random thought with you guys and it just didn't warrant an actual post.

And then a fellow bloggie [Blogger + Sjoggie] made a Facebook page. I started looking at hers and other pages and I saw how little or big I could go with it. I pretty much realized that I could choose how much work I actually wanted to put into.

So, with out further ado...

You can check out my new blog's Facebook page here!  Now go and "Like" my page already! ;o)

(A special thanks to Christine for unknowingly convincing me to finally take that Facebook step!)

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

CSA Wednesday

This week's CSA had...
Early Gold Apples
Sweet Peppers
L couldn't wait to dig in the box to see, "what was making it sooooo heavy!".

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Monkey Business

Photo found here
I took L for her yearly doctor's appointment yesterday. The nurse had her change into one of the cute little tied-back hospital gowns.  It was covered in sleepy little tigers. Suddenly, L decided that she HAD to go to the bathroom. "She couldn't wait!!" The doctor was, literally, in the middle of the visit but patiently told her that she could go. Before he had even finished his sentence she ripped open the door. Barefoot, she ran down the hallway, screaming and throwing her arms around like a chimpanzee, as she frantically looked for a bathroom. She ran into the middle of the waiting room, danced a little jig in the midst of everyone waiting, and down another hall. 
As I got to the waiting room I looked around me to figure out where my daughter has disappeared to.  All I saw was her panty-covered hiney running away and the mouths of all the fellow patients having dropped to the floor. 
Oh what I wouldn't have given for a picture of both!!!

Monday, August 6, 2012


OK, I just have to gripe for a moment... If you don't want to indulge me you can feel free to stop reading at this point. Go ahead! Shoo!

Still with me? I knew I liked you for a reason!

You know what's been irking me for the last few days??? Having a chronic illness is hard enough as it is.  The adversity we deal with on a normal basis can be staggering if you let it get to you. Having friends and family be there to support you and understand your little "quirks" is so helpful. Except when you have family members who don't understand, who make comments, seem to work against your efforts of "self preservation", and have you feeling like you are smacking your head up against a brick wall when you've explained about your health for the seventeenth time. Ugh, it's exhausting even thinking about it.

I prefer to try to stay positive in my outlook on my health. And I've gotten to the point in my life where I have realized that it makes so much more sense to just not deal with people who drag you down. To just slowly fade those people out of my life. But what do you do when you can't fade those people out because they are members of your own family?? I'm left with a conundrum.