Thursday, January 24, 2013

Taking It Easy

The other day I had an acquaintance ask me what I have been doing differently or stopped doing since my flare started. The answer I gave her?

I'm not and I really haven't.

Let's be real here. I live in varying degrees of pain every day and will continue to do so for the rest of my life. It'd be easy to let that thought weigh down on me and let it take over and stop doing everything. I refuse to let it. I refuse to let life go on around me while I sit on the couch feeling sorry for myself. Dinners still need to be cooked, errands still need run, my crazy little sweetie girl still needs a bath despite her wish to run around like a dirty little heathen. Ha! Anyway, my "mom duties" don't stop just because I am in a flare and hurting. My daughter is not going to suddenly decide to not eat lunch at school anymore so it's not like I can choose to stop packing her lunch. (Even though I could completely see her doing that to prove one of her stubborn points!)

I have been simply changing the way I do things. Instead of standing at the counter to cut up veggies, for our dinner, I will pull a stool over and sit while chopping away like the Muppets Chef  Emeril Lagasse. I sit on the couch while folding laundry, limit errands to one a day, and make several sandwiches all at the same time (while sitting on the stool) to minimize my standing time. You may even find me curled up in the corner of the couch while I pretend to be offended that Cinderella's evil step mother wants her to wash the floor, again, because I've even found ways to work around my flare and still play with girly.

What it comes down to is that life doesn't stop just because our bodies refuse to fall in line and do what we want them to. I think everyone can understand that the older a person gets, whether you are chronically ill or as healthy as a horse. So instead of focusing on what I shouldn't be doing or what I should be cutting out of my life....

I am focusing on what I can be doing! It's just a little matter of perspective.






Monday, January 21, 2013

Bleh

I am not feeling the greatest at the moment. My flare is going strong, my energy is low, my sinuses have decided to become painfully stuffed, and thanks to my doctor not getting back to me I have been dealing with a UTI all weekend. I am miserable.

Feeling this way doesn't exactly leave me filled with inspiration to write blog posts. So I will be taking a few days off.

See you soon!



Saturday, January 19, 2013

Yuck

My body officially hates me! I now have a UTI as well as everything else. :oS



Friday, January 18, 2013

Straws in a Bottle; Busy Baby Resting Mommy

What you need...
Straws
A bottle of any kind (The wider the mouth of the bottle the better it is for the younger kids)

Directions...
1. Sit the bottle on the floor.

2. Have your kidlet stand above the bottle with straws.

3. Now, they get to try to drop the straws into the mouth of the bottle.

Other ways to do this would be with wooden clothespins for babies.  However, simply have them try to "place" the clothespins into the bottle, rather than dropping them in.



Thursday, January 17, 2013

A Visit with Dr. A

I got to see my rheumy today, Dr. A. She suspects that I am in the middle of a flare because my body is just doing too much. It's maybe a little in shock as well. The combination of being on my feet so much and being exposed to so many germs while at work has my immune system exhausted.  Bleh. She wanted me to take a week off work to give my immune system a break.

That's not really an option.

Instead we are adding several things to my daily routine in an effort to help my flare.

Firstly, I had my vitamin D intake doubled. So I am going from 50,000 units to 100,000 units of vitamin D each week. It worked so well last year, about this time, that we are very hopeful that it will do great things this time around as well.

I am now going on Restasis eye drops to help the extreme dryness and eye sensitivity that I have been dealing with. I have been putting this off for quite a long time and we agreed that it was time. I have heard wonderful things about this so I am crossing my fingers that it helps.

Finally, after I've given my body a week or so to deal with my flu vaccine, I am supposed to go back in and have a dose of steroid injected into the muscle near my hip. This should help my hip bursitis as well as the muscle that Dr. A seems to think is the reason for all my pain at the moment. I am nervous about this because I mean come on no body really likes the idea of getting a huge needle stuck in them, right? But I remain hopeful that this will help relieve my hip problems because the pain, at times, is getting bad enough that OTC's are no longer taking care of it. I am sure that I'll have to write an updated post after that little adventure.

Dr. A also signed my papers for a handicapped placard. Because, let's be honest, when a person can't walk from her car into the front of the store without frantically trying to find somewhere to sit because all her energy is depleted.... Well, that means it's time to ask for help whether you want to or not. It was time for me to get that ball rolling and ask for some help because staying at home, stuck on my couch, isn't always an option.

Sigh



Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Frustrating

I believe that I am in the middle of a flare at the moment. Coincidentally I have my rheumatologist appointment tomorrow morning. I will talking with her about my latest and greatest symptoms that have shown up. Mostly my hip pain, eye sensitivity, and complete lack of energy.

The last of which I think I have a solution for. I am hoping that my rheumy. will allow me to up my dosage of vitamin D which seemed to greatly increase my energy last time I tried it. I'm not sure what she'll say to this.

In the mean time I am having a horrible time with my energy levels. Which is a great indication that I am in the middle of a flare. I am finding this particularly frustrating in regards to my work. In the past if I lacked energy I simply spent extra time on the couch. I can't do that this year as I have work to be at for two hours every day. Which does not sound like such a big deal. And it really isn't when I am feeling somewhat "normal". Now, however, it's been difficult.

In addition to my cafeteria monitor duty I have also continued my substitute aide work as well. I am having to turn down substitute work right now because I just don't have the energy for both my cafeteria job AND substituting. That is frustrating to me.

I have a tendency to push myself. Especially when it comes to work. I get myself into a horrible fit of guilt and convince myself that I could really push myself to go in to substitute. And, right now, if I let myself do this I would be found in a sweaty mess collapsed in the corner of one of the bathroom stalls at school. Yikes! That would, of course, freak everyone out. And would also guarantee that I wouldn't even be able to make it in for my cafeteria monitor duty either. For several days at least.

But then I feel guilty about not working when they need me. And then I try to convince myself that I should really push myself. And I get into a horrible fit of guilt and ....

OK, you get the picture, it's a horrible cycle.

Bleh! Here's hoping Dr. A has some suggestions!!







Tuesday, January 15, 2013

PMM

Proud Mommy Moment: L was telling me about something that happened to a friend yesterday at school. She told me that she went and told the teacher right away. When I asked her what her thoughts behind that were she told me, "Because it bothered my friend. And friends take care of each other Mama, it's just what they do."

My sweet girl melted my heart with that statement. ♥



Monday, January 14, 2013

Brain Fog

I have been having some brain fog lately. :o( It's a horrible feeling to have. I can't seem to pick words out of my head. Simple words. Like rainbow and boat. Words that I have known since I was a child. Words my daughter supplies for me while she carries a look of confusion on her face because she can't understand why I wouldn't know the words.

I know that I have mostly been having it when I get a headache or when I have done waaaay too much in one day's time. It's a sort of russian roulette game with my body. One day doing a certain amount of activities will leave me feeling fine. The next day the same activities will leave me with brain fog.

Having brain fog makes you feel as if your head is filled with mud or quicksand.  Your brain is trying so hard to think it's way out of the mud but the harder it tries the more sluggish and stuck it gets. Every step your brain makes in attempting to do even the simplest things turns into a struggle. Words become obscure. Tying shoes become puzzles.

It's frustrating to me. Confusing to my girly. Scary to my husband. And uncertain for the future.





Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Sneaky Smoothie

I made another smoothie for myself this past week. I took it into school to slurp on while I worked. When L had lunch I moseyed down to her with my smoothie in hand and had her try a sip. She thought it was pretty good the first time and the second time she tried it she proclaimed that it was "Great!".

Then I told her that I was calling it my "Sneaky Smoothie" and, of course, she asked why. I got immense pleasure out of letting her know that she had spinach in the smoothie.

That brought on dramatics, from her and her giggly friends, like you would not believe!

"Ooooo you drank spinach!"

"YUCK! There was spinach in that?!?! Bleh!"

"Spinach is GROSS!!!"

Oh, they were SO silly!

After I reminded L that she had just sucked down my smoothie, and liked it, she settled down and once again agreed it was good.

And the silly girl never even remembered that she eats spinach every. Single. Summer!



Saturday, January 12, 2013

Flowers


 My hubbster showed up, after work earlier this week, with flowers for me. These roses are amazing looking!! The coloring is insanely beautiful. This picture really doesn't do it justice. I love them!
And he had more flowers for our girly. Who loved them because they are her favorite colors. What a girly-girl she is!!

Friday, January 11, 2013

Laundry Baskets; Busy Baby Resting Mommy


What you need...
Laundry baskets big enough for your kiddo to fit in
Clothing

Let your kiddos have some fun in the laundry basket with some clothes.  For preschoolers, you can turn it into some "learning play" by throwing in several pairs of socks and have them match them up. Sorting clothing and counting items are great too!

It's even more fun on a chilly day when the clothing is warmed by the dryer first. Just be sure to keep things out of the play that might have metal that could become too warm for their sensitive skin ie; zippers, metal buttons, gromits, etc.


*Be sure to actively supervise your younger ones while they do this, to prevent possible suffocation hazards.



Thursday, January 10, 2013

Awwww!!!

I saw this video and couldn't help but share it. It's gotta be the sweetest thing ever!!





Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Farm Show Time

The PA Farm Show is going on this week. It's a great big farmers show with agriculture and live stock. They show the animals, sell the produce, and have so so many fun things for families to do. And it's practically free, we just pay for parking (and any food we want).

L likes it for the animals. Mommy and Daddy love it for the food! Farm fresh products all made into super delicious food. We had milkshakes and deep fried cheese cubes for lunch. And it's so good that I didn't care that I was waaaaay overloading on my calories for the day!!! The definitely proof that fresh food directly from the farm makes anything taste better.

Our hands down favorite thing of the day was the butterfly room. We went into the room to find it completely covered in butterflies. They were everywhere. We were given quetips saturated with blue gatoraide, which the butterflies love, and were told how to attract them. Being surrounded by so many butterflies was amazing!

And here are some of my favorite pictures. (At least the ones I am able to share that don't have L directly in them.)

 Picking up the butterflies.
 The entire room was covered in butterflies. This picture, honestly, doesn't do it justice.
 Beautiful!!
 L absolutely loved this butterfly!
 Blue gatoraide butterfly feeder.
 Butterflies love shades of red, purple, and pink.  So they were in love with my hubbster's hat.
 L insisted that I take a picture of these sheep and their sassy tees.
 Cute!
 My chic nose to beak with a chic.
 The yearly butter sculpture.
I absolutely fell in love with this little guy. He is ADORABLE!!!





Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Smoothie





This. Is all that is left of my smoothie from this morning.

I gave myself "off" from complete "healthy eating" during the month of December. And when I say that I mean that I didn't give myself constant guilt trips about all the cookies and goodies, that abound at Christmastime, that might have somehow maybe kind of sorta found their lonely way into my mouth to be eaten by me. I love all those goodies so much that I knew that I was going to be setting myself up for failure if I didn't give myself a "vacation" from the guilt.

So I gave myself the month off and only gained a few pounds back. At one point I got on the scale and just about went crazy because I thought that I had gained five pounds back! I thought, "Five POUNDS?!?".  But then I realized that I had just eaten breakfast and was wearing some heavy clothes. I jumped back on the scale the next morning and realized my mistake. Whew!!

Now, it's January and I just got back from the grocery store, this morning, with a car loaded full of healthy snacks for my family and I. I took a look around Pinterest last night to get some good snack ideas before I went shopping. I was inspired by a smoothie recipe that I found on there.

On a normal weekday I split my meals into four smaller meals rather than three "big" ones. I just cannot eat lunch while I am working in the cafeteria. So it's easier to eat a smaller breakfast, a small snack-y lunch before work, a small snack-y lunch after work, and then a small dinner. So, the smoothie recipe I found would fall very nicely into one of my "small snack-y lunches plan.

I decided to try making one of my own smoothies this morning. The picture above is the end result. I think that pretty much speaks for itself. And I felt completely full for my entire work shift which is great because I had my doubts. And one of the greatest things is that I managed to sneak some greens in it, for an extra serving of veggies, without even tasting them! Which I was also skeptical about because I heard "spinach in a smoothie" and instantly cringed. I swear! You can't taste the spinach!

Out of curiosity I plugged this into a calorie counter I use and it told me that there were about 350 calories in this. Which makes for a perfect amount of calories for one of my "meals" according to how many calories I should be consuming every day.

If you want to try the smoothie, here is what I did.

I put half a tray of ice cubes into my blender (Give or take a few cubes but really it's ice so there's no extra calories there!)

I covered the ice cubes with orange juice and blended on the "ice" setting until it stopped crunching.

Next I put in about 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen spinach (I would love to try it with raw spinach to see if it changes the taste at all.), about a 1/2 to 1 cup of frozen berry mix, a tablespoon of Greek plain yogurt, and a teaspoon of honey (you could use more if you wanted it to be sweeter) into the mixer. I blended all this on the "smoothie" setting until I reached the consistency I wanted.






Monday, January 7, 2013

Picture Love

I was going through my phone the other day and found this photo. I can't recall if I've ever shared it so I thought I would post it. And if I have already shared it, well... It's so darn cute, who doesn't love pictures of kids and puppies??

My girlies were waiting for company to come when this picture was taken.




Sunday, January 6, 2013

Boo Hoo

I had just gotten done with my nightly routine of eye drops and nose spray. I had eye drops running down my cheeks and was sniffling like crazy. My husband opened the door and frantically asked what was wrong.

He he he

It was a pretty funny moment!



Saturday, January 5, 2013

Smile

My daughter has a unique name. (Of which I have never shared with you to guard her safety. You can never be too careful online.) Don't get me wrong I LOVE it and most people that hear it are delighted with it. But, honestly, it's not common at all. We have heard rumors, from others, that there might be other elusive "L's" out there but we have never managed to meet another. Until the other night.

While at the store we called to L across the isle. A woman, in her fifties, standing beside us got very excited and exclaimed that her name was also "L". She said that she had never met another "L" before. My girly got so excited and pretty much yelled at the lady that she had never met anyone who shared her name either. 

We mentioned that it was not a common name so we haven't been able to find anything with her name on it. The lady very politely asked about how we spelled it. She instantly handed L her business card and told her that now she had something with her name on it. L just beamed, as we walked out of the store, and kept asking people if they had seen her business card. 

Made our night!




Friday, January 4, 2013

Busy Baby Resting Mommy

We are all about recycling things in our house. My girly and I can get some serious creative juices flowing when contemplating how to reuse something. One of the things I like to give a second life" to is spice containers.

Make sure you save any empty spice containers (sprinkle containers work great as well.) you may be tempted to get rid of!  Especially the ones with the little lids that determine how much you can dispense at once. You can use them for all kinds of fun with your kids.

They are great for holding glitter and playing with water or sand.  Especially when you have the kiddos do some water play inside. Sometimes I get out an old shower curtain (Which can be easily dried off once done), plop some pots or old tupperware on it, fill them with water, and hand L some toys to play with in the water. The spice containers are great to pretend it's raining or she gives her barbies a shower with them.



Thursday, January 3, 2013

Mhhhhrrrr...

L decided, with no encouragement on our parts, that she needed to clean out her toys. Apparently she thought she needed to do this because she's "...a big girl. And it would be good to share the old toys [that she doesn't play with] with other little girls who may need them..." Well hearing that just made my heart melt so of course I had to get right on that!

I spent the morning going through her toys, in her bedroom, deciding what to donate and what to save for her some day.

And now? Now, I sound like some pathetic version of a zombie horror movie. The conversations my husband and I had last night go something like this...

"What do you think about that?"
"I think that we should get a ....Mhhhhrrrrr mmmmhhmp ahhhhhhhhhh. Mmhhhrrr!"
"Bag for it?"
"Yes, that way we can go after ....Mmmmhhhrrrr urrggggg."
"Dinner?"
"Yeah, and once we've done that we can go to the ....Ahhh Mmmmpppmp mmmhhr."
"Store?"

So, yeah, you get the picture. Thank the good Lord in heaven that my husband can finish my sentences for me at this point!! And I am completely. One hundred percent. Dead serious about that. Not one drop of sarcasm in that sentence. Honest!

Let's hope I can make it through work before I become a zombie and scare the pants off all the kids. Or at the very least make them give me weirder looks than they usually give me!





Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Hot Hands

Photo credits for both photos.
Hubbster and I went to the movies on New Years Eve. My hands and feet had been running hot and then cold all day. I just couldn't seem to keep their temp regulated. I knew that I would eventually get cold at the movie theater, which I always do. So I decided to pop a pair of Hot Hands into my coat pockets for at the theater.

I have fallen in love with Hand Hands! They are little packets that are "A family of air activated warmers [that] all contain a mixture of natural ingredients that when exposed to air react together to produce heat. This is accomplished through an extremely fast oxidation (or rusting) process. Ingredients include: iron powder, water, salt, activated charcoal and vermiculite." And they are a perfect solution to my cold cold hands that is all natural. 

When I am at home I like to pop them in my hoody sweatshirt and carry them around. If I pull them out of the pocket it will cool down but when I put them back into my pocket they warm back up. Another good thing about them is the fact that they can stay warm for a long time. Like eight hours or more. It's a wonderful way to keep my hands nice and toasty.

I have not been paid for this indorsement. I just wanted to share this nifty little product with you since I love love love them so much! They also have several other wonderful heating products that I am thinking about trying out. You can check out their website here.



Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Greetings

In keeping with the Christmas videos....



Happy New Years to everyone!!