Friday, January 31, 2014

Lego Mama

L decided that she needed to make a Lego friend just for me. I think she did a pretty good job. :o)

Wednesday, January 29, 2014


Quick somebody tell me something funny!!

Monday, January 27, 2014


I found a new super yummy snack for myself. It fills the need for a crunchy salty treat.

My favorite part... It only has five ingredients.


Saturday, January 25, 2014


As I was getting ready for bed the other night I noticed something weird going on with my ears. Having something out of the ordinary happening with my body is usual occurrence anymore. So I wasn't completely surprised to find that my ears were itchy. They were also read, swollen, and hot to the touch. Apparently, my body decided it was having an allergic reaction to something.

I woke up the next morning with my ears feeling sore but back to normal otherwise. I still haven't figured out what the issue was.

Thursday, January 23, 2014


I don't usually wear my jeans on my head... But when I do it may have something to do with the fact that I am freezin' and these puppies just came out of the warm dryer seconds before!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

A Letter To Me

A little while ago Julia, over at Reasonably Well, asked the question...

"If your present sjoggie self had an opportunity to go back to the first few months after your diagnosis -- like our anonymous commenter is -- what would you tell yourself, knowing what you know now about this disease?"

So I decided to sit down and write myself a letter. Here is what I came up with (albeit, slightly edited)...

My letter to myself would go something like this...
Dear Sjoggie Mama,

Pack your bags babe your about to begin a journey. You still have some completely normal no-Sjogren’s-to-see-here-days. Not gonna lie, though, some of it is just going to plain suck worse than a rainy day on vacation. But. But, before you start the mini pity party (Which it IS okay to do for yourself every once in a while) just know that you will learn more about yourself in the next few years than you have before you were diagnosed. You are strong enough to handle Sjogren’s Syndrome. No, scratch that. “Handle” is too tame a word. More appropriate phrasing would be that you take everything Sjogren’s throws at you, deal with it in your own fabulous way, and yell back “I’m not letting you beat me!”.

Until then remember a few things…
Life doesn’t have to be perfect. (And yes, you’re still working on that one.) Life is messy enough on a normal day for a normal person. Throw in a chronic illness and you’ve got a recipe for an interesting ride. Sometimes instead of being the perfect mom and wife you’ll just have to be happy that the baby was fed and that you have the ability to call out for pizza.

Learn what your limits are and stick to them. If you know that you only have so much energy when you wake up in the morning don’t try and be super mom and do that one extra thing. You’ll end up regretting it. Maybe not as much as that haircut you gave yourself in high school. But you will find yourself laying on the couch, a friends chair, a dressing room floor, you get the picture. And then you’ll regret it.

And if you do push yourself and do that extra stuff that I just warned you about, give yourself a break. You’re still learning. About Sjogren’s, about being a mom and wife, about life. Don’t beat yourself up because you don’t have the energy to sit on the floor with your girly. Just find a way around it. Become a person who thinks outside the box. You’ll be surprised about the amazing memories you end up making just that way.

Don’t forget to reach out to the friends you make online (Through your blog. ((Yes, you have one. Don’t wait another second to start it. It’s so cathartic to get everything down in writing.)) And, also friends you’ve met through other blogs, and social media.). Sounds crazy, I know, since you haven’t met a single one of them in person. But they are a wealth of information and their hearts are so beautiful and uplifting when you just need someone to listen and understand your pain.

Keep your sense of humor and your faith in God strong. About all of it. Laughter makes things so much easier to deal with.

You’ve got this!

Sjoggie Mama

Sunday, January 19, 2014


I've written about my Christmas village in late November of last year. Wait a minute... Yep. Yeah, "Last year", still sounds weird to me!

Anyway, for years I have been setting up our Christmas village and keeping two of our little porcelain
houses in the box because they were left unpainted. From probably, back when I was in high school. Which means they've been lonely and unseen, in that Christmas box, for over fifteen years. Yikes! I'm seriously not that much of a procrastinator. See I have figured out my fix for procrastination is to do whatever it is, I am putting off, right away. And since those little Christmas houses were sitting in the box for over fifteen years I was already past the procrastination rule. Or that's what I kept telling myself year after year for not pulling them out and painting them.

This year L and I decided to set up our village in a different
location than we usually do. We thought we could fit it all onto one shelf of our book hutch. We were right but it looked more like Christmas threw up on itself than the adorbs festive little town we were going for. So we decided next year that we are going to set up our village on two shelves. Which, of course, means we need to grow our Christmas village. Well those two sad little houses just started screaming at my guilty conscience in a bad way.

And so I painted them. They turned out wonderfully. I can't wait til I can set them up with next years village. But... While I am thrilled that I've finally finished them, my knuckle is really not. REALLY. Not. Aleve is my best friend.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Stop Motion Animation

I was planning on making our Christmas vacation "education free" and just couldn't seem to make it happen. My girly and I watched the California Raisin Claymation Christmas, on Youtube, on our first day of Christmas vacation. She was curious about how they made the special so we watched a few "how to" videos. Which lead to us watching videos on stop motion animation. Well fell down a rabbit hole and ended up having an impromptu educational morning.

My girly is only seven. Seven. But she doesn't seem to know that. Especially when she asks me if she can make her own stop motion animation movie. Who am I to no? I only had the fact that I knew nothing about making them to stop me. And I really didn't have that excuse as there were plenty of "how to" videos on Youtube to watch.

So this is what came of our morning in front of Youtube and our afternoon with L's Lego friends and a camera!

(You'll have to excuse the cheesy acting, I was following my girly's script! Ha ha)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

A Simple Solution

I have been actively trying to loose weight for about a year now through diet changes and exercise. I have been slowly loosing the weight. Over the summer I noticed quite a bit of weight came off, but my rings still fit me perfectly. I have now figured out that it was due to the swelling that my hands have all summer long, thanks to the heat. Now that my hands are no longer swelling, most of the time, I have noticed that my rings have been all but falling off my fingers at times. And yet, there are still times that I deal with swelling in my knuckles.

I found the perfect solution in the pet store! Yeppers! It's so simple I thought I would share. Airline tubing, for fish tanks! Simply cut a piece off, cut it up the middle, and slip it over your ring. It works fantastically if you ever have a need to adjust your rings, due to weight loss, but not alter them permanently if you deal with joint swelling.

Monday, January 13, 2014


I decided to add a Sjoggie StAHMer Pinterest page! And all the people said, "Yay!".  Ha ha ha

You can check it out here!

Saturday, January 11, 2014


I was approached by American Recall Center in the hopes that I might share this message, below, with you.

"There are millions of prescription drugs designed for millions of different diseases and medical devices for everything from hip replacements to gastric bands used in today’s market; and millions of patients are affected by them. There are news stories every day concerning the safety issues, changes and even recalls on these products.

How can you possibly keep up with it all? Most of the time, even if you happen upon an article about something that may affect you as a patient, it is written in medical jargon that can be difficult to interpret. You can always call your doctor to ask questions, but with the current patient loads that most doctors are forced to carry, they aren’t always able to get back to you with answers in a timely manner.
The American Recall Center website gives you access to all of the medical information you need, including before, during, and after surgical procedures. They are able to address your safety concerns in a plainly written manner that you can easily understand.
Patient Safety Alerts are customizable to the specific drugs and medical devices that you or a loved one uses. Once you setup your account, if the FDA releases any updates about safety issues affecting your blood pressure medication, or a hip replacement recall or anything in between, you will automatically receive a notification in your email inbox.
Patient Safety Alerts gives you peace of mind. You have better things to do with your time. Let The American Recall Center do the work of keeping track of all of the safety issues dealing with your medications and medical devices so that you can go back to living your life in the fullest measure, secure in the fact that they will alert you to any issues that may need your attention" 
Before sharing this message with you I perused the American Recall Center website. I found things very easy to understand and well put together. I think my favorite section would be the "Health Highlights", which touch on many interesting health related topics. You should check it out!

**Disclaimer: I was not paid to write this blog. I decided to post it because I think the idea behind the website is a worthy one. Often patients know nothing about medical jargon until after they have done research which can take months of wading through complicated terms. This website takes that step away and explains things in an easy to understand manner.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


I did not know it but, apparently, I'm having a bad rosacea day today.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Grocery Games Results

So we placed our grocery order online to go pick up, a few days ago, and waited to see how it would go.

My awesome hubbster decided to go pick up our groceries for us this morning. We had it scheduled for a certain time period, within an hours time limit. Fortunately, he decided to check online before going to get the groceries and noticed that there were a few items that were out of stock that they just weren't going to give us. So he went into the store to pick up a similar item before going to pick up the rest of the groceries.

My husband simply had to pull up in a designated area, give his name, and the grocery clerk did everything else. Five minutes after he had pulled up he was already leaving with a trunk full of groceries, that had been loaded by the store clerk.

My overall thoughts on all of this... It seems be rather inconveniant and negates the whole point of the grocery pick up if you still have to go in for items that they won't substitute for you. But, as my husband reminded me, it's far easier to run in for four items than it is for fifty items. Which, is absolutely true. My only other complaint was that I am not completely happy with some of the produce they gave me. I tend to be a little picky so I felt like the apples looked a little rough, the bananas looked like they had been in the freezer previous to being placed into my bag (they were still half frozen), and my bag of salad looks to be close to to the end of it's life. But those are all things that I can live with for the convenience of grocery shopping online and simply picking things up without having to aggravate my arthritis. So I will definitely be taking advantage of this system again!!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Cold Solution

I have an equation for you...

When the temp on my Weather Channel app, on my phone, says it feels like it's -5 outside + your child wants so badly to go outside and play in the snow but you can't because it's waaay too cold for your body to actually keep itself warm = another chronic mommy solution!

I brought the snow inside instead. Just piled it up in an old tray I had, plopped the tray down on an opened trash bag. She spent a nice amount of time playing with her new Elsa and Anna dolls that she got for Christmas, playing out the movie Frozen.


Friday, January 3, 2014

Groceries Games

Grocery Shopping. I hate it! Sometimes it makes me downright cranky! Especially on my bad Sjogren's days when I am attempting to push my heavy cart, with its wonky wheel, around the fifth person who has stopped in the middle... MIDDLE... of the isle. It can be a serious drain on my energy. Not to mention it aggravates to heck out of my arthritis on bad days.

I am hoping that I have come up with a helpful solution for this! Our local chain of stores has come out with an online shopping service. And it's free of charge, which makes it even better!

I can simply go shopping from the comfort of my couch. Which makes me sound like a horrible couch potato, when I hear myself saying it. But there are just some days that I have barely enough energy to get my girly ready for school, get myself ready, and then actually work, before I come home and collapse. Seriously, some of the people in my every day life have no idea that my kid and work are all that I can manage on my bad days.

Anyway, I can take all the time I want to go shopping online for my groceries. Then I pick a scheduled date and time and then I have an hour window in which to pick up the groceries.

It has the potential to have a very helpful impact on my health. The ability to waste less energy on grocery shopping (to save it for my family or work) would be wonderful! And hurting less on bad arthritis days would be an added bonus as well.

I'll be sure to add another post once I've gotten my groceries to let you know how smoothly it worked for me. :o)

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Well Call Me Embarrassed


I had a completely embarrassing brain fog moment happen the other day. :oS I went to lunch with a friend at a restaurant in our area. When I went to place my order I froze. Just seconds before I knew what I had wanted to order. Seriously! And then I just couldn't remember any longer. The harder I tried the farther away the answer seemed. And while the cashier was politely smiling at me I knew she was interested in finshing my order and helping the line forming behind me. It was so frustrating. I frantically read down the line of salad names and said the name of the one I thought I wanted.

When I went to pick up my food and got back to the table I realized it wasn't the one that I had wanted. I was so embarrassed that I briefly thought about just eating the salad because I didn't want to have to explain myself. I tried. I really tried to eat it, but I didn't like it.

So I found myself slowly trudging up to the counter to very shamefully admit that I had ordered the wrong thing. Fortunately for me, the staff was very understanding and replaced my salad with the one I had originally wanted, no questions asked. I think I got off easy that time!

I could have let it ruin my meal and time out with my friend. Instead I realized that this is one of the first times that I remember actually having been affected by brain fog in front of strangers. All the other times I have been surrounded by friends who know about my brain fog and understand that it's just Kristen being Kristen, or I have been able to easily cover my mistakes.

So I decided to not stew in my embarrassment all day and have great memory to leave the restaurant with. I bought a five dollar gift card and handed it to the first person I encountered heading into the restaurant. As I was walking away she tearfully yelled after me, "Why?". I replied, "Because it's Christmas!". While I backed my car out of the spot I saw her excitedly blowing me kisses and waving like I had just made her day. I don't know if I did make her day. But I know she made mine!