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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Exercising, Eating Better, and Getting Healthy (Transformation Tuesday??)

So little known fact about me (unless you ask – I’m an open book) is that I had a gastric bypass quite a number of years ago.  I officially lost 205 pounds and have kept all but about 30 of it off.  I went on to have a circumferential body lift (O.M.G! – worst pain ever!) that removed about 18 pounds of skin and tightened a lot of my parts and pieces.  I felt the best I have ever in my life right up until about 2 years ago.  My back went out and I ended up having to have a discectomy and a laminectomy and ever since then my old, aging body is a constant canvas of nagging, little pains. 

I decided that this year I was going to do something more substantial about getting my body and my health back in order.  I promised the wonderful hubs that I would exercise more often, cut out my daily glass(es) of wine, and eat better.  And right up until the great snot-storm of 2015 this past week, I had made a valiant effort toward that goal.  I started the C25K app (WAY modified for my mode of wogging/ jalking) and have been feeling really good.  Although to be honest, this is really more my style of running but I'm sticking to the program.  LOL.



Believe it or not, I don't want to become a runner.  I want to increase my cardio enough to balance out the food changes for maximum weight loss.  After I drop some of the poundage, I'm going to get back into some of the strength training to help out my core, which in turn, should help out the nagging little pains to some degree in my back.

Any other people out there (come on -- I need a response from all two of my readers!) who are embarking on new and healthy things?  

Friday, January 23, 2015

Friday Photo Dump

Today, because I feel like I've been hit by a truck (dang, stupid head cold), instead of a real post, I'm doing a Friday Photo Dump from my camera.  I'll try to throw something more substantial up over the weekend (if the fog in my brain lifts a little).  Have a great weekend!

Grocery Game Entry - Closet Stash

Grocery Game Entry - Garage Freezer, Both Pantries

Snoozin' Sansa

Isn't this precious face just adorable????

It's like looking at reverse twin tuxies.

My view of Lake Houston on my walk.

Snoozin' Arya.

Owned!

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Weekend Wrap and Epilepsy Support

This weekend was a slow one for us (which I prefer sometimes). We didn't do much Friday, errands and church on Saturday, lazy laundry day on Sunday, and then breakfast with the in-laws and grocery shopping with the hubs yesterday. I LOVE long weekends!!! The only thing I would have loved more is more sleep. I have been totally exhausted for the last few weeks. Exhausted to the point where I'm trying to fall asleep at 8:30 at night and STILL dragging butt getting out of bed in the mornings. This is how I would have liked to have spent more of my weekend:



On Thursday night I got a text from a friend while we were at the gym asking me to give her a call. When I did, she asked if I could contact a friend of hers whose son had been diagnosed with seizure disorder (age 2 1/2) and she is at her wit's end in knowing how to deal with things. I did give her a call and listened to her and then tried to alleviate some of her worst fears and concerns and provided a shoulder to lean on both then and at any point in the future should she need it.

 The thing is, I remember being where she is now. I remember the diagnosis and feeling like I was alone in the world in dealing with taking care of my daughter with epilepsy. I remember trying to navigate the health care system, trying to understand the drugs and their side effects, trying to stay the course of scholastic difficulties and assistance, all the while watching my daughter suffer from horrific looking seizures. I remember how very very difficult it was for me (pretty much from diagnosis forward I was a single mom dealing with this until my 2nd marriage) and how alone I felt. At the time I didn't know who or how to reach out for support. I didn't know how to access help for Kelsey scholastically. I felt like a huge failure in advocating for my child. I have provided that support for quite a number of families over the last 15 years not because of any reason other than "I remember."

 We are a Christian family and I do believe in divine miracles and have prayed for such a miracle for my daughter. I do believe that God could heal Kelsey in the blink of an eye if it was His will. I do have that kind of faith and I do believe that God answers ALL prayers. That said, I think that a lot of people believe that just because you pray for something, God will automatically grant it and if He doesn't, then a) he must not love you, b) he isn't listening, c) he doesn't really exist, d) insert your own conclusion here. God answers ALL prayers, but not all answers are "yes." Some answers are definitely a "yes," some are a "no," and some are "not yet." For Kelsey, I believe that His answer is "no" and it's not about her or us. I believe that God will use this disorder and how we deal with it for his glory. There have been too many instances where He has moved people into our lives (just like my new friend above) so that they can see how we deal with the disorder and the fall-out and ramifications that go along with it and do it all with our strong faith and our belief intact.

 Thoughts?

God will not permit any troubles to come upon us, unless He has a specific plan by which great blessing can come out of the difficulty.  Peter Marshall

Friday, January 16, 2015

Friday Faves

I am REALLY trying to be better about writing more.  It's difficult sometimes; when I have the time I don't have the urge and when I have the urge, I don't have the time.  The bottom line is that I procrastinate entirely too much sometimes.  Procrastinators of the world UNITE!  Tomorrow!

Anywho, I'm going to try to do a weekly Friday Faves where I just kind of recap the week of things that stood out or that I liked.  I just might have to get a pool going to see how many consecutive Fridays in a row I can keep it going!  Here we go!

ONE
These guys (or girls!).  I LOVE having fosters.  I love snuggling them up and socializing them and then giving them back when they get all adolescenty and snotty.



TWO
Three-day weekends.  Whenever I can take extra time off without having to use my personal bank, it's all good!  This is me right about now waiting to leave work:




THREE
My wonderful husband!  He loves me unconditionally and has proven that this week.  He's amazing and I don't know what I would do without him.




FOUR
Peace in my house during PMS week.  With three daughters and myself living under one roof, things can get a little dicey at LEAST once a month during that wonderful time.  This week, this week is PMS week but it hasn't been as near chaotic as it can be.  Substitute chocolate for mac and cheese and the picture below is a perfect example of occurrences at my house.


FIVE
Even given the emotions that number 4 brings, I love my family.



Everyone have a great and wonderful weekend!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Weekend Wrap-Up & Grocery Game

Hey ya’ll!  My urge to blog more regularly is there; however, I just never find the time to actually sit and follow through.  I’m going to attempt to be more present on my own blog!  I KNOW that I can do it if I put my mind to it! 

This weekend was pretty low-key.  We stayed at home on Friday night and watched TV and played with the foster babies.  Saturday was a regular old errand and church day and then Sunday was half-hearted football since my beloved Texans didn’t make the playoffs (and then the Cowboys – our other Texas team – lost) and cooking for the week. 

Speaking of cooking for the week, we are a couponing family and usually have a stockpile of pantry and freezer items and find the need to “eat out of the pantry” every few weeks to keep the stock rotated.  Given that, I boiled a whole chicken to give us shredded chicken for the week (chicken enchiladas, shredded chicken for salads, etc.) and about 20 cups of liquid gold (aka, chicken stock) to freeze.  Additionally, I made super-healthy, low-carb egg muffins for the hubby and I for breakfast, and regular Sunday dinner of slow-cooked pork ribs and mac & cheese. 

We do participate in the Grocery Game website and typically save anywhere between 45-75% or so on our weekly grocery bill.  Given that there are five of us in the house, this REALLY saves us serious moolah the majority of the time.  If you’re interested in checking it out, follow the link to The Grocery Game!

In other news, the foster babies are totally forgetting that they are supposed to be skittish and are all over the place. Ayra (the tuxie) has taken to following us around the house randomly and talking to us until we pick her up for some love.  Sansa typically runs around like her butt is on fire and then collapses in a heap on whoever might be sitting down at the time.  God forbid if you disturb her once she collapses in a heap of kitten, because then she begins to grip at you LOUDLY for moving.  This batch of babies are such drama queens, but very lovable. 

Sansa says she is NOT a drama queen.

I’m going to call this a post and will be back later in the week!  

Friday, January 9, 2015

Today's Annoyance and Foster Friday!

This is my reaction when people walk into my office and try to speak to me when I am VERY noticeably talking on the phone:


In other news, we have a new batch of fosters -- these are named after two Game of Thrones ladies.  Meet Ayra and Sansa!  Ayra is the tuxie and Sansa is the tabbie.  They are two super-sweet sisters who came to us at about 6-7 weeks old.  They only spent one night segregated and then were introduced into the house and are doing great!  I came home last night after only having them for a couple of days and they were both curled up on my oldest daughter sleeping.  Hopefully we can keep them a few weeks before giving them back for adoption.





Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Kitten Tuesday

I can't remember (and am too lazy to go backwards and check) if I ever mentioned that we foster kittens for our local Humane Society (I very often leave off the 'e' on Humane and crack myself up). I jokingly call it kitten recycling; we love them up while they're little and give them back when they start getting to the obnoxious "teenager" stage for adoption. Since I suck big pickles at regularly updating with meaningful content, I figured I'd post a few pictures of some of our previous fosters.  We routinely name them with themes and have had the Kardashian sisters, Dr. Who characters, Greek gods, and more.

The first picture of the black and white tuxie was our very first foster (and Khloe Kardashian) that my middle daughter ended up adopting.  The other two are Kim and Kourtney.

    


Bonus shot of Khloe now -- isn't she gorgeous???



These guys below are two of our Dr. Who peeps, Amelia on the left and River on the right.  The little one sleeping between the banisters (and giving me a heart attack) was Tardis.

    


From Supernatural, I give you Castiel and Crowley.


I'll post some from other batches later so you don't go into picture overload.  

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Stadium Seizure Support


Last night my husband, girls, and I went to the local high school stadium to see a very prominent collegiate marching band practice.  Sitting on the bleachers in front of us was a young family of six with the baby being an adorable baby boy of about 2-3.  Towards the end of their practice, we saw the little boy take a tumble off the bleachers backwards and my husband said something about the baby falling.  I looked over and I immediately knew that baby was having a seizure.  No lie – I leapt around my husband (not bad for an aging woman, I must say so) and immediately began to hold his little head off the metal floor of the bleachers.  There were two others helping hold his head and shoulders while his dad was on the phone with the paramedics.  Poor mom – I have been right where she was – she was freaking out.  This was only the 2nd seizure that she had ever seen him have.  It lasted well over three minutes.  I've been there -- it's not easy watching your baby seize.  When the paramedics were checking the little one out, I think that I was able to reassure mom, told her some of my daughter's history (while said daughter walked her other little ones around the track to get them away from the drama) and exchanged contact info in case she wanted to talk later. 

I’ve always wondered why this particular child of mine had this particular chronic, debilitating disorder. As time went on, I had the "gut, God" feel that she wouldn't be cured of this, but that this would be used for His good. And it has -- we have been so sought out as a family for medical support, scholastic support, and general support overall. My daughter is such a strong individual, that it speaks to other young epileptics and we are constantly being asked questions as parents and a family. It's not something that I would have ever chosen for her or for us, but God uses it for purposes we will never understand.  Nights like last night don’t ever explain the “why” but it makes more sense of it. 

Monday, June 16, 2014

Independent Contractor and Seizure Update



This week I began working as a virtual assistant, which is cool since I can work from anywhere I have my PC, tablet, or smart phone.  I am finding out; however, that being an independent contractor doesn't necessarily make me very independent.  No big deal, really, it's just that the reality of it is a little different from what I expected.  To be truthful, I really didn't have a lot of set expectations going into this but the structure of it and adherence to time and schedules surprised me just a bit. 

I know it's been a while since I've given a seizure update on Kelsey.  She had her regular visit with her neurologist last week and there is not one thing currently available or on the near horizon that will help with seizure control.  She has near constant auras and pretty regular seizures (average of about 4-6 per week).  We upped her Keppra and if that doesn't make any difference the only other option was to add in the new generation of Trileptal.  She's taken that before but honestly I can't remember how well it helped with the seizures.  So as of right now she is on Lamictal, Lyrica, Keppra, Vimpat, Lexapro, and Klonopin with Diastat as needed for cluster seizures. 

We're still trying to get the disability approved.  I can't remember if I mentioned (and I'm too lazy to look through the archives) but we actually got to the point where the disability office sent us for secondary outsourced opinions.  Yeah.  That. Was. Crap.  Just to reiterate, she is followed by one of the top national pediatric neurologists at Texas Children's Hospital Bluebird Clinic for Epilepsy.  And for her depression (which is strongly related to the seizures) she is followed by a psychiatrist who specializes in adolescents and adults with seizure disorder.

 For review of her seizure disorder, they sent us to a nephrologist.  A NEPHROLOGIST.  Way out of the league of a neurologist.  That's a freaking kidney doctor.  And he went through the rote questionnaire -- you know, can she lift 25 pounds, can she walk, blah, blah, blah.  Well yeah she can IF SHE'S NOT IN PERIODS OF SEIZURE.  I couldn't get that through his thick skull (not sure how much was language barrier or just plain ignorance).  When she's not having seizures she's perfectly functional.  When we're in periods of seizure, the Tod's paralysis messes with her, the drugs she has to take for cluster seizures knock her out for hours, etc.  She cannot adhere to a regular schedule when that happens and it happens frequently.  Moron.  And then?  They sent us to a regular therapist (not even a psychologist) for review of the depression.  And again the rote questionnaire -- and the declaration that since the depression isn't relevant to the seizures they couldn't consider that as a secondary condition.  Geez.  Some days the system just gets to me.  I see all kinds of people who abuse the system on a daily basis and my kid can't get what she needs because of all the stupid red tape.  I know it will all work out in the end but it's highly irritating right now. 

And that's all folks.  My virtual assistant position is calling my name right now.  :)