Monday, February 27, 2017

The Perfect Place

I don't know how other 5 year old's draw. But I am a proud parent. I think she has a gift. I could be so wrong, but as much as she loves to draw, build, create, my girl has an artistic streak.

I'm so looking into art classes/camp for her this summer (though most start at age 6 and those that take younger are so far all filled up or too far away.)

But look at what she drew. It's the perfect place. It's a house in the mountains with a forest. And she used lots of colors and didn't leave a speck of white paper. It's beautiful! I love her work. It's always so detailed.

I even spoke to her daycare provider today about looking for classes. And she told me the other kids around her just scribble and do their coloring in 10 minutes. Ashton takes her time, goes over the allotted time, usually can't finish, because she concentrates and is trying to use so many colors. I think that's an amazing gift!

I can't wait to see what this little girl can do!

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Sunday, February 26, 2017

Lazy One-on-One Time Sunday

My little artist draws all the time. About 20 pictures a day. I wish I could record her telling the intricate stories about all of them. But then I'd have posts about nothing else. I just try to take pictures of the most sentimental or best effort.

Above is Mousey. My mouse. I've had him since I was born, or very shortly after. He's precious to me. Well, Ashton asked about Mousey. She wanted me to bring him down off his shelf in her room so she could draw him. Bless her little heart! Don't know why she was so keen to. Lately, she's been drawing lots of Power Rangers. She just caught on to that old show and has been loving it. I guess it's a good thing that a remake movie is about to hit theaters soon.

Anyhow, this was her finished product. I've got to get this girl in some summer program art class for 5 year olds!

Today, I woke up to being so sore. Not my arm. It was tight and achy, but my legs. It was that great, almost pushed too much sore thighs. It hurt to go up and down the stairs. I was exhausted all day. But I liked the feeling, knowing I was kicking my own butt.

I think also, today might be the last time in the sling. I think I can keep it rested but not in a sling starting tomorrow. I can't wait!

We colored together, watched TV together, cleaned up the house a bit together. We pretty much just hung out together. My husband this whole weekend was working on building a theater set, so I got a lot of Ashton one-on-one time this weekend.

So today was a low key day. Ashton took Khaleesi's lead and clipped it to Pinky and started walking him around the house. I couldn't stop laughing. I love her creativity.

And as you can see, Khaleesi didn't seem to mind in the least. She didn't want a walk, Pinky could do it. It was a lazy day for Khaleesi too.

And in typical Ashton fashion, who hates to go to bed, she drew another dozen or so drawings. And she brought one that I thought was super sweet. It was of her and me. But she also added that she was wearing her blue dress-up 1700s outfit that I loved on her, which she wore once for less than 5 minutes about a month ago. She remembered, and wanted to draw it for me.

I told her that was a very special and beautiful photo, so much so that I was going to take it to work the next day and put it up on my desk. Man, did she beam with pride! I can't wait to put it up!

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Saturday, February 25, 2017


Yes, this is a blog about my daughter. However, I don't want to just gloss over everything else I'm noticing in our lives. My arm, going to an event, not everything deals with Ashton directly, but is still going on in the background of her life. So I'm documenting it. Also, it's healthy not to just focus on your child. Have other interests, not that I don't. But I think it's a healthy perspective to show that in this blog as well.

A little backstory, I've been doing a lifestyle change. In October 2014, after a doctor visit, I learned I was pre-diabetic. Scared me crazy. Me? But I wasn't over-weight. I was young. I thought I only had to worry about having hypothyroidism. But then I noticed, I wasn't the same, I had gained weight. I wasn't being active. And I had a daughter to get healthy for. So I bought a fitbit and began using the elliptical, watching my steps, and being more aware of what I put in my body portion wise. That helped.

I was able to loose about 15 pounds and no longer be pre-diabetic. That was a huge relief. I kept up my slightly healthier lifestyle, but didn't truly focus on it. My journey didn't end there.

January 17, 2016, Ashton had a cast put on her arm from falling out of bed. While in the waiting room, I saw a infomercial for Cize. I never watch commercials, let alone infomercials, but when you're stuck there in the waiting room for your daughter, you watch. This Cize was a new dancing exercise program from Beachbody. A guy named Shaun T was running it, and it looked like fun. I was ready for the next step to getting healthier. I still felt tired a lot and thought I could do more, and this looked like a fun way to do it. I saved up my money for a month or two and bought it.

Well, by May 2016 I found a Beachbody Coach and I lost another 15 pounds, had energy and felt great, just in time for our Mackinac Island trip.

Well, after that I fell off course. By October 2016, when we were in Disney World, I knew that after all that walking and running about I wasn't where I was in May. I had gained those 15 pounds back.

So on my birthday, December 2016, I recommitted. But this time, I didn't just do Cize, I added Core de Force, and started eating their diet plan. Eating clean, meaning, less processed foods and whole wheat flour breads, and cut down on healthy fats, watch my portions. I even joined online support groups. I worked out everyday. It's been hard, but so worth it.

I lost 12 of those 15 pounds. As of Valentine's Day I was feeling great. Then the arm happened. The pain, I went to comfort foods and couldn't workout. In a week's time I gained 8 pounds back!

Now I know numbers don't really matter, it's the journey, it's about being healthy overall and about not feeling sluggish or bloated, etc. But these numbers are a guideline to see where I was going. I also did measurements, but I really suck at that accuracy, so this is the best guidelines I have to draw a more accurate picture of my journey.

So the arm, it feels much better since the steroids, but still tight and still achy. I want to baby it, in fear of what happened Monday. Now we're up to speed...

So yesterday, I got a email from my coach. She knows how much I adore Shaun T. Well, she was able to acquire a ticket to the Shaun T Experience. He planned to be in Indianapolis TOMORROW. It's be a quick pep talk, some exercising, then a motivational talk, then Q&A.

I was thinking, I'd love to see him. What fun! However, I'm in a sling. Most of the "experience" is exercising. I can't participate. I'd look stupid standing in the corner. But my Coach encouraged me, letting me know this is the motivation I need to get back and focused. And that people would see the sling and realize I'd have to modify and wouldn't judge. Just show up. What did I have to loose?

We even were able to get a ticket for my friend that just joined (one of my close friends who is getting married this July!)

So I ended up attending.

The weather SUCKED! Yesterday, 70 degrees! Seriously, in February. Today 28 and snow with HIGH winds that blew you off course! And I wasn't dressed for cold, I was dressed to workout inside. Just going from the parking garage and crossing the street to the hotel downtown was an adventure. Couldn't get inside fast enough. 

My friend and I made it. We stayed in the very back, but center. What was cool was there was a pop up stage in the middle so now and then Shaun T came down and we could see him up close. He even weaved among the crowd a lot.

There must have been hundreds of people. Some came from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Chicago, everywhere! And everyone was very supportive and sweet to everyone. It was neat.

And let me tell you, I actually worked out. I couldn't do planks or anything, but I modified them standing up. I did LOTS of lower leg work. And when they twisted, I did what I could on my right side. And when my should ached. I held it, took a water break and resumed. I still rocked it. I sweat and felt great for a wearing a sling.

He had some great talks about baggage and to keep recycling it out and how the person you were was strong as they were the person that got you here, so don't be afraid of that person, say hi to them in the rearview mirror, but don't do a u-turn. Keep going.

He then did group shots. (I did take off the sling for the photo!)

We got a picture of us with our Coach. Then we headed back home. I felt like my day was done! I had done so much in the morning!

I was very surprised at how much I did. I didn't think I could participate at all, but I pushed through. And that was part of the neat part. He'd count down 16, 15, 14.... and then he'd get to 1, and people would stop and he'd say "Why are you stopping? Push through. Keep going." And he would say don't worry about the numbers, do what you can. It's all mental. You have reserve in you." I needed to hear that. After my setback, knowing I was doing this and had reserves to keep going despite the injury. 

This experience did me good. Lifted my spirits. Got me refocused. Got me positive.

But I promised Ashton a day with Mommy, since we didn't have the morning together. She wanted to come along, but I knew she'd get bored and run about and be a kid. But I'm hoping that she gets the idea of this and the commitment and that I'm leading a good example and hopefully one day when she is old enough, we can do this together. I hope she knows about being healthy and fit. Of course for Ashton it's all candy, chocolate, and coke obsessions and how can I win one or sneak one right now. Health be damned. But I'm trying, little by little.

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Friday, February 24, 2017

Sexy, Little Black Accessory

So on Valentine's Day (Tuesday last week) I changed up my routine. No exercising or eating clean. I was a bum. I ate pizza and hung out with my family. I thought I deserved the break. So I didn't do anything out of the ordinary other than not push myself like I usually do.

The next day (Wednesday last week) I woke up for work. My left arm was killing me. I just assumed I slept on it funny. I tried stretching it out all day, and it got more sore and painful, so I ended up letting it be. 

Thursday it was better but still VERY sore. I couldn't believe that sleeping on it wrong would cause this much pain.I obviously did something to it, but what?

Friday it was tender and hurt periodically. It never really improved after that. I was able to spend time with the family, take Ashton to the park, all sorts of things, but I typically tried not to move my arm or raise it if at all. It made things a bit awkward, but I was able to muddle through.

I joked that I saved the world in my sleep as I have no idea what I did to myself. 

So since it wasn't getting better since Friday, on Monday I went to my doctor first thing before going to work. I wanted to know what was going on ad what I needed to do to get over this little hump and be back to 100%. As since Valentine's day with the arm I hadn't exercised and I stopped eating clean. I was munching on crackers or whatever to stop thinking about the pain. I was falling of my being healthy wagon and I didn't like where I was headed. 

My doctor kept checking my shoulder, pocked around my arm a bit and had me raise it, and told me no need for an x-ray. I told her it was my bicep that hurt and nothing else. Only the first 2 days did my entire arm hurt. 

She gave me a patch to put on and apple cider vinegar to drink. She said workout - do my cardio, but not my mixed martial arts just yet. Also when back at work to start moving it to prevent a frozen shoulder. If it didn't improve around Wednesday or Thursday that I should come in that day or the end of the week for a shot. 

So, I headed back to work. My arm was tender and when I tried to raise it (slowly as I couldn't raise it at normal speed) I'd work through the tightness or pain and hoped it'd just ease up from use like my doctor said.

Well, before the end of the work day - I was in worse pain than the day it started. My shoulder, elbow, wrist, everything hurt. No good resting position. I was in major pain. In fact I was hunching over with pain. I couldn't straighten up. I was in tears! I could barely move. I had my husband wash my hair as I couldn't lift my arm off my side.

I didn't sleep well. I tried sleeping sitting up as I was in constant pain.

Tuesday rolled around and I called the doctor's office, I needed a shot today! I wanted the pain gone! Well, my doctor wasn't in on Tuesday, and the only doctor available that gave shots was available at 2pm.

I couldn't dress myself, take the dogs out, make breakfast, I was useless. It took my husband and I about 40 minutes to get me dressed. Awful!

That time seemed forever away. When you're in pain you're wondering how to manage it and especially at work. I just wanted to snap everyone's heads off. But 2pm it'd be.

I prayed that the shot would work and that I didn't need an MRI (who could afford that?). I had no idea if I had a torn bicep or what, but it hurt to do ANYTHING! 

So I went to this doctor I'd never met before. But of course you have to meet the nurse first. And as this wasn't my nurse for my doctor but a new nurse for this new doctor, I had to re-tell everything over again about my week.

The pain, just sitting there was excruciating. So I was either going to cry or tell jokes. So I made light of the situation and told jokes.

I told the nurse about how when people ask me what I did to myself, I tell them I must have saved the world in my sleep. Sounded better than I don't know. She didn't even crack a smile. Just went on with her questions.

Then when the doctor came in she leaned into him and told him, "She dreamt she saved the world and that's why she thinks hurt her arm." I didn't say that! Seriously? He's going to think I'm loony! Whatever.

He was pushing on my shoulder. Like my doctor the day before they were really concerned about my shoulder. However, unlike my visit yesterday where it didn't hurt, I was wincing in pain this time. I might have even escaped a small cry of pain in a spot or two.

I told him how I thought it was my bicep and it aggravated everything else. My elbow was on fire! My shoulder in pain. Wrist aching. Arm hurt to move. And that spot on my bicep still there, but not as bad as the other spots.

He told me immediately I wasn't getting a shot. I could have melted to a puddle of despair right there. I came for that shot. I felt promised that shot. I wanted out of pain! Why? Why?

It's because I was the lucky winner of not 1 but 2 x-rays. One of my shoulder and one of my elbow. He gave me a business card of where I could go immediately following this appointment.

Really? So what do they give me to "numb" the pain? Ibuprofen. That's it. I have Advil at home. This ain't going to touch the pain. Maybe some of the swelling, but this needed something serious!

And let's also take note of the fact that my arm, shoulder, elbow didn't hurt yesterday. I had movement. It was the doctor's orders to move that cause d this pain, that was worse than when it started on Wednesday! So how could it be bones? It's obviously a muscle pull, tear, pinch, something! But I'm no doctor. I just want to get better. So follow orders, 

He asked if there were any other problems since this all happened. Again, I tried joking, making light of the situation. I told him, "Yes I stopped exercising and began eating comfort food. In fact, last night I ate an entire bag of Goldfish."

He just stared at me. Then said, "Goldfish?"

I said "Yes, my daughter's entire bag."

He paused, non-smiling and said seriously, "You mean the crackers?"

Do I mean the crackers? Is real goldfish a comfort food? If I'm in pain would I drive to a pet store and buy goldfish and eat them? I couldn't follow this logic. How could he NOT assume the crackers? Was I being punked?

"Yes." I said. Curious that he thought I was a delusional person that thought she saved the world and ate live goldfish. What a picture.

He also told me to wear a sling and come back tomorrow and see my regular doctor and go over the results.

So I left. When I was leaving my husband was able to meet me. I told him I was going for x-rays. He followed me.

So I drove to the x-ray facility and filled out forms while my husband was working from his laptop and phone. They called me up and I was getting up so slowly, that they called my name 3 times. I barely had the voice to say it was me.

This sweet lady took me back and told me to undress from the waist up. I told her there was no way I could by myself and if she could help. She did.

She then proceeded to tell me the different positions I'd have to get in for these photos. Ouch! I knew they'd be so painful. And I was fearing that I may not be able to physically lift or do some of the shots. So again, I joked, "I don't know if I'm ready for these boudoir photos. Those will be very odd angles."

Again, it was like I didn't say anything. May be she didn't hear me. Maybe I'm in so much pain my delivery is way off. I don't know. But I felt like I was in bizarro land.

It took forever, I was really slow, but I was able to do all the photos, though it hurt a lot! Then I was released. I then headed to the store to buy my generic Ibuprofen and a sling.

Don't you just love my black, slimming sling? Goes with everything. Again, I call it my sexy accessory and make light of it.

So about 24 hours later (Wednesday- It's now been a week of crazy!), I go back to my doctor. I'm still in pain, but not in tears. Not moving it and having it in the sling helps. The NOT moving helps, but it's still awful. I still needed help getting dressed, breakfast, everything.

So the nurse went to check me in. I've known this nurse for years. She's nice. She always asks about Ashton and gives me tips that's she's tried for different things. But then she turns to me and asks, "so did the patch and vinegar help at all?"

Seriously? We're asking this question. Do you not see in the notes that I was ready to chop my arm off Monday afternoon, HOURS after I was given that smelly patch and vinegar to drink? How could it have helped at all under the circumstance. Even if it did, in theory, if I was in that much pain, how would I have known it should have been worse without.

So without a beat, I said, "No." Nothing else. I didn't even want to get into that. But it all came back me eating goldfish trying to save the world. I felt like my situation wasn't really being understood. Sigh!

Then I waited in the doctor's office for an hour! She finally came in. X-rays came back clean. I wasn't surprised. They don't know what's wrong with me or where the pain is as I can't tell them how I got it or pinpoint where the pain is truly coming from. I am guessing my bicep, but they thought shoulder or elbow. So who knows. It all hurts. 

I told her what next then? An MRI? Do I see an orthopedic specialist?

She told me no. That the orthopedic would just look at my -rays, be just and confused and tell me I needed physical therapy and I would pay a lot for nothing.

So I said, "Then what?" Rest. And FINALLY - I got a cortisone shot! They put it in my arm where I told them I thought it all started, my bicep. They also put me on prednisone immediately. If I'm not getting better in one week I'm then to see an orthopedic expert. They're hoping rest and the steroid will just fix it all and heal in a couple weeks. I pray that it does.

So this is my long, cray drawn out story of what I've been faced with this last week!

Ashton has been amazing! She's helped get things for me, and if she hears me cry out in pain, she comes running to see if she can help. She's been marvelous. My husband too. He's helped me do things to keep everyday life running.

As of now, my arm feels SO MUCH better. The sling and the steroid is working. I'm hoping I be better in less than 2 weeks. But I'm not going to push it. It's been hard typing at work with one hand, and I have trouble lifting a ream of paper, and passing out stuff, but I've made do. I just can't wait to get better, be normal.

But I can now dress myself - accomplishment. And I can slowly do more and more all the time. I'm ever so grateful. However, sleep is still a big obstacle for me. See I usually sleep on that hurt side. I'm a side sleeper. Sleeping on the other side still aches, and I'm still trying sleeping sitting up. I also in cold sweats all night since this all happened, so I wake constantly, being cold and wet and need to change It's terrible. I'm hoping that will go away soon. But I'm still counting my blessings.

The end of the warm streak ends today. I feel like I've missed it because of all his craziness with my arm. I really wanted to take advantage of it and walk the dog and exercise and open windows, but nope. I was huddled eating goldfish. But that's okay. I'm thinking even with it back in the 30s tomorrow, I'll be happy as long as I can move. And Spring is around the corner.

As of yesterday I started eating clean again. I was able to put in a very short walk around the block. So I'm slowly getting back into the swing of things. I'm not very patient, so this is a good lesson for me. I just thank God that I'm getting better. I just wish I knew what I did to my poor body. I so don't want it to happen again, but it looks like I really won't be getting any answers. But since I'm getting better, I'm able to handle no answers better.

I'm exhausted! It's been a hard week. I'm so ready for the weekend!

And on an Ashton note, here is a little drawing she did today!

My girl drew C3PO, BB8, and R2D2. Aren't they great?
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Saturday, February 18, 2017

Living it Up

This February we are going to have an unseasonably warm week. It's usually sub-zero temperatures, and instead we're going to have 60 degree weather! Wow!! So Friday our family did a bunch of errands. Today, while my hubby worked on building a set for the nest theater production, Ashton and I had Mommy-Daughter day. After her nap I took her to the park. It was packed! But she had a blast!

She was climbing and bouncing about. She couldn't get enough. Other than asking for a drink and potty break, she was all out for about 2 hours!

She had fun learning about how everything worked.

She was a monkey climbing and swinging everywhere! I had quite the time keeping up with her and not losing her in the crowd.

After being there for a couple hours, much to Ashton's disappointment we left and decided to check in on how the stage was coming along. Ashton desperately wanted to help

She only has eyes for her daddy. She kept looking to him for approval. We decided to go out to eat together. We had a wait before we got a table and Ashton kept "dancing" to the music.

You would think I would learn and quit being surprised by her boundless energy. But I'm not. She continually amazes me.

Today was a great day! Love times like these. Wish they came by more often.

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Friday, February 17, 2017

Everything is Awesome!

We watched the Lego Movie together and at the end credits Ashton had to dance! Our couch isn't going to make it much longer between Ashton and Khaleesi!

She may have enjoyed the movie, but seems to love the songs more!

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentine's Day as a Family

Ashton was all red for Valentine's Day. It's funny. This girl is such a tomboy, but lets me dress her up anyway I want to. Maybe she's so not-girly she doesn't care how she looks. I don't know. But I love that I can make her as cute as a button.

After work, we gave Ashton her valentine's gifts. Daddy gave her chocolate and I gave her a reading book. Then we had pizza and cinnamon twists and at Ashton's request we played Mario Kart. It was a lovely Valentine's Day.

As an added bonus my Valentine's Day was pretty awesome. My husband took the day off to clean up the house to surprise me. He dusted, vacuumed, mopped, put away clutter. It was the best gift EVER! Then he also brought me flowers from him and Ashton. (I never get flowers, so this is a big deal. I think Ashton insisted so he got them.)

Ashton picked the orange ones and my hubby picked the purple ones. Don't the look beautiful together? Amadeus didn't really like being placed next to them for a shot, but I tried.

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Monday, February 13, 2017

Last Valentine's Day - Pajama Day

Today was Valentine's Day-Pajama Day at daycare. It was a bit bittersweet as Ashton loves these days, and this one will be her last. Next year she'll be at a new school as a Kindergartner and she won't have pajama day for Valentine's. It was a cute tradition. But I know there will be new traditions she'l be embracing.

She was cute in her fox jammies in 2015. She had Boo the dog Valentine's Day cards she picked out.

Last year, she wore her monkey pjs and had her tauntaun in tow. She gave classic Star Wars Valentine's Day cards to her classmates.

This year was Wonder Woman and her Pua, jr. These pjs don't have feet, so we had her fox slippers to keep her feet warm.

And she gave out the new Star Wars cards this year. I was surprised, between Star Wars, Superhero Girls, Moana, she still wanted her Star Wars.

Wonder Woman is all set. Can't wait to hear about her special day.

So wish I had pajama day at work, looks so comfy!
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Sunday, February 12, 2017

Little Early Valentine's Day Gift

Ashton has a few treasured stuffed animals.

Feegan the fox.
Butterfly the bat.
Luke the tauntaun.
Pinky the pink rabbit lovie.
Pua the pig.

She has many other adored stuffed animals, but these are her most beloved. She usually wants to tote one with her around the house. We rarely let her take one out of the house (that's what Jaques the fox is for), except on special occasions.

Well, Monday is Valentine's Day/Pajama Party at Ashton's daycare. It isn't on Tuesday the actual day, because that is tumbling day.

So in preparation, Ashton wrote out her valentine's day cards. Meaning she wrote all their names and signed her name on every card. I swear it took 2 hours to do! But she was determined.

For pajama day she usually takes a little stuffed animal with her. It's the only day I let her take a toy to daycare. Last year it was her beloved tauntaun. This year she wanted to take Pua. Well, if any of you know about Pua, he is ginormous! She can't take that pig!

So we decided to surprise Ashton with a little part of her valentine's day gift early. I think it went over well!

We got her a portable-sized Pua. This one is Pua, jr. She was elated. It might have been wrong to do it right before bedtime, because she got so excited. Like we just gave her sugar.

Needless to say, I think we scored on the gift. I'm sure actual Valentine's Day will be underwhelming after this. But we're glad she loves him.

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Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sister Meet Up

Today Ashton looked super adorable in her purple heart checked pants and braids. The day was beautiful - in February! Usually it's sub-zero temperatures. But it was like 60 degrees!! It was just 20 degrees a couple days ago! That's Indiana for you!

So we wanted to just be out and enjoy the sunshine.

We went out for a fun breakfast. Ashton got chocolate chip pancakes and 6 strips of bacon! I think she would have eaten more if we let her!

A little bit later we went to a dog store. We got contacted by Kaida's sister's owner. She lives in Indiana and was coming down to Indianapolis for a dog show and would love a meet up. So we did.

This is Ellie, Kaida's sister. There is another sister that looks a lot like Ellie bu with more white on her forehead. I'm not sure where she got adopted, but there were only 3 girls in the litter.

The pups weren't all too interested in each other. But it was still nice. 

Ashton on the other hand was very bored. She was using the pet store as a jungle gym. We finally settled her down and let her play on her daddy's phone.

But these two girls were getting a lot of attention together. Kids and grown-ups alike were coming to pet and meet them.

We enjoyed our day out an about! Ashton got to ride her bike and play with chalk doing driveway drawings. Man, do we have spring fever! Hopefully, it'll be an early spring!
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