Monday, October 29, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Down Syndrome

Down Syndrome

Awareness Color: Blue and Yellow
Awareness Month: October
Down syndrome (DS), also called Trisomy 21, is a condition in which extra genetic material causes delays in the way a child develops, both mentally and physically. It affects about 1 in every 800 babies born in the United States.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Trisomy 18

Trisomy 18

Awareness Color: Light Blue
Awareness Month: March
Trisomy 18, also known as Edwards syndrome, is a condition which is caused by a error in cell division, known as meiotic disjunction.  Trisomy 18 occurs in about 1 out of every 2500 pregnancies in the United States, about 1 in 6000 live births.  The numbers of total births increase significantly when stillbirths are factored in that occur in the 2nd and 3rd trimesters of pregnancy. Unlike Down syndrome, which also is caused by a chromosomal defect, the developmental issues caused by Trisomy 18 are associated with medical complications that are more potentially life-threatening in the early months and years of life. 50% of babies who are carried to term will be stillborn, with baby boys having higher stillbirth rate than baby girls.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Soccer Weekend #7: Championship

Today's game was incredible. The weather was cold, wet, and insufferable, but the kids did amazing. We were playing against the only undefeated team in the league (for our age group). They were 6-0 going into the championship. We were 3-3. The kids had no hopes of winning, but they still wanted to give it their all.

The first half of the game was intense. Both teams had several attempts on the goal. Both teams scored a single goal. The kids headed into the second half bound and determined to play a wonderful game. About 5 mins into the second half, the other team scored to bring the score to 1-2. Emotions were flying high at this point and some of the kids from each team got pretty aggressive. Penalties were taken. Fouls aplenty. Then, about 5 mins before the end of the second half, we scored. This tied the game. Now, in a Championship game, there has to be a winner. So, the plan was to go to a 10 min overtime period. Then, if still tied, we'd go to a shootout. About 8 mins into the overtime period, WE SCORED. Yep. We ended up winning the championship 3-2. Our kids were so ecstatic. The whoops, squees, and cheers were loud. However, it was a hard loss for the other team.

Afterwards, the league had a short gameside trophy ceremony. Both teams in the championship received trophies and the coaches got to talk to the crowds. So say Emali is over the moon happy is an understatement.

 After the game, so happy. Her excitement just bubbled over.
 Emali with her trophy.
 The Arctic Foxes after winning. 
Silly pose team shot.

31 Days of Awareness: "R" word

Stop the "R" Word

The R-word is the word 'retard(ed)'. Why does it hurt? The R-word hurts because it is exclusive. It’s offensive. It’s derogatory. The R-word is hate speech.

Friday, October 26, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Cystic Fibrosis

Cystic Fibrosis

Awareness Color: Purple (US), Red (Canada)
Awareness Month: May

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is an inherited disease of the mucus and sweat glands. It affects mostly your lungs, pancreas, liver, intestines, sinuses and sex organs. CF causes your mucus to be thick and sticky. The mucus clogs the lungs, causing breathing problems and making it easy for bacteria to grow. This can lead to problems such as repeated lung infections and lung damage.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: POTS

Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia Syndrome

Awareness Color: Orange (unofficial)

Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome (POTS) is a condition characterized by an inappropriate elevation in heart rate when standing up. People who have POTS experience symptoms - most often lightheadedness and palpitations - whenever they are upright. Their symptoms can vary in severity from quite mild to incapacitating.

In addition to the rapid heart rate, they can also have a drop in their blood pressure when standing. Up to 40% of people with POTS will have at least one episode of syncope (passing out).
POTS is a disorder of young people. Most who have this condition are between 14 and 45 years of age and are otherwise healthy. Women are four to five times more likely to develop POTS than men. A propensity for POTS appears to be present in some families.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Cerebral Palsy

Cerebral Palsy

Awareness Color: Green
Awareness Month: March
Awareness Day: March 20

Cerebral palsy (CP) is a disorder that affects muscle tone, movement, and motor skills (the ability to move in a coordinated and purposeful way). CP is usually caused by brain damage that occurs before or during a child's birth, or during the first 3 to 5 years of a child's life.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Bullying


Awareness Color: Officially Blue. Orange and Purple are worn also.
Awareness Month: October
Bullying is the use of force or coercion to abuse or intimidate others. The behavior can be habitual and involve an imbalance of social or physical power. It can include verbal harassment or threat, physical assault or coercion and may be directed repeatedly towards particular victims, perhaps on grounds of racereligiongendersexuality, or ability. The victim of bullying is sometimes referred to as a "target".

Monday, October 22, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Breast Cancer

Breast Cancer

Awareness Color: Pink
Awareness Month: October
Awareness Day: October 22

Breast cancer is a disease in which malignant (cancer) cells form in the tissues of the breast. Breast cancer develops in the breast tissue, primarily in the milk ducts (ductal carcinoma) or glands (lobular carcinoma). The cancer is still called and treated as breast cancer even if it is first discovered after traveling to other areas of the body. In those cases, the cancer is referred to as metastatic or advanced breast cancer.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Pumpkin Carving!

Today was the 2nd Annual pumpkin carving at Rich and Sammy's house. There weren't as many pumpkins as last year, but it was still a GREAT time. Kind of crazy too. Since all the kids now have kids, there were EIGHT children 4 and under there. EIGHT! Craziness. We carved pumpkins, ate good food, and the kids got to play in a huge leaf pile. Great day.

31 Days of Awareness: Heart Disease

Heart Disease

Awareness Color: Red
Awareness Month: February

Cardiovascular disease aka heart disease is a class of diseases that involve the heart or blood vessels (arteries, capillaries and veins). Cardiovascular disease refers to any disease that affects the cardiovascular system, principally cardiac disease, vascular diseases of the brain and kidney, and peripheral arterial disease. The causes of cardiovascular disease are diverse but atherosclerosis and/or hypertension are the most common. Besides, with aging come a number of physiological and morphological changes that alters cardiovascular function and lead to subsequently increased risk of cardiovascular disease, even in health asymptomatic individuals.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Happy Anniversary

to Eric and I! Can you believe it's been FIVE YEARS? Five years. Simply amazing. I hope we get 70 more. :)

 On our wedding day.

Soccer Weekend #6

Well, today's game was certainly an interesting game. Both our team and the team we were against were tied for second place. Whoever won would head to the Championship game to be held next Saturday. So proud to say that OUR TEAM WON! We'll be headed to the championship game next week! Emali was so excited she actually squeed. What made it even better was my Dad and StepMom came to the game!

31 Days of Awareness: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder
Awareness Color: Black/Yellow Ribbon with a red star
Awareness Month: June

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, or PTSD,  is a type of aniexty disorder that is caused by a traumatic event. You can develop post-traumatic stress disorder when you experience or witness an event that causes intense fear, helplessness or horror. It can occur at any time after seeing or being involved in a traumatic event that caused, or threatened to cause, grave physical injury. This means it can show up years after the event. PTSD can improve with time and healthy coping treatments. Every case of PTSD can be different. Each person has different coping methods which results in different treatments.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Toy Box Makeover Part 2

If you missed the beginning of this makeover, you can read about the first day of it here

After letting the stain dry for a full 24 hours, I got out my trusty overhead projector. I used it to trace the design I wanted onto the toybox. After tracing with pencil, I filled in the design with about 400 coats of white acrylic craft paint.

After painting the millions of coats of paint, I finally got the design looking the way I wanted. It was then time to seal the entire piece. I normally use polyurethane, but because I didn't want the yellowing to happen over the crisp white paint, this time I used Minwax Polycrylic. Yes, it's expensive, but I love the fact that it's a water cleanup and doesn't yellow. Then I just had to let it dry.
There is the final product. The stain deepened to that rich blue color I wanted, without losing the woodgrain. To me, this now looks like a toy box. It's happy and cheerful and just asking for toys to be put into it.

A before and after so you can see the transformation.

* I was in no way compensated for this post. I use Mixwax products because I love them and they are easy to use.*

31 Days of Awareness: Interstitial Cystitis

Interstitial Cystitis

Awareness Color: Teal
Awareness Month: September

Interstitial cystitis, or bladder pain syndrome (commonly abbreviated to "IC/BPS"), is a chronic, often severely debilitating disease of the urinary bladder. Of unknown cause, it is characterized by: pain associated with the bladder, pain associated with urination (dysuria), urinary frequency (as often as every 10 minutes), urgency, and/or pressure in the bladder and/or pelvis.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Dear ...

-FYI, this post uses graphic language. Please skip it if swear words offend you.-

Dear Local Consumers,
       When people post a price with their item on the local buy/sell/trade site, it's because they want that price. (Or close to it). Offering someone $100 on a $500 item because 'you want it but only have $100' is offensive. When people say they're willing to take offers, they mean something close to what they're asking. No one gives a shit if you want it but can't afford it. That's life.

Seriously Pissed Off,
Local Seller


Dear School Nurse,
       I understand that you are a registered nurse, however you are not a doctor. My son was diagnosed by a licensed neuropsychologist. That means she trumps your opinion.  I understand YOU don't think he has it, but she does. She's the one with the training to recognize it. Get the fuck over it.

Momma Bear


Dear Local Crafter,
       Slapping a coat of flat black paint and a white star on something doesn't make it 'primitive'. Nor does it make the item worth hundreds of dollars. Slap yourself with your paintbrush and wake up. Yes, you. The one who last week bought a table for $10, then threw a coat of paint on it, called it primitive and are now charging $150.

Get A Clue,
Local Consumer


Dear Other Women,
        Quit fucking judging me because I have 30 extra pounds, most of it around my waist. Quit fucking judging me because I wear my hair in a ponytail at all times. .... because I don't wear makeup.  .... because I don't dress up. Guess what, I'm hot to my husband and that's ALL I give a shit about. Maybe if you quit judging others, you'd be happy too.

Don't Care About Fashion,


Dear Hemi,
        I love your furry grey behind, but if you don't stop scratching the crap outta this rental house, you're going to get your fingers chopped at the knuckles. Oh, and seriously, the litter pan is 5 inches to the right. Take better aim.

Your Loving Fur Mom,


Dear Bitch,
         Yes, you're a bitch. One day he'll wise up and leave your ass. 'Til then, enjoy the high life. It'll end soon enough. I'll enjoy the show.

Can't Wait 'Til Then,
Mutual Friend


Dear Daughter of Mine,
          I love you to death, but your tweenage/teenage years are going to put me in a early grave. Enough with the attitude, lying, and backtalk. Please, be the loving girl I know you can be.

Love through it all, 


Dear Blog Readers,
          I hope you've enjoyed this. I try not to swear to often on my blog, but I do from time to time. I cannot always warn you when a post will contain swearing, but I will try my hardest. Thank you for being an audience, even if it's only you Grandma. 

(Wild) Rice

31 Days of Awareness: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Polycystic Ovary Syndrome

Awareness Color: Teal
Awareness Month: September
Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) is a condition in which a woman’s ovaries and in some cases the adrenal glands, produce more androgens (a type of hormone, similar to testosterone) than normal. PCOS is the most common endocrine disorder of women, affecting as many as 1 in 10. While there is no cure for PCOS, the symptoms of PCOS can be managed with proper treatment by a qualified PCOS physican.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Toy box makeover Part 1

Months ago, I bought an old solid wood toy box for Alvin. It was a steal for $15 at the flea market. Since then, we've been using it in the living room to store all his wooden trains and tracks for his train table. It's functional, but it's not exactly what I'd choose for a toy box. (I think they should be colorful. They are storing toys after all.) So, today, I drug out the orbital sander and got to work.

 Here is the toy box before I began the make over. You can see it's just a typical brown stained wooden toy box. Clearly no fun at all. That's all about to change.

My Giant Face Tumor

Well, I'm sure that title got your attention. As most of the people that read this know, my son has neurofibromatosis. NF is a nerve disorder that causes unchecked growth of nerve cells, which form tumors anywhere a nerve is present.

Tonight, TLC (The Learning Channel) is airing a documentary called "My Giant Face Tumor" at 9pm EDT. It follows two people with NF. One of them is a man named Ed Port who is local to my area. He's a truly great man and an inspiration to all those who have NF.

So, please, take an hour out of your day, and watch the documentary so you too can learn more about neurofibromatosis.

To follow Ed's journey with NF, please like his Facebook page, or follow his blog. Thanks!

31 Days of Awareness: Eating Disorders

Eating Disorders

Awareness Color: Periwinkle
Awareness Week: 1st week in February

Eating disorders refer to a group of conditions defined by abnormal eating habits that may involve either insufficient or excessive food intake to the detriment of an individual's physical and mental health. Bulimia nervosaanorexia nervosa, and binge eating disorder are the most common specific forms.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012


I really and truly don't know why I bother with writing on this. No one comments. No posts are shared. The most traffic I get is from my Grandma and from random people tagging pics on a Google search. I'm seriously searching my soul wondering if it's worth the time and effort I put in. I think I'm going to give it until the end of the year, but I most likely won't be posting much, if at all, after that. Especially if no one cares.

31 Days of Awareness: Hirschsprung's Disease

Hirschsprung's Disease

Awareness Color: Maroon/Burgundy
Awareness Day: September 25 (Illinois only)

Hirschsprung disease (HD) is a disease of the large intestine that causes severe constipation or intestinal obstruction. HD occurs when some of the nerve cells that are normally present in the wall of the intestine do not form properly during fetal development. HD affects 1 in 5000 newborns/toddlers, most often boys.

Monday, October 15, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Infertility


Awareness Color: Blue/Pink gradiant
Awareness Month: April
Awareness Week: Last full week in April

Infertility primarily refers to the biological inability of a person to contribute to conception. Infertility may also refer to the state of a woman who is unable to carry a pregnancy to full termInfertility is grouped into two categories: Primary infertility refers to couples who have not become pregnant after at least 1 year of unprotected sex (intercourse). Secondary infertility refers to couples who have been pregnant at least once, but never again. About 10 percent of women (6.1 million) in the United States ages 15-44 have difficulty getting pregnant or staying pregnant.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

31 Days of Awareness: Diabetes


Awareness Color: Grey
Awareness Month: November

Diabetes mellitus, or simply diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).
There are three main types of diabetes mellitus (DM). Type 1 diabetes results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin or wear an insulin pump. This form was previously referred to as "insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus" (IDDM) or "juvenile diabetes".Type 2 diabetes results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. This form was previously referred to as non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) or "adult-onset diabetes". The third main form,gestational diabetes occurs when pregnant women without a previous diagnosis of diabetes develop a high blood glucose level.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

I love Fall.

Today after Emali's soccer game, we raked the leaves that had fallen so far into a giant pile and let the kids go crazy. Alvin just thought it was the BEST thing ever! Charley even got involved.

 Alvin's big leaf pile
 Diving in
 Love this picture of him
 Good pic of Erin too
 Our pumpkin bags that we stuffed with leaves
 I can't believe how grown up she's getting.
 See. Charley even got into it.
Alvin making leaf angels.

Soccer Weekend #5

Ok. So I thought that last was cold. I was wrong. It was 30 degrees this morning when we headed out to Emali's soccer game. Our team lost to the Cyclones (again), however we did score a goal against them today. Yay improvement. Score was 1-5. Next week is our last regularly scheduled game. The only way we play after that is if we go to the championship game. Right now we're tied for 2nd with the Tigers. Whoever wins next week's game will be in the championship game. Funny enough, we play the Tigers next week. :)