Monday, April 7, 2014

Six months later.....

I went for my first Rheumatologist appointment last week.  I've been on Plaquenil, my Lupus medicine for about six months now.  

I have to say, I feel better right now than I have in the past six years. For the first time, I don't wake up and have a cold sweat, flu-type feeling.  I never realized how often I felt that way until it went away.  

The doctor said I'm doing really well. I lost a pound from my last doctors appointment at the urgent care. I guess they even have my urgent care appointments in the computer, which is convenient.  I told him that I constantly feel swollen or inflammed.  My sock line shows if I ever wear any kind of socks and that tells me I definitely am swelling.  Not...a....good...look.

The doctor did tell me that he would like to increase my Plaquenil, which I thought was odd since I'm doing really well. He told me that what I think is doing well might actually just be called functioning.  I'm so used to not feeling well that I just am now able to function day to day and think that's terrific.  He said once I get used to the medicine doubled, I could actually feel great.  

I can't imagine feeling great....I would love it.  

I'm now going to take Vitamin D3, 2,000mg a day, which is the sunshine vitamin and a prenatal vitamin.  The Plaquenil is changing the condition or texture of my hair.  I have super fine hair but a ton of it.  It feels finer and like it's thinning considerably.  Do not put it past me to go buy a Kim Zolciak wig. I would totally rock the blonde Real Housewives of Atlanta look!

The other big suggestion is....he wants me to follow the Eat to Live Diet by Dr. Joel Furhman.  He said that's the best lifestyle change for autoimmune disease sufferers.  Apparently, the mostly vegan lifestyle reduces inflammation in Lupus sufferers.  

How on earth am I going to do that with two teenage boys and a husband that only eats meat and potatoes?????  Talk about a challenge!  I will say that they are very good about only trying to go places that have good, healthy food when I watch my weight.  I am thankful for that.  

Now to just get my hubby on board this would be amazing for him too! 

On the kid front, Tyler is busy with high school Varsity soccer and Varsity track.  He plays mid in soccer and goes in on the games where we are winning.  If it's close, he doesn't get to play as often, but that's fine with me.  I'm so proud he's going in and he's a Freshman!  In Track, he's pole vaulting with his friend Hunter.  Tyler's been able to clear 9 foot so he's on his way.  He just wants to try to get better so he can get a letter on his Letterman jacket for Track also.

Hunter's in Track right now and it's been fun for him.  He doesn't like to run so he's just pole vaulting.  He hasn't qualified to go to a Track meet yet. They only take three kids so it makes it hard when you haven't made it to the three best yet.  Hunter's up to clearing six foot though.  I think with a little practice, he's going to be great!

Tyler told us the other day he isn't playing football next year.  
That's a big negative.

That kid loves football.  I don't know who's gotten it into his head that he shouldn't play football but they are ticking me off.  He will regret it so much if he doesn't.  I guess time will tell.

On the work front, I'm working again at the same company I've already worked twice.  I've always been the Business Development Coordinator and they brought me back as a Consultant.  I like it because I'm working with all my best friends.  Fun times.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Spring sports

Tyler and Hunter have both been busy with sports, of course. Hunter been working on pole vaulting in Track this Spring. He hasn't had much of a chance to really pole vault because they don't do that everyday in morning practice. I hate that for him. He's got good form, he just needs to keep working on propelling himself up and over the pole.

He got out in the first round at his first track meet at the starting height. He was disappointed but I wasn't considering that's how his brother started out when he first tried to pole vault.

Tyler also decided just yesterday to join Track again this Spring and pole vault. He hadn't started out the Track season with the Track team but on a whim the other night said he was going to ask Coach Miller if he could. I think he might be doing it just to join his best friend, also named Hunter, at all the track meets. That way they get to pole vault in the morning, then have the rest of the track meet day to just hang out and watch all the races.

I just talked to Tyler and the track meet today didn't go that well. He and Hunter both got out at the starting height. We are having forty mile an hour winds so that might be a slight factor in their unsuccessful day.

Tyler had a soccer game on Monday night against the town that the boys Dad lives in. It was a very rough game with a lot of mouthing and shoving. Two of our boys got yellow cards and both teams almost got into it at the end of the game. One of the other teams players actually came over to the stands and was yelling an obscenity at a Grandma on our team. It was crazy. I hate confrontation so it completely freaked me out. Soccer can be a crazy game with crazy players and fans. We suffered our first loss that game so our boys were mad anyway. Hopefully, we'll take some lessons from our loss and go on to win big the rest of the season.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Pork Carnitas

Monday I put a pork butt in the crockpot with a Pot Roast seasoning packet, I believe it was McCormick. I added about a cup of beef broth and cooked the roast all day on low in the crockpot.

It was phenomenal. So tender and yummy. We ate it with buttered white rice and green beans. Very simple dinner but so tasty. 

Tonight I decided we would eat the rest of the pork roast as pork carnitas. I simply put the shredded pork in a small skillet and let it crisp and develop a crust on the bottom before stirring it. The crust on the pork made all the difference in the world. I added taco seasoning to the pork for a spiced up flavor. We ate them in flour tortillas.  I love anything Mexican!  

I cooked a box of Mexican style Rice-a-Roni to serve with the carnitas. 

We ate the carnitas plain with the tortillas but in the past, I've served them with all the taco fixings-lettuce, cheese, guacamole, salsa, chopped onions,diced  tomatoes.  

My favorite salsa actually comes in a can in the Mexican food aisle. It is the brightest, freshest flavor of any salsa I've tried. You will love it!

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A triumph

Last night the hubs and I decided to take Allie the Boxer on a walk. We headed to the nature trail and told Jim that I'd probably not be able to walk very far since I hadn't done any exercise since last summer. For the past two years, when I'd walk, I'd get a horrible aching pain in my rib cage and have to spend the rest of the walk holding my sides and my back. I just thought I was fat and feeling the effects and wouldn’t think another thing about it. Well…last night was the first night in a very long time that the feeling of pain didn’t hit me right after beginning my walk. It was a realization I had about three quarters of the way. I didn’t have that pesky pain feeling. I couldn’t believe it. The pain must have been from my Connective Tissue Disease all this time. I don’t know if anyone that doesn’t have Lupus will ever understand what I triumph that walk was for me. For the first time in a long time, I didn’t feel like quitting. I could keep walking without having to hold my ribs. It was the best feeling in the world. Slowly by surely, I’m thinking of more and more symptoms or pains I’ve suffered from in the last three years that were probably Lupus. All the times I thought I was really out of shape or just overweight, I felt bad because I was actually sick. In a twisted sort of way, that’s such a relief. Now, at least, I can take one pill everyday and all of my pains go away. All the times I thought I was going crazy because I never felt good are slowly being explained and I love it. Thank God for Rheumatologists!

Our soccer team is #4 in the state

Class 5A Soccer (Boys) Week 2 Rankings as of 3/17/2014 Rank School (#1 Rankings) W-L Points 1 EAST CENTRAL (5) 5-0 121 2 HERITAGE HALL (4) 2-0 110 3 NORTHWEST CLASSEN 4-2 86 4 SKIATOOK 4-0 70 5 CLAREMORE 2-0 62 6 CASCIA HALL 4-2 56 7 PIEDMONT 3-0 53 8 COWETA 3-2 52 9 DEL CITY 2-1 44 9 MEMORIAL 2-2 44 11 PRYOR 2-1 42 12 DEER CREEK (EDMOND) 1-3 33 13 WESTERN HEIGHTS0-0 31 14 EDISON PREP 1-2 27 15 EISENHOWER 1-0 21
We won the Oologah tournament this past weekend and the boys were so pumped about it!
I copied the listing of rankings on the OSSAA website and we are number 4 in the state! That is unbelievable! We are so proud of our Bulldog soccer team! They are doing terrific! Tyler's on the team with his two best friends, which makes it even more exciting. They are the only three Freshmen on the team. Our soccer schedule really kicks into gear soon so we will a busy soccer family. I don't mind, I love watching soccer. We are on our tenth year of soccer so it's all we've ever known practically.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Front Page News

Look who made the front page of our little newspaper?!  

We had our preseason soccer tournament last weekend. It was gorgeous soccer weather and we won all four games, making us the Skiatook Preseason Tournament Champions! 

Tyler played in all of the games after the first couple of minutes, which thrilled me to death seeing as he's a Freshman! 

He even made two goals in the last game. One only counted because the first one the refs called a handball, which was a dumb call but that's ok. 

I was so proud of the team! They played terrific!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Winter can go away now!

I'm seriously tired of Winter. As in, it can go away now. It started snowing yesterday morning and has snowed off and on for the past 24 hours. I missed work Monday and Tuesday, which was fine with me because I was able to spend time with the boys and get laundry done. By the way, does laundry ever get done? I wonder how OCD women feel about laundry. Do they go crazy because it'll never be done? As soon as they put up the final folded clothes, the kids have the clothes they're wearing in the dirty clothes hamper. It's a never-ending cycle. Do they literally go nuts trying to finish it all? Thank God my hubby is sweet and doesn't put any pressure on me to keep the house together and the laundry done. I do enough of that to myself. Back to the winter....I hate it and I need sun. I need sunshine, happy people, flip-flops, sandals, cute t-shirts. I need to see my cute little guys with sun on their faces because they look adorable with a little tan. I need to feel like my leg aren't glowing and actually look a slight brown color. It's especially hard in the winter because my Mom has a hard time walking on ice and snow since she struggles anyway with walking. I can't take her to the doctor when the weather's bad because it's too hard on her. I can't wait 'til Spring solely for that reason. I'm ready for Soccer season to start and to be able to sit in the stands outside. That's much better than walking fast into a basketball auditorium when it's 18 degrees outside. This has got to be one of the worst winters we've had besides the year we had a blizzard. That was the worst officially. I think I become some sort of hermit when it's wintertime. I don't want to go out in any way. I don't want to go grocery shopping, shopping in general, or out to eat, and that's pretty bad for me. At least we only have about a month and a half. Hopefully.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Menu Planning Monday

This week is an easy one because I actually took the time to plan out meals and go grocery shopping at Aldi. Here's our meal plan for the week:
Monday - Sauerkraut and Bratwurst (Sauerkraut is good for inflammation in the body)
Tuesday - Beef Stew, cornbread
Wednesday - German Smoked Sausage Dish - (smoked sausage, turnips, potatoes, onions, carrots in a stew) I know that's two stew dishes in a row but it's -5 degree windchill so it's a good thing ***I cook for my husband's Masonic Lodge on Wednesdays for their meeting (25 people) so we just get a few portions out of the crockpot that I'm cooking in and eat what they eat
Thursday- Pork Chop Apple Casserole, roasted broccoli, wild rice (pork chops, apples, and honey bar-b-que sauce baked together)
Friday - Salmon patties, pea salad, hushpuppies
Saturday - Out to eat. The kids will be with their Dad so Jim and I go eat somewhere - date night!
Sunday - Beef Stroganoff, green beans

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Grocery Trip Organization

Let me start this post off by saying that I can't believe I never went to Aldi to do my grocery shopping before last year. Believe it or not, my ex-husband told me about the store a long time ago, as in, 7 or 8 years ago. I guess I should have listened. I have a certain method for grocery shopping when we (I dragged my hubby along) go on our big trips to Aldi. We usually go on a Friday night or Sunday afternoon, hoping it's not too terribly busy. The reason I despise Super Wal-Mart is the crowds of crazy, pajama wearing, no teeth having people. Seriously, it irks me to no end that people can't at least put on sweatpants to go grocery shopping. I live in a small town where most likely you will run into someone you know and people still have on pajamas. Gag. This is also the reason I go to the next town to shop. I really don't want to be distracted running into the neighbors, teachers from school and have to stand and talk for 2 hours while needing to think about my shopping trip. Call me snobby but that's the honest truth. I have a hard enough time concentrating these days, I can't have someone breaking the concentration. Ha! I spend approximately two hours before my shopping trip listing out meals for the upcoming two weeks.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

2014 Planners and Pens, Oh My!

I'm going to admit right now what an office supply nerd I am. I might need any intervention. It's bad. Really bad. Nothing makes me happier than going to Office Depot and looking through all the awesome pens, pencils, planners. I'm not a fan of New Year's Eve but love the New Year because it's new day planner time. Ha! Last year I listened to the blogs and ordered an Erin Condren planner. I loved the monogrammed cover I ordered but something about the planner just didn't appeal to me. Some of the months were colors I didn't like at all. I didn't write anything in November because the orange and brown color was hideous. I felt like I wasted $65 on a book I never used. I used the cruddy Walmart one I bought for work more than the Erin Condren. I didn't like the pen quality of the pens that came with the EC planner either. For $65, I thought they should have been LePen quality pens. This year, I'm debating on the Whitney English planner or the Simplified Life Planner. The Whitney English is more professional for work but I adore the color of the Simplified Life Planner. I also can't wait to order the Simplified Life binders. Who doesn't love stripes?! I'm ordering the LePens from Amazon as soon as I decide on the planner. Seriously - cannot wait!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Sugar Bowl Champs! Boomer Sooner

We are Sooner fans in our house and we couldn't be more ecstatic about the game last night when our Oklahoma Sooners whooped up on The Alabama Crimson Tide!!!

We were really expecting to get killed by Alabama so it was stunning that Oklahoma stepped up to the plate and did work!

We had my brother-in-law Josh over and his kids, Madi and Josh.  It was so much fun!  We were hooping and hollering like crazy! 

Can you see the intense concentration?  Except my hubby is probably googling a players stats or something like that. Ha!

Now he's concentrating.  Wait - that's the girls in the audience on the screen.  Is that what gets his attention?

We had to post a pic to Facebook!
The funniest thing about this game is that my brother and sister-in-law actually graduated from the University of Alabama.  When Bear Bryant was the football coach.  Talk about a time to go to Alabama.
My brother was so ticked off last night, I'm sure of it.  He lives in Atlanta so we didn't have the pleasure of watching him squirm when Bama was stinking.  Ha!
My Mom and her entire side of the family all live in Alabama too so the ribbing about them losing is really just fun.  I love Alabama.  We have one dog named Alabama Tide and another one named Boomer. 
I know, real original, huh?!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Happy New Year!

We had a low key New Year this year.  I hadn't been feeling that hot so we just hung around the house and watched football, which is my favorite activity anyway.

I've never been a huge New Year fan. I've always thought it was sad.  An ending.  After New Years Eve, you take down all the pretty Christmas decorations. Boo.

New Year's Day, we went to the assisted living and picked up Mom so she could eat Black-Eyed Peas and Cabbage with us. 

Black-Eyed Peas are so easy.  All you need are a bag of dried black-eyed peas that you soak overnight and remove the impurities. Cubed ham, an onion, chopped into rough dice, seasoning salt, a little Slap Ya Mama seasoning, and Cavender's Greek seasoning.  I start with little seasoning and then when the peas are almost done, add to our taste.

I always cook the ham in olive oil first, then add the onions and sauté those as well.

Our New Year's good luck feast - sautéed cabbage for wealth, white rice, black-eyed peas for good luck and good ol' Southern cornbread

Sunday, December 29, 2013

I need to work on my craftiness

I've been pinning my life away on Pinterest.  I think I have about 6,000 pins. 

I have every intention of being crafty, I just can't find the time to actually go to Hobby Lobby, buy the supplies and sit down to do it.

Here are the crafts I hope to accomplish in the near future.  I completely believe in doing Christmas crafts in January for next year.  With 5 birthdays in December, this girl has no time to craftiness during the actual holiday season.

I'm a big screenshotter - if that's a word.  If I see something awesome on Instagram, I'll save it on my phone. That way, if I'm at Hobby Lobby, I just pull my phone out and look at my crafty ideas. 
I hope its not bad to post peoples Instagram shots.  I don't know blogging etiquette. Ha!

I love this for a guy room.  Maybe a little more teenager like but its eye catching.

My Mom's assisted living has a door decorating contest every year and this is our idea for next year.  We are totally winning it next year!!!

I also love this for Hunter's room.  He likes the plaid, woodsy look.  He's my son that thinks he's a backwoods redneck - not that there's anything wrong with that.

I adore this little ornament made out of pasta.  I think this would be a good family craft idea.

Love, love, love the chalkboard look!

I took these pics at Johnny Carinos because I like the photo gallery of old pictures.  When we sold my Mom's house last year, I took all of the older photos and need to know what to do with them. This is a neat idea.

If you don't follow Carolineintexas on Instagram, you must.  She's an art teacher and has the best ideas around her house.  These chalkboards are just a square piece of chalkboard she bought at Lowes and chalkboard pens.  She cleans them with Windex and writes seasonal things.  She even has one on their back porch with the Tennessee football schedule.  Awesome!  Think how cool with the Oklahoma Sooners schedule next year.  Since we are going to beat the Alabama Tide in the Sugar Bowl in a few days. 
Did I just say that???!!! My dog Alabama Tide just growled at me!

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Christmas 2013

We had a terrific Christmas this year. 

I have to admit, it's getting harder and harder to shop for the boys.  They're 15 and 12 now and their wishlist just keeps getting more and more expensive.  Plus, add to that the fact that Tyler is a December baby and that's a huge month for gift giving.  Whew. 

The boys both got the things on their lists. Hunter wanted Beats by Dr. Dre and a microphone for making YouTube videos.  He's really into the Minecraft video game and likes to make videos of the buildings and things he's built on the computer.  Tyler got an Ipad for his birthday, which was also part Christmas.  He also got shirts, a Bible, FIFA 14 soccer video game and other books.  They both have new comforters for their rooms, which made this Momma happy. They were using ratty old comforters instead of the decorative ones for their rooms, so it was time for new comforters they liked.

 We opened our presents Christmas morning, then headed over to my Moms apartment at the assisted living to eat lunch with her. My friend Jennifer and her mother joined us, which was so nice.  It was a really nice meal and fun to sit and have a relaxing Christmas dinner instead of the hustle and bustle of having to cook and clean up. 

Mom opened her presents with the boys and loved all of the things she received.  We bought her a tunic, necklace, pajamas, bath soap and brush and magazine subscriptions.  She thought she really made out this Christmas.
 The boys doing their favorite activity, playing FIFA soccer in the living room.
The big news for Tyler this Christmas season was getting his braces taken off on December 23rd.  He wore them for exactly two years and ten days.  He got them on his 13th birthday and now just turned 15.  I can't believe it! 
His last meal with braces at Red Lobster


Going by to show Nana his braces one last time

Cheesing it up


Selfies at the dentists office

Look at those beautiful teeth!

 Nana with her new shirt and necklace on Christmas