Wednesday, February 29

I Am Strong

Been feeling beat down lately. Saw this on FB and felt a bit better!
Now, please pray for me as I begin the quest, once again, to find
not a "decent," or "good enough," neurologist, but a great one
who will treat me with respect and will also be an advocate for my good
health and not on one big ego trip as insurance money is blithely collected.

Monday, February 27

Ice Cream Party!

We celebrated Little Miss TeaRose's birthday on Saturday with family and friends. And in this family...that means tons of cousins!!!

But of course cousins means lots of Aunties and Uncles too (though not all may be "blood" related~that's not the point)! And grandparents too, of course.


The theme was ice cream cones. Balloons made into ice cream cones. Ice cream sundaes and cupcakes baked in ice cream cones. Daddy made the cakes (per tradition). Super cute!

Everyone knows Teagan's tastes very well...her gifts mainly consisted of new fashionwear, art supplies, and cuddley new friends!

Uncle James & Auntie Danielle & Cousin Dante threw in some
dance supplies & musical instruments too:

Dante really fell in love with with the biggest bear and tried to take off with it a couple times!

Auntie Roo went a different route and delighted Teagan with a full set of gardening supplies!

As I mentioned in this post, after Teagan opened her gifts, Van performed a special dance for Teagan (to the delight of all the guests!).

Then it was time for cake and singing...

After that...there was more running around like crazy by the cousins and, of course, more dancing!

Look at her go!!! Shake that booty!!! And she has a mouth full of gummy bears! LOL

And then came the sudden need for soft blankets, warm milk, and cuddles!

A Happy Birthday to our sweet girl!!!
You are so loved!!!

Everybody Dance Now...

This weekend we celebrated the birth of Teagan Rose...and I will share more on that later.

But about a little mix of Napoleon Dynamite and About a Boy anyone?

Van came up and whispered to me that he had a special dance for Teagan for her birthday. When gifts were done and Mike put the music on, Van stood with complete confidence in the middle of the room...and began to dance!

And boy! Did he dance!!! With utter and complete seriousness!! He never cracked a smile through the entire performance!!

I happened to be sitting next to the birthday girl, who was enthralled, and you are able to hear her comments throughout the performance too.

So...put your hands together and give a shout out for Van, the Dancing Man!

As Teagan said, "That's pretty cool, Van!!!"

I couldn't agree more!

Sunday, February 26

What Would You Do?

Something happened to me in January when a fairly new neurologist I am seeing completely disregarded my written and verbal instructions that I am allergic to amitriptyline and want to avoid drugs in the same family. He put me on doxepin which is in the same enzyme family.

My pharmacist didn't want to fill the prescription and we both placed calls to him questioning the prescription. He seemed rather insulted by our questioning of his decision and said I would be fine and my pharmicist agreed to fill the prescription as long as my mom and I kept a close eye on my reaction to my reaction to the med.

Thank goodness I live with my mom! Within a week I lost the mental processing ability to even realize that I shouldn't be on the med. My mom kept notes of how my behavior changed. I slowly became zombie-like. At 2 1/2 weeks she called the Dr and said she was lowering my dose and read her notes to him. He still didn't believe it was because of the medication he had prescribed. At 3 1/2 weeks the was no change so we took me off the med completely. Within 3 days I was back to normal. But I had basically missed the month of January. And spent most of Feb getting back to normal.

I went and thanked the pharmacist for her warning as I never would have known that doxepin was related to amytriptyline. She explained about how they were the same basic enzyme with other additional meds added in. (For migraines, sleep, etc) I was put on doxepin for migraines.

However, when I saw the neurologist last week, he still disbelieved that I could have such an adverse to the medication. He now states that he is "afraid" to prescribe any other meds for me and wants ME to see a psychiatrist (as they understand pharmaceutical and chemical responses in the body) to find out why I think I would have such an adverse reaction to a safe medication that was a low dose that others take safely on a daily basis. I should find out why I have a problem...rather than him going to neuropsychiatrist to learn about neuropharmacology and neurochemistry himself!!! Problem has to me rather than HIM.

What he doesn't know is how stubborn I am. He is going to see me next with a fully written dissertation on the freakin' subject! However, some friends have urged me to hire a lawyer and sue him.

What would you do?

Friday, February 24

Oh Sweet Girl!

Dear Darling Girl~
How can it be? Is it really true? Has it been 3 years since we waited up all day and all night and into the next day worrying while you kept your mama (and daddy) working hard until~finally~you were born!

Your Gramma Cindy and Grandma Sue and I stood outside the door of the room where you were born waiting, holding our breath...until....we finally heard your first cry! And your mommy and daddy cried too! They were so happy you were finally here! And we cried too, standing outside that door, jumping quietly up and down. Your Papa Tom came running down the hall as fast as he could to hear the news!

Then, suddenly!, the door wasn't closed any more and there was your daddy bringing us into the room to meet you for the very first time on that day you were born. After your mommy and daddy got to hold you, then we took turns holding you too. But it was really hard to take turns because we all wanted to be the one holding you!

Auntie M was texting your Uncle James and Auntie Danielle as fast as she could to let them know you had finally arrived. And your Papa Jim too. And your Aunties Roo, and  Lesley, and Melly. Your daddy was texting your Uncle Tomo and your Aunties Jill and Mary and all your cousins. It was a very exciting day for everyone!

And guess what? Life hasn't been the same since~for any of us!! We all love you so!!!

You look so sweetly serene in these pictures (and you are!)...but you are a whirling, twirling,
spinning, tossing, turning, dancing delight too!

I want you to know how much I love you and that I always have and I always will. I love who you are. I love what you do.
Oh Teagan Rose! I love you!

♥ Your Auntie M

Wednesday, February 15

Join the Knit-a-Squillion Challenge

I found this blog posting via a friend on facebook...And the idea fascinated and inspired me (and I'm not even a knitter!)
So I thought I'd re-share! Mind you, I have know idea who the author of this blog (Kitty's Fiber Journey) is nor anything about her, but I liked the idea she is sharing here.

The following are portions taken from From Kitty's Fiber Journey blog posting:

Join the Knit-a-Squillion Challenge
..I invite you to join another challenge! This one is quite easy and yet has such a huge impact on the lives of children. We are all aware that the African continent is the one the hardest hit by the AIDS epidemic. What most of us ignore, myself included, is that the adults who die of AIDS leave their children behind. There are an estimated 1.9 million AIDS orphans in Sub-Saharan Africa. 500 children a day are made orphans by the combined ravages of AIDS and poverty. The majority of them are left to fend for themselves in shanty towns. Governments and charity organizations do what they can, but it is not enough.

Percentage of adults infected by AIDS in 2009.

Since 2008, the KasCare foundation has been taking donations of knit and crochet squares to make blankets that are then distributed to these poor children. The idea is ingenious. Why just a square? Because squares are quick and easy to create and they are small and light to ship. People from all over the world can contribute and for a small cost, send the squares to South Africa. Once in Africa, the squares are assembled into blankets by volunteers and even prison inmates!...

...South Africa is faced with yet another horrendous problem and this time I am not helpless. I can make a difference. I have joined the knit -a-squillion challenge. I will empty my stash and send beautiful squares to help warm these beautiful children!

Beautiful AIDs orphans in their beautiful KAS~Care Blankets

Isn't this a wonderfully cool and simple and inspiring thing to do??? So all those of you who knit or crochett, get those needles clicking!

The goal of the knit-a-squillion challenge is to collect 1-2 million squares by July 1st.

Here are the different ways you can join them:
***As I do not know anything about this organization personally, I urge you to research them personally prior to making donations to them.*** (You can click on the link above to visit their site)

- Knit or crochet an 8” (20 cm) square (instructions)

- You aren’t a needle person? Upcycle a wool sweater by felting it and cutting it into squares (instructions)

- You want to do more? Hats and sweaters are also needed! (instructions)

- Make a donation on the knit a square site.

- Encourage family, friends, neighbors and colleagues to join.

Saturday, February 11

Now You're Cookin' a friend "liked" a recipe on Pintrist and it looked yummy so I followed the trail and discovered a food blog that looks freakin' incredible!!! And so, I thought I'd share. It's called Eats Well with Others.

Here is the recipe that caught my eye:
Pasta with Creamy Avocado Sauce
• 1 medium sized, ripe avocado, pitted
• 1/2 lemon, juiced plus lemon zest to garnish
• 3 cloves garlic, to taste
• 1/2 tsp kosher salt, with more added to taste
• 1/3 cup fresh basil
• 6 oz bucatini
• freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions: gotta visit her blog!!!

Here is another yummy sounding one:

Chipotle-Glazed Squash Salad with Jicama, Goat Cheese, and Avocado


1 recipe chipotle-glazed squash
1 jicama, peeled and chopped
Juice of one lime
4 oz goat cheese
1 avocado, sliced
baby spinach

Instructions:  Click on the link!!

Ahhhh....Emails.... (Updated)

Emails You Don't Want to Wake Up to First Thing in the Morning:

Subject Line: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy

Message: I got home Wednesday night after 19 days (and nights) in the (local) VA Hospitals. The subject line is my main problem. They refuse to give me credit for getting that condition on my own, and insist that it was inherited.

The doctors highly recommend that you get checked for this condition.

The good news is that if I behave myself I've got another 15 or 20 good years to go.

Love, Jim


Yeah...That would be an email received from my biological father this morning~a rather rare ocurance.

Totally thought this was going to be a forwarded message about CHDsas this is Heart Health Awareness Month and this happends to be Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week!

But no! My first thoughts:

a) thanks to all my CHD friends and contacts I actually had a vague idea of what that condition was before looking it up

b) Thanks to Jim the heads up that he was in hospital! (not)

c) thanks for another genetic condition from that side of the family to worry about!

d) glad he was ok and sense of humor was in place

After looking up the condition, I've had several of the screening tests a couple years ago but I will follow up with my GP and at least I already know a cardiologist in the area that I like thanks to my stupid "I think I just have a pill stuck in my throat but it could be a heart attack" episode 2 years ago.


After speaking with Jim, I learned that he had to have a pacemaker installed.
He is on some meds but as my step-mum put it: he is strong as an ox and as soft as a grape.
And, as some patients with mild forms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy are only diagnosed by screening echocardiograms because of their known family history, I will probably follow up with my GP to see how to go about having this done.

Friday, February 10

Happy Happy Birthday Baby!

Last Saturday the family got together to celebrate a very special 1-year-old's birthday! It was a wonderful time celebrating this amazing little boy's life!!

Beautiful Decorations & Yummy Food............

Funny Hats for Everyone...........

Yummy Cupcakes in the Making........

Cutest Cousins Holding Hands! How Sweet are They???

Happy Birthday to Dante!!!!

Time to get into that cake! Actually, while Dante loved the taste,
he seemed to want to paint with the frosting more than eat it!!!

Love this pic of Dante & his Daddy!

Time for gifts........

First up: the presents from Teagan and Auntie Tiffy and Uncle Mike
Do you see how Dante held up the shirt in front of himself?
Sizing up his new clothes!

Teagan must have had a discussion w/Dante about gifts.
She insisted he wanted an airplane. After searching & searching,
she agreed to compromise with mommy and get a helicopter
instead...he loved it!!!

We learned that Dante's Daddy wasn't the only one who loved Star Wars
as a child, so did all of his Mommy's family! Auntie Greta got Dante's passion
started with these stuffed figures:

Notice the laughter on Danielle's face when she first gets
a glimpse of Auntie Greta's gift:

Here's why: Greta only got him 3 out of the 4 figures below.
Mommy & Daddy got Dante the other one.
And, no, they didn't collaborate on these gifts!

We (Gramma & Auntie M) got Dante more clothes,
some of our favorite children's books, a mirror (what can we say,
the kid knows he's good looking!!) and...


Love this pic of Dante and his Mommy!

In addition to Yoda,

Dante's Mommy & Daddy got him a Frog puppet that is
nearly as big as he is!

He freaking loved it!!!

Of course, Danielle hand-painted him a growth chart that
was absolutely gorgeous!!! She is going to connect
the 3 pieces with brown ribbon. Adorable!!!

Dante is so cute: he loves to walk around with pieces of his mother's
artwork! He definitely has his parents' gifts of art and music appreciation!

I cannot believe I failed to get a picture of the gift his
Daddy is working on for him:
a handcrafted copper rainstick!
And when I say handcrafted, don't forget that
this is what his daddy does on a daily basis!

While she was unable to join us in person, Grandma Linda's gift for her
little cupcake happened to arrive just as the party guests did, so Dante
got to open her gift too. More fantastic books!

This one played "Jesus Loves Me" and, as I said,
Dante loves music, so he promptly took off
with his new treasure!
But I think his favorite part about Grandma Linda's gift
was the big picture of the two of them together that came out
of the box first. He got sooooo excited when he saw it!
It was so cute and endearing!

Danielle and James threw an awesome party for the birthday boy!
We all had wonderful time celebrating a wonderful life!

I am so blessed to be a part of this lil guy's be his Auntie M

We love you Dante!!!!!!!!!

Party Like a Rock Star