Monday, May 19, 2014

Dealing with Desmoid Tumors

Life after surgery

I started to title this, Life After Desmoid Tumors, but there is no after. These things aren't curable or preventable; if you’re lucky they are removable. Reoccurrence rate is 50%, leaving you second guessing every ache, every pain; “is that my tumor coming back or am I just sore from working out?” My sciatic nerve gives me trouble occasionally but because of the nerve damage it is hard to tell exactly where the pain is coming from, leading to more mild paranoia. All this is now my normal and like everyone’s daily struggles you learn to deal and live in spite of it.

I refuse to let this run my life, determine my future or cripple me. I move forward keeping my eyes on my goals, rarely thinking about what I have to overcome to get there. If you can’t get over it or around it then you must deal with it. I package mine in a pretty little box and carry it with me. I have gotten so used to the weight of it I rarely acknowledge I am carrying it.

The doctor visits and MRI’s twice a year serves as my reminder. But as soon as those few hours are over, I put it in the back on my mind and continue on my journey. It’s not that I am denying it; it’s just that I chose to live!

I eat healthy; I stay active and most important I keep getting up and putting one foot in front of the other. Feeling bad about yourself, thinking and focusing on the negative won’t help. Fighting gives you hope, fighting gives you purpose and direction!

Trust me, I know when the dark is closing in around you it is hard to see the light but just know it’s there, trust it’s there—stand up and walk forward. 

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Skin Care in your early 30’s!

Battling bags, dark circles, crow’s feet and white skin along with acne!

Ahh….to be 30! I did not think I would still be dealing with acne at this age nor did I ever think bags, dark circles and crow’s feet were in my future. However, I assume my natural light completion would always be an issue!

First let’s start with acne, as I know a lot about this since I have been dealing with it so long!

Currently I use Bio Elements for my face wash and acne treatment.

Blemish control


However, my esthetician informed me she will be opening her own spa and selling a different product so I am beginning my switch to the Image Acne Line—Clear Cell!

I also use the banana method which I have written about before. I use it once a day, at night and sleep with it on my face—after I do my daily routine listed above.

Of course also washing pillow cases once a week and not sleeping with the hands on my face is on going as well.

Very Pale Completion—Tanning beds no longer an option.

There are several reasons I no longer go to the tanning bed, of course the health reasons and financial commitments. I am a thrift girl. I do not like to waste my money so this causes an ongoing problem when it comes to tanning. I buy a monthly package, calculate how many times I have to go to get my money’s worth, then add in up keep to maintain the new glow, lotions and before you know it you are wasting a lot of money and energy! So, this year I am giving self tanning a try. I am currently on my second bottle of Jergens. I started with the med-tan in color and use a lotion for my body and a separate one for my acne prone face. I am not as tan as I would be if I went to the tanning bed but it has calmed the blinding whiteness that was my skin color! I do not get streaks or staining on my clothes. I use the body lotion at night, letting it dry before I put on my pjs. I use the face lotion in the morning before I put make up on. I sometimes put extra lotion on my legs when I wear a dress or Capri’s.

A new step in my skin care routine—eye bags/ dark circles and crow’s feet.

I have hereditary circles and bags. They have been there since I can remember but as I teenager I never thought about them much. In my twenties I just covered the best I could with makeup. It took adding in crow’s feet, which I first notice in a picture from Easter, for me to research what to do about it.

I use the Wal-Mart brand eye cream at night under my eye. This is suppose to lighten the appearance of the dark circles, eliminate crow’s feet and help with the puffy’s. It states it takes two weeks to see results. I am on my second week and I think it has lightened the dark places at the inner corner of my eyes.

I also added in Sudden Change under eye serum. It claims to tighten under eye bags in 3 minutes or less. I have to admit I noticed a result right way and so did my sweetie! You use two drops per eye, under/over your makeup or alone. It last all day and truly makes you look well rested! It does have a little shine to it when worn alone. This is just a temporary solution but since my bags are hereditary there isn’t a long term solution for me anyway.

As far as makeup I use Merle Norman’s long lasting foundation. Everything else I get from Wal-Mart. I use brown powder eye shadow for my eyeliner and brow fill in. Having blonde eye brows is a real pain!

Hopefully all I do will help keep my skin happy for many years to come! 

My weight loss journey

Confessions of a woman trying to stay at a healthy weight!

I have tried many weight loss aids, tricks and outright crazy things to get my weight down and maintained. Over the winter because of extreme cold and some depression issues I gained some of my weight back. Now, I’m back on top and getting more active once again. However, I am not at the extreme as I was last year. I have not drastically cut my calories nor have I gone back to exercising every day.  

We are walking when we can, walking 1-2 miles each time. I have been ordered to walk at least 30mins a day to help my depression but honestly it doesn’t always happen every day nor does it always result in 30mins but more times than not it does. It is hard to fight the urge to get in some comfy clothes and cuddle in bed with my sweetie!

I have learned Peanut Butter is my weakness. I am a peanut butter addict. You know you are an addict when you eat it by the tablespoon full and can finish a large jar in a matter of two days or less. Yes, I have a peanut butter weakness.

I am still drinking water with the help of Lipton Green Tea packets. I have no desire for pop or sweet tea anymore. We are still doing portion control, eating mostly turkey and chicken and whole grain. What diary we do eat is low fat.

What works for me:

IT Works body wraps—I have used two packs, both on my belly. I have lost 2 inches and it stayed off until I started gaining weight over the winter. Now, I’m hopeful I can get those 2 inches off again! I wear mine at night every 3 nights until my 5 pack is finished. I tried wearing it during the day and it caused me to sweat which led to it moving around a lot –even being secured by plastic wrap! When I take it off the next morning I rub in the remaining lotion and let it soak in before I cover myself!

Skinny Fiber—a dietary supplements that is all natural. I have taken the 90 day challenge and lost the majority of my weight with this. It requires you to drink LOTS of water to work best. You take 2-3 pills 1 hour before you eat 2xs a day. For me it was lunch and dinner, it helps by making you feel fuller. It also helps with cravings, energy levels and does not make you feel shaky. It does not have any side effects. I am currently on my second 90 day challenge.

Corset waist training—I ordered a REAL steal bone corset from a legitimate company on line (located in England) that is especially made for this. This is not your wear for a special occasion every once in a while corset. Mine goes under the bust, is the old fashioned lace up in the back kind. It has little to no give and does not boast about being all day comfort. This is a for real corset! I wear it under my night shirt to sleep in. When I was religiously wearing this every night, I had it at its tightest. Now that I am starting over I am working my way up to this point again. On the nights I am not using my IT Works Wraps, I wear this. When I first started training I started slow. 1 hr while watching TV, then a few more and worked my way up to 4hrs which led to sleeping in it. I got to the point I put in on as soon as I got home from work and wore it until the next morning. It is easier than you think to get used to. I like the way it holds in my belly and find even when not wearing it I hold my belly in tightly which works my abs and helps fight this pooch!

Personal Training—for 30 minutes I meet with my personal trainer Kat at Zen Fitness at least once a week. I have slacked off of my once a week classes and am currently scheduling that back in when I can.

So—there is it, all the secrets to my weight loss! 

Monday, May 12, 2014

Robot Love

 I am not ashamed, I am not embarrassed. I am proud to say I love Roscoe Clean-o-!

That is what my sweetie named our Roomba vacuum. He is amazingly wonderful! He makes cleaning the house so much easier and faster! I compare him to a dishwasher, sure you could do the dishes faster by hand but why would you when this machine will and you can do something else!

Most people use this robot to spot clean in between sweeping with a full size vacuum because he cannot get into corners and things. After the first time using him, I found a way around this! My new cleaning routine:

Dust/Dry mop the floor—getting under little spaces and in corners. Bring dirt to middle of floor.
Turn Roscoe Clean-o- on in one room.
While he sweeps one room I steam mop where he has already been.
Together we get the house work done in half the time or less!

I typically let him clean the bathroom / kitchen at one time, then the dining room, living room and last the entry. He does this cycle every other day. Once a week he does the bedroom / laundry room.

The dirt bin, which you expect to be small, surprisingly holds a lot. Especially since he does his rounds so often there isn’t as much to pick up as there was when he first joined the family.

I forgot to mention he makes this cute beeping noise (when he is done and/or the battery runs low) and goes back on charge! There’s not much else you can ask for! Love, Love, Love Roscoe Clean!

He keeps my floors shockingly clean so I feel ok with putting Eli Joseph down to play. When the boys go home at night, he has my floors looking like they were never there! The same is true after my sweetie makes a mess in the kitchen cooking!

Roscoe Clean-o- will make being a stay at home mom a lot cleaner! 

Dog Mother's Day

Thanks for teaching me to sit
And teaching me to stay,
For morning cuddles
And afternoon play

Thanks for fresh water in my bowl,
For tasty treats
And Blue Buffalo
I give you an X
And I give you an O
                              I Love you more than you know!   

Written by my sweet Duste as our dog Ivy Rose~  

Friday, May 2, 2014

2014 on track

Five months into 2014 and we are staying the course for our goals this year! We are moving forward with home improvements in a race to the finish! Hopefully we will get a new, installed correctly, roof on the house and we are replacing the ones on the sheds. We are also putting siding on the garages, heat/air in the upstairs and will have a more functional drive way! Operation Debt Free is still underway and moving right along. July will be the next month we get a big one paid off—it will remain open to be our one and only credit card. September and November for the last two that will be promptly closed! Dental credit is awesome to have but in the future we will save up for any dental work the insurance won’t cover

I find financial freedom equal to happiness. It truly lightens the load I feel on my back and hanging over my head! 

Turning 31

I was told turning 31 was going to be hard because you are officially in your 30’s. Just typing that, 30’s seems odd to me. I don’t know what I expected 30’s to feel like but I don’t feel it. 30’s to me sounds like an adult, a person who knows what they are doing at all times, someone with authority both in presence and knowledge. I still do not feel like I know what is going on most of the time! I know, for the most part (as I am always changing), who I am, who I love, what makes me happy, and that happiness and time with your loved ones are most important. But, there are times I still feel like a kid. Like taking a roofing company to small claims court, something about being in front of a judge makes me feel like a nervous teenager! I wonder if I seem to others like an adult or if they can tell under it all I still feel like that person I was in high school. I suppose life is about learning and there is no magic age that instills instant knowledge. Unfortunately that means I will continue to stumble through life moments that are uncharted for me, like having an almost 5 year old nephew! I suppose it is normal to always question yourself and fears of permanently damaging a child! Darn it- I could really use some instant knowledge!