Friday, December 28, 2012

Happy Holidays!

Happy Holidays everyone!

December has been a crazy month around here. I think, though, most everyone was busy and so I'm fairly certain that my lack of posting was completely unnoticed, which made me even lazier to come over and say hi!

That said, I hope that all of you had a wonderful holiday season!

Here, at our house, we had a good Christmas, which was good. Outside of that, life has been hectic and crazy and not so wonderful, but there is something about Christmas that just made me smile.

We did not do all the normal Christmas traditions around these parts ... I didn't bake more than a couple cookies. I didn't make any (but two) presents, the house wasn't as decorated as I would have liked. My energy levels just seem to go down with each passing day - but we did have some fun.

IMG_0043On Saturday (before) Christmas, we headed out to Lincoln Park Zoo to see the zoo lights. We've never been before and I highly recommend it. We had such a nice time, even though it did feel like we were there with half the city of Chicago!


Then on Sunday night, my darling husband drove us all around so we could see the lights around town. He was a good sport considering I'm pretty sure it wasn't the number one thing he wanted to be doing. I really wanted to go, but I wasn't feel well, so he stepped in and drove.

We did this two Christmases ago with the kids. We just get in the car and drive around, no rhyme or reason and look at how houses have decorated. I remember doing this a few times with my grandparents as a child and really wanted to share it with my kids too.

And of course, Christmas was spent with family. On Christmas eve, we get together with my husband's family. On Christmas day, we wake up here, do our presents and then early afternoon we head on over to my mom's house. I love it. Hanging out, relaxing, chatting with others, some game playing. It's awesome =)

All of this to say, despite all the craziness going on - my exhaustion, husband working too much, trying to make sure all the presents were bought and wrapped and ready to go, it was a good Christmas over here. I hope, despite whatever is going on in your life, it was a good holiday for you as well!

Friday, December 07, 2012


I can't lie. This week has been hard. And long. There was another allergic reaction to medicine. A sick kid. A test I didn't want to get.

But, last night we decorated the tree and I felt my spirits lift.

Not to mention, I did have my 1000th post (and a giveaway, so go comment!) And the twitter chat last night was a good one.

Today I woke up and had a lovely facebook message which reminded me that one year ago, I got to tell you all I was cancer-free.

And just like that, this week doesn't seem so bad after all. It wasn't perfect. Some things could have gone a lot better, but you know what? Some things went very well. Today that is what I'm choosing to embrace.

So, happy Friday everyone. And I hope you have a good weekend too.


Thursday, December 06, 2012

Are you free tonight?

*note: this is a sponsored post, but as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own! 
If you are around tonight, I hope you'll join me over at twitter for a twitter chat with The Maker Mom!

Kim hosts #STEMchat (STEM = science, technology, engineering, and math) monthly over on twitter. There is always a lot of great information being shared - I've been able to jump in one before (though I try to make the rest, I'm just never around!) and I had such a good time. Tonight's chat is even more exciting to me as we'll be talking homemade gifts and gifts that keep on giving. And you know me and homemade gifts - LOVE them.

This month's chat is also being sponsored by Little Bits. I haven't had a chance to play with them yet, but they look very fun! And if you want to play with them yourself, you definitely want to join the chat because Kim will be giving a seven bit kit during the chat (and also, over at her blog, so make sure you visit over there as well!)
In addition, littleBits is hosting a creative holiday challenge. It's kind of like Design Squad for adults- dream up a creative project incorporating littleBits, sketch it out and submit the sketch to win. How easy is that?

So, I hope you'll join me tonight over at twitter at 9pm Eastern (8 central) while we talk about the holidays, STEM, and making things (all things that make me smile).

To learn more about the chat, little bits, The Maker Mom, and the other panelist, visit Kim's post here!)

Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Happy 1000th!

Picture my 10yo made to help me celebrate!
Almost 8 years ago exactly (On December 31, 2004) I started this blog. It wasn't my first blog ... I had actually been blogging over at AOL before then but decided the AOL blogs weren't meeting my needs (which turned out to be good since eventually AOL got rid of their blogs).

It's been a fun ride. I blogged about my crafts. I blogged through my third (and final pregnancy). I blogged about us moving. I've blogged about reading. I've blogged about things our family has done. I've blogged about the worst news I ever got - cancer. I've blogged about moments I'm so proud of. This blog has been quite a ride!

And today? Today I'm blogging my 1000th post.

picture my 13yo made to help me celebrate
1000. This feels like a huge milestone to me. 1000 times I've come here to share - the good, the bad, the ugly, the mundane, the important, the boring, all of it. A lot of me shared with whoever happens to stumble across this little site once and those who have become my friends and come back often to see what's going on.

And I can't imagine it being any other way.

I remember when I first started blogging. People were confused What? What's a blog? Blog. Huh. Never heard of that before. Wait, you have like a journal on-line for anyone to read? Why?

I do it because I love it. I'll keep doing it because I love it.

To help me celebrate my 1000th post, The Preschool Toolbox is offering 5 themes to one winner, chosen from whoever leaves a comment on this post. Very exciting and very generous of them to offer up a prize for you =)

As I close this 1000th post, I'd like to say a great big thank you to you, the reader. I can't lie: every comment warms my heart and makes me smile. I may be biased, but I think I have some of the most fabulous blog readers around.


Monday, December 03, 2012

3 on 3

I decided to start a new tradition around here. Every month on the third, I'm going to snap a shot of my three kiddos - 3 on 3.

This is not an idea I thought of on my own. I've been watching for years as Stephanie over at Adventures in Babywearing has been doing pictures of her 4 on the 4th. I only wish I would have started it when I first saw her doing it, because think of all the pictures I would have to look back on now?

But you can't go backwards, only forward. So here you go

Yes. I took that picture today. Yes, we live in Chicago-land. My kids are standing outdoors, in December and not freezing.

It was a beautiful day today, so I dressed them all up and headed to a farm to take some pictures of them. Okay, maybe more than some. Maybe about 350. I took pictures of them together, apart, sometimes two of them. I got a few I really like. I'm excited and hopefully I can actually get Christmas cards done this year.

Itchy or ...

Over the course of this end of last week and this weekend, I learned that I can be itchy. Or I can be witchy. (okay, okay, so I'm putting the cleaned-up version of what I said to my husband last night on the blog).

On Monday I started new medicine - zoloft - to help with the mood swings and all the lovely crap going on that we think is hormonal related ... as in my hormones are going totally crazy and surging and spiking and one minute I'm having horrible periods and the next I'm hot flashing like I'm in the throws of menopause. Which is awesome. If by awesome, you mean absolutely not awesome.

Usually, my gynecologist informed me, the first thing we'd do is start the birth control pill. Except I'm special and can't take it (because my breast cancer grew on hormones. So if I started putting hormones in my body and on the off chance there was any cancer left floating around somewhere in there, it'd be like going here, cancer cancer, come get your food so you can grow nice and big) But, never fear, my gynecologist reassured me, because we could use zoloft and it often works well for women in my shoes.

So I started it. I dutifully took it every night. Thursday night, as I was sitting and crocheting, I had a weird surge of needed to itch - mostly my back and my head. And I got hot. Which I didn't think much of ... usually during hot flashes I tend to get a bit itchy.

Then Friday early evening hit and every. single. spot of my body itched. EVERY SINGLE SPOT. I was rubbing my back on the wall, and using my hands to itch my face, my scalp, my arms, my stomach, my legs, my feet. I was also crying BECAUSE I COULDN'T STOP ITCHING. And just for fun, let's throw in a panic attack because why in the world was I itching everywhere and why couldn't I stop.

So I called my husband in a panic because I was ITCHING EVERYWHERE and oh, yeah, we don't have any benadryl (generic or not) in my house. And also? I THOUGHT I WAS DYING.

God bless this man, because as calmly as can be he assured me he was already on his way home from work and he'd pick me something up and I should just hang in there until he got home.

So I popped a xanax and tried really hard to not itch. Also, called an attempt at the impossible. Husband came home and brought benadryl lotion that we rubbed everywhere. Then I yelled at him because I NEEDED SOMETHING STRONGER AND WHY DIDN'T HE BRING ME PILLS BECAUSE I NEED PILLS. To which he calmly (again, this man deserves an award) said he's go back to the pharmacy and see what else he could find.

Long story long, he came home with pills. He had talked to the pharmacist and she thought it was the zoloft and I should stop it ASAP and talk to my doctor. And so two benadryl, and one oatmeal bath later, the itching stopped. Of course, I was also basically passed out from the benedryl, which was probably the best thing for me and for my husband who I clearly yell at too much.

Wouldn't you know it though? Saturday night? The itching returned. This time not as horribly, but still not fun. And last night? Itching. Again. But slightly better.

Sigh. So I joked with husband I could be itchy or witchy.

The doctor's nurse today told me we could try something else. I'm not sure I'm feeling up for it. They're going to try to call back tomorrow so we'll see what they say then.

Now pardon me, while I go itch. Because just thinking about it MAKES ME WANT TO ITCH! ;-)