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Monthly Archives: August 2021

Spoonie Life Update

I’ve avoided writing much about my health struggles for a bit now. I figured with everything going on in the world, Covid, and all, that writing and scheduling the favorite things posts was ideal post my iron infusion, but it feels like forever since I wrote a vulnerable, real life, post, so here goes.

When I went to the hospital for my third round of Covid it was discovered that I had anemia. Subsequent lab work revealed that it had become acute. Hence the iron infusion I received at the start of this month and will probably have another in about 4-5 weeks (after we check the 6 week labs) to measure improvement. It was seriously rocky at first, although the infusion by my concierge doctor was absolutely the best procedure I could have ever hoped for; much less invasive and traumatic than a previous infusion I received that put me into shock I now know, and literally thousands cheaper, plus in the comfort of a room chatting with my doctor with him by my side. Truly best case scenario ever. I seriously wanted to lay down afterward, so we started the long trip home and then I started reacting. Dude. Funky. That’s probably the best description of how I felt for the ride home, beyond on the brink of tossing cookies. Sick on bedrest for a few days and then I had about 1.5 decent days. I mean truly decent days and even got to hang out with my mom along with both boys.

I had a rough night that second decent day and figured I’d overdone things despite taking some breaks, so did some bedrest and took it easy. I just kept getting worse though. It’s been weeks and some days our apartment feels like it’s a mile walk to just get a drink from the kitchen, let alone get something done. I really wanted to spend a lot of quality time with the boys on the last week before school started, but managed what I could, which I’m still thankful for even if it wasn’t what I hoped for.

After some consulting with my doctor and going through the list of symptom and body changes, yeah, I had Covid for a fourth time and am in “long Covid” now. 🤦🏻‍♀️ Seriously, world?! The first was supposed to kill me, yet I survived, so we’re just going to keep throwing it at me to see how strong Darwinism is?? And this is with both vaccine doses. And also means that part of my feeling poorly before my infusion was when I actually had Covid and chalked it up to the anemia and other illnesses. I honestly got kind of mad when I learned it was Covid screwing with my body again, since I’ve gone through so much all ready and not only got it again post vaccine but also got sick from the vaccine too, enough so I have to talk with the CDC becomes I opted to do self reporting post vaccine (it sucks, but if you have a preexisting condition, I ask you to consider doing it, because it’s the only way they’re really going to learn what this does to all of our illnesses, especially us Spoonies). At least we know why I’m not bouncing back more, as I should be by now, I suppose.

Witt everything else my new diagnosis of Hashimoto’s Disease hasn’t had treatment started yet either, so yay. 🙄 Basically my thyroid isn’t working correctly, hasn’t been for some time actually, and I have very poor metabolism, my body is attacking my own skin and causing it to scale off (yeah, turns out that’s NOT seborrheic dermatitis as originally diagnosed and why treatment for it and psoriasis burned my skin). My body is literally waging war with itself while bloating up, although some has improved either due to the Covid or the infusion, since my fingers are oddly thinner some days.

So two new issues to treat that increase fatigue and pain, which are the most notable symptoms of Fibromyalgia and CFS. Go me! Also will start a sleep medication soon so I can reset my rhythm to be more normal, since I want to still be a day sleeper, when my symptoms aren’t making me narcoleptic or playing Sleeping Beauty for 17 hours. Meh. The oral liquid iron I will also take to help with the anemia between infusions (and hopefully instead of) is so foul it has to be taken as a shot with some OJ. Did I mention that due to one of these conditions my stomach isn’t so keen on food or most drinks? Makes the iron extra appealing and I need to buy stock in the company that makes Emetrol. Lol

I play The Sims a lot honestly, since the distraction massively helps, and I’m working on retooling my SL storyline and gameplay. Plus starting a new Diamond drill art project. When I have energy I try to catch up on the chores a bit, do things as a family or with each boy as applicable, and pack. Yep, pack, because we are working on buying a house! His legal stuff is in the waiting period and will finish just in time to be my birthday gift. *grin* Shortly after my birthday, if the courthouse is open, we will finally be able to legalize our bond. I will then officially get the initials of our fav YT show, GMM, as the youngest frequently reminds me. *grin* How much more of a Mythical Beast can I be if I even get the initials of their show? *laugh* With all of that means we are officially able to start trying for a house now. We met with our realtor tonight and although we’re coming up to the slower time in the market, we have hopes, and there’s even a chance that we can outbid on a place we like nearby that’s active under contract right now (crossed fingers, toes, whatever would be greatly appreciated *grin*). If we actually can, then we should be able to move before the snow starts. Otherwise, it’ll probably be after the start of the year, unless something pops up and isn’t snatched immediately like two others that pended the same day before we could even have the realtor talk to them. When they say the buying market is tough right now, it’s true. I can vouch for it. Lol However, there are a plenty of things not needed until we move to the new house or craft projects that can be put off until there, not to mention clothing going out of season or not fitting, so plenty to safely pack and put in storage for now. (And I have a tracking system in a list app where I document what’s in each box and coordinate a code for the box itself and in the app. So easy peasy to get from storage if necessary. If I haven’t mentioned the app AnyList, it’s one of my ultimate favs of anything. I happily pay for the full version because it’s that awesome, and I want every feature possible, which is not normal for me.)

Just like the show’s theme song I used to watch in my youth, “you take the good, you take the bad”. It feels like a storm of medical mess and being literally uncomfortable in my own skin sometimes, but we are actually moving from what feels like the Prologue of our story to actually starting it. *big smile* We’ve been bonded for months now, but making it official gives just an extra bit of pep, and then the boys will fully feel comfortable saying “that’s my stepmom”. *cheesing* It still feels like a dream some days that I get to be a part of the lives of these incredibly unique and awesome young guys. And the honor of them sharing their thoughts and feelings with me is beyond words. Despite my back nearly arching from pain I can’t help but smile, knowing I’ll get to officially call them my stepsons without anyone correcting me with an “almost” or “kind of”. We’re officially learning to adjust to being our own family and household, developing chores and responsibilities, with growing pains, hurt feelings, tears of sadness and joy, and all the special moments in between that some take for granted, but we’re becoming a family. I’ll try to handle all the medical stuff that’s thrown my way as gracefully as possible because I have some very important reasons to fight for the best quality of life I can manage. *soft smile*

I hope this wasn’t too overwhelming or down of a post, but it feels like you’re on the Spoonie journey with me and I wanted to share the immense changes I’ve been going through. My sincerest, best wishes for every reader’s health and happiness! Please stay safe in this ever-changing life climate. Blessed be.

New Favorite Things, Random Items

These are the random things that didn’t fit with the previous posts. I tried to include screenshots with prices when able, but watch the reviews since not all that look similar are created equally and there are often sales. Everything in this post was bought on Amazon (never too early to make a Black Friday/Prime Day watch list on Amazon IMO 😉).

This is definitely one of those cases where the brand matters, it seems. These have done the best for us; so much so that we bought another two pack! Hammock and chair work best for me, although I have the funniest ability to somehow completely flip myself backward in the chair position. 😆 They dry quicker than some of our other pool items, they fit with most activities and physical needs, and wrap into the drifter position so they’re easy to carry while also being pretty dang light weight. The youngest ditched his pool float and noodle to opt for one of these, despite originally feeling they were “for old people”, so there’s a ringing endorsement. *grin* (I admittedly am still not used to 41 being considered an old person, but I guess we all had some age threshold and the median just went down at some point lol.) A small electric air pump has you ready for the pool within a couple of minutes and although some heavier weights don’t float as high, they’ve still done an impressive job even when a rambunctious kid climbs on with an adult. *grin*

If you have any wood furniture and kids, I can’t recommend this multipack enough. We don’t get wound up much about little things that are bound to happen, but it’s nice to have something that can help make those oops moments less noticeable. We have a variety of colors for our wood furniture, since it’s two partial households joined together and on a budget, so the best part is that if none match, you can cover with another color and usually between a few layers of different colors, the scratch or nick is barely noticeable. Plus, it’s in a marker form, so no brushes or cans or any or that. Of course, this is for touch ups and not your big jobs, but easy enough that the youngest takes care of spots on his own even!

A total girly moment here, but I love this nail file. I was told that this type is way healthier for your nails, so I splurged, and now I can’t stand the old, cheap kind. Plus, it has a carrying case, so I can drop it in my purse or bag and take anywhere I go. Although I never found where it said it works on them, it works great on my fake nails when I decide to go all out and put the work in for pretty nails. (With my illnesses, I can’t grow out my nails and try not to draw attention, so when I want to be a little fancy or feel extra pretty, acrylic nails it is along with whatever color the youngest thinks is my must have this time. 😉😊) This sucker isn’t going to break or peel apart either, and is actually pretty.

A seriously random set to add for the post, but I’m obsessed with the smallest especially. I am NOT good at sewing, but when I had to modify my Handfasting dress, I needed good sewing scissors and oh man are these awesome! I use the little ones (which have a thick plastic bag to sit in *chef’s kiss*) for all of my small projects like sewing a button or snipping loose threads. For scissors these are a freaking amazing set IMO (for amateurs probably).

Now, I got obsessed with “Diamond drill paintings” during my Covid recoveries and have done a variety from cartoon characters to landscapes to animals. Amazon has a variety of sales and options, but watch the regular price. This is one of those instances where you get what you pay for. If the deal seems too good to be true, you’re probably not going to be overly happy with the finished project. I love The Nightmare Before Christmas and bought a whole combo set on sale…as the youngest says, the faces are pretty derpy. *laugh* Also, I’ve always had extra beads leftover and have noticed that most brands have a standardized item number system, so at some point I’m going to actually make one of my own with the leftovers. Here are a few of the different favorites I’ve done (these are the pics, not the pixelated versions for putting the “gems” on or the after results, which seldom photograph well IMO). There are some gorgeous pieces that are expensive at face value, but watch for a sale and next thing you know you have maybe 8 waiting on a shelf to work on *cough*.

If you become obsessed, you’ll need accessories. Each project comes with beads, clay “glue”, at least one stick, and at least one tray. Well, I needed a sturdy surface, I’m almost blind as a bat so back lighting, and something to hold my supplies. So, two more acquisitions when the prices were right.

Please note that this works for laptops too and there’s a version that plugs to USB to provide even more cooling if gaming, so I have three versions of this bamboo tray.
Trust me that the mesh stand for the light feels so much more sturdy than the frame versions you’ll see and those blue comfort grips are a MUST! To prepare, I open each gem bag in order and empty into one of the little holders I numbered in order, and if there are more than it holds, I make a baggie with identifying info on it, so no guess work while working on your art. The roller is a blessing when you get a section done and want to make sure they’re pushed on well and having 3 brightness settings to the light is fantastic!

As you can probably guess, birthdays and Christmas gifts are mostly “paintings” geared toward that person’s interests. I personally love a gift someone made/worked on themselves or is handcrafted, so it’s a love language for me to give gifts of the same type. You get a patriotic one, you get coastal, you love sloths, the house needs cute sayings and I can’t embroider so here’s a version of that… 😉

I’m finishing this round with one of our game night amusements. This one we tend to play with our friends instead of for family fun night, but you can always pull the few more risqué ones out or gloss over the “what does that mean” if the younger ones even bother to ask what the adults are laughing about. It’s also really amusing to see who in your group will admit to certain behaviors without the group even voting for that person. *laugh* It’s a toss up between the youngest and I over who wears the most oddly assembled outfits sometimes and who has the worst bed head. I’m definitely the one who will correct spelling and grammar even in text messages. *laugh* This must be played while lighthearted and not taken personally! This game must be approached with humor and is best played with people you are comfortable with. When played with the right people, this game is an hour of pure laughter and not-so-guilty admissions. *grin* And it’s not full of the crude humor of CAH nor are adult beverages needed. It’s a lot of fun as is. Tip: If you like the format of CAH, but don’t want to go there, yet want something more thought provoking than Apples to Apples, you should check out “Conspiracy Theory”. That game can be a riot and works great with the fake player added, too. Although even adults don’t understand some of the cards (seriously, conspiracy theorists have some acronyms that even Google had trouble with lol), you can come up with some really funny conspiracies! Just remember to play “to the judge”; for instance, if our youngest is playing, whatever makes the least sense is going to win when he picks. *laugh* With me, the most sarcastic and snarky is going to be the winner.

I hope these posts have been as fun for you as they were creating them and maybe given a few helpful ideas! I hope you’re all staying safe and healthy out there, and hope that maybe this helps us all remember to look for the happy little things in life, especially when things seem bleak. I’m always looking to share that silver lining. 😁

New Favorite Things, Kid Edition

We have a teen and a pre-teen, so things can be chaotic and requires a wide variety of creativity when it comes to organization and family fun. Here are a few of our favorites…

These were such a relief to find! I’ve tried several types and this has been the best by far. Not only do these Velcro onto a hanger and work in the closet, but it can double duty for other things than caps, and makes it super easy for them to find that hat that is just right (I figure it’s like women and shoes…they’re accessorizing, but I don’t pretend to truly understand why anyone needs that many hats, especially since I’m not a girl that has lots of shoes or purses either lol). These also work great for holding flat brims instead of only curved, even organizes winter beanies and sun hats (I bought several, so one is strictly for the teenager’s ball caps, while another is the family free-for-all organizer). I was worried about taking up too much space in the closet, but it’s just the width of a hat and holds so many (and all organized, so try to beat that! *grin*), that it doesn’t feel like any space is actually lost.

This is an older one, but I swear it was a huge help, especially with hybrid learning from Covid schooling. I felt like an idiot that I had no clue what these math names were when asked for help, so this was a blessing! We find them at Sam’s, but I’m sure they’re available elsewhere. Seriously though, division isn’t just division anymore. There are different methods and formulas in grade school! This explained the method, gave examples, has answers so you know you’ve learned it correctly so you can help them correctly, and actually matched all of the types that the school used. Hallelujah! Arrays and the Big 7 were total “what the…” versions for me. 😂 I swear I still find it easier to do the plain old long division I learned thirty years ago, but it was good to see that they’re working on finding methods that will work for everyone, because once we knew how to help him understand it, Big 7 was a game changer for the fourth grade. Other methods just didn’t work for him. I personally think these are more of a help for the parents than the kids unless you’re homeschooling, but man are they worth every penny when your child suddenly understands and can do their schoolwork!

The pictures make it self explanatory, but this organizer makes my day. (Yeah, it doesn’t take much sometimes, but organization definitely does it for me, especially if it stops the cycle of me having to do clean up after creative time! *grin*) Although Legos are the main feature (and rightfully so, since you inevitably step on them and they manage to find their way EVERYWHERE, and become the bane of your existence despite their awesomeness), I use one for crafts/play too. Play-doh, moon sand, craft sticks and Pom poms, etc. Mess stays contained, they can make all the ice cream cones and castles and wood stick catapults desired, and drop the stuff right back into the box to be closed neatly. And you can easily flip the pull out liner to drop moon sand bits into the trash if needed while never again seeing green sand spots in the carpet. Just remember to not be uptight about it. It’s going to stain and be messy inside. Just concentrate that the mess isn’t on the carpet or desk anymore and you’re not going to be stepping on Legos at midnight while walking in the dark to the kitchen because you have a sweet tooth attack. *grin*

We subscribed to Just Dance as part of both our exercise and family time budgets. Unfortunately, the over the thumb regular wrist holder for the switch controller doesn’t work with smaller hands/arms, but these are a massive improvement. Not perfect, but no longer a case of someone upset because half of their moves weren’t registered and their score was low, and no worries about what might happen to that controller without the band. 🙂 The subscription has a huuuuge library (thanks Sis for the heads up last year!) and even a section just for kids (just prepare yourself for PBS-like videos; you’ve been forewarned lol), although there are a ton of family friendly options in the regular catalog, with sometimes competing while other times the scores are joined for an ultimate score. This has been a great way for me to exercise with having health issues and also needing to stay out of the sun while taking frequent breaks, but also allows for great bonding opportunities. Just remember to get the regular ones for the rest of the family, because it’s so much better than sweating all over the controller and you may be able to get your teen to do a little “dance like nobody is watching” with you! 😊

You have to get creative for family night, especially when you have a wide age variety and want to be able to play with friends, too. And face it, the youth today pretty much sums up life experiences in memes, so might as well roll with it. *grin* This is a great option for laid back game night too, because the one with the energy can do all of the cards and displaying while the others rest on couches and chairs around the room. Bonus win: burn that extra energy from the active child, keep them extra occupied, bond as a family, and have a fun time all around. It’s a good game for most ages and you don’t even have to be familiar with the original meme for the game to leave everyone cracking up. Sometimes there can be a little innuendo, so just a heads up there that you might want to scan the cards before play and pull any that aren’t appropriate for your group.

If you’re patiently building your family game collection, you can often find most family games on sale at least a few times per month. This is one that is definitely geared to the younger generation, but can be pretty amusing if you’re okay with potty and fart humor (which you need to be with most Littles, if we’re realistic lol). This is like a kid version of Cards Against Humanity and if you have a tween or near there, they have some jealousy that they can’t play that popular game, so this helps fill that gap and give them a version that’s okay for them yet feels so risqué still. *grin* One tip we found is to have at least one “blind player”, which is a non-player that you just draw a random card for and add to the answer pile each round. The extra player(s) add a random and funny new dimension, usually, and honestly, they usually win when we play. *laugh* This is a low exertion game and can be easily modified. We usually play with the youngest as the judge every turn. One, it’s more amusing for him to read all of the silly humor instead of hoping his gets picked and two, it’s a slick way of having them work on reading out loud without realizing it and super easy going if you have to help with correcting on pronouncing words or pausing in reading when there’s a comma, etc. I am all about finding ways to get kids to read out loud and get help when they won’t be defensive about it. And despite being “too old for family games” usually, we can usually get the teenager to play at least one round because few ever fully outgrow at least a snicker when it comes to fart jokes. 😉

Hopefully this has provided a few helpful options and smiles. If you have any to add, I’d love to read your comments if you have time to respond. 😊 It takes a village, as they say. 😉

New Favorite Things Part 1

While recovering from my first iron infusion I thought I’d write something upbeat, especially with everything in the news and going on in the world. I’m not going to post purchasing links this round, although most items are available on Amazon (we have stairs to the apartment, so nearly everything gets delivered by a company because it’s almost impossible to carry stuff up stairs with a cane without bothering other occupants lol). I’ve been a bit spaced since the infusion and don’t trust that I’d put the right URLs honestly. 😂 Let’s get to part 1 (since I haven’t done one of these posts in a while I have several items and don’t want this overwhelming)!

These have been so awesome for us! If the eldest has sports practice, I can still have a “plate” ready for him when he gets home without him pulling out every dish or feeling left out, and the younger can eat on time. Plus, they do well in the dishwasher and when things go bad, they’re cheap enough that I don’t feel bad if one gets left at school or grows the cure to something because it fell to the back and needs tossed during the refrigerator cleaning. They make great to-go lunch boxes too, as long as the actual lunch box can handle the size.

This is so easy to clean and handy! They have a wide variety of colors, but if you’re not picky, the less popular colors are often cheaper, so you can nab a great deal. So far even tomato based foods haven’t stained this little workhorse and no balancing like with the type that slides onto the side of your pan and holds your utensil (I had a pig that stood with the pan edge going in the middle of the legs and utensil slid inside the mouth, for example, and even a Nessie standing holder that fell and made a worse mess than just putting the spoon on the stove directly, so trust me, I’ve tried others).

This could be handy for anyone, but what has worked wonderfully for me is giving this to the 10 YO. It allows him to write recipes he comes up with, have a copy of ones he loves that others make (he’s learning to help in the kitchen, so having his own recipe card to read to know if it dive the tomatoes or slice them, etc, is great, plus empowering), and it makes a great way for you to peek and see what meals your Little truly likes when menu planning and they appreciate whatever you do, so you have no idea what to make. *grin* It’s also just plain handy for getting them interested in helping in the kitchen! Worth every penny IMO.

If you’re cooking for a family, especially when it’s a protein push time for athletes, this is SO handy! I have a smaller one I used for years and it had the circle element underneath that you worked with for being the hottest area and using the other spots as the resting or warming area. Although this is boxed back up in prep for hoping to move here in the future and is in the longer rotation so it could be packed, it’s an essential for us. It takes up your counter space when you have it in use, but cooks SO MUCH food at once and is more even in my experience than the cheaper/smaller versions. You can store it like a cookie sheet or on a shelf under other appliances (with padding between to keep you surface nice, of course), but Mr Tea and the can opener can definitely sit on top without causing any issues and using the space in a practical way, since I personally don’t like having it standing on the side. You use the storage method that works for you, but I tell you that this is awesome when you don’t want multiple pans going in order to get breakfast done for more than a couple of people, and my French Dips are so much easier than all the shuffling a smaller plate requires. If you have the power, plug both in and you have it all made in a jiffy and ready with easy clean up. Totally be the kitchen rockstar. 😉

These were all kitchen based, so I think I’ll end here and not make a super slow loading due to the pics. I think I’ll sim for Part 2 to be kid based and 3 to be miscellaneous. I’d love to hear any recommendations you have of course, especially when it comes to making life easier with busy kids! (Btw, we love the bento boxes so much they were actually on our Handfasting gift list, so that should show just how much they’re loved! Lol)

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