Monday, November 25, 2013

Conversation with a Five Year Old

Her: "Mom, I have a new boyfriend."

Me: "Oh, what happened to your other boyfriend?"

Her: "He stopped calling me his girlfriend."

Me: "So, what does he call you now?"

Her: "His friend."

Me: "So because he stopped calling you his girlfriend, you got a new boyfriend."

Her: "Yes, his name is Robert. But he wants to be called Robbie."

Me: "How did Robbie become your new boyfriend? Did you ask him or did he ask you."

Her: "Oh, he asked me "Do you want to be my girlfriend?"" {as she mimics his body movements}

Me: "What did you say?"

Her: {As she scrunches up her face} " I said sure, I guess so!"

Her Daddy: "I don't like this Robbie guy."

Her: "Mom, can I have two boyfriends at once?"

Me: "No, you can not."

Her: "Darn! That was a good plan!"

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Sunday Night Football and Sweet Tea

I doubt there is a family in the Kansas City/Denver area that has not anxiously awaited our turn at Sunday football. The Kansas City Chiefs battle against the Denver Bronco's tonight.

It is even more exciting because the Chiefs enter this battle undefeated this year. And the Bronco's have only had one loss.

We will be watching the game at home. In our pajamas {or at least I will be}. I made a homemade lasagna for the family to enjoy. Along with some brownies.

I also made my family my homemade sweet tea. I did not grow up on football. But I did grow up on sweet tea. I have to wonder how many gallons of sweet tea my mom each and every week of my childhood.  After leaving home I transitioned to drinking unsweetened tea {it always seemed more grown-up}.

However, my children both have a "thing" for sweet tea. The one who drinks soda would prefer sweet tea over a soda any day. They younger one enjoys  sweet tea every now and then.

Here is my sweet tea recipe.  If you hurry, you have enough time to make it before kick-off.

I start off with a good black tea. I use the family size bags that brew a quart per bag. I use four bags because I make a gallon at a time. If you don't have time to let the sun brew your tea, just put water in a saucepan and bring it to a boil. After it boils, I just let it seep for a few minutes.

In a smaller saucepan I make my simple syrup. Honestly this is probably the most important step in making sweet tea. If you have ever added a sugar packet to a glass of tea at a restaurant you understand why this is so important. Without the aide of heat, that sugar is just going to sink to the bottom.

For a gallon of tea I use anywhere between 3/4 cup and 1 cup of sugar. How much sugar you use depends on just how sweet you actually want the tea to be. Next I use double the amount of water and put it on the stove.

Bring the water to a boil. As the water gets hot you can see the sugar melt. Be careful to not let it boil for very long. You just want the sugar to melt. If you accidentally boil it too long you will accidentally make something other than a simple syrup and you will have to start all over again!

The good news is that a simple syrup will keep in the fridge for several days. So you can make up a batch and have it on reserve.

After all the sugar has melted and you are left with a bubbly clear liquid, you are ready to add them all together.

I add the hot tea, the simple syrup, then I add my final ingredient.  If you have ever spent a lot of time drinking tea you know that sometimes it has just a tiny bit of a bite. Like maybe it was brewed too long and it is extra strong? Well, I combat that with 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda.

Yes, I said baking soda. I add it while the tea mixture is still warm and I melt it in. Then I add cold water until I have a gallon. Serve this tea with ice and your favorite garnishment.

I hope you enjoy the tea. And Go Chiefs!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Pre-Season Surgery

It is almost "Elf Season". Are you ready? I know I am. Our Elf, Isabella, had a little surgery today. 
I followed this Tutorial and gave Isabella a few improvements. Give it a try, you still have a few weeks until "Elf Season" starts!

Monday, November 11, 2013

The Dollar Shaving Club

Have you heard of The Dollar Shave Club?  (this is not a paid post!)

I hadn't. Until The Husband introduced it to me. To put it mildly my husband has a "thing" against razors. He is always complaining about how expensive they are.  Until he found The Dollar Shave Club. 

Here is a little question and answer session I had with The Husband. 

Me: Explain, dear Husband, what is your beef with shaving razors?

The Husband: I've been using the same brand of razors for years. So long I can't even put a number on it. Replacement blades costs over $3 each and  I just can't seem to buy them anymore. I guess I'm getting cheap in my advanced age. I'd use the same blades for weeks, until it was rusted and pulling the whiskers out of my chin. Oh, and I HATE disposable razors. They all suck.

Me: How did you hear about The Dollar Shaving Club?

The Husband: I heard about the Dollar Shave Club though a friend at work. He's extremely risk adverse and cheaper than me. He knew I have this pet peeve about expensive razor blades. He figured I'd join the Dollar Shave Club and he could get an honest review once I started using the product.


Me: How long have you been a member of The Dollar Shaving Club?

The Husband:  I joined the Dollar Shave Club a little over three months ago.

Me: Are you pleased with their product?

The Husband:  I'm very happy with these razors. As stated above, I used the same razor for years. That being said, it took a little time to get used to the handle and they way the blade pivots on the head. By a little time, I mean three weeks or so. The handle has a little heft to it and feels good in the hand. It feels quality, like it'll last a long time. I'm equally as pleased with the razors. They are very sharp right out of the box, I mean there's not much that's better than running a brand new razor blade over your chin whiskers! And at a little over a buck a blade, I can afford to change my blades more often.

Me:Any last thoughts or comments you would like to express?

The Husband: Addition comments? Well, my buddy asked me how I liked the razors, he's now a Dollar Shave Club member as well as another friend that over heard out conversation about the Dollar Shave Club. The Club gave me a little account credit for the referrals which was really cool. I put that credit towards some One Wipe Charlies. I ordered three packages. One for myself and two for Christmas gifts. I mean who doesn't deserve to have their backsides to be minty fresh for the holidays?

The Dollar Shave Club cost $6.00 a month. The first month you get a razor handle and 4 blades. Every month after that you get 4 blades. That is $1.25 per blade. They also have twin blades and in case you need more, they have an eight blade deal as well.  The super cool thing; there is no commitment  You can cancel this membership at any time and walk away. I love their humor. Each package comes with a funny card. Their video's make me laugh. 

The Boy is now shaving so I purchased him a membership. The holiday's are right around the corner. Do you have a shaver in your life that might appreciate The Dollar Shave Club?  If so, use the link below and check it out! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Monovision or Not

I got my very first pair of glasses when I was in the third grade. I got my first pair of contacts when I was a sophomore in high school. I am not one of those people blessed with distance vision.

That means I have been wearing corrective eye-wear for three decades.

What I did not know is that somewhere between the age of 40-45 years old everyone's eye sight changes. Apparently the dirty little secret out there is that my near vision will soon start to diminish. My eye doctor has been warning me about it for a few years. Thankfully, my near vision is holding in there.

I have started to contemplate having LASIK surgery. I had a consultation last week. Since I am over the age of 40, the doctors know that my long distance vision has been stable for decades but my near vision is about to change. The Doctor explained the procedure and a process called Monovision. I have no reservations about the surgery itself. I wish I could say the same thing about the Monovision.

The Monovision procedure fixes your dominate eye for distance vision and your other eye for near vision. Sorta like bifocals without the glasses. Every Doctor I talk to promises me that the brain will compensate and I will get use to the difference.


I have two option for LASIK surgery:

Option 1 is to fix my distance vision only. The obvious benefit is I will no longer require correct eye-wear to have 20/20 vision. The drawback is as my near vision changes, I will once again need corrective eye-wear to see things within arms reach, even if those are only reading glasses.

Option 2 is to fix my distance vision and preemptively fix my near vision through Monovision. This way, I will decrease the likelihood of needing future corrective ear-wear.

The good news is that I can try Monovision before surgery through the use of contact lenses.  I left the consultation with a pair of contacts: a -4.5 for one eye and a -3.0 for the other.

The first day I was able to keep the contacts in for five hours. I felt hazy the entire day. You know that feeling when you are drinking adult beverages and you start to realize you might be a "little" intoxicated? That moment when you realize your world is a blurry. Well, that is exactly how I felt the entire five hours. I could see both near and far but everything was just slightly off. You would think taking them out would have been a relief but the reality is, my eyes hurt for the rest of the night.

After consulting with the Doctor,  it was suggested that maybe my dominate eye was assessed incorrectly. So Day 2, I swapped the contacts and tried it again {I am blessed to have the same prescription in both eyes}. It was better. Less hazy. Less dizzy. But it still was not enjoyable; things were just not crisp. I found I would shut one eye to get the results I was use to.

I am just not sure I can do this whole Monovision thing. If that is the case, I am not sure I should spend the money for surgery when I realistically could end back up in reading glasses for 60% of my day. {I have been assured I won't be able to read a book without glasses, or my cell phone, or my computer, or anything else up to arms distance away from my eyes.}

I am normally really good at decision making. I make big decision all the time. For myself, for my family, shoot, professionally I even help other people make decisions. But, I am struggling to make this decision.

Maybe I am considering LASIK surgery too late in my life? Or too early? Maybe I should wait until the near vision does change and I will be so thankful that I will be willing to compromise some clarity of distance vision in order to have some near vision. Or maybe I should just stay in glasses and contacts and transition slowly to bifocals?

Dear friends, can you help? Do any of you have thoughts? Do any of you have any experience with Monovision?  I would greatly appreciate your assistance in making this decision.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Responding to a Cancer Diagnosis

It has been three years and three months since I was diagnosed with Cancer.

Since then I have lost two friends to Cancer and at least three of my friends have been diagnosed with Cancer.

With every new diagnosis my heart hurts. Even though it has been three years and three months I remember my diagnosis day. I remember the month that lead up to my diagnosis day. A month where I was aware that something maybe wrong but not sure what it was. I want to erase the fear, the pain, the sleepless nights that my friends are experiencing.

I know I can not.

However, I can hold you close to my heart. Think of you throughout the day. Hold your hand. Listen to you. Validate you. Support you. Laugh with you. Love you.

Each of us processes news differently. I provide the following to try and help those who are newly diagnosed.

There are no magic words to erase the diagnosis. 

None of us have the right words. Sometimes just a simple I am sorry is sufficient. I do not believe the Cancer patient expects you to fix it. Listen. hold their hand. On my diagnosis day, my husband drove me from the doctors office to the nail salon. He held my hand the entire duration of a pedicure. He did not need to talk. He just needed to be there.

A Cancer diagnosis does not automatically mean a death sentence.

Maybe in decades past this was true. But not today. Yes, you are going to think about your mortality. You will dream about it. Maybe even have nightmares. But the reality is, with early diagnosis, the odds are in your favor.

 What does your game face look like?

If you have not found it yet, start looking for it. Attitude is extremely important. Have you ever watched a professional sports team? They may down in the score but they play all the way to the buzzer like they are going to come back and win. This is how we face this diagnosis. Nope, it is not going to be easy. Winning never is. Winning requires sacrifice. Winning requires commitment. Dedication. All of these things you will need in the months facing you. Surgeries are painful. Chemo is wicked. Radiation burns. They all have side effects. Find your game face. Wear it.

Get a support system. 

Wearing a game face maybe necessary but it can be exhausting. There are times when you just wanna lean on someone else. Some of us, myself including, are not use to leaning. We are use to doing the holding. It is time to put on the other shoe. If someone wants to drive you; say okay. If someone wants to make you dinner; say okay. Have friends you can laugh with. Have friends who will listen to your fears.

Of course not all support systems are informal. You will need formal ones as well. Doctors, Nutritionist, Nurses. Find professionals you connect with. Find those you trust. If you do not have health insurance, apply for state sponsored health insurance. I was amazed at what my Doctor's could have done if I needed it. They offered me short term disability and of course helped with my FMLA. They also helped me alter my work environment so it remained a safe place for me to work. Reach out. Talk to your health care providers about your needs so they can help you.

There are also all kinds of support groups out there. Some are specific to your type of cancer. Some are general for cancer patients. I remember one time when I was in a cancer support group, I took my game face off. I did not need to be strong. I embraced my insecurities and  they supported me.

I know Diagnosis time is a difficult time. Over the next few weeks things are going to happen so quickly it might make you dizzy. My phone is always on and I am here if you just need to talk. I promise, the fog will lift and you will see blue sky's again.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

We Are Ready ...for the TOOTH FAIRY!

Some of The Short Chic's friends have started losing their baby teeth.  We have not.

I have found myself having conversations with a five year old that I did not think I would have until she was a teenager. 

  • I promise it happens to everyone.
  • I don't know when it will happen but I promise one day it will.
  • Everyone's body is different. 
  • No, sweetheart, you have not been forgotten.
I keep reminding her that she was three weeks shy of her first birthday before she even got her first baby tooth. I think it will be a while before she loses them. It does not comfort her. In fact, none of my words have comforted her. 

I never expected anyone to get a broken heart over her teeth falling out. Well, technically, not falling out.

In an attempt to distract her, I set about making a Tooth Fairy door. I found this idea on a blog link up, it was from Nest of Posies and I have had it pinned for a super long time. I loved it. I was just waiting for the right time. 

Growing up most kids in my school placed their tooth under their pillow. My Momma, however, always had us put our teeth in a glass of water. In the morning when we woke, the tooth fairy had swapped out the tooth for a coin. I carried this tradition on with The Boy when he was little. But with The Short Chic I wanted to try something different. 

Making this little Fairy Door is easy. I visited the miniature section at my local Hobby Lobby. I purchased a door, house numbers, a door handle and key, a door knocker, and paint. I used two different shades of pink. I mixed the paint together and painted the door. I really disliked the color of the door, so I also picked up some glitter spray paint to put on top. 

Most of the miniature accessories come in gold so I spray painted them black. I glued a wall hanger on the back so that we could hang it up. 

I know as soon as the next friend loses a tooth we will once again visit the "Why Me's." In the meantime, we have a magical door that will open when the time is right. The Short Chic is appeased.  For now.

I did the tooth fairy come to you when you were small?

I linked up:

By Stephanie LynnLife on Lakeshore Drive