Let’s Play Dress Up

My oldest daughter, Lydia has always liked dressing up, fashion and make up.  At 7, she is pretty good at doing her own make up (for fun.  she doesn’t go to school all ‘hoed’ up) , and making her own ‘creations’ with outfits.

When she found my wig stash (I use them for my Boudoir photography) she was begging me to play dress up.  I knew what she wanted to do and create would take time, so we set a day back in March, during her Spring Break to play.

Yeah, I am a little behind.

Some of you may have seen these on my Instagram account and/or Facebook page. Either way, I had been wanting to share these for awhile.

Sophia, my youngest (3) got into the action as well.

Both girls, did their own make up and I told them they could pick out anything in my closet to wear.

Of course, I had to take photos.

Here is what took place.

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Let's play dress up

Let's play dress up

Let's play dress up

Let's play dress up

Let's play dress up

Let's play dress up

Let's play dress up

 

BLOGSIGNATURE

Could This Be It? My Diagnosis?

For my long time readers, friends and family you all know about the unexpected turn my health took about 3 years ago.  Feel free to catch up here.  It’s been a journey I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.

Most know I have seen many many doctors.  One thing was common with them all, they had no idea what was causing such a life changing events.   Things were mentioned like tumors, Meniere’s Disease, strokes, cancers, Multiple Sclerosis; which it seemed was the big thing people wanted to label me with.  I was so tired of people telling me that is what I had because ‘your symptoms are just like my ____” or “you’re in the perfect age range.” I will never forget the big nurse that was wheeling me down to get my MRI when I was in the hospital.  She was in her late 20’s, big, blonde and hair in a messy bun.  She was chewing her gum in a loud and obnoxious way.  She was pushing the bed at the head while another nurse had the bottom.  These were her first words to me “Man, I bet you have MS.  You’re at the right age and it sounds just like it!” At this point I could barely open my eyes because they were so sensitive to light and movement.  However, I managed to open them, and give her the meanest look I could muster.  I told her that was the meanest thing anyone had ever said to me, and gave her a snotty ‘thanks’.  Then closed my eyes, and put a pillow over my head.  I was secretly praying for her to trip on my face.  Of course back then I think my thoughts were ‘fat face’.  I wasn’t a pleasant person back then, I was frustrated and sick.  I feel bad now for thinking that, but at least I didn’t say it to her face. That’s an accomplishment!!  But, really, who says that????

We later find out none of these were it, and it was a hemorrhage in the inner ear. What causes that?  No one knows.  My ENT in San Antonio told me they are super rare, and only happen in head trauma. I was asked repeatedly if I had been beaten.  I thought I was being funny when I would respond with “well, unless my husband beat me in the middle of the night and I not remember” Here’s a tip, don’t say that.  I only had one Dr that smiled at me when I said that.  The others, didn’t see my humor. I guess it was not appropriate.

I should play the lotto, because I ended up having another one in the other ear 2 years later.  We had just moved to Omaha, and Chris didn’t have insurance yet. Just perfect! So, I dealt the best I could till I got insurance. In the mean time, I wasn’t able to save my hearing in the left ear.  Which looking back, I wish I had tried to get a steroid shot in the ear drum, that ended up saving my right ear.  However, I doubt a ENT, that I never met, would do just that without all the other tests that came with it.

Once I did get insurance I went to Boystown National Research Hospital. I saw a Dr. Prinz.  She was absolutely the worst doctor I have ever seen.  She would hear nothing about my symptoms.  She couldn’t get over my hearing test results, and repeatedly lectured me on getting a hearing aid.  I explained the first time, that they aren’t cheap, and my deductible was so high I would have to pay out of pocket for one. She ignored that, and continued to get agitated at me for not having a hearing aid. Then she went ahead and just flat out told me my left ear was dead. Gone. Not coming back.  D.E.A.D!

I tried so hard to hold back my tears, but they started to flow. I realized I was not being heard.  I needed to know what was causing this, and what could be done.  I already knew my hearing was effected. I did manage to hold my tongue, because once I got control over my tears I got angry. It took everything I had to leave without getting nasty.  She never offered anything to help with the symptoms, not that I like drugs, but heck, you can only get pushed so far till you start wanting relief.

After that, I decided to go the more natural route.

Chris had mentioned getting Lymphatic Massages and did some research.  He found a girl that studied with a reputable school he knew of.  So, off I went to Skilled Touch Massage & Wellness in Gretna.  I have been going once a week for a few months now.  I love these massages because it’s an hour just for me.  They have these cool wands that the therapist will run over your body. They light up and sound like space ships.   If there is congestion, it will drag on the skin.  Like if you have sticky skin.  So, then they focus on that area and break up that congestion. They also have lasers that break up the nodules as well. Manual massage is also applied.

Lymphatic massage

At 100 bucks a pop, this has helped me a lot, but results would usually last only about 3-4 days.  Then my ears and head would be so full, that it throws off balance and hearing.

My last appointment, which was yesterday was, what possibly, could be my diagnosis. I had not had a massage in 2 weeks, and my body was screaming!  The first week, my therapist was out of town, and she was sick at my appointment yesterday.  So, I kept my appointment because my head felt like it was about to pop. I saw a different person, named Jean.

As I was giving her the run down on my symptoms, history, and my life for the past 3 years she asked some key questions. Asked about surgeries, my c-sections, infections while including time frames.  I had forgotten, and for good reason, I had a horrible Uterine Infection after Sophia was born. She explained that infection could have been the key point to my problem.  Even though the infection is gone, it could have left scar tissue,and blocked up my lymph system that was already compromised with poor eating and stress from the C-Section. Stress and poor eating also plays tribute.  A compromised lymph system also can affect allergies and food sensitives. The body can only handle so much before it breaks down.

However, after she had worked on me she told me my breast tissue was super lumpy.  Which, I already knew and had scheduled a Drs appt back in March to rule out cancer.  My Dr. told me that those lumps are ‘normal’ sometimes people are just lumpier than normal, but she felt nothing that would be cause of alarm. Ok, lumpy boobs are normal?  Don’t buy that BS, ladies!

lymphatic drainage

Jean, then told my head isn’t my problem, my boobs are backed up.  Which, makes sense as hormones are stored in your tatas.  Which could be the connection between that, and why I would get the hemorrhages on the first day of my cycle.  Your body can only fill with so much fluid.  Now, we will have a new battle plan with upcoming appointments.

So, what happens when your lymph system is backed up?  She explained on a diagram.  Similar to one below:

lymphatic massage

There is only one area that dumps all your toxins, and it is on your left side.  If your system gets back up then it has no where to go and keeps filling and filling. Putting pressure on certain areas, which in my case, is my ears and head.  Side note: I apologize for the crappy red circles.

For me, everything is being trapped in my breasts, and that is my problem area, but my head has paid the price. Which in turns has also caused the allergies and food sensitivities.  It is all connected.  She explained more and also better than I could.  I just found it interesting.

Now what do I do?

Exercise

Well, the biggest thing that would help me is exercise, but since my balance and head always feeling like it’s a balloon, that isn’t as easy.  I have started to walk the kids to school, but that isn’t a fun or easy experience anymore.   I feel like I’m being judged; a low life mom, drunk before 9am trying to walk her kids to school. Making sure I don’t fall in front of people, or fall and hit my head on the pavement.  However, I’m sure if I do it more often, it may be easier and get better.  At least that is what Chris tells me.  I dunno, do I believe him or not?

Eat big leafy greens

I’ve been doing more of my smoothies. I had cut them down because, let’s face it, I like to eat my food, not drink it.

Sauna

This is something that I will be starting. Humid heat affects dizziness, so it has to be dry heat. Since, paying for a gym membership for just to use a sauna is ridiculous, Chris will be building me one in the downstairs bathroom, right honey? In the mean time, anyone have a sauna they will let me use?!

Acupuncture 

I started this week.  I’ve only had 2 sessions, and not really feel any different, but it’s only been 2 sessions. One thing I have learned through au naturale is things take longer.  I was leary to go to a acupuncturist because I wanted to go to one close to my house. The Gretna trip can be hard on me. Sometimes I have to have someone take me.  My guy that is close to my house, happens to be very cute.  However, I decided to put my insecurities away and just go to him. He’s married after all, so he isn’t gonna care about a few flaws I have.  I’m 39, I wonder how long it will take me to get over my flaws. Aren’t flaws what makes you beautiful?  I was kinda hoping it was personality.  I usually win people over with my personality…I think.

Dry Brushing

This is something I have already been doing. Click here to read on some benefits to dry brushing.  Of course, they had me at cellulite!

Rebounding

This is another thing I didn’t think I could do. However, I went next door today, and did my first ever rebounder exercise. I did it with my eyes closed! As long as my eyes weren’t seeing the motion, I seemed fine. However, I will note, if you get one make sure you get one with a handle. Thank goodness my moms did.  Otherwise, this girl would have been on the floor cringing in pain.

If you saw my parents basement, it’s filled with many things to land on and hurt thy self.  I thought about making a video on it, just for giggles.  I still may do that.

Breast massage

Yep, go ahead, fill yourself up!  In this video I show what my therapist told me to do, multiple times a day. I still cannot believe I put this on YouTube, but if it helps just one person, then I am fine with it.  Of course, it helps with not wearing a shirt or bra when you do this. However, my girls aren’t for show so of course I have on a shirt. Ladies, I think this is something we should do, lumps or no lumps. It could prevent cancer.

In the end, just keep moving and sweating.  I thought running after a 3 year old was exercise, but I guess it isn’t enough for me to count.

Bummer.

I came home yesterday feeling happy and feeling like this made sense. It is the only thing that has connected the dots. Your lymph system is the only way you rid your body with toxins. It’s your sewer system.  If it doesn’t work right, it has access to all areas of your organs, and body in general. Scary thought.

I would love to hear what are ways that help your lymph system?

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Showing Love on National Dog Day

It seems like we have ‘holidays’ for everything now a days.  I dunno, do you think it’s getting out of hand?  What’s next?  National Poop Day?  To create awareness on ‘poop truth’?  Size, color, does it float, does it not, where did it go.  A day just for poop! Poop, Poop, Poop!

National dog day

With all silliness aside, I do have to get all giddy with National Dog Day! I have 3 wild ones to date, and love my furbabies with everything I have.  I believe it’s been going strong for 11 years, and it is to promote adoption and saving lives. Because #doglivesmatter, as well as #ALLlivesmatter.

Can you hashtag in a blog post?  I’ve never done it before, if not, forgive the faux pas.

I found a great site that went a little deeper in National Dog Day, feel free to read up on it here.

I have 3 misfits that all started out with no love, meanness and to be forgotten.  I’ll take this opportunity to share with you a little about mine, how they became part of my family. I’ll go from biggest to smallest.

Pico and Momma

Pico and Momma

First off is Momma Dog, yep, original isn’t it?

Momma has been with me since 2011.  I was a foster mommy for a few places in San Antonio, so my emails were filled with desperate pleas.  Enough to make you depressed and angry all day, if you let it. I came across this email with Momma (she didn’t even have a name) and 8 of her 5 week old pups.  They were 30 mins from walking the ‘green mile’ to their death.  I opened it, and of course it had photos! Well, that’s all it took.  I quickly text my husband if he would mind sharing his house with another dog and 8 of her puppies!  At this time, I had Zoie, Gracie and Annabelle, plus 2 or 3 cats.  I cannot remember.  You can do the math. He quickly said yes, and my fingers typed faster than they could ever type! Within the hour, Momma Dog and her babies were delivered to my house. Momma was so nervous she ran into my bedroom, and pooped on Chris’ luggage.  It was a messy poop!  Maybe that could be the date for National Poop Day!

National Dog Day

Pups inhaling their food

Soon after the lady left I quickly had to figure out what in the world I was going to do with all of them.  I actually hadn’t though that far ahead.  Luckily I had a crate to keep the puppies in, and Momma and her pups stayed in my garage.  Summer was over, so it was not a sauna in there.

My animals were not pleased with this new arrangement, but luckily my furchildren realize pretty quickly that they have to share space at times.

Hmmm, what to name this girl and her puppies.  Everytime I saw her I just called her Momma.  I would go in, and pet her and let her know she didn’t have to be afraid anymore. She had it made now.  Before I knew it, she was responding to Momma, so that’s how she got her name.

I was able to adopt all the puppies out, but Momma was a different story. She was roughly 3 when I got her, and I do not know her past.  She was scared of men and brooms.  Anything actually that was long and shaped like a broom.  She was afraid of leashes and collars, still is actually. After a year of being in the house, she finally got used to Chris, and still doesn’t like when he gets mad.  After a year, it was obvious she was ours.

Next is Pico.

This boy had me at hello.  He is a chihuahua mix and roamed our neighborhood in San Antonio.  He was the Alpha in any pack that joined him. I say that because it was like everyday he would walk down our street with different dogs in tow.  All were behind him.  He walked like he was the Fonz.  He needed a leather coat and a white t-shirt as he pranced down the street.  It took me months for him to come to me.  There was a time where I didn’t see him for a few months and thought the coyotes got him.  Then one day he came prancing over to the food I left for him in the front yard by my big tree. He had a friend with him. His friend came up to me and was was letting me love all over him. Finally, Pico came closer and closer. After about 20 mins, he was rolled over letting me scratch his tummy.

I am not sure what happened next, but he ended up being a regular at my house. I would keep him inside, but when morning came her wanted out. I would put him in the backyard, but every time he escaped. This was the routine for awhile, till he got pretty comfortable and his journeys outside were not as often or as long. He had made us his family. You can read here how he extended our family for a little bit.

Last but not least, Annabelle.

National Dog Day

She is a full blooded Chihuahua, with all the full attitude of one! I found her as I was driving down 1604 in San Antonio.  Someone had put her on top of huge electrical box.  She was not even 1 lb, and was about the size of my hand. It was Feb, and it was a cold day.  At first I thought it was a rat, but I remember thinking a rat couldn’t climb that big box.

Soon after bringing her home, my husband decided to take her to a bike shop.  It was a cold day, and she jumped out of his arms landing on her head on the sidewalk.  That evening, she began having seizures.  Many times in that one night. After her many vet visits, she was prescribed heavy duty narcotic.  She became devil dog fast! I remember an instance when she was at the vet, and the Dr. took us to the very back room. The gray door was a heavy, made of steel, it also had a small window on it.  Something like you would see in a mental ward.  To this day, I am not sure why he had us in that room.

While he turned her on her back to examine her, (now remember she is barely a pound) she starts growling, and fighting like her life depended on it. Teeth were showing, her tongue was thrashing around.  I think the vet was waiting for her head to spin around.  She was mad, to say the least. I knew then, I had misnamed her.  She should have been Xena, The Warrior Princess.

She made so much noise, people from the waiting room ,and staff members had come to the door peeking through the glass to see what was going on.  The vet told me that I may have to put her down,because this was the worst he had ever seen a dog behave from head trauma and narcotics.

This is a photo of her soon after she got better.

National Dog Day

Luckily she got better, and she is as sweet as ever. Well, to a point, she is still a mighty dog in a small body. She has no fear when it comes to things she wants to fight over. Her size has almost gotten her killed a few times.  Once, she ran out to attack 2 huge dogs in muzzles.  Thank God they were muzzled.  Maybe I need to get her one.

She is now 7 and still full of herself.

So, those three stories and many others I have about saving animals, cats and dogs alike are why I think it is so important to adopt, don’t shop! National Dog Day is a fantastic way to celebrate your dog(s).

Go ahead, give em a bone!

Happy Waggin’

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Fall Special

One of the perks to moving from San Antonio to Omaha is that I officially have my favorite season back, Fall.  It the time for cool brisk morning walks to school,  cooler days, campfires bundled in a blanket and pumpkin EVERYTHING.

There isn’t much judgement from others when you have a pumpkin muffin with your pumpkin latte, then chasing it down with a slice of pumpkin pie!

Having ‘fat days’ isn’t noticeable when wearing bulky sweaters.  It is a vacation for the fat rolls from being sucked in all summer long.   I can embrace my  ‘fat days’ with grace! I love bulky sweaters!

Of course we have the obvious, and more beautiful thing that comes from Fall, the colors!  I love to just take in God’s splendor!

To celebrate my love for Fall, and the ability to continue doing what I love, I am putting on a Fall Special for the month of October!

Omaha Photographer

Book your family portraits session now! Spaces are limited!

See you soon!

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Down Memory Lane

Going Down Memory Lane

As I am organizing and cleaning out my external hard drive, I have come across some photos that were past favorites.  I also have found some that I didn’t even know I had taken.

Going down memory lane can be emotional.

Photos of pets you loved that are now no longer with you.  Children that are talking back, when seems like yesterday they were attached to your boob.

It makes you contemplate how time flies, and makes you really want to make each moment count.

I think that is hard…making each moment count.  Especially to the tired moms out there that are doing their best to just to make it through a day.   I once said if I had the money I wouldn’t hire help.  I stay home with them, so why would I need help. I can do it all.  I cannot believe I once thought that…so naive.  I think the Stay at Home mom is who needs hired help more!  Yes, the little moments are precious, but ya know so is your sanity! Locking myself in my bathroom or closet for 5 mins just to have a moments peace (which usually that 5 mins gets interrupted by min 2.  Someone had set themselves on fire or some other emergency) is what has been titled as a mini vaca.  The potty is a mini vaca?  That’s just sad.  Just writing this piece I’ve been interrupted about 5 times. Mostly it’s tattling…I hate tattling.

I’ve been told to cherish these days because in a snap of the finger they will be gone.  My trip down memory lane is a testament to that statement.

I guess when I get aggravated (which happened a lot today) just breathe and realize soon the house will be quiet.  I’ll be wrinkly and old and looking at my golden years and think why didn’t I just cuddle them all day long?

Yep, going down memory lane can be emotional.

down memory  lane

Sophia playing in the dirt

down memory lane

Zoie cleaning a dirty Sophia

down memory lane

Lydia a year old

down memory lane

Dane at 3

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

At boerne lake. We used to take Zoie and Gracie there all the time.

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

Chris and Justin riding the San Antonio roads

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

Lydia with Chris’ dad who passed away a couple of years ago.

down memory lane

down memory lane

down memory lane

My kitty, Gus.  He was the best cat ever.

I had so many I wanted to add, but I didn’t want to overload you.  This is just a tiny bit of what I have collected over the years.  I hope you enjoyed going down memory lane as I have.

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Macro Photography

I have been in love with Macro Photography for a long time, and have started to have time to play with the new lens, the Canon 100mm f2.8.  It is a beautiful lens and takes some amazing photos.  However, I am still learning on how to shoot things like bugs and flowers. Sounds simple doesn’t it?  However, bugs move fast, especially bees.  Which is one of the subjects I shot yesterday.  Flowers can be easy on a calm day, but Omaha has a lot of wind. Needless to say, it can be challenging.

I need some work when it comes to macro photography.  I enjoy photographing nature.  It’s usually calm and there isn’t any pressure.  I mean, if a bug gets bored, it flies or hops away.  If real people did that, it would be kinda hard to stomach.

Yesterday, I was able to shoot a Grasshopper, Bees and a nasty Cicada Killer Wasp.

Macro photoography

marco photography

marco photography

marco photography

marco photography

marco photography

 

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Still Fine at Thirty-Nine

The title is a bit too much, but I wanted something that rhymed, and I even wanted it corny. Yes, I was actually going for corny.

So here I am, another year older.  Not just another year older, but also the last year of my 30’s!!  I’ve had a lot happen in my 30’s, but this isn’t the post about the decade.  It’s the post about the year.

I don’t get down too much on having birthday’s yet. I am still a young girl at heart who wants flowers, cake, ice cream, surprises and presents! I want what most people want, to feel special on their special day. After all, it is a celebration of life.  As many of us know it is short, and can be taken away at a moments notice. So, why not do great things for a birthday?

I still enjoy birthdays.

That being said, this birthday will be without cake or ice cream!  Yeah, I am heartbroken too! I loooooove cake with a vengeance!  Icing especially, but until I get better it looks like sugar is off my plate.  However, I have had a plus side to this. I’ve lost 6 dress sizes since last December and 30 lbs.  I didn’t realize what a chunker I had let myself get.  If you have read the About Me section in this blog you will see I had a problem with sugar. I’m surprised I wasn’t over 200 lbs!

I am a firm believer that sugar is addicting. It was the one thing I had the hardest time quitting.  It took a sickness to happen TWICE before I said enough was enough.  Yeah, like once wasn’t enough!  I’ve always been the stubborn one, and had to do it my way.  Look what it got me!

Here I am looking back on the year of 38, and even though I have had amazing things happen like moving back to Omaha.  I am ready to jump into 39.  I say, to bigger and better things!! I’m still believing for my miracle.  They happen everyday, and why not to me?

You know people say “Another year older and another year wiser”.  Looking back in my years, I am trying to think how many years I got wiser.   I don’t think I got any wiser for the greater good…to share all my ‘wiseness’ to the masses of the people! Heck, I can’t even do 4th grade math! So, if we are talking wisdom in math, well that boat left me high and dry, while scratching my head trying to figure out what just happened.

Still fine at thirty-nine

 

This past year has taught me more about growth, than I ever dreamed. I guess it finally took me 39 years to grow up! The growing up I am talking about is spiritual growth.  I was such an infant for 38 years in my walk with God.  Oh, how I thought I knew how it worked. I am amazed how little I did know. Even though it took most of my hearing, not able to see or walk straight, and the occasional flutters of dizziness.  I FINALLY see it, but I still have so much more to learn.

I finally have the ears that hear, and the eyes that see that is written so many times in the Bible.  Looking back, if I had not have the second ear hemorrhage back before Christmas I may not have grown into the person God needs and wants me to be.  It’s very possible I could have continued to eat crap, and set new personal record on ass size, and possibly be moving on when I needed to sit back and wait.

Now, do I think He did this to me to teach me this?  NO! Not a chance! He doesn’t work or teach us that way.  Everything good that happens is from Him, not the other way around.   I finally opened myself up to Him and became stronger in my walk so I can face the challenges that have laid and will lay ahead of me.

Do I still have days where I want to scream and ask Him ‘WHY!?’  Oh, you bet! However, I don’t.  I change my heart fast, and then go straight to praising Him and sometimes I raise my hands up and sing.  Which, He may wish I wouldn’t.  My singing voice is like a cat in heat, it’s daunting!

still fine at thirty nine

Another year older, and I am living a totally different life than I had before.  I am wiser, thinner and still fine at thirty-nine!

still fine at thirty-nine

Down 30 lbs and 6 dress sizes!

Happy Birthday to everyone on their special day, whenever that may be!

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