HomeAboutPopular PostsE-books Free Printables

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Chicago Adventure

I went to Chicago for last Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. I went with a girlfriend who has a gift and bridal boutique in Tuscana Park (Simply Yours Boutique) to the Chicago Merchant Mart, for wholesale vendors. My friend was looking for new items to market in her store and I was looking for everything little girl to sell in my online store, trade shows, and flea market.

This trip was especially exciting because I have never gone anywhere by myself (without my family members), ever. I usually have to take my husband and/or children. This time, I left both of those categories of people - at home, except Ken came on Friday evening and brought me home on Saturday.

Anyway, my friend and I shopped all day long on Thursday and Friday for stuff for our stores. Then, Friday night when Ken came, we took a little trip from our marketplace. I LOVE riding the train. You don't have to drive in Chicago and it's also cheaper than paying parking in multiple lots (plus at the market there's $10 parking for buyers).

We took the train here:

I took a picture of their doll display in the entry way.

I thought these red swim suits were fun as well. Red is Monica's favorite color. Since she didn't get to go this trip, I will take her to Chicago for one of these soon.

I got myself an 18 inch doll and a pair of twin dolls for Monica and I to share. They will be my "working girls" on the website. I'll let ya'll know when their first photo shoot is finished.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


is a paperwork day (sigh). We got Ken's W2 over the weekend, which is usually an exciting time, but bittersweet this year. It's our last big return year. (I hear you don't get as much with only three deductions.)

So, I am going to go through all of my business paperwork and receipts to ascertain just how my business is doing, if my total earnings end up being more than last year, and, of course, figure out how much sales tax I will be sending down to Indianapolis - Feb. 1 is the deadline this year and I hear it is really soon.

Wish me luck. My goal for getting it all finished is 3:00 this afternoon. Then tomorrow, I'll tell ya'll how much fun I had in Chicago over the weekend.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


this, this, this, this, and this? (There are more instances too. Only I didn't want to seem like a complainer!) In November, I went back and got refills of all this and my doctor finally said that I needed a pulmonary function test (PFT) to see what is going on with me. Well, because he gave me a refill of the steroids and scheduled the PFT for the day after they concluded, I passed with flying colors. "There's nothing we can see, ma'am."

Well, a couple weeks go by and then I have my yearly December physical appointment for my health insurance discount. I let the doctor know that the coughing is still hanging around and asked if I could just see a pulmonologist anyway. He said OK and scheduled my appointment for a little more than a week later.

December 16th was D-day for me. My appointment was at 10:00am. My symptoms were steadily getting worse since my last appointment with my regular doctor. So I did what every other sane person would have done, right? I skipped my breathing treatment the morning of my appointment with the doctor I had been waiting to see for 5 months.

I arrived at that doctor's office with one of the worst coughing fits I had had in almost a month despite all the requests by my husband to "please, take a breathing treatment." I told my husband he was nuts and that this coughing disease was going to get eradicated if I didn't die in the process, which would help get me to see my daughter that much faster - thank you very much!

The nurse took my vitals and went away for a while - and I hacked and hacked and hacked away in that room. A little while later the nurse came back in and said we're going to give you a PFT again, then a breathing treatment, and another post-treatment PFT. She led me to the pulmonary function testing room. She instructed me to take a deep breath when she says "start" and then blow into this machine as hard as I can for as long as I possibly can. Usually, they like to get three valid tests to be able to get the best information. Because I was in the midst of a HUGE coughing attack, I think it took like 25 tries to get 1 valid test. The nurse finally said, "I'm not going to torture you anymore."

I went back to the exam room and they gave me four puffs of an inhaler, waited 10 minutes, and then took me to repeat the test. It only took me 5 tries to get the 3 valid tests they needed this time.

The doctor came into the exam room a few minutes later and said, "You have asthma!" Then she told me that according to the medical definition of asthma, there should be a 12% change for the better between the two PFT's after the administration of albuterol. According to the charts my tests provided, my change for the better after the medication administration was (drumroll please)....25%. Yes, that's DOUBLE the definition! (It finally is my turn to get good news!)

So, she gave me another 10 days of oral steroids, for while the inhaled steroids kicked in, and also an albuterol inhaler for those times when I need extra help so that I could quit carrying the portable nebulizer everywhere I go. She gave me a written plan on how to take the medications and how much to take when they symptoms are out of control. She told me that my symptoms were "really bad." Then, she gave me another breathing treatment with the nebulizer before sending me home to "finish off" my coughing fit.

I have been going by this plan since December 16th. Today was my one-month follow-up appointment. I have taken all my medications like I was supposed to every day. I have only had to use the inhaler only about 3-4 times per week in the last week, which I thought was massive improvement from 3-4 times per day prior to my visit with her.

The doctor repeated the pulmonary function test today and said it was even better than the second test at the last visit, which she likes to see. But, she only wants me to have to use the inhaler 2 times per week or less. So, we are going to see in the next month if all the medications are going to do that trick or if she is going to put me on another medication. She said I have "severe and persistent asthma" today.

She told me that after I asked if I will be taking this medication every day for the rest of my life. After all, I am still in my early (-mid) 30's. She said after 6 months of being on all this and am within the 2 times or less range of needing extra help to breathe, we can talk about weaning some of the medications to see if my condition regresses or not. So, there is hope that I am not totally dependent on daily maintenance medication for the rest of my life. What do you think my chances are of being weaned off this medication with a "severe and persistent" diagnosis?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Junk Out 2010 - My second week!

I still like the concept of this "Non New Year's Resolution." I will say that I find it hard to follow through with trying to get new parts of my home de-cluttered while keeping the parts that I have already tackled clutter free. Thanks, Ordinary Mom, for hosting this weekly link up.

And now, introducing.....

My new sewing room. This is the ironing station.

The cutting station is just to the left of the bookcase on the wall adjacent to the ironing station. There are some sewing supplies and a box of new clothing that needs hanging on my new wall peg boards under the table.

Next, is the sewing station. There is a pile of Ken's pants to hem and some PJ pants for me to sew together under there too. That is my "To Do" for Monday just because I finally want those things out of my room for good.

To the direct left of the sewing station there is a corner full of the notions I always need at an arms length and my computer where I can update my website, print orders and postage, and package and ship them as well. The boxes are in the corner under that table.

Finally, this is the other new peg board (with the empty space for that new product I need to display) above the computing station.

I find it truly amazing how everything I had in the before pictures could fit nicely into this 12' X 8' room. I am not constantly going up the stairs to iron and serge my projects and then running back down to sew another step. That was nuts!

I had cleaned out this room last weekend and then wanted to get the peg board and thread racks up and all my supplies organized before taking pictures. It took me longer than I thought to do those things. (In my mind it only takes a few seconds to process the steps needed to make my room a sewing haven.) Although I still need to go get three other thread racks, I was finally able to post the "after" pictures of my room.

The whole atmosphere of my sewing room feels different, and I want to spend time in here. In fact, I thought it was going to be good to have a separate space I called "work." Now, I think it will be my space to get away. I have almost everything I need in here. I just have to find a place to put my small fridge of Diet Coke!

Friday, January 15, 2010

I've been working on the railroad...

Psych! I just liked that line today because cars have been lined up in front of our house all morning to turn left and go under the rail pass. (There must be one stopped up there).

Actually, I've been babysitting, sewing, and working on my "Junk Out 2010" post for tomorrow. You know, the "Junk Out" post takes some careful planning and follow through in order to be done correctly. It's supposed to be a "see what I did this week" post instead of how I posted last week. I posted a "see if I get this done today" essay. You know, a last minute throw together that gave me oodles of stress because I picked a rather large project.

After last week, I have decided that I'd rather spend my Saturday gloating about what I got done during the week and be able to sit on my couch with my family all day. So, that's what I intend to do. Off to work.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just keep swimming sewing

January is the time of year that I just have to force myself to put one foot in front of the other to get by. It's dreary, cold, and snowy (many years). Each item in and of itself isn't really bad. But, together they make the perfect triple sucker punch for me. There really isn't much to look forward to until things start to melt away and freshen up again. So, every year, I chant to myself, "There's only 2-3 months of this! There's only 2-3 months of this!"

This year, in an effort to try to help myself through this yucky time of the year anyway, I planned a bunch of planning time for my business, a time to work on fresh ideas (I have plenty of them in my head). I thought that because I make "toys," my sales would fall off the chart in January. Much to my surprise, and pleasure mind you, people still want the items I exclusively handcraft this January. So, instead of creating and planning my new stuff for the future, I just keep sewing every day because I need something to keep my mind off of this, C (you sunny CA dweller you)...

(The sky view from my front porch today)

Someone please tell me how you stick your tongue out at someone else virtually because I'd like to do so right now!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

100 days

...have come and gone since our beloved Megan ran to Jesus. I last tweeted that we were happy to spend any minute, hour, or day with her exactly one day before she left us.

I have created this new blog button in her honor.

If you are new to "Our Special Needs Life" you can get more information on the left sidebar titled "About Megan."

Junk Out 2010!

Updated Post:
Here's my dining table now!

The sewing room is now my place to be "on the clock!" I can shut the door and forget I work at home, if I want.

I'm still putting the finishing touches on the end result.

Original Post:
My New Year's Resolution this year was not to make any resolutions because I know that I am never going to follow through with them.

However, I found this blog worth devoting my Saturdays to for a while. It's an idea that I have been wrestling with for quite some time. Then, last Saturday, when I was blog hopping, I stumbled on this new weekly "link up." It isn't very often you find a Saturday link posting club (for lack of a better term right now). But, I liked it.

And, this week, I love her banner too.

I was reading her post this morning and admired her work. I also love that she says her knitting stash is not clutter. She says, "You can't call your stash clutter - it just isn't...but it did (does) need to be tamed, contained, and at least have the appearance of being organized".

Ok, my sewing stash that's in this sewing room needs to be tamed, contained, and at least have the appearance of being organized - don't you think?

You might be wondering where I have been completing my orders if my sewing room looks like this. Well, where do you think? Why, the dining room table of course!

This is my project today. I'm fixing my work area and reclaiming my dining room table as a place for our family to eat! Come back after supper and see how I did. Yes, that's why I like the Saturday postings. I can write what I am doing that Saturday morning and get everyone to come back to see if I did it or not. That's what I need right now. Accountability. So, here I go...

Oh..Here's the list of everyone else participating today. Kinda makes you wanna join, huh?

MckLinky Blog Hop

Friday, January 8, 2010

New Jewelry giveaway

Remember when I had the "Who wants some jewelry" post? A few of you said you wanted a necklace with you and your husband's initials on them. Well, here's another chance for you! My friend at Cap Creations is having her own giveaway.

Don't worry, you're no competition to me. I am not entering. I won these little beauties a few weeks back.

Now, go get yours before it's too late!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

My condition...

I have "I hate cold and snow-itis." Snow and cold and dreary days just make me crazy. They always have. I feel the cold with every ounce of my being and my feet never seem to get warm. I hate that feeling. We have a lot of snow and it has also been very cold since the first of the year. I am not sure God heard my pleas because we are receiving another dumping of the white stuff today.

Of course, none of the previous snow has melted yet - how could it if it hasn't been over 25 degrees outside this whole time? It's supposed to "snow most of the day today and be very heavy at times throughout the day." Then, another wave is coming tomorrow.

We still haven't had a snow day yet. We have to get up and go out in the f-r-e-e-z-i-n-g C-O-L-D every single day. This has been the longest week ever and it's not even Friday (I don't think - but I'll check the date on this post when it publishes).

I have been sewing because I am still getting orders. Other than that, I don't know what to do with myself. So, I have been lamenting about it being winter.

I hope the cemetery has the roads plowed soon. I want to go check on Meg's decorations. I wonder if they are even visible anymore? The last time we were there her wreath was face forward in the snow. It needed fixing and I was glad that she needed me to do something. She needed me to do so much for her for so long and now just nothing. ever again. It's a concept I can't wrap my mind around yet. Maybe I won't ever be able to understand that concept. I'm not sure I want to.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

What is so hard about this?

Get up.
Get dressed.
Brush hair.
Brush teeth.
Eat breakfast.
Take vitamins.
Put snowpants, boots, hat, gloves, and coat on.
Get backpack.
Run to the van.
Actually get out of the van and walk inside the school once we get there.
Kiss your mother goodbye.
And, have a good day until she comes to get you.

Why must there be so much in between all these assignments that makes it impossible for us both to do the last two things on this list?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Watching the Football Game Snow Storm

So my husband and I were watching the Indianapolis Colts game today. They were playing the Buffalo Bills in Buffalo, and I had a thought.


Saturday, January 2, 2010

It's J-J-J-J-a-n-u-a-r-y!

Yes, it is light and fluffy and pretty - until it has been around a few days too many.

It is also cold, windy, cold, and f-f-f-free-zing!

Here's a close-up of the ruler in black and white for ease of reading.

If it wasn't for my birthday, I would love to remove the month of January from the calendar. I think I could easily do without February too. These two months I could so do without mainly because of this!

I don't want to lose my dog multiple times per day only to find that he is covered in it and about to shake it all over my kitchen floor. Um, could you shake the snow off OUTSIDE, PLEASE?

Thank you so much!

I had to go out and shovel him a path to the fence so he could maneuver through it.

And now I don't have Megan to hide behind as my excuse for staying inside. I am bracing myself now for a long, cold, hard winter. Please, God, could this be the worst of it just for me this year?

But wait, there are lists of closings for this weekend.

I'll amend a previous thought just once. God, you can bring me another "no alarm" day on Monday because it's my birthday and the first day back to school, but then that's it for me!

Friday, January 1, 2010

Snow pops (a little modified)

I saw this recipe on MckMama's blog and thought I'd try it because they are cute and I thought it would be fun to pulverize a cake after I baked it instead of the tried and true "bake and frost" routine. Plus, it's snowing outside right now and its supposed to keep snowing for the next two days.

These are MckMama's "Snow Pops." She made them and then photographed them outside in the snow for the background. They are nice and perfect.

I thought it would be nice to make them with a white covering, you know, the color of snow. But, when you use devil's food cake you can see the lovely brown coloring through the white covering, giving it a darker color - like dirty snow. Those "dirty snow pops" will not be pictured here.

I didn't have any nice food coloring colors, but I did have a bag of butterscotch chips and a little (tiny bit) gulf wax. It gave the chips less "drippage" and a faster dipping time for the project. I let the snow pops stand in a glass to finish solidifying once they stopped dripping.

I also used flexi-straws instead of wooden skewers because my errand runner "couldn't find them." They are kind of festive though.

Yes, they are good, even if they may not look as perfect as MckMama's.