Sunday, July 26, 2009

Consider this your warning

I hate WebMD. Ok hate's a strong word. I dislike WebMD and all of the self-diagnosing that can occur. For a hypochondriac like myself, websites like that can really ruin your day and your ability to sleep peacefully. However, they can also be does Edward put it?...a drug to me. Totally addicting. Now there's this other website that I've discovered that you can type in your symptoms, putting and or or, and it spits out a whole list of possible diseases! For example, I learned that I could have malaria, really, malaria, all because I experience dizzy spells while I'm on my period. Of course it could also be anemia, chronic kidney disease, excessive dieting (yeah right!), the flu, or hemorrhagic thrombocythemia.

So I was on WebMD the other day, trying to decide if a certain skin issue was cause for seeing a doctor, or if I just needed to put a little hydrocortisone on it and forget about it. (Honestly, though, what self-diagnosed hypochondriac could forget about any ailment!?! We always see a doctor!) Well I learned that, of course, the issue could be life-threatening, even in rare instances, cancer, so I better go on and get it checked! So I made an appointment with a dermatologist and sweated the days until I actually could get in. I don't know why dermatologists can't give you same day appointments. Don't they know that the sooner cancer is diagnosed, the more likely you are to survive!?!

I decided that while I was seeing a dermatologist, I might as well go ahead and get a total skin check. I mean, look at Izzy, hers almost went undetected! Plus Khloe Kardashian gets total skin checks every 3-6 months! Now my real-life friends have varying levels of skin care. Some of my friends get checked every year, some tan during the summer, and one of my friends owns her own tanning bed and tans year round. My mind went back to my 7th grade year when Mr. Spears was showing us the stages of Melanoma. He told us about how fair skinned people are more likely to get skin cancer. I remember very clearly, him pointing all around the room, and saying, "One of you WILL get skin cancer." And my friend, John Knight, (that's right John, I haven't forgotten!) pointed at me and silently mouthed the word, "You." Please keep in mind that the reason I made my appointment in the first place had nothing to do with skin cancer. I didn't have a scary mole or weird freckle that I was concerned about. My problem was more along the lines of eczema, but you see how my mind works.

Anyway so I went to my appoinment totally convinced that my eczema was cancer and the skin screen was just precautionary. For those of you who have never had a skin screen before, it's really not as bad as it sounds. It's not like you're lying totally exposed for the entire nursing staff and waiting room to see. The doctor lets you hang on to some bits of your dignity as she looks at one little section and calls out every freckle and stretch mark (why did she have to point that out!?!) so that a nurse can record it on your chart. Then, there it is, the small, but ever-present gasp, something you do not want to hear from you doctor. "What about this freckle?" she asks. "Oh that's nothing," I tell her, "My OBGYN dismissed that one already as nothing scary." Then she tells me that she dis-a-grees with him. She what?? Disagrees with him?? So it is something scary????? Images flash through my mind of all the melanoma pictures I've seen; pictures of Grey's Anatomy and all of Izzy's suffering; even John, pointing at me, picking me out as the one who would eventually get skin cancer. I couldn't believe it. This is it! This is how I will die. I'm usually not so dramatic. I've only proclaimed that this is how I will die two other times; one when I was in labor with Ainslee and my epidural wasn't working, and I didn't think it was possible to live through that amount of pain, and two, a few weeks ago when I was flying to KC. I don't know why. I was just convinced I would die on that plane ride. See...hardly ever dramatic!

So I went home clinging to may last days, waiting for the phone call with the results of the pathology. In the back of my mind, I really do know when I'm being irrational, and I think that's how I got through those days until she called. I rationalized in my head that chances are the spot really was fine, just like I did when I rationalized that women make it through deliveries every day and planes take off and land safely every day. So I really didn't sit by my phone waiting, and I didn't say my last good-byes. But then the phone rang. It was my home phone, and the only people that call me on my home phone are my mom or the Texas Association of State Troopers. My mom was at work, and the troopers usually wait until dinner time to call and collect their $50 donation so they can send me my awesome decal for my car. Of couse, I've only given that donation one time because my friend's husband is a trooper, and I thought I'd help him out in case he needed a new uniform or gun or car or something, but then my friend told me not to donate to TAST because her husband is a member of a different organization. I answered the phone, and sure enough, it was Candie from Texarkana Dermatology with my pathology report. My heart was racing, my head was spinning. I sat down for the news. Then she said, "The spot is benign." In my state, all I could think was, "Benign? What does that mean??? Cancer? Not cancer? Cancer? Not cancer? Oh why do they have to use real medical jargon????" It reminded me of the time that I was on the phone with Ava's dermatologist, and she was explaining to me that Ava had Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus, and all I could think was, "Oh thank goodness it's not staph!" Hello! Anyone ever hear of MRSA staph?? The bad kind?? The kind that doesn't respond to antibiotics!?! Yep that was me, breathing easy. Her doctor probably thought I was some kind of an idiot, sounding relieved that my daughter only had Methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Luckily, though, I was able to settle my mind and remember that benign means no cancer. Yippee! I'm free! Free from worry!! But then she gave me the rest of the news that the spot did have moderate to severe change in it, and while this time it wasn't cancer, I should consider it my warning! (dum, dum, dum, dummmmm)

So friends I say all that to say, that I would like very much if you would consider my warning, your warning also. Go get checked! Seriously it doesn't take long, and it's not nearly as embarrassing as you might think. If you don't have a dermatologist in the Texarkana area, Antoinette at Dr. Parham's office is wonderful, Dr. Gaylor at Collom & Carney is great (but she's on maternity leave until September), and Dr Young with Dermatology Associates is also top-notch, if you feel more comfortable with a man looking you over. Call, make an appointment, get it done!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Our favorite breakfast

This is my first attempt to do a recipe with pictures on my blog! Lots of other bloggers do it, and it's a real treat to see how theirs turn out. Like this pizza recipe that I told my sister we have to totally try out on our next girls' night! I could totally see us sitting on her couch, watching a sappy romantic comedy, eating this pizza, and drinking a glass of wine, except of course that we don't drink wine, but sweet tea just doesn't sound as sophisticated. Let me apologize in advance because I am 1) not a good picture-taker and 2) not a good cook! So why on earth would I risk the shame of the whole world few people that read my blog seeing my lack of skillz?? (That's right! With a Z...because I'm cool like that!) Because it's good I tell you! This is a good breakfast and your kids will totally eat it up! I'm sorry for those who are watching their waistlines! This one's not for you!

So here are the ingredients. You'll need 2 cans of biscuits (I guess if you're someone's memaw, you can make the buiscuits from scratch. Just be sure you make about 2 cans worth), 1 cup of white sugar, cinnamon to taste, 1 stick of margarine, 1 cup of packed brown sugar.

First, combine 1 stick of margarine with 1 cup of packed brown sugar over medium heat.

While that's cooking, combine 1 cup of white sugar and cinnamon in a gallon-size ziploc (brand not important) bag.

Next quarter your buiscuits one can at a time and drop them in the ziploc bag with sugar and cinnamon. Shake to coat and put the quarters in a greased muffin pan. (2 cans will make 12 muffin-sized whatever these are)

Then spoon your melted margarine/brown sugar mixture over each muffin cup and bake at 400 degrees for 10-13 minutes.

While that's cooking you can start the icing! No exact measurements here, but you'll need some powdered sugar (or for those who are food network-savvy, confectioners sugar), milk, margarine, and vanilla. I am very picky about my vanilla, and I have found Adam's best to taste, that's right, the best!

I'm too lazy to stir so I put it all in my milkshake maker and blend it. If I were to measure it, I would guess that I probably use about 1 cup of powdered sugar (confectioners sugar), a few tablespoons of milk, a tablespoon of vanilla (I heart vanilla!), and a tablespoon of softened margarine. I just blend it all, and alternate adding more sugar, more milk, and more vanilla until it tastes like I want it to taste, is the right consistency, and there's enough! I suppose to you could water (milk) down some store-bought icing, but I've never tried that.

This is what your baked whatever these are called will look like.

Now, line a cookie sheet or sturdy flat surface with wax paper. Cover the muffin pan and very carefully flip it, so that the ooey gooey can run down! Yum!


Add your icing, and serve it up!

Friday, July 10, 2009

4th of July and maybe some other stuff...

Obviously I titled this post before I actually wrote it so who knows what will come out!

We'll start with the 4th of July. Our fourth of July started way to early in the morning. I got up at 3 AM so that Sara, Shanda, and I could go see our friend Suzanne get married!!! (None of us liked this picture of ourselves, but obviously I am the only one that can truly complain!) The four of us were so close in high school, and we all went to UCA together! Suzanne and I were roomates our freshman and sophomore years! (Then I got married our junior year so Trey was my roomate!) Suzanne married a really nice guy named Tad, and now they're moving to Philadelphia. She just received her PhD in speech pathology! (and here I am reciting the "i before e except after c" so that I could spell received I do not feel inferior in the least!) I loved Suzanne's wedding! It was so sweet and so personal. They had a unity candle. Tad's parents lit his side, and Suzanne's brother and sister lit her side. Suzanne's mom passed away our freshman year of college, and her dad was in the hospital and couldn't be there. They had a web cam set up though so he could watch, and they could see him too. *Suzanne's dad passed away this week. Our prayers are with you Suzanne, Eric, and Lauren.* There was a break between her 2:00 wedding and her 5:30 reception. We just went back to the hotel and crashed, because remember we had gotten up at 3 AM!!!! The reception was so much fun! They had a full dinner and dancing. One of the dances they had was the married couples dance. All the married couples got on the dance floor, and the DJ would call off a year and if you had been married longer than that year, you stayed on the floor. The last couple was this little old couple that had been married over 65 years. Shanda, Sara and I have all been married 8 years to our husbands, but we didn't get to show that off. :-( At 9:45 the city fireworks started and there was a perfect view from her venue. We didn't stay for the whole thing because Sara and I were feeling a little doomsdayish and couldn't get the thought of the balcony collapsing out of our heads. The photographer took a picture of the four of us before we left so I'll post that after Suzanne sends it to me. The next morning our flight out wasn't until 10:00 so we were able to sleep in until 6:00. Did I mention that our rental car was a Hundai?? That little go-cart/lawn mower (that's how it felt anyway) got like 40 or 45 miles per gallon!! We went 240 miles in it and only had to put $10.00 gas in!! We have got to get one of those! We made it home around 5:00 in the evening and I was so happy to see my sweet family! They had spent the weekend in Little Rock at Gram and Pawpaw's. I hear they had a wonderful time swimming at Aunt Kathy's and playing outside!

A few weeks ago we got the girls' ears pierced!! Ava had been called a boy one too many times! In WalMart that morning a lady said, "Well hi little man." I couldn't take it anymore! That afternoon I took both of them to Claire's and had it done. We had been going back and forth for a while; Ainslee asked for earrings a few times, and we kind of skirted around the issue. She did really well! She sat so still and didn't act the least bit scared until they put the marks on her ears. She only cried for a second and stopped when they gave her a mirror and sucker! She LOVES showing off her pink daisy earrings! Ava didn't do quite so well! I had to hold her down while she squirmed and tried to throw herself out of my arms. The passers-by gave us some pretty dirty looks, and an old couple sitting in front of the cookie place shook their heads at me! They finally got it done, and she has been so good at home letting me clean them!

Every now and then we'll hear some blasting from Red River Army Depot. Urban Rural legend is that they're detonating unused missiles or bombs or something like that. We've always called it a sonic boom or "blasting at the plant." This morning they've been blasting quite a bit, and Layton got a little scared because it can be pretty loud and usually shakes the house. This was his explanation to Ainslee: "It's just a man that has hiccups and he's jumping up and down to make them stop. It's nothing to be scared of, Ainslee." Now I, for one, find that a little more scary than "blasting at the plant." He also said the booms were yellow...or maybe orange.

The other day I was shopping. I've had my eye on this comforter set for a while. I really want new bedding in our room! It was originally set for like $150, and I noticed not long ago that it had been marked down again to $85. Well, I turned the corner, and there it was on the end of an aisle with a big red sticker on it loudly proclaiming, $50!! $50 for the bedding that I've been wanting that was orginally $150!! Can you believe such luck??? I texted Trey! (He didn't answer me.. for some reason he didn't share my enthusiasm.) Now the problem was that I haven't been putting back for that, and I didn't have any money allocated to new bedding. (i.e. Dave Ramsey budget). So I paced in front of it a few times...and counted how many they had left (5). I knew they wouldn't last for long. I knew I couldn't just cover from other places because we've already had a couple of unexpected expenses that I've had to pull to cover. The thought did cross my mind that we do have that $1000 emergency fund still in the bank. I could pay for the bedding with that and next month replace the money in the emergency fund. Sure, new bedding isn't quite an emergency, but the fact that I know next month when I do have the money, there won't be any bedding sets left does put a little added hurry-up pressure on me. So what did I do??? I held my head up high and kept walking! Next month I will start an envelope for new bedding, and when I have enough saved up, I will find something else that I like just as much. Who knows! Maybe that bedding set will still be online somewhere!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blog Hop

Today is Blog Hop Day!!! And this week's theme is Favorte Photograph.

This picture is Layton, 2 1/2, the day that Ava was born. When I was pregnant with her, we would tell him that I had a baby in my tummy, and he would say that he had a puppy in his tummy! When Layton and Ainslee came to see her for the first time, we had gifts for them from her. Ainslee's was a new baby doll, and Layton's was this puppy. He loved that puppy! Layton was really into the Wiggles at that time, so he named it Wags. He took it everywhere, including the hospital at his last asthma-related hospital stay. He held on to it the whole time so that he wouldn't be scared, but somehow it got left behind when we left. He was so sad when we got home and realized it wasn't with us. The hospital couldn't find it either. I can't imagine what happened to the puppy. We tried to replace it, but there weren't any more. We bought it at Cracker Barrell. Now, every time we go to a Cracker Barrell I look in their stuffed animals to see if there is one. No luck yet, but we'll keep looking!!

MckLinky Blog Hop