"I only get one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from my living it."

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Yeast Away Product Review

Yeast Away is a homeopathic remedy made by Boiron. This is the same company that makes Oscillococcinum, the flu medicine. I've had success with Oscillococcinum so I wanted to try this product for my Candida. It is a seven dose suppository treatment that you use at night. The main ingredient is boric acid. I had great relief while using the product. In fact, so much that I let myself hope that I had been cured. Sure enough, just as with the end of my menstrual cycle, the symptoms did return when the treatment was over. They did not return nearly as severe. However, I could tell  that I was not healed because I still had the milky leakage. It was not until I slipped on my diet that the itching and burning began again. The product was a bit of a hassle to use though. It's pretty much a two person job. The instructions tell you that you can insert the suppositories lying down or sitting. I did not find this to be true. Every time I tried to do it sitting down they would just fall out. I recommend not inserting it until your lying in bed ready to go to sleep. The problem with that is that it only comes with one application wand which means it has to be washed and dried after each use. Of course, you are now stuck in the bed. So your loving helper gets the task of washing the applicator and throwing away the trash. I also recommend using heavy sanitary napkins and sleeping on a towel because this will leak through the night. On occasion I even had to change my clothes in the night. Very inconvenient. All in all, though, the results were worth the trouble. I just wish the results were longer lasting. It may be something that needs to be repeated every few months or a couple of times a year depending on your severity.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Love Like A Foster Mom

Someone emailed this to me and I wanted to share it. 

Interpretation of the 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 through the lens of foster care

"Love waits through the lengthy court process. Love doesn’t try to prove you’re the better parent or manipulate for your own good. It doesn’t insist on things happening on its timetable. It is not irritable when visitation schedules change ...or resentful when goals aren’t met. It does not rejoice when Mom is arrested or tests positive for cocaine or fails to show up for a visit, but rejoices when progress is made and family connections are built. The love of a foster mom bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things."

love like Jesus
www.amusingmaralee.com

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
(1 Corinthians 13:4-7 NIV)

Lavender Oil for Eczema

Our daughter has horrible eczema. I've changed our laundry detergent, her shampoo, body wash, lotion, everything. It all started when she had her first ear infections and got a yeast infection from the antibiotic. Before that she was totally fine and had no problems whatsoever. But after several ear infections and rounds of antibiotics she evidently formed eczema too. I was treating some diaper rash with coconut oil when a friend who sells doTERRA oils suggested lavender oil to treat her eczema. She gave me a sample that she mixed with fractionated coconut oil and within one application I could see a huge difference. So I started to treat her eczema with lavender oil. What a change.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My, Oh, My! One Little Word And Suddenly I'm Famous!


I wrote an article about Morgan Freeman. Someone left a comment below the article to tell me that a photo was posted on a Facebook page with a quote from Mr. Freeman that very closely resembled the tag line from my blog. Hmm?! I'm glad to know that I said something so astounding that someone would use it to be quoted as coming from Morgan Freeman. It would definitely sound better coming from his voice than mine, that is for sure. You know, he probably just repeated it after hearing me say it in one of our many lengthy conversations he and I have had, right? I can forgive him for that. 
"I only get one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from my living it."
This is the tag line from my blog and has been for several years. Of course, the creator of the Morgan Freeman photo did leave one word out which I guess makes it okay to take a quote from one person and attribute it to someone else. Although, I doubt Mr. Freeman knows anything about this. I sure didn't. I've been too busy trying to figure out how to be a mom to two one-year-olds while living with a body that seems to continually betray me. But I'm glad that my article about Morgan Freeman made such an impact after he shared his diagnosis with the world. So, have you noticed the one little word that suddenly turned me into a famous person? "My." Which is exactly what this blog is all about. Fibromyalgia effects every person differently. This is My Fibro. This is My Life. This is My Choice to not let Fibromyalgia take the Joy.  Let this be the mantra for all of us. After all, Mr. Freeman and I are very wise when we speak.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Moms with Fibromyalgia: Solutions for 6 Months to 1 Year Old

As I traverse the earth with my kids most people look at me and think "She just has to have everything, doesn't she?" I know this because some people actually voice this out loud. It's not about having things. It's about having Fibromyalgia. The following are products that I have been using and recommend for the mom with Fibro who needs that little extra help to make life easier. Yes, I know our parents didn't have them and we turned out fine. But just because they didn't have access to them doesn't mean that we shouldn't use them to make our lives easier. It doesn't mean that we're totally spoiling our kids. We're spoiling ourselves. Now that we're the parents, we can do that. To read the previous posts, click here and here

Poo~Pourri Jr. Lil’ Stinker 

From the makers of Poo-Pourri: before you go toilet spray. So the regular spray for the bathroom really works. So when I saw this for diapers I grabbed it. Any nursery stinks, wreaks! It's hard to handle. But especially if you have sensitivity to smells. This says that it is actually for cloth diapers, but I use it on our disposable diapers. And it works. It doesn't cure the problem, but it does help.I bought mine at Sam Moon, but you can find a wide selection of Poo-Pourri at boutiques or you could visit their website

 Silicone Bib

Feeding time is so messy. Yes, I say feeding time like they are animals at the zoo. Many days it's best to just feed them in their diaper. But it still pays to wear a bib to save their little chest from unnecessary scrubbing. Cloth bibs stain, get wet and must be changed and washed frequently. The plastic bibs with fabric backs wipe down, but still need to be washed and then have to air-dry and the fabric back takes a while to do so. The silicone bib can be wiped clean and dried immediately. It can be run through the dishwasher. And the teething babes love to chew on the edge. Okay, that's actually a down side since the back gets dirty and then gets on them. But I still like these the best. I wash mine after every meal with dish detergent and run it through the dishwasher periodically for sterilization. You can find them easily and affordably by Tommee Tippee at Babies 'R Us or Target. However, I don't like it the best. The tightest the neck will go still leaves quite a gap and food constantly ends up down my daughter's shirt. Many times the closure comes undone completely and she just pulls it off. And the pocket at the bottom doesn't really stay open to catch food. I prefer the brand Make My Day, pictured above. It cost more, but it's worth it. The pocket stays open and it has double closure. Plus, there is a super cute design. Boys' looks like a tuxedo and girls' looks like they're wearing pearls. I bought mine at a boutique, but you can find them on Amazon.com.


Fisher-Price Rainforest Booster Seat

Love these high chairs. We have this model and another one. We got them because we are limited on space and we wanted to be able to strap them to our kitchen chairs. The toy tray can entertain your baby while you make lunch or clean up. I say "can" entertain because my babies just wail while I prep. So I've learned to fix breakfast before they wake, lunch while they nap and dinner while they nap in the afternoon. Otherwise I have one hanging on each leg. However, we do take these chairs with us when we go out to eat and the toy trays come in very handy then. When it's time to eat, just pull the toy tray off and you have the regular tray which can also go in the dishwasher. So far we've never been to a restaurant whose chairs our booster seat did not fit. I ordered one of them from Babies 'R Us but you can also get them on Amazon.com.

WubbaNub


Wuv our Wubba. Our son had no self-soothing abilities. None. It was at about 7 months that he finally began to self-soothe thanks to the WubbaNub. It's a little stuffed toy that is attached to a Soothie brand pacifier. With work and practice we taught him how to bring the pacifier to his mouth himself when he was upset. This was much easier for him with the Wubba than the pacifier alone. He eventually began to find it in his crib and soothe himself in the night. Finally, at one year he is now sleeping through the night. He is still very dependent on his Wubba. But he's pretty much only using it at night now. There is a very limited selection at Babies 'R Us but you can purchase them at, you guessed it, Amazon.com.

Grabber


We call this the Wubba Rescue Squad. No matter how many pacifiers you put in the crib they will all end up behind the crib, out of your reach. After using hangers, wrapping paper rolls, and everything I could we ended up buying this at Walgreen's.
  

Oball O-Links  


I always loved the links so that I could attach toys to the stroller and play pens, etc. It keeps me from having to bend all the way over to the floor saving my back and keeping the germs at bay. But as much as I love them they do tend to come apart. Then I found this handy thing. Made by Oball who usually makes toys. The only openings are at each end. And the closures are really tight so they hold firm. I use them to for toys on the strollers, car seat because they love to throw their toys down while I'm driving or line up several to hang along the edge of the play pen. This is much better than the links. We still have our links. It's nice to have the option of lengths and the kids like to play with them individually but this is much better as mommy's helper.

Praise Baby 

Praise Baby Collection is better than Baby Einstein! I had tried several different baby videos that were just music and pictures that were supposed to entertain,stimulate and education my baby without feeling like I was just sitting him in front of the t.v. I wanted him to play while this was playing. I saw this in the sale flyer of the local Christian bookstore. I had no idea what it was, but I bought it for the sale price. When I put it in and saw his reaction, I knew we had struck gold. He was enamored with this video. A few days later I went back and bought every one they had. I don't know if it's the camera work, the set design, or the uplifting Godly music. But it is truly set apart from any other baby video. People would always comment that Quito was the happiest baby they had ever seen. I really attribute that to the fact that we worked really hard on his media intake. The television was never on when he was in the room unless it was an age-appropriate, child safe program. But most of the time I only played Christian music all day long. He never heard violence or even arguing. So, really, what was there ever to be upset about, right? Check out these videos. They are awesome.You can get them at Barnes and Noble.

Amazon.com

So, this isn't actually a product. It's a service. Honestly, lately, if it doesn't have to do with my kids, I don't leave the house unless I have to. I don't have time to shop, I barely have time for errands. Amazon makes it easier. And we are prime members so we get the free 2-day shipping on lots of things, plus we can watch a lot of movies and television shows, too. And since we never, never, never watch t.v. having Netflix and Amazon Prime are a great way to be able to watch television. Of course, we are usually several seasons behind. But there's no commercials and we don't have to wait between season finales and the next season's premiere. But then again, once then kids are in bed, we only last about 30 minutes before we fall asleep in our chairs.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Thanksgiving Set Back

After being on a strict Candida Diet for almost a month I thought I could try a few bites of something a Thanksgiving Dinner. I was talking to my friend. After everything I've tried with the diet, probiotics, antifungals and nothing is working I thought what is the point of trying if nothing is working. Granted, I've only been doing this for a month and people live with it. After one month I at least have my major symptoms under control. The discomforting ones that is. But the internal stuff is still there so I know that I still have this. At Thanksgiving I literally took three bites of cheesecake. The next day I was raw and blistered with increased levels of discharge, obvious discomfort and itching. It was like I started all over. So now I know what the point of the diet is even if it doesn't cure you. It at least controls the symptoms. I will remember this the next time I consider taking just a few bites of something with sugar. Then, of course, I told myself that if I'm really good maybe I can have something by Christmas!

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Do Or Diet

I've had this yeast infection since July. It started when I had to take those IV antibiotics and ZPack that I took back when I wrote this post. I did the two rounds of Diflucan and Fluconazole but it didn't go away. I've been doing oral probiotics and oral antifungals. The only time I have any relief is when I am on my menstrual cycle. The moment it is over I start itching and burning again. I've decided to bite the bullet and go on the Candida diet. Many of you know I've been on the GURD diet for a couple of years now. So my diet is already very restricted. Although these two diets do overlap in some areas, adding yet another restrictive diet will decrease the amount of foods I can eat even more. So I am not thrilled about this treatment option but I don't see any other way.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Lyrica As A Narcotic

I tried a new doctor today. I've really been unhappy with how difficult it is to get refills on my prescriptions for Lyrica. I don't like that my doctor was making me come in and get written refills every three months for everything I was on. Back in January I quit taking Cymbalta because my insurance changed and it was going to cost me over $200 a month after my insurance. I just can't afford that so I decided to go without it. And with the restrictions we are under as foster parents it's nearly impossible for me to get childcare to go to the doctor myself so I can't run to the doctor every two months in order to keep up with a prescription that needs to be refilled every three months.  So I decided to try a different doctor. This one actually explained to me that the powers that be are now classifying Lyrica as a narcotic. That means that you have to go in for a face-to-face office visit with your doctor to get your prescription written every three months. I guess the other doctor just figured since I was coming in every three months for that one that she would only write all my others for three months at a time as well. At this time in my life, I just can't do that. I have very little childcare. My husband takes off enough work as it is. He can't take off work just so I can constantly go to routine doctors' appointments for no reason other than bureaucracy. So I'm quitting the Lyrica too. I told her that we'll see how I do when the weather gets cold. I've been doing so much better since moving to this climate, losing so much weight and changing my diet habits. I'm still on the Topirimate to prevent migraines and nausea. And I'm still taking the Nortryptaline at night to help with sleep. So I'm kind of back to where I was before I was diagnosed with Fibro. I'm treating some of my symptoms and not taking the medications that actually prevent the problem. But this time it's not because I don't know what's wrong, it's because the medical field, pharmaceutical companies, insurance and government have made it difficult for us to get the treatment we need.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Careful With Those Decongestants

I've been having trouble sleeping. Not the normal Fibro can't sleep kinda trouble. Every time I lay down I start coughing. My throat is dry and I start coughing. I think it must be allergies. It only happens at night tough. So I decided to take a Benadryl pill before bed, just a half dose, to help. I think it's helping. But then I get worse. So much worse that I am sleeping with a humidifier, a glass of water next to the bed and cough drops in my mouth. I know, gross! Not the menthol kind. They make me nauseous. These are just the citrus, but still, gross. Anyway. I finally am coughing all day. So I get in to see the doctor. Not sure what was going on, but I should not have taken the Benadryl. See, I wasn't actually congested. And it's a decongestant. But I thought that it was for allergies and I thought that was what was making my throat scratchy. Turns out that I took so many decongestants that I dried up all my mucus membranes. Yep, uh-huh. All of them. Which explained why some other things were really dry. So he gives me a Z-pack, some cough medicine and sends me on my way. Remember the IV antibiotics I had been on just two months ago. Now the Z-pack. You know what happens when you take antibiotics? I get a raging yeast infection. In fact, I remember the last time I took a Z-pack I got a yeast infection. And it didn't go away with any treatment. It was my menstrual cycle that finally cleared it out. Is it possible that Fibromyalgia just lowers your immune system all together?

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Is No Vacay

So our babies got sick. And of course I caught it too. It was Thursday that I started to feel it. I had the whole stomach thing. I was feeling weak and sore all over. During the night, I started to feel like I may not be able to take care of the kids. I was afraid to even pick one up. My legs were cramping so I figured that I was dehydrated. My husband was out of town and not getting back until Friday night. He began work on getting an earlier flight. I sent a shout out for help via Facebook and a text to a select few friends during the night. At about 4 o'clock in the morning two girlfriends showed up before the first baby was to wake. They just took over. Then at 7 my friend, Hot Momma, showed up to take me to the new emergency clinic in town. They did a CT scan and said they were afraid I had appendicitis and they wanted to send me to the hospital for a surgical consult. That clinic did not have a surgeon because they did not have an operating room. They gave me the option of two hospitals. I chose the one that I take the kids to. However, they told me that there was no surgeon available at that location. (Then why offer it?) There was a surgeon waiting at the closer location. I didn't want to go to that one because it was  the place that misdiagnosed my gall stones the first time they did the ultrasound. So I agreed to the latter with trepidation. When I arrived they told me they wanted to take me in for an open appendectomy. I asked if they had reviewed the CT results that were supposed to send with me. However, they had NOT sent them with me. I told them I was not consenting to surgery until they had reviewed the CT scan. They insisted and I had to throw a full out fit to talk to anyone with any sense. I even asked for a patient advocate and was DENIED! Finally, the surgeon came in and I explained to him why I was not consenting to surgery. He, miraculously, got the CT results. He and the radiographer agreed that my appendix was just barely enlarged and that I did not need surgery. With the blood work they thought that I had gastroenteritis, an infection in my intestines. But they wanted to recheck my blood work in the morning to see if my white blood count had gone down. They kept me on fluids and IV antibiotics. The whole thing was a horrible experience. There was an old woman down the hall that was yelling obscenities faster than Melissa McCarthy. And a man kept banging on the wall and screaming to be let out. I asked the nurse if he was locked in his room. He said that "they don't do that here" and that the man just thought he was locked in, but not to worry because there was someone watching him. I felt like I was in a state mental hospital. And then there was the whole thing with the hospital trying to do an unnecessary surgery. My husband was not able to make it back until late Friday evening. In the meantime, Hot Momma took great care of me while organizing troop on the home front. My kids and dogs were completely taken care of. I was busted out Saturday night with instructions to start taking a probiotic. A big leap from appendicitis. The sad thing was that I slept through the night. It was the best rest I've had since December. I've been exhausted! My friend had recently told the hubs that I am supposed to get whatever I want for Mother's Day. I had jokingly said a vacation. This was not exactly what I had in mind.

*Melissa, if you should ever read my blog I actually really like you. Loved Samantha Who? I imagine you are really sweet in real life. I just needed a current foul mouth that everyone would recognize.

Friday, April 5, 2013

We're Getting A Baby Girl!

On Friday, a week ago today, our caseworker was at our house during a regular visit for our foster child T-Hug, affectionately named for online purposes. During the visit she said that she needed us to think about something. There is a baby girl, 3 months old, who was being adopted by a military family. They got orders to move overseas. No matter what way they worked the adoption with expediting it, mom staying being, etc., the adoption could not be finalized in time. They have to give her back. We were the agency's first choice to take this child. It is almost certain that she will be adopted and they would not give her to us if they did not think it would go that way. They knew that we have our hands full with T-Hug. He has a lot of special medical needs and a very full schedule. It would be hard and he is not expected to go back to his family until he is at least a year old. They gave us the weekend to think about it. We knew that it would be a struggle, but we did not want to turn down what is almost a sure adoption just because it will be a challenge.  There is always a chance that it will not go through, but that is with every adoption. We have chosen not to share her birth mom's story and why Baby Girl ended up in the adoption loop. Baby Girl has a right to know what happened before everyone else knows. So it is her decision. When she is old enough to ask and understand, we will tell her. If she wants to share, she can.  What you need to know is: 1. She was not an accident. 2. God has her right where He wants her, even if it is not forever. Are we scared? Yes. Are we overwhelmed? Yes, just at the thought of it all. But as I recently read in our ladies Bible study book  7,
"Obedience isn't a lack of fear. It's just doing it scared."

Monday, March 18, 2013

PubCrawling

pubcrawling
On St. Patrick's Day I went with a group of friends to Austin to ride the PubCrawler. It was so much fun! It was my first time to do it. I will admit that I was a little nervous because it is a physical activity. But I've always wanted to do it and they were going with or without me. And for me it happened to be a good time because I was actually on all my medications. So I'm at my best right now. So what's a pubcrawler? It's a bar on wheels. A tandem bicycle to be exact and you have to pedal to make it move. You can take kegs, boxes or wine or ice chests of whatever drinks you like as long as there are no glass. You pedal and drink as you crawl Austin. They make a couple of stops and give you time to go into a few bars if you want. We chose to eat. I had the best turkey reuben I've ever had at Opal Divines
me and my husband
It was so much fun! SO MUCH FUN! Yes, parts of it were difficult but we did have several people on board that were not pedaling at all. So I definitely would not suggest booking it full of a Fibro convention. Afterward and the next day my butt hurt. It was like where the seam or edge of my underwear had been pressing into the seat. I thought that it was my sensitivity to touch, but my husband said that his hurt too. The front of my legs were a little irritated where the edge of my shorts had rubbed while I pedaled. 
Absolutely no visible sign of anything just, again, my sensitivity to a touch that is not normally there. I would not recommend going in the summer because we got warm, from the sunshine and exertion, even though it was not a hot day for us. If you're ever in Austin it is a must do!

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Kristine Cheney Contest Winners

Congratulations to Heather and Connie! You are the winners of the Kristine Cheney Contest. You will each receive your choice of one of her e-books. Please send Kristine a personal email referencing the Famous Faces of Fibro interview and informing her of your choice of ebook title to Kristine at tisatrix@cox.net and she will forward your .pdf ebook. (Please note that the first book to begin the Spartan Heart Saga is Spartan Heart Part One, and the single title novella is Secret Santa.) You can also contact me at ThisIsMyFibro@gmail.com and I will forward your information and selection to Kristine. Congratulations and enjoy your reads!

Friday, March 1, 2013

Famous Faces of Fibro: Author Kristine Cheney

I was very excited to learn that a real author followed my blog. So when Kristine Cheney agreed to do an interview I knew that my Famous Faces of Fibro was not a single post but a series. Please welcome our first female Famous Face of Fibro.

Q: So you're a writer. How long have you been writing books?

A: Yes! I absolutely love writing and pride myself on writing stories that are non-erotica. Based on my own preferences, it would be fair to say that I strive to be noted as a sensual writer. I completed my first book in 2010, and was published by Astraea Press in February 2011. I have released three books in my Spartan Heart Saga, namely, Spartan Heart Part
One, Spartan Heart Part Two, Spartan Surrender, and my Christmas novella, Secret Santa. My goal is refuse Fibromyalgia from making my writing a part-time job.

Q: When I heard you were an author my first thoughts were, "I couldn't do that because
my Fibro fog keeps me too incoherent and my hand and finger pain would not allow me to
type enough." Has your writing been affected at all by your fibro?

A: It’s a daily challenge that often leaves me hanging on by the skin of my teeth. I think
the hardest part of Fibromyalgia, outside of the pain, is simply the exhaustion. Sometimes
several weeks go by before I open up a waiting manuscript. I’m thinking about roughing it
up with a new plan to assign certain nights to Brett so I can take off to the library for some
quiet and inspiration. My biggest muse is water. Love the sounds of the ocean, the waves,
the streams and the rains. These are certain to make this girl wish for her laptop.

Q: What genres do you write?

A: I love to write paranormal and contemporary romance, but I will write any genre that
calls to my heart. I have several stories that are waiting to be finished. I love allowing my
stories to write themselves into being.

Q: What does a daily schedule of Kristine Cheney look like?

A: I can’t help but smile on this one. All I can say is that I must be a sucker fish for cruel
and unusual punishment. *laughs* Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., I work
as a paralegal secretary to an estate planning attorney in Phoenix. Then, every Monday
through Thursday evening, my husband and I babysit our granddaughter Evie from 5 p.m.
until my daughter pulls her out our bed (about 10 p.m.). By Friday evening, I could use a
good coma until Monday morning rolls around. I think my schedule would test the likes of
those fortunate who dwell without a chronic illness, but it’s a silent testament to myself of
what I miraculously achieve despite my body’s war against Fibromyalgia.

Q: Being a mom is hard. Being a mom with Fibromyalgia sometimes seems impossible. Do
you have any advice or tips to give on balancing motherhood and Fibromyalgia?

A: For me, it’s having to take the extra steps to put myself in the center of the action. I
don’t want to ever be a disassociated parent. I think knowing my limitations and sharing
those expectations with others have helped to usher in a level of needed understanding.
I refuse to do anything that I know my body can’t do. I believe it’s easier on everyone
if we’re just honest about it. Now I ask for help if I need it. I don’t always have to do it
myself.

Q: How has Fibro affected your daily life?

A: I have a very full day, and work steals the majority of my energy. I can honestly say that
it’s by the grace of God that helps me survive every passing moment…every single minute.
It’ helps me to try and keep my mind trained that I only have to live this life one day at a
time. Fibro is a thief. This illness is stealer of joy. I feel robbed of my enjoyment from the
blessings in life that should offer such solace, contentment, peace, and happiness. This is a
personal struggle that I often wrestle with, and again, this is where abundant grace proves
again that God’s mercies are indeed new every morning.

Q: How old were you when you were first diagnosed with Fibromyalgia?

A: I was diagnosed in 2003, at the age of 32, and my diagnosis reconfirmed in 2013.

Q: What were your first symptoms of Fibro? Did you know what you had before the
doctors diagnosed you or was their diagnosis a new revelation?

A: I had absolutely no idea what was wrong with me. I remember feeling absolutely
overwhelmed and terrified. My first symptoms came on suddenly during a car ride home
from a week-long Mexico vacation I had taken with my husband and some friends in 2003.
In the blink of an eye, I was slammed with severe debilitating vertigo. Nausea, weakness,
and some hearing loss became the blasted companions of my dizziness. I believe that trip
was the worst, most torturous car ride of my life. I never thought we would make it home.
Lucky for me, we live in Arizona. The vertigo battle lasted over seven months, and I ended
up losing my job due to my incapacity. My whole life was turned upside down in an instant.
I still struggle with the effects of vertigo, but thankfully now, it’s limited to short infrequent
spells.

Q: Do you feel your symptoms are progressive in nature or just the same issues that come
and go? Have you developed any new symptoms since being diagnosed?

A: Without a doubt, progressive. Vertigo and nausea soon became accompanied by severe
constant exhaustion, frequent headaches, and sinus infections due to constantly irritated
allergic rhinitis. And who can forget that that lovely “fibro brain fog?” I also have freakish
episodes where my skin would flush crimson out of the blue. Looking back now, I see why
I had to have that emergency hysterectomy the year I turned 30 (1991). Uterine fibroid
tumors are an associated symptom of Fibromyalgia. Now I can easily connect the dots.

I still suffer bouts of all of these ailments, and am constantly resisting the immersive drown
of fatigue. My current list of symptoms has grown into a macabre textbook: memory
loss, small water blisters on my face, tremors, muscle twitches and cramps, nystagmus,
pain-ridden insomnia, rib cage pain, neck and back pain, walking and movement
difficulties, muscle weakness, mysterious dents in my lower legs, joints that often “pop
and crack,” pain in face and jaw, tingles, hums, and burning in my extremities and back,
toe numbness, difficulty catching a breath, pain induced high blood pressure and anxiety,
heat intolerance, sensory malfunctions, broken blood vessels in the eye and a reduction
in my vision rx of 125% in the last year, blurred vision, word and mouth confusion, dry
mouth, chronic dry and itchy skin, inability to lose weight, bruise easily, swelling in feet
and ankles, difficulty in swallowing at times, drug sensitivity, but most of all have severe,
excruciating, bodywide pain that never leaves me. Trying to sleep while your body feels
consumed by an invisible fire is comparable to some medieval torture device.

Q: Do you mind sharing with us what your Fibro treatment and management is? Are you
on any medications and how do they affect you?

A: I am currently taking gabapentin 300 mg, three times a day, for pain and am taking
Ambien to help me sleep. Without the ambien, I’m up all night in severe pain. With the
ambien, it forces my body to get the deep sleep that I so desperately need and I feel no pain
while sleeping on this medication. I am certain the neurologist will increase the gabapentin
when I go to see him next week, especially since the current dose has helped my pain levels
to reduce by about 30%, which is fantastic! It has taken the edge off. Now if I can get a
more regulatory dose to try and control the pain a little better, I’m all for it. My primary
doctor wants to add an anti-depressant called Lexipro, and so I’m a little nervous about
this. I’ve tried Trazodone for a few days (it worked great for sleeping and great for extra
pain relief, but I got AWFUL headaches that lasted all day long. Needless to say, I aborted
the Trazodone medication therapy quickly, and I’m sure I’ll relent and try the Lexipro.

Q: Are there any tricks that you use to help pull you through the rough patches?

A: Prayer…prayer…and more prayer. Did I mention prayer? 

Q: How did you find my blog? Would you mind sharing exactly what you were searching
for when my blog appeared in the search results?

A: I was fortunate enough to find one of your blog posts while searching for information
relating to the crippling effects of Fibromyalgia, specifically for those who are pondering
the use of a wheel chair for days when the pain leaves one debilitated to the point of being
unable to walk without assistance. I noticed one of your blog topics on the search results
and clicked on a link that directed me to your page. Although the topic wasn’t related to
assistive devices, I was intrigued by your post article and admired the heart behind your
prose, so I left a comment to join in on the conversation. Needless to say, I was delighted
when you quickly responded and have enjoyed our new friendship tremendously.

Q: I like to put "solutions" in my blog. When I find a product or a trick that just makes life
easier for a person with Fibro. Share with us a solution that you have found or a trick you
have learned that just makes life a lot easier.

A: I hate the way clothes feel resting against my skin, so I always wear long flowy skirts
and slip on shoes. I hold onto my husband’s arm often.

Q: I wrote a post about not letting Fibromyalgia keep us from doing the things we wish to
do, like sky diving. I called it the Buck It List. Like, "Buck It, World. Fibro can't stop me."
What is on your Buck It List?

A: Quit my day job, buy a little motor home, and Go! O! Go! I’m a huge history buff. I
want to fly back to England, Ireland, and tour Europe so badly. I also would love to take a
trip with Brett back east and see all the historical revolutionary war and the civil war sites
and bring a good metal detector with me. I would also like to go to Arkansas, and see that
diamond state park, and go hunting for some beautiful baubles!

Q: Will you let us know when you've done that?

A: I most certainly will! Thank you for my awesome interview.


Kristine has been generous enough to provide some prizes for a little contest (rules at bottom.) The winners will receive their choice of her ebooks. It'll be a hard decision choosing a book so here are some back blurb teasers:

Spartan Heart Part One and Spartan Heart Part Two:

Sent away to college in America, Evangeline swore she would never return to England.
Anger loses its value when tragedy forces her home to assume ownership of the family's
beloved Greco-Roman museum.

Placing a foolish, drunken kiss on a Greek statue in the museum's basement, Evangeline
unknowingly frees a Spartan prince from an evil oracle's curse. Suddenly, her lonely life is
invaded by the rakish man with knowing emerald green eyes who never eats or sleeps, and
seems to know her every thought and feeling.

Falling in love is dangerous, especially when it's with a man who has already been claimed
by the bitter oracle, Demona. From the moment of her kiss, Evangeline is swept into
Dorien's world of mystery, danger, and passion. The oracle's fury only mounts as they
unravel Demona's darkest secrets, but not before Demona finds out about their unborn
half-breed immortal twins.

Demona uses her knowledge of the future to manipulate and destroy, but sometimes love
has a will, and a heart, of its own.

Here’s the blurb for Spartan Surrender:

The exciting Spartan Heart Saga continues!

Stubborn and independent, Taryn Hampton takes a calculated gamble. Despite the dangers
of a half-breed birth, she’s run off to Blackpool Sands, determined to deliver Thessalus’
baby alone. But when complications arise, desperation soon sets in. With no one around to
save Taryn and her unborn child, she’s forced to barter with an evil nemesis for the safety
of her newborn. Cursed to endure the consequences of her foolish decisions, she must face
this eternal punishment with a mother’s sacrifice.

Thessalus Agiad wants only Taryn, but the willful woman refuses to submit to her feelings.
Finding out about his unborn, half-breed babe, he’s aware that Taryn loves him, but she’s
still terrified of his immortality. To make matters worse, she now fears his child that grows
within her belly. Tired of her repeated rejections and the endless game of chasing after her,
Thessalus gives the woman he loves an ultimatum.

The Oracle Demona is wretched, as ever. Tipped off by one of her visions, she awaits
the day to retaliate against Dorien and Evangeline. Aware of Taryn’s impending folly,

Demona exploits her mistakes to the point of utter devastation. The Witch hires the rakish
immortal, Dastan, to carry out her evil plans, knowing well that he’s just another pawn in
her self-rigged game.

Enamored with Taryn Hampton, Dastan wants the feisty vixen for himself. Thessalus
Agiad is the only man who stands in his way. Hired by Demona to kidnap Taryn, Dastan
decides it’s an added bonus to torment his enemy. But Taryn is sick with fever, and he gets
more than he bargained for when she becomes a tempting siren in his bed. It matters not
that his comely hostage believes that he is Thessalus.

Curses, manipulations, and fears may decimate everything that lies between Taryn and
Thessalus, but sometimes love can balm the scars of a wounded soul, and force the most
stubborn heart to surrender.

Here’s the blurb for Secret Santa:

Holly Gordon’s estrangement from her family makes loneliness of the Christmas season
hit close to home. Volunteering for the annual Ashton Falls Secret Santa Program is
more than a comfort, it’s a blessing. Just knowing she’s able to help another hurting soul
experience the joy of a heartfelt Christmas makes her own reality a tiny bit sweeter, that is,
until Marcus Jenner ends up on her list.

Marcus Jenner is more than a bronze, muscled looker. This Chickasaw loner isn’t happy
being placed on the town’s Secret Santa list. Suffering from the blow of a devastating loss,
he has chosen to withdraw from living almost completely. For the life of him, he can’t
figure why this pretty little blonde keeps bumping into him, calling him by name, and
insisting on giving him presents. Unfortunately for Marcus, every time she does, a billowing
cloud of havoc seems to ensue. Why can’t this uninvited vixen leave him alone?

They say time and fate have all of the answers. Holly, in all of her innocence, is drawn to
Marcus like a moth to the flame. But Marcus has no intentions of submitting to the threat
of his newfound feelings. A painful exchange pushes their lives into a pendulum chaos. His
demand for privacy is granted by Holly’s hidden illness. Her sudden absence hits him hard,
especially when the arrival of a stranger delivers the rest of his gifts. Right away, he knows
something’s horribly wrong.

Love and selfless giving can rouse a wounded, sleeping heart. But sometimes a Secret Santa
gets a few unexpected gifts of her own.

This Is My Fibro with Kristine Cheney Contest
Everyone who leaves a comment is registered for an entry into the contest. Winner(s) get their choice of any one of Kristine's books. Kristine will choose a handful of winners. For every friend they refer to visit the interview and then leaves a comment (stating the name of the friend who referred them in their comment, then the person who referred them will get an additional entry in the contest. Visitors can have as many referrals for extra entries as they like. The person with the most friend referrals will get two signed bookmarks for being so awesome! In honors of Kristine's Irish roots, winners will be chosen on St. Patrick's Day, March17, 2013. May the luck of the Irish be with you. Winners will receive the .pdf ebooks (winner's choice of ebook) via email.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Stress and Aging

I had my follow up appointment with the ob/gyn after my dramatic period in October. I had been keeping a journal of my periods, flow and pains, etc. The good news is that for now I'm not  bleeding to death. So I will not be having a hysterectomy. However, the doctor says that I'm aging faster than I should be. He was concerned that the stress of fostering was mostly responsible for it. He wanted to know how much longer this child was going to be with us. I told him 6 months to a year. He looked displeased. He said that I really needed to have a complete blood panel work up, but that if it was to be done now it wouldn't tell us anything. I'm so stressed out that my results would be skewed. He postponed my well-woman exam. So I'm supposed to go back in six months, continuing with my journal. He said we'll talk about hormones. He knows that I don't want to do hormone therapy because my mom had breast cancer from early menopause and hormone therapy after a hysterectomy. He said that we're not just going to be talking about estrogen. That there are a lot of chemicals that can be adjusted. I said, "Well, now I'm just gonna worry until then." He said, "good." I guess that means this is supposed to be a wake up call or something? I am a natural worrier. How is worrying going to de-stress me? I'll tell you how. Because I always forget about myself. Give me a few days and I'll be back into the role of mom of a special needs baby scheduling umpteen medical tests, doctors and therapy appointments. I can barely remember to write in my menstrual journal, much less worry about what the doctor meant about . . . What was it he said again? I don't know. . . something about . . . me.

Friday, February 15, 2013

My Funky Blues

It's been hard lately and I've been under a lot of stress. The other night I was talking with Rob and he said I had to get out of the house. He didn't care what I went and did, but I had to get out. So I called my friend and we batted a few ideas around. Honestly the idea of being out late was not appealing to me. And after being up well over 24 hours straight with the baby I didn't have the energy to dance. And I don't go places where I have to stand in line for 
someone to tell me that I may not get in. I don't think so. We ended up going to Painting With a Twist for that night's class doing The Funky Blues.  They had an awesome play list and we were singing along. 
When we were finished we weren't tired . I don't know how. I must have been running on pure fumes. So we decided to go karaoking. As we were walking out the front door of the studio we heard this horrible wailing coming from the bar down that sidewalk. We looked at each other and said, "They have karaoke." We didn't stay long. We embarrassed ourselves pretty well for ladies who weren't drunk. We brought ourselves home and I was still tucked into bed by midnight. The next day my spirits were more lifted. The night out was much needed.


Thursday, February 14, 2013

My First Contest

One day I was publishing the comments on my blog. There was a comment from an author. A real life author. Like, an award-winning, published, person, who writes stories that other people actually pay money to read them, author. At first I couldn't believe she would actually read my blog. But then I remembered that we are all just people. She too needs a place to go to share her experiences with Fibromyalgia and find out how it affects others. Her name is Kristine Cheney, award-winning author of paranormal and contemporary romance. I asked Kristine if she would be willing to be another Famous Faces of Fibro for my blog. Not only will she do an interview but she would like to offer some pdf ebooks up for grabs as prizes.





Kristine Cheney Interview Coming Soon!

Interview March 1st
Contest Winners Chosen March 17th

Everyone who leaves a comment is registered for an entry into the contest. Winner(s) get their choice of any one of my books. Kristine will choose a handful of winners. For every friend they refer to visit the interview and leaves a comment (stating the name of the friend who referred them in their comment, then the person who referred them will get an additional entry in the contest. Visitors can have as many referrals for extra entries as they like. The person with the most friend referrals will get two signed bookmarks for being so awesome! In honors of Kristine's Irish roots, winners will be chosen on St. Patrick's Day. May the luck of the Irish be with you. Winners will receive the .pdf ebooks (winner's choice of ebook) via email.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

I Fear I've Fallen

"I chanced upon your website today while I was reading up on Baltic Amber. I accidentally pressed the "next page" button and read about your entry the day they took your baby to live with his grandmother........ I wish I have the right words to say. I cannot fathom all the emotions you must have gone through. I very much admire your spirit and love you have, and the inner strength to decide to foster again. I was hooked on your blog and wanted to read more, only to realize that entry has ceased sometime November last year. I hope that you are well and know that someone is thinking of you and draw strength from your spirit."                         Missy - January 14, 2013

You said that you "chanced upon" and "accidentally". But I don't think either of those is true. For some reason I didn't find your message until today. I could think that was chance or an accident. But today is the day that our caseworker is coming at 2pm. I was going to tell her that this baby (our fourth) is our last. That I cannot do it anymore. But I got your message. I thought that I wasn't making a difference because all I was doing was getting the children healthy and then giving them back to the same people who hurt them just to let them do it all over again. But maybe the difference I'm meant to make is still out there. Maybe it is in you or in someone else that just reads about me trying. Maybe that's all I'm supposed to do is try.


 "Fear may fill our world, but it doesn't have to fill our hearts." - Max Lucado

Saturday, February 9, 2013

My GERD Diet

It's been a year and a half since I started the GERD diet. I did it because I was having stomach problems as a result of tearing up my stomach using Aleve. It took a long time to recover. During that time I also had my gall bladder out. Between the pain of my stomach and my gall bladder I could barely eat. Plus, the diet was so restrictive that when I did eat it was so low fat that I wasn't consuming many calories. I lost 55 pounds. After losing our baby, I have gained back 10 pounds from emotional eating and starting to eat things that are not on the diet. Okay, it's probably 10 pounds of sweet tea. But I'm from the south. Sugar is in our blood. Whether it's mimosas, mint juleps, sasparilla, or sweet tea. You've heard of southern hospitality. How do you think we got so sweet? Of all the things I missed, sweet tea was one of the most. When I felt better and became more relaxed I started hitting it hard. If I can kick it again, I'd probably continue to lose. I've been asked several times how I lost the weight. I'll admit it is a hard diet. As soon as I start with it people immediately say, "I can't do that." I always start with the things that people love the most so they can reject it immediately. NO beef or pork, no alcohol, coffee, soda, tea or chocolate. That's usually where people tell me to stop. Well, it required no exercise. So here's the full extent. Basically you are avoiding all fat and acids. Nothing that can aggravate the stomach. So no vinegars (pickles, dressings, olives), citrus or tomatoes, fat of any kind. No carbonation (sodas, beer, champagne, sparkling waters). And look at the labels because almost everything has citric or absorbic acid in it. Basically you have to cook everything from scratch and just drink water.

FOOD GROUP                               AVOID                                                                  SAFE

Meat                                     No beef, pork, or other red or fatty                   Turkey, Chicken, Fish
                                              meats. Lunch meat, processed meat.                 Grilled, baked, roasted
                                             Fried foods, fat & skins on meat. 
                                             Sausages, hot dog. Anything brined. 

Dairy                                  All Dairies must be low fat. Sour Cream           Low-fat products, Egg
                                            Ice Cream, Eggs,                                                    Substitute, Mozzarella
                                                                                                                              Cheese, Chocolate Milk

Grains                               All breads must be low-fat.                                   Rice cereals, oatmeal,
                                                                                                                              Quinoa, rice-pastas

Fruits                                 No citrus in any form, tomato or tomato          apples, melons
                                            juice, cranberries or cranberry juice                bananas, pears, grapes
                                                                                                                             peaches, strawberries,
                                                                                                                              
Vegetables                        Anything Fried Raw                                              Most stuff as long as it 
                                           onions, peppers, radishes                                     has not been fried,
                                                                                                                              pickled or brined

Beverages                       Caffeine, Alcohol, Carbonated                            Water, Skim Milk
                                          Beverages, Tea, Coffee                                           Pure juices with no acids

Fats/Oils/Condiments   Anything with fat, vinegar, pickles,                   Seasonings that aren't too
                                           No animal fat products, Butter, vegetable        spicy, about 2 Tbls
                                           oils                                                                           extra virgin olive oil a day
                                          Mint, Curry, Black Pepper, Some Strong 
                                          Spices

Misc.                                Hard Candy, Gum, Chocolate                              



This is the diet my GI doctor gave me. You will see different versions in your research.

Famous Faces of Fibro: Morgan Freeman

"Every so often he grabs his left shoulder and winces. It hurts when he walks, when he sits still, when he rises from his couch, and when he missteps in a damp meadow. More than hurts. It seems a kind of agony, though he never mentions it. There are times when he cannot help but show this. 'It's the Fibromyalgia,' he says when asked."

 I've always loved Morgan Freeman as an actor. I've known little about his private life. I was surprised to learn that he has Fibromyalgia. I was shocked to hear people's reactions. I learned about his condition on ProHealth's Facebook page. ProHealth stated, "Morgan Freeman admitted to suffering from Fibromyalgia, and now the largest Fibromyalgia organization has reached out to him. Will he become a national spokesperson? Hang on to your seats, as Fibro could get it's 'Michael J Fox' and the disease could get more respect--and funding."

 I read every comment to date and was appalled at what people were saying. Some were questioning whether he actually had it because of his symptoms. How many of us have suffered because people did not believe our symptoms or did not believe Fibromyalgia existed at all. And now we are going to turn on one of our own? If we have learned anything it is that Fibromyalgia is vast and symptoms vary from person to person. When Mr. Freeman stated, "Up and down the arm. That's where it gets so bad. Excruciating," I'm sure that he was not saying that he only had Fibromyalgia in his arm as one of the Facebook critics suggested. But symptoms can be worse in certain parts of the body. The brain is telling your body something hurts even if it doesn't have physical reason to hurt. But if you've sustained an injury which really does hurt, then the brain's signals of pain would be far more than in their "normal" Fibromyalgia overdrive.

My second aggreivement on behalf of Mr. Freeman was when people questioned whether he should be a spokesperson for Fibromyalgia on two accounts. His credibility as a person. And because he's a man! First, there is no one who is holy enough to meet everyone's expectations. He played the part of God, but it was a role. He is an actor. And the man has not even started the job as a spokesperson, so quit criticizes him for things he has not done yet in the role of a spokes person. I'm sure that in his 30 second commercial for Fibro he will not tell you who to vote for. Mr. Freeman has been unfairly compared to Michael J. Fox. I do not personally know Michael J. Fox, but I do know that he is not perfect because none of us are. We have put him on a pedestal because we watched him grow up as a child actor and we hated to see his suffering. The second reason critics have suggested Mr. Freeman cannot be a spokesperson for Fibromyalgia is because he's a man?! Oh my gosh?! Are you serious people? How long have we fought for women's rights? How long have we fought for everyone's rights? And now he can't be a spokesperson for Fibromyalgia because he's a man? Fibromyalgia does not discriminate! Despite what people believe this is not a women's disease. Men do get it. And the results are probably skewed because men are not coming forward because we portray this as a women's affliction. If we want proper research and a cure we need a greater sampling of people and this includes the men. Ok, yes, I would love for a famous woman saint to come forward and be our spokesperson, but she hasn't yet. He was brave enough to admit that he has this. It has changed his career as you can see in the movie The Magic of Belle Isle, which I loved.

And, on that topic. Some people were saying that now the "normals" are going to complain that if Morgan Freeman can do all he does with Fibromyalgia then the rest of us should get off our duff and do something. This is another chance to teach the public that Fibromyalgia is different for everyone. Some people can still function and some people are completely debilitated. Mr. Freeman should be considered an inspiration. He has had to adapt his lifestyle and his career because of this. He was brave enough to let Esquire post a video of him playing golf, which he now does with only one arm because his left hand is pretty much useless. But he didn't just give up what he loves. He adapted. What does my blog header say? I only have one life and I will not let Fibromyalgia take the joy from my living it. Well done, Mr. Freeman. He is one of us. Let's not treat him the way we have been so cruelly treated. Fibromyalgia is an unfortunate community to be in, but if you are here I would like to believe that you will be supported no matter what your gender, symptoms or person history because none of those things matter. It certainly hasn't stop Fibromyalgia from invading our lives. But we can learn one thing from Mr. Freeman. Live your life even if your swinging with only one hand.


Friday, February 8, 2013

RIP Ellie

I've always been inspired by this young man and his dog. My heart is broken to learn that she died this morning. This is what my friend said: "Seth's service dog, Ellie, was hit by a car late last night and died early this morning from extensive internal and external injuries. Our heart aches for Seth and our family. No 22 year old college kid should have to make the decisions he just had to make. We are so grateful for his friends that helped him last night. We will miss her so much. She was a world traveler, Luke's best friend, a steal your food when you aren't looking kind of gal, even a few months shy of graduating college, and just over all fantastic seeing eye dog. If there is a doggie heaven then I know she is receiving some amazing angel wings for the outstanding work she did keeping our Sethy safe from harm. RIP Ellie. we love you".

Please keep Seth in your prayers. Few of us ever know what it is like to truly depend on another. For many years she gave him a great life. He should never have to have been put in the position to have to end hers. This was truly a tragic accident. Please pray for his healing and that of his family. God bless all his friends who will help him through this.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Moms with Fibromyalgia: Solutions for Birth to 6 months Old: PART 2

Now that we are on our fourth foster baby, second preemie I am remembering all these little products that I love and should have added to my first list. I said that as I remembered them I would add them to that list, but I kept getting so many I decided it was just time for a new list because you probably would not go back and see the old list. However, if you have not seen the first list, click here. These are products that I love because they make being a mom easier, especially if you're already dealing with Fibromyalgia. Yes, I know our parents didn't have them and we turned out fine. But really? Did we? Turn out fine, I mean. I'm just kidding. We're fine! But just because they didn't have access to them doesn't mean that we shouldn't use them to make our lives easier. It doesn't mean that we're totally spoiling our kids. We're spoiling ourselves. We're grown, we can do that.

Boppy Protective Cover
Boppy Protective Cover is a liner that goes underneath your cutesie cover. That way when the little angel pukes all over your pretty one, your can change the outer cover and wash it and not have to worry about the whole pillow being soiled. You do have a stack of cute covers don't you? You need one for the wash and one for the pillow at all times. And remember I recommend two pillows. Or you'll end up carrying this thing all over the house. The protective cover is about $11 at Babies 'R Us and Target. 

Swaddlers
Yes, you will learn to swaddle your baby. Some babies hate it. But some babies gotta have it. And it can be challenging at times especially when they are fighting you. But just because they are fighting doesn't mean they don't want it. As soon as they are are tightly bundled, they settle right down. They trick is to be able to do it efficiently and tightly and as quickly as possible in the middle of the night with someone screaming at you. Some people recommend the ones with the long arms that wrap around. Well, my child isn't insane and I don't need a straight jacket. If they insist on having their arms out then I figure they  don't want to be swaddled. My favorite brands are Summer Infant, Swaddle Me and Kiddopotamus. These all have the same basic design. The feet go in a pouch at the bottom. It Velcros to the left wing that wraps around the arms. The right wing wraps around and Velcros on top. These wings along with a hole in the back allow the swaddlers to be used in car seats, swings and bouncies, etc that have a five-point harness. Our first foster baby had the jitters from drug withdrawal and had to be swaddled for 4 months all the time.These were a life saver.

Sleep Sacks
Sleep sacks, sleep blankets, sleeping bags. They are all little bags that the babies zip up in to sleep. It reduces the risk of SIDS by replacing blankets which can become entangled around the baby and causing suffocation. They come in many forms from light weight or fleece to short or long sleeve to the one pictured above. It is an Aden + Anais muslin, sleeveless. I love it because it gets very hot here where we live and I can just put the baby in a onesie with this sack. 

Tiny Love 3-in-1 Mobile


 Love this mobile. It has an arm for the crib, but can also attach with the Velcro to the car seat or the clip to anything like a canopy. We have used it everywhere. Even hanging it on the clothes hook in the van for long trips. It will play classical music for 30 minutes before turning off automatically. It will also spin without music if you choose to not want to listen to it. For when the baby needs to watch it while laying awake for umpteen hours on end while you try to get some sleep. This mobile also comes in pink. And it's affordable for most friends to buy off your registry!

BooginHead PaciGrip

 

Most babies will come home from the hospital with a Soothie brand pacifier. If they are already attached to this pacifier it is hard to get them to change to a different one. And the only way to attach a pacifier to that particular pacifier is through that tiny little hole. Note: this is not the Soothie pacifier in this picture. But the BooginHead PaciGrip has the little chord on the end that will thread through that little hole. It's one of the few mass marketed ones that I've found that do this. And I love the metal clip on the end because they really hold on well. You can buy them online or at Babies 'R Us. At the stores they are in a very generic looking package that just says "Paci Grip". It does not say BooginHead. They are only $4.99 and come in lots of cute patterns. Using a pacifier clip keeps the paci cleaner and keeps you from breaking your back because you're bending over picking it up all day. I keep one clipped in the car seat and the swing. Once the child is old enough to go out like to the church nursery and be handed around from person to person, if they are still using a paci, I clip it to them.

iHome iH15 Color Changing 30-Pin iPod Speaker Dock


This speaker dock has replaced our baby's radio, sound machine and nightlight. You can dock an ipod, touch, phone, shuffle, ianything that will fit and it will charge it. I generally play a white noise app with the rain sound or Pandora. The cube light can be on or off. The light has different settings. It can slowly change colors or quickly change. It can fade or be set to stay on one color. When you turn the power on, it automatically turns the iwhatever back on and directly into the app you where playing so no need to fidget everytime you're putting the baby down. You can find it on amazon.com. I bought mine at Walmart, but I don't know if they still sell it. It's between $50-75, but worth every penny.

Garanimals - Shampoo Rinse Cup

When bathing an infant you want to work as fast as possible because they get cold quickly. You can keep a warm wet washcloth over their body to help keep them warm. But I find that using this rinse cup allows me to wash and rinse so fast that the wash cloth isn't even needed. This cup is designed for older kids. It has a silicone edge so that you can lay it against their head creating a seal so the water doesn't run over their face when rinsing the shampoo out of their eyes. But I just leave it under the running water while I shampoo the baby's body and with one or two fills you can have the baby completely rinsed off and out of the tub. The handle just makes it more convenient than a cup from the kitchen. And you know I like convenience. It's available at Walmart and is about $5. You can get a similar cup made by Sassy that is all silicone. It is a little smaller and doesn't hold as much water. It doesn't stand up as well by itself under the faucet until it has some water in it. So that means that for a few seconds I have to hold onto it when I could be shampooing. And when bathing a screaming baby, every second counts. You want them in and out as fast as you can. That's why I recommend this one. 

Diaper Rash Cream
My favorite diaper rash cream is Baby Anti Monkey Butt. I think what works so well is the calendula and the calamine. My second favorite is Burt's bees which also has the calendula. My third favorite is Dr. Smith's. The trick to diaper cream is to put it on so thick that you cannot see through it. And when you're changing the diaper, if it's still on there don't wipe it off unless there is poo in it. Only add more if there is a spot that needs it. You don't have to put cream on a healthy booty unless they are going to be in their diaper for a long time and possibly wet for a long time such as overnight. Doctors do not recommend power because it can be harmful for their respiratory function. However, our doctor did say that if we "preloaded" the diapers in another room and gently put them on it would be OK. I have found that in some cases the only thing that seems to work is the powder. In which, I recommend that Baby Anti Monkey Butt Powder. I have found it at some Walmarts, Babies 'R Us, and H-E-B.

Pandora

This is an app that I use on my iPod and iPad for music. I'm sure you know what it is. What I want to share is the stations I use. "Rock A Bye Baby" is the rock music that I grew up with arranged into lyric-less nursery songs. Have you heard the sayings "the devil's music" and "sex, drugs and rock 'n roll?" Well, this takes the the devil out of the music and makes it safe for baby. My husband was changing a baby one day and said, "Is this 'Sweet Child of Mine'?" The other station that I love is "Praise Baby" It's encouraging, uplifting music for baby's soul and spirit teaching them to praise God from an early age.