Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Product Review: Mini-Play Makeup

Hello there!
My daughter Echo received a Mini-Play Makeup kit, and I just had to write a review about it!

For those of you who know Echo....well, enough said. ;) For those of you who haven't: she is your typical mischievous 3-year-old - on steriods. We're talking full-blown tornado on my hands, haha!

Not too long ago, Echo got into my makeup - again. Aside from being a little girl, I think she definitely sees more of the makeup world because I'm such a makeup fanatic.
Here's a picture from a few months ago, when she got into a highlighter - "putting on her makeup," she said:

Not too shabby, eh? She's got it on in all the right spots!

This was a few days ago. She actually got into my makeup here (which wouldn't be the first time!): Oy. She's making me old.


Folks, here is the answer to my problem!

Look how ADORABLE this is! 

 The bag is so cute. Echo loved it! I wish I had gotten pictures of her when she first opened it - she was ecstatic. 
So, the Mini-Play Makeup motto is "Mess Free Pretend Makeup for Your Children!" and indeed, it lives up to it's name!

It FEELS real, but there is NO mess. No powder anywhere, no lip gloss anywhere - it's so nice!
*confession time*
Until I figured out what it was (foam) I seriously thought it was real, pigment-less makeup! I was AMAZED and seriously kept pressing on it to see if any of it would wipe onto my finger!
I know, I know. Don't judge. ;D

Check out how adorable the products are! ^ The logo is on everything, just as a "grown-up" makeup company would have THEIR logo on their products.

The lipgloss is in a roller tube, and feels real - even though nothing comes out! Echo certainly enjoyed it! =)

The brushes are great - they're so soft, and have these awesome pink and black handles. Love them!

Echo knew what to do right away!

 Another reason I loved this product so much is because it's a pretend makeup kit, but it isn't made out of that fake, hot-pink, goopy makeup that gets EVERYWHERE! Ugh. Talk about a pain. Echo is the LAST person who needs a mess, haha! So with the Mini-Play Makeup, she thought she was actually putting on real makeup.

With her powder puff

Trying to decide what to wear next...

 Now, for some pictures of her thrilled cuteness: 

Oh. My. Goodness. Call me biased, but that is the prettiest little happy girl ever!

She loves her makeup kit. She takes it with her all over the house, and insists on sitting right next to me to do her makeup while I do mine in the morning. I even bring it with us to Scarlett's doctor's appointments when Echo has to come, to keep her out of my hair and well-behaved. 
And, here's the finished product - look at all of that "makeup" she thinks she's wearing! Hahaha! So cute!

Here's the link to their facebook page:
and here's the link to their online store if you'd like to look around and purchase a set (there is also an adorable black purse!!!):

Hope you have a fabulous day!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Week in Review

I know, I know. It's only Wednesday (allllmost Thursday.) But I haven't blogged in a week. So, here's what's been going on around here:

Scarlett hasn't stopped throwing up. She has thrown up after every single meal (about three times each) for the past month and a half. We're talking 6 changes of clothing a day, puddles on the floor, coming out her nose and projectile vomiting throwup! Yuck. I'm soooo exasperated with it! We've tried slowing down her feeds, thickening them up, upping the caloric intake, sitting her up, spacing them out...nothing seems to work! So her GI and I spoke today, and he wants her to be on a 24 hour continuous feed - until Monday! Then we'll call him and see how that worked. If it didn't, we'll go from there.
Let me tell you, carrying around her pump/feeding bag/feeding supplies is NOT fun. I try to avoid it whenever possible. So she mainly eats at home. But it'll be coming everywhere with us!
I honestly hope it doesn't work. I mean, I WANT her to stop throwing up. But if this around the clock thing works, then this pump will be attached to her the next 6+ months nonstop. =( She still doesn't even eat through her mouth still! I hope that we can figure out what's going on, and in a timely and convenient matter!

Scarlett's new favorite sleeping position

Second, I've started dieting. And by dieting, I mean trying to eat healthier. Low calorie (less than 1200-1400 a day,) more fruits and veggies, less sweets, more water, and NO overeating! This has only been going on for 2 days, but I'm going to try my hardest to KEEP going! I gained 30 pounds after I got my IUD put in, and then my stress/careless/on-the-road-fast-food/eating did NOT help! I would like to lose 47 pounds total, to get rid of what I gained and to look better than I did before that. I've already lost 2 pounds (so 45 to go) in a day! Is that even possible?! I've done REALLY well these past two days, and my scale is a digital one that is  relatively maybe that just goes to show how much over-eating I usually do? Either way, I hope the scale gives good news tomorrow morning! My friend Annie and I have been texting each other pictures of everything we eat (including water!) That way we have each other to answer to and cheer one another on and keep on track! So far, it's working really well! =)

This was today's breakfast. A Skinny Bagel with Non-fat cream cheese, 4 strawberries, water, and 4 oz of apple juice.

And the last thing I wanted to talk about - I'm learning Braille! Today (blind school day!) Scarlett's teacher from the school brought me a Brailler (a Braille typewriter) and a huge workbook! I'm super excited. She said that a lot of parents don't actually learn Braille along with their child, so she's thrilled that I am. I can't imagine NOT learning it - I mean, I want to be able to help Scarlett when she gets older! With questions, with homework and reading - everything. I don't want her to have to go through all of this alone. After her teacher left, I practiced for a while this afternoon - and learned letters A-H in Braille by sight/touch and typing them on the Brailler. I can type/read any word that has letters A-H, haha! =) I'll continue to practice and type and study, hopefully every day. If I learn now, maybe I'll be able to keep up with her by the time she learns. =)


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

And the Days Get Crazier!

Whew! I think my word for the week is: Chaos. Or maybe "busy." Either one would work.
With all of Scarlett's therapies and doctor's appointments, I am always doing something. Up until just now, I had Wednesdays and the weekends free. Well, here's our weekly schedule now:

Mondays: Physical Therapy
Tuesdays: Home Nurse Visit
Wednesdays: Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind
Thursdays: Feeding/Speech Therapy
Fridays: Home Nurse Visit

And I just got off the phone with our Developmental Therapist! We have yet to choose a day for that. When Scarlett gets a little older, she will also be doing Occupational Therapy.
At least once a week, we also travel to Boise or Twin Falls for some sort of doctor or specialist visit, and we do routine blood draws in addition to that. *phew* My head is spinning a little bit....
I can't help but feel my job as Stay At Home Mom just transitioned to Stay At Home Mom/Traveling Nurse, haha!

The other thing I wanted to announce today is: for those of you who knew, we were planning on moving to Meridian sometime in the next 2 1/2 years. The reason being, all of Scarlett's doctors and hospitals are up there, and there is also another campus for the blind up there. Or so I thought =(. I learned yesterday that it isn't a campus - but an office!
I'm pretty bummed. The ONLY school in Idaho is in Gooding.
Have you ever been to Gooding?
Yeah, neither has anyone else.
The place looks like this:

The sad thing is, that is an actual picture of Gooding. o.O

Needless to say, I'm not moving there, haha!
So, the plan right now will be to move to Twin Falls. She'll take the bus 4 days a week (that is their school week) to school, which is about a 30-45 minute drive.

I'm kind of sad. I've always loved the Boise/Meridian area because it's a "big" city, but not TOO big. It's also pretty, and there is a lot to do there! I was really looking forward to moving there.
However, I will go where ever I need to go for my kids. And I suppose Twin isn't soooo bad ;)
So, Twin Falls: See you in two years!


Friday, August 30, 2013

It's a Pageant Thing...

I. Love. Pageants.
I'm not sure where this love stemmed from.
Perhaps it's because being a female, I may be a little programmed to love dresses, makeup, and sisterhood? (Ooooh boy, please don't be mad at me, feminists! ;)
I've competed in a couple, and would really like to do more in the future.
I've always adored being on stage, whether it be for music, acting, or competing. There's something about pageantry that is hard to explain unless you have been in one.

I love the evening gowns.

I love to do volunteer work (no, really! I do!)

You know what else is fun? Parades!

I love all of our sponsors, and doing sponsor photos: 

I also looooove making friends! I've always enjoyed meeting new people and getting to know more about them and where they came from. The women in this pageant I'm posting about (The Mrs. Idaho America Pageant) came from all walks of life. All ages, some with kids, some without. Some were working mothers, some were stay at home moms. But ALL of them were amazing! All of them enjoyed serving their communities and making them a better place. Some women spoke out against domestic violence or child abuse. Some of the ladies had a medical foundation or condition they were working to raise awareness to.
All of my pageant sisters were so kind, and tons of fun.

See? You can't fake that kind of fun! ;)
Even though pageants sometimes get a bad reputation, my experiences have been nothing but positive. I've never dealt with any cattiness or jealousy, or anything like that! As I said, these are some amazing women!

Another thing about pageants is, you learn a LOT! How to walk, how to talk, how to do interviews. You learn to better yourself, and think about how you can help others as well.


And of course - competing! I am a competitive person. Although I'm not a person who is devastated if she doesn't win, I sure do enjoy competing. Being on stage is such an adrenaline rush. You never know what will happen, if you'll make any mistakes, or how the crowd will react. That is my idea of FUN!

I can't wait until I get to compete again. Not this year, but maybe next, or the year after. This year has (obviously) been a pretty hectic one, and I wouldn't be able to leave Scarlett for those 3 days of competition. Also, I've been gaining weight lately from all the stress haha (although in all of these pictures, I was actually pregnant with Scarlett - almost 5 months! Hence, there are no pictures of me in my swimsuit ;) so I would really like to slim down and tone up for the next one.
Meanwhile, I will be planning, learning, and getting ready!
One last thing I wanted to talk about was my personal sponsors. Wow! I certainly felt the love and support and encouragement from these businesses and my community.

This was my page for the program. It was in black and white, like the rest of the book.

Have any of you ever competed in a pageant before? If so, what did/didn't you like about it? I'd love to hear your experiences, or questions if you have any!
Well, that's all of my thoughts for now! Hope you all have a lovely Friday!


Friday, August 23, 2013

Scarlett's Diagnoses

As promised, here is a simple (as I can possibly get it) description of Scarlett's diagnoses. I'm sure my facebook friends are going crazy by now hearing these words. When I first found out about all of this, I was scared. Terrified. I searched the internet, looking for more information. Multiple times I stumbled upon blogs of mothers just like me. Some showed me a better idea of what to expect, even if they WERE a little scary. Some showed me that you can still have a (somewhat) normal life. And that was helpful. ALL of Scarlett's condition are pretty rare. So to meet or read about stories just like hers makes me feel....not so alone.
I hope that maybe someday, my blog will do the same for someone else.

*big breath*
Here we go!
*cracks knuckles*

1. Septo-Optic Dysplasia:
This condition includes:
        > An absent Septum Pellucidum. That is a part of your brain, midline (in the center.) This can cause problems with vision, coordination, and intelligence.
> Hypoplasia of the Corpus Callosum (which means it is underdeveloped,) also a part of    your brain, midline. Some children/people with SOD have an absent one. Luckily, hers is there - just very, very thin. The Corpus Callosum connects your left and right hemispheres of the brain. It transfers motor, sensory, and cognitive information between the hemispheres.
        > Optic Nerve Hypoplasia. Remember, hypoplasia means underdeveloped. So, her optic nerves are very, very tiny. About 1/4 of the regular size. 

See how her eyes sometimes do this?: 

 Or this?

 And this?
That is why.

Scarlett is expected to have leaning, mental, and physical disabilities. However, it is too early to tell how severe, if any (which would be awesome, but probably unlikely.)
Scarlett is also blind. Right now, it is hard to say how much she can actually see (because she can't tell us,) however - because of her Nystagmus, small optic nerves, and the fact that her eyes and pupils do not react (move, dilate, or contract) to light, we, her ophthalmologist, and doctors, are all fairly certain that she cannot see. If she can, or if her brain ever figures out a way TO see, the best it will ever be is shadows or blurred colors. 

Side view of the brain.

2. Central Diabetes Insipidus: No, not Diabetes Mellitus (aka, Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes.) In your Pituitary Gland, there is a hormone called Vasopressin, an anti-diuretic hormone. Scarlett does not produce enough of this hormone. So, her brain cannot tell her kidneys what to do with water. Instead of holding onto water and distributing it, water goes straight through her. This causes her to have high sodium levels ALL the time (which is dangerous - too high or too low sodium in anyone can cause seizures or comas,) and dehydration. When Scarlett has Hypernatremia, she is very fussy, lethargic, she refuses to eat, and she does not have bowel movements. Normal sodium levels are between 136-145. Scarlett is usually above that, the highest being 166. She has recently started DDAVP, or Desmopressin, a hormone that helps her hold onto water. Since then, her sodium levels have dropped and are normal (thank God!) People who have D.I. and are not treated usually pee 16-21 LITERS a DAY!!!! Yes, you read that right!

3. Hypopituitarism: Your pituitary gland controls soooo many things! Scarlett's pituitary gland does not produce enough Vasopressin (see above,) sex hormone, or growth hormone. She produces about 5% (out of 100%) of sex hormone, and not even enough growth hormone to register on the tests (so, less than 1 percent.) This means that she will be of small height and weight (to name the main symptoms) and that she will have a hard time going through puberty, developing, and will most likely be infertile. However, once she is old enough, she will be started on growth and sex hormones, which will hopefully help her. She will be on the sex hormones her whole life, and the growth hormones throughout puberty at least.

4. G-Tube Placement: A G-Tube is a feeding tube that is surgically placed through your stomach. Because of Scarlett's conditions and GERD, it is hard for her to coordinate, eat, or feel up to eating. She is a failure to thrive baby, so she's been tiny for so long! However, even though we hate her having it, we really are grateful for it, because it has kept her alive and fed and growing!

Scarlett's G-Tube (and her umbilical hernia! It has since gone away, haha!)

Here is her set up with her pump:

5. Unilateral closed lip Schizencephaly: You know cleft lips? Scarlett has a cleft brain. It is in the right hemisphere. She is expected to have seizures her whole life because of this (we haven't experienced one yet,) and her chances of developing Epilepsy later in life are very high. 

These aren't Scarlett's scans, but an example. See how there are those huge, gaping holes in the middle of these brains? Scarlett's is like that - only not nearly as big, on one side (not in the middle) and it is closed, like the top images and the bottom left.

Annnnnd she is anemic. WHEW! I think I'm done!!! Are you absolutely TIRED of reading yet?!?! 
If you have any questions, feel free to ask! If you have any comments, I'd love to hear them! Thank you for reading! And I promise, not ALL of my blog posts will be all medical-y ;)