Blog Archives for category Health & Well-Being


There’s nothing like a call from the school on Thursday afternoon telling you Katie is missing FOUR shots and absolutely cannnot come to school on Monday unless she has them.


We knew about the deadline but we just had her 5-year well-visit before we left and they said she didn’t need anything so we weren’t worried about the deadline!!! GRRR. 

After a few moments of being completely stressed out and pissed off, I started making calls and thankfully the base has a walk-in immunization clinic so she will be there at 7:30am tomorrow with Tom.

Their first official eye exam!

Illinois is weird and requires kids to have full dental and vision exams… Both kids checked out fine with 20/20 eyesight though each had a tiny bit of astigmatism that wasn’t worrying. 


Holy crap. Over 15k views!


And the really weird thing is seeing my face pop up (in a Sponsored post!) in other pages as I’m reading things on Facebook: 


My Naturally Slim testimonial is live!

Remember when I flew to Texas for my birthday last September and spent the weekend with Marcia and recorded about 45 minutes of testimonial footage? They finally posted a small snippet today on Facebook! 

As of Friday night, there are 7.5k views!!!

Our very first note from the nurse. 

Katie got bonked on the nose on the playground.  


Katie and Gramma Jean’s Big Birthday Adventure

I told Gramma that for Katie’s birthday, instead of giving her stuff, to take her on an adventure. So she did.

In Gramma’s words:

For Katie’s 5th birthday this year, we went on an adventure! (Yes, in Grayling.) We played at three parks, went wading in the river (along some of the racers practicing), went to the grocery store for picnic lunch supplies [where Katie could pick anything she wanted—she got a Lunchable, strawberry yogurt covered pretzels, strawberries, cashews, and chocolate milk], threw stones in the river for a half hour, went for a 3-mile bike ride (yes, I fell), and had an ice cream cone at Wimpy’s. We were gone 7 hours and mom and dad were starting to worry! What great fun we had! Happy birthday Katie Bug!



Gramma says Katie could have pedaled for hours!


Gramma says: I am so glad Katie didn’t fall. We were too close to each other and her back wheel caught my front wheel. 


This is what learning to ride a bike looks like.


Can your lipstick survive the dentist?

Mine can! Here’s a Before & After teeth cleaning. The color looks exactly the same—I’m just missing a bit of gloss! I’m telling you LipSense is amazing. 


Recreation: 2010 and 2017—200# lighter

I flew into Chicago a day early to spend some time with a friend I see online all the time but that I haven’t seen in person since we lived in Troy. Jami has done Naturally Slim as well, so we had to do a recreation.   

Flying in the middle? No problem!

It’s still SUCH a good feeling to be able to cross my legs in a middle row seat! I ♥️ Naturally Slim!! Also, I’m wearing my #lipsense stripes!!


Katie’s 5yo physical!

She technically isn’t due for her 5yo well-visit for awhile yet, but when we got the forms to register them for school in Illinois, we realized her last physical was too old—it has to be within a year and as it turns out, her last physical was in April since that’s when she started school and needed the physical. So we had a rushed last-minute appointment at 7:50am the morning I was flying out to Chicago (during which trip we would be completing registration!).

Weight: 42.3 lbs. (was 35#)
Height: 44″ (was 40.25″)

So, we had our first housing panic today.

A house came on the market that seems just about perfect. It’s slightly above budget (but by the same dollar amount we’re over here so not a deal breaker) and there are no parks or playgrounds within walking distance (biking or driving, though). It’s really too early to snag a house, but if it’s perfect…

So we figured it couldn’t hurt to have our agent talk to the owner to see if he’d be willing to hold it for us in order to lock down a guaranteed 3-year military lease. He was intrigued by the lease length but hasn’t answered if he’d hold it yet. (According to the MLS it’s been on the market for awhile so we hoped there’s a good chance he would hold it just a bit longer for the guaranteed lease.)

We can’t imagine getting it done this quickly but wouldn’t it be nice? A bird in the hand and all that…but how can we tell the areas without even looking? There are just so many possible cities and neighborhoods that it’s hard to even start researching to narrow it down. We lucked into the house we are in now—with a community pool and playground around the corner—but we weren’t looking for those things! Now that we want to look for that stuff…it’s hard. We have a great agent, but she can only do so much. We Google each address and see what’s around via Google earth but that’s amazingly time-consuming.

We are totally willing to get the perfect house early (even though the extra rent would come straight out of our savings) but we also don’t want to jump the gun and take the first house we see that we like if it’s not perfect. House hunting three years ago in DC really messed with our preconceptions so we are now paranoid (back then we had a Top 10 List and by the time we had driven the five hours from Jacksonville to DC like six of them were gone!). If we knew what city (at least) we wanted to be in that would cut down our prospects, but we also don’t want to eliminate a perfect house if it’s in our third-ranked city. If it comes down to it and we are seriously considering it, Tom would fly out so it wouldn’t be sight unseen…but if we ended up passing on it, then we’ve wasted a trip unless he stays for some extra time and house hunts on his own.

We ended up telling our agent that we weren’t quite ready to fill out an application (it’s $70 a pop for each rental so it’s not like we want to do a bunch of them!) but that was a panicky 15 minutes while we were considering it.

I hate this part.

Owen’s 8-year well-visit

Yeah, we’re a little late this year. For some reason I was thinking we didn’t have to do yearly visits anymore… I tell you my brain is NOT the same these days. :)

The kids kept busy playing I Spy and messing around. I’m not exactly sure what they were doing here but they were having fun! The best part was when they thought they heard someone coming to the room, one would yell POSITIONS! and Katie would run to the chair and Owen would hop up on the table. :)

Height: 55″ — was 53″ at 7y
Weight: 85# — was 85# at 7y

Wednesday at the dentist. 

Katie is never nervous. She does amazing.  


Owen, on the other hand, is always really nervous (he thinks everything will hurt) and then afterwards he says “That was easy!” This photo is obviously after he was done. :)


Owen’s Special Letter

The second day of Owen’s “Me Museum” week was a sealed letter written by someone else about his special qualities. This is the letter I wrote.

Owen has many special qualities and continues to amaze us with his abilities.

Owen didn’t really start talking until age 3, but once he did, he never stopped! We were worried about him learning how to read, when one day he came home from Pre-K and just picked up a book and started reading it to me! He still impresses me with all the words he knows!

He got his first Lego mini-figure at age 3 and has never looked back. He can follow directions on sets above his age level and then tears them apart and builds his own super cool creations. He is our own Master Builder.

Owen has always been super nice and polite and makes friends very easily. Friends, family, teachers, and even strangers comment on how sweet and polite he is.

He is the best big brother to his little sister—he plays with her, gives her piggy-back rides, reads her books, helps get her breakfast, and makes her laugh.

He is very loving with all of our pets. He takes good care of our dog and gives cuddles to the cats.

Owen is good at swimming, baseball, and soccer. He is a Shark 2—the highest level of swimming (and I know he could beat me in a race). He always gives 100% at every lesson, practice, or game. During his first soccer season, his coach gave him the “most improved player” award.

Owen is a great kid and we couldn’t be prouder to have him as our son.


Getting old sucks, part 27

I picked up Katie to put her in the cart while shopping and I tweaked my back. Thankfully I could still move and walking around helped loosen it up some. Earlier this week, while away for work, Tom bent over to get something and threw his back out bad enough he had to go to the ER.


This sums up my feelings on the election entirely.

I debated writing anything and just letting this pass but I feel like I have to say something, even it’s just for me.

Where to start?

I don’t do politics. I don’t understand most of it (never have, never had any desire to—and still don’t LOL) so consequently never talk about it. I wouldn’t go so far as to say I hate it, but I lean strongly that direction. I know the general climate of what’s going on—things just happen and life goes on. Status quo. That said, I do try to vote in major elections, but I don’t think I’ve voted in every presidential election that I’ve been able to.

So this last election has been a real eye-opener. Without going into detail (because, remember, I don’t do politics and hate talking about it even more), I will just say that this past election has been an unbelievable disappointment for me and most of my friends. And, truthfully, it’s been an even bigger shock to learn who has voted opposite me. It shouldn’t matter because it’s never mattered…but it’s different this time. You have to admit that.

I feel like my safe little world is turning upside down and inside out and being destroyed piece by piece and there’s nothing I can do to stop it. Everywhere you turn every minute of the day there’s something disheartening happening. I have read more political news in the past month than I have my entire life. I am not an activist by any stretch of the imagination, but I have been a bit more politically vocal by posting (or reposting) news articles on Facebook. I was invited to the Women’s March but that’s just not my thing—you all know how much I hate crowds and people and going into DC (though I honestly have had a few regrets).

I try to remember that the people I know who did vote for him are intelligent people who thought he could achieve some type of good. And while we haven’t seen any of that yet, there is still a slight chance of it happening. Truth be told, I am not terribly hopeful after the first nightmarish week, but there is a sliver there. And this post I ran across on Facebook pretty much sums up everything I’m feeling.

As seen originally on Facebook.

So my fingers are crossed we don’t crash.

Jen’s Eye Trouble

I woke up as normal, dealt with the kids as normal, showered as normal, then went to put my contacts in as normal…and noticed they were strangely misshapen (almost like they were dried out).

The strange thing was this exact thing had happened yesterday, but since it was about time to switch out lenses, I just tossed them and opened a new pair. So when the same thing happened the second day in a row, it felt like something had to be wrong. I wasn’t sure what it was, though, and could think of no reason to NOT try putting them in, so I tried. When I finally got the first lens in after a few attempts, it felt very wrong in my eye so I took it out immediately—almost like it had been soaking in something BAD (but it was just the same contact solution I’ve been using for years). I tried the other lens in my other eye and that one went in much better and felt fine. So then I went back to the first lens and the first eye and nope, not happening. And now that eye was really red. I rarely use Visine but thought I would today to get the red out before trying to put the contact in again. So I dripped a drop in and HOLY SHIT DID THAT BURN. Wowza. Well, that definitely wasn’t a normal reaction, so I knew at this point I wasn’t going to be wearing my contacts. It was at this point I realized that my vision was hazy in both eyes—I likened it to being in a steamy room where all you could see was a blurry white haze. There was no pain, but something was definitely wrong. So I took out the other lens I had already successfully put in.

And then started having a minor panic attack.

I tried to find my bottle of plain saline solution (not contact solution) and it had disappeared. I put in a few drops of contact solution (better than nothing to try rinsing if something was in there) and that felt awful. I rinsed with cool water. No change.

I googled and, of course, every source said GET IT LOOKED AT IMMEDIATELY and the worst case scenario was detached retinas and cataracts. I was pretty sure it wasn’t either of those, but it was still concerning. I couldn’t even call my eye doctor because he had closed his local office like a month after I saw him and his new office is 30 minutes away (and I knew I didn’t want to drive that far with my eyesight in an unknown state—I could see well enough, but didn’t want to be caught off guard in a 30-minute highway drive with diminishing vision). I didn’t think it was quite worthy of an ER visit so I found two local optometrists and of course neither opened until 10. And it was only like 8:20. So I left a detailed message for one and crossed my fingers.

At this point everything was still hazy, though it was at least a bit more clear with my glasses on. And I was trying to stay calm while getting the kids ready for school and without worrying them. I texted both close SAHM friends to see if they could take Katie if necessary—or drive me to an appointment if my sight worsened—but of course both were busy so I crossed my fingers everything would be okay. And oh yeah, Tom left last night for a week away for work. I talked to him and he said he could come home in an emergency (he was only three hours away) so he was put on notice.

I swear the next 90 minutes was one of the longest waits of my life. At 10, the optometrist called back, we went through the details, and she told me it didn’t sound life-threatening, the doctor wasn’t in, but she could make an appointment for tomorrow at 11. My heart sunk. Then we realized they didn’t take our insurance, so she recommended an ophthalmologist a few doors down. I called and got an appointment at 11. THANK HEAVENS.

So I get to the appointment and they take pictures of my eyes and give me a quick vision test where she asked what letters I saw and I said “What letters?” Yeah, I couldn’t even tell there were letters there—though with the glasses and both eyes I could make an educated guess. It didn’t take her long to come back and tell me I had whatever the technical scary-sounding term is for, basically, dry eye. My first thought was Phew, I’m not going blind! She showed me the picture and told me that my eye basically looked like sandpaper.

severe dry eye

This is a similar photo of dry eye. A normal eye should be completely clear of all those pockmarks.

We discussed how this could have happened—and her best guess was a batch of bad contacts (since the same thing happened to two pairs two days in a row) OR it could have been a combination of bad contacts and bad contact solution (I had just switched to a different bottle of the same stuff that was technically expired but she said it shouldn’t have caused this amount of pain and she had never seen contact solution cause contacts to shrivel like that). So she was honestly clueless. She did say I should contact the office where I got them and see if they would replace them (which is fine and logical, but UGH, that’s at least an hour round-trip now).

By this time my eyes were starting to hurt. I was sent to get both prescription and OTC drops. The doc didn’t give me a brand—she just said “tear drops preservative free” which of course no bottles actually said that so I had to Google while standing there in the aisle. I started using them as soon as I got home but 1) it hurt when I put them in (I definitely wasn’t expecting that—I had envisioned a calming cool feeling of relief) and 2) they didn’t seem to be doing anything. It was awful. I just wanted to cry—and I actually did try crying in case that would help but it didn’t at all. And it actually felt like it got worse as time wore on. Every blink was torture. And my vision wasn’t even coming back! I actually called the doctor back to ask the questions I forgot: 1) when I should start feeling some relief and 2) when my vision should start coming back. She assured me that I should be feeling better pretty quickly and if I wasn’t better by Friday to call her. FRIDAY? IN FOUR MORE DAYS? Lordy I hoped it felt better before then. She also said my blurry vision was normal and would go away.

I have just never experienced anything like this in my entire life so it completely freaked me out. What was even more odd/disconcerting is that at one point, one eye felt completely fine and the other felt like someone was scratching it with sandpaper. Both were fine last night AND upon waking up so that just blew my mind. And once I started thinking about it, I’m sure I’ve had dry eye issues for quite some time now but I never realized that’s what it was (the doctor hinted at this as well). But it only seemed to manifest in the later evening and I just assumed it was my contacts bothering me after being in all day…and my eyes always felt fine in the morning. The doctor said it would be like putting a Band-Aid on every morning—it helped it feel better but it wasn’t taking care of the underlying issue.

I told Tom “You know, it’s funny. Every time something wonky happens you think ‘Oh this is the worst thing ever!’ A bad back, a constant cough, a hurt knee, etc. But I think eye stuff is officially the worst.”

In posting on Facebook and getting advice from LOTS of friends who have similar issues (huh! who knew?), they were surprised I wasn’t prescribed something more permanent. I am assuming when I go back for my follow up there will be more talk of a future plan—today was more of a let’s just fix the immediate issue plan. And I may go back to my old brand of contacts that I was using before switching to the new ones last fall.

I ended my day going to bed when I put the kids to bed. I figured having my eyes closed would feel the best—except by that point, it actually hurt worse to keep them closed! WHAT?! I just couldn’t win! So I took two Tylenol PMs, put a cool compress over my eyes (it actually felt better than a warm compress) and it also helped me keep my eyes closed.

FOLLOW UP: I was out by 9…and then slept 10.5 hours!!! And upon waking, my eyes felt better! It felt like a completely new lease on life after yesterday’s hell.

Also, I’m interested to see what, if anything, our insurance covers. I have only used insurance for exams prior to this. I don’t even know if it covers anything else—it doesn’t even cover frames or contacts or anything typical like that so I don’t have much hope of it covering any of what I was seen for. I could research to see but it doesn’t really matter at this point because I had to go and get looked at.

As a final note to my birthday weekend…

I weighed myself this morning and…I lost 4# while I was gone and I’m now at my all-time low! That’s what getting back to the principles does. Yay for Naturally Slim!!

Heading home after an amazing weekend! 


Getting ready to board!


Everyone was absolutely wonderful and I look forward to keeping in touch with the new people I met! And where do I start with Marcia? She is so lovely and warm and gracious and generous that I feel so extremely privileged to have met her and been able to spend the weekend with her. I will never forget this weekend!

On my way…