Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Best Inclusive Marketing Yet

This went viral last week - Aerie (American Eagle’s under garments) quietly updated all the photography/models for their bras - and it’s amazing. 

Various sizes, shapes, races, and conditions; I spy Down syndrome, an insulin pump, an ostomy bag, and various physical abilities. Brava Aerie - what an amazing range of real women! 

Aerie Bras

Inclusive Lingerie Line: Amazing

Monday, July 16, 2018

Not-So-Great Milestone:

First stitches/staples. 

I received the call mid-day this past Wednesday; Hannah had stumbled getting into the kiddie pool which was too close to the concrete patio. She fell back on her butt, then back on her head which was punctured, not lacerated. 

The sitter stopped the bleeding as I raced to get the girls. I was directed to two different places which made me more worked up as time passed. We ended up finally at Children’s Liberty Campus which I should have just gone to at the start. 

Hannah was totally fine the whole journey. Thankfully Tim met me up there because we needed all the arms we could get to hold her down while they irrigated the wound and applied the two staples - gag. 

It’s been healing well and we’re set to have them removed at the Pediatrician on Thursday afternoon - after eight days of healing. 

It was a good six-and-a-half-year run without any major accident wounds! Also - now I know pigtails are adorable on Hannah. 

Big-Girl Wheels

Milestone alert!! 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

More Out There

I just recently started listening to our local “pop” station morning show, Jeff & Jenn in the Morning. I never thought I’d get into that. I dislike the music on that station and typically just listen to my music. 

So I knew Jenn’s son, Jacob (age 16) has autism. Today they are celebrating “Give Independence:” shining a light on teens and adults with developmental disabilities and their opportunities for independence. 

You can pick any song you want to hear - even outside their format:

  • $25 gets you your song of choice
  • $100 gets you to “jump the line” and
  • $1000 gets you a full hour of YOUR song choices! 

All proceeds go towards: 

  • Ken Anderson Alliance
  • The Children’s Home of Cincinnati
  • Easter Seals 
  • Melodic Connections

Hearing Jenn talk about her son and his future was emotional. Hearing about these organizations and all they do for individuals was inspiring. Hearing people call in and give a shoutout to the special person in their life with DD made my eyes well up. It was an emotional drive in to work - ha! 

But then I realized - I’ve been so thankful and gracious to the DSAGC and their help for us and other families at birth (which I’ll always be grateful) - I’ve been so blind to the dozens of organizations in town that help out beyond our children’s youth! I had no idea how many organization help to place our kids in jobs and adult independence. 

Especially the Ken Anderson Alliance Community set for 2022 - a neighborhood designed for those with developmental disabilities. I’m always astounded at how lucky we are to be in a city that is so supportive with resources for those who need the help!

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Kids Don't See Differences

The most adorable video featuring kids trying to think of what is different between them - hint: it’s hard for them! BUT - we should also teach our kids to celebrate those differences and acknowledge them  and respect them. 

“How Are You Different From Each Other?”

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

An Epic Tale of Health Discovery...

I’ve made vague mention of Tim’s temporary Paleo diet and restrictions the past months... here’s what I hope is a concise summary of what’s been going on...


Tim and I started dating in spring of 2002. As long as I’ve known him, he’s had Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). And he’d had it before I met him. I remember him being on Nexium, then ramping up to Protonix (Rx), and most recently back down to Nexium. 

Tim did not want to be on PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) for years on end. More so, he wanted off them because he felt the long-term effects were too great. He’s been through about four or five gastro MDs who all said he was pretty young to have such bad GERD. His MDs constantly tinkered with various meds and doses. Most recently (spring of 2017 I think) even put him on anti-depressants for the sake of their side effects of numbing his gut - !!  

PPIs reduce stomach acid when really, Tim’s issue was that he needed to produce more stomach acid. Hm. 

Tim has always just felt chronically bad. There had been a stitch in his gut for months on end. As 2017 went on, he felt worse and worse, to the point his brain thought he was dying. 

I’d had enough of seeing him in such bad shape. I told him I was sick of his doctors just putting Band-Aids on his symptoms instead of getting to the root of the problem (August 2017).  A friend of his had touched base with a holistic center, Living Proof, so I made Tim get in touch with them. What’s infuriating about our healthcare system is that the holistic centers in Cincinnati (or anywhere?) are not covered by insurance. But to me, a lighter pocketbook was worth my husband’s health and sanity.

They made Tim immediately go on the Paleo Diet while they figured out what was going on with his body. Tim had a full hour meeting plus gave blood, urine and stool samples. He went through months of supplements to try and promote his body to create stomach acid. He was feeling better, but only slightly. This time frame was August 2017 - January 2018. 

In January of this year, Tim retook the blood, urine, and stool tests. Only, this round, there was one new part: a parasite test. And guess what? Tim. Has. Worms.

Ropeworms could come from many things; bad produce, meat, walking barefoot somewhere dirty, some even believe they could be a byproduct of GMOs - it’s a fairly “new” worm ... there’s no way to tell how. They can live for decades. Tim has felt bad for near twenty years when he was first diagnosed with GERD - so that’s his best guess as to how long the worms have been buried in his small intestines. 

The worms have been taking all Tim’s nutrients and leaving the bad stuff behind, therefore making Tim feel terrible. They cannot be found on MRIs, regular blood tests, or colonoscopies. Only stool tests. And his new MD said 1 in 4 people probably have parasites and don’t realize it. 

Tim has been taking a de-wormer since the beginning of February... the long-time stitch in his side was a “big one” that after 12hours from taking the supplement, “exited.”

It’s now early June and they are still exiting... Tim is on track to set a record of those who have been through this with Living Proof. 

Food has absolutely nothing to do with Tim’s temporary condition - but he’s sticking with a super clean diet (still no sugar, grains, dairy) until he’s made it through.

BUT Tim has been feeling better. He hasn’t taken any Nexium since December which was the ultimate goal. He will follow up with his old G.I. doctor - who has no idea this is going on - to educate the practice on going deeper than just prescription drugs and temporary bandages! 

Fascinating, horrifying and good news all wrapped up in one crazy package!

Friday, June 8, 2018

Where Are You Sleep?

The parents in the Ds community are always wondering how to get their kids to sleep through the night - it’s a prevalent problem. It seems most at Hannah’s age are doing better. Hannah still tends to wake once a night; simply comes in our room to say “Hi” and have us pick her up and bring her back.

A lot of times it’s due to sleep apnea, or just our kids biological makeup - that extra chromosome can throw a wrench in anything! 

*I do understand it could just be behavioral and that Hannah just wants comfort. Tim and I continue to try and stay silent, not pick her up, sit on the floor, not lay down... However with every cold, sickness, and procedure, we end up back to holding her for her own comfort. Two steps forward, one step back.

I really hope her August 3rd sleep study comes back improved and that there aren’t structural airways issues - which some kids can have. I’d rather navigate the behavior than deal with a CPAP or surgical repair. 

So to aid her sleep thus far, we have: 
- blackout shades
- noise machine
- bedtime routine
- early bedtime 
- weighted blanket
- vetiver oil on her spine
- removed tonsils & adnenoids

Some parents have had success with Melatonin. I’ve purchased some but haven’t jumped on it yet. 

Some parents have success with Flonase before bed to open air passages (remember, low muscle tone). We did this before Hannah’s T&A and Tim remembers Hannah having successful full nights of sleep. 

I’ll probably tap into these and see where we go. More interesting is one parent cut dairy; except she did it along with Flonase so she’s not sure which actually did the trick for sleeping through the night. 

SO. Yesterday I didn’t send milk and our sitter didn’t give her extra. I typically send about a pint of milk every day (!). Along with our above list, Hannah slept through the night last night! It could be coincidental, but I’m going to experiment with the “no milk” and see where we go... 

*6/12/2018 update: Three days of no milk has not worked. Two nights of melatonin has not worked.

Friday, May 18, 2018

Nora’s First Field Trip

Since I don’t have flexibility to volunteer at school, I was all in for the field trip - a whole day at Sun Rock Farm in Kentucky.

Nora was so pumped - a whole day with me! She was also pumped to ride a bus for the first time. It sure brought back memories for me - I spent nearly all my school years riding those bad boys. I forgot they don’t have air conditioning and it’s crazy windy with the open windows. 

We arrived around 9:45am and by 10:30 the kids were already saying they were hungry : )  There were a lot of parents, enough that I was only in charge of Nora - whew! I only had to redirect kids once or twice.

The kids had to help the farmers with chores; gathering eggs, feeding the goats, milking a goat (Nora did not want to participate), brushing the miniature horse and sowing seeds. 

It was great spending so much one-on-one time with Nora that I spontaneously (what?!) went to UDF for ice cream with her. 

Spring 2018 Photo Dump

by Nora

Nora’s monster chosen for the Milford Art Show

Wiped after Grammy & Grandpa’s

Great inclusion, Target <3

Cincinnati Nature Center

Highland Discovery Garden in Glendale!

A local brewery, 50 West and their beloved Penny Lane.
She caught fire a while back and now serves as a seating arrangement at the brewpub : )

You know, design, branding, or making wrappers.

Flying Pig 2018

This is my year of scaling back the running. No halves. Perhaps nothing above the 7 miles I did for the Pig Relay! And I’ve been okay with it. 

I can either run at 5am which is proving difficult since Hannah does not sleep through the night and I really need every minute I can get. I can sometimes muster out if Nora falls asleep by 7:45pm. Once 8:30pm hits, no way. I’m typically upstairs and getting ready for bed at 9pm. You know, because of the night waker.

Myself and three other friends agreed to do the Pig Relay - my first relay! It runs the course of the full marathon - each leg was between five and seven miles. I volunteered for the last leg, seven miles. Not bad - I didn’t have to train too hard. 

But between Hannah’s dehydration and life, I just managed to get myself up to six or seven miles before race weekend.  

It was fun... being the last leg, however, means a lot of waiting. Ooph.
I woke up at 4am; I need one hour to drink coffee, eat and digest. 

Left at 5am to pick up my friend and her husband. 
Parked around 5:45am and we went to our bus loading zones to be bussed to our transition locations along the marathon route. 
My bus didn’t leave until about 7am. At our location was a small Baptist church which was extremely friendly and allowed us all to wait inside as needed, with beverages and light snacks. I sat for a good half hour since it was a cool 50˚ outside. 
My 3rd leg didn’t arrive until about 10:05am and by then it was actually warm out - maybe 70˚? That’s hot for marathoners believe it or not. 
My seven miles weren’t too bad - hot and a little flat though. I felt like a jerk among all the marathoners who were struggling though! Pardon me as I pass you on fresh legs! 

I finished around 11:20am. I think our group time was something like 4hours, 50 minutes - not sure how that compares to a full marathon time! 

Another medal to add to my rack!