Everyday Blessings

On a good day I see my house hold in a positive, uplifting light: Children laughing, playing, growing, and loving. A family united, not divided. Caring and giving.

But the truth is that life engulfs us. The mundane chores of the everyday consume us and we soon forget how precious it all is. Even the tedious, tiring events become joyous when looked upon with fresh eyes. If it were all to end tomorrow I certainly would savor each of these moments. The things that usually leave me tired, haggard, and run down (or even bored) would be celebrated. I would realize that I take so much for granted because soon, it will all end. Then I shall long for those tiring, tedious, mundane events of yesterday. I must always remember this. Savor the moments. Be joyous in the everyday. In all of life's uncertainty, those everyday chores should be greeted with enthusiasm and counted as the blessings they are. 

My Mundane Everyday and The Joys That Accompany It

  •  Waking up hearing Kelly asking if she can get up yet. Then jumping on me saying "mama, get up!"
  •  Alex's big hugs and huge smile every morning when I go to get him out of bed
  •  The beautiful pitter-patter of tiny feet
  •  Sleepy toddler monologues
  •  Alex being "sneaky" and smirking as he gets into mischief 
  • How Kelly lights up when we have a "task" that needs to be accomplished and can not be done with out her her
  • Their love of animals
  • How they play with each other
  • Kisses, hugs, and noses for Daddy. Only Daddy.
  • Picking flowers in the yard
  • Saying "good night" to the moon and stars
  • The joy on their faces when Mike walks in the door after work
  • Washing their sippy cups and tiny silverware
  • Folding their adorable little cloths
  • Putting the blankets on them after they've fallen asleep
  • Laying with Kelly, reading while she holds my hand
  • Cuddling with Alex late at night , just the two of us
  • How much Alex enjoys bath time
  • How Kelly wants to be just like Mama
  • Kelly's little whiny plea of "Mama, hold me"
  • Alex's ability to just roll with Kelly's drama, and always finding the humor in her tantrum
  • Reading "Guess How Much I Love You" and "The Very Hungry Caterpillar"
* Note: This was originally written in May 2012, so a lot of these things have changed... And I do miss them so very much. H

Mora Moments

have often described my parents' home as an... unusual place. My long-time favorite would be 'The Asylum',which I coined somewhere around age thirteen. Yeah, I know, it's not nice to call your mom's house an asylum - but seriously, it's not a negative thing. It's an ode to the vast chaos that goes on and how everyone in the family has grown accustomed to it. It's endearing. Why do I call it 'The Asylum'? Well, let me give you some background information. 

My parents' house is always very busy and loud. Very loud. It's "Fellowship of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood" meets "My Big Fat Greek Wedding". My sister (2 years older than me) has severe autism, cerebral palsy, and epilepsy. She is much calmer now, but as a kid she was very aggressive. More often than not, she is hollering about something. My mother's family is Greek and is all up in each other's business. At any moment they may show up and abduct you! I actually really like that, though. My dad is quite a bit like Shep from Ya-Ya, only not so much the innocent bystander. 

Ya-Ya Sisterhood, Sidda talking to her father, Shep: "and the inmate takes over the asylum." - Sidda. "No, it's more like Stockholm syndrome." - Shep 

Add in some animals and you pretty much have the whole picture.

The animals in our family have always had more of a supporting role in the chaos, that is, until Samora. 

My cousin called my dad up one day and told him about this littler of puppies a neighbor had. My cousin became increasingly aware that these puppies were not going to have a good future. The owners didn't want them and just wanted to get rid of them.The mother was a chow, and my dad loves chows. No one knew who the father was, but the puppies looked like pure chow. So my dad drove up and took a look. This adorable little 8wk old puff ball, bouncing around,ended up coming home with him. That first car ride should have been the tip-off. Samora rode on the passanger's seat, inside a small cardboard box. Apparently, she was able to wrestle her way out of the box and go all Cujo on my dad. This little 8 wk old puppy tore him up like a wolverine. I had never been scared of a dog before, especially not a little puppy. But this thing was crazy! We all started calling her Taz since she embodied the little devil so well. Anything was fair game. If I wanted to go to sleep, I would barricade myself with anything and everything in my room. It wasn't much help though, because she would just climb the whole thing. If I was working on homework, well, forget it. Those jaws were shredders. If I wanted to go on my trampoline I had to throw a stick a far as I could, wait for her to chase it, and make a mad dash for it - hoping I made it in time. It was clear that this was not a "normal" dog, she was something more. Something wild. My dad and I did as much research as we could on raising dog mixes, in case that was, in fact, what we were dealing with. In time she became a wonderful addition to our family. She is 12 years old now and is just as "different" - think of her as an extreme version of Marmaduke. She our little Miss Priss and I love her dearly.

It seems like everyday that dog is doing something that makes us go "what is the dog doing?" Or better yet, something that makes us go "Good grief Mora, it's really ok." So I've decided to capture these little Mora Moments. Enjoy! 

Animal Saplings

This area is dedicated to animal rights, welfare, and conservation. These are some AMAZING organizations and outreach programs: 

Defenders of Wildlife | Protecting Native Animals and Their Habitats 

http://www.defenders.org/ Visit the Defenders website to learn more about what we're doing to protect our wildlife and wild places—and what you can do to help. The mission of Wolf Haven International is to "Conserve and protect wolves and their habitat." Wolf Haven accomplishes its mission through providing sanctuary, education and conservation. We are a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that has worked for wolf conservation since 1982. We rescue and provide sanctuary for displaced, captive-born wolves, promote wolf restoration in historic ranges and educate the public about the value of all wildlife.

Animal jewelry, clothing & gifts. Orders feed & shelter rescued pets.
The International Wolf Center provides complete wolf information on wolf biology, their environment and interaction with humans.



I know its February and, yes, its not January anymore, but it's always a good time for reflection. I am a serial list maker and given how fast time goes by, I feel it is absolutely necessary to stop and remember the past, ponder the future, and savor the now. Personally, I think the biggest goal/aspiration we all have is to be the perfect parent. I want so badly to be the best mother my kids could ever have. Then, when I'm frustrated and my patience is running low I get the over-whelming sense that I'm not even close.  Even more frustrating is when I'm having a "bad" day. Any mom who deals with a chronic illness (either they are the ones diagnosed or it's someone else in the family) can tell you about this frustration and guilt. I want to give my children the best day, every day and when my spoons are short I have to say "not today" - for anyone who doesn't know about the spoon theory, please check it out - it's extremely important to anyone in proximity to a chronic illness, whether they are the ones diagnosed with it, or a loved one impacted by it.

" Each morning, we are born again." - Buddha 

  "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams." - Eleanor Roosevelt 

  "Worrying is praying for something you don't want." - Bhagavan Das 

  "There are far better things ahead than any we leave behind." - C.S. Lewis 

  " Do the best you can until you know better. Then, when you know better, do better." - Maya Angelo 

Found on Pinterest: You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. 

All great change are preceded by chaos. The hunk verse is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper. 

I Found a really great exercise at You Know It Happens At Your House Too
The "I am _____" project 

The exercise is to take five minutes and finish this sentence as many ways as you want. Then, you can post them in her FB page message. She has been posting them in her statuses. Here is mine! I am....
  • A mother to 2 toddlers
  • A former marine wife, newly civilian wife
  • Emotional and sensitive
  • A passionate animal advocate
  • A people pleaser who is not fond of confrontation, but will not hesitate to stand up for my family or any animal needing a voice
  • Living with an invisible illness
  • Frequently running out of spoons
  • Trying desperately to be the best mother, wife, sister, and daughter I can be
  • Deathly afraid of failure - and to a lesser extent, clowns and marionette puppets
  • A little nerdy
  • Abnormally found of school
  • Creative and quirky
  • An eating disorder survivor
I definitely recommend that you do this. Reading everyone else's is very inspiring! And if you are still feeling sub-par, take a look at these numbers 

Today moms (Today.com) partnered with Parenting Magazine and interviewed/surveyed more than 250,000 women to find out how they really feel.

Top 10 Mom Confessions 
1. Mom wants to be alone - 23% of moms crave alone time most, 23% also put sleep as #1 .... Yeah, that's not really a surprise.
2. Mom feels weird about breastfeeding - 18% say they judge other moms for choosing not to breastfeed and 43% say they dropped the extended breastfeeding. I, personally, always planned on breastfeeding. I knew the benefits and wanted the best for my children, but that wasn't exactly how things turned out. Due to my medical conditions I have to take medications daily. Seizure meds, in particular, can be very dangerous when passed through breast milk. I needed to formula feed and I did get those judgmental looks. Because of my circumstances, I never judge women for formula feeding. You don't know their circumstances. It might be the best thing for their baby. 
3. She sends kids to school sick - 49% of working moms let kids go to school with an "iffy" illness (ie: son has a stomach ache, but hasn't thrown up and has no fever). 
4. She wants a do-over - 71% of moms secretly would do it all over a little differently. 23% would choose a different spouse, 21% wished they had more kids, 19% would pick a more flexible career, and 4% questioned kids all together. 
5. Choose sleep over sex - 53% would rather have a good night's sleep over mind-blowing sex. 
6. Distracted by technology - 5% say their children were hurt because they were busy texting or web browsing, 18% have had close calls. 
7. She medicates... her children - 18% say that at desperate times they medicate their children on long trips, etc. 8% said they medicate their children on a regular basis. Hmmmm, does medicating yourself count?
8. She judges other moms - 12% claimed to not give a hoot, 88% say they are judgmental, 66% say that a bratty kid i most likely to bring on judgment (the other big one is health issues), 37% judge moms with over weight kids, 34% judge kids eating junk food. 
9. Mom plays favorites (secretly) - 14% have a fav. 
10. She uses kids to get out of things - 84% think it's a convenient excuse (well, duh), 45% use kids to get out of social obligations about once a month. Well, duh! That's one of the perks! So now that you know you aren't alone, are you feeling better? 

 Another great reflection activity I like to do is my Favorites pages. 

Since my kids are outgrowing things and moving on to the next new obsession so quickly, I've started cataloging them in my Special Book. Every Time I notice that their favorite stuff changes I make a new page and date it. 
Basic Outline   
 Name:                     Date: Favorite - Activities: Foods: Toys/Games: Movies/TV Show: BFFs: Color: Anything that sticks out to you as something really important to your child at that time.

Body Confidence

Body Confidence - That's kind of an oxymoron to me... Mix in a young child and the prospect of instilling this illusive psyche and well, that thought alone is more than a little daunting. In the back of my mind, I am always worrying that my children will inherit the body image issues of their parents (more on that later). In truth, I believe that there is a significant genetic link, but that in itself is an entire post. So here are some helpful tips and hints I have found from various sources that are helping me: Compliment all of their good qualities, not just their looks. Applaud their abilities and accomplishments. Expose them to sports, art, charities, etc. Teach about puberty before it happens This is daunting for me. Not a full-on birds-and-bees conversation but an age-appropriate informative discussion.

Project confidence when explaining everything. I you are uncomfortable, tell them that!

Be open and honest. Placing a taboo on this subject matter will shut down communication lines and could instill the assumption that what their body is going through is something embarrassing and gross.

Luckily, my kids are not here yet. A great resource for them to have is "The Girl's Body Book - Everything you need to know for growing up you" this is a great book with very helpful information. 

There is also an equally valuable Boys Body Book. They both cover hygiene, parents, friends, dating, bffs, body image, body changes, school/grades, nutrition, fitness, siblings, sex, relationships, peer pressure, and more. Everything is laid out in a frank manner.

Explain the difference between fantasy and reality. Some people go so far as to say that you shouldn't allow princess stories or video games because they establish a false sense of reality. This seems a bit far fetched to me. As long as they understand that these things are pretend (fantasy), then why should their play be restricted? The imagination is a powerful tool that is shaped during childhood. 

Recent tests have shown that having a well developed imagination is directly linked to success later in life. By making fantasy off-limits you are stripping away their intellect. 

Point out positive role models. Instead of waiting for your child to notice someone of importance (usually due to media publicity), point them out yourself. Some good examples: a community volunteer who goes above and beyond, a devoted parent or teacher, a service member... You get the idea. 

 Don't dismiss sexism - Ive always been against imposing gender stereotypes. Boys can wear pink (its just color, like any other color), girls can play with trucks (they're fun!), etc. When you see sexism, address it with your child. If someone implies that dads work and moms stay home (boys don't do ballet, or whatever), don't reinforce the ideology by ignoring it.  

Focus on being healthy, NOT slim!!! Some fantastic resources that I encourage everyone to check out:

The mission of Operation Beautiful is to post anonymous notes in public places for other people to find.  The point is that WE ARE ALL BEAUTIFUL. You are enough... just the way you are! 

 Their goal: to end negative self-talk 

How it started: A woman decided to leave a positive message for others on the mirrors in public restrooms. 

Join the mission! All you need is piece of paper and a pen. Snap a pic of your note and email it Operation Beautiful with a bit about your experience. Here's a couple of pics sent in to Operation Beautiful:

Fit vs Fiction Marci Warhaft-Nadler's “Fit vs. Fiction” program, Marci visits schools and discusses all the misinformation and negative, inaccurate messages that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. 
She also has a Fit vs Fiction blog 
The current childhood obesity epidemic has led to a closer examination of our country's health/fitness habits. Many people have become so consumed with the obesity part of childhood obesity that they fail to see the other side of this epidemic: Eating Disorders. Eating Disorders that are responsible for both weight gain and weight loss. Marci lays out a great list of statistics, including many that I have been telling people about for quite some time. Sadly, many just don't seem to get it. Maybe her list will hit harder (here's hoping)
Her blog is wonderful! Every time I am sent an email notification of a new post I am always eager to read it. 

Several studies have revealed some very SCARY facts: 

Girls as young as 6 and 7 are already worried about getting fat. 25% of them have already dieted. 

81% of 10-year-old have already been on a diet. 

Average-weight girls and overweight girls are just as likely to be on diets. 

By the age of 13, 50% to 70% of girls believe they are overweight. 

Young girls look to peers and parents as role models. They often first hear about diets at home. 

Some girls are afraid of playing sports, for fear of “bulking up” 

Most young women feel significantly worse about themselves after reading a fashion magazine. 

NEDA (National Eating Disorder Association) 

NEDA's Mission NEDA supports individuals and families affected by eating disorders, and serves as a catalyst for prevention, cures and access to quality care. NEDA envisions a world without eating disorders. On their website you will find many helpful links and a wealth of information. There are also events, fundraisers, volunteer and intern opportunities, outreach programs, testimonials, research findings,recovery resources, family and friends sections, and so much more.

 ***NEDAwareness Week***  - the largest education and outreach effort on eating disorders in the United States, taking place February 24-March 2, 2013. The theme is "Everybody Knows Somebody" Find out more info here. If that is even just a little bit helpful, then I am so happy. If not, I'm sorry for rambling on - I do that a lot.

NEDA Awareness Week

Through my own (miss)adventures down the rabbit hole and the multiple journeys back, I have gotten to know NEDA

NEDA is the official Eating Disorder Association and it is wonderful. Over the years I have been to many sites that are geared towards this audience but I have never found one as indispensable as NEDA. Their information is unmatched, as is their resources. This is not just an organization for those afflicted, it is a place for everyone. Moms, dads, siblings, friends, men, women, young, old, and everything in between. 

Eating disorders do not discriminate. This week is NEDAwareness Week. 

The purpose of this week is to gain awareness and educate as many people as possible. Their theme is Everyone Knows Someone. How true! I wanted to do a special post(s) for this event, but once again had my dates mixed up. I didn't realize until yesterday that NEDAwareness is this week! 

Confession: I'm totally throwing this together at the last minute. 
Something that I have always found incredibly disturbing is the blind ignorance that people have towards eating disorders. I know that for me, I was petrified of very notion that I might have an eating disorder. I watched the health class videos and the after-school specials. I knew I wasn't the stereotype. Yet, I was so scared of anyone even thinking I might have one - not because I would be pressured to get better, but because of the negative view towards these disorders and myths that entangle them. I aim to help clear that up. 
Eating disorders do not discriminate! The portrayal of a young (usually white) female with poor self-esteem is very inaccurate. Men are afflicted just as women are. Every age bracket suffers - the very young, very old, and every age in between.

Everyone's battle is unique. The only thing that is a constant is the danger. A paper by Papadopoulos studied more than 6000 individuals with AN over 30 years using Swedish registries. Overall people with anorexia nervosa had a six fold increase in mortality compared to the general population. Reasons for death include starvation, substance abuse, and suicide. Importantly the authors also found an increase rate of death from ‘natural’ causes, such as cancer. Source: NEDA By: Walter Kaye, MD, Professor of Psychiatry, Director, UCSD Eating Disorder Research and Treatment Program, University of California, San Diego One thing that is probably the most alarming to me (especially now, as a mother) is the upward trend that has steadily kept building. 

By age 6, girls especially start to express concerns about their own weight or shape. 40-60% of elementary school girls (ages 6-12) are concerned about their weight or about becoming too fat. This concern endures through life (Smolak, 2011). 

These diseases are serious business! Complications of Anorexia Nervosa:
  • Abnormally slow heart rate and low blood pressure, which mean that the heart muscle is changing. The risk for heart failure rises as the heart rate and blood pressure levels sink lower and lower.
  • Reduction of bone density (osteoporosis), which results in dry, brittle bones.
  • Muscle loss and weakness.
  • Severe dehydration, which can result in kidney failure.
  • Fainting, fatigue, and overall weakness.
  • Dry hair and skin; hair loss is common.
  • Growth of a downy layer of hair—called lanugo—all over the body, including the face, in an effort to keep the body warm.
A review of nearly fifty years of research confirms that anorexia nervosa has the highest mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder (Arcelus, Mitchell, Wales, & Nielsen, 2011). Complications of Bulimia Nervosa
  • Electrolyte imbalances that can lead to irregular heartbeats and possibly heart failure and death.
  • Electrolyte imbalance is caused by dehydration and loss of potassium,sodium and chloride from the body as a result of purging behaviors.
  • Potential for gastric rupture during periods of binging.
  • Inflammation and possible rupture of the esophagus from frequent vomiting.
  • Tooth decay and staining from stomach acids released during frequent vomiting.
  • Chronic irregular bowel movements and constipation as a result of laxative abuse.
  • Peptic ulcers and pancreatitis.
Complications of Binge Eating Disorder (BED):
  • High blood pressure.
  • High cholesterol levels.
  • Heart disease as a result of elevated triglyceride levels.
  • Type II diabetes mellitus.
  • Gallbladder disease.
There are other, atypical eating disorders like EDNOS  (eating disorder not other-wise specified**)  orthorexia, and diubulimia

**DSM has officially changed the EDNOS term and criteria to better diagnose the "gray area" category of eating disorders that many fall into. I will be writing a post on this later (8/13)

For more information on specific topics visit their Articles section. 

There is also a database of support groups/networks as well as recourse links 

 NEDA also provides free, online screenings and a click to chat feature in the help and support section. 


Eating Disorder Links and Resources


NEDA - (National Eating Disorder Association) 

The What and Why of Sapling Stories

So I recently (recently, as in like, 2 days ago) found out about WEGO Health and decided it was a good fit for me. So I'm giving it a whirl! WEGO has a challenge this month with writing promos for each day - the "every day" part was almost enough to send me packing right there. I was planning on cranking a quick recap of the couple of days I had missed the other day, but my body had other plans and I ended up having seizures instead. Fun. So here I am to try again!

Day 1: Why do you write? I started this blog as an outlet and actually intended it to be a family-oriented, positive parenting and pre-school activity type blog (hence the name "The Sapling Stories). As I met other bloggers and become more aware of the blogging community, my content shifted. With out realizing it, my blog became centered around awareness. Awareness for things I feel very strongly about. I just naturally started writing about them. The main one that I feel grabs my attention the most is eating disorder advocacy. I am a survivor (I feel like I should say "surviving" because recovery is a continuous thing that never really ends, or at least it hasn't completely ended for me) Actually, I had a support blog years ago on Xanga (I said it was years ago), but stopped for some reason when everyone was switching over to MySpace (my husband was also deploying for the first time and everything was kind of topsy-turvy). I battled stereotypes, stigmas, myths, and death. Now that I have children it scares me sh*tless that they might battle the same demons. My other two are Autism (special needs in general, really), and chronic illness. Special needs because of my sister and chronic illness because, well hell, that's what I've been dealing with for most of my life (that is also a huge factor into my battle with anorexia/bulimia/orthorexia - seriously, eating disorders are much more complex than society thinks!). I have found a support network in the online community that I was desperately lacking before And it has been amazing.

Day 2: Tell a bit about your conditions, 5 things you want people to know about them, and a few links to other articles you've written. Note: My links will be highlighted throughout, not listed separate ;) I kind of just covered the "what", so here's the 5 things: 

  Eating Disorders
  1. Eating Disorders do not discriminate! It is not a teenage white-girl affliction. Every age group, of every ethnicity, of every walk of life is affected.
  2. You can't tell anything by a person's size. Just because someone isn't rail-thin doesn't mean that they're not suffering.
  3. It's not about food - not completely. ED's are complex, very complex.
  4. You can't just "snap out of it" or "get over it". It takes time and will be the hardest thing you've ever done. For me it took a year of grueling, intense hospitalizations (including NG Tubes, IV TPN through a PICC, oxygen therapy, and missing my entire senior year of high school) and several years of outpatient treatment. 
  5. It starts way earlier than you think. I can remember being preoccupied by the need to be "perfect" as far back as I can remember. I'm talking age 5-ish. And let me make it clear - No one ever implied that I needed to be "perfect". It's not all a societal thing, genetics and brain chemistry contributes greatly.
Autism and other special needs:
  1. Just because someone has special needs (may it be cerebral palsy, autism, Down's syndrome, or anything else) doesn't mean they can't hear you (to all the smug trolls: if they actually cant hear, they still know) They know when you're being mocking and judgmental, and they feel the pain as much as anyone else.
  2. The R-word is not okay. Ever.
  3. Even though my sister functions at an 18month old level and is non-verbal, we still have sibling rivalry. We get into fights and argue just like any other siblings.
  4. Everything has to be adapted. That bed you just bought? Yeah, that's gonna have to be modified so it's safe.
  5. Everyone has to be flexible. Just because you planned a day trip to the beach that you have been looking forward to for weeks doesn't mean it's going to happen. You may get half way there and need to turn around because its not a good day for them - and you'll completely understand and go with it. Even when you are 7 years old.
Chronic Illness:
  1. Everyone needs to read The Spoon Theory
  2. Just because someone's in a wheelchair doesn't mean they are paralyzed.
  3. Believe me, I do not want to be in bed all day! Don't give me that "must be nice" bull. It's not and it isn't funny.
  4. Dear doctors: When I come in to see you and I explain what's been going on, do not look at me like I'm insane. Even if my vitals are fine, just take the damn time to check it out.
  5. Just because a had a good day (or week or whatever) yesterday doesn't mean that I'm going to have a good one today. No, I don't know what's wrong or why I'm worse today when I was "fine" yesterday. I wish I did.
Day 3: Post a picture that captures your condition/your experiences 

Advocacy Aspirations

Day 5 for the WEGO Health blog challenge is Aspirations. 

 We are supposed to write what our dream activism aspirations are. No limitations - money, time, health, or otherwise. We are told to dream BIG

Wow, no limitations? Really? That should make it easier, but it doesn't. I've become so used to my limitations that its hard for me to think outside of them. After a while, I started to grasp the idea and actually formed something - and through that "dreaming big" I was able to find things that were actually with in my limitations. Coolness. Identifying these aspirations helped me realize what I really want to advocate about and what isn't all that important to me. 

Chronic illness - yeah, I have them and they suck. I have battled them for years. Yet, I know so many other people who are doing an amazing job advocating for them that I don't really feel the need to (Living With Bob and Just Mildly Medicated, I'm talking about you!) That leaves me with EDs and special needs. These are equally important to me. I watched my family struggle to provide what my sister needed (wheelchairs, specialized therapy, modified housing and vehicles, etc) and I know how hard it is. My ED almost took my life. The fact that it was so heavily influenced by the chronic illnesses I faced made it much harder to be properly treated. My Advocacy Aspirations ED (in order from most realistic to Dream Big No Limitations)
  • Gain blog traffic
  • Meet other advocates
  • Be able to pay some bills with my blog
  • Link up with NEDA and participate in events and
  • Speak at events
  • Host an event
  • Link people together with organizations who can help
  • Help place people in treatment centers/ help fund their treatment (it's ridiculously expensive and most insurances don't cover them)
  • Start a charity or program of some kind
Special Needs (same order minus the "blog" stuff because, well, it's the same blog)
  • Raise awareness
  • Link families together with local resources and support networks - and through that, help families obtain those critical things that are so hard to get: wheelchairs, therapy, lifts, prosthetics, braces, etc.
  • Link families together with enrichment organizations/events (recreational, fun stuff)
  • Help my mom start her non-profit

What animal would your chronic illness be?

TDay 8: If your condition was an animal, what animal would it be? 

I initially was really excited about this one - but some of the chronic health problems I deal with (or people close to me deal with) are terrible things that I don't want to associate with any animal (I love all animals and don't think that's fair). My first thought was to assign a mythical creature to each one. Mythical creatures are super interesting and many have such complex backgrounds and characteristics that it just seems natural to link them with something as complicated as a chronic health problem. I jumped on Google and I Googled away for far too long and was still stuck behind a wall. I don't know if its the perpetual brain-fog I've been in or what- I mean, I had ideas, just nothing that made me go "Oh yes! That's it!". So, alas, that's my quandary. I do tend to over-think things and this could very well be one of those times. So I started to think about the real animal associations and figured that if I were to assign an animal, it wouldn't be the animal as the condition, but rather, the animal as a person with the condition. That is a way I can use real animals with out feeling terrible. So here's a working list of what I came up with. I still think this idea is really cool. So please, if anyone has any ideas, share them! I really want to incorporate not only the conditions that I suffer from, but the ones that those close to me suffer from as well.

Epilepsy: Mythical: Something celestial or elemental. Real: Firefly 

Eating Disorders: Mythical: Will 'o the Wisps. In European folklore, these lights are held to be either mischievous spirits of the dead, or other supernatural beings or spirits such as fairies, attempting to lead travelers astray  
Real: Hummingbird

Fibromyalgia: Mythical: ??? Real: ???

Dysautonomia/POTS: Mythical: Chimera or shape-shifter or the Hedley Kow  A very mischievous, but not dangerous, shape-changing boggart which used to plague the villagers of Hedley (North-umberland) by his many tricks (Henderson, 1866: 270-1). A farmer mistook him for his own horse, a milkmaid for her favourite cow, an old woman for a bundle of straw; in each case he caused unexpected trouble, and then vanished with a loud guffaw. He could even turn into the likeness of a girl, to trick her sweetheart into following him till he ended up knee-deep in a bog. Real: ??? 

Autism: Mythical: Unicorn - Everyone knows of them, but very few actually know them. Mysterious, illusive, and Pure. 
Real: ??? 

Cerebral Palsy: Mythical: ... total blank... Real: Coyote - Extremely clever and adaptable. Forms strong family bonds and is frequently misunderstood. 

So please, if you have any other ideas feel free to share them! Also, if you would like another condition represented on here that isn't, let me know! I would love to expand this! 

HAWMC Day 13

This was actually a little more difficult than I had originally thought. Well, no that's not entirely true. It was pretty easy until I had a flair-up the other day, after that it was quite... Interesting. So with out farther adieu, here are my random acrostic-esque words.  
  • C - constant
  • H- hope
  • R- rising
  • O- over
  • N- no
  • I - improvement (or)
  • C-  cure
  • A- and
  • L- listening (and)
  • L- learning
  • Y- you
  • A- are
  • W- what
  • E- encourages
  • S- spoonies
  • O- over
  • M- miles
  • E- everywhere

  • E- ever
  • P- perplexing
  • I- illness
  • L- leveling
  • E- entire
  • P- pathways,
  • S- short-circuiting
  • Y- you

  • E- excruciating
  • A- and
  • T- testing
  • I- illness
  • N- never
  • G- granting
  • D- dreams.
  • I- incessant
  • S- serpent
  • O- owning
  • R- reality,
  • D- decaying
  • E- every
  • R- real
  • S- sentiment
 This one I did not come up with. It is perfect, so I'm not going to mess with it ;)
  • A- always
  • U- unique,
  • T- totally
  • I- interesting,
  • S- sometimes
  • M- mysterious


WEGO Health challenge for today: Misinformation 

Tell us 3 things that are true about you, your condition, or your Health Activism. Tell us 1 lie. Will we be able to tell the difference?

***Bonus Points*** Post the questions as a poll on Facebook and post the results!

1. I have raised wolfdogs and frequently lobby for wolf conservation. I try to help educate others about them with myths vs facts, and general predation pros vs cons. 

 2. I push myself too hard, and hate admitting that I need more help than I ask for. It makes me feel like a burden. Not to mention lazy. 

 3. I can play the flute, piccolo, and bagpipes (and have won awards in competitions for all three instruments, in both ensemble and solo performances - yeah, that's right. I'm gonna brag a bit... I guess I did forget to mention that all of that was about 10 years ago, but whatevs. ;)

 4. I love to jog - well, I used to love to jog. Being Chronically Awesome comes at a price.