Thursday, July 26, 2012

Tell Me Thursday - Recovery

Last summer, I posted a very similar picture.

Thankfully, this summer I was not as sick as last summer, but it was my kidneys that took me out again.  Early last month, I knew I didn't feel right and thought I may have a kidney stone.

I upped my fluid intake, I tried to rest, I kept working and doing what needed to be done.  In the middle of the month, I woke Bo in the middle of the night and said "I need to go to the hospital!"

Again, thankfully, this trip didn't end up in a multi-day stay.   I was sent home after a few hours and a few heavy painkillers after a CT scan that found a "handful" of stones.  A couple days later, and I was feeling better . . . until I wasn't . . . until I was.  That's the fun with kidney stones!  You think you're fine until another one sneaks out.

Nate & I had the conference planned, I had work scheduled, and I didn't make it to my urologist until almost a month had passed.  He took one look at my scan and said "We need to do surgery.  That one is never leaving on its own."

Again, I had work scheduled (there are so many benefits to working for myself and being a trainer -- but being able to take off work at the last minute is not one of them) so I tried to bargain with him when he offered to do the surgery in a few days and he said "No.  We need to do this now."

I got home and sent out a few emails informing clients I couldn't fulfill my obligations (and I'm thinking that it probably sunk me with one client, but there wasn't anything I could do)  I finished the classes I had scheduled last week (including a class in Albuquerque on Friday), then checked in Monday afternoon at the hospital.

Laser lithotripsy was done on an outpatient basis, and I was glad to be back in my own bed that evening.   There were actually 2 large stones (7mm and 9mm for those interested) and my doctor felt he successfully broke them up.  At home, I drank lots, took a couple pain pills and have been taking it easy this week.

This recovery is much easier and faster than last summer and that's another reason to be grateful.  I'm also grateful for skilled doctors, caring family and understanding clients.  And the fact my mom lives close by now and she made me cakes and creamed peas and tuna this week, as well as keeping an eye out for the kids.  (Except for Colin.  He's been at space camp all week and enjoying himself immensely!!)

This is NOT a summer tradition I want to start, however!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Wordless Wednesday -- Recovery

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

National Stuttering Conference 2012

I had intended to write posts while Nate & I were in St. Petersburg for the National Stuttering Conference, but we were so busy and there were new things to absorb, so I didn't write while I was there.

We've been back for a couple weeks now, and thoughts have been bouncing around in my head!

This was our second conference.  Last year, I wrote about what a wonderful experience we had at the conference.  This year, it was wonderful once again, but in different ways.

Last year, I was a bit overwhelmed by all the people, all the workshops and all the new ideas.  This year, I wasn't as overwhelmed and was able to spend more time meeting people, while still learning quite a bit.

One thing that helped was getting to know people through Facebook and Twitter in the year since last year's conference.  It felt great to connect again with people we met last year, to put faces to Twitter/Facebook accounts, and meet some brand new faces.  I confess I still felt a bit overwhelmed, and wish I could have spent more time / gotten to know more people better.  The good news is that next summer and I'll have another opportunity to connect with the amazing people that make up the NSA.

Nate and I presented together a workshop about Empowering Children.  Tammy Flores (Executive Director of the National Stuttering Association) let him know that he was the youngest presenter she ever had present at the conferences, which impressed Nate.  We talked about ways that Nate has become empowered over the last few years, and strategies that others could potentially use. Nate did a fantastic job -- I had him introduce us and then he spoke throughout the presentation and also fielded questions from the audience.

He & I both attended various workshops -- sometimes he went to the kid workshops and a couple times he came along with me to the adult workshops.  He had fun with the kids, and made a few fast friends.

One of the things I most enjoyed this year was sitting in an "Open Mic" workshop.  This was a workshop that encouraged people to stand up in front of a group and share their story.  It was very interesting to listen to the wide array of stories from a very diverse population -- who all had stuttering in common.  It was powerful for everyone involved.

It's hard to describe the friendliness and openness of the participants of this conference, but you feel cared about.  I also enjoy watching everyone patiently listening to each other and communicating -- disfluent or fluent.  That is something that is rare, as people usually are trying to rush those who stutter along.

Nate was asked to speak at the closing ceremonies.  It's something that made him nervous, but also extremely proud.  He took the time to plan out what he wanted to say and when it came time -- he stood up there proudly and delivered a wonderful speech about what the NSA means to him.  Did I mention there were around 700 people at the conference this year?  He spoke to a full ballroom of people, and didn't flinch.   He was happy to share his story, and was a bit surprised at all the people telling him later at how well he did.  He did enjoy the attention, however!

Next year, the conference is here in our home state of Arizona -- and I am thrilled that my entire family will be able to attend.  While traveling solo with Nate is fun, I want my husband and other children to experience the NSA Nation!

Do you follow my blog on Facebook?  I'd love it if you would!

Wordless Wednesday -- Summer Nights

Thursday, July 12, 2012

National Stuttering Conference 2012, VLog

Nate & I were in St. Petersburg last week for the National Stuttering Association National Conference.  I intended to post while we were there, but never found the time.  Nate shot this video the morning we left St. Petersburg.

I have a couple posts I want to write about the conference last week, but I've been working all week and haven't had a chance to gather my thoughts.  Hopefully this weekend I'll have a few minutes to write.

Tell Me Thursday - It's the Little Things

I know the picture above was a little hard to see.  I found it stuck to my door on my way to bed Tuesday night.  It's a drawing made by Lydia of the cup I often take to work, and the note "bring cup to work".

Tuesday night, I mentioned how I had forgotten my cup and Nate mentioned that he would make me a sign so I would remember.  I laughed and said that wasn't necessary -- but I did need to remember it so that I drink enough during the day.  Lydia overheard, and took it on herself to draw my cup and then enlisted Colin to write the note.  She then found a couple stickers and stuck it to my door so I couldn't miss it.

I have such sweet kids!

I'm happy to say that I DID remember my cup today.  Here's a picture of it at work -- Lydia did a pretty great representation of it!  (And I have to say that I love my Tervis Tumbler.  It keeps ice for hours, and I also love the lid that I found so that I don't worry about spills.  Now, I just need to buy some extra long straws.)

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Monday, July 02, 2012

Care Bear Television Show Review

 Another new show on the HUB Network is Care Bears: Welcome to Care-a-Lot.   It's geared to the preschool crowd, so we shared an advance episode with Lydia's preschool class recently.   The kids all watched the show intently, and then had a great time coloring Care Bears.

Overall, the show was well-received by the class.  They laughed and smiled, and stayed interested in the storyline of the episode. My boys watched it with Lydia at home and they both remarked that it was a better representation of Care Bears than they remember from a few years ago.

The 30 minute show airs on the Hub Network on Saturdays at 8AM EST.  Th season began at the beginning of June. You can also catch episodes on the website if you don't receive the Hub Network.

Lydia liked the show, and is interested in watching more.  I remember Funshine Bear from years ago, and thought that was the perfect bear to post on My Little Patch of Sunshine!

Lil JaXe - Young Rapper Who Happens to Stutter

Nate & I leave tomorrow morning for Florida!  We are headed to the National Stuttering Association's Annual Conference, where we're going to give a presentation together as well as volunteer in a couple of different areas.  This is only our 2nd conference, but it feels like we're headed into an alternate family!

This morning,  I was sent a link to a video of JaXe and his mom being interviewed on Canada AM.  JaXe is now 13 years old, and following his dream of rapping.  JaXe also happens to stutter, but he hasn't let that stop him!

There are so many ways to cope with a stutter -- and I'm so proud of anyone who doesn't let it hold them back.  While singing doesn't stop Nate's stutter, he thinks it's great that JaXe is following his dream and helping spread awareness!

Here's the interview:

I'm not sure if JaXe and his family already know about the NSA, but if they don't, I hope they check it out!

If you're looking for more information about stuttering, I recommend visiting the NSA site ( and the Stuttering Foundation (

Pillsbury Baguette Chips - Giveaway!

Recently, we tried out 2 new varieties of Pillsbury Baguette Chips -- Italian Cheese & Herb and Cheddar Sun-dried Tomato.  They are definitely crunchy, and we found that they were great complements to crumble over a salad, or dip into hummus.

The chips have 130 calories per serving (21 chips), and have 1/2 the fat of regular potato chips.

Thanks to Pillsbury and MyBlogSpark, I have 6 bags to give away to one of my readers!  You will receive 3 bags of each variety to snack with!   They'd be great if you have a party planned soon!

To enter the giveaway, please CLICK HERE to fill out my giveaway form.  The necessary information you will need is your name, email, the giveaway name (below) and the answer to my question (below).  I'll choose a winner on July 9, 2012.

Giveaway Name: Chips
Mandatory Question: What is your favorite snack?

You can learn more about the chips via Pillsbury's website, or their Facebook page.  If you want to try them out right away, click here for a .75 coupon!

Good Luck!

*Disclosure: The product, gift pack, information, and additional sample have been provided by General Mills through MyBlogSpark.*
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