Adventures in Alopecia - The Ballet Bun

You guys.

I seriously almost cried today when I was doing Olivia's ballet bun for rehearsal. And no, it wasn't because ballet buns stress me out - I'm WAY past that stage of being a dance mom.

It was because her hair looks SO. FREAKING. AMAZING.

If you're wondering what the heck I'm babbling about .... long story short: Olivia was diagnosed with alopecia back in December and we're seeing a lot of growth of new hair and it's totally amazing!

Wanna see what I mean?

This photo was taken in early December before we knew what was going on. At this point Liv had lost a good 2-3 inches of her hairline and I was chalking it up to "ballerina alopecia" which just means "wearing a bun too often."

Um, hello? Look at the hair loss. I still feel horrible about this and the fact that I didn't realize sooner what the hell was happening.

But we've been applying topical steroids since JANUARY and Olivia is taking Biotin and we're trying to alleviate stress. And she's eating yogurt (to help her gut - which is where healing needs to start with auto immune disorders like alopecia).

And today? I've been worried about her ballet bun for the performances of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for months. What if her hair wasn't growing back? What would her bun look like? How would she FEEL about this?

Houston, we've got hair! Dark, gorgeous hair! Look at that smile - this girl KNOWS it looks good.

And I know this is a good hair day and we could be facing more bad hair days. But for now I'm marking this in the 'win' column.


Ramblings on Music

Yesterday I finally got around to setting the "preset" channels on my Sirius radio in the good ol' minivan.

90s on 9 is the first station. 80s on 8 is the second. I also added a Margaritaville channel, MSNBC news, Entertainment Weekly, and "adult pop songs." [Yes, Radio Disney is also in the mix for the kids].

As I was driving home from the grocery store last night, I realized that I was officially "old." No, I don't mean walking-with-a-cane old but more like "I'd rather listen to the 80s on 8 than any regular modern day pop radio station."

I would rather listen to the songs of my youth and the 90s on 9 (high school, college, and law school) than any of the crap on the top 40 radio of today.

I remember when I was a kid and my parents listened to the "oldies" station and I couldn't understand why.

I totally get it now. I want to listen to the 80s and 90s because that's who I am. Those are the decades that made me who I am.

And now today, Prince is dead.

Everyone on Facebook and Twitter is mourning the loss, the passing of a musical genius gone too soon. The talking heads on cable news are doing their best to sound hip while covering the news.

I'm going to admit right now that I just had to turn off CNN - not because of Wolf Blitzer (although that is usually the reason) but because I couldn't watch anymore without crying.

I was standing in my kitchen, eating chocolate chips out of the bag, crying about Prince.

I never owned a Prince album. I think I might have watched Purple Rain at some point when it was on TV. But damn it all, I know all the words to all his hit songs. Purple Rain, Let's Go Crazy, Little Red Corvette, Raspberry Beret, Kiss, 1999, When Doves Cry ... the list goes on and on. If any of those songs come on the radio you can bet your ass I'm singing along with the volume cranked up.

I never bought any of his music and I never saw Prince in concert. But I knew he was a musical genius. He was pure talent - a far cry from the manufactured crap pop of today. He was the real deal. He was part of the soundtrack of my childhood and it really f*cking sucks that he's dead.

When Michael Jackson died it was surprising but not THAT shocking. Same thing with Whitney Houston. But Prince? Nah. This goes beyond shocking. I'm seeing my friends post that they can't concentrate enough to work, that they're numb from the news.

Me? I'm eating chocolate chips out of the bag. With a spoon. Because this is all just too weird to process it. Because in my mind, Prince wasn't 57 years old. He was still Prince from the 1980s and 1990s. Younger, healthier, vibrant. Not dead.

How is one supposed to feel when the musicians and actors they grew up with start dying? It's just so f*cking bizarre ... because that means we're all getting older. And maybe that's the rub. We're all getting older and our artistic heroes and icons are getting older too.

That's a tough pill to swallow my friends.

Now it's time to party like it's 1999.


Adventures in Alopecia - Now You Know

Well would ya look at that?

It's freakin' April.

Yes, I sucked at blogging for a couple of weeks (again). I blame spring break.

Because, ya know, I was SO SUPER BUSY doing nothing here in Ohio.

I'm back now.
You know, back from being lazy.
And not caring if I blog or not. ;-)

So today was a big day. It was the first time SINCE JANUARY that Olivia went to school and didn't wear a headband. [and at this point you're probably sitting there like 'huh?' and wondering what the hell I'm talking about].

Here goes....

Olivia has alopecia.
There now that cat is out of the bag.

This means she has bald spots on her scalp where the hair has totally fallen out. We found out about it back in December and we've been doing our best to hide it since then. And for a 12-year-old girl "hiding it" means wearing decorative stretchy headbands every single day when you go to school so no one can see the bald spots.

Lately though Olivia has become more comfortable with her hair - probably because some of the spots are starting to regrow hair (!!!!) and she's been ditching the headbands at home and out in public. But today was the very first time she's gone without one to school. I put braids in her hair this morning (her new style choice of late) and she looked in the mirror and said "cool."

It's a big freaking deal, trust me.

I never thought I'd celebrate something like hair growth but every time we notice that more hair is growing in we do a little happy dance.

So yeah. It's a big hair day around here.



My current mood:

I'll spare you all the gory details behind my mood.
Suffice it to say...I need (a) to win the lottery and (b) a vacation.

That's all.


Politics on a Monday

Tomorrow is the Ohio Primary.
It has been non-stop politics here for a good two weeks.

Every ad on television is a political ad.
It is total insanity.

Last Friday I went downtown to hear Senator Bernie Sanders speak at a rally. It was in a word, awesome. The crowd had so much positive energy and Bernie had a lot of great things to say. I left the rally feeling excited and ready to vote in the primary tomorrow.

I'm sure you can figure out who gets my vote.

This guy:

Oh yeah, I also got to SHAKE HIS HAND on Friday. That was pretty epic. Of course, I was almost crushed to death in the process - it was like being at a rock concert. Seriously, the crowd was insane....but in a good non-Donald-Drumpf way.

Speaking of He Who Shall Not Be Named, I watched the nightly news last night and was floored by how ugly this presidential election is becoming thanks in very large part to Voldermort Drumpf. As I sat there watching Americans beat the crap out of other Americans at a freaking political rally I thought "this can't possibly be my country."

It was sad. And disheartening.

And I really, really, really hope that our governor wins Ohio tomorrow in the Republican primary. And that someone other than Darth Vader Drumpf wins Florida.

So here's the thing Ohioans: Your vote can be a vote AGAINST Drumpf. If you're going to vote Republican on Tuesday give your vote to anyone but him. Make your vote count against him.

Me? I'll be feeling the Bern.



So yesterday afternoon I was scrolling through my Facebook news feed as I'm wont to do on any given afternoon and that's when I saw it.

One of our local news stations posted that BERNIE IS COMING TO TOLEDO!


That's right. They announced on a Thursday afternoon at 2 p.m. that Bernie Sanders is coming to Toledo on Friday afternoon for 'A Future to Believe in Rally."

Nothing like almost last-minute, ya know.

I quickly emailed my husband and asked him to take half a day off work so that I could go. He of course said yes. (He had an ulterior motive - he wants to go to the driving range and hit golf balls).

And so ... I'm going to see Bernie today!

And I'm seriously excited about it. Yes, the doors open at 1:30 and the rally starts at 4:30 (WTH?) but it'll be just fine.

#FeelTheBern people.


Politics on a Wednesday

So, last night was YUUUUUGE for Bernie Sanders.

He won the Michigan primary. This is a big deal. Unless you listen to every news network out there. Then you might not think it's a big deal because according to them, Bernie is still "down in the delegate count" and blah, blah, blah.

People. Seriously.
Bernie was supposed to lose Michigan.
All the polls said so - and we all know how the polls are always right (insert sarcasm here).

But he didn't lose. He won by more than 20,000 votes.
Feel. The. Bern.

This morning I thought that maybe, JUST MAYBE, the morning "news" shows (like Good Morning America) would actually LEAD WITH BERNIE. You know, since it's a big frickin' story and all.

But no.

They led with freaking Donald Drumpf.
Because he has all the media eating out of his tiny hands and giving him FREE earned media.
His wins last night weren't newsworthy.

[As an aside: I made the mistake of actually watching Drumpf's "speech"  last night and I literally wanted to throw things at my television. Or punch someone. Or both. He said NOTHING OF SUBSTANCE. Absolutely nothing but garbage came out of his loud mouth. He had no policy points, nothing. Essentially it was "Ted is a liar, Marco is a little man, Lindsay Graham is a nasty person, people are attacking me, I own a lot of buildings, I watched the golf tournament at MY golf course on Sunday (WTF?), oh and I brought my own brand of water, wine, and steak (WTF? again) to this "press conference."]

But newsworthy or not GMA decided to lead with Drumpf. Their second story was about John Kasich who is barely holding on in the primary but hey he might win Ohio...but even if he does there's no hope.

And then...THREE STORIES into the broadcast they talked about Bernie and his "unlikely" victory.

I have a very strong feeling that had Hillary won that would have been a lead story "Hillary's nomination a done deal" or something like that. But Bernie? Nope. He gets relegated to the third news story of the day.

It irks me so very much that the media refuses to report on Bernie. He's not some flash-in-the-pan. He is a real candidate who is really winning and it's about damn time the media started giving him equal (and positive) air time and column inches.

And don't even get me started on how all the polls and pundits and talking heads are counting the super delegates NOW rather than waiting until the convention which is when they should/will be counted. The ONLY delegates that matter right freaking now are the "regular" (non-super) delegates. The super delegates can vote for either candidate at the convention which is why they don't count right now.



Yep. Monday.

I'm going to skip my regularly scheduled program of random Monday afternoon thoughts today and just focus on one thing.

Medical stuff to be exact.

Long story short: for about the last 6 weeks or so I've been having pain in my hands, wrist, elbows, and shoulders. Nothing unbearable but a lot of joint pain. At first I ignored it ... like "wow, I guess this is what happens when you turn 43." Then it got annoying. And the pain got worse.

So last week I went to the doctor - and we all know how much I detest the doctor - and after listening to my symptoms she said it sounds like it could be rheumatoid arthritis but she's not 100 percent sure. So I had to do a blood test AND get X-rays on my hand (due to swelling and pain in my thumb joint).

The results so far: X-ray is "normal" .. whatever that means. My thumb joint still hurts and it's still swollen so I guess that's "normal" now. And, while my RA factor was "normal" my ANA levels are "elevated."

The doctor isn't sure why they are elevated or what it means - so now I have to see a rheumatologist to figure out what the hell is going on. Basically an elevated ANA level could indicate an auto-immune disease (like RA or something else) or it could mean nothing.

So right now I'm at a "wait-and-see" standpoint and won't know anything until I see a rheumatologist. Until then I'll just deal with the almost-constant aches and pains and keep on keepin' on. ;)


Monday Afternoon Musings - Happy Leap Day!

Hey there. Happy Leap Day! Not sure how one celebrates today (or if you even need to celebrate), but whatever. Eat some chocolate or something. It IS Monday, after all.

It was gorgeous here yesterday - sunny, windy, and 65 freaking degrees outside. Today? Less sunny, just as breezy, and less warm. Tomorrow? Snowstorm.

Yeah, I love Ohio.
Not really.

Let's just get on with this shall we?

1. The Oscars: I remembered why I don't watch The Oscars anymore. They're boring as F*CK. Honestly. Boring. Yes, Chris Rock was good. He handled the whole #OscarsSoWhite controversy in a funny yet respectful way. Leo won. Of course he did. Sly Stallone lost. WTF? The dresses were boring. The whole show was a snooze fest. If they would just hand out the damn awards without all the fluff between the awards it would be like a 60-minute show. At least I had The Walking Dead to entertain me between awards.

2. I have managed to make a new dish every single week since proclaiming that as my goal back in January. Yay me. Hell, the kids have even tried all the new dishes. They haven't liked them all but they tried them.

3. I'm in pain. And no, surprisingly enough it isn't my ankle this time. I've been dealing with pain in my hand, wrists, elbows, and shoulders for about a month or so. My right hand is also swollen between the joints in the hand. So.....as much as I hate doctors (specifically my doctor) I am going in on Friday to figure out what the hell is going on. I'm tired of being achy all the time.

4. Tomorrow is Super Tuesday. I'll be glued to the TV tomorrow night. #FeelTheBern people. #FeelTheBern.

And there you have it. All the random stuff going on in my head right now. Enjoy your "extra" day today. :)


Monday Musings on a Tuesday Afternoon

I woke up this morning and my first thought (right after, 'Oh crap. It's only Tuesday) was "oh crap..I forgot to blog yesterday."

Now that's not to say that my Monday afternoon blogging is a chore. It isn't. But yesterday afternoon was madness when it came to free time so blogging didn't happen.

Lucky for all (2) of you...I decided to take a few minutes and blog today.

So what's up buttercup?

1. It might snow tomorrow night. And I'm talking SNOW. It's supposed to rain all day Wednesday and then change to snow during the night and according to our local weather guys we could get 1", 4", 8", or even a foot of snow. They have no clue. Every forecast is different. At this point I think they're totally guessing about all of it. And of course The Weather Channel has named the storm - Petros.

2.  I've mentioned before the Olivia has been dealing with a new health issue and haven't gone into much detail. I'm still not going to get into much detail - I've told a handful of people what's happening and that's that. We did get good news yesterday about her condition so I'm feeling a bit relieved about the whole situations. Ah, #Vaguebooking at its finest.

3. Anyone else tired of the presidential election yet? I'm so SICK AND FREAKING TIRED of hearing a certain billionaire reality tv star's name mentioned. I refuse to type his name here for fear that if I type it enough he'll materialize in my house (think: Beetlejuice). He is running his campaign on earned media because the damn media won't stop talking about him. NO ONE CARES except for the boneheads in the major network newsrooms who still think this clown is news.

4. I've given up eating at night (read: after dinner) for Lent. It's not as bad as it was last year. I'm hoping it'll help me drop some lbs since I'm too damn busy to get to the gym right now. Also, I need a treadmill at home.

I know I had more thoughts to write about yesterday but I didn't write them down so they're gone. All gone.

Happy Tuesday! ;)