It’s Inevitable

It’s inevitable. Kids will grow up. In this day and age that’s a scary thought. With social media apps and the dangers lurking there to cyber bullying. There’s a lot to be scared of when raising kids.

When they are teens it seems those issues pile up and then you have to worry about sex, drinking, smoking and so much more. Social media seems insignificant in comparison to those things, but dangers still lurk behind the screens.

With our daughter turning 13 this year I drew up a social media contract to help her transition into teen-hood and navigate those waters. Thought I’d share with you all just in case you want to use it it too. Feel free to download the PDF below.

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The Official Teenager Social Media Contract

 

Enjoy your day!- Kiana

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Finally Printing Photos + FREE Chatbook Code

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Once I had kids I went camera crazy. I still had a film camera in 2004 when my daughter was born. I remember being so selective in taking photos because I only had 24 or 48 photos on that roll of film. However what I really wanted to do was take All. The. Pictures. I wanted every half smile, yawn, roll, hiccup and more. I wanted to capture every moment I could with that camera. I tried. In turn I spent a lot of money getting those photos printed.

After I had my son the next year, again I wanted to capture all the moments. But as budgets often do after having kids, it got tighter and smaller. Unlike my waist. This was about the time that digital cameras were really becoming more and more prevalent. And in turn getting cheaper to own. I finally got one for Christmas from my dad in 2006. My whole life changed.

I started snapping pics left and right. I was taking hundreds of pictures a day of my kids. I was putting them onto my PC to save them. And that was about it. I wasn’t printing them. They were no longer going into albums. But that didn’t stop me from taking hundreds of photos a day.

The craft of taking pictures and printing them and subsequently putting them into photo albums was changing. I grew up with a camera ready dad. We had tons of albums. Tons of events, holidays, choir programs, and random silly photos and memories inside of those albums. I loved looking through them. As a grown up I still would enjoy looking through them, but memories fade and you forget places or people and why you had that stupid bucket on your head. This is where I went searching for a way to use the tons of photos I was taking to make albums that I could include the story for my kids.

Enter digital scrapbooking. When I found digital scrapbooking I knew this was it. This was the craft of keeping my memories alive for my kids and theirs and so on. I could do something with all those photos finally. I dove in and I haven’t turned back. BUT…I still haven’t printed my photos. They are still inside of my hard drive. Now I have the photos and the digital scrapbook pages I’ve made with stories and all. But printing the albums is Expensive. I have ONE album with 100 pages inside. 100 pages with stories and memories is better than none though.

So I’ve been searching for the cheapest way to get the photos and digital scrapbooking pages off of my hard drive and onto my bookshelves. For all to enjoy and peruse. For memories to be able to looked back on. For stories to be laughed at or cried at. I just want them printed.

Enter Chatbooks.  In 2014 a family started a service to get photos off of social media and into your hands and onto bookshelves. To get the hundreds of photos we take everyday and post to Instagram or Facebook but go no farther than that into albums. The everyday memories. The awesome. The random. The joyous. How do they do it? You can download the app right to your phone (or use the PC) and select where you want your photos to come from. Once you get 60 in that album, you get notification that your mini album is ready to print. The albums are 6×6 and soft cover. You can upgrade to hard covers. But each volume of 60 photos is sent to you for ..get this…ONLY $8. I admit, the price is the first thing I noticed. But once I started reading reviews and watching them on Youtube. I found that families are really loving this product. And it’s helping to get the memories we make out of the digital universe and into our hands for us to enjoy or look back on.

Lol, I sound like an advertisement. I guess because I’m so excited to actually finally get back to having albums of photos of my kids, my family, our memories. I decided to take the plunge. But since I wanted to get some older photos I have on my hard drive into albums first. I took a few days to go back all the way to 2008 when I stopped getting photos printed. I went through each and every photo and made specific Chatbook albums on my Facebook account for each year or couple of years. I curated the most special memories and many of the everyday moments too and uploaded them into the corresponding albums on Facebook. I ended up with 3 albums of 120 photos each. I added captions including the date, place if applicable and a little sentence about what was going on in the photo. Since Chatbooks prints the caption too, now I’ll have a record of the date and what was going on. Once that was done, I went online to Chatbooks through my PC. I clicked the get started button for a series and chose the first album from my Facebook account. 120 photos going back to 2008. You can customize the cover photo which I did. I specified that I wanted the captions printed and then I ordered the series. They asked if I wanted ONE series which would have been 60 photos or both albums for 120 photos. I wanted both since I had a code for one free album. So for $8 I got 2 albums and 120 more memories of our lives into albums. Let me put that into perspective. My scrapbooking album that has 100 pages cost around $75.

Now I’m just waiting for the albums to come. I cannot wait. I’m so excited. I’m hoping this is a solution to get photos into albums for me. I’m going to still scrapbook. But maybe I’ll just be a little more selective in what to scrap and what to print in those albums now. Once I have the albums from Chatbooks I’ll come back for my official review.

In the meantime, they gave me a link for my friends to grab their own first album FREE.

You can follow the link HERE. Thanks for reading. ♥

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1 Day to U-Day

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1 day, 21 hours, 21 minutes and 47 seconds

A little under two day to go. It’s weird that 5 years ago I didn’t feel my mortality as much when I had my ablation procedure. Albeit this hysterectomy is a little more intense and serious. I didn’t think I’d feel my mortality as much as I am now. I have faith that I’ll be okay and that nothing will go wrong, but what if? It’s there in the back of mind, the small “chance” that things go crazy stupid.

I guess this is normal.

I hope this is normal.

Is this normal?

So I’ve mostly been keeping my mind busy. Working on last minute things around the house, for my hobby design business, writing poetry, reading. Anything to keep my mind focused on something other than the upcoming surgery. It’s been working pretty well, but there’s always free moments that the thoughts sneak in.

Well this will probably be my last post until after I get home and feel better.

Thanks for reading.

♥ Kiana

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4 Days to U-Day

4 days, 14 hours, 12 minutes and 16 seconds

This countdown calculator is moving too fast. I think someone moved the hands up or something.

I’ve been trying to tie up loose ends with my digital designing business and make sure I have all my products done and ready for uploading. I have a few things to do around the house tomorrow as well.

After that, I’ll be relaxing and trying to keep my mind busy, probably with writing so that I don’t focus too much on the impending day. Hubby has the day off and the weekend to take care of me and the kids and house. He’s pretty awesome like that. I’m one lucky lady and I know it!

That 4 days up there sure is looking ominous though. Lol.

But I have faith everything will turn out just fine. Just wanted to stop in and update.

Have a good one. Thanks for reading.

♥ Kiana

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13 Days to U-Day

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13 days, 19 hours, 26 minutes and 15 seconds

That’s the official countdown until my U-Day! (hysterectomy)

I’ve started researching everything I can about recovery and life after my hysterectomy. My uterus has been a soldier through all of this. But she’s been wounded in battle and once she’s gone, I’m wondering about life after. Specifically, sex. Hey I’m just being honest.

I’ve been reading about how many woman aren’t able to become aroused, or don’t have the desire, or even worse yet, can’t come to orgasm the same. The contractions from orgasm come from your uterus and without it, there’s a strong possibility that it may be harder for myself and many other women to achieve the same “mind-blowing” results as before. So great….I won’t have a murder scene in my bathroom every month but I may not ever orgasm the same either. Why do medical procedures and medicines always have the worst side effects. I feel like I’m in a bad drug commercial where they tell you to get rid of these symptoms you have to gain this whole new set of symptoms. UGH!

However, to live a better quality of life, U-Day must commence. Such is life I guess.

While I am nervous about the procedure and outcome. I’m also excited. December 2nd marks the release of Childish Gambino’s new album. I’m looking forward to that, what better day to lay to rest my soldier of 39 years than with the release of some great new music. Lol.

Hey I’m just being honest.

Thanks for reading.

♥ Kiana

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17 Days to U-Day

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17 days, 18 hours, 38 minutes and 24 seconds

That’s what my countdown calculator has from right now as I’m typing this to the day I have my hysterectomy.

That is not long. I had a weird dream about my U-Day (uterus day for those that don’t get it) that had me getting dropped off to the hospital and then going into surgery with my husband on the way. Apparently he wasn’t the one who dropped me off. ROFL

Anyway, I had my pre-op appointment with the doctor who will perform my surgery. He will be doing the da Vinci prodcedure which is an updated version of the laprascopic or dubbed “robotic” surgery. We went over all the risks, how the procedure works and other general information.

I haven’t did much research on the procedure, but I’m sure the next 2 weeks will be filled with lots of Google searches on peoples results with it.

Thanks for reading

♥ Kiana

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7 years of Seizures

Facebook. Many people have a love/hate relationship with it. I feel the same. Except when browsing through my “On This Day” feed. The On This Day feature brings your stories/statuses up from years past on each day. Today’s reminded me of just how long we’ve been dealing with Xzavier’s seizures. 7 long years. 7 years of seizures, doctor appointments, medicines, medicine changes, testing, sleep studies, etc. And we’re still in the thick of it. What I mean by that is, we’re still working to get him completely seizure free.

When I saw the post, it brought up so many memories of the time we spent in the Children’s Hospital to get him diagnosed. I shared the post and just started typing. My emotions, my feelings, my thoughts.

It’s raw and uncut and unedited so excuse my grammar (I’m looking at you grammar police)

7 years ago I was getting my life back to normal or rather back to a new normal. After spending 5-6 days in the children’s hospital with my son and family to figure out what was going on with my baby boy.

The diagnosis, Complex Partial Seizures.
Our life was halted. Our life would never be normal again.

7 Years later we are still working on getting him seizure free. Life goes on, you get back to a somewhat normal life and you keep going, until he has a seizure. Then you are torn apart and reminded that your life isn’t quite normal as you want it to be.

He had a seizure last week at the dinner table. It had been quite a while since we saw one and it almost broke my heart. I could see it on my husband’s face too.
When you’re looking at your kid wishing, hoping and praying to any and all God’s above that you could just take them away from your son. Then come talk to me because I know how that feels. I have prayed to my Creator and probably yours too, for a cure. For something to take these away from my kid.

He happened to have a checkup with his neuro last week too, the seizures are still coming, the medicine isn’t controlling them completely. So guess what I get to do? I get to watch my son go through test after test to find out if he can have surgery….ON HIS BRAIN!!!!!!!!!!! Like can you even fathom those words? Can you take that in? Because I can’t….but I don’t have a choice. Because I can’t break, I can’t slip up and show him I’m scared. I cannot!

But I’m freaking the hell out over here!!

I don’t want your sympathy, I just say all that to say, sometimes you truly don’t know what another person is carrying on their spirit. So be kind to someone today. Even if it’s yourself.

#loveandlight
#epilepsysucks
#spreadMORElove

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*credits: digital scrapbooking layout made by me using kits from Creashens Designs

Thanks for reading.

♥ Kiana

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24 Days to U-Day

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If you Google heavy menstrual cycles you will undoubtedly come upon a plethora of links and websites with tons of information. You will find forums and health boards with women chatting back and forth about their experience with these heavy cycles and what has happened to them before, after, and during.

Towards the end of 2009 I had what I thought at the time was an abnormally heavy cycle. Very heavy bleeding and there was some small blood clots. I’d never been a heavy bleeder before and so I chalked it up to some weird phenomena. Until the next month rolled around and then the next and next.

I was bleeding extremely heavy at night too, even bleeding out on the sheets time and time again. Changing sheets and panties and cleaning yourself up in the middle of the night is not a pleasant experience. I was miserable. After a few months I’d learned to deal with it the best I could. I learned that if I took a few Advil before I went out I could curb the bleeding slightly so that I could get some grocery shopping done, or enjoy time at the park with my family for a few hours. I was wearing super tampons and a pad “just in case”.

But still I chalked it up to aging. I was 32 at the time. My hubby didn’t have a great job and our insurance wasn’t the best so I skipped the multiple doctor appointments that I knew would ensue with testing and what not to figure out what was going on. Not the best option but you do what you can at the time it happens.

This went on throughout 2010. The tampon/pad double protection, the Advil popping, the miserable nights, and the massive amounts of blood and clots. YUCK! In 2011 we moved to my hometown in Michigan. We were both unemployed but I was bleeding for months at a time and I could tell I was anemic. I was extremely tired all of the time. I was bleeding for 2-3 months at a time and passing huge golf ball and larger sized clots. It was time to get into a doctor.

At my first visit I went over my history with my doctor. I was scheduled for ultrasounds and blood work. Tests results were no surprise, I was extremely anemic. The ultrasound however revealed I had uterine fibroids. Nothing extremely large, but enough that it was causing me so much havoc on my menstrual cycle. It wasn’t a surprise as during the years previous I had done copious amounts of Googling and researching about what was going on with me. I knew this was a possibility and what treatments there were to help.

I also knew the BEST option and the permanent option was a hysterectomy. At 34 the doctor was totally against that option and I knew I was NOT going to take birth control pills anymore. I’d taken them previous to having my 2 kids and every one I’ve tried I am the lucky person that gets every side effect listed. So no, I wasn’t going down that road.

That left us in the middle. A HydroThermal Uterine Ablation. Not permanent in most cases, but can provide relief for a uncertain period of time. All the words you don’t want to hear when you’re looking for a solution and not a damn band-aid. But at this point bleeding for 3 months at a time versus some relief ….I’ll take door #2 Alex.

December 2011 I had the procedure. It was pretty easy and my recovery wasn’t bad at all. I had some spotting afterward from the fluid they use and hardly any pain. I was able to get back to normal life with being a mom and wife in a few short days.

Life went on and for the most part 2012 and 2013 were uneventful. I still had regular bleeding but it was extremely light and most times a light pad was perfect. I was able to get my blood counts up and stop taking iron pills and live life without packing an overnight bag full of tampons, pads and Advil.

2014 I began to have irregular cycles but the bleeding was still minimal.

2015 The irregularity ensued and cycles began to get heavier throughout the year.

And that brings us to 2016. This year I’ve seen an increase in bleeding and passing clots again. Cycles lasting up to 15 days at a time. So it was back to the doctor.

Last appointment she wanted me to at least try birth control. UGH. My insurance wouldn’t approve a hysterectomy without at least trying them. So I had no choice. Within two weeks I had all the side effects and called the nurse. Luckily my doctor said I could stop taking them and come in to talk about the permanent option. HALLELUJAH!

I went in October 2016 and my doctor went over the permanent option. She did a biopsy per standard practice just to make sure I don’t have cervical cancer. She also had to pull down my uterus (yes it hurts as bad as it sounds) to see how far it would descend. The operation she performs she advised she was not able to do, since my uterus does not descend much. Probably due to scarring she said, from either fibroids or procedures etc.

So this month I have a pre-op appointment with another doctor in the practice that can do a laparoscopic hysterectomy.

Stay tuned for my countdown to what I’m calling my hysterectomy, U-Day!!

Thanks for reading if you made it this far.

♥Kiana

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Wash Your Hands

They say when life gives you lemons you make lemonade. But what happens when life gives you “hand, foot, mouth” virus? You have no choice but to rearrange life so that you can get shit done.

It started October the 7th. My son came home from school and didn’t feel well. He didn’t want dinner and went to bed early. Okay no big deal I thought, he’ll feel better in the morning. And he did. He ate like normal, played his Wii and was doing fine until late afternoon when his sister saw them! The dreaded bumps on his face and hands. But they were very tiny and not quite what I had remembered about “hand, foot, mouth”. I called my mom, because she’s a nurse and she asked some questions, I listened and answered. No he didn’t have a fever, no there weren’t any bumps in his mouth, yes they were on his face and hands. She said it was probably a virus and for him to drink fluids and rest. Okay we can do that.

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*credits: digital scrapbook page made by me, using products from The Digital Press

 

Sunday he woke up and the rash was even worse, so off to the urgent care just to make sure he wasn’t dying. Because it’s not really a good thing for a mom to have a kid die on your watch after all. It was confirmed, he had “hand, foot, mouth” and there’s no treatment except rest, fluids and let the devil run its course. Ugh, great! Just what I needed. I wanted to lock him up in his room and put hazard tape on the door, but mom to the rescue seemed like the way to go. So we stocked up on Gatorade and antibacterial wipes and cleaner. He got 4 days home from school and by Friday the 14th he was looking a lot better and returned his normal life.

However, as moms often do, I caught what he had. October 13th I ended up in the ER due to my heart rate racing, fever, chills, stiffness and achy all over. They ran all kinds of tests and before I was sent home I asked if it could be “hand, foot, mouth” to which the nurse checked me for the rash and said No. It was just a general virus and it would run it’s course. Hmmm, now where had I heard that before?

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*credits: digital scrapbook page made by me using, products from The Digital Press

Friday the 14th I felt a LOT better. I only had a sore throat. Life goes on. Or so I thought. Friday night while sleeping my hands and feet had an itchy sensation, and instinctively I knew it wasn’t good. I prayed through my sleep, please don’t let me get “hand, foot, mouth”…please! But Saturday morning there they were, the little red bumps.*insert not-so nice expletive* Thankfully, my husband and I were able to rearrange our lives and he took over duties. ALL. OF. THEM. I was quarantined to the basement entertainment area and watched movies and TV all day, while trying not to scratch my hands.

When they say cases are mild for adults, they’re lying. This shit is horrible. The rash/bumps itch and burn like crazy and there’s pretty much nothing that helps. I tried allergy pills like suggested, and pain pills too. They only mildly helped the situation at hand..and foot. LOL. I was lucky though that I didn’t get any bumps on my face or in my mouth. But the burning and itching of my hands and feet more than made up for that luck. By Sunday I could barely walk my feet were so tender and my hands could barely hold the utensils I had to use. Hubby was the best though, he took care of everything that I usually run in the house, including doing our daughter’s hair Sunday night for school the next morning.

Hubby slept on the air bed next to our bed during the week I was contagious. It was kinda weird, but also nice because he was still in the same room with me. By Friday the 21st I was better. I could walk, I could hold utensils and the bumps were pretty much gone, except for the harden skin it leaves behind. I got to finally leave the house Saturday when we went to get our car serviced and life resumed its normal routine.

Tomorrow will be two weeks since the bumps appeared and I’m now dealing with the aftermath of the harden skin peeling away. It leaves a tender fresh skin underneath. Right now lotion is my best friend. I’m slathering it on all day trying to keep the peeling to a minimum. However for my feet, that’s a different story. If you haven’t had a pedicure in a while, you get an instant one when your feet start peeling. 😉 Gross I know. I’m just glad it’s over. I can deal with a little peeling skin.

My son is notorious for not washing his hands. As boys often are. All of this could have been avoided if he would wash his hands more than the few times I catch him and yell at him. The moral of this story is to wash your hands. I’ve been drilling this into him for years now, but after this I think he might have finally learned his lesson. At least we can hope. Because even though the doctors say you’re immune once you have “hand, foot, mouth” …guess what? You’re not. I had this as a child too, but apparently there are different strains of the virus so you might be immune to the virus you had once, but you’re not immune to the other strains of the virus. So again, the moral of the story is to wash your hands. Often!

20161016_174747 Sunday – 10/16

20161019_125108 Wednesday – 10/19

20161022_113335 Saturday – 10/22

20161028_102743 Friday – 10/28 today you can see the peeling on my fingers

Thanks for stopping by.

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Fruits of our Labor

We decided this year would be the year. I researched all winter on how to set up and maintain a container garden. We bought all the items needed to put the plan in motion. Then there was lots of TLC, water, and attention. More research when I found 2 huge green squishy things on my tomatoes. Which were tomato horn worms by the way. Crazy looking but harmless to humans and devastating to tomatoes. Still the plants were growing but nothing was blooming or budding. Until there was. The season isn’t over, but the cherry on top was being able to finally harvest the fruits of our labor. This cucumber was the first that was ripe and ready for picking!

It. Was. So. Delicious. When they say fresh is better…believe them!

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*credits: digital scrapbook page made by me using, Tiptoe Thru The Garden designed by Kristin Aagard. 

Thanks for stopping by.

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