My Favorite Pinterest Recipe

I often find myself browsing Pinterest for recipe ideas to try at home. Cooking is super hard in my house because not only are my children picky eaters, but I am as well. I am lucky that my husband will eat anything I put in front of him, but I’m often making multiple meals in order to be able to give him a variety, while also feeding the kids and myself. We can get Savannah to at least try most things, but she often doesn’t like it. I am at least happy she will try it. Raylan on the other hand will not try a dang thing; he will go hungry and throw his plate across the room before he tries something new. It is a challenge, but with his Autism, it is not as easy as just forcing it. We even had him in occupational therapy for awhile for feeding therapy.

Back to Pinterest, I have pinned a million recipes, but I haven’t made a lot of them. There are a few pretty good recipes that I have found, and I am going to share one that is a favorite that I come back to often. I will preface this by saying my kids don’t like it. Raylan won’t touch it. Savannah will only eat the ham out of it; for some reason she doesn’t like anything I make with potato (unless it is a french fry or tater tot). I do think that most kids would probably like it though.

The recipe is Ham and Hashbrown Casserole from the blog Written Reality. This is super easy to throw together, but you can’t really decide at the last minute to make it mostly because it takes an hour to bake. I have used the cubed potatoes, which tasted fine, but I definitely prefer it with hash brown potatoes.

Here is the recipe: Ham and Hashbrown Casserole. Let me know if you try it what you think!

Watching The Biggest Loser

Here in Michigan, we currently have a “stay home, stay safe” order like much of the nation. As a nurse, I am still considered to be part of the “essential workforce,” so I have still been going to work. I feel blessed to still have a job, and I am happy to be able to be making a difference. I am also a bit nervous still being out and feeling exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

I have been on social media a lot lately, and it hasn’t been great for my emotional health. Don’t get me wrong, there are currently some great things happening on social media; there are a ton of people volunteering their time and talents right now making masks for healthcare workers, and there are people spreading hope. But for as many positive posts, there are at least as many negatives. Many are laced with political agendas and prejudices, which just upsets me. I am always one to look at the source of information, but currently, even sources that I found reliable in the past, I hardly trust, mostly because we really just don’t know what is going to happen with the pandemic we are facing.

In an attempt to take a social media break (and because I am supposed to be resting after hurting my hip from slipping on Purell at work), I was looking for something to watch. I stumbled across the new season of The Biggest Loser on USA. I have always enjoyed watching the biggest loser. Fun fact: I actually went to Chicago when I was in college to audition for The Biggest Loser! I mentioned in my last post (which was again, quite a while ago) that I had gastric bypass surgery. I have lost a total of about 130 lbs from my highest weight. It was bizarre watching The Biggest Loser after losing the weight.

Here are some of the things I thought about while watching:

  • I compared my weight to everyone weighing in on the show. I thought “I’m bigger than all of the women but one.” Then I stopped and had to remind myself that I used to be bigger than them.
  • I was looking at the outdoor furniture the contestants were sitting on, and I wondered if it is special furniture. At my highest weight, I always worried if a piece of furniture would hold me, and I still think about it for a moment before I sit despite my weight loss.
  • Bob Harper talks about his heart attack/cardiac arrest. If an incredibly fit man like Bob Harper can have a heart attack, it could happen to anyone. It made me think about how much more I can do to take better care of myself. I have come a long way by losing weight, but I still have a ways to go to reach the best me.
  • I want to get in the gym so bad! As an athlete for the first half of my life, I had a strong body. Since weight loss surgery, I have lost a lot of my strength and muscle. I have become a bit more active since switching back to floor nursing from the clinics, and I try to get in walks with the family when I am able to. I really want to push my body and gain the strength I once had.

Overall, it was nice to get a little bit of a break from social media, and to get motivation to keep working towards the best me I can!

Re-usable Water “Balloons”

It has been a LONGGGGGG time since I have posted on here.  I don’t know how it is even possible, but it has been over 3 years!  A lot has happened  My life has changed drastically in that time.  Some of the major changes include having a baby with severe Obstructive Sleep Apnea (Mar 2016), putting one of my kitties to sleep (Oct 2016), a hospitalization on a psychiatric floor (Nov 2017), selling our house and moving into one newly built (Mar 2018), starting a new job (June 2018), the kiddos starting daycare (June 2018), my oldest starting Kindergarten (Sept 2018), undergoing gastric bypass surgery (Sept 2018) and multiple complications that followed in the months since, and most recently losing our first dog (Apr 2019).  Those are just some of the big ones that have shaken things up quite a bit!  Over time I may try to do some posts detailing some of those big events, but for today I want to talk about a new item I crocheted.


As a kid, I loved running around during the summer time playing with water balloons!  It was not so fun filling those water balloons up.  It seemed to take forever, and it seemed like in less time than it took to fill them, they were all popped!  Then there was the pain of picking up all of the little pieces.  Fast forward to adulting…it is still a pain to fill them up individually, and I’ve always been too cheap to spring for the devices that fill many up at a time.  Cleaning up all of the pieces of balloon is even less fun as an adult.  Plus, maybe its the nurse in me, but I’m afraid a small child will put a piece in their mouth and choke.  I may be trained to save someone from choking, but that is not something I want to practice!  I stumbled across a pattern for crochet water balloons over at Left in Knots.  I made up a few (pretty quickly I might add), and I cannot wait for it to warm up a little so I can send the kiddos out to try them!  (Who am I kidding, I’ll probably throw a few at the adults in my life too!)  There is no waste using these; I’ll be able to throw them in the washer/dryer when they get dirty, and then re-use them.  I won’t have to spend hours filling balloons, only to have them all gone in a matter of minutes.  And I don’t have to worry about Raylan kids or animals putting pieces in their mouth and choking!

Here are the first few I made (my little buddy picked the yarn color).  I’ll probably make some more in different colors soon!378bPcC5Ssy1DgYAukrWGQ

Once we test them out, I’ll update with how the kids like them!

Raylan’s Birth Story

During both of my pregnancies I was monitored frequently because of pre-existing high blood pressure that required meds to control.  Starting at 32 weeks, I had NSTs (non-stress tests) two times a week, and my fluid was measured by ultrasound once a week.  I was scheduled for an induction when I hit 38 weeks.

Sunday January 24, I felt decreased movement from my little one.  My husband was working, so I took Savannah to stay with my sister, and my mom drove me to the hospital so the baby could be checked.  Once I was on the monitor, the baby started moving like crazy, which was typical for him.  It was clear by his heart rate that he was happy.  All that was left was to measure my fluid, and I would be on my way.  When the midwife started measuring the fluid with ultrasound, I could see there was a lot less than there had been just a few days before.  She said she was going to talk to the doctor and would be back.  Within a few minutes, we were told that we would be staying, and my induction would start that day.  I was 37 weeks 5 days.

At about 1:30 in the afternoon, I was moved to a birthing room so we could start the induction process.  The official induction started at 3:45pm.  My cervix was 1cm, 25% effaced and the baby’s position was high.  A cervidil was placed and was to remain in for 12 hours to help “ripen” my cervix.  The whole week prior to the induction process, I had frequent contractions that varied from just uncomfortable to painful.  On Saturday and Sunday, the contractions had basically stopped.  I was having less contractions those two days than I had been having since 28 weeks!  Fortunately, a few hours after the cervidil was placed I started contracting again.

My sisters were super sweet and brought Savannah up to see me since we hadn’t anticipated staying.  She was a little nervous to see mom in bed, but she was excited to hear her brother’s heart beat on the monitor.  She also got to play in the game room.

At 3:45am, the cervidil was removed.  The doctors discussed placing another cervidil vs placing a foley bulb.  The thought of a foley bulb scared me because during my previous induction an EXTREMELY painful attempt was made to place one that ended up being unsuccessful.  I wasn’t super thrilled with the idea of another cervidil, either.  I didn’t want to sit for another 12 hours waiting for it to work.  I agreed to having the foley bulb placed with morphine prior.  At 5am, I had morphine, and at 6:15, the doctor successfully placed the foley bulb.  At that point I was 2-3cm, 50% effaced and the baby was at a -3 station.

The foley bulb hadn’t fallen out by 8:40am, so the doctor checked me to see where we were.  She found that I was 4-5cm, 50% effaced and a -2 to -3 station, so she pulled the foley bulb.  We were making some progress.  The next step was pitocin.  I had been dreading pitocin for weeks because I wanted to make an attempt at laboring and delivering without an epidural.  I feared that having pitocin would make that much more difficult, but I was realistic and knew my body likely needed that push.  After getting a new IV placed (my veins are terrible with IVs), the pitocin was started at 11:20am.

All day I sat on the birth ball, stood at the side of the bed, walked around the room, and took some time laying in bed.  At around 4pm, I requested to be checked.  I was discouraged to hear that I was still only 5cm, 50% effaced and a -2 station.  At that point I decided to get in the tub to labor for awhile.  My contractions had become pretty painful, so I wanted to see if the tub would allow me to have some relief.  I was only in the tub for about 45 minutes.  It was nice, but it was tough to keep the water warm enough for comfort.  We had to keep draining water to add more hot water.

At 7:55pm, the doctor came in to see if I was making any progress.  I was 5-6cm, 75% effaced and a -2 station.  I was frustrated that baby didn’t seem to want to descend.  The doctor felt that breaking my water would help speed things up, so she did.  When the first contraction after that hit, my plans for going without an epidural went out the window.  The pain was intense!  The funny thing is just before they broke my water, I told my mom I thought I should be in more pain, and now I was!  The anesthesia team came pretty quickly to place the epidural.  It was torture sitting through the placement.  Anesthesia tried for a full hour to place the epidural without success.  I finally asked for another person to try.  At 9:08pm, I felt I couldn’t sit any longer.  I was feeling tons of pressure, so I was checked again.  I was still only 6cm, 75% effaced and -2 station.  I agreed to let anesthesia keep trying.  I was given morphine to try to help me during the epidural.  I tried to sit for the placement, and I just couldn’t do it.  I was able to get through the contraction pain, but I started feeling a new tearing pain that didn’t come and go with contractions.  I remember saying I felt like I was being tore apart inside.

From this point on, things are a little fuzzy and went fast.  I was screaming that something was wrong.  I was begging for a c-section.  I couldn’t stand, I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t lie down.  My poor mother and sister were in the hall (they couldn’t be in the room while the epidural was being placed), and all they could hear was my screaming and crying.  My husband was wonderful as he stood by feeling helpless, trying to help me get through the pain.  At one point they placed an FSE (fetal scalp electrode) because I couldn’t stay still enough to keep the monitor on, and it was important to be able to monitor the baby’s heart rate.  I would hear the heart rate drop, and I would panic, but I was assured that the heart rate would come right back up.  I remember hearing my husband ask if my mom could come back in.  The nurse said in a few minutes.  At that point I blurted out that I NEEDED my mom.  When she came in, she got right by my ear and was able to calm me down.  Prior to her being there, I felt like I couldn’t breathe.  She brought me back to what was going on.  At 9:44pm I was 7cm, 100% effaced and 0 station.  I kept feeling the urge to push, and my body was even pushing involuntarily.  The doctors gave me a pudendal block (a lidocaine injection in my cervix), and at 9:53pm I was 9cm.  At 10:08pm, they said I was 10cm and could start pushing.  They doctor said I could do a practice push, but if she told me to stop, it was because they needed to break the bed down.  I pushed, and she said to stop.  While they were breaking the bed down, I was yelling that he was coming.  My body was pushing on its own.  They gave me the green light to push again.  At 10:14pm, after just 3 pushes, Raylan was born.  I heard them say he had a nuchal cord, but my mom and sister say it was wrapped across his face.  My husband cut the cord, and after being placed on my belly briefly, he was taken to the warmer.  I saw the nurse tapping on his feet, and I never heard him cry.  His apgars were 6 and 9.  The first one was only a 6 because he never did cry, but he was fine otherwise.

Weighing in at 7lb 7.6oz and 19.5 inches long, Raylan was brought to me.  He was eager to nurse and latched at 35 minutes old.

We are so happy to have a healthy new addition to the family.

Family Christmas Stockings

My family has had matching Christmas stockings for many generations.  My great-grandmother made them for every new member of the family.  Each stocking matched the others, and the person’s name was cross-stitched on the top.  People would order stockings from my great-grandma from all over the world.  She made them for many years.  After she passed away, we all wondered how we would continue to have matching stockings for new family members.


Matching Christmas stockings hanging on the mantle

Several years ago, my mom found the pattern that my great-grandma used to make the stockings.  It was very difficult to read, so I kind of brushed it aside.  My crafty cousin was able to decipher the pattern and recreate this treasured family item.  A few weeks ago, I decided to try to tackle crocheting one of these stockings for myself.  I typed out the pattern so that I could read it easily as I worked.  After consulting with my cousin a couple of times, I got to work.

During my first attempt, after several hours, I got 2 rows from the top of the stocking, and I realized something looked WAY off.  I unraveled the whole thing!  When I restarted, I ended up tangling my yarn.  (Yarn and I get in to some serious arguments!)  I worked several HOURS on trying to untangle it.  I finally gave up and just cut it!

The next challenge came when trying to put the name “Savannah” on the stocking.  My great-grandma always said it was difficult to fit “Danielle” on the stocking, and she had to make adjustments to some of the letters in order for it to fit.  The reason Savannah didn’t have one yet on her 3rd Christmas is because my cousin couldn’t get her name to fit.  She really doesn’t have a shortened nickname yet, so we weren’t ever sure what to put.  I tried my hardest to adjust the letters to make her name fit, but no matter what, it wouldn’t work.  Finally I decided to just put “Vannah.”  Imagine my surprise when I found that the standard lettering wouldn’t allow Vannah to fit either.  Using graph paper (as suggested by my super smart cousin), I adjusted the letters to fit.  When I stitched them out, I got to the last leg of the “H” when I realized it wouldn’t fit.  I had to pull everything out and start 2 stitches back.  That worked, and I was finally able to finish it.


Savannah’s stocking is a little bit bigger than the Mom and Dad ones my cousin made.  I tend to crochet tight, so I tried to consciously make my stitches loose.  It resulted in a bigger stocking, but I am okay with that because at least her stocking matches ours.


Stockings made by my cousin

This week I made another stocking for little one on the way.  I made sure to make my stitches tight this time so it would be closer to the size of the others.  Turns out I made the stitches too tight, and his stocking is smaller than ours!  Now I know for the next one I make to just crochet as I normally would and it should end up a size in between, which will be perfect!


The size difference between baby and Savannah’s stockings.  (I couldn’t put his name yet and ruin the surprise!)



On another note, tonight I opened an Etsy shop.  None of my creations are on there yet, but they will be soon.  For now, some of Scott’s Can Cars (actually the motorcycles) are on there.  It will probably be a variety shop.  Until I post actual listings, feel free to request a custom order if you have seen something I’ve made that you want for yourself!

Here is a link to the shop: Delicate Dani Designs

Let me know in the comments what you would like to see in the shop!



(If you are interested in opening your own shop on Etsy, let me know.  If I send you a referral link, you get 40 free listings, and I get 40 free listings.)


Gender Reveal Party

There are many differences in opinion when it comes to finding out the gender of a baby during pregnancy.  I respect everyone’s individual decision, but personally, I could not wait until the baby was born to find out.  We didn’t do anything special to announce we were having a girl the first time.  This time, my sister-in-law mentioned that we should have a gender reveal party.  It sounded like a fun idea, so that is what we did.  When I went for my big anatomy scan ultrasound, the technician asked if I wanted to find out the gender.  I told him I didn’t want him to tell me, but I asked him if he could write it down and seal it in an envelope for me, which he did.  I wanted to be surprised with everyone else!

I took the envelope to my mom’s house, and from there she would drop it off at the bakery we got our wedding cake from.  It was such a tempting ride to her house, being alone with the envelope next to me.  I knew I wouldn’t be cheating anyone but myself if I looked, so I resisted the temptation.

It was a long 2 and a half weeks waiting for the party, but the day finally came.  It was a small party, with just immediate family and a few close friends.  I had a wives tale list circled with my experience this pregnancy.  I then asked people to write their name on a sticker and guess what the baby would be.  If they thought it was a girl, they put their name under Team Pink, and if they thought it was a boy, they were on Team Blue.  Before we found out, we took a picture with each group.  The majority was Team Pink.

Dessert Table

Dessert Table




Team Blue


Team Pink

Team Pink




I am so thrilled we are having a boy!  I was so surprised; I was convinced until the minute I heard someone yell boy that it was a girl!  Now the struggle is coming up with a name.  We keep the name a secret until the baby is born, although this time we may not even be able to agree on a name until he is here!  For now we will call him “squirt.”

A Sofia the First Birthday Party

Last year for Savannah’s 1st birthday party we had a Mickey Mouse Clubhouse theme.  There were lots of homemade decorations that were adorable (thanks to my mom and her cricut).  It took quite a bit of time for both her and I to make the decorations and put them together, and they were only up for a few hours.  This year Savannah loved Sofia the First, so we decided to have that be the theme for her 2nd birthday, but I toned it down a little to save on time and stress.

We did put up some decorations, and my mother-in-law made adorable cake pops for the occasion.  I am so glad we didn’t do as much with decorations this year because the party was just as much fun, and I wasn’t as stressed!  I did make Savannah’s outfit again this year.  With more sewing experience, it wasn’t as stressful, although the embroidery portion was new to me!

Here are some pictures from the day

Reversible skirt and embroidered shirt made by mommy

Reversible skirt and embroidered shirt made by mommy

Embroidered Shirt

Embroidered Shirt

Sofia the First background scene

Sofia the First background scene

Gift table

Gift table

Savannah 2nd bd party 2015 06 14-3169 Savannah 2nd Birthday 2015 06 c-11

Cake pops

Cake pops

Walmart Sofia the First cake

Walmart Sofia the First cake

It down-poured that day, but fortunately most of the tables were set up in the garage.  We still had fun despite the rain.

At the end of presents, we had a special surprise for everyone.  It just happened to work out that Savannah wanted to sit with her grandmas by the time she got to her last few presents.  I embroidered a couple of shirts for her gift, so my mom helped her open them.

Grandmas helping open the last present

Grandmas helping open the last present

Grandma looks surprised, what could it be??

Grandma looks surprised, what could it be??

The other grandma is catching on

The other grandma is catching on

Showing the rest of the group

Showing the rest of the group

A baby is on the way!

A baby is on the way!


Savannah's embroidered shirts from mommy

Savannah’s embroidered shirts from mommy

Thanks so my sister-in-law who was in on the secret, she was able to capture some great pictures of my mom and mother-in-law’s reactions.  I had my cell phone taking pictures as well, I just wish that I would have done a video instead!  The reactions from everyone were priceless!

Due with baby #2 February 2016!

My First Pregnancy

I wish I would have written about my first pregnancy sooner, like ohh 2 and a half years ago.  I definitely plan to write about my current pregnancy a little bit as it is happening.  I don’t remember a lot of little details, but I will summarize the things I do remember.

I got married September 29, 2012, and it was at that point that my husband and I decided we wouldn’t necessarily try to get pregnant, but we also wouldn’t do anything to prevent it.  October 12 came around and I was feeling SUPER exhausted.  I worked evening shift at the time, and I would have to set my alarm to wake up at 11 am.  I had a pregnancy test laying around, so I took it.  I was shocked to see a very faint second line.

First positive pregnancy test

First positive pregnancy test

I thought maybe I was seeing things, so I sent a text with a picture of the test to my sister.  She thought it was posititve, but she of course convinced me I needed to get a digital test to confirm.  On my way in to work that day, I stopped and picked up a digital.  I took it in the locker room at work and BAM…

Digital test confirmed it!

Digital test confirmed it!

At this point I was bursting with shock and excitement and nerves.  I was trying to come up with a cute way to tell the hubby my whole shift.  I stopped at Meijer on the way home and picked up a bib.  I put the bib and the digital test in the shopping bag and gave it to him.  He was of course asleep because he had to work the next morning.  He pulled the bib out and said “I don’t get it.”  I told him there was more in the bag, and that is when he found the positive test.  He was shocked too, but he seemed happy even through his sleepy eyes.  20121013_135241

I made a Dr appointment for a few days later, and they drew blood to confirm the pregnancy.  2 or so days after the appointment, the doctor’s office called and said they wanted me to have labs drawn again.  They said the lab levels were very low, so they weren’t sure I had a viable pregnancy.  I was so upset.  I cried, called in to work, and immediately went to the lab.  I stopped at my mom’s after, and I was visibly upset.  I had to tell her why I was crying.  It wasn’t exactly the way I had pictured telling her I was pregnant.  Fortunately a few days later the doctor’s office called saying that the lab had appropriately doubled.

When I was 7 weeks, I had really severe pain in my lower abdomen on one side.  I went to the ER, where they immediately wanted to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.  After the ultrasound, the Dr came in and said the pregnancy was intrauterine, and that it appeared there were two yolk sacs.  In one there was a fetal pole with a heartbeat, but there was nothing in the other.  She said I may be having twins, but only one was developed at that point, and only time would tell if the second one develop as well.  She thought the pain I was having was round ligament pain, and that I was probably experiencing it early because of the 2 yolk sacs.  By my first OB appointment, the second sac had reabsorbed.

Throughout the first trimester, I would have occasional bouts of nausea, and I vomited every time I brushed my teeth (yuck!)  I was extremely tired too.  Just when I thought the second trimester would be better, I was struck with sciatica.  My exhaustion improved a little, but I continued to get sick when brushing my teeth.  The doctor recommended physical therapy for the sciatic pain, but it continued throughout the entire pregnancy.  My leg would give out unexpectedly, and I would get stuck in sitting and lying positions occasionally.  Overall, I tried not to let my discomfort hold me back.  We went on a cruise when I was 24 weeks and had a great time!

Carribean Cruise at 24 weeks

Carribean Cruise at 24 weeks

It took a couple of attempts to find out the gender of the baby.  At my first anatomy scan, the ultrasound tech wasn’t sure, but said if she had to guess, she would guess girl.  At the next ultrasound, the tech confirmed we would be having a baby girl.



At around 28 weeks, I started having some painful cramping that would come and go.  At L&D triage, they found that I was contracting pretty regularly.  My OB put me on “modified bed rest” for 2 weeks.  I was instructed to spend most of the time sitting with my feet up, but I was allowed to take occasional short trips out of the house.  After 2 weeks, she checked me and found that I had no cervical change, so she allowed me to return to work doing 4 hour shifts instead of 8.  I continued that until the end of the pregnancy.

Savannah was a very active baby.  I felt movement constantly!  When she wouldn’t move for long periods of time, I would get concerned because that was very unusual for her.  I made several trips to triage for them to monitor her, but fortunately she was okay each time.

When I was around 36 weeks pregnant, I woke up with pain in my chest.  Whenever I took a deep breath, it felt like a knife was piercing my chest.  Even with shallow breaths I was in a lot of pain.  After talking with a nurse in triage, she recommended we go to the emergency room.  After a couple of scans and many uncomfortable hours, they diagnosed me with pleurisy.  I was offered a narcotic, which I declined.  Fortunately, the pain got a little better each day.

My doctor decided to induce me at 38 weeks because I had high blood pressure.  I was scheduled to go in on the evening of June 11.

The rest of the story will be continued when I write the post about my labor and delivery.

37 weeks pregnant

37 weeks pregnant

My Biggest Sewing Project

I started sewing in the late winter of 2014.  I went to an introductory class at Joann Fabrics, and from there, I used youtube and blog tutorials to learn everything else.  Most of what I have done has been trial and error.  I used tutorials or free patterns online to make my projects.  I also designed my own pattern for sausage pillows.  Up until this most recent project, I had bought a few patterns from Joann’s, but I hadn’t tried any yet.  I had my cousin’s baby shower coming up, and I wanted to make something for her gift, so I set out on using my first envelope pattern.


I chose to make the bear.  I made a list of all of the fabric and other supplies I would need and set out to the store.  It was quite an ordeal having a toddler there with me.  She tries to grab everything off the shelves, and she touches all of the fabric I put in the cart, often times unrolling the bolts.  Several fits took place as well.  It took a while for me to pick out just the right fabric, but I finally had everything I needed.

When it came time for me to start working on it, I was a nervous wreck.  I read the instructions from start to finish several times.  My hands shook SO BAD the whole time I cut out the pattern pieces.  I was so afraid of messing them up.  After much longer than it should have taken, I finally got the pattern cut out.



The next day, I started cutting out the fabric.  For some reason, that wasn’t as stressful as cutting the actual pattern.  I did struggle with how to mark the different parts of the pattern.  I finally decided to use tracing paper for the applique lines, and I used thread to mark the places where the pattern would go together.  It probably wasn’t the best method, but it worked out.

I worked on this project over a couple of weeks.  I would generally only work for about 2-3 hours at a time.  Finally it started taking shape.






When I finally finished, it was such a relief.  My husband was impressed.  He never thought I would make anything like that.  My mom got to see it, and she loved it.  Of course, I am my own worst critic, so I saw imperfections here and there that bothered me, but overall, I think it turned out nice.



I would love to see some of the projects you have made in the comments!

The Quiet Life of Cold Sores

The burden of getting cold sores has been something that I’ve experienced since high school.  Outbreaks were always something I dreaded, but I dread them even more now that I am a mother.  Not being able to kiss my child for 2 weeks is heartbreaking.

I was always horribly embarrassed to admit that I suffer from cold sores.  I will never forget my first outbreak.  It was New Years of my junior year in high school.  About a week before, I took a volleyball to the mouth during a tournament and split my bottom lip.  It was no big deal, other than the split lip didn’t seem to want to heal very well, staying pretty tender longer than was typical.  I went to a friend’s house for New Years Eve and stayed the night.  When I woke up, I felt terrible!  My gums felt like they were on fire, I felt feverish, and I had ulcers all over the inside of my mouth.  I was so miserable, and my mom was so worried about the appearance of the inside of my mouth, she took me to the ER.  The doctor said I just had some canker sores.  I had had canker sores before, but never this painful or widespread.  We went home, and I went and laid in bed.  We had people over for my dad’s birthday, but I never came out.  My mom tried to bring me a plate of food, but I couldn’t even eat.  The next day, she sent me to my pediatrician with my dad.  By this time, I also had this painful sore on one of my fingers.  The Dr. promptly diagnosed me with Herpes Simplex Virus-1, or cold sores, which is different than a canker sore.  I was horrified and embarrassed.  How could this have happened?  She gave me a prescription for an antiviral and sent me home.  I missed school and volleyball practice for probably almost a week.  I could hardly eat or drink, let alone talk.  I had a few sores on my lips that broke open, so my lips stuck together.  In order to get my lips apart, I would have to break open the sores again.  It was extremely painful.  I lost about 10 lbs that week.  When I returned to volleyball, many of the parents in the stands remarked to my mom how much weight I had lost while I was out sick.  I never told any of my friends or teammates the reason I was sick.  This breakout was considered a primary infection, which is why I was so sick.  It usually only happens during the first outbreak.

Over the years, I have tried to be extremely careful about preventing the spread of my cold sores.  If I had an outbreak, or even thought I felt one coming on, I wouldn’t kiss anyone, share drinks or utensils, and I wouldn’t share my lipgloss.  I think friends at the time may have thought I was being rude, but I was trying to spare them while never telling them the reason I wouldn’t share.  How could I admit that I had oral herpes?

When I started dating my husband, it wasn’t long before I had to tell him about it.  When I would get any hint of a cold sore coming on, I wouldn’t kiss him.  I had to tell him it was for his own protection.  It sucked having to go 2 weeks at a time without kissing the man I loved.  It still sucks.  When my daughter was born, it seemed that I was getting cold sores about once a month.  It was devastating having a newborn that I couldn’t smother in kisses.  It was also terrifying to me as a nurse knowing the vulnerability of a brand new baby.  During that time, I asked my OB/gyn for an antiviral prescription.  Now in my chart, oral herpes is listed.  I am still a little embarrassed about it.

The reason I am admitting all of this is to spread awareness.  An article I read said that antibodies to HSV-1 is found in about 80% of all adolescents, so it is a very widespread virus.  Many people are exposed to this virus, and there is no cure.  It stays in your body and lies dormant.  About 1/3 of people will suffer from relapses.  For most people, cold sores are just an annoyance.  For infants and people with weakened immune systems, it can be dangerous, so for that reason, if you have a cold sore use extreme caution.  Wash your hands frequently, especially if you touch an area where there is a sore, and do not share drinking utensils, cups, or anything else that touches the sores, and do not kiss others.  Also be aware that it can be spread to the genitals with orogenital contact.

Feel free to share your experiences with me, and try not to be embarrassed if you do suffer from cold sores.  There are likely more people that you know that also suffer with them.