Health Update

Xan and I are feeling a little bit better today.  Our voices are back.  Not to their full capacity, but enough that we can make out a sentence or two sounding normal before our voice gets a bit rusty again.  No more whispering since Sunday morning.  YEAH!  BUT, our throats are still sore and we still have cold-like symptoms.  We both got appointments for this morning. For those who care, like family or close friends, a more specific update follows below.  Otherwise, in short, we are alive and although we are not feeling great, Xan is on campus for a few hours today and I’ll be back to work tomorrow, as scheduled.

Bybee:  I was given a new anti-bacterial to try if the one I’m currently on continues to not work (today being day 5 out of 10).  They are still solid that it is a sinus infection.  And in case I do have any sort of laryngitis, I’m already on the anti-bacterial so no further testing or treatment should be required.  I inherited my tendency for sinus infections from my dad and he says sometimes it takes trying a bunch of different kinds of anti-bacterial types before the right one for you is found.  Also, I’ve got my posterior nosebleeds under control.  I lost over half a cup of blood on Friday alone, and that is not including however much ended up in my stomach.  Which was quite a bit extra.  I still feel slightly anemic but have been eating a lot of things with iron and that tends to make me feel a bit stronger.  I’m getting a referral to see a ear, nose, and throat specialist.  My dad recently had some surgery done with his nasal arteries that keep them from being so close to the surface and prone to drying and cracking.  He says it was easy, fast, and has been extremely effective.  Let’s hope so!

Xan:  He escaped the sinus infection but caught whatever nasty viral/bacterial bug I brought home with me.  He has the sore throat, a bit of mucus build up, sinus headaches, ear pressure, and overall tiredness/aches pains.  He says he’s feeling a bit better today.  Since he’s not the most expressive person with details, I can’t really write more without making it up.

Well, that’s us.


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Another Made-up Terminology: Type Green Personality

I’m stuck at home with a suspected case of bacterial Laryngitis with Xan.  It makes for a lot of whispers and some pretty ghostly laughs inspired by an array of tv shows and movies.  Fun, right?  But I figured I would take the time to catch up with things that I’ve wanted to get done around the house, including the blog.

I tried going to sleep last night early, but quickly realized it wasn’t going to happen.  I decided I would buy a new audio book from iTunes and let it distract me to sleep.  After rejecting a dozen of a dozen books, I went on an impulse and bought a different kind of book.  A self-help book.  I know, right?  But, it was half the price as most of the competition.  It’s entitled Women with Attention Deficit Order.  Listening, I got a desire to write about my learning disablity.  Not the first time.  But, I’ve hesitated in the past because I didn’t want people to think I throw it out there to get sympathy or to excuse my actions.  But I want to write about it because it is such a huge part of who I am and why I do and often say unconventional things.  I often wish I could simply explain my “unique” traits to people through my blog, then I would feel less stupid in social settings because they would know why I often say silly things like replacing the word “internet” for “freeway.”  (The more recent habitual word switch.)

But maybe, just maybe, I can also reach out to those who are like me.  Who struggle with ADHD with or without the dyslexia.  Who struggle with feelings of isolation, constantly worrying about what is coming out of my mouth that I’m not hearing or meaning to say.  Who struggle to figure out how people stay caught up with even the most simplest tasks like putting your keys in the same place every time.  Who struggle in more ways than this paragraph can adequately express.

I understand, accept, and use the term ‘learning disability.’  Offically, I was diagnosed half way through college with major ADHD (a 7 on a scale of 10 being off the deep end) and a reading disorder from BYU.  The person who tested me told me that BYU only diagnose children with dyslexia and call it a reading disorder when dealing with adults.  I simplify life and just call it dyslexia, since it deals with so much more than just reading.

I don’t consider myself to be disabled, though.  Yes, I still carry some negative feelings from my oblivious days.  All those years of not understanding why I didn’t learn like everyone else and why my intelligence always seemed impossible to see through my constant verbal slips.  These are gradually dissipating as I understand myself better.  No, I consider ADHD to be a personality type, only one that may need more attention than others.  I think it should be considered alongside Red, Blue, White, and Yellow in the Hartman Personality Profile.  I’ve impulsively chosen the color green.  It just came to me.  But it fits.  Just like reds can be obnoxiously controlling, bossy, and overly OCD sometimes, Greens can be unorganized, unstructured, and very forgetful.

Is it scientific or accurate?  Not in the slightest!  But consider it my way of coping or dealing.

Welcome  to the world of my green personality!

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Controlling Christmas Toy Clutter

Quick tip with Christmas coming up.  My sister, Crystal, did this last year and I’ve heard other people have a lot of success with it, too.

For those with kids, do you ever look around your house and cringe at the thought of having to buy MORE toys for you babies?  We’re talking 4-5 years and younger.  Well, now there’s another way!  It’s called recycling.

Crystal says she goes through her house periodically through the year and packs away toys that Kaitlyn and Hallie have lost interest in.  She throws out some, but saves others so that she can wrap them up and place them under the tree for her kids to rediscover and enjoy again.

It’s a win win situation!  At such a young age, they don’t understand the concept of getting new toys.  The majority won’t even realize what you are doing.  And you don’t have to deny your babies the magical wonder of tearing open their presents Christmas morning.


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Best Movie in a While!

Click here to see the trailer

Xan and I went and saw Red last Friday night.  It was INCREDIBLE!

Screen Transistions: clever
Soundtrack: fresh and catchy
Cast: Brilliant
Screenplay: witty and classic

I would HIGHLY recommend this movie!


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Third Step to Organized: When in Doubt, Throw it Out

My sink is clean.  My routines are getting done 90% of the time.  And I’m ending week number 3!  If I can keep this up for just another month, this will be the longest new habit I’ve ever purposely gotten myself to learn that I can remember.  (Yeah… that’s how bad I am!)  Or maybe its a problem with my memory….     anyway…

What’s next?  Tossing junk out and de-cluttering the home. What do we do to minimize all the clutter?  A few things.  First we start with the rules.

1.  Form a new habit of getting rid of it before it starts. Anytime you buy something new, throw out a similar item.  If you buy new sneakers, immediately throw out the old ones you are replacing.  If there is nothing old of a similar item, then throw out two unrelated things.  (I make the exception with books, movies, or anything where we are adding to a category that we WANT to grow.  But that is just us.  I don’t think we have enough stuff to get rid of to not have exceptions to the rule.)  NO EXCEPTIONS IF YOU HAVE ROOMS THAT HAVE NO FLOOR BECAUSE THEY ARE PILED WITH STUFF!!!  That defeats the whole purpose.

2.  Know where the nearest donation centers are and what types of things they accept. This will help you know what to throw straight into the trash/recycle bins, or what to put in a box to take out to the car.

3.  Don’t think too hard; when in doubt, throw it out… or box it for the season and see if you can decide later. Have you used it in the last 6 months?  Does it still fit?  Do you still like it?  This method goes with those unwanted gifts, too.  You know all those things over the years that people have given you that don’t fit the decor of the house, doesn’t fit, never read, broken,  so you have it boxed up… yeah, those!  If you aren’t going to hang it, wear it, or use it for its purpose… THROW IT OUT!  Those you’re afraid to offend are not going to see it sitting in the box either*  (And people, don’t be too offended if someone doesn’t like your gift.  We’ve ALL done it.  Most of the time it is the THOUGHT and EFFORT that counts more than the gift itself.)

Not too many rules, right?  Easy to remember. But, wait!  What do we do with the clutter we ALREADY HAVE???

If your house is really bad than I would recommend what she calls the 27 Fling Boogie.  Basically, everyday grab a box or trash bag and quickly run through the house and collect 27 items to trash or donate.  This shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes!  If there is a room that you can’t even enter because it has THAT much stuff in it, don’t stress.  Include it in your daily throw-out with a minimum of 5 items each round.  It may take a few months, but you’ll have that room back for use with very little effort on your part.

If your house is fine but could use a little work than I would recommend sectionalizing the place.  Choose 1 spot a week or month or however often you feel is necessary and declutter that one area.  Choose small areas that you can go through in less than 20 min. You could choose the computer desk, your craft drawer, the kitchen table, the pantry, pots and pans, movies, ect.  If those areas are really bad, break it down even further.  If your craft drawer is more like a craft center, then choose a specific craft or specific drawer, and JUST do that.  Set a timer to make sure you don’t get carried away.  Unless you have the whole afternoon to kill.  Then, GO FOR IT!

Remember! The whole point of the exercises is to do a little here and a little there.  We are learning habits.  If you go too big and get it all done too quickly, it will just build up again because you didn’t have enough time to make it a habit.

So far, for me, I’ve gone through my shoes, my clothes, and rearranged where I put my cooking books (back in the kitchen, thankfully).  Next stop:  I’d really like to organize my study space.  I don’t really have ONE place.  This has resulted in my ‘study materials’ to be spread all over the house.  Some by the bed, some on my desk, some in a few corners, some on the kitchen table…  Talk about clutter, right?  I’d like to keep everything by my computer but I only have one of those small computer desks.  SUGGESTIONS???

*Disclaimer:  I apologize to whoever has given me gifts that I no longer have.  That includes all those cute little Valentines from elementary school, or mass Christmas presents from middle school.  I’m sorry.  I really am.  But each of them was very appreciated!


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Let Me Tell You About My Best Friend

Toad and Mimsy are ABSOLUTE best friends.  They LOVE spooning!  This picture below is not uncommon even though it makes me smile every time I see it!

But the other night, they took their cuteness up a notch and as I was just about to crawl into bed, I noticed them spooning with their heads curled around one another on the couch.  I couldn’t help it!  I ran and got the camera!  Unfortunately, I’m still a bit slow using it and they had woken up and started bathing each other before I could get any shots.  But these are still cute, too!

Don’t you wish you had these two adorable creatures?  Seriously!  How on earth did I use to hate cats???

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A Sunday Walk In the Autumn

Xan’s camera is old.  Like back from ’03.  Mine is decent but the battery life is about one minute before the camera rejects the brand new batteries and shuts off.  We decided we needed a new one.  We splurged and got ourselves a fairly early Christmas present in time to capture Ithaca in the Autumn!

We’ve done this walk before many times.  I posted pictures from our Spring walk here.

There’s a turtle in the shot above.

I’m turning into my dad.  Most of the close-up nature shots… mine.

We also were a bit adventurous with my hair today.  I had washed it and left it down, and we tried out a few head flicks.  More like major hair swings, I think.

The one above makes me look like I’m powering my hair forward.

These are the shots that turned out the best.  We have MANY that didn’t turn out well that I’ll leave behind.  🙂

I like the one above.  My hair looks like a flower.

Xan’s favorite is the one above.  He says he likes the lighting.

Here’s my photo shopped one.

If I’m going to have long hair… I’m going to enjoy it.

Let’s not forget some photos of Xan!

I LOVE walking through Sapsucker Woods and LOVE that the trail is less than 5 minutes from our front door.  Makes me want to go running more often.  I haven’t been for a while and had forgotten how beautiful and peaceful it is.  I better enjoy it before the trail is covered in snow, ice, and/or slush!


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