Wednesday, September 30, 2009

SmartXide CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing

About two years ago I had a photofacial done at a local medical spa. I loved the results! I had some pretty bad hyperpigmentation below my cheekbones and it basically got rid of it.

Alas, two years, birth control hormones, and a trip to Mexico did a number on my face and I found myself with quite a bit of hyperpigmentation again.

So last week I went in for another photofacial, expecting the same drill. Turns out it wasn't nearly as brown as last time, and the laser just wouldn't pick it up. The doctor suggested I come back for "SmartXide CO2 Laser Skin Resurfacing". She warned me that I'd look sunburned for up to two weeks, but that it should take care of the uneven pigment.

So here's how I'm looking today. I went to work and am off to a concert tonight. I'm not at all worried about what people might think- although WC asked me why my face was bruised. How do you explain vanity to a 3 year old? :-) I know I'll love the end result!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Target, how cool!

I managed to remember to take in my reusable shopping bag to Target today, and I got a little surprise!

As of last Saturday, they take 5 cents off your total for each reusable bag you bring in and use!

Love that.....

Monday, September 28, 2009

Dear Tom Bergeron,

I just wanted to let you know that I simply didn't have 5 hours to devote to Dancing With the Stars last week.

Are you going to do that to me again this week? Your show has become quite a time commitment and this busy working mom of two who still doesn't feel 100% after her recent illness simply can't fit watching this show into her schedule.

Call me when it's back to 2/3 hours per week.


Saturday, September 26, 2009

More Hemangioma Information

I have gotten quite a few hits and comments lately about the post I did on WC's hemangioma and the pictures I took as it ulcerated and ultimately healed. I also posted several pictures of her H showing the scar revision surgeries we have done over the past year.

Several people have asked for advice and I want to do an overview post.

First of all, not all hemangiomas will ulcerate. Ulceration is caused by rapid growth, and as this happens, if the overlying skin is unable to handle the growth, the skin will break open and ulcerate. Also, not all ulcerations will get infected. WC's never did.

Typically, most doctors recommend a "wait and see" approach if the H is not ulcerated and does affect breathing, eating, or vision. So if you don't fit in these categories, you most likely won't need to see a specialist.

Some doctor recommendations I got:

Dr. Zide in NY
He is a pediatric plastic surgeon. He did surgery on a baby I know of who had one above her eye because there was danger of it affecting her vision. If you email him a picture, he will give you his opinion. He is very hesitant to do surgery if it is not needed. He told us he would not do surgery on WC because it wasn't needed at the time. He said he would rather wait and do a scar adjustment surgery later.

Dr. Waner in NY
Dr. Waner is pretty much the pioneer in the field.

Dr. Levitin
When I chatted with Dr. Levitin he was in NY with Dr. Waner but it looks like he was relocated in LA. Levitin will give his opinion via email- You may reach Dr. Levitin via email at, through his website at

Dr. John Burns in Dallas - this is who we ended up using
Dr. Burns is a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon who specializes in vascular abnormalities. Really, I think they are the best kinds of doctors to see for this. I don't know that they will give opinions from pictures.

Dr. Buckmiller in Arkansas
Dr. Buckmiller trained under Dr. Waner and gave us an opinion via email and suggested that we wait to get a better cosmetic result, since the ulceration had healed.

Here is the email address I sent the pic to to get an opinion from Dr. Buckmiller. Diane Bussard

Here are a few online forums that are helpful: list of physicians by state Vascular Birthmark Foundation

I know I overloaded you all with links- hope some of it is helpful! If you have other questions, ask away.

So here's is what I would do if I had a baby with an ulcerated hemangioma:
Email Dr. Zide, Dr. Levitin, and Dr. Buckmiller and get opinions from them. Also try to see a doctor in your area that is on the VBF or NOVA recommended list. My experience is that it is best to see someone who specializes in vascular birthmarks- we settled on a Pediatric Plastic Surgeon that specializes in vascular birthmarks and I feel good about that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Dessert Recipe


Um, yeah. I just improved upon perfection.

My famous, prize-winning Neiman Marcus Bars mated with Jif, Reese's peanut butter chips, and a chocolate cake and out came:

PB Chocolate Gooey Bars

All my co-workers pink-puffy-hearted me today.

And you will too! Although these are not SIODI-approved, they rock.

Anyway, here's what you need:

  • 1 box Duncan Hines Deluxe chocolate cake mix
  • 1 stick butter (I use Parkay)
  • 4 eggs
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese (I use Philly 1/3 less fat)
  • 1 cup Jif peanut butter
  • 1 bag Reese's peanut butter chips
  • 1 box powdered sugar (I think it's 16 oz- but it's the box, not the bag)
  • glass pan (this is very important- must be a glass pan)

Combine: 1 egg beaten, 1 stick melted butter, and cake mix. Pat stiff dough in 9X13 pan that has been sprayed w/ Pam.

Combine: cream cheese, 3 eggs, Jif, and entire box of powdered sugar. Stir in PB chips. Pour this over dough.

Bake at 350 degrees 30-40 minutes, until top is golden brown. I let them cool and then store them in the fridge.


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

GDA: Crocs Nanook for Moms and Daughters

There's an awesome sale at on Crocs Nanook!

Save an additional 25% with code anaappreciate1119. Shipping is Free.

After the 25% off code, these are the final prices:

Girl's Crocs Nanook $7.49
Women's Crocs Nanook $11

Don't forget to go thru Ebates for an additional 4% off!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Local Gals: Sashaslist

Local Gals- if you could use a Britax Marathon that doesn't expire until Feb 2010, let me know and it's yours.

The cover needs a little washing and some new elastic around the perimeter, but if you are handy with a sewing machine you'd at least get 6 month's use out of it before it expires.

It was used by both our children exclusively in our vehicle and was never in an accident, not even a fender bender.

Email me at barelytogether at yahoo dot com if you'd like to come get it!

note: Claimed by Megan!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Show Us Your Life - Dinner Recipes


Everybody's got a go-to dinner recipe, right? One that everyone in your family loves? The Sasha Family Favorite is Taco Cornbread Pizza from the Kraft website.

I modify slightly, so here's how I do it.

What you'll need:
  • 1 pkg. (8.5 oz.) corn muffin mix (I ONLY use Jiffy! 44 cents!)
  • 1 egg
  • skim milk
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 pkg. taco seasoning mix (I typically get the low sodium McCormick)
  • shredded cheese

Preheat oven to 400°F. Prepare corn muffin batter as directed on package using egg and skim milk; spread into well-greased 12-inch pizza pan. Bake 8 to 10 min. or until lightly browned.

Meanwhile, cook meat with seasoning mix as directed on package.

Spread meat mixture over the crust and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake an additional 4 to 5 min. or until cheese is melted. Top as desired with lettuce, tomato, sour cream, etc.

There's just something about taco meat and cornbread together that is so yummy!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Family Portrait by P

It's kind of hard to see, but P used the grey crayon for his dad's hair..... how funny is that?

The hubs didn't think it was nearly as funny as I did. He's been salt-and-pepper since he was about 16.

On another note, I am digging my pink shoes and bleached-blonde hair. So cute!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Not What I Planned

When I was pregnant with The Wild Child and found out the baby was a girl- I was taken aback! I was so sure it was going to be another boy, and hell, I'd saved all the baby clothes! The bargain hunter in me was disappointed that I'd need new nursery bedding and clothes... but wait! I'd need new nursery bedding and clothes! Fun fun fun.

So of course I started dreaming of a little girl who'd let me curl her hair, do all kind of fun hairdos, and dress her in beautiful frilly clothes- and since football is such a big thing around here, I could just envision the Sasha family at tailgate parties outside the stadium.... how cute our family would be! Of course, I'd dress in her things like this:

Yeah, it's not going how I planned. Try as we did to get her in a cute little cheerleader outfit, this is what she wore to the game:

She was still very mad at me right here because I was trying to convince her that the jersey she dug out of her brother's drawer was way too big.....

But once I gave in and said she looked "cool" (oh-so-important to her) the smile came back and we were off to the tailgate party.
Oh, it was muddy. But they had a ball and when WC was her muddiest and looked so happy and carefree, my friend Gina said, "It's like she's at her own little Woodstock!" How right she was.
WC is going to be one to march to her own drummer.... she's going to dress how she wants, stereotypes be damned, and she's going to have the best time doing it. Shouldn't we all be like that?

Happy Sunday! Hope you are enjoying the day like the Sasha family is!

Friday, September 11, 2009

It's Sure a Shame

I'm not a better photographer, but I sure as hell am going to look chic when I get my new camera strap I ordered from mod for my Rebel (which stays on auto, shut up).

My friend Michelle from college knows the owner and her stuff is so so so cute! As soon as I can get home and post a pic for you I will- I have a new version of IE here at work and it's killing me! Can't upload photos to blogger and it also shuts down my window each time I send a yahoo email! The horror...

At any rate, if you can't wait, you can go see for yourself. I picked out the charlotte strap, which is on the second page of straps at the top.

Happy shopping!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fabulous News!

My doc thinks I had some random viral infection, similar to mono. And it messed up my liver, which in turn messed up my gall bladder.

But I am feeling much better and he says I will continue to feel better everyday and all should return to normal. And I'm not contagious!

Thanks for all your prayers!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

I Do NOT Have

  • a parasite (verified with two separate tests)
  • Hepatitis A (verified with two tests)
  • Hepatitis B or C (one test)

I do have:

  • elevated liver enzymes, although my last test shows them going down a bit, but not to a normal level
  • sludge in my gall bladder detected via abdominal ultrasound (they think that's an incidental finding and unrelated to my illness, yet still want me to have a HIDA scan tomorrow)
  • a hemangioma on my liver (although that's not an issue, just interesting given WC's hemangioma history

I am waiting to find out about:

  • the abdominal CT scan I had last Thursday

I also have a cold, which is pissing me off royally. Srsly? Now??????

At any rate, I hope to be back to myself soon. I haven't exercised in an entire month! (Or drank a beer, but I suppose that's neither here nor there since I haven't felt like it.)

Thanks for your prayers and get-well wishes!

Friday, September 4, 2009

An Explanation of Sorts

So sorry I haven't been myself, and posts aren't as usual.

But I have been sick, sick, sick, for almost a month and we just can't figure it out.

This week I've had quite a bit of testing done (I'm a giant pin cushion right now) and hopefully the GI doc will have a solution for me soon.

I also imagine I'm setting a record for the first person sick for this long who isn't losing any weight. Boo!

So just a small request for some prayers for relief and answers. I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Finally: My Anniversary Present

Coach Parker

I've been meaning to post this forever!

In CO, due to my carcolepsy, I of course fell asleep driving from the airport to Manitou Springs. The hubs woke me up at an outlet mall and handed me a Coach gift card! Fun!!!!!

I already had the Parker in Violet and I love love love this purse. Absolutely perfect. I love it like I love the Carly, but this is lighter weight and I adore the side pockets, where I can store my cell and easily find it.

I found the Cream Parker on sale, and I even mentioned to the salesperson that I had a 20% off coupon at home, and she went ahead and gave me the discount, so I scored this baby for a little over $100. Amazing! I also picked up that cute little scarf and a scarf for my Violet Parker too, which I'll show you later.

It was a perfect present- of course the hubs knows me so well!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

A Dessert Update

Well, seems like lots of folks from here in the (south)west do call them Neiman Marcus Bars. But Chess Cake? That's a new one for me. That came up in the comments and by chance I stumbled upon a blog who mentions them.

And Slim? She's on my list. Fo sho. She had the nerve to email me this list and now I can't wait to be well so I can make the last one on the list......

Pumpkin Gooey: This variation has to be at the top of my list, especially around Thanksgiving. For the cake part, I sometimes use a spice cake mix. I have even used a chocolate cake mix, but I think my favorite is the basic yellow cake mix. Follow the original recipe, adding a 15-ounce can of pumpkin pie filling and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Bake as usual, remove from oven, and allow to cool. Cut into squares and top each square with a pecan half. Serve with a dollop of fresh whipped cream. I promise you'll never want pumpkin pie again!

Pineapple Gooey: Add a 20-ounce can of drained crushed pineapple and an extra egg to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Lemon Gooey: Use a lemon cake mix in place of the yellow cake. Add the juice (approximately 1/4 cup) and zest of 2 lemons to the cream cheese filling. Proceed: as directed above.

Carrot Cake Gooey: Use a spice cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts and 1 1/2 cup finely grated carrots to the cream cheese filling. Proceed as directed above.

Peanut Butter Gooey: Use a chocolate cake mix. Add 1 cup creamy peanut butter and an extra egg to cream cheese filling. You can sprinkle the top of batter with 1 cup chopped peanuts if you like. Proceed as directed above.

Chocolate Chip Gooey: Use either yellow or chocolate cake mix. Sprinkle 1 cup chocolate chips and 1 cup chopped nuts on top of filling. Proceed as directed above.

Banana Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix. Prepare cream cheese filling as directed, beating in 2 ripe bananas and an extra egg. Proceed as directed above.

Nutty Gooey: Use a yellow cake mix, and add 1 cup chopped nuts to the cake mixture. Proceed as directed above.

Chippy Gooey: Stir 1 cup white chocolate chips, peanut butter chocolate chips, butterscotch morsels, Heath Almond Toffee Bits or Heath Milk Chocolate Toffee Bits into filling. Proceed as directed above.