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Got Grave’s, Be Brave

There’s #longhairdontcare. I’m gonna hashtag #gotgravesbebrave
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I know this may not interest some, but since I process things through writing, I thought I’d update my “mind” on Cyan’s doctor visit.  Cyan has Grave’s disease and January is thyroid awareness month.  Grave’s is an autoimmune disease; her thyroid (the butterfly shaped gland near the base of your throat) is hyperactive.  Since the parenting gig doesn’t come with a manual, so much of what we do is learn as we go.  And this is one of the many things that we’ve learned about and will continue to. A bit of history:
http://amanda.alarment.com/2013/05/21/worrier-or-warrior/
http://amanda.alarment.com/2013/06/21/bookends/

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Today we saw the nurse practitioner at Carrie Tingley’s Pediatric Endocrinology Clinic. I didn’t get her name, but I wish I had, because she was very helpful. She took the time to ask us if we understood Grave’s disease and explained it in more detail than the doctor did at our last couple visits. She explained the relationship between the pituitary gland and the thyroid, and the thyroid suppression hormone (TSH) and antibodies (T3 and T4). Cyan’s thyroid is still enlarged. It probably won’t get smaller, but it will not get bigger since we are treating it. I hope we can see this NP again.
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The current plan is to keep Cyan on methimazole (MMI) for probably two more years. Depending on how her labs come out, she may go on a lower dose. After two to three years, Cyan will be taken off of MMI and monitored to see if her thyroiditis has gone into remission. They will also take a look at her white blood count and liver functions to keep an eye on how she is processing the medication and make sure there are no adverse effects, in which case we could look at radiation or surgery.

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As Dr. Georges had told us, it could come back, particularly during times of high stress for women. One new thing we learned today is that sometimes pregnancy can cause the antibodies to increase and can pass from the mother to the baby. If Cyan becomes pregnant, she will need to let her OB know so the baby can be monitored and treated postpartum if necessary.  Crazy to think about, but it’s good for us to know since it’s now part of her medical history.

The NP said surgery is not usually something we’d consider with someone as young as Cyan. There is the potential that she will take MMI for periods throughout her life, but the goal is to get it to the lowest dose possible. Some people opt for radiation or surgery, in which case you have to take a synthetic thyroid (one pill versus two pills).  Cyan is really good about taking her pills (once in the morning and once at night) so I doubt this will be a factor.

She had blood drawn today. They brought in a very nice lady named Alicia who is a Child Life Specialist. She played with Cyan and we were all laughing so much as Cyan popped balloons on Alicia’s iPad and “scared” her. The nurses drew blood while Cyan sat on my lap. She was frightened when she saw the “needle” and she cried, but overall she was a very good patient. Because she was so good, Alicia took her down to her office and let her pick any toy she wanted from an awesomely stocked toy cabinet. Allan and I thought she might take the two sisters from Frozen, but she opted for a cheerleader doll that gives a cheer.
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They also weighed and measured her. I believe she was 36 pounds and 3’4″ tall. She is in the 75th percentile and growing well so that is a good sign that the Grave’s is not impacting her growth. Her blood pressure and heart rate were good. The NP will call me when the results are in to tell us when we should test again, if we need to adjust her dosage down, and when her next visit is.  Other than the occasional blood draw, we’re lucky that this condition doesn’t really affect our girl too much at this point.  We are part of a Facebook group and some kids have more trouble.
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Afterward, we went to “Old McDonald” for breakfast. She wanted me to climb with her so that’s just what I did. We climbed way up high in the play area and went down the slide. She said she wanted to leave her bandage on forever and for me not to tell anyone about it. She forgot about it when she was climbing through the play place, but she nursed her arm a few other times throughout the day. We talked about how she will have to have blood drawn to see if the medicine is working to take care of her body. We talked about blood and needles. She is scared, but also so very brave. We are so proud of her and love her so much.  It’s never easy to see your children upset, but she is such an amazingly strong girl, there’s no reason I can’t be too.  I almost cried from laughing when Cyan and Alicia were playing.  And I almost cried after the visit because I know the labs are scary for her.  But she always shows me how big her brave is, so I’ve gotta show mine.

And I think I’ll let her pick something from Etsy to remind us how brave she is:)

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Graves Disease Light Blue Cancer Bracelet b775c5c79c8b68fcb108510dee85a1b6

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Souper Bowl Commercial

This is a commercial for the Souper Bowl. I’ve been going for the good part of the last ten years. Hopefully by now you’ve figured out it is not the big game. Maybe someday I’ll get there?

The Souper Bowl is a soup and dessert tasting event to benefit Roadrunner Food Bank of New Mexico. Here are some tips and tricks.

1) Ride the shuttle to the event. Walk back to your car.

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2) Don’t like soup? Open your mind and your palette.

3) Think you won’t get full? Think again. That’s why you wall back to your car.

4) Don’t wear a white shirt. You don’t want to dribble.

5) Each year it seems there is a theme among the 20 or so competing restaurants with a handful putting their own spin on it or flavor if you like puns. It’s like the secret ingredient on Iron Chef and you are the snobby judge. Seafood, tomato, bisque, chowder, cold soups, butternut squash. And there is always, always, green and red chile.

6) Don’t throw away your spoon. As the pen is mightier than the sword, the spoon is mightier than the fork. At least at The Souper Bowl.
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7) It’s a little crowded although it’s really come a long way. Expect crowds and lines and cuts.

8) Don’t forget dessert. Chocolate covered strawberries, gelato, tarts, etc. There is something for every sweet tooth.

Not all soups are winners. Some try too hard and some are just better than others. You can vote for best soup, best dessert, and best table decor. There’s also live music and a silent auction.

For me, TSB holds some irony. We are tasting soup to benefit the local food bank. New Mexico has a big hunger problem, sadly it’s especially bad among children. But if we are full or don’t like a particular sample, it’s thrown away. A lot of food gets thrown away at this event targeting hunger.

Over the years, I’ve introduced a lot of friends to the event. This year was the Perez girls. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind being a Perez girl. They are fun, great dancers, and have big, beautiful lips. Today was as close as I’ve got.

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We had a souper time!
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Basement, Bar, Bowl, Beast

This weekend was brought to you by the letter B.

Once up a time Jim Halpern said, “Bears, beets, Battlestar Gallactica,” while impersonating Dwight Schrute.
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It was one of the best moments in the history of The Office. In case you missed it…

Basement. As in Songs from the Basement. As in 3 Doors Down acoustic set live at Isleta Hotel and Casino. I’ve seen this band twice in the last year and they are great. They seem like really cool guys. To affirm that, they cover Metallica and Phil Collins.


And they like mine and Allan’s stuff on Instagram. Thanks Brad and Chris and Justin!
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Bar. After the show, we went to three bars. By the end of the night I had a wrist band and two stamps. The first bar was Center Bar at the casino. Jessica offered to “buy a round”. Jenn heard “something with Crown”.

We were about to leave when we ran into Becca’s mom.  That’s the thing about casinos in NM. Invariably, you will run into one or more of your relatives. I love the Perezes. Turns out Becca’s mom had won and was ready to go home. But she couldn’t find Becca’s dad. So we decided to split up and help find him.

Which is how I got to the second bar. I ran into Allan and he pulls one of the most romantic gestures to date. He tells me the band is playing The Chair in the country bar and asks me if I want to dance. Yes! I practically fly to the entrance, hand my ID to the bouncer, put my ID in my jacket pocket, throw off my jacket and get ready to two step. It’s after the song ended and we left bar #2 that I realized, I didn’t have my ID. Oh well, it was my spare. So I lost my ID, but we found Becca’s dad. I thanked him, for without him I wouldn’t have been asked to dance. Oh yeah, and we saw this guy.
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The third bar was downtown. ArtBar is a non profit, private club/bar to benefit the arts. We were there for our friend Ana Maria’s birthday.
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The beards and PBR said hipster, but beyond the bar, the eclectic art crowd gathered for the show which included a comedian, a painter, two MCs, a rapping guitar player, a drag queen, a DJ, and a fire eating burlesque dancer. My favorite act was the girl with the beautiful voice, Jenny Wren, who played mandolin and guitar and sang Biggie Smalls.

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On the way home, we stopped for burgers.

Bowl. Souper Bowl. I think I’ll write a separate post on that.

Beast. Beauty and the Beast. This was our second time seeing the Broadway version of the Disney classic. But more importantly, it was Cyan’s first musical. It was her second show there (she saw The Wiggles when she was two).
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Our Belle of the ball enjoyed the show!
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Like I always say…
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Basement, bar, band, burgers, Bowman, bowl, Becca, beauty, Belle, beast, Burque, blog… this badass weekend was brought you by the letter B.

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Atticus’ Rockstar Birthday

We already knew Atticus was a rockstar. But lately he’s really been ’bout that rockstar life.

He dances.

He plays instruments.

Since he’s been showing the front man flair, we decided to do a rockstar themed birthday.

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He donned his baby Chucks and AC/DC Back in Black t. And he finally has enough hair to rock a faux hawk.
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He had fun playing with his cousins/crew/posse.
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And all of the instruments and band equipment.

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Cy (our opening act) wore Aerosmith Walk This Way. The stage manager (yours truly) wore a Beatles shirt.  Allan (Lead Roadie) wore a Nine Inch Nails shirt from the last time he saw them in El Paso.
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Backstage the spread was delicious.
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Everyone was getting into the spirit!
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There were guitars, amps, mics, a tambourine, and skulls all around.
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Atticus had help blowing out the candles!

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Rock stars can be kind of wild!

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This lucky celebrity got a lot of schwag!
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It was a great show!
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Tea Party

To start the weekend I call Party City, we had afternoon tea at St. James Tea Room for Julie’s birthday.
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Julie is my mother in law and she definitely deserved a special birthday treat.
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The theme was Starry Night and each course was based on Impressionist painters (my fave!).
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We had a wonderful time. Happy Birthday Grandma Julie, we love you!
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Little Man

This is my friend Vanessa.
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She’s got a little man on the way.  So we decided to throw her a little man mustache bash baby shower!
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There were mustaches galore!
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The favors were M&Ms with tiny mustaches and cute messages like “Welcome Malachi” and “Baby Maldonado” and “It’s A Boy!”
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We played a couple games and collected advice and well wishes to scrapbook. We didn’t waste any opportunities to use bad puns!
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There were lots of yummy things to eat and drink.
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Vanessa was showered with lots of love! And stuff for baby Malachi:)
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We had to call in for reinforcements to help get all the loot back to the nest.
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And now, we wait for the little man to arrive…

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All About Allan

This weekend was all about Allan. We didn’t plan it, it just sorta happened.  By the way, the picture above isn’t Allan.  But it could be.  If he was the lead singer of a post-hardcore goth-punk band.  More about that later.

Friday night we met one of my friends for drinks and appetizers at Jinja. Allan drank green chile beer. I had Pacific Rim Cocoritas. Yum. We ate Vietnamese spring rolls and an ahi tempura roll. Yum yum.

After Jinja, we headed to Stranger Factory for a show opening. The gallery was packed for the collaboration of designer vinyl urban artists Ferg and Brandt Peters. There were even people who traveled internationally to be there. And we just decided that night.  I’m not as into the scene as Allan, but even I could tell both the pieces and the turnout were impressive.

Saturday was the Albuquerque Comic Con which probably would have been cool in a bigger venue. I like Hotel Albuquerque, but it simply was the wrong choice. It was so crowded you couldn’t enjoy the nerdiness. There were more cosplayers than ever before. This time Cyan was the cosplayer, getting lots of shout outs. Baby turtle was my favorite. In the end, Allan accomplished his goal of getting a coveted signature from a comic book artist and we got our faces painted.  And we saw Corey Feldman.
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After the less than stellar con, we had lunch at St. Clair Winery & Bistro.This little piggy stayed home.
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In the evening, Allan had an extra ticket for a concert so I came with. But first a brew and a pie at NYPD.
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I wasn’t familiar with A Fire Inside, but it was a good show.
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Today, we continued the quest for six as the San Francisco 49ers visited the Carolina Panthers. Like last week, we invited over a few faithful friends and fans to feast on five dollar foot longs. Luckily, we’ll be doing it again next week.
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49ers, rock music, comic convention, art, plus food, friends and family. Those are all the things Allan loves.  And even though he is not in any of the pictures, we love him.  :)

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New Year’s Eve MST

A few random thoughts on my mind this new year’s eve.

Time zones complicate things.  Ryan Seacrest and Carson Daly showed their parties up until ten. Minus the ball drop. Then the news came on.

But time zones are good when you’re celebrating with wee ones. They were just fine counting down at ten.
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Cyan wanted to see fireworks. Thanks to YouTube, we watched fireworks in Dubai, London, Paris, China, Sydney, Amsterdam,  and Japan. They made it until about 1030. My night owls.

It’s sad to live in a time zone (Mountain) that is so dull that CNN restarts the countdown for the west coast. Woo Denver? No. Skipped. NYC check. Miami check. Some place in Indiana with a watermelon check. Drag queens in Key West check. Nashville check. New Orleans check. I guess the world doesn’t care how we do in the Q.

Ryan Seacrest. You sir are no Dick Clark.

I’m sure my dogs won’t care for the gunshots. Fireworks I get. I hate guns on regular days. And holidays. Take a shot. Don’t fire a shot.

I can’t say I love champagne. New Year’s Eve needs a new drink.

Ok, I’m just going to say it. The misuse of apostrophes (especially at this time of year) really grinds my gears. I’m no grammarian, but c’mon peeps. It’s not Happy New Year’s. It’s Happy New Year. Unless you are going to follow the new year’s with a day or an eve or resolutions or anything really. The “‘s” notes possession.

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As the last Mand standing, I’ll read a few minutes of A Game of Thrones and try to stay awake.

Happy New Year!