Thursday, September 11, 2014

Cancer Journal #5: Day-to-day living with Multiple #Myeloma

First things first, I have to get this off of my chest: I am so extremely  uncomfortable right now and I can’t seem to find that spot between reclining and sitting. It’s very annoying. One minute I’m straining my back, the next my stomach and now my neck. What’s the deal here? After a drink and a Godiva treat (that always makes a sister feel better!), I repositioned my area and sat down to a much more comfortable position. Now we can begin.

Whew!

2014-08-27 10.45.29You just don’t know how much of a task it can be to get comfortable with ailments trying to play havoc within your body. One that presented itself late last week was a fibromyalgia attack. I’ve written about this invisible illness before so if you’ve missed it, please click the link to check it out. You’ll get a better understanding of fibromyalgia and other background on my multiple myeloma history. Back to the attack: I had to do a bit more than I normally do like driving, getting in and out of the car as well as running errands and doing some chores by myself. My sweet daughter Amber normally does these things, but when she walked in the door on Wednesday I immediately knew she needed to go to the emergency room.

And I wasn’t taking no for an answer.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Family fun with Flip2BFit fitness board game - #product review

School is well underway and it won’t be too long before we’ll feel the shift in temperature as summer turns to fall. For a lot of us those cooler temperatures mean more time spent indoors and less time spent on outdoor sports and activities. One thing we don’t need a break from is staying fit; the best way is to stay fit as a family.

Flip2BFit_Fitness_in_a_Box_600x600I received Flip2BFit, the fitness board game, free of charge for the purposes of review and any opinions expressed in this post are my own and honest. There is one Amazon link to my affiliate account, which will garner me a little extra spending change.

My children (ages 7, 9 and 10) and myself finally had a small window of time to test Flip2BFit and we’re all flipping (sorry, couldn’t help myself) over it. It’s perfect for a family of four and definitely ideal for kids, like mine, who appear unable to keep their bodies still and/or love to exercise and try new things.

Flip2BFit is the first, and thus far the only, fitness board game. It gets players off of their butts to twist, stretch and jump (and that’s very entertaining to watch!) by introducing kids and their families to yoga, cardio, strength and stretching activities. According to the company’s website, “Utilizing the aspects of play, this innovative, creative and super entertaining game gets everyone up and moving and inspires a healthy lifestyle while building confidence and a love for activity. Through carefully chosen mental and physical challenges, children make informed choices while developing motor skills, coordination and muscle memory. It’s a simple and fun way to introduce kids to the beginnings of a healthy Lifestyle while incorporating play into gym class, a rainy day, before and after school programs, homeschooling and more. Plus, there is no equipment Necessary. Just open the box and play!”

CAM01393CAM01385And that’s what we did. With a quick perusal of the instructions and a brief explanation to the kiddos we were off and running… uh, actually stretching, jumping and doing strength building activities. My children found it almost impossible to sit still while a sibling took their turn so everyone’s turn normally included everyone playing. Although we comfortably played the game with four people (the maximum individuals), it can still be played if you have a larger family or want to play with a group. You’ll simply have to play using teams.

We haven’t gotten a chance to finish the first game, but it’s definitely still sitting out waiting for us to have the time. The children’s evenings are filled with homework, studying and projects not to mention chores when I can get them to do them without argument. We’re probably going to have to designate a day and/or time to play Flip 2B Fit more often.

We reviewed Flip2BFit fitness board game and we all loved it.

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For more information about this awesome game and the mission of Flip2BFit visit their site and/or follow them on their Flip2BFit Facebook page.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Kids find adventure in “Jed, The Forgotten Egyptian Prince” by Jeanette Dixon #bookreview

From the time I was 7 or 8 years old you could find me with my nose buried in a book. That love of reading followed me well into adulthood and, when I had children, that love of reading passed onto them. It’s true, when children see you reading they often follow suit (doesn’t hurt to give them books as gifts as well as squeal with excitement when you get a new one).

The majority of my children have caught the I-love-to-read bug – three outta four ain’t bad, and my son seems to have an extra dose of that gene.  I’ve recently noticed quite a few books geared toward our younger population that also appeal to young men so I’ve been on the lookout with my son in mind. It’s a must around here) where he finds himself surrounded by females and girl-oriented materials.

When I was contacted about reviewing Jeanette Dixon’s book, “Jed, The Forgotten Egyptian Prince” I responded in the affirmative because it sounded like one my son Andre would like to read.

As excerpt from the book’s back cover:

Fourteen-year-old Jed Collins is en route to Egypt with his parents and he’s worried that he won’t be worthy of that trust and responsibility. His low self-esteem hinders his confidence, but everything is about to change.

In a village market, an old Egyptian woman gives him a valuable scarab ring and cryptic information about his real identity. Confused, he keeps the information to himself, but events soon give him the courage to solve the mystery on his own. His attention is drawn to a hawk circling high above a nearby cliff. Something tells him that the hawk is actually a messenger. He shares his hunch with the team and soon finds himself granted the honor of first descent into a newly discovered ancient tomb. Inside the tomb, though, what starts out as a frightening fall turns into a magical adventure through time.

He awakes in ancient Egypt. There, he is known as Prince Djedefre, Djed for short, first son to the pharaoh. Djed and his new best friend, Arki, encounter traitors, treachery, and tomb robbers. It’s a time of great mystery and magic for a young man stolen from his own time. Can he find his way home or is he destined to live out his new life in an ancient land?

Or was it a dream?

My son read that description and was excited to read the book, but a chapter or two into it his excitement tapered off. Each time I asked him about the book he said he liked it but… and his voice would trail off again.

Finally, I corralled him so he could give me his thoughts of the book and an explanation of what was taking him so long to read it. I’d noticed he’d read and finished a couple of books since beginning.

“I like it but it is just talking about him about to go on an adventure and he just got the ring… (silence, with a raised eyebrow from me) … they’re talking about the ancient Egyptian tombs they want to find and someone in it… (more silence.)” After some more prompting he came up with “it’s slow…”

My son has little patience for anything slow, and even though he said he was going to finish reading it he kept picking up and finishing other books. I finally began reading it…

“Do scarab beetles really eat the flesh off of people?” begins the book. That’s an excellent one that would capture the attention of any young person.

Like Andre, I read about the beginning of Jed and his parents’ adventure to Egypt to participate in excavations of ancient sites along with the details in preparing for that and his growing excitement. I read about his first views of towering pyramids and fields of vegetables crisscrossed with irrigation canals from the Nile, and I read about the magnificent, descriptive prose the author weaves. But, like Andre, I started getting bored.

When, in chapter two, Jed encounters the hawk that’s mentioned in the description, the story picks up a bit. By the end of chapter two Jed literally falls into the archeological find and discovers the beginning of his new life. Adventure? Or dream? If you can patiently enjoy the lovely descriptive scenarios and the somewhat tiring dialogue you can enjoy Jed’s Egyptian Prince experience.

Normally I enjoy young adult novels, but I’m not sure this one is quite my speed. If you know your young reader will enjoy the story of a regular kid on an amazing, slow, beautifully crafted adventure then “Jed, The Forgotten Egyptian Prince” by Jeanette Dixon is the ideal book. Eventually Andre, as will I, will pick up the book again to enjoy the story as well.

What book has your youngster read lately?