Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Laundry Mountain

Were there extra people here this weekend?  There were enough dirty clothes to cover an army!  I think each person had about 8 or 9 pairs of underwear (hopefully lots of swimming, and not accidents?) They think they get new undies after every dunk/bath/swim/clothing change-yes, I think it's a good thing)!  There were five loads-tons of jammies-I just had ALL the laundry done last Thursday before I left town!  I am all caught up, and (NewsFlash:) they are put away.  Don't get too excited, it only happens if I'm traveling.  Normally, there is laundry in progress ALL the time!

I also had to take Ethan to the grocery store.  We had no cereal (they claim that Cheerios and Special K don't count)!  We only kind-of stuck to the list.  He got this little dino-head juice drink (I think they are Tummy Ticklers-expensive sippy bottles of juice), then Fruit Loops and Rice Krispies, then Chuck E. Cheese cheesesticks (just his picture on the outside-but it works, Advertisers!), and by the time he wanted yogurt-covered raisins (I admit they are yummy, but mostly sugar!), I told him Enough!  He had to trade something-he'd gotten enough Special Foods (since he's the Only One Who Got To Go With Mommy To The Store!).  He ended up trading the cool dino-head drink for the raisins!  Wow.  At least it ended with him hugging a bunch of bananas-his last Special Food! : )

We took Ches to lunch (yes, I enable this bike-rider-to-work), then Ethan fell asleep on the way home.  He just loves his Veggie Tales, and they sang him right to sleep.  It didn't last long, and it powered him back up-enough to glue, and draw, and snack, and help me with laundry (well, he played a good game of Don't Let Mommy Get The Dryer Door Open), then some good ol' Tag!  We ran all over, but I figure it was our workout, so I count it.

Clay had boy scouts, and had to do lots of exercises, kind of like the Fitness Gram at school.  He did great!  He can do tons of sit-ups, he's super fast at running, but the only thing he didn't do too well in was the pull-ups.  Ches told him he'd have to practice since they are retesting next month.  When they pulled in the driveway, he asked if he could go practice! (at 8:15pm!)  What a sweetie.  He tries so hard!

I tested Mary Claire on her spelling words while she was in the tub-what hard words!  Distinct, Instinct, Suggest, Seldom, Tranquil-whew!  She did fairly well, but it means we'll have to do some studying this year!  Last year was a breeze.  Clay's are harder too, but I always think he can do anything.  Now, Mary Claire is in the hard work!  I can't believe she's in third grade.

Ahh, they are all in bed, and sleeping.  I've done a tiny bit of research (tiny for me).  I have a couple of books on miscarriage, and Asherman's Syndrome is not so common.  The outcome is about 80% better with surgery, and the books recommended leaving the "balloon" in for a month!  I'll take the books, and see what Dr. Miller thinks.  He didn't give me an exact time, but it sounded much shorter than that!  I can't imagine crampy-ness for a month!  Ick!

I'm always amazed-do you know that God knew exactly what was wrong with me from the beginning?  I do.  He was just waiting for me to find it-or encouraging me to keep looking.  I found the pages that discussed adhesions, and I'd folded the corner down, asked my doctor about it in May, and had let it go.  Now, I just think, why wasn't it starred and circled for me?  Ha!  God just doesn't work that way.  But I found something, and I'm thankful.  How many more things are laying in front of me that I don't really see?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Getting Away

Branson for my birthday shopping trip!  I’ve been in Branson all weekend for a girls’ weekend away-mostly shopping for our families! : )  But, since I’ve gotten a little bigger (no blame, no shame..just bigger), I shopped some for me.  After all, it was a birthday trip!  We go every year for my birthday (thank you, my BFF Angie!), and shop ‘til we drop.  This year we stayed two nights-it’s always different.  It always depends on the kids’ schedules, and our husbands!  God bless them for letting us get away and shop.  We recharge our batteries, and refill our closets! Heehee I even got candles and some Harry & David soup mixes this time, so it’s not all clothes.

Dad got out of the hospital on Friday, thank goodness.  He has to take it easy for a while.  We learned that having a blood transfusion causes iron, potassium, and calcium to drop to nothing.  He’s got to load up on those, and Mom is doing what she can to get those down his throat.  He’s not a big guy, so he’s not eating that much.  I told her to supplement with vitamins-he needs so much, it’d just be too much food!  And she thinks it’s tough to eat what he’s eating: chicken-fried steak, and banana splits!  He’s got it rough.  : )

I had a doctors appointment in Little Rock today, so we had to get the kids to school early to head out of town!  When I walked Ethan in this morning, he was fine, then when I hugged him bye, he got all whiny, and wouldn’t let go.  He hid behind my legs, kept mumbling that he didn’t want me to leave, and then grabbed me, and didn’t let go of my neck.  He had his legs wrapped around me (it really does make me feel loved and needed, so I can’t get mad!), and the teachers had to pull him off after I told them I was supposed to be in Little Rock at 11:30.  I felt so bad.  I would have almost taken him with me, but during the procedure, I don’t know what he’d do.  The trip would be no big deal-he’s a great traveler!  I just feel bad (does a mother ever not?).  I miss my little munchkins.

So I had my next appointment at the specialist clinic in Little Rock today. I didn’t get in to see the doctor till 12:30 (it was Dr. Batres, and he was nice), but it was for a hydrosonogram instead of a hysterosalpingogram.  It was just saline water-but they had to use a huge speculum to get the syringe/catheter in, then get the speculum back out.  Not nice.  I did okay, but it was awful.  The good thing is I learned.  I saw Dr. Miller after lunch, and he explained the situation.  I have two adhesions (also called Asherman’s Syndrome) across my uterus, and they were either caused by my c-section when Ethan was born or by the d&c in April.

They have scheduled for the adhesions to be taken out on Thursday.  Dr. Miller said that the miscarriages can cause the adhesions, but the adhesions could’ve caused the miscarriages.  It depends on when they were formed, and there’s no way to know for sure when.  The yucky part is that our health insurance pays for NO infertility, so it won’t pay anything to repair fertility.

They will do the surgery as an outpatient procedure next door to the fertility office.  I won’t be completely out, just “conscious sedation”-asleep, but wake-able.  I’m not excited (Understatement of the Year).  To keep the adhesions from growing back, they will put in a balloon to hold the walls of the uterus apart.  I’ll go back in about a week to have the balloon deflated and taken out.  Yes, it can be painful, and yes, I might whine. : )  I’m a teensy bit relieved that they’ve found something I can cure.  It might not solve all problems, but it explains a lot.  I can’t believe it took so long, and why didn’t the first specialist in Little Rock do the hydrosonography?  This would have been the last thing I thought it was. I did ask my doctor in May if I should be on Estrogen or Progesterone to prevent adhesions after my d&c, but he said no.  Hmm..the things I’ve learned.  I think you have to be an advocate for yourself-no one else is going to do it for you!

Say prayers for my uterus and my kiddos that used to call it home! : )

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Faux Pix and Trips

Here's our pretend first day of school picture.  It only matters this year..next year I will have forgotten! : )  At least we got one.  The kids were even rushed this morning, and Clay didn't even want to get one.  ha!  Does he even know me after 10 years? : )

Dad's hemoglobin dropped again today. Back down to 9.1 (at 8.5, he got two pints of blood).  I don't know what they'll do.  It seems like he's not regenerating new blood cells.  I think he needs a colonoscopy just in case there's a leak down below.  Just in case.  I know they aren't any fun, but you can't mess around with no blood!

Tomorrow Angie and I are meeting in Branson, Missouri.  I have told the school, and now you, so everyone is hereby informed.  heehee  I can be reached by cell phone, and I'll be deep in Nike, Gap, or Gymboree!

Here's something to do while I'm gone..shop Two Peas In a Bucket-one of my FAVORITE sites!  You can shop like me and shop the things I love.  Which reminds me of my birthday, which is coming up!  Aren't they anti-climactic?  I think it stems from childhood when we counted down the days till our birthdays, then got a present or a party!  Now, they come and go.  Much less hoorah.  I still like them since I feel special on my day, but I have to make them come alive (with Rick's Bakery and some Brighton!)!  (Does my life revolve around chocolate and jewelry?)  (is that sad?)

Dad & Dance

Every day is a new day.  Dad's been feeling yucky for the last few days-since Saturday.  Mom thought maybe it was food poisoning, then maybe a silent heart attack, then a virus, it was so hard to determine with his general, common symptoms.  He had a little chest pain, had a headache, and was very weak.  He could barely get up to go to the bathroom or eat-he was so weak.
Well, Tuesday night John and Christine went over there and told him to go straight to the hospital!  He did, and come to find out-he was severely anemic, and was low on blood!  They did a transfusion, always scary, and gave him two pints of blood.  It is scary when it first starts, because your body can refuse it, or you can have an allergic reaction.  The nurse wouldn't leave the room, and kept checking his vital signs.  He did fine.  He was on oxygen, since his hemoglobin was so low-the oxygen binds to it to be carried around the body, and it was LOW.
Yesterday was better, he has now had an EEG, a CAT scan, and a EGD.  They thought it might be his aorta, but it wasn't.  It was a bleeding ulcer.  They are giving him lots of Protonix via his IV, and it has helped.  That's actually what I take when I have a flare-up!  They wanted to do a colonoscopy, but he wasn't strong enough for the prep.

Today, he's better, but he can't leave until his hemoglobin is up..may be a couple days.  He's getting a steady stream of visitors, so he's entertained. :  )

Later..Ok-more bloodwork showed that his hemoglobin is back down to 9.3-going down.  He got some sleeping meds for night if he needs them, still no appetite, and he's either still loosing blood, or not making new.  He may need more blood soon.  Keep him and his doctors in your prayers!

We are still busy-Mary Claire starts dance tonight, and we've gotten her shoes-two trips and frantic dance-shop-shopping/searching-you can't find them just anywhere!  We found the Red Shoe in Fayetteville, so helpful!  She got some Capezio Foot Undeez for jazz-they look like little underwear for feet-heehee-she loves them! and we got some dance shorts for after ballet-she really won't have time to change out of her leotard, but it'll kinda be like changing clothes.  Maybe I will have time to post pix tonight after class.  Tomorrow I'm headed to Branson for our fall trip, but I don't think I'll be able to post-I'm not sure we have internet! : )

Say some prayers, and THANK YOU to everyone who has registered to walk with us on September 18th-we are super excited!!! : )  We Love You and Appreciate You! : )

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Research and Forms

Laundry Observations:
*I'm doing lots more doll clothes lately..reason?

*If you wash a child's sheets, the chance of them having an accident in the bed that night is increased by at least 30%.  (Of course I've done the research!)

*Our towels take wayyy too long to dry.  What looks sumptuous (and organic!) in the store will take at least three times as long to dry.  But, boy are they absorbent!

I had to go digging for lost treasure last night.  Monday folder night always gives me lots of work.  I had to fill out lots and lots of forms: PTA membership forms, t-shirt order forms, Mary Claire's health update/504 Plan, classroom teacher Student Information forms (with our goals for our children-and getting to school on time and having breakfast isn't a teacher-approved goal) with how they learn best, three words to describe them..signing the back of the Student Handbook, cutting it out, sending it back, Spelling Word List Theory (10 assigned pattern words, five new pattern words-that are Surprise! on Friday morning, five Challenge words, and five words (called High Frequency on the front of the Contract, and Sight Words on the back of the Contract-yep, had to sign and return the bottom portion!), when we could come and be Secret Readers (read to the class as a surprise), when we could help in the classroom, and that might be it...  Whew, I'm really glad Ches is home on Monday nights now-it makes for a lot of extra work on folder night! : )

Ok, so I never got to the point: the Treasure Hunt.  So, back on track.  I had to fill out papers for Ethan too : ) and I hadn't turned in copies of his birth certificate and social security card!  I looked all over the place!  I looked through baby books (I just tried to take a picture, but my Battery Is Exhausted-ha! Me too!), the kids tubs of art I save, the basket of unorganized stuff yet to be filed in the Tubs of Art/School Stuff, the Important Stuff file (yeah, that's really its name!) and found his birth certificate and the application for his Social Security card (yeah, I save things..), and on and on...until I had the Oprah Aha! Moment!  I checked the Social Security file, and by-golly, I found his social security card!  Unsigned and everything (you know, since he's three)!  I'd already gotten desperate, and copied his social security card number from our 2008 Tax forms (since our accountant has our ss numbers, but I can't find them!)  I thought it'd show I was really trying to make progress towards finding it. : )

So, my latest dilemma is getting Mary Claire's "Orders" signed.  We just had her last endocrinology appointment around July 7, and her doctor moved to Louisiana.  We already have her next appointment made (January was the next available!), so we are technically between doctors.  I forgot that the school needs her bolus and correction ratio charts signed by her doctor, or I'd have taken them with me to Little Rock in July!  (Will someone please remind me of this next summer?)  So.  I've been calling Arkansas Children's Hospital clinic (old doctor's office) since we've seen all the doctors there, and left messages and faxes.  Finally, they called back today, but said they didn't get the fax.  I had to send it again today-I am really working on it-everything is such a job.  Sometimes I think Ches wonders what I do all day-I'm so busy I forget to eat lunch till it's time to get Ethan!

We are back in school mode-today is boy scouts, Wednesday Ches has a training from 6-10pm (booooo!), Thursday is gymnastics for Ethan and MC to dance, Friday is ME GOING TO BRANSON-HOOO-RAH! and Mary Claire to a dance party! and me to church and making copies at the school, and Sunday is girl scouts, Monday is back to LR for test...and need I go on?  Never, I know.

I'm really bummed about this Training he is going to on Wednesday. I'm trying to be Supportive Wife, but it's hard.  He got some of his classes at the UA online, so he got to drop his Monday night 6-9 class, but now he's got this yucky old training class-thing on Wednesday nights from 6-10 (I'm available for dinner, Mom!), so back to me parenting alone on that night. : (  I can handle it all, just knowing he'll be here for back-up soon (when I get to that 4 o'clock crazy hour), but that's putting them to bed alone...boo.

Ok, gotta get back to work on JDRF Walk stuff-I turned in my "art" for the shirt-now just waiting for it to look BETTER (with MaryAnn's help..)!  I hope to get the proof by Friday-be watching! : )  I'll post it when I get it, I'm excited! : )

Monday, August 23, 2010

Swimming Fish

Gonna get fancy on you again! heehee
We have video of our little fish!  Ethan can jump, swim underwater, just amazing for a three-year-old.  He's made sooo much progress this summer-from falling in and panicking in April to swimming like a fish underwater! : )  I started working with him in the spa to swim across the four or five feet, then Ches has been working with him each night to perfect his swimming across the pool! I didn't get that video, but I'll work on it tomorrow night. What will we do when summer's over?

And Mary Claire did some showing off-her Twirling Cannonball, silly Balance Walk, and front and back flips.
Clay was in great form showing off his Dead Man and Throw-Up.  Yeah, I know-he's a boy of that age. : )  Just wait till he has a girlfriend (at 21..or 25), and I show her the videos!

ps-I totally meant fancy as in attaching a video-not fancy swimming.  We do the best we can-show outs included. : )

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Are you there, God? It's me, Holly

Sick.  I've been coming down with something-and It's here.  Ick.  I went to church, but I wanted to come home-then they went out to lunch without me.  I was totally fine with it, I just wanted to go to sleep.  I think all the staying up till midnight last week working on Mary Claire's notebooks for the nurse/teacher, labeling snacks, updating charts for the notebooks, etc. wore me out!

I remember I was sick this time last year-about the first time I miscarried.  That day is coming-as is September-the month the twins would've been here.  It might be a rough month.  Ches just brought it up Friday night when we were out.  I guess I'm trying to stay positive, since we are still in the process.  I have to call the doctor in Little Rock on Monday to schedule my HSG (hysterosalpingogram)-I'm guessing it'll be the end of the week, maybe next week?  I found a Youtube video on it-not so thrilling.  It checks for problems, but can actually cause some problems.  I guess it can't get worse, so I'll go ahead.  This will be the last of the tests, as now I think I've had them all!  There is still chromosomal testing, but I don't think we'll have them-we've had three healthy babies-in a row!-and it won't help much unless we'd do in-vitro, and we don't plan to go that far.

We're just trusting God to provide us information and lead our family.  He has a great plan-and we can't wait to live it.  If it is just enjoying the family we have now-we can appreciate what we have and live each day to the fullest.  If it includes a bigger family, we'd love that too.  We always say we have faith, but until it's tested with some No's or obstacles, we never know how strong we really are.  It's easy to be a great Christian when it all goes well, it's harder when we don't get our way.  I still believe there's a reason for everything-I've seen it play out too many times to doubt it.

I have a friend that says she's walking 'through the desert', when she doesn't hear God.  I love her, and respect her faith, and I know exactly what she means!  I still hear God, but there are long dry spells, and God just wants me to pull closer, to listen more carefully-He's getting ready to say something phenomenal!  I remember teaching-and if I wanted the class to get quiet, I'd whisper.  They'd hear something, and get really quiet!  Then I'd whisper the instructions, and they'd all start whispering-it was great.  God does the same thing-He isn't going to yell over the world's chaos-He'll wait till we hear the whispering-then we get quiet and listen.
I'm listening, God!  What's that phenomenal thing You wanted to tell me?  I'm preparing my heart to listen.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Back to School

Hey ya'll!  Boy, I know I'm behind, but my house is busy-and my first responsibility is my family! : )

We've had a great week-all the kids have gone back to school-Ethan on Monday, and Clay and Mary Claire on Thursday.  Ethan is going to the preschool where both kids went a few years ago, to our church's preschool, St. Raphael's:

I can tell you how bad I feel, but it won't do me justice.  I didn't take pictures of Clay and Mary Claire on their first day!  We got up early, left the house at 7:30, I helped them carry their long list of school supplies (in extra bags!) to their classrooms, took water bottles by the nurse's office, and simply lived in the moment-no pictures.  We're going to fake one one day this week-at least I'll remember how they looked at this age-in these classrooms. : )  It's not perfect, but it'll do.  So..I do have some from previous years-lucky you! : )

This is last year-August of 2009.  Clay was starting third grade, Mary Claire was starting second grade:

 And this is August of 2008 (first and second grade):

And even further..August of 2007 (kindergarten and first grade):

And here's even earlier!  (Now I only go back as far as digital photography, so there won't be many more)  This is August of 2006-the year Clay started kindergarten:

And then I have one more..the year we moved to this house, and the kids were headed off to preschool, August 2005:

Oh, what fun it is to scroll through pictures on iPhoto!  I went through Halloweens, Christmases, Ethan's birth and baptism, Easters, vacations, and lots of hairstyles!

So..back from Memory Lane..Ethan kept telling us on Sunday that his ear wasn't working.  We took him to the doctor Monday-his ear was leaking fluid by then, and the doctor thinks his tube just opened up.  So he's been on antibiotics since then.  He has no pain, so that's the best thing.

Then Tuesday was our last summer Bible study, so we all exchanged cards for the secret prayer partner we'd been praying for-remember my book?  I got to give it to Tiffany!  I put a lot of time in on it, I wish I'd taken more pictures-it was so fun!  Maybe I will help our girls make little paper bag books for our prayer partners this fall.  We're picking a study, and we haven't decided yet.

I got my hair changed up on Wednesday-better!  It was highlighted-I needed to go lighter-I was feeling so down in that darker color.  It's all layered up again-I like it only when it's curly, so it'll be a long affair with my curling iron over the next month!

We had a back-to-school get-together at Ches' department head's house Thursday-and got to see so many people!  We found out that Ethan's assistant teacher (don't know her title!), Andrea, was there, and her husband is starting his third year in Recreation, but they didn't come last year, so I totally didn't know them-but what a small world!  The kids love to go to Sharon's house-they actually love her backyard!  They roll down the hill, run through her ivy, and after an hour or so-the boys and girls had divided!  Clay was leading the boys, and Mary Claire the girls-don't know if that's good or bad.

Yesterday was my first big day too-my first alone.  I was fine-I prioritized and had to get to work.  My first to-do was thank you notes!  I've had checks come in for the JDRF Walk, and we were going to have the kids write the notes, but they only wrote one sentence, so I had to go back over and write more!  I also went by the church and refilled envelopes and straightened books, got a nap, and got my nails done!  Then Ches and I had a date night-PF Chang's and The Switch!  (The Switch was great by the way!  I liked it better than Eat, Pray, Love.  I think it's cause the book was so much better.  And Switch had a happier ending-I'm a girl at heart)

What a week.  We are ready for some serious playing this weekend!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sleepover (with sleep!)

We love getting ready for a party-so much fun!  Mary Claire had a sleepover at a friend's house last night, and we used a couple days to get ready.  We spent yesterday wrapping the gift (zebra bag, hot pink tulle bow, homemade card-wish I had a picture!-and tied it on with black gingham ribbon), and we got the new Go Phone working-and practiced!  I had her call me a couple times, call her daddy-just to make sure she could use it.  In the phone calls, I was coaching her.  I wanted her to know she had to call me every time she was about to put food in her mouth.  She had to check her own blood, and give herself boluses.  I figured it was a tiny reward (to go to a party/sleepover), since she's learned to check herself and use her pump (with me talking her through it).  It's still progress for a sweet eight-year-old.

Last night Ches and I had plans to go out, so Mary (our amazing babysitter!) took her to the party.  We had all her stuff out and ready, but it didn't start till after we were leaving.  Mary took her, and Mary Claire got nervous.  She was nervous with me yesterday afternoon, and she got nervous again with Mary.  Then she forgot everything I told her in our repeated conversations (about check your blood, call me lots, call me when you are going to eat, check yourself last thing before you go to sleep, brush your teeth, etc.), and looked at Mary at her friend's house like she didn't have a clue that she even had diabetes!

She did fine.  She called me before our movie was starting, and she was having pizza.  Her blood sugar was 79, so she was fine.  I talked her through a bolus for the food, and went back to the movie.  Then, she called halfway through the movie, and they were having cake.  Her blood sugar was only 59! so I told her to eat all the cake/frosting, and to give herself a .6 (6/10 a unit of insulin) and I thought she'd go sky high, truthfully!  Well, on our way home, I called her thinking she might be on her way to bed.  She was 59 again!  I could not believe it.  I had her eat two sugar tablets (8 grams) and a teaspoon of peanut butter, and helped her set a temporary basal to 85% for eight hours.

Her friend's mom texted that they were fine, and I asked if she was still up in an hour (which would be midnight...), to wake up Mary Claire and have her check herself.  Well, she was, and Mary Claire was 159-good.  I can't sleep with her low-our doctor in Rogers said the only way you can die (quickly) is low.  (A patient of his-who was trying to tightly control his blood sugar-went to bed at 59, he didn't eat anything, and he didn't wake up the next morning-yep, that's my fear.)

So, I could finally sleep and stop worrying!  Mary Claire called me this morning, and she was 299-ok, a little high, but I'm sure it was my overprotective eight hours at 85%.  I just like her to make it!  She's having doughnuts this morning, and I told her to call me back when she gets ready to eat.

My baby made it through the night, and she is growing up!  I think the experience is as good for me as it is for her. : )

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Aprons, Birthdays, Clipboards, Decoupage, Need I Go On?

So..I'm behind. : )  It just means I'm putting my family first, so I don't feel so bad.  : )  Tuesday was crazy-Bible study, we were supposed to meet Mom and Dad for lunch (Dad's birthday), but he was at his Compass test (getting ready to go back to the UA!), and he went longer than he thought he would.  So, then we had Ethan's open house at preschool (fun!), and he just wanted me to leave so he could play!  I'm so excited, because it means he probably won't cry on Monday!  Then later we had a meeting for parents at his school, and what a fun night.  I got to chat with a great friend, then grocery shopped till 10!
Wednesday was good and busy too-cleaned, dusted, did laundry, then went out to Wal-Mart, Target, and the library.  It was so stinkin' hot!  I think it must be 102 degree heat combined with my black van!  I learned, I promise.
Today I ran errands, took Mary Claire to the orthodontist (back to pink rubber bands!), and got a teensy nap-maybe 30 minutes?  I've also been crafty in my spare time-ha!-I've been making Mary Claire a clipboard (she didn't like the ones at the store..), and making new pump pouches for her, ordering shoes online (wait-is that not crafty?), and making birthday aprons!  Those are so much more exciting than my errands, so I'll take some pictures for you..
Here's the front of the clipboard:

And this is the back:

Then I have been working on these aprons for two birthdays tomorrow (so we're getting them the same thing: monogrammed apron and nice cookbooks on cupcakes and cookies-yum!):

And here are the two pump pouches I finished tonight-one for the party (cupcakes!), and one for school.  I have about six more cut and ready to sew, but I'm tired.

Yeah, productive, but I just can't do it all.  I think I can only be really good at one thing at a time!
Do you need instructions for the clipboard?  It was pretty easy, and so fun!  I used a plain fiberboard clipboard from Wal-Mart, and used scrapbook paper and Mod Podge to stick/seal the paper on.  Then I have put two more coats of that sticky stuff on it. Then I bought some spray sealer today to do tomorrow, and then I'll tie billions of ribbons on the clippy, and it'll be done!  I'll show you a pix of it finished.  If I can make a utilitarian thing a tiny bit cuter, I'm happy! : )

Monday, August 9, 2010

Another Doctor

Ahh..doctors.  Saw a new one today: Michael Miller in Little Rock.  I have to say, he was pretty good.  He was late very thoughtful, and continued to think about my case as he left the room-he came back to tell me one more thing it could be-my c-section with Ethan (scar tissue from it, more exactly).
So we got there a teensy bit early (you know me, I cut it pretty close!).  It was quite a drive, and I had to talk candy with an Exxon attendant (Tiger Something-that was hours ago!).  They had the old Nerds boxes-the old pictures I remember from childhood!  And they had these things that looked like frosted sugared graham crackers-in flavors (and I can’t for the life of me remember the name), and of course almost all the M&M’s (except coconut! And my box of 24 from Sam’s is all gone!).  Anyway, I tried to avoid the candy aisle-I went down the chip aisle, looked for yogurt (none), then tried the surrounding aisles (all three of them), and nothing. The guy asked if he could help me, but I could have been helped with any of those luscious brown treats.  I  got some pretzel M&M’s and talked candy with the attendant till there was a line behind me.  Time to go!
So, anyway, we made it fine to the doctor’s office, gave them a copy of our marriage license (they require it!), then sat for almost an hour.  At 40 minutes, I asked Ches if I should go complain, but he said to wait for five more minutes.  I got all involved in an old People magazine in an Elizabeth Edwards story, so I forgot all about the doctor!  I even carried it back to the little room when they finally called my name. : ) (and yes, I got to finish it and read an old Southern Living I never had time for at home!)
So, then an intern came in to get my history (that I filled out on the computer last week, and wrote out and brought with me..) (I’m sure she was filling time), and she was very sweet.  She did help me relax and fill time. : )
Finally, we met the doctor! He was very nice, and listened to me talk, to suggestions, and gave his thoughts.  It was refreshing, and he was very knowledgeable.  I appreciated his candidness.  There may be nothing wrong with me, but he’s looking into stuff.  He had me give more blood-this time for TSH, T4 (thyroid hormones), prolactin (which I’ve never had checked), and I can’t remember what else…I think antinuclear antibodies too.
Then we did an ultrasound.  He checked my uterus (but will check it better with a hysterosalpingogram, next month if I’m not pregnant-he wanted to be careful, just in case) and my ovaries.  He could tell I’d ovulated on my left side.  The cysts were pretty big, so I had one or two eggs release-It’s hard to tell.  One was bigger than the other, so it probably released an egg, but the other was enlarged, so maybe it just got ready.
I am to take progesterone starting today and for 16 days.  If I’m not pregnant, I go back for the xray test (uterus-to look for scar tissue), and Ches and I both take antibiotics, then I start Clomid, then we start again.  I haven’t taken it before, so I don’t know much about it.
If I am pregnant, I don’t know what happens next.  He didn’t go into that.  He seemed to understand that a positive pregnancy test wasn’t the happy thing that other people experience.  For me, it’s just a step (sadly).  I liked that he got me.  We’ll keep praying!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dinner and a Movie

I always told Ches when when we were first married that we needed to go out on the weekend.  Friday or Saturday, I just wanted something to look forward to!  So he really does his best.  We used to take the kids out when they were tiny, then for a while we traded babysitting with a friend, then as the kids got more independent, we got a babysitter.  Even if we can't get one (because they're all so good-and busy!), we still go out.

We went out Friday night with the kids.  We took them to see Ramona & Beezus (pretty good, a three out of five), and then to dinner.  Saturday we swam, then had our showers and went to Missouri.  We had plans to meet one of Ches' high school friends for dinner in Joplin (we were meeting in the middle), but it ended up that he couldn't come.  We'd already told Ches' mom we'd come, so we did!  We dropped the kids off (we'd never left them there before!), and they played with their cousins and had dinner, while we went out.  We went to see Dinner For Schmucks* (which I didn't think would be that funny, but since it had Steve Carrell-I was there!), and it was really funny!  Not Date Night Funny, but really good.  It had a good ending, so it was my kind of movie.  Definitely better than Ramona.  (They didn't stick to one book, or even the plot in the books-they just used the title and characters to sell a movie-and Ramona's mom was totally not pretty in the book-quite the opposite in the movie-there were lots of differences-and I totally didn't picture Aiden as Mr. Quimby!)

So today is relatively calm as we went to church (so different than in NYC!), and went to Jose's for lunch. (they have tv's in the booths, so the kids LOVE to go there-good selling point, Jose's!)  We'll swim, maybe get a nap (if we're lucky!), and get ready for another big week.

Tomorrow I'm going to another specialist in Little Rock.  It's a totally different clinic than the one we went to last time.  Hopefully the doctor will be nicer than the last specialist!  My doctor recommended this one, and made me the appointment, so I have higher expectations.  It's actually an ivf clinic, and I'm not sure why he chose them.  We don't have a problem getting pregnant, it's just staying pregnant!  I hope to learn something, gain some hope, and not lose all my blood.  Ches thinks we have nothing to lose by going, but I don't see what one more person can add.  We'll see.  Keep us in your prayers!

*In the movie, they never actually used the word schmucks.  They actually called it a Dinner for Idiots.  The boss collects things: people.  Special people.  He likes all the employees to come, bring an extraordinary person (read: idiot), and he gives a trophy at the end of the night to the best (worst) idiot.  The employee who brought him moves "up" in the company).  Yes, a crazy theory, and they say that all through the movie, but it ends well, I promise.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Walk With Us!

Yesterday was a big day!  We got our JDRF Walk 2010 letter printed, copied, folded, and stuffed into envelopes!  We went over to Mom's and she helped stuff.  It seems like it will only take an hour, but it always takes longer.  We also put some stickers on (Mary Claire picked them, and stuck them on!), and Dad put on the stamps, then I came home, printed labels, and worked on them till 11:55 last night.  It really is a donation of my time, talent, and treasure to JDRF.  It's an honor to help them reach their goal, maybe especially since it'll help Mary Claire in the long run.  If I didn't constantly get updates on the current research, I might not think that there was real progress being made.  It would be easy to sit on my bottom, do nothing, and hope that other people would find a cure.  I want to be able to say one day that I was a part of the CURE!

So, again, we want you to walk with us!  Have you registered yet?  (No?  Click on those big words, and register already!)  Do you have kids?  Sign them up too!  You can push them in a stroller, or pull them in a wagon (we still bring a wagon every year for our kids!).  And let me know your t-shirt size.  We are still working on shirt artwork, but hopefully I'll have a design up soon!  I've got last year's design over to the right...keep watching for the new one!  Our them this year is "Wild for the Cure"!  I'm thinking...Zebra! : )

I can't wait to drop all those envelopes in the mail.  Not (just) because it means I accomplished a task (yay, me!), but because it brings some of you closer to our family.  Mary Claire is overjoyed every year on the day we celebrate her (well, that's what she thinks it is!).  We love to talk and walk with you, let the kids play together, have lunch, and then return to our day knowing we tried to make a difference.  Many times dropping those envelopes means I'll hear from my friends (even far away ones), and find out how they are doing!

The other huge thing we did yesterday...as Dad was putting on stamps (aren't you thankful we don't have to lick them anymore?), I asked him if he'd go back to college.  I know, big thing.  Now, the University of Arkansas has this program called Senior Razorbacks, and part of the amazing program is...if you are over 60, you can go for free!  The best I can do is a flyer, here it is:

So..we applied online, requested a transcript, signed him up for a Compass test (if you've been out of school more than three years) on his birthday next week (but it's the last possible date!), and he's on his way!  He's so detail-oriented and can do anything-it'll be easy for him...he might obsess on getting his homework perfect, but he'll get in the groove.  Heck, I wanted to go back this fall, but I'm so frustrated that they won't honor my graduate hours (because they're ten years old!), I'm going to be mad for a semester or so.  Sad, but true.  I'll just hang out with Dad over in Biology.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010


We are finally home, and thankful to be here!
It was a long drive in from Dayton, Ohio, but thanks to lots of Red Boxes, we made it!  (I LOVE those!)  We stopped for dinner at Red Lobster-and had to snap a few pictures, the last of our vacation.  Bittersweet.

Two cutie boys-glad I caught those two lobsters!

And then we headed to dinner..Clay chose crab legs-that boy loves seafood! (it proves just because you don't like something, doesn't mean your kids won't!)  We let him be adventurous-and he likes nearly everything!

And then Mary Claire wanted to smile for the camera-and she's always darling:

And then she wanted to take my picture (and we'd been on the road all day-so I put Ethan in front of me..):
Look at our messy table!  Ick.  And then we had to get back on the road.  Here are the three sweet kiddos outside-ready to get back to their movies (while I was scrapbooking!):

I know I told you this before, but I love, love, love My Digital Studio-I have already scrapbooked our entire trip.  No, I am not kidding.  I did it as we went, and on the way home in the car.  It's all on the computer, I just have to get it printed.  Wanna see a couple pages??
This is my first page of the album, so a compilation:
This is one of the beach pages:
And this is one of the New York pages:
I actually have 29 pages all together!  And yes, they are done.  This could revolutionize my scrapbooking intentions.  I mean well, but I never get them done.  I can even add little things after I get them back, like our Museum badges, maps, and little ticket stubs.  I'm excited to have something accomplished!  I just have to find somewhere to print them now...

Sunday, August 1, 2010

From the Top of the World

New York, we love you, but you make us tired!  Another exciting day: we got up Saturday morning, had the concierge keep our luggage, and went to the Empire State Building.
I don’t remember it taking so long!  It took us about 2 hours.  I haven’t been in 19 years, but I do have memory (just maybe not accurate..).  I do know that the last time I was there, I didn’t see King Kong, but he was there yesterday! : )  (and we really had to convince Ethan that he wasn’t real-we had to point out the zipper on his costume!).  He kept petting my hair-and I couldn’t quit laughing!
Then we walked about 12 blocks back to FAO Schwartz, and had FUN!  There are three floors (and even at that, it wasn’t quite as big as I thought it’d be).  We split up, saw magical toys, dolls, Barbies, cars, trains, the big musical piano (which you can take home the big life-size one from the Big movie for only $250,000).  Then there were creative, artistic crafty things, stuffed animals (the elephant we liked was $999).  They even had Charlie & Lola toys and books!
They had a huge screen with their videos playing, and while Ches was finishing with Clay over in boy toys (we took turns with kids), Ethan and I sat and watched while Mary Claire continued to shop the dolls.  I found lots of dolls I loved.  I think I have a weakness I just discovered.  I fixed their hair, tied their shoes, reattached their diapers straighter (with no bottom showing), and straightened their clothes.  Ahh..sweet baby dolls (and big girl dolls too!).
Then we split up-Ches took Clay to Nintendo World, and I took Mary Claire and Ethan to American Girl Place.  Their window displays were so sweet-and we took pictures:
Then we shopped the three-story store.  Even their bathrooms were beautiful-I almost took a picture!  They had lavender and white striped walls, hot pink curvy frames on the mirrors, and inside the stalls there were silver doll holders, so they didn’t have to lay on the floor while you did your business. : )
Mary Claire had such a dilemma.  She wanted it all.  I told her she could spend about $40, so it was tough to decide.  She lost her doll’s hairbrush around St. Louis (and you have to use a wire brush, since you’ll pull their hair out with a regular brush), so she had to use $7 on that.  She wanted the Healthy Smiles set with braces, headgear, and toothbrush/paste.  But she also wanted clothes, the Everyday set (messenger bag, hat, money, etc.), a leotard, and the list went on.  She got stressed I think.  I told her my opinion, and she sat deciding.
She finally went with the brush and the 2-in-1 Ballerina Set.  It has a leotard, pink dance skirt, yoga pants, leg warmers, wrap sweater, ballet shoes, headband, silver bag, and a charm.  I think she wanted it since she’s starting dance again this fall.  I love the set-and we played dress up all the way back to our hotel tonight (I might need to get me a doll…).
Ches and Clay met us back at Rockefeller Center, and we sat outside by the fountains and Ethan played with his new toy: a motorcycle with a remote control.
Then we went to CafĂ© Metro for a small dessert (carrot cupcakes, red velvet cupcake, chocolate peanut butter cookie, yogurt with granola and fruit), then headed back towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral.  We’d seen a wedding there earlier, and they were still there!  They’d drawn a crowd-I don’t know if they were famous or not-and there were trumpets playing out for them-just beautiful!  There was security (lots of people in black, black vehicles, policemen, etc.), but they finally left.  We went in about 30 minutes early just to take in the church.
We stayed for Mass, and Ethan fell asleep-so sweet.  Then we slowly made our way back to our hotel and got our car out of valet parking.  We headed back to Philly to stay the night-and we were all soooo tired!  We stopped somewhere along the way (at 9:35pm!) for dinner at PF Changs-so we didn’t get to the hotel till after eleven.  I will say we all went right to sleep-there was no messing around!
And today-back home.  We are staying in Dayton, Ohio tonight.  Maybe we’ll stop in Indianapolis tomorrow.  We’ll see how it goes.  Good vacation-if we do nothing else, it’ll be enough!