Friday, April 30, 2010

Blown away

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This picture was taken yesterday. The girls enjoyed their first track meet.  Can you tell what the challenge of the day was?? Look closely…

This trip is about half over.  I don’t know if I’ll be able to hash it out in blog form.  Not that it’s all things to be blogged, I will say.  Some things are just to be experienced.  And let me tell you, I’ve experienced some really special things, but even more—the people—and a peek at their hearts. I know I’ve used this before, but I’m not sure how else to say it… I’m honored. 

The girls have been really great, and I’m so pleased. Don’t miss a clip of their weekend so far here.  They’re sleeping now, so I should be, too.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Road trippin' with the girls

We're stocked with Signing Time, Veggie Tales, and snacks for KiKi to hopefully cover the 3-hr drive. Braska could go all day as long as she has something to watch and dance with. Kinlee...not so much. We're late already getting away, but that's how it goes.

Time to load 'em up and move 'em out! Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Maybe my next sweet fix

I’m on SparkPeople (It’s a support site for weight loss. Very cool tools and forums. Even full meal plans. FREE!Anyone on there??) though I’m not really all that active lately.  I get emails every day with encouragement or recipes or exercises, etc.  I glance at them and delete them or file them usually. But this one really caught my attention.

No Bake Graham Cracker Cheesycake
This is a delicious, light, refreshing dessert. It's low cal and sugar and can be made with the lite pie filling in any flavor. Note that this needs to be made the night before to soften the graham crackers.
INGREDIENTS
Low Fat Graham Crackers
8 oz. fat free cream cheese (softened)
1 cup cold skim milk
2 Tblsp. lemon juice
1 small box instant vanilla pudding (sugar free)
8 oz. fat free Cool Whip
1 can lite cherry pie filling (or any flavor)
DIRECTIONS
Line the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan with whole graham crackers. Beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add milk and lemon juice to the cream cheese and beat until smooth. Stir in pudding mix, then fold in Cool Whip. Spread 1/2 of cream cheese mixture over graham crackers. Repeat with another layer of graham crackers and cream cheese mixture. Spread pie filling over top. Refrigerate overnight for graham crackers to soften. Enjoy :)
Makes approx. 20 servings
Number of Servings: 20
Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user HOCKIMAMA.

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The trouble with me and sweets is that I can’t say no and I can’t just have a little.  I must eat whatever is in my reach and alot of it.  It’s why something like the BrocChick thing works for me, because there’s no wiggle room or “allowances” that I can run away with.

But next time I’ve got a dessert to bring to an event, or maybe just when I want a little something, I’ll make this up…and send all but a serving to work with M.  It looks pretty darn yummy, and it’s not bad at all as sweet things go!

Somebody try it and tell me what you think!

I’m so busy I sit

I love when there’s so much to get done that I just sit down and ignore it all. 

I don’t really love that about me.

Generally, a deadline or time pressure is totally motivating for me, and maybe that’s the problem.  Most of what I need to get done doesn’t have to be done for another 4 hours, or til tomorrow morning, so I’ve just got lots of time.

Yeah. Keep telling yourself that, self.

Tomorrow the girls and I are heading up north a little bit to spend some time with a dear family who we really miss, though we’ve only officially met in person one time.  Maybe that’s weird to you, but it makes total sense.  I’m very much looking forward to it.  But packing these girls up for a few days requires ALOT of work and organization.  I like to go places, so I’m totally up for the task, and yet I’m stalled out right now just wanting to sit and enjoy the quiet of the house at the moment.  Call it a mental health moment.

I have the laundry partially done. The kitchen is partially cleaned. The girls are partially napping. (Braska’s in the playroom, Kinlee’s asleep.)  I like to leave things straightened up when I leave so I don’t come back to a mess, compounded by all the unloading that happens upon return from a trip.  And this house could use days worth of scrubbing and scraping, but straight will have to do for now.

A nap sounds nice.  Then again, I have so much I’m behind on blogging.  I’ve missed so many milestones with both girls, and I hate that.  Blog traffic has slowed to a ridiculous crawl because there’s not anything interesting to read around here, I guess.

Not that this post is helping THAT!

And Maggie—I haven’t forgotten you. I’m just horrible!

So to start the ball rolling (tee hee…right, honey?) I’ll get off my hind quarters and dive back in.  Braska needs to get to nap, and then I’ll tackle some more laundry.  The kitchen will probably have to wait til tonight after the girls go to bed, so I can do a decent job.  And packing…well, maybe we’ll do that when they get up from nap.

Here I go.  I’m getting back to it.  See? I’m putting the computer down. I’m almost standing up. Maybe I should stop typ

Monday, April 26, 2010

Doing something for Carly's family

Many of you know about Carly's sad story. Michelle from Big Blueberry Eyes is organizing a great gift in memory of Carly for her family. When these things happen, so many of us want to "do something" but it's hard to know how to help. This is a great idea and will be so appreciated.


Saturday, April 24, 2010

My girls: Walking!

I haven’t updated properly lately, and I need to do that. Mostly just so I can have a good record of these things for later.  The blogs really are useful to me when I can’t remember when things happened. 

But tonight I’m tired, the girls are asleep, so I’m going to take bed over blog.  I’ll just toss up some cute pics of my little walkers.

Most of the time this is the view.  They’re on the move almost constantly, and it’s usually walking away from me when the camera is out. 


If KiKi is caught facing the camera, she is quick to close her eyes.  FYI—when you’re walking with two hangers keeping your hands busy, it’s best NOT to close your eyes.  The next second following this picture she was on the floor and unhappy about it.


And a few more favorites from this day of photo taking. (4/14/10)

Braska in her usual state…happy. Yes, we have the stereotype chick here.


And Kinlee in her usual state…unhappy.


But it’s not ALWAYS that bad…she’s a very funny girl some of the time.  And she loves loves loves the phone.

Me and my girls…silly x 3.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Remembering Seamus

A year ago today, Tom and Sharon said goodbye to their precious son Seamus.  Jodie did a beautiful tribute post to him and to his very special parents.  Please don’t miss their story and some gorgeous pictures. I’m so thankful I got to meet these new friends.

Jodie collected some wonderful little mementos in honor of Seamus, for Sharon and Tom, and this was what I contributed.
seamus

Today, families still in the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital will have the opportunity to have beautiful pictures of their children and families taken in honor of little Seamus.  What a marvelous way to give them the gift remembering, their babies, the struggles, and the victories that are often celebrated quietly while their little ones sleep.  Some of these babies will come home, some may not. I don’t know any of the families.  But I know they will love the photos that result from this day, and I’m so thankful for Jodie and Kim and for Sharon and Tom for making this possible for those families.

Seamus will not be forgotten. His memory is continually becoming a blessing to others.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

It’s all about perspective

First off…please be in prayer for Chrissie and her family.  She is in a very fragile condition after heart surgery yesterday and needs our intercession.

 

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Today I’ve confirmed that Braska’s surgery will be on Thursday the 6th of May.  We know she’ll be getting tubes in her ears, we don’t know what will be on the agenda beyond that.  But from what the nurse told me today, it sounds like we’ll be doing tonsils and adenoids at the same time.  And that’s good. That’s what I wanted. 

The reason we don’t know for sure is that the ENT doc is out of the office this week and next, returning the beginning of the week of her surgery.  So we’ll be hearing what he thinks about things right before the date. 

I’m not pleased with how the ENT office has handled this, how the doc has failed to answer my questions in a timely manner, and that’s disappointing since we’ve been with them for 3 years now and we like him alot.  But this is the first time we’ve required anything other than pretty typical check-ups, so this would be the time to see the cracks in his armor.  I’ve got no doubt about his medical ability though, or I wouldn’t be allowing him to work on Braska. Clearly.

It struck me a while ago that when I hung up from talking to the nurse, I nonchalantly added “Braska’s surgery” to my Outlook calendar on 5/6, sent emails to my husband to ask off for that day and to the grandmothers to let them know.  I didn’t worry about anesthesia. I didn’t worry about the needles, gasses, and tubes that are needed with any sedation.  I didn’t fret about being in the hospital and the recovery that will be necessary.

When you’ve been through open-heart surgery with an 11-pound 3-month-old, most surgeries pale in comparison.  When you’ve seen your baby hooked up to just about every kind of machine and medication drip with a respirator tube in her mouth, it’s not worrisome to consider recovery time from tubes, tonsils, and adenoids.  Every surgery and every episode of anesthesia is to be taken seriously, but things look differently for us than they would for some in our shoes.

I had to laugh at it a little, that I don’t have the least bit of fear about the whole deal.  Braska’s been sedated for numerous procedures even after her heart surgery, mostly related to her G-tube, but enough so that we are very used to the process of pre-op prep and all the “risks and benefits” that get discussed with us.  We know what the anesthesiologist is going to ask us, and we know what they’ll tell us can happen.  But we’re ok with that.

It’s funny how life keeps preparing us for the next step.  They’ll be operating on my daughter, they’ll be seemingly rough during the operation…that’s fairly normal and necessary to get the job done in most surgeries.  But it is for her best, we believe. And she’ll shine through it all, though she might need extra cuddles and a little patience.  Yet on the other side, we look forward to a better Braska. And that’s worth it.

Even as I type this, I’m enjoying the fact that most of you who read this will know exactly what I’m talking about.  You’ve been through this and far more, the majority of you.  What a cool thing community is for those of us who walk a little different path with our kids. 

We trust that God will work all things to our best. And we know that doesn’t always look like we want it to, but He is always good, regardless of challenges or circumstances. This is no different. “Minor” surgery or life-threatening situation, we take comfort that He is in control.

Politics a la humorous banjo

Kathy posted this, and it kind of made me laugh a little. Some of you will get a giggle. Others will just roll your eyes. Everyone should burn a couple calories at least, so it's improving your health either way.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Urgent Need!! Friends stranded in Bulgaria

My friend Shelley and her newly adopted son Kullen are stranded in Bulgaria due to the airport closings there and in countries around them and "chaos" in general, as Shelley described it, due to the volcanic activity in Iceland. Another friend Leah is with them as well. They are unable to get out of the country, and they desperately need to get home. Their story is going to be on CNN tonight at 6pm Eastern, and her blog is linked in the button below. If you are able to donate anything, they would very much appreciate it as they try to find a way to get back to the US. Clearly, they didn't plan for this in their adoption finances, and it is understandably worrisome.

If you have a blog, please post this and share their story. Kullen has become sick, and with the transitions that have happened so drastically with him leaving his only known home at the institution to now be stranded in a hotel room....you can understand why he would be struggling with all of this. He needs to get home and to a stable environment very soon.


Grab This Button








Saturday, April 17, 2010

One Super Day

Gosh, even for someone as wordy as I am, I feel like I don’t have the words to describe today. (More on how it came about here.) Partially because most of it’s influence on me is internal, and I’ve still got some processing to do with all of it.  But don’t worry…I’ll try to give you a peek. I have to try to get some of it down, because I don’t want to forget.

I spent the day with Kim and Jodie from Fresh Art Photography, a pair of super cool ladies I only came to know of yesterday morning in one of those “it’s no accident” kind of ways.  And how great that I could be of at least a little help today, a day celebrating the life of little Seamus, raising money for the NICU at St. Louis Children’s Hospital.

So while the girls shot kids and parents, babies and toddlers, moms, dads, and one seriously cute couple, I fetched the muscle man, Tom, or held jackets, or pointed out folded-up sleeves, or blew bubbles at the right time, or just stood as a barrier when they shot in the middle of the street.

Seamus was a precious little boy born to Tom and Sharon almost a year ago. He lived in the NICU at SLCH for 7 1/2 weeks, his amazingly adoring mother and father by his side every single day and night.  He left this earth on April 23, 2009.  Today’s “Shoot for Seamus” was a wonderful way to get great photos and benefit the NICU at SLCH. These are two of the most wonderful parents and people I’ve met. (Please be sure to read about how they connected with Jodie here. It’s hard but beautiful.)

I have to say that when spending time with families who have lost children, life takes on a different perspective. I’ve learned a great deal from my beautiful friend Karol as she and her family have missed Laynee. 

These parents that I met today didn’t leave the hospital with their child. They didn’t get to take them home.  We had a NICU stay of 3 1/2 weeks, but we left with our child.  We received hard news at birth with a diagnosis of Down syndrome, significant cardiac issues, and upcoming open heart surgery, but our little girl was there with us, came home to her nursery, and is snoozing so peacefully in her bed right now

To hear these parents talk is to realize once again how blessed I am.  I have a little girl. She has a disability.  But she is here. They would give anything for that to be their story, I’m quite sure.

Pamela came with her husband and her son. They will have some amazing pictures of today’s shoot.  What a brilliant little 3-year-old they have!  And yet they are clearly and deeply missing little Elijah who they held and loved and celebrated for all of his 63 minutes with them last November.  They knew they would only have him with them a short time. They knew he would not come home. Yet they chose to make every moment of his little life, in the womb and outside of it, the most loving and positive experience. 

Sharon and Tom are a riot. So much fun, obviously positive and generous people. There were poignant moments in the day when it was painfully clear how much they love their son and what an important part he is in their family. To see them with these other children throughout the day—it was wonderful and heartbreaking at the same time. They ARE spectacular parents, though their son is not with them.

Pamela was an absolute delight. She was so sweet and gracious.  Such a picture of faith and selfless parenting to give herself completely to the job of making Elijah’s short life completely perfect.

But as they mentioned, they are in a club that no one wants to be a part of. Yet I would say that they are doing a marvelous job of looking after each other, their respective families, and other parents who will inevitably follow them into that painful club.  Their willingness to share their stories, to tell of their beautiful children, it is truly amazing.  I know without a doubt that those two families, like so many others that move forward with life but NEVER forget, they will make a difference in lives over and over as they continue on. 

And I can’t forget Kim and Jodie…photographers, friends, excellent listeners, and each the owner of a heart of gold.  These girls were SO much fun, they were clearly so very talented at their art, and they exhibited a kind of compassion for families at their most vulnerable state like I have rarely seen.  I just love meeting people who I’m comfortable with from the first impression.  These girls could totally be in my circle. They could be buds o’mine. And to give your talent and craft to a cause that is priceless to families who are hurting, being able to give memories to those who will only have pictures to remind them, it takes a special person.  And I met two of them today. It was a privilege to get to watch them work and to try to make a very long day a little less tiring. 

So for a long day of hanging out in an abandoned area of the riverfront with interesting characters in the background and police patrolling quite frequently, it was a very rewarding day.  I learned from watching—about lighting, about angles, about colors and textures.  But what will last from this day is the impression these people made on me.  The love worn so openly for children that we can’t see, babies that they cannot hug, and yet who are as much a part of their families as the ones they can hold.  Their pain will always go with them, but the open arms they offer to those who are in need—that is the legacy that will shine brightly.

Though they now wait in Heaven, those children have made their parents better people.  And that is something that will never be forgotten.

Two dates now reside on my calendar and will remind me every year.  November 10, 2009 for Baby Elijah, and April 23, 2009 for Baby Seamus.  I’ll always remember to be praying for their families on those days, the days they last held their hearts’ desires in their arms.  But the beauty is that one day, both these families will see them again.  Their faith is strong. They believe and they know and they don’t want to wait. Yet they will live each day fully until they meet again.

Tom, Sharon, Pamela, Jodie, and Kim—Thank you. I’m honored to have been a part of this day. And know that in one more heart, they will never be forgotten.
      
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(Kim, Jodie, Tom, Sharon, and Pamela)


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At the end of the long day… but SO worth it!

(More pictures soon…)

Give me, er, uh, I mean, THEM a smile!

I'm heading out in a few minutes for a day of gopher-ing and helping where needed as the girls from Fresh Art Photography do a great thing for the St. Louis Children's NICU. Maggie inadvertently turned me on to this opportunity as I was working on helping her with her photography site. She was inspired by the look of Fresh Art's blog, and as I looked over it, I saw that they needed helpers for this day of shoots. And whatta ya know... it worked out! I'm excited to see how it all works, to see lots of families smile, and to run errands for some excellent photographers. Now if I can only be sure to stay out of the way and OUT of the frame!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Strollin’ down the sidewalk

(If you can sing the rest of the lyrics referenced in the title…you know how fun Signing Time is!)

I took this pic with my phone this morning as the girls and I went for a walk in the neighborhood and ended up at the grocery story a few blocks away. 
strollersisters

I sent it to a few people with this text…

Just walking to get our fresh fruits and veggies for the day… Yeah, that’s right. I’m that kind of walking, veggie-fixin mom. :o)

I’m far too easily impressed with myself.

If you would like to be on the texting list for such fun adventures, ship me your phone number.  Don’t hurt yourself rushing to open an email. Pace yourself.

When we got home the girls had apples and bananas for snack, (Braska did great with mildly fork-mashed bananas. Yay!)and there is a yummy mixture on the stove now that will be Braska’s new meal for this week.  So far it’s cauliflower, lima beans, carrots with chicken stock.  We’ll throw in some well cooked whole wheat pasta and blend it all up to a yummy puree, drizzling in EVOO for added good fat and calories that she needs. 

Wow. Look at me go.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The germ count

As of right now, we are healthy.  That’s very nice. The girls are well—or as well as Braska can be with what is apparently allergies at this time of year, so still snot persists—and they are nearing their “normal” demeanors again. 

Right at the moment I can’t remember what I’ve updated about on here and what I haven’t and I have very limited time to throw some info up here, so I won’t go hunt it down. If this is a repeat, please pardon me.

Braska is due for tubes in her ears. We learned this at the end of February and were not at all surprised.  Though she made it her first three years of life with not a single ear infection, she had at least 4 in the first 3 months of school, so tubes are in order.  The ENT recommended that we get a sleep study first to see if we would just do tonsils, adenoids, and tubes all in one anesthesia trip. Sounds good to me. The sleep study was at the end of March. (Still no results…grrr. That’s another story. I’m going to be making another in a long string of calls this morning.)

To my chagrin, the ENT either has way too many patients or way too little time scheduled for OR procedures, because suddenly, when we wanted to schedule for a surgery date, they gave us June 2.  Not acceptable.  So we began to check out some options, including restarting with another ENT and still getting the whole process done in less time. But in the nick of time, I was told that there was a cancellation and we could have the slot, the first week of May.  I took it, and we resigned to the fact that we’d have to wait til then for the procedure.

Due to our string of ear infections, strep, hand/foot/mouth disease, and random other fun germies, our pediatrician recommended this week that we keep Braska out of school until her surgery, just to be SURE that we don’t have to postpone due to another little illness.  If we have to reschedule, it would probably be December before we get in, by my calculations.

Therefore, this week I’ve been talking to lots of people at her school, the district coordinator, therapists, etc.  We’re trying to work out a way for her to go to school for therapy only and in environments that we can control as far as exposure/cleanliness.  So I would take her up for therapy services at regular times for the next few weeks.  At this point, we have speech on the calendar, but I’m waiting on the rest.  OT/feeding is my primary concern, since Braska’s been making progress with Sue, so it’s the one I’ll work the hardest for. (Excuse me…for which I’ll work the hardest.   Good grammar can be so formal.)

We’re hanging out at home in the meantime.  The girls are playing fairly well, though they sure do get on each others nerves lately, and mine, and Belle’s, and vice versa in all cases…close quarters we have here, and when we’re all trying to accomplish something different on our personal agendas, it gets heated.  We’ve made a few trips to the library, with limited handling of books.  Braska has asked almost daily to “go school today?” and “fun at Jack’s house!” (She actually says it like that…there’s nothing but fun at Jack’s house apparently!)

For now we’ll take it easy, enjoy the nice weather, though we can’t really use the beloved attic fan like we would prefer since Miss Snotty only gets worse with all the crazy high pollen lately.  We’ve had her on Claritin which didn’t seem to do anything at all.  We now have her on Zyrtec, but it appears to make her really crazy inside and she acts out strangely.  So I’m not really sure we’ll continue.  She hasn’t had it last night or today, so we’ll see how she does.

That’s where we are. Not all that bad, not all that fun. But I’ll take it over antibiotics and coughing and fevers and whining (more than usual, on Kinlee’s part) any day.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled day. Thanks for tuning in.

The brightest spots on the street

I might be too obsessed with taking pictures of these flowers, but they are just gorgeous, I think.  And I’ve never really had flowers in my yard ever, so how fun!

 

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Still truckin'

We're here. Things are ok. Ok is not bad. Some new things to share and update, but I'm taking the chance I have to get some sleep tonight, so you'll have to wait.

I know, I can see the disappointment on your faces. Hang in there. You'll be ok.

Happy Mid-week, people!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Exhausted in Holland

Today it hit me that Holland is wearing on me for the first time in a long, long time.  All this illness and the causes behind it: preschool at 3, oral stimulation through finger chewing, less resistant immune system, etc.  They are getting through my armor, probably due to the lack of sleep needed to hold up my defenses.  We talk often of how in our house Italy is far more exhausting than Holland, and that is still the case, but sometimes the trip in Holland does make one dream of a quiet Italian villa.

But as Grace would have it, and I don’t believe that anything “just happens” or in coincidences, look what showed up after all the rain we’ve had today.


 

 

Pretty as I think those flowers are…she is still my Beauty, and somehow we’ll get back to enjoying the flowers instead of being stuck in the mud soon.

Where did I leave my white flag?

Chalk it up: One more diagnosis for the list.

Kinlee’s been a grouch (more than her normal grouch), not sleeping more than about an hour at a time—day or night—for a few days.  It’s exhausting, to say the least.  She hasn’t wanted to eat, though she usually is all about food.  She had a fever on and off the last few days. 

A few days prior to that, Braska had fevers on and off, and she had labs for blood and urine done last week as well.  She’s got some stuff going on around her mouth that I’d attributed to her sucking on her lip or something… shows what I know.

Kinlee started to have little spots yesterday on her arms and legs. Not raised, but there.  Last night, she went to Rachel and Patrick’s place while the other three of us attended an Easter Egg Hunt and party with friends.  When we picked her up, there were spots that were becoming more clear and defined.  She didn’t sleep much again last night, and I mentioned at one point that I wondered if her throat was sore since she was not even wanting her binky sometimes.

Today the spots were still there, but some were blistering badly on her hands. So I called the pediatrician and they wanted her in pronto.  I took her while Braska played at Jack’s, and whatta ya know… hand, foot, and mouth disease, including a throat “full of bad blisters”.  Poor thing. She’s been in horrible pain and we didn’t realize. 

I have been giving her Tylenol and ibuprofen on and off, but not consistently.  It all fits, though, the sleep issues, the eating, and the spots… so there it is. 

BUT the kicker is that the pediatrician said, “Does Braska have spots around her mouth?”  I told her that she had some stuff there that was from where she’d chewed her lip or had alot of saliva, but not spots like KiKi’s.  She then pointed out one of KiKi’s blistery spots and said, “Do they look like this?”  And yep, they do.

She also asked about bumps on the girls’ rear ends.  Kinlee doesn’t have any that I’ve noticed, but Braska has a couple largish ones that I’ve noticed the last few days and I wondered about.  Again, all things in one basket and it equals something.  Taken separately, they’re all just cause for “hmmmm” and that’s it.


So now we have an answer for the last week of fevers in both girls, irritability beyond the norm with Kinlee, and sure enough, Braska is showing up with spots more as the day goes.  I’m about to give up.

Dr says Braska probably brought it home from school, of course, that it’s almost always from a daycare or preschool setting.  Can’t be sure, but it’s probable.  She passes everything to Kinlee, of course.  And in turn, it affects us all, as M and I lose sleep trying to deal with Miss Grouchy during the night.

So no school again this week.  It’s nuts how much we’ve missed.  And I’m working out my speech now for what I’m going to propose to the school. 

As I’ve said before, I do understand that kids get sick when they first start school.  But not for 4 solid months. Or at least that’s beyond my definition of acceptable “school sick.”  As long as Braska keeps putting her hands in her mouth as much as she does—practically constantly on many days—she will continue to get every single solitary thing that is brought into that room.  She touches a table then hands to the mouth. She plays with a toy then hands to the mouth. She reads a book then hands to the mouth.  She takes them out when told, but they go right back in seconds, as a habit.

Clearly, all this illness is impacting our family in significant ways.  The expense of all these copays alone is huge to our situation.  The sleep lost and subsequent short fuses and frustration over constant adjustments to schedules is interfering with daily life, no doubt.  And I’m done letting this take us down. 

If I have to call an early end to the school year, I will.  I hope we can work something out to still get her therapies. But I’m about ready to sacrifice a couple months of it to get her well and re-boosted in the immune department.  It’s simply taking over too much of our lives to just survive 12 hours of school a week. 

Oh, and of course, last week I only let her go half days…90 mins per day, and we STILL came home with something.  So to get better she’s going to have to get some distance.

Thankfully, with a late birthday, she’s got an “extra” year in preschool anyway, and that’s fine with me.  So I’m not worried about how it will affect her down the road.

That’s where we’re at.  I bought some sherbet for KiKi to eat today, since that’s about all she’ll take in with any willingness.  Makes sense if her throat is sore. 

Lord, please heal my girls and give me wisdom to do right for them… AMEN!!

New look with my new skillzzz

Reader readers, pop on over for a peek at the new style around here.  I’ve been learning new things, like I mentioned a few days ago, and I put together a bit of a makeover.  It’s not fully complete, but it’ll do for now.  I need to still work on my widget images for the sidebar, but I just don’t have the stamina to stay up and do it.  (Kinlee’s been terrible in the sleeping and (un)pleasant department…my total sleep time in the last 4 nights is right about 14 hours.  You can imagine my temperament. Wish I had the ability to NOT let the fatigue take over like that…but I digress…)

See what you think… this was my first attempt at a popular style of backgrounds/headers and digiscrapping trends that I’m not as familiar with, but it didn’t turn out too badly, in my opinion.  I’ve incorporated some fun CSS and html things, but no one will probably notice them specifically unless you play with them too.  But the overall picture is kind of cool, I think.

Also, if you’re interested… There are free Blogger backgrounds here, there’s info here about Just RK Designs, which is simply a name I threw onto a button when it was recommended(thanks, Shelley!), and there is a gallery here to show some of the makeovers I’ve done.

I’m no pro.  Don’t think I’m saying I’m all that.  Far from it.  But I like to do it and I’m learning all the time, so for now, it’s fun, and it’s even more fun to share… so let me know if you need something!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hershey’s Better Blog Hop

I’m a tad on the almost-late side since I waited to the end of Easter to post this… what else is new?!?
baskethershey

But Amy was SO nice as to tag me for this cool thing! Hershey’s is donating to the Children’s Miracle Network. (See details below)  Of course, ANY time Reese’s is involved, I’m a fan. (Though there’s not much room in the BrocChick Plan for chocolate. :o(  Maybe next year!)

Here are the rules below:
Hershey’s Better Basket Blog Hop Rules
~Copy and paste these rules to your blog post.
~Create a blog post giving a virtual Easter Basket to another blogger – you can give as many Virtual Baskets as you want.
~Link back to person who gave you an Easter Basket.
~Let each person you are giving a Virtual Easter Basket know you have given them a Basket.
~Leave your link at BetterBasket.info/BlogHop comment section. You can also find the official rules of this Better Basket blog hop, and more information about Better Basket with Hershey’s there.
~Hershey’s is donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network (up to total of $5,000 by blog posts written by April 4th, 2010).
Please note that only one blog post by each blog URL will count towards the donation.

BUT---get this… thanks to Michelle for this info.

  • This started as a meme of HERSHEY’S donating $10 per each blog participating to the Better Basket Blog Hop to Children’s Miracle Network up to $5,000 – but after so many bloggers participating, HERSHEY’S decided to donate a total of $7,000 honoring the kindness of blogger community .
  • Yay Hershey!  Hope you all had some yummy chocolate today!

    Friday, April 2, 2010

    A welcome day at home

    The girls and I didn't leave the house today. I love those days, for the most part. I worked on some blog design projects along with a birth announcement for a friend who had two beautiful little girls. We had all the windows open and it was wonderful.

    As for the "cryptic" nature of yesterday's post...those of you who have emailed me or commented should have received a response back with the story. It's not a secret, just not wise to post publicly at this point. Thanks for continuing to pray for our "little friend."

    Braska seems to be feeling a little better. Kinlee has had fever up to 101 today. Fun stuff. They were each up a couple hours last night. Not at the same time, though, so it made for only about 4 hours sleep for me, 3:30 to 7:30 am. I'd planned on getting to bed early, but I wanted to get a blog design posted tonight. I'll be sharing links to these design projects and makeovers soon. So far, I'm really pleased with the final products.

    Have a great Saturday, and if you're in an area having superb weather, enjoy it!!

    Thursday, April 1, 2010

    One seriously taxing day

    I wish I could give you all the details, but I can’t put some of it on the world wide interweb.  I can give you a basic rundown of some of it, though, including the parts that involve Braska’s health concerns.

    If you’re caught up on posts, you know that my day started at 4:30am. If you follow the Twitter box on the right, you might know some of this, but I’ll include it anyway.  By 9:30am, I had talked to Braska’s pediatrician and were on our way to her office to pick up orders for blood and urine tests and a chest x-ray.  After a much longer wait than necessary, due to wrong response by the reception staff, (This is a huge peeve of mine…probably from years of hiring and training people in these positions.  I have trouble with people who lack listening skills but work on the front line in medical practices.) we finally saw the nurse, who is great, and she got us what we needed and she placed the urine bag on Braska. Not a fun task.  I pushed in a few ounces of water to get her going, and we loaded up in the van again.

    The girls and I went to Children’s, and we signed into the lab at 11:51am.  I’ve never waited more than about 10 minutes in the lab there.  Over an hour later, we got called back.  Of course, the urine bag hadn’t caught a bit.  Our favorite phlebotomist, who we request specifically, got Braska on the first stick with no fishing.  Wonderful.  But we had to clean her up and change a VERY wet diaper so that we could place another bag on her and try again. 

    You can imagine, especially if you’ve ever met her, how Kinlee was taking all this waiting.  Oh, and of course it was over lunch time, and I only took one container of goldfish.  She did get paraded around the lab once by a lady who insisted on each and every person working in there seeing her and remarking on her “cuuuuuuuuuute outfit!”

    We waited another 30 minutes after giving Braska more water, and we finally got just enough to do the test.  Then it was time to hit the cafeteria before Kinlee exploded from grouching and hunger before we ended up in the imaging center for the x-ray.  Braska was feeling very bad by this time, her fever had gone up once again, and the chest x-ray wasn’t fun for her.  But we made it through, and we left Children’s at about 3:30pm.  Long few hours.

    On the way home, I hit traffic almost immediately and sat still.  I was able to maneuver enough to get off at an exit and take a detour, but it delayed me a little.  The girls fell asleep, which was fine. 

    As I returned to my neighborhood, I encountered a situation that changed the course of the next few hours, and it altered lives, literally. (Again…we are not hurt, we are fine and unharmed.) I can’t say much about it right now except this…

    I know, without a doubt, that I’ll never think about traffic delays or unexplained waiting the same way again.  It was only for perfect timing that a little child is ok, or will be, I hope.  God held me back, though I tried to fight Him and race ahead.  He put me right where I needed to be, with the experience I have and the heart He’s given me, to make all the difference to this one today.  I’m overwhelmed by the events, and I’m nervous about what will follow in the natural consequences of this afternoon for the other parties involved.  But I’m so very thankful, though I’ll probably not sleep well tonight, that he put me right there at that moment. 

    Thank you for your comments about Braska’s issues and caring about our girl.  I hope we get some answers soon. We should have test results tomorrow.

    Hot and early

    Braska woke and talked/moaned this morning at about 4:30am. This is not unusual.  She does this frequently, usually lasting a few minutes before she falls asleep once again. 

    But this morning she didn’t quiet as quickly as I’d hoped, and when I went to check on her about 4:45am, I reached into her crib and met what felt like fresh-baked toddler.  She was warm, very warm. Warmer than I’ve ever experienced with her, as far as how her skin felt.  I took her out of the crib and walked out to the living room where the thermometer had been last night.  Of course I couldn’t find it—thank you to Kinlee who loves to move or hid everything right now—so I went back to our bedroom and gave her to M while I hunted for the thermometer and got her some ibuprofen.  We took off her sleeper and gave her some water and ibuprofen via tube.  She wasn’t all that uncomfortable, it seemed, just VERY hot to touch. 

    Her hands were the weirdest part to me.  She would reach out and hold my hand or touch my leg, and it felt very bizarre to have that little tiny mitt be so strangely warm.

    Her nose was once again all gummed up, practically closed with dried goo, so I cleaned her up, did saline drops and suction, and then we went out to the living room to read a couple books while I waited to see if her temp dropped after the meds.  I checked it again after about 30 minutes, and she was on the way down, thankfully.  I put her in a t-shirt and she went back to sleep on my shoulder in no time.  Back into her bed just before 6am.

    I decided I’d stay up. Thought I’d hit the treadmill, but then I got distracted with a digiscrap blog train and downloading tons of goodies after it popped up in my Reader. 

    She got up about 7:15am and has seemed ok.  No school today, so she’s not happy with me about that.  She tells me in the morning “School today!” and does her little clap and pat routine that they do to the welcome song.  And if I tell her we’re not going, she is very frowny for a bit. 

    I’m going to be talking to the pediatrician(s) today. (We saw a different one on Sat, so we’re kind of following with her on our current path, though we’re a patient of the other.)  I’ll be requesting a blood draw to just check to make sure nothing is out of whack.  Something is off. There’s just not much reason for fever like this mid-antibiotic course. 

    She is bearing weight a little better this morning, walking some short bits, 4 or 5 steps at a time.  But she is still preferring to be on her rear.  We’ll see how the day goes.