Monday, January 24, 2011

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Nine

Actual Date: Thursday, September 30, 2010
We went to the mall today to run a few errands. My friend Cindy came and brought her youngest, Raymond to play with the kids. First we had lunch and then the kids enjoyed playing in the playground area.

It's a really cute play place. It takes me back to my childhood. They have the Poky Little Puppy and The Little Engine That Could! Remember all those classic stories? Click here for a little trip down memory lane.

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Eight

Actual Date: Wednesday, September 29, 2010
Caught in the act!

This little man is destroying my kitchen! Every time I turn around, he's opening another cupboard. Once he gets the door open, he moves on to the next one. Once all the doors are open that he can reach he goes off to find something else to get into.

At least 3 times I went through the kitchen after he was done and shut all the doors. Then the next time I went in there they would all be open again!

Silly boy. At least it's keeping him busy I guess.

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Seven

Actual Date: Tuesday, September 28, 2010
Goofy Little Ava is ready for bed. I love that she's such a comedian. She takes after her Mama.

We had added a new step into our bedtime routine. I found this daily devotional, or in Ava's words "Boshinal", for little girls and we read it every night before we tuck the girls in bed. It's a great teaching tool. Some nights the girls are more into it than others but on the good nights we've had some pretty good talks with the girls about real life experiences. It's amazing to me how much they can understand at such a young age.

One night the devotional was about how you should forgive people, even if they've been mean to you. This struck a cord with Brooke because a few days earlier she had a friend who had said some mean things to her. She said "So even though that hurt my feelings, I should forgive her."

Another night the Devotional was about telling the truth. It was ironic because just that day Brooke had lied about her worksheet from school. She told me that her teacher never explained it to her because she was "a crybaby" and that's why she got a lot of the answers wrong. When I heard that it upset me and I said why would she call you that? Finally after I said "Well lets go back and have a talk with her because that's not something she should be saying to students..." She finally told me that she was lying. She said that she hadn't been paying attention when her Teacher gave the directions and that's why she didn't know how to do it right. She was afraid that I would be mad so she made the whole thing up.

It was a great teachable moment. It's amazing how the Lord used that simple devotional at the exact time that Brooke needed it. It allowed us discuss even further why we shouldn't lie and that our lies can actually hurt people.

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Six

Actual Date: Monday, September 27, 2010
All great things must come to an end. It was time for Karlana to get back to school. She still had a few days off still to recover from her surgery so she needed to get home where it was quiet and she could rest!

I felt better knowing that she at least had clean sheets to rest on.

I told Kar that she could pick out the kids clothes for the day if she wanted. I used to watch Karlana and her little brother and sister a lot when they were little and picking out their clothes was always my favorite thing to do. It was like having real live baby dolls!

The shirt that Kar picked for Brooke was one that she had actually bought for Brooke when she was on a Mission Trip down in Ecuador a few years ago. It used to be a dress but Brooke is so skinny that she's been able to wear it as a shirt now that she's bigger. It's one of her favorites because she knows that Karlana picked it out just for her.

Waving goodbye.

The shirt that Ava has on used to be mine when I was little. It's a little poncho dress.

Speaking of me being little...Here I am in that dress when I was a little younger than Ava is now. Wasn't I cute? What happened?

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Five

Actual Date: Sunday, September 26, 2010

We had a visitor! My cousin came to spend the night. She is my only family member in the state! She's from California like me but she just started her first year in a Texas College. Even though I wish she would have picked a school closer to us (she's about five hours away) I am so very proud of her!

She came up to spend the night because she was at a convention for the Direct Sales company she works for. The convention was close to our house so after it was over she came to visit.

Brooke and Ava were so antsy all day long. I swear the asked very 5 minutes if Karlana was here yet! Kar had agreed to have a sleep over with them in the living room and they were so excited they could hardly contain themselves. We even went down to the nearest redbox and got a special Barbie Mermaid movie for them to watch on their special girls night.

She got here around dinner time so we all ate dinner and talked about how she was liking school. We also talked about the surgery had just recently undergone. Listen to this, after only being at her new school for a few weeks, she had to be hospitalized for appendicitis! It was at the same time I was in the hospital so no one told me until after I was home. I felt so horrible that she had to go through all of that on her own. When I found out I told her I would drive down there right away. I was serious. I was already getting the diaper bag ready, but she told me that the worst of it was over and she was ok and that I didn't need to come. It was so hard to not go because I was so worried about her but she assured me that her friends and roommate were taking good care of her. I was grateful for that at least.

After dinner we started her laundry. When she told me she was going to be in town I told her to make sure she brought all her laundry because I know how hard it is to be a struggling college student! Plus I felt like at least she was letting me do something for her after everything she had been through in the last week.

She was still a little sore from the surgery, so I told the girls to make sure they were careful with her as they settled into their living room camp for the night.

Brian blew up the air mattress for all the girls to sleep on. Here they are watching their special Barbie movie, eating popcorn of course! Our family is big on popcorn! I blame Grandma Leona. She's the one who started the addiction. :o) She used to make all the grandkids popcorn and milkshakes when we would spend the night at her house.

The also had fun taking silly pictures on Karlana's computer.

Brookie ready for bed.

I brought in Ava's mattress out of her bed because they were kinda squished with all three of them in one bed. And Ava is a wild sleeper. I was worried she would kick Kar in her incisions during the night. But she didn't care. She was excited to have her own special bed. Parker had to check it out as well. He wanted to part of the girls night too!

It gave me a little glimpse into the future. I can totally see Parker bugging the girls when they start having "real" sleepovers with their friends when their older.

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Four

As you can see, I'm catching up! I told you this new laptop would change my life. Seriously I was watching The Bachelor online the other morning while I was doing my hair. It was as awesome as it sounds.

Like right now, it's almost midnight and I can't sleep. So here I am in the living room, working on my blog while freeing up some time on my DVR.


Actual Date: Saturday, September 25, 2010
Daddy and Ava taking a snooze on the couch.

Ava's fever had been coming and going most of the day so we all had a lazy day at home so she could rest up and get better. Lazy Saturdays at home with my family are some of my favorite days.

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Three

Actual Date: Friday, September 24, 2010
Brooke made this sign and hung it up on the door to her and Ava's room before I took her to school this morning. She told me "Even though it looks like an avocado half, it really says 'keep out Ava!" I told her good luck with that, y'all share a room in case you didn't notice...

And so the sister rivalry begins...

After we got home from taking Brooke to school I was running around doing my normal morning clean up. Ava was laying on the floor watching cartoons which is really rare for her. That girl never sits still. Next thing I know she was out like a light.

She was so tired she was drooling! As I was taking these pictures I started noticing that she was radiating heat. I felt her head and she was burning up! It came out of no where. Poor baby. That explains why she was laying there so quietly.

Here's one more shot of her pudgy little toes. I love little chunky baby hands and feet!

Day One Hundred and Eighty-Two

Actual Date: Thursday, September 23, 2010
This outfit was a hand me down from Auntie Chelsea. It's a pirate onsie. It cracks me up.

This is his "leave me alone Mom!" face. I was following him around trying to get a good shot and he was sick of it!

Day One Hundred and Eighty-One

Actual Date: Wednesday, September 22, 2010

This day I went to my primary doctor to discuss the events of the weekend and get a second opinion. He reviewed all of my tests from the hospital and he said that my blood sugar when I got to the hospital was super low. Like 54 or something. He said that people start going into diabetic comas when they get into the 40's. I told him that when it all first started I felt like I was suffering from low blood sugar. He sent me to the lab to get some more blood tests and had me schedule an appointment to come in and do a glucose test. Lord how I hate those things.

You have to do them when you're pregnant to make sure that you do no have something called Gestational Diabetes. Basically you have a couple minutes to drink this really nasty drink that tastes like an Otter pop loaded with extra sugar, and then you wait an hour for your body to process the sugar. After that they take your blood and that tells how your body is doing with controlling your sugars.

When I took that test during my first two pregnancies, it showed that I was borderline diabetic. So at that point they made me come back in to do a three hour glucose test! It's just as awful as it sounds. You have to fast, drink the Otter Pop junk and then for they poke you like you're a pin cushion for the next three hours. Needless to say I was not to thrilled about having to do that test again but I agreed that it was probably something that need to be done. Especially if it gave us an answer as to why all this was happening.

He also said that he didn't want me driving until we got this all straightened out. I had been having some episodes of vertigo that were making me feel really out of whack. Not drive?! How was that going to happen? Brooke has dance class and Parker has physical therapy twice a week!

That evening I went to a local coffee shop with my friend Karen. I met Karen when we lived in Texas a few years ago. Her husband, Brian, works for the same company as my Brian and they had just been transferred to Texas as well. We both got pregnant with our first babies within a month of each other. We had fun shopping outings talking about how crazy it would be that we would both be totting around little ones soon.

Now here we are 4 years later. I have three little one's and she is pregnant with her fourth! Where did the time go?

I felt so bad because I had to ask my pregnant friend to please pick me up because I wasn't allowed. She was so sweet and didn't mind. We had a good time. It was nice to get out for some much needed girl talk.

I didn't finish my whole drink so I decided I would bring it home, put it in the fridge and give it to the girls as a treat in the morning. Don't freak, it was decaff!

Day One Hundred and Eighty

Actual Date: Tuesday, September 21, 2010

After Brian got home we headed to the little creek down the road to feed the duckies. There's a pretty nice walking trail following along it and I desperately needed to get out and get some fresh air and exercise. I still wasn't feeling 100% but I was getting better day by day. I wasn't in any pain, mostly I remember being really tired.

I think I forgot to mention that part about the migraine I was suffering from. It's called a "Silent" migraine because there's no pain with it. You get all the crazy side effects of a migraine without the pain.

Ava feeding the ducks.

Daddy and Parker feeding the ducks.

I was amazed by how well behaved they were. I've been some places where the ducks pretty much attack you to get the food but these guys were very well mannered. They came close but they weren't aggressive at all.

It was a fun little outing and the kids can't wait to do it again.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Nine

Actual Date: Monday, September 20, 2010
This nasty thing was in my kitchen! What the heck is it?!?! It's so ugly. I thought it was a snake at first because it's tail is so darn long.

Luckily Brian was home to be the hero. He caught it with a piece of paper and a bowl and took it outside. I was trying to be brave and not scream in front of the kids but that thing gave me the heebie geebies! It still does!

So all my new Texas friends...What the heck is it? I have never seen anything like it in my life!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Eight

Actual Date: Sunday, September 19, 2010
Woke up with this lovely rash on my arm. Apparently someone or something latex touched me during my hospital stay. This happens every time latex touches me. In fact, this is what my face looked like earlier in the week from wearing those dumb goggles. Lovely huh?

Oh and it itches like no other!

And I had this little beauty on my other arm. It must have been from one of the times they took my blood because my IV was in the other arm.

On this day we woke up and went to Church. I had to go. I needed to go. I was so grateful to be alive and healthy after running all those what ifs through my head all night on Friday night.

After the service told them that we had a change of plans and that we would in fact be there for the New Members Meeting.

Now here's where I can tell God had his hand in the whole thing again... The New Members Meeting is in done in two week sections. The first week our group was packed. This week however we were the only ones. The second meeting is lead by one of our Pastors, Brian, and he was as shocked as we were. So instead of going into one of the big rooms to finish up, he took us up to his office so it would be more intimate.

We spent the next hour and a half or so really getting to know each other and hear all about how the church was started and where they see it going. We also discussed where we could be of service to the Church. I told him that I would really like to get into the Children's ministry because now that I'm not teaching anymore, I miss being in the classroom sometimes. He gave me the name of the person in charge and he said "Make sure you find me on Sunday and I will make sure you two meet. She has been really swamped lately and I know she's been praying for someone to come along and help her." Brian said he would like to help on the set up team so he gave him information on that as well. We were both excited!

At the end of the meeting Pastor Brian asked if there was anything he could be praying about for us. That's when we told him about our crazy weekend. He just sat there and stared at me. I guess he hadn't noticed the bruises and rash before that point. haha. He immediately got out his phone and gave us his number and put both of ours into his. He told Brian "If anything happens I want you to call me immediately. I want to know what's going on and how we can help."

Like I said before, I LOVE this church. People care about people. God has really taken care of us. When we decided to move back to Texas there was a little bit reservation in both Brian and I because we would be leaving behind all family connections. How would we handle three kids and daily life without having family anywhere nearby? If we moved to Texas our closest family would be in Illinois! How is that going to work? What if there's an emergency?!

But we took a leap of faith, praying all the way. And I'm telling you we have made some awesome friendships here. I have never met so many great people in one place in all my life. We attended many churches here before finding the one that we are currently in. And now all these little things are happening that show us that this is for sure where God wants us to be.

Fast forward to today: I did meet with Jami, the lady in charge of the Children's Ministry at our Church. I have been working in the infant and the 2 and 3 year old class. It has been a blast. We just got a great new curriculum to teach and it's been really awesome to be a part of a team that has a passion for our youth. I've always strongly felt that the Children's Ministry is one of the most important parts of the church. If you think about it, most of our earliest memories of "church" are from our childhood. And never underestimate the power of a child. My girls amaze me with their questions sometimes. And I think working in Kidridge has really helped me better answer those questions because I have a deeper understanding of what they are learning on the weekend. And I'm learning too! To be able to teach something you have to really understand it yourself. It's been a great experience.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Seven

Actual Date: Saturday, September 18, 2010
This was my reality when I woke up on this
morning. I was a patient on the cardio floor.

Brian stayed with me until about 6 in the morning when I told him to go home so he could be there when the kids woke up so they wouldn't be scared. He said he would get them feed and dressed and bring them by to see me. How did I get so lucky to marry the best guy on the face of the earth?

In the night a new Doctor came in to talk to me about what was going on. She thew out some "possibilities" but like the Doctors before her said, she really didn't want to make a guess until the Neurologist had a change to look over my Cat Scan, MRI and MRA. She said it could be anything from a small stroke to Multiple Sclerosis.

But she did tell me that I was not allowed to eat until some other specialist came into evaluate me to make sure that I could pass a swallow test in case I did in deed have a stroke. I was kinda bummed because I was starting to get hungry.

A few hours later my nurse came in and said that he had talked to my doctor and she was going to let me eat because that specialist doesn't work on the weekend, so it would be a couple days before I could eat if we had to wait for the swallow test. Plus, I was talking ok and my face wasn't paralyzed, it was just numb and tingling. So with like 15 minutes until last call for ordering breakfast, I put in my order for my yummy Cardio approved breakfast.

It was awesome! After a whole night of thinking about the "what ifs" I was ready to enjoy every little piece of life. Even if it was a blan breakfast.

Pretty soon after I finished my breakfast there was a little knock on my door and in popped these two little munchkins! Such a sight for sore eyes. I had missed them so much. Brian said Brooke was Daddy's little helper all morning and she even picked out their outfits.

That explains why she was wearing a dress without the undershirt... But she's so cute she can pull it off.

And then of course my two little handsome men were there too! Look at those cuties.

We had a fun afternoon together. I shared the rest of my breakfast with the kids and we hung out and watched some movies. It felt so good to hold all my babies and have them near me. It took my mind off of everything that was going on.

Brian, being the thoughtful man that he is, brought me our DVD player from home with some of my favorite movies. Isn't that the sweetest thing ever? And the girls, being the sweet little girls that they are, brought me some movies that they thought I would enjoy.

Can you guess which movies are my favorite and which ones the girls picked out?

After a few hours the kids were getting restless from being cooped up in my room. I didn't blame them. Even though I wasn't feeling so hot, I was getting antsy to get up and moving. I kissed them all good bye and Brian took them home to put them down for naps. He said that our neighbor Jessica said that she would come over and watch the kids again when he got home so that he could come and be with me again. Have I mentioned how much we love our neighbors? It was such a relief to know that my kids were being well taken care of.

Soon after they left it was lunch time. How cool is it that they had glass bottle soda?! The guy who brought it even popped it with a bottle top thingy ma bob!

This was heaven. As you can guess, the food, especially the food on the cardio floor, is a little blan. So that made this angel food cake taste like something from the Cheesecake Factory.

This was the beautiful view from my room. It looked like a beautiful day outside. I was bummed that I wasn't able to enjoy it.

After lunch I couldn't take it any longer. I needed to get out of that room and walk around a little. After convincing my nurse that I wasn't a fall risk, he agreed to let me get up and walk around as long as I just did laps on t he Cardio floor. That's all I needed to hear. I was off and running after that.

I yanked my IV pole from the plug and dragged it out the door to start doing some laps. It felt so great to be out of that bed! But at the same time it was a reality check. As I made my rounds I would peek into the rooms and there were a lot of people who were in really bad shape. I kept doing my rounds all the while saying internal prayers for each person that I walked by. It was really humbling to see so many people one on of their worst days.

On one of my laps I saw someone who looked familiar. It took me a lap or two to realize where I knew him from. He had sat in front of Brian and I a few weeks before at Church and we had talked to him during the morning meet and greet. I saw him on my next lap and asked him if he went to our Church and he said "Oh yeah! Now I know where I know you from! What are you doing on the Cardio floor?"

I explained to him what was going on and he was really sincere. He said that volunteers at the hospital on the weekends sometimes and he was just making his rounds. He asked me what room I was in and promised to come check on me a few times during his shift. It was really comforting to know that someone else would be looking out for me.

It was at that point that I knew in my heart that this was the Church that God planned for us to be at. Earlier in the day when Brian and the kids were visiting I had gotten a call from Michelle, another person at the church, about which Community Group we would be attending for the upcoming semester. After we got all that stuff straightened out, I asked her if she would kindly let them know that we would not be attending the New Members Meeting that we were signed up for the following day because I was in the hospital. She said "I know you don't know me but if you need anything or help with your kids, I would love to help!"

This is what I LOVE about our church. It's more than a church, it's a family.

Fast forward to today: When we walked into our first Community Group meeting weeks later, guess who was there... Michelle! How awesome is that? I gave her a big hug and told her thank you for being so kind to a stranger.

Rewind back to that day in the hospital: Later that afternoon the Neurologist came in to discuss my tests. Amazingly Brian walked in right at that time. I'm glad he was there because it was a lot of info to take in. He basically said after looking over all my tests that it looks like I was having something called a Complex Migraine.

Here's one definition of a Complex Migraine and it seems to fit:
One theory about the cause of migraine headaches is that blood vessels in the brain suddenly narrow (or spasm) and then dilate; when the blood vessels dilate, the headache develops. During the spasm phase, certain parts of the brain may receive too little blood, and this may cause the stroke-like symptoms. However, unlike a stroke, blood flow is not permanently interrupted during migraine headaches, and the neurological symptoms are nearly always temporary.

It was such a relief to finally have an answer after all those hours of waiting. He said he was ordering some more tests like an Echo cardiogram of my heart and a sonogram of my Thyroid to make sure that nothing more serious was going on. He said that I would have the sonogram done at the hospital but since it was the weekend, I wouldn't be able to do the Echo cardiogram until the regular work week. He said that he would be comfortable with me going home since the numbness was clearing up a little and doing my Echo cardiogram as an outpatient procedure early in the week. As long as my Thyroid sonogram was clear that is.

This was the best news ever. I could not wait to get home to my babies, and my own bed!

I passed the sonogram with flying colors and was able to go home with Brian that evening! I was super tired and still a little numb but it felt so great to be home. As soon as we got home we headed next door to pick up the kids. Ava said "You all done getting your shot at the doctor? You didn't cry 'cause you a big girl?" That made me smile.

Both girls had worked with Mrs. Jessica to make me get well cards. Brooke was so excited to tell me about how hard she had worked on hers. And I could tell. It was a beautiful heart pop up card.

I slept like a baby that night. It was a relief to know that our prayers had been answered and that I wasn't suffering from something major. You can bet before I went to bed that night I thanked our good Lord for putting so many amazing people in my life and I said some more prayers for all the people who were spending their night on the Cardio floor. I will forever remember their faces.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Six

Actual Date: Friday, September 17, 2010
On this day, Parker had his 1 year check up. We love the kids doctor. She's the best. She's been a blessing to us. I was worried about finding a Pediatrician that we loved as much as our old one but we lucked out. She goes above and beyond to make sure that you know the details of what's going on and that you know everything you can do to make it better.

She's also very personable. She has even prayed for my family during an appointment. It was really touching to know that she cares about all of us and that we're not just a number to her.

Here's Parker's stats from the check up:

He weighed 20 pounds which puts him in the 20% of his peers.
His height was 30 inches which puts him in the 57% of his peers.
His head circumference was 17.5 which puts him in the 6% of his peers.

After Brian got home we had dinner and then Ava and I headed off to the grocery store. I have been going to the store in the evening so that we don't have to spend our weekend family getting groceries. And I have been taking at least one of the kids with me so that it's not too crazy for Brian at home and that I can have some one on one time with each of the kids.

Brian took these pictures of Parker and Brooke while Ava and I were at the store. This one of Brooke cracks me up.

Ava and I were having fun spending girl time together shopping. But about half way through the store, I started not feeling very well. I had been really tired all day so I just figured maybe I was coming down with something. Then I started getting really clammy and light headed like my blood sugar was low. So I figured I would run up to the front of the store and grab something to snack on while we finished up. By the time I got half way up to the registers, my left side started to go numb.

That's when I really started to get worried. The left side of my face was tingling and all the way down my left arm felt numb. I was still able to use it but it just felt really weird. I decided I better just check out and head home. I must have looked bad because the Cashier asked me if I was alright.

We headed straight home and I told Brian about how I was feeling when I walked in the door. I laid down on the couch and waited for the sensation to get better. But it just kept getting worse. I decided I should probably go to the hospital.

I didn't write about this earlier in the week but earlier in the week I had put on Brooke's goggles while swimming some laps in the pool. I guess my latex allergy is worse that I thought it was because on Monday I woke up with blisters all over my face because apparently the little 99 cent goggles were made of latex. Monday and Tuesday I pumped myself up with Benadryl but everyday the blisters got worse and worse. So, I finally went in on Wednesday and the doctor prescribed me a steroid to help me get rid of the rash.

I told Brian to stay home with the kids and I would run to the hospital that is about two miles away. At that point I was thinking that they would just tell me that this was just some side effect from the steroid and that I'd be fine. When I got there they took me in and my blood pressure was really high but they said that was probably because I was nervous. They took me in and took some blood and then the Doctor came in to ask me what was going on.

She said that I should go get a Cat scan and see if there was anything really going on. She said that the Steroid should not be making me feel like I was. Soon after that they wheeled me off to get the Cat scan. It was kinda scary because I've never done anything like that but I was relieved that maybe this would help us get some answers.

After that was done they took me back into my room and before I knew it the Doctor was back in my room and she said that they had seen swelling in my brain on the Cat scan. She told me that they would be taking me in for a MRI and a MRA and that I should call my husband to come be with me because this could be very serious.

It all happened so fast. I called Brian and told him what the doctor said. I was worried about who we could get to watch the kids because at this point it was close to 11 o'clock at night. Brian said he would try to get ahold of our awesome neighbors and see if they could watch the kids for us so he could come to the hospital. Luckily Jessica said she would come over and stay with the kids. Can I just say how much we love our neighbors again! I don't know what we would have done without them.

Brian showed up to the hospital a little while before they took me in for the MRI stuff. When I saw him that's when I finally felt like I could let go of my nerves and cry. We prayed together. I was so grateful to have him there. He is my rock.

They took me in for the MRI and I was really nervous. I'm not usually claustrophobic but I guess just because of everything that was all of a sudden happening I was super scared about the idea of being stuck in a tube for 20 plus minutes. The guy who was in charge was really great about helping to calm my nerves as best he could. He blasted country music to try to drowned out the sound of the machine. I guess it helped a little.

He gave me a little button before he sent me in and said to push it only if I really really was freaking out because we would have to start all over again if he pulled me out. He told me it would take about 20 minutes so I told myself "You can do this, listen to about 5 songs and you'll be out of there. No problem!" And for the most part it wasn't. There was some kinda crazy mirror in there that allowed you to see the guy who was running the machine so I knew he was watching me and that I would be fine. But it made me really dizzy to look at it so I tried to keep my eyes shut most of the time and count down the songs.

Once the 5th song was over I was thinking ok it can't be much longer now... then the 6th song ended...and the 7th. I was about ready to start really freak out when the machine turned off and my hero came in and pulled me out of that crazy machine.

They took me back to my room and set me up with an IV. The doctor came in and said that the MRI and MRA looked clear but that she wanted me to move upstairs for observation and that she called in a Neurologist to come look over my results and talk to me. She said she wasn't really sure what was going on but there was a good chance that I had had a small stroke.

Here I am all set up in my room with my heart monitors on. They put me on the Cardio floor so they could monitor me closely. I was by far the youngest person there. The rest of the night was filled with monitoring and meeting with another Doctor who pretty much said the same thing, we don't really know until the Neurologist gets here. So we settled in and tried to get some sleep until the Neurologist got there.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Five

Actual Date: Thursday, September 16, 2010

It's a family joke that "whenever things get tough, just put them in a box and ship 'em to Grandma."

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Four

Actual Date: Wednesday, September 15, 2010
Some one worked hard today in physical therapy. So hard he tuckered himself right out.

Looking back on it now, that is probably one of his last bottles. I started weening all of the kids off of bottles around a year old. Ironically I just cleaned out the bottle drawer and threw out the very last of the bottle stuff and pacifiers just a few days ago. No need for any of that stuff now. I'm not gonna lie, it kinda made me sad.

Day One Hundred and Seventy-Three

Actual Date: Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I have an exciting new announcement. Well, you might not be as excited as I am but to me, it's pretty exciting!

Brian bought me a lap top!!!

I am beyond excited. This little baby is going to change my life. You have no idea. Our regular computer is way back in the sitting room off of our bedroom. It was hard to find a good time that I could be on it when I wanted to, or needed to because there was no way to hear or see the kids from where it is located. Even if I snuck back there for a minute, the whole house would fall apart.

I once caught Parker unrolling the whole roll of toilet paper into the toilet. And with him becoming more mobile, it's getting tougher to leave him alone, even for two seconds.

Basically that's why I have gotten so far behind on my blog. The only time I had to work on it was early in the morning before the kids woke up. Or during nap time. But I usually had other things to do to keep the house up during that time. So then I would try to get on after all the kids were in bed. But then I started to feel bad because that's the time Brian and I get to spend together.

Now with this snazzy new laptop I will be able to be be mobile! I can even take it to the gym and take advantage of the whole 2 hours of childcare (which is huge for me because we have no family here to babysit when I need a break) while surfing around on the Internet. After I work out of course. ;o) Seriously it's going to change my life.

Thank you babe! You're the best!

OK, now for today's post...

Contrary to what you all my know, Brian and I actually welcomed our first baby into our life 6 years ago.

His name is Chester.

Look at that little puppy face. That's is him on the day that we first got him.

Brian and I had been living in Texas on our own for awhile and we had been talking about getting a dog to add to the mix. Every weekend for about a month or so, we would head to Petsmart to look over the dogs during adoption day.

We were being really picky because we didn't want to pick the first cute little thing that we saw and get stuck with a barking, pooping on the floor, mess.

We noticed a pattern, during our searching process. If you stood there long enough you would see which dogs barked like crazy every time another dog walked by. And which dogs were a little more laid back. On the day that we found Chester, about a month and a half into the search, he was the only dog that we had seen to that point that didn't go nuts whenever the other dogs got all riled up. He was just kinda sitting in his crate with his sad little puppy dog eyes.

We asked his handler if we could get him out and meet him and she was so excited. When she let him out we saw that his whole back left side was shaved. His foster mom told us that she had found him and his brother and sister living in field, eating a dead cow. When she took them to the vet to get them checked out, the vet noticed that Chester's left hip bone was completely shattered. He probably had been hit by a car at some point.

Instead of amputating it, they decided to cut off the whole head of the femur bone (the ball part that holds the hip in the socket). They said with some work, he would eventually build the muscle up enough to hold that bone in there. Though that leg would be a few inches shorter than the others, he would be completely fine.

Once we heard his story our hearts broke for him. Plus, he was such a lover. He leaned into us begged us to pet him. We fell in love on the spot.

We told his foster mom that we would love to do a trial adoption and see how he liked living with us. She was excited, until we told her that we didn't have a fence. But she agreed to come out to our house and check it out (we had a pretty big lot of land and we lived on a cul da sac petty far away from the main road).

The next day, his foster Mom and Dad came out to our house to check it out. They said that they thought it would be ok, and we told them that if we had to we would get one of those invisible fences installed. They were good with that. They even left him there with us for the night!

We took him to the park that day and played ball with him most of the day. He never even once tried to run out of our yard, and never went to the bathroom in the house. He was perfect! We were in love! And have been ever since.

So that's the story of how our first born came into our lives.

Here he is today. He is seriously the best dog in the world. And I'm not just saying that. We've had tons of our friends and family say that too. Everyone wants to keep him after they meet him.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him. He was pouting because there was like a foot of snow on the ground and he couldn't go out and play ball.

Here he is with his "little sister" Brooke when she was just weeks old.

The date is wrong on there. It would have been sometime in June of 2005.

Once again, Chester is the best dog ever. He has such a special bond with all of our kids. You can tell he loves them. Anytime anyone of them cry, he comes over and kisses them. If one of them is sick, he sleeps by their bed.

Once a few years ago, during the time when Brian used to have to travel a lot, Brian came home late in the evening after being gone for a few days or so. Chester was upstairs and must not have heard him walk up the driveway. Brooke and I went outside to great him. When Brian picked up Brooke, he threw her up in the air and she let out a squeal. She screamed because she was so excited but all Chester heard was his "little sister" screaming.

He barrelled down the stairs and came outside growling and barking. He was showing his teeth and the hair on the back of his neck was standing up. We had never ever seen him like that before. Once he realized it was Brian, he calmed down and got excited to see him.

It's comforting to know that Chester would come to our rescue if he thought we needed it.

Here he is playing ball with Ava when she was a little bitty.

If an adult wants to play ball with him, he won't let you take it. He would rather play tug-a-war.

But if a kid or a baby tootles up to him, he just lets them take it. It's amazing how gentle he is with them.

"Hey, where are you going with that?"

"Can I have it back please?"

"Throw it! Throw it! Throw it!"

Ava and Chester at Grandma's house. He always gets tuckered out at Grandma's house. She has tons of land and other dogs for him to play with. Anytime you ask one of the kids "do you want to go to Grandma's house?" Chester is the one who gets the most excited.

Once again, I love that he lets the kids "love" on him. And our kids LOVE this dog. Heck, all the kids in our neighbor hood love this dog. How could you not love him?

He never does or ever has (except when he got really sick once) gone to the bathroom in the house.

He catches a ball like a major leaguer. Even with a bum leg.

He never jumps up on you.

He gets along with other dogs and cats.

And he's just a lover. period.

In the past 6 years this dog has won over the hearts of many. We couldn't imagine our family without him.

Seriously, all of my kids said "Chester" as one of their first 5 words. That's how much love we have for this gimpy mutt.