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Friday, December 31, 2010

Christmas Pictures

Picture post for now, will be back later with an in depth post.

Christmas Eve 2010

Putting out the reindeer food

Santa Came
Christmas 2010

Christmas 2010

Jessica

Hailey 

Kaitlyn

Snowgirl

White Christmas 2010- Alabama

White Christmas 2010


Friday, December 17, 2010

Changes

It is another time of change for us.  I have been looking for a job that would work for our schedule for a few months but haven't really found anything that made me excited.  So a friend of mine posted that she was working for Joann Fabrics & Craft Store, a new one opening in town, I thought this would be a good time to try for a part time night/weekend job.  Great because I know someone who works there and because I have tons of retail experience and hello I like to craft! ;) So she gave my info to the other leaders and they called me to set up an interview, which I went to this past Friday.  I went in expecting to fill out an application and do the two interview deal and then leave with the "we'll call you in a couple weeks" deal.  That is normally what happens when you go to these type of things.  So I did do all of that lol but I left being hired on the spot! :)

I go for orientation in early January and then the store is slated to open in early Feb, so I hope I'll start working soon after orientation. I am excited, I love crafty stuff and I hear Joann's is awesome, so I can't wait to shop too. I will be sad to leave the kids (especially K) but it's not the 1st time or the last I am sure.

So there is the good news post for the day!

Irritations

Random post today, but things I find really irritating right now.

1. The fact that our school system is 20 MILLION dollars in the red.  How does that happen? How does no one know this but the superintendent acts like it's easy to find out and everyone should know and NOT be surprised? Are you kidding me?  I bet she's enjoying her 6 figure income and car allowance.  So glad her contract did NOT get renewed.

2. School Calendar/Uniforms: I am not for nor against uniforms, if we have to do it, we'll deal.  The only issue if they say you must buy a specific brand that cost $$$$.  Khaki pants/shorts/skirts are all the same IMO, doesn't need to be a certain store.  People who want to wear brand names will continue to wear brand names because that's what mom and dad buy.  There is also current talk about taking away fall break next school year, and starting school about a week or so later.  Again I am not for or against.  I enjoy the fall break, we can do things as a family when it's a bit cooler.  Would I miss it? Sure. Will I throw a fit if it's gone? No.

3. People who can't drive- enough said.

4. Healthcare Issues- currently going on.  I can't imagine forcing someone to buy insurance and then making them pay a penalty if they don't.  GRRR I will not even go into depth on this one.

5. Rude shoppers---again enough said, it's the holiday season and people seem to lose their minds.

6. Incompetent/Un-informed Doctors- mostly dealing with Spina Bifida and the fact they (drs) are still telling people how bad a life their children will have if they choose to continue pregnancy.  Sure there are worse case scenarios, but how about real ones that happen every day? What about these wonderful babies who are thriving, doing everything the drs said they would NOT do? Yep this should be higher on my list, but this list is not in a particular order.

7. Gossip & Rumor Mills and the people who believe every word they hear.  Can't change it but I can not participate in it.

I knew I would have more to add, so I didn't publish yet.

8.  People who complain about EVERYTHING!!!

9. Being on hold for 45 mins during nap time, like I have nothing better to do? On top of it, the wait time was supposed to be 15 mins.

10. COLD mornings and no coffee!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Cold

Freezing really, well I guess you could say below freezing since the temps will remain around 21 today, not counting the windchill. Last check was about 6 degrees for the windchill and it's almost 1 pm.  Yes I know there are places that are much colder, but this is Alabama! We're not used to this cold weather. We actually had snow most of yesterday and this morning but it was soo windy that it really didn't stick.  So off to school the kids in our city/county went.  Though I wish they had stayed home since it is so cold.  Tonight is not going to be any better and they are also calling for some freezing rain on Wed I believe. Not looking forward to that.  I hate to see how cold Jan & Feb end up being. 

A couple of "snow" pictures from yesterday:




So while it wasn't a lot, it sure was pretty while it lasted. 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Thanksgiving Week

It's come and gone but we had a great time visiting my mom and sister last week.  The girls were excited to go see Nana and their Aunt and of course to eat the good foods. We headed out Tuesday afternoon last week for our trip and made good time for once! We did hit about 45 minutes of stand still traffic at one point but other than that it was a pretty uneventful drive down, thankfully.  The week went by way to fast and of course as soon as it's time to go, we get one sick kid.  It seems every time we go over to GA something happens, argh!

Well H woke up Sunday morning sick, she was pretty miserable. We were supposed to leave that day but decided another day of rest before being stuck int he car for 7 to 8 hours would be good.  So we woke up early, 6 am on Monday and were prepared to leave...but no.  H got up and had so much gunk coming out of her eyes she could not open them because it had dried up over night.  It took about 10 minutes to get it all off so she could open them. 

Then we decided it would be best to try to get her into an urgent care clinic before leaving, so after finding one, and she and dh getting there only to find out they did not take our insurance.  Why we didn't think about asking BEFORE they left, I am not sure.  The visit would have cost at minimum $100 plus any testing etc and then meds, at home it would have been just the meds.  So we opted to wait and try to get home early enough and get her in on Monday.  Of course that did not happen either, we didn't get home until 6pm due to a terrible traffic accident on the interstate. 

Tuesday we finally got her in to get seen and what we thought was pink eye, was a sinus infection.  However the gunk is coming from her eyes :( Poor kid, her eyes are terribly blood shot and shes congested etc.  The doctor prescribed her some antibiotics so hopefully in a couple days she'll be much better.  Though I hate shes got a sinus infection, I am glad it's not something like pink eye that's really contagious.

Overall we had a great week, could have done with out the sick kid but if that was the minimal downside, I can't complain! I hope you all had a wonderful time with your families and/or friends!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Not Good Enough?

Ever feel like no matter how much you try or do for others it is just not good enough?  I've felt this way off and on probably all my life but lately the part about doing things for others is getting to me. A LOT.  I am tired of feeling this way.  I try really hard to do things for myself, my family, friends and in general other people but yet feel unappreciated most of the time. Like what I did do for them, was just not good enough.  I hate feeling like that.  I hate that people can make me feel like that.  The question is how do I change it?  I obviously can not change their opinions (or what I think is their opinions) but I can change my way of thinking.  That goes back to my how question, so how do you handle that?

I imagine most of us feel this way at some point or another in our lives. I just think it's time for a change and need to focus on me.  Why do we care what others think so much? Is it ingrained in our minds as we're growing up, that if we can't do something "right", we are going to disappoint our parents, family and/or friends? I try really hard to not do that to my kids, but I am sure I've slipped. I am not perfect.  I just want my kids to grow up and know they tried and it's OK if they didn't do something perfect or the way someone else wanted it. 

I guess it's time for some soul searching to see if I can figure out how to not let myself get down when I think others are looking down on me or my actions.  If you have any suggestions I am all ears... well eyes ;)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Winter

The time is near, it's getting cooler day by day and that means cold weather wear comes out from the deep dark depths of the closet or from my crochet hooks! :) I've been on a crochet kick every since I learned the basic stitch and self taught myself the rest using youtube and various online tutorials.  I've posted some of the stuff I've made, but here are the rest of my projects. :)

Kaitlyn's Hat

Hailey's Hat
Jessica's Hat    


The snowflakes still need to be starched and stretched out to the right portions, but I think they are pretty cute. 


Halloween

I can't seem to blog on time these days, but I am trying to catch up! Jessica had her makeup on etc and was pleased with how it turned out.  Hubby and my dad took the big girls out trick or treating while K and I stayed home in the warm, she napped and I got caught up on some emails.  I am forever behind!

I have posted pictures like these for a previous post, but wanted to post the ones from actual Halloween. Enjoy!





Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Random Acts of Kindness

I've recently been thinking about Random Acts of Kindness and how they affect people.  For instance in car line this week, someone was getting in their car and ready to leave.  They needed to back up but I was to far forward for them to really do so and the truck in front needed to pull forward.  So I backed up enough so they could get out.  They gave me a little wave and pulled on in front.  A few spaces up someone else was getting into their car and both the car that I had let out and the truck in front had backed up so the next person could get out.  Normally our car line is like the autobahn, you're lucky to get out alive! OK not quite that bad, but it's  not often people will let a car pull out, because well gee then they would be in front of them for all of 5 minutes or less.

So today I participated and witnessed a random act of kindness.  I am challenging each of you to go out of your way to do something nice for someone, whether it's returned or not. :) Let me know what act you performed!

I Dare You!

Yes you, the one reading this blog! :) I love my live feedjit button, I can see who visits my blog (from where) and when and it's kinda of neat to see where everyone is from.  I'm also curious how many lurkers are out there reading so here's hoping to find out!

Leave me a comment (lurker or not!)and tell me your favorite part of fall!

I Dare You!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Time, Parties, & Storms

I am not sure where all my time is going these days. I have good intentions to sit down and blog but yet I can't really seem to find the time.  I've been pretty busy lately with a variety of things, helping plan a Founder's Day Celebration with Girl Scouts, helping plan HMMT's annual Halloween carnival, Girl Scouts in general and life. So in between all that I should find time to blog, um right.  That doesn't seem to be happening.  I was hoping that since these two big things are out of the way I would have some more time, but in my case I think I will be just as busy with other events and such.  I'll manage, I always do, I'll just be tired as normal lol.

The Founder's Day celebration was this past Friday. Overall it went well, all 5 of my girls attended and participated.  They learned more about the Girl Scout founder, Juliette Gordon Low and received some badges/pins they had earned. Then that Saturday morning was HMMT's Halloween Carnival and it was fun.  The girls had fun playing games and then helping run some games too. They both said they wanted to do that again next year. :) The highlight was seeing all the cute kiddos in their costumes.  Now we're on to planning our holiday events!

Oh and FYI Girl Scout Cookie season will be starting soon!!! :) So don't forget to look me up when you're ready to order!

Finally the last part of my subject, storms.  Boy have we had some storms around here today.  Kids were released early due to impending severe weather and today is one I am glad they did.  We had multiple spottings of tornadoes throughout Huntsville and Madison plus a couple of confirmed touchdowns. We took cover more than once during the 4 hour span. Thankfully they all seem to have passed us now without any damage in our direct area. I worry about my mom and sister since the storms are heading there way! We are hoping they fizzle out before they reach them. 

Some pictures from the weekend to enjoy!




Friday, October 15, 2010

Remembering

Today is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day, a day to remember those babies that are in Heaven that one day we will meet.  I know so many who have lost babies during their pregnancy, some early on and some quite late, and no matter the time, it hurts. I struggle with this even today because not only is it an awareness day, it is also the date my angel baby would have turned 1.  You see today was my EDD for the baby I lost in Feb. 2009. Last year on Oct. 15, I stayed in bed mourning the baby that should have been all day (though I was pregnant with Kaitlyn at this time) because even though we were lucky enough to go on to have another baby, it still hurt.

I can remember the day so clearly that I was sitting at the doctors office waiting for confirmation that I was indeed miscarrying and in walked a very pregnant woman.  It was all I could do to NOT run out of there crying. I went up to the front desk and asked them how much longer it would be and she was quite rude ( I don't think she works there anymore) and said I didn't have an appointment they would have to work me in. I went back and sat down and one of my favorite nurses came and took me back.  She apologized for the rude lady, she knew why I was there, she told me the doctor would be in soon. 

As I sat there waiting I wanted to get up and go to the front desk and ask that lady had she ever lost a baby that she had been trying for a year to have and then have to sit in a waiting room full of  people that were pregnant or holding newborns? Because if not, then she has no idea what it's like.  It's like someone taking a knife and stabbing you in the heart and twisting over and over. You cry, you are sad, you are mad and don't want to be around people who are pregnant or have newborns. You don't care they are happy or so uncomfortable because they are ready to pop, because at that moment you would do ANYTHING to be that happy or uncomfortable if it meant your baby was still alive.

A friend of mine recently went in for their 20 week ultrasound and to find out if they were having a boy or a girl.  While it was a surprise baby they were happy and excited to find out if they would be adding another boy or a 4th girl. Unfortunately there was no heartbeat found for the little boy during the ultrasound. Even with my own loss I can't imagine going in at 20 weeks and finding out my baby had died. I just want to hug her and let her know I am here.  Anyone who has lost a baby will tell you there are no real words of comfort at this point. Just knowing there are friends there for you in case you want to talk or need someone to watch the other kids while you grieve is what you want, what you need. 

So today I am remembering my little angel in Heaven along with all my friends and their angels.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

It's beginning to feel a lot like Fall!

Finally, the weather has cooled off, the leaves are changing and it's been chilly in the mornings. I LOVE this weather! Now if only I could find somewhere in the US that had this weather 365 I would so move there. :)

It's hard to believe it's already October and tomorrow Kaitlyn turns 5 months old. Music screeching to a halt. What?? 5 Months already? How does that happen? Sigh, my baby is growing up so fast and changing before my eyes. This time around seems harder to digest it, maybe because she's my last?

October to me is also the kick off for the holiday season. It seems once October rolls around the year just flies by, seriously.  We have fall break this month, then Halloween, next thing you know it's November and Turkey Day! We all know what happens when Turkey Day arrives, it's crazy insane shopping getting ready for Christmas time. Oh how I love it though, I love the sales, the bustle of the season, spending time with family and friends near and far. :)

There is no better way to end or begin a year in my opinion. Family and friends, it's what life is about these days isn't it? I know for me it is, as Kaitlyn's birth defect put a lot into perspective for me.  I am cutting out the negative in life and trying to move forward and only look at the positive and be around positive people. 

Speaking of Christmas, did you know there are only 78 days until Christmas! I know, I know, but seriously I need to start making lists for the kids, start shopping and thinking about where we'll be for the holidays. :) Have you started shopping? I am sure some of you are finished, I am jealous, but life threw us a curve ball this year so we're still trying to get our feet under us again. :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Project Finished

Yay, I got J's scarf done today. I had finished the crocheting part a couple days ago but took a few days off. Today I finished the scarf, had to weave the ends, especially at the color changes, and put the fringe on.  She thinks the scarf is for me, so she'll be quite surprised today when I give it to her. :)

I still need to add some fringe to Hailey's scarf and then I am done with my current projects. Wonder what I'll do next....maybe a blanket for K or some hats for the girls... still undecided!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Updates A Plenty

Well I am behind in the blogging world these days, I've had a lot going on recently.  I don't even know where to begin to catch up lol. 

My last post was pretty depressing, so I'll try to make this one better :) My rim is fixed and my tire is back on the car.  We found a place that refurbishes rims and sells refurbished ones, so thankfully we were able to get mine fixed and it only cost $140 compared to $600 plus for a brand new one! My next worry was my tire pressure monitor system, it's been "messed" up since I hit that metal thing in the road.  Hubby drove my car around the n'hood yesterday to make sure the tire was balanced and the light did NOT come on! So I think it was because the donut tire on there wasn't the right pressure, therefore it was lit up.  WOOT, that means we don't have to spend another $100 plus to get it checked and repaired.

The kids are doing pretty well, J & H got their progress reports last week and both had all A's.. well ok H had all S's but that's equivelent to all A's. :) K is doing awesome, I just updated the other blog on her. We're working on cereal and juice with her this month, juice is going well, cereal not so much LOL. I need to take some pics of them all this weekend, so hopefully I'll have some to post next week.

I've been spending less time online these days and getting in touch with my crafty side.  My Girl Scout troop learned to crochet a little over a week ago and that's what I've been doing.  I've made 2 scarves so far and working on a 3rd one now.  I love it, it's relaxing and I love creating things with my  hands. My next project will be a hat! Eventually I want to learn to make snowflakes and make a set for my tree.

Here is some pics of my scarves:

This is my scarf :)
Up close of the stitching
Hailey's scarf, still need to add the tassels
Up close of stitching, different than mine :)
Jessica's scarf, just beginning, but also a different stitch
This will be a two tone scarf, purple and off white
All three scarves have different crochet stitches, which makes them a different design. I really am liking the last one (Jessica's) so I may end up making myself one like that as well. :)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Life

Life, well just sucks sometimes. I've not blogged in awhile, not really had anything good to blog about and this post is probably a bit too depressing for most, so sorry in advance.

There has been a lot of crap going on in my life lately, both personal and non personal and it doesn't seem to be ending anytime soon. This past weekend was supposed to be a good weekend, a get away from the stress of life and other stuff.  The weekend itself was fine, got to spend time with my family which was nice, but of course just about anything that could go wrong went wrong. Where to start....I guess the tire situation. I was driving down 65 in Birmingham and drove over something metal and very hard. I messed up my rim and tire pressure monitor system.  The rim alone is going to cost about $600, then labor.  The diagnostic for the sensor is $100 not counting labor and replacement if needed.  I am very worried about finding out the price of that.  Of course there are no Suzuki dealers around here anymore, so we have to choose another and  let them order the rim. This snafu caused a normal 6 to 7 hour drive to turn into a 13 hour miserable drive for us all.

While on the way to GA, I was going slower than the speed limit due to the donut tire on the car and had this idiot literally try to kill us.  He was tailgating like crazy, so I just kept slowing down so he would pass. Oh he finally passes and then flips us off and then swerves his truck over and tried to hit us. Yep that would really get him down the road SO much faster. Yeah where is the State Trooper when you need them? The drive back took about 10 hours, since K was in such a great mood (note the sarcasm) and was crying almost the entire way back.

So another issue in my life, my right hearing aid started acting up about a week ago.  Just randomly started going off and then it would turn back on. I thought it was just a random thing, but no, over the weekend it kept getting worse. Finally it just went out completely. It turns on when you close the battery case, but it just keeps cycling through the start over and over again.  So now I am down to one, I can barely hear, I don't want to be around anyone either. So called to get my hearing checked and h/a checked on, they told me they couldn't see me for almost 2.5 weeks. That's not going to work for me, I need the h/a to function daily. So then I called my ENT, got an appointment for my hearing check on Friday, hopefully will be able to get an adjustment for the  h/a DR. on Friday as well, if not it'll be the following Friday.  I did get my h/a dropped off Tues with the DR, so hopefully they can fix it, if not they have to send it off to get repaired.  Cost: $275 at minimum.  Lovely.  The h/a's are out of warranty of course. 

Top all this off with the constant hospital bills arriving in the mail daily and collectors calling daily, so yeah life is just freaking funtastic right now. So if you think I've been ignoring you or whatever, that's not the case. I have a lot of crap going on my life right now, so give me a break, K?

On a side note, sent my resume in for a job, that I think I would enjoy, so could you say a prayer and/or send some positive thoughts my way? I don't really want to work, esp with K still being so young, but when the bills are piling up like they are, I must do something, short of selling everything we own.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

I Got Crafty

I finally did it lol, I got my sewing machine out and made something! It's literally been over 15 years since the last time I actually used a machine to make something. I started off with something fairly easy, a "taggie" blanket for K.  It turned out pretty well and would not have taken long had I pinned the stuff right the 1st or even 2nd time LOL. I kept looking at it as I was pinning the ribbon but could not figure out what was wrong...then dh pointed it out.  OH, light bulb.  Um yes, except when I corrected it, I still didn't pin it correctly, I am blonde, give me a break.:) Now that  I know how to make them the right way the 1st time, next one should NOT take long. 

Some pictures :


Tuesday, August 10, 2010

School Days

This past Monday the big girls started school, Jessica in 5th grade and Hailey started Kindergarten. My babies are growing up! So far so good, both like their teachers and are excited to go to school, but we'll see how long that lasts.  The homework hasn't started yet lol.

Here are a few pictures of the girls on their 1st day of school

Jessica &  Hailey 1st day of school 8/9/2010
J- 5th Grade
H- Kindergarten

Friday, August 6, 2010

Happy 10th Birthday J!

Well I'm a few days behind in posting, but I am trying to catch up!

Jessica celebrated her 10th Birthday on Aug 2nd and it still seems unreal to me. How in the world did 10 years go by that fast? How is it, on Monday she'll be starting 5th grade? How can I  be old enough to have a 10 year old? Oy! She had a great birthday, we celebrated by going to a playdate and taking cupcakes for everyone, they even sang happy birthday to her.  We came home and she opened her gifts.  She got tons of art supplies, she's very interested in drawing, painting etc and she got some new DS games and accessories.  My mom bought her an IPOD and she's been playing with it since she got it.  Later that day, we all went to the Chinese buffet for dinner, since it's the birthday girls choice then it was home for Cake!

Tonight is her birthday party with friends.  She's got three other girls coming over for a slumber party/dance party.  We've got the mirror ball hung, the black lights ready, decorations up and food to eat.  I don't foresee much sleep in my future tonight lol. They have some arts and crafts to do, tons of music to choose from and games to play.  She and H are excited and have been practicing their dance moves.

I made her birthday cake for the party, it's a jukebox cake. Umm well that's what it is supposed to be.  I'll post pics later and you can decide! Thankfully I am not a pro and it shouldn't end up on Cakewrecks LOL.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

New Blog

I feel the time has come to add another blog, one specifically related to K's diagnosis and Spina Bifida.   This blog is supposed to be varying content, but with all that is going on, I feel like I need a separate place to put it all down. So while I'll still update here occasionally on K's SB, it'll be more focused on my family and life as a whole. I also feel lots of mommy guilt, since I blog here mostly about K and leave J and H out. So I am working on that, plus there are other things I want to blog about too. :)

If you wish to stay up to date with the most recent info on K, please follow our new blog:
Our Spina Bifida Journey

This is a work in progress and is just beginning, we hope to see you there.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Weekend Update

J and I made it home from Girl Scout camp at Camp Trico. Overall it went well, the girls all seemed to have a blast, despite the rain, heat, bugs and squeaky beds. We lucked up and were able to stay in the unit houses and they had air conditioning! WOOT. I know, I know, it's not really camping if you have AC, but when it's this hot in Alabama you are thankful for what you get. :) I admit I went prepared, I took an air mattress and a small plug in fan (yep we even had electricity and indoor bathrooms) so I would be more comfortable. In fact it was suggested that the adults bring the air mattress to put on top of the mattresses on the bed because they were so thin. I was the only one that listened and I slept great. I bet next time they listen!

We arrived Friday evening, had our sack dinner and then the girls got to do a few crafts. They made some name tag necklaces and medicine bags to put their beads in they earned during camp. Unfortunately our campfire that night got rained out. So we headed to our bunkhouse to get settled in for the night.  Saturday morning we woke up bright and early to head down for breakfast and then out canoeing and for Indian crafts. While I did not go canoeing, the girls seemed to be loving it. They were all nervous and a little scared their boats would tip, but they did awesome. One of our girls got scared and cried and came back in early but ended up back out there and loved it. So glad she gave it another chance. 

After lunch that day, there were Indian games and archery to be done! We took a short hike on the way to the Archery site and by short I mean NOT really short lol. After learning the basics all the girls got to shoot 5 bows and one of our girls even got a bullseye! I know she was proud. Then it was off to swimming for a few hours before dinner. I would not exactly call what we had "dinner" but it was something to eat. We had what was called a "hobo dinner", which essentially was a frozen hamburger patty, corn on the cob and some thawed tater tots thrown into tin foil and wrapped up and put in the fire.Once it was cooked, you simply opened it, put together your hamburger and ate.  Ummm, this had to be the most unappealing looking food I've ever seen. If you haven't had it, I don't suggest it.

Before and after dinner, we were lucky enough to have a group of Native Americans come to our camp and bring all kinds of neat things for us to look at. Plus they ended up singing, dancing and playing music with us. It was the high light of the trip for me. We had a real Chief there and she was like a sweet ol' grandma. Just wanted to hug her. :)

Soon after it was time to head out for s'mores! It was a beautiful night, a slight breeze and tons of chocolate and yummy gooey marshmallows! The girls were exhausted and soon as they hit the bed they were out like a light. Sunday after breakfast and clean up we headed home.  We managed to shower and eat lunch before passing out for a good nap.

A few favorite pics from the weekend

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Camping Time

Tomorrow I embark on a 3 day camping trip with 5 Girl Scouts and 3 other parents.  That means the odds are pretty good right? I am trying to tell myself this will be fun, it has to be right? It's camping, how boring could it be. I have not been camping since I was about 18 and well let's just say things were different with 15 friends vs taking 5 Girl Scouts.

I am looking forward to the fun trip with Jessica.  She's so excited about all the fun activities we're going to do. She is ready for canoeing, archery, swimming and of course the campfires and s'mores! I think I am most looking forward to the Indian Pow Wow. They are supposed to be in full dress and perform. Can't wait! I hope to get some good pictures to share when I get back, so we'll see.

Oh have I mentioned how HOT it's going to be or the good chance of rain all weekend? This is the part I am not looking forward to. I can deal with a little rain, but do not want bad storms or rain all day.  Say a prayer for us will you?

Monday, July 12, 2010

Healing

Miss K is doing great, her incision is healing properly and she got her stitches out today.  I was worried how she would react, would it hurt her etc, she just kinda of laid there like it was no big deal.  :) We return to UAB in 3 months for a MRI so they have a baseline of what her spine is like since the surgery. We were hoping for a 6 month break but I would rather them be thorough and know exactly what is going on with her.

Thanks for the thoughts and prayers!

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Middle of July? Already?

How is it almost the middle of July already? It's been a busy summer and will continue to be for us. I guess that's good in some ways and bad in others. School will be starting back in a month, bittersweet for me.  H will be going off to Kindergarten, J into 5th grade ( umm what??? ) and it'll just be K and I at home. That will be a change for sure. I am looking forward to the quiet(er) days!

Tomorrow we head down to UAB for K's 2 week post op visit. Hoping it all goes well and everything looks good and hope we will not be back to see Dr W for 6 months.  We do have to make another trip the following week but to see the urologist. I am nervous about tomorrows visit, not quite sure why.  K seems to be doing great here at home, eating, sleeping, and moving around as normal....but there is still so much unknown.  So if you could say a quick prayer or send some positive thoughts our way, it would be appreciated.

J and I are preparing for Girl Scout camp this upcoming weekend. I am looking forward to spending some one on one time with her (along with the rest of our troop lol) and I know she is too. The part I am not looking forward to? Camping....well really the no air conditioner part, it's kinda hot down here in Alabama! Never the less, there is camp fires planned, an Indian Pow Wow, canoeing, archery, swimming, crafts and games. What else could be more fun? I hope this trip gives J a lifetime of memories.

J's 10th birthday is coming up August 2nd, and I still find that hard to believe. How is it I am old enough to have a 10 yr old? Well, OK I am old enough to have a 15 yr old if I started having kids when I was 18. However, I digress. Sometime between all the other stuff going on, I still have to plan a party and get ready for school to start too. I wonder if I can buy some time in a bottle somewhere?

Wish us luck for tomorrow!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Two Months Ago

Two months ago, my world seemingly got turned upside down. Two months ago K was born via c-section after trying for a vbac for 12 hours and not really progressing. Today I look back at that and am thankful because we had no clue about K's Spina Bifida.  We also do not know if her lipoma could have ruptured or not during birth as it was half filled with spinal fluid. The last two months have been stressful, happy, sad, worrisome and so much more but right now I feel at peace.

K had surgery approx two weeks ago and sometimes I am still trying to wrap my head around that. My 6 week old baby had major spinal surgery.  She could have been paralyzed, she could have major bladder/bowel issues, she could have required another surgery to put a shunt in her head.  She could have been. She's not paralyzed, had a very short term bladder issue and she did not need another surgery.  Miracles happen. Prayers work. Believe it.

When K was 4 days old I found a support forum for people living with Spina Bifida or parents of children with Spina Bifida:  Spina Bifida Connection .  This was my saving grace. The people there are inspiring, helpful, friendly and most of all been there. To be able to connect with other moms/dads who have been there and done that, to know I am not alone in this journey is priceless. Reading their stories, blogs, and helpful posts in regard to my own situation, I learned so much.

I learned that K having Spina Bifida is not the end of the world, just a different world. Her life isn't going to end or not be fulfilling because she has a birth defect. She will go on to lead a fulfilling life filled with love, joy, friends and family.

I am learning to live in the here and now and not in the future. No one can predict what will happen in the next 6 months, year or 10 years and rather than worry and dwell on it, I am living life and enjoying time with my 3 girls.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

UAB Surgery Update

I just realized I never updated my blog about K's surgery this past week.  Sorry about that, was just to busy emailing updates, posting on facebook and HMMT to get here too. So anyway, K's update.

We arrived in Birmingham on Monday morning for K's pre-op appointment with Dr. Wellons, which led to a series of other stops here at the hospital, pre-admissions, and lab work being done. First thing we found out was that K's surgery had been moved to Wednesday morning at 7:30 am rather than Tuesday due to an emergency case coming in. It was a little frustrating but I am glad we did not have it Tues afternoon, because it would have made for a very very long day.  So bright and early Wednesday morning we were here at Children's Hospital (early as in 5 am!) and thankfully was one of the 1st called back.  Once we got back to the pre surgery room, we spoke with the drs and such and answered questions about K etc and then they took her off to get drugged up. Surgery was expected to start soon after but it was 8:30 before it got started, and they told us about 3 to 4 hours.  True to their word, right about 12:30 we found out the surgery was complete and was successful. The staff was great on updating us every hour to hour and half on surgery and K's status. 

She had to spend a couple hours in recovery while we waited on a room and bed to be available and it wasn't until about 4pm we got to the room and they finally brought her in. It was so great to see her, I was really  worried she would be hooked up to all these things but she only had her IV in. The worst part not being able to hold her. Dr Wellons came and talked to us right before we got the room and told us how everything went and thankfully he did not have to detach any nerves during the detethering. She still had movement in her hips, knees and ankles as before. He did have to leave a smaller version of the "hump" aka cyst so that the nerves would remain intact and everything would heal properly.  So she's had to be flat since surgery, on her stomach or on her side with no one picking her up. We've had to feed her while she's on her side and change her diaper with her on her stomach.  We've gotten used to that, but it still sucks to not pick your baby up when all you want to do is comfort her.

Overall she's doing well post-op with the exception of bladder control. She's unable to really urinate right now, could be the nerves are just irritated and swollen or it could be a side affect that she has to live with. I am hoping for the first and hope it resumes normal functions soon. Right now she has to be cathed every 4 hours and boy are the nurses having a hard time.  She's so small and swollen it makes it quite difficult and to think we are going to have to do this at home, sigh. I hope it's just short term, so please say a quick prayer on that.

We are waiting to find out if we are able to leave tomorrow (Monday) to come home. Dr Wellons  wants us to pick her up and hold her as we do at home to check for spinal fluid leaks in her incision area.  So far so good on that, so if all goes well we'll be able to return home.  I am ready, the girls are ready for us to be home as well. I'll try to update with more info later this week after we get home and settled.

Thank you for all the well wishes, thoughts and prayers for baby K and our family.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Tooth Fairy Visit

Hailey got her first Tooth Fairy visit last Wednesday and boy was she ever so excited! It's quite funny since her tooth just became loose or enough that she noticed it on the Friday or Saturday before. She's been complaining for months that her teeth were hurting but guess they were just loosening up for her :)

So the Tooth Fairy left her $5 for that special 1st baby tooth and do you know within an hour or so of getting up she lost the money!?? OY! Here is a picture of her the morning the tooth came out.

She doesn't look excited at all does she?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Countdown

We're in the final countdown to Kaitlyn's surgery, a week from today hopefully it'll be over and all will have went well. I am still having trouble processing that her surgery is next week. How did it get here so fast? We head down to UAB in the morning for her urology testing and also for a ct scan. I am not sure if we'll find anything out in regard to the test or if they will call us or wait until the pre-op appointment to let us know.  Her pre-op appointment is next Monday the 21st, so it's not that far off but I hate waiting. Hate.It.

We had to do a little scrambling to cover childcare for the older two girls since the surgery was sprung us earlier than we anticipated. However we managed to find some family to take care of them, though I am honestly not thrilled with the whole situation, but what's a mom to do? I am just going to pray about it and hope the house and my kids are still standing when I get back.

Miss Kaitlyn turned 5 weeks old today...and that's harder to believe I think than the fact of surgery being next week. She is much more alert these days is starting to focus on us when we're talking to her etc. I wish she would sleep a little better at night, but I know that'll happen in time. Sooner than later would be nice! ;)

Wish us luck tomorrow, will keep everyone updated when we know more info.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

UAB Appointment Update

 Just wanted to give an update on Kaitlyn and her UAB appointment from yesterday. I know most of my blog readers already know all of this but a few do not :)

We saw Dr Wellons on Monday (the pediatric neurosurgeon) down at UAB and overall things went well. Originally we were told Kailtyn had a form of Spina Bifida called lipomyelomeningocele, but yesterday he told us she has Spina Bifida Occulta. She definitely has a tethered cord and he'll have to do the surgery to untether it along with removing the growth on her back. We were told the growth was most likely fatty tissue at HH NICU but he seems to think its more fluid than fatty tissue but I think she is considered to still have it, because she does have the growth and the spinal cord is attached inside of it.

We got to see her MRI and it does show the tethered cord but it also showed that her nerves were still attached which is why she can move her legs/feet so well right now. There is a chance that the surgery could result in leg weakness and/or Kaitlyn not being able to walk depending on if he has to cut the nerves or not.

We go back on 6/16 for an appt with the Urologist and also for her to get a CT Scan. Her surgery is scheduled for 6/22, but we have to be back on 6/21 for the Pre Op appt with Dr Wellons and then we'll stay there for the week.

The CT scan is being done to see if she has any fluid in her head, called : Hydrocephalus right now he doesn't think so but he wants to verify before surgery. If she does they will have to place a shunt to drain the fluid back down, and there is a chance she will need it even if there isn't currently fluid there, due to the surgery (since the growth may be fluid filled).

The surgery is expected to take about 4 hours (if no complications) and the recovery time is atleast 3 days, and she has to be flat on her back the entire time. So we'll be down at UAB from 6/21 thru 6/25 or 6/26 at the very least.

Thank you all again for your thoughts and prayers and please continue to pray for us and Kaitlyn.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

10 Years Ago

I married my wonderful hubby! It's amazing how much time can seem to fly by when you're so busy with every day life, kids, work and school.  Some days it feels like we've been married forever, like its hard to remember a time when we weren't married. Other times it feels like it was just yesterday we were standing in the chapel before friends & family saying our vows. Either way, I am blessed to be married to such a wonderful, caring, and loving man and I am grateful to have him in my life.

In our 10 years we've been through some really tough times, some that I wasn't sure we'd make it out of and still be together.  However there's been so many wonderful times they overshadow those tough ones.  The tough ones just made our marriage stronger and better and I know now we can overcome anything.

Here's to many more! :)

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Random Kid Updates

I've really not blogged much in the last few weeks and since K's birth it's been mostly about her, which is understandable. I do want to update on all the kids though because you know mommy guilt is eating away at me:)

I'll start with Jessica.  She's finishing up 4th grade, and has 2 more days to go and is done for the year.  Last week they had their award ceremony and she got several awards.  3 certificates for being on the A honor roll (3 of the 9 weeks) and 1 for A/B honor roll plus a good citizen award and math Olympiads.  I can't believe she's going into 5th grade next year! She also got asked to participate in the schools safety patrol next year.  Basically she helps with the car line in the morning and afternoons, opening doors etc.  We'll see how long she actually likes doing this ;) A couple of her friends are doing it to, so she'll prob do it as long as they do.

Hailey finished up with preschool last week and I think is already missing it, so am I.  She really enjoyed going and seeing her friends and loved her teacher. She has come along way in learning things this year and her attitude has improved as well.  Though some days you can't tell, but she's a typical 5 yr old! Hailey also starts Kindergarten this fall.  How did this happen? I swear it feels like she was just born but now I have another little one at home. She is very excited though to go to her big sisters school and start Kindergarten.

We have only 12 more days until K's UAB appointment and I am feeling anxious already.  I will probably be a nervous wreck the morning of the appointment, so it's probably a good thing we're going down the night before instead of trying to drive at the butt crack of dawn for an 8:30 appointment. I need to find a hotel and contact my SIL about keeping the big girls overnight for us that Sunday night before the appt. This will make it much easier on us to talk to the doctor, find out info and ask any questions we have.

Overall Kaitlyn is doing well at home, she seems pretty laid back and seems to only cry when hungry or needs changing. I am sure that will change in time but for now we're enjoying it. I just wish she would sleep a little better at night, she does fairly well during the day, so I hope in time she'll start the night time sleep better too.

It seems right now the big girls are OK with Kaitlyn being here, no major jealousy issues have come out...yet.  I think Jess will be fine most likely as she's done this before, but Hailey on the other hand I am not so sure about. Fingers crossed that since she has someone to play with it'll help with that and not want/need my constant attention this summer.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Living in a Foggy Daze

I have been in a foggy daze since Kaitlyn's birth.  I thought for sure it was because of the pain pills, but I've been off of them for about 5 days or more so I don't think it's related.  I do think know I am way overwhelmed at Kaitlyn's diagnosis, the thoughts of all the things that could go affect her later in life or even in the next few months.  The fact I don't really know much more 9 days after she was born than I did after finding out she had lipomyelomeningocele  (further known as LMC).  I don't think there has been a day since she was born I haven't had a breakdown at some point in the day and my poor husband has no idea what to do for me, other than tell me he loves me and things are going to be OK.  I want to believe they will be OK but until I talk to the neurosurgeon at UAB in June I don't feel I can process this all enough to really believe things will be OK. 

I need to call and make an appointment for a 2 week checkup with my OB and I will talk to her about my feelings and see if she thinks it's PPD related or if I am just having anxiety about the diagnosis etc. I don't know that I am depressed per se, but I am down at times, happy at times, sad at times  and mostly scared of something happening to Kaitlyn. I am in total agreement with the statement, you never think something is going to be "wrong" with your child. I don't feel there is something "wrong" with Kaitlyn in my eyes, just that she has a medical condition that needs more attention.

On the plus side, she's doing well adjusting to being home. I am slowly getting more comfortable handling her, though I am still nervous I could hurt her by sitting her down wrong or putting her diaper on to tight, etc. Her big sisters love her to death and they always want to hold and feed her. Plus they can't wait til she's bigger so they can play with her. We did get a call today from the pediatrician because the levels of her thyroid test came in a little high, so dh took her in this afternoon to get retested.  I hope they were just a fluke high, the nurse did say that it was possible and they could be just fine today.  I really pray they are, because I honestly don't know if I can handle anything else right now.

In the midst of all this I do realize how lucky we are, because I know the diagnosis could have been worse and she could have needed surgery immediately after being born among many other things.  I have wonderful friends who have offered to help in any way they can, babysitting, meals, coming over to just chat etc and knowing I have such tremendous friends, is a god send. I may not need them right this minute, but in the coming months after our trip to UAB, scheduling surgery and such I know they will still be there for me. For that I am very thankful and grateful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Power of Prayer

I believe in it. Kaitlyn was released from the hospital today and is doing great.  We went into visit this morning and to get some answers from the doctor who had not called as promised and I was NOT going to leave the hospital until we had them. The nurse came over and started talking about the Dr coming in this morning and that the surgery would be outpatient so she would be going home.  I was kinda in shock, had tears in my eyes because all along this is what I wanted but only if it was 100% safe to do so. We never saw the Dr in person, but hubby did talk to him on the phone and found out they are going to refer us to another hospital and a pediatric neurosurgeon who is more trained in this particular issue.

So tomorrow we have a follow up appointment with our regular pediatrician and they will get the referral for the other doctors. We have two places to choose from, UAB and Vanderbilt, I've heard good ab out both but want to do my research and figure out which we should choose. The surgery will also not be done until she is a little older, my guess is around the 2 to 4 month stage, but that's just based on what I've read online.  They want her to get stronger and bigger before doing the surgery and since hers is closed it's not a have to be done immediately surgery.  Though I prefer it to be sooner than to much later as I don't want it to affect her everyday life.

Thank you  to everyone who said prayers and kept us in their thoughts during this rough time in our lives and please continue to think of us and baby Kaitlyn for her upcoming appointments and surgery.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Welcome to the World- Kaitlyn Nicole

I am happy to announce that Kaitlyn Nicole has arrived!


Stats: 5/8/10 @ 2:22pm via C-Section
7lbs 4oz and 19 inches long

Birth Story:

Friday evening about 11 pm my water broke at home, so we headed to L&D after my dad came over to watch the girls. We arrived around midnight and was admiited right away. I had been having a few contractions but nothing I thought was going to lead to a baby lol I had planned on trying for a vbac, so I did not want to be induced. The dr and staff was fine with it and supported me the entire time. I was 1 cm still when we arrived and after several hours of contractions, some painful, they checked me and I was about 1.5 cm but still only 50% effaced. We decided to keep going and see if I would dilate & efface more.

My contractions did start to pick up enough but not enough for progression. So I went ahead with a low dose of pitocin at 6 am but still was only about 2 cms and 50% effaced. At 10 am I decided to get the epidural since the contractions were becoming more painful and closer together. I was finally at 3 cm and they were upping the pitocin amts every 30 min, which lead to upping every 15 mins because I was starting to stall at 3 cm and only 60% effaced.

By noon the nurse and dr said we might want to start thinking about how long I wanted to continue to labor since I was at 12 hours by this point and not really progressing. We decided to continue for another hour and then check to see if I had any more progress and if not then we would make a decision. The contractions were still coming strong and were about 2 to 3 mins apart but at final check I was still just about 3.5 cm and 60% effaced. At 1, I decided to call it quits and have the c-section before my bp went crazy or Kaitlyn went into distress.

They began prep for my c/s, but the spinal meds were not working and did not numb me at all, so unfortunately they had to put me to sleep to deliver Kaitlyn. She arrived at 2:22 via c/s at 7lbs 4oz and 19 inches long. As you have seen me mention on facebook, Kaitlyn has a growth on her back/spine area. It's about the size of a small orange. It's called : Lipomyelomeningocele ( a form of Spina Bifida) , basically a rare birth defect that happens in 1-2 of every 10,000 babies born. Short version is that it is a fatty mass that is located under the skin on a childs back and normally located in the middle. The mass goes inward to the spinal canal and covered by skin.

They transported Kaitlyn to HH NICU soon after she was born, I only got to see her for about 2 mins after I woke up in the recovery room. Leon nor I got to hold her before they transported her. That has been the hardest part, not seeing or holding her since being born. Leon was able to go to NICU this morning and visit with her and hold her.

We hope to have some answers about the surgery she is going to have sometime today and what kind of side affects will be possible from this both before and after surgery and how long her recovery will be, when she'll be able to come home. This has been a very difficult time for us so we really appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers. I will continue to update as often as I can.