Thursday, July 31, 2008
So anyway, I was reading some posts on a support site and an expecting mom was asking a question about relocating to receive treatment. This isn't all that unusual because CDH has certain treatments that not every hospital can provide and some hospitals have more experience with CDH than others. This particular family currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska and is thinking about going to Denver for treatment because the mom's immediate family is there. CDH babies often require ECMO and no hospital in Alaska has it; the Children's hospital in Denver would have that option. The mom mentioned that her husband's family was from Iowa, so I felt compelled to leave them a message on their carepages site. I left a link to Leah's caringbridge site and within minutes I had received a message from the mom. They were currently in Iowa and wondered if they could meet us. What are the odds that a family from Alaska who had literally just found out about their baby's diagnosis a week ago were vacationing at his parent's house 1 hr away from where we live? After talking with them, there were so many other connections to places and people that we had in common that it was almost comical.
We were able to meet, although Leah was napping the whole time so they didn't get meet her. I know that Leah's story provided them with hope for a grim diagnosis. I pray that Baby John is another baby who fights and gets the better of CDH. The mom is currently about 30 weeks pregnant and hopes to make it another 4 weeks or so before having to fly to Denver for the rest of the pregnancy.
In talking with these parents, I brought out pictures of Leah and things from the hosptial--it is hard to believe that was 3 years ago. Before August 11, 2005 I had never hear of CDH; now it define a big part of our lives--not necessarily in how it affects her health, but in the families we've met and friends I've made.
Monday, July 28, 2008
Even though I'm not in the working world, I can still get a "case of the Mondays". Sure, it doesn't include an annyoing boss like his, but my bosses are even worse.
Monday morning started at 2:45 am with Leah waking up crying. She wasn't settling down like she usually does in this state, so I asked her if her tummy hurt. "No". Does anything else hurt? "My oobies" (remember what those are?) Anyway, she wanted to go sleep downstairs, although I'm not sure she got any sleep. I took her upstairs around 6am to let Daddy know she didn't feel like herself and she puked. And of course me being the over-analyzing mom that I am think it looks like dried blood puke. In goes the call to the peditrician who has never seen her before (she has just a small medical file, you know) and we get an appointment for 9:30am.
That gives me about 10-15 mintues to shower and get her dressed before we have to go. Into the shower . . . and the electricity goes off. Lovely. Call dh to see how the heck I can get out of the garage. I look smashing without blow drying my hair (not). Running late to the Dr. only to find out he has been called to the ER since he is the on-call Dr. Wait in the waiting room, have Leah puke one more time on me for good measure, and have everything check out just fine. "Treat her like a puker" the Dr. says. Unless she starts puking up bile or maybe a vital organ or two, they aren't concerned. Hope they know what they are talking about.
Because of the way my day was going I treated myself to 3 new shirts from Target and a venti iced mocha (skim milk, light ice, no whip). Happy Monday to me.
So last night I'm just about to get ready to grill outside and dh tells me there was a murder at a local gas station and the murderer is on the run in town. Hmm, makes me think twice about having the garage wide open--that seems like it would be a great place for a murderer to hide. Dh tells me they think the killer went south and we live way north, so I rationalize that he would really have to be booking it to make it this far that fast. I took my chances and grilled outside anyway. I told dh to make sure he checked his backseat before he left for work this morning. Find out on the news that the murderer is most likely the gas station clerk's boyfriend (sounds like a great guy). Her friends said he had told her "If you go to work tonight, I'm going to kill you". He was true to his word. He was found about 10 miles east of here on a bike. When a police officer spotted him and tried to take him in, there was a fire-fight and the guy ends up stealing the police car (he's got balls). They finally stop him about 1/2 hr away where he ends up taking his own life. Nice news story, huh?
Thursday, July 24, 2008
(still waiting to get this year's done--hmm, the party is in a couple weeks. Better get on that)
All for free if you are related. I do the cakes, she does the invites--maybe we should go into a party business together! Anyway, go check her out. You may learn a thing or two about me in the process considering we grew up together. You can even see the wallpaper mentioned here.
I may have my priorities a little backwards today. We went to the grocery store and $150 worth of groceries sat by the front door while I ran downstairs for "just a minute" to check a few things online. I think I managed to get all the perishables put away. The rest can wait until later. Like after a nap. Or tomorrow.
We tend to go grocery shopping late in the morning and get home after lunch time. On these days Emma and Leah get to do one of their favorite things---a "snack" lunch. Their choice of goodies out of the cupboard which are self-serve so I can
If I had a Native American name, I think it would be Bribes with Candy. How else are you supposed to get your kids to do anything? We have guests coming on Saturday and the house is a mess. Emma got to pick a treat out at the grocery store to have after she cleaned her room and the toy room. Of course by "treat" I mean something that is full of sugar with no nutritional value what-so-ever. Her choice was bubble tape--yum. (not) Leah picked out a blue Tootsie pop. That should be fun.
Tuesday, July 22, 2008
Today RAGBRAI came through our town. It is an annual bike ride across Iowa, where 10,000+ people ride from the west side of Iowa to the east side of Iowa (you can dip your bike wheels in the Missouri River on the first day and the Mississippi River the last day). They stop in towns overnight, and this year where we live is an overnight stay. It is a fun sight to see all the bike riders come in, so the girls and I headed on campus to watch this late this morning.
Guess who else we saw? The girls' favorite college mascot, Cy.
Here he was on his bike, welcoming riders as they came onto campus.
Funny how we saw him again just a few minutes later (and he was a little bit shorter). I told Emma that was Cy's "helper", but she is on to the whole "person dressed up" gig. That was realized early this year during basketball season, but she still loves to see him at every chance. She also told me today she wished her Dad was the one who dressed up like Cy so she could go with him to all these events.
There is lots more going on in town tonight, but I don't know if we'll get to anything else. Lots of good food and entertainment that we'll probably miss.
I hope the girls have good memories of doing all these things when they were younger. I know I'm having fun!
p.s. For you die-hard Cyclone fans you will notice that Cy is now sporting the new logo. :( We aren't converts yet. If you need anything with the old logo/colors, let me know and I'll hook you up. The bookstore has old logo stuff 50% off.
This is what happens when you do attempt to jump of the first step and don't realize the physics of jumping off something. She is pretty good at jumping up and down, not so much the jumping off.
Good thing was she was over it in a few seconds. And she was still jumping away today, undeterred by her small injury.
Monday, July 21, 2008
- Do not rely on others to have cameras to use. My famous last words were, "I'm not bringing my camera." I don't like the thing--its big, its bulky, it has a horrible delay. I should've brought it. I had envisioned a post with pictures showing all the fun things we did. Will you get any pictures with this post? No. Why? Because my dad's camera was broken (until I fixed it after he had bought a new one that he couldn't pick up until today). My sister forgot to put the battery in hers (she's pregnant, so her brain cells are diminishing). Things were sorted out by Friday so a few pictures were taken. They all reside on my dad's computer or on my sister's camera.
- One of the first photo opportunities happened after we got there. Emma got to ride with Grandpa in his new John Deere self-leveling sprayer. If you have no clue about farming, then you had no idea what I'm talking about. And I had no camera to capture the moment. If you really want to see what it looks like, take a look at Emma on the right and picture her in this.
- The girls had fun at their first rodeo. I tried taking pictures of some of the hot lookin' cowboys, but I didn't want to seem obvious. They saw bucking bronco riding, bull riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, barrel racing, and mutton busting.
- Leah is scared of big cows (if you want the quick cattle tutorial, cows are females who have had calves; heifers are females who haven't had a calf yet; steers are males minus a few male parts; and bulls are males with all their glory. Even knowing all that, I will refer to all the cattle as cows). She likes the little cows. She doesn't like the chickens and roosters, they make too much noise. We saw some sheep and goats which were okay if we walked by them fast enough for Leah's taste. Neither one of the girls cared to see the pigs. (I don't blame them)
- The girls were destined not to ride rides. I hate fair rides anyway because they are so expensive, but if you go during wristband time you can get the most bang for your buck. We headed in on wristband night and got exactly 4 rides each before a huge storm blew through. We made it home before it hit. We decided to try a few more rides a different night, so I plunked down $20 for another 4 rides apiece. The girls got to ride one ride for about 30 seconds before a severe thunderstorm rolled through yet again. This time we had to take shelter in a big building (gotta feel safe with a dirt floor, steel roof, and huge wooden sliding doors--ha!). Finally yesterday we got to do a few more rides in the blazing heat and humidity. Fun times! But of course that was a favorite part of the fair.
- We also rode a "train" that does a loop around the fairgrounds. We could've gone on the train about 30 times each for the same amount of money that we spent on rides.
- I consumed my weight in beef the past week. I had no less than 5 hamburgers, one rib eye steak, and part of a hot dog that claimed to be all beef. Emma had 3 walking tacos (a small bag of Doritos opened lengthwise with taco meat and shredded cheese and sour cream--eat with a fork), 3 bowls of homemade ice cream, a cream soda, an orange soda, and various other treats. Who do you think gained more weight?!
- The fair is a big town reunion. I saw lots of old classmates/school mates/relatives/friends of the family. I even saw my first serious boyfriend--we did stop and chat for awhile. My classmates are trying to convince me I have to come back for our 15 year reunion in October. We shall see.
- Now we only have about 3 weeks until the State Fair--think county fair times 10!
Emma and I also got to go to the pool one day, our first time this summer. I am such a loser mom for not taking them more, and she really needs to get some swim lessons. She loves the water and did things like jumping from the side and even went down the water slide, but I would feel a little better if she had a few water skills.
We got our fill of family time. Both of my sisters and their sons were home at the same time. I know Grandma and Grandpa absolutely loved to have us all home and it was a lot of fun. Leah was able to tolerate her cousin G (who is 7 months younger but about 3" taller and outweighs her by a good 10-12 lbs) for a few days. By Saturday she couldn't stand him looking at her. "Don't look at me! He's looking at me!" The problem is mostly on her end because G is pretty easy going when he isn't acting his age (2). One solution my sister came up with was for him to wear glasses with googly eyes because then he wouldn't be looking at her. That seemed to satisfy her for awhile. Thankfully Sunday went a little better.
I thinks that's probably enough for one day, I'm sure I'll think of more later! Sorry you all had to miss out on the actual fun. ;)
Wednesday, July 16, 2008
- I feel like I've been living under a rock (or a hat) because before this week I guess I had never heard or picked up on the term "asshat". I came across it in a blog (and subsequent link in that post) first. Then I read it in a fiction novel I'm reading right now. I asked dh if he had heard it. I even googled it to make sure I was thinking it mean what I thought it did. It does. I guess we just don't go around calling people assholes all that much, so we haven't gotten the memo that they are now referred to as asshats. Now I know.
- Okay, so this is related to the point mentioned above. When dh and I lived in MN one of the papers had a reader comment/story section. One of the subjects you could write in about was called "Baader-Meinhoff"---where you haven't heard a word or a subject before (i.e. asshat) and then you hear it in multiple places (blogs, books, etc). I'm sure you can think of something like that that has happened to you. If you haven't heard the term Baader-Meinhoff before, you will now probably hear or see about it within the next month or so. Let me know if you do.
- If you tell your hairstylist that you want to go short, be prepared for short. I guess I don't mind too much because hair grows, and mine grows exceptionally fast when it is short. I hope that I can 1. Rock a short 'do and 2. Look cool with short hair. Shopping in a store on Senior Day makes you realize how many little old ladies have short hair. I'm not ready to look like a Grandma yet. Hopefully I can be cool like some of those stars that have short hair (like anyone under the age of 30; please don't tell me I look like Angela Lansbury like a HS teacher told me once).
- Why does it take a full day to pack 3 people up to go away for a few days? There is the laundry, the packing, the picking up of the house before we leave, the making sure we have certain blankies and pillows and stuffed animals and movies and DVD's and on and on. I think we could live there for a month with as much crap as I have packed.
- We are going to the county fair. This is an annual ritual I've taken part in every since I was little. All three of us girls even ran for Fair Queen; only one of us won (it wasn't me). There are cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, sheep, homemade ice cream, good food, 4-H projects, rodeos, demolition derby's, watermelon feeds, steak suppers, homemade pie. . .those are just a few of the highlights. This is the 149th year the fair has run. I'm not taking my camera but hopefully between my dad's and my sister's, we'll get plenty of pictures.
- I broke down and got another Starbucks yesterday. And a McDonald's iced coffee the day before that. Someome send me to rehab ASAP.
Better go finish getting packed!
Tuesday, July 15, 2008
On the whole, Leah has been a much more calm child than Emma. Emma came out screaming and can pitch a fit with the best of them. Leah, on the other hand, had a few weeks before she could start her screaming. Funny thing is, when she did start screaming in the NICU other patient's parents around us woud comment, "Wow, she's got a set of lung on her!" Umm, actually she doesn't--she was only born with about a lung and a third. But thanks for the compliment! I think by now she has found her full lung capacity and can out-scream any two-lunged kid. Anyway, usually if she gets sent to her room because she is crying, she is out in a matter of minutes proclaiming, "I'm all done crying now." But these days we have entered a new phase--the non-stop, all-out, crying, screaming fit over nothing (well, it seems like nothing to us, obviously its a HUGE deal to her).
To let you know how my day has gone, we've had at least 2 dictator moments. The girls' played at a friend's house this morning while I got to go get my teeth cleaned. The mom said things went okay, but by the time I came to pick them up Leah was ready to go. I guess she wanted her Dora backpack put on before we walked out to the van. My misunderstanding of this request lead to an hour of screaming by Leah. She was put in her room and she screamed, and she screamed, and she screamed. Finally she was starting to calm down so I went to check on her. The girl was drenched in sweat from all that hard work; it was almost comical. We got settled down enough to go the library for a little bit, then onto Hy-Vee to get some milk. Once again, I had a screaming toddler at the checkout. Just call me Loser Mom. I guess the Little Dictator wanted to carry the 1/2 gallon of milk (which she had tried to do earlier but it was "too heaby") and put it on the belt herself. Just like big sister. Once again, my hearing is a bit reduced in my left ear.
I can't wait to see what the next request is that I mess up. These days we're full of "I do it myself", "Me do it", and "Me too". And as with all of these fun childhood phases, "This, too, shall pass." Hopefully sooner than later. I want my position as Head Dictator back.
Monday, July 14, 2008
I was just talking about the whole "kid without a nap nightmare shopping trip" with my sister earlier today. It was not fun for her, although G enjoyed smiling and laughing while Mom was trying to tell him to "Sit on your bum", "Stop" and "GRANT!" And she really didn't feel up to chasing him all over creation since she is carrying the next red-headed monster in-utero and is due in a few months.
So my friend Robyn came to town today, which was a long-anticipated event. She's only stopped by one other time since we moved. I have to say before we moved we probably saw each other at least 2-3 times a week, minimum. So we have both been going through some withdrawl. She came with two (of her 5) kids. One had just had his tonsils removed last Friday, so he was a little crabby. The other one is old enough to be helpful and my girls love her, so we needed her along. We had lunch (pb & j--I highly recommend it), the kids played, and her son threw a toy at Leah's head. Ouch. Not only was he crabby, he was in full-on "boy" mode. I only have girls who are mostly well behaved, so boy behavior is different for us. He was throwing toys, hitting with swords, and just being a general pill (sorry, Robyn, you know I'm telling it like it is--you wanted me to blog about our awesome shopping trip!) ;)
Again, both Mommies needed to go to Target and Robyn doesn't get to go on a daily basis like me. Of course we both needed such exciting items ASAP like new big-boy underwear (for hers) and pull-ups and diapers (for both of mine). By the time we had "shopped" around Target for an hour or so, we had 3 out of 4 children who needed a nap ASAP. Both of mine were crying as they said good-bye to Robyn's older one. Fun times. I finally got Leah settled down a little bit and was chit-chatting with the cashier (we were so close to being out of there!). Well, Leah's three princess graham cookies fell on the floor . . . and the WHOLE store heard about it. I think I may have lost some hearing in my left ear as she let out a scream as I'm trying to get her out of the cart. Who knew those last three cookies were so treasured? The nice older lady behind us in line helped me pick up the two that fell on the floor. And bad mommy that I am put them right back into her bag later.
So, the next time we head out to Target we will be minus a few kids and everyone will have had their nap. Lesson learned. For this week anyway.
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Hopefully I can keep adding a few fun things to make my blog not so boring. Again, I know I only have like 5 or so faithful readers, so look how much I love you! Someday I will figure out how to put a counter or something on here so you can't just sneak around. I'll know you've been here. Then I'll figure out a way to make you comment before you can navigate away. ;) I'm needy like that.
Someone is asking for breakfast, so duty calls. I've put her off for an hour and half now, she's probably passed out from low blood sugar right now watching "Lazy Town". Actually, that's not true since she's sitting in my lap annoying me while I try to type. So I'd know before she drops from not eating every 30 mintues. And I had better go see what the big kid is doing, its awfully quiet upstairs for being 9:30am on a Sunday.
Friday, July 11, 2008
I've been fueling myself this week with Starbucks. I need to stop . . . after today. I couldn't bring myself to pay $8 for the coffee at the grocery store that would last me 3 weeks or more, so instead I've spent at least $15 at Starbucks this week (shh, don't tell dh!). Makes sense, don't it? Um, no. At least I tell them "light ice" so I'm actually getting more coffee and less ice. Bargain! And today they messed up my order and I didn't tell them, so I got to pay more and get more yummy calories that I don't need for an extra 42 cents.
Hopefully Mommy can get in a nap, the girls will both nap, and we'll pull out the sprinkler this afternoon. That should make everyone happy, right? Sure, because the last time we played in the sprinkler EE got in trouble and spent the rest of the afternoon in her room. Can't wait for the fun to begin!
Monday, July 7, 2008
Friday we headed off to Omaha for our annual 4th activities. For roughly the past 10 years, we get together with family (which includes dh's immediate family and his aunt/uncle and his cousins and their kids) and picnic at the ballpark before and Omaha Royals game. The game always includes a big fireworks show, then tailgating in the parking lot after waiting for the crowds to thin out. Its a great time, and the kids are getting to the age where they enjoy every part of it, including watching the whole game.
Before the game:
Enjoying the baseball game:
When the game is over, most of the family headed down to the baseball outfield to watch the fireworks. Of course me being the mom with the youngest kid, we headed back to dh's aunt's house. I haven't seen the fireworks show in 5 years. Sitting down on the outfield is awesome--the grass is soft, the view of the fireworks can't be beat, and you get to have fun while waiting:
I guess I missed Emma leading the conga line to "We Are Family"
The crew on the field
Wouldn't be the 4th without fireworks
LC and I got home shortly after 11pm, and the rest of the crew got home around 1am. It made for a short night when the girls were up by 8am the next morning. On the 5th we met back up with everyone at the zoo. This is yet another tradition, going to the zoo the day after the 4th. The 5th also happens to be dh's and I anniversary, so it is our outing of choice to celebrate. Even though we have gone to the Omaha Zoo at least once a year the past 10 years, we had never gotten to the back part of the zoo. This year we started there and this is what we saw:
This is another part we don't always get to, a bridge which goes over a huge koi pond and monkeys hanging out.
The monkey on the left kept raising his hand for food, "Dude, thow me something over here!"
Not sure what EE is checking out here (!)
LC giving her cheesy smile in front of the giraffes
The girls walking with Grandma and Grandpa
We only had one minor mishap at the zoo. We had stopped to meet up with part of our group by a fenced in area. There were little glass bubbles to see what was inside the enclosure (a zebra and some hornbill birds). The kids soon found that the bird was sticking his beak under the fence, so they were taunting it. The bird got the last laugh when it knicked EE on the hand. She learned you don't stick your fingers where they aren't supposed to go!
Again, we spent a long day at the zoo. After the zoo we went over to one of dh's cousins' house for an impromptu get together. The 2nd cousins (what we call kids of cousins) were having a blast playing all weekend. They range in age from almost 14 to almost 3 and all got along great. The IL's had stopped at a local bakery before the party and got us a cake for our anniversary.
It was a Strawberry Wedding Cake and it was to die for!
On Sunday dh and his dad went golfing and the girls got to play one last time at the park across from his aunt's house.
Aside from the 40 min back-up on I-80 coming home, it was a great weekend. The weather was perfect (a first for the entire weekend!), the girls behaved for the most part, the company was great, and we did a lot of fun things. We can't wait until next year! :)
Tuesday, July 1, 2008
Eight things I am passionate about:
3. Exercise (at the moment, anyway)
4. Staying healthy
5. Teaching my kids strong values
6. Showing hubby how much we love him
7. Clean clothes (love to do laundry!)
8. Finding bargains
Eight things I want to do before I die:
1. Visit other countries, preferably over seas
2. See my own granchildren and be a part of their lives
3. Build a house
4. Have said house decorated like a Pottery Barn catalog
5. Become a better photographer
6. Grow old with hubby
7. Play golf
8. Write a book
Eight things I say a lot:
1. In a minute!
2. Another day
3. Maybe later
4. We don't always have dessert
5. Okay (my "filler" when on the phone)
6. I love you
7. No whining
8. Do you have to go potty?
Eight books I've read: (this is just from the past few months)
1. Change of Heart
2. Confessions of a Carb Queen
3. The Kite Runner
4. Digging to America
5. Certain Girls
6. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows
7. Fish Swish, Splash Dash (last night to LC)
8. What Daddies Can't Do (last night to EE)
Eight Movies I've Seen Eight Times:
1. The Princess Bride
2. Father of the Bride (1 & 2)
3. Girls Just Want to Have Fun
4. Sixteen Candles
5. Grease (1 & 2)
6. Flushed Away
7. Legally Blonde
Okay folks, the buck stops here. I usually don't have many people to tag! I know, I'm boring. If you haven't been tagged and would like to be--consider yourself tagged! :)