Friday, October 31, 2008

Halloween Fun....All Day LONG!!!

You know I'm gonna have to split our Halloween fun up in a few separate posts.  There is just too much fun to fit it all into ONE!  So, here is the first installment for Halloween 2008!


Aren't we fabulous villians?  That's my best girlfriend Amy E as Cruella de Ville and me as Ursula.  We decided to dress up and surprise our boys (and their classmates) as "mystery readers in costume".  It was so much fun!  We had already spent the morning doing "fall centers" with their sweet little class, and then we raced over to my house to get into our costumes.  Too much fun!  We laughed and laughed.  I love having very fun friends!  


Here we are looking a little less evil!  By the way, that is the bridesmaids dress from my sister Rachel's wedding.  I guess she was right....I did find another occasion to wear it!  Thanks Rach!!!


Oh, and I just couldn't resist posting a picture of Lucy in her Pixie costume!  She got to dress up for a pre-school parade today, and she chose this fun costume.  The one she will wear later on tonight is not very "bathroom friendly" and we were given specific instructions to dress them in "not too scary, bathroom friendly attire."   Doesn't she look adorable!

Right now is officially "rest time" for my crew.  We have about 3 parties to hit, and a night fueled with lots of candy and other yummy treats.  I am feeling a lot better today, too, so.....

Let the fun begin!!!!

Have fun tonight, y'all!!  We can't WAIT!!!

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Dreaming of delicious meals....


I forgot to mention in my post that the absolute WORST part about today was that I didn't eat a morsel of food until 4:45 this afternoon (since last night at about 9 o'clock, y'all!).  Well, all that left me to do was daydream about yummy meals while I waited at the hospital all. day. long.


I am also just catching up on some of the blogs I love to read, and it turns out BooMama is doing a really fun bloggy carnival today!  Thought I might add a couple of my favs!  It's finally that soupy, crock-potty time of year!  

Brown Sugar Boston Butt

1 large Boston Butt
Worcestershire Sauce (enough to coat the Butt)
Salt and Pepper to taste
Dark Brown Sugar (enough to coat the Butt)
One Cup of Apple Juice

Place Butt in a crock pot coated with cooking spray.  Sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper.
Coat with Worcestershire. Cover with Brown Sugar (pressing it onto the Butt to make a crust).
Pour Apple Juice in bottom of crock pot (not over the Butt).  Cook all day on medium or for 5 hours on high (as the brown sugar melts, baste Butt some).  Serve with baked beans, corn, mashed potatoes, or whatever you like!  Great on a bun with potato chips, too!


Taco Soup

1 pound ground beef
1 1/2 packs Taco seasoning
1 cup water
1 can Rotel
1 can tomato sauce
1 jar salsa
1 can corn (drained)
1 can black beans (drained)
1 pack dry Ranch Dressing 

Brown meat adding 1 pack of taco seasoning.  Drain and dump in crock pot.
Add all the other ingredients and cook on medium heat all day or high 
heat for 4-5 hours.  Delicious!  Serve with sides of shredded cheese, tortilla chips, and sour cream!


Enjoy!  And feel free to check out BooMama's blog for more great ideas.

The Verdict

Today did NOT turn out as I had planned...to say the very least!  I have struggled with some right sided pain and discomfort (along with a few other lovely symptoms) off and on for the past year or so.  This week has been exceptionally more uncomfortable, and I decided it would be best to make a visit to the doctor.  


My first plan of attack was to find a doctor.  Just so happens that I have several trusted girlfriends who have been using a little practice that is right down the road, and I decided that they would be just fine.  I was beyond impressed with the care and service they (and I say they because the office staff was just as nice and helpful as the sweet Doctor himself!) gave me.  

Dr. B got me scheduled for all sorts of tests, managed to have me squeezed in with a very good surgeon at the hospital of my choice, and did it in record time.  As a woman with a lot of experience in the medical world, this is quite an impressive feat.  Thanks so much Dr. B....I will be recommending you to all of my friends and neighbors!

Long story short....

Lab Work = Normal
Ultrasound = No stones (that was  the biggie!)
Hydascan (which, btw, is NOT my most favorite memory of the day) = well, I don't know the exact results, but I do know this....

I have something called "biliary dyskinesia"  and basically, I was given a couple of options.  Dr. S (the very well respected general surgeon) told me that 1/3 of patients with biliary dyskinesia are able to get the attacks under control with dietary changes.  The other 2/3 aren't, and opt for removal of the gallbladder (via laprascopic surgery).  

Soooo....

I am opting to wait it out and pray for relief from this round....at least till things aren't so crazy.  With Halloween, Greer's laser treatment coming up on Tuesday, and a trip to New York City planned for November 13, I have a bit too much on my plate as it is.  I was not ready to opt for any sort of surgery if I could help it.  Don't get me wrong, I realize that I have to take care of myself, but if I have an option....I'm waiting.  

Please pray for complete relief to come....at least till we get back from NYC.  I am doing my best to modify my diet, and am praying that the pain subsides soon.  It is pretty dismal, I must say!  

Thanks to all of you for your thoughts, prayers, words of encouragement, and of course for helping me get things taken care of today!  Honey took off half a day and came to be with Greer and Lucy so that Chris could work, and Amy E and Jake took Reeves home for the afternoon....you don't know how grateful I am for friends and family who are there for me in times like these!  I love you all!!

I am looking forward to the fun of tomorrow, and some exciting events this weekend.  Good times will at least distract me from this discomfort....but I'm praying for it to just GO AWAY!  


Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Please pray for my gallbladder....

I think it might explode!  


Just kidding, but it is sort of the bane of my existence at the moment.  I have been in what I *think* is an attack since last weekend, and tomorrow morning I will pay a visit to my doctor.  Please pray that the pain subsides and that they can help me out. 

I'll keep you posted.   


Monday, October 27, 2008

Please Pray for Ty!


We have been blessed to meet some really sweet families as a result of Greer's birthmark.  One of the MANY blessings that has come from this (how crazy does THAT sound?).  Ty is a "birthmark buddy" who is going through a really tough time with a VERY serious infection in his hip.  It has nothing to do with his birthmark.  If you go back and read about Ty's PWS/SWS journey, you will see that this little dude has had his fair share of struggles.  He is still in the hospital and hasn't gotten out of bed (due to pain and infection) since Friday.  He and Lucy are the same age (our families have kids that all mirror in age), and he is really having a rough time.  I know I have a lot of prayer warriors who follow this blog, and I would love for you to send up some big time prayers for Ty (and mom Ginger, dad Andy, sister Tristan, and brother Evan).  Click HERE to get their full story!  


Thanks Friends, and GET WELL SOON Ty!

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not me!, Monday


It's that time again!  I find that this little bloggy fun is a great way for me to preserve some of those random happenings in my life (for better or worse!).  It is going to be great fun to look back on these some day!

Check out MckMama's blog for more "Not me!" moments from other "perfect" moms like me!  They are hilarious!

I did NOT have one of THOSE weeks!  Nope, it was a perfect week!

We did NOT have an event EVERY single night this past week!  I do NOT (really, I don't) believe in overdoing it, and chose to limit our activities so that we have plenty of quality time at home during the week.  Nope, this week was not ABSOLUTE craziness and broke ALL my rules!

I did NOT make several mistakes this week (professionally, personally, emotionally, spiritually), and I did NOT learn lessons through every. single. one.

I did NOT plan a spur of the moment (very exciting) trip to NYC.  We DON'T need to spend this unexpected money on other expenses, and it is NOT going to take a lot of work to pull it all off, but it IS going to be great fun for the 3 of us (Greer is going, too!).  Details to come!

Speaking of Greer, I do NOT have a 9 month old who can WALK!  NO WAY!  She is WAY too young for that (and I am NOT ready for her to EVER grow up!!!)

I did NOT find this adorable picture of my first born from last fall, and I did NOT have to post it since I didn't have this blog last year.


And last, but NOT least, I did NOT break up a fight between my beloved dog and THIS little creature SEVERAL nights this week.....


Nope, that would be REALLY SCARY!!!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Halloween 2007

We are Halloween People.  Next to Christmas and Easter, Halloween is our absolute favorite holiday.  We love it!  We are probably not QUITE as fanatical as a lot of people, but we do our best.  I keep telling myself that when the kids are a little bigger, I will go COMPLETELY crazy (which includes blow up thingy's and fake graveyards), but for now, we focus on the costume theme.

To be honest, I didn't realize that we had a halloween costume tradition until we were setting out to pick our costumes for this year.  I am all about the costumes, and usually try to participate.  Turns out, we have had a Disney theme for the past 2 years, and this year we are continuing with that theme.  I am also proud to say that this year we will have 100% family participation!  Woo Hoo!!!

So, in reverse order (basically because showing you pictures from 2006 requires the use of a scanner and I don't know how to do that without Chris) here is our "Halloween 2007."  It was all about "Alice in Wonderland," and we even shared the fun with The Roberts Family.  Being pregnant only added to the fun! 




Aren't our husbands good sports!?
Yep, we married some really fun fellas!


Weren't we ADORABLE!!!?
Fat and Happy (and in my favorite colors!)


Notice Lucy's massive wig.  Lucy has one simple requirement for Halloween.  A long Wig!  She lives the life of a "long haired person" vicariously through her Halloween characters.  Just wait till you see her this year!

Reeves did NOT appreciate my suggestion to be the "Mad Hatter", and opted for a much more traditional character.  He was adorable all the same!

Wonder what we have in store THIS year!?

Guess you'll have to wait and see!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Poll...Please Help!

Chris and I are going to New York City in a few weeks (with our precious "G Money") and we need some advice.  I'll post more details about why we are planning this trip later.  We want to see a broadway show while we are there, and we have no clue what we should try to catch (we've already seen Les Mis, Phantom, and Miss Saigon).  Any suggestions appreciated....


Thanks!

"Their Point of View," Episode 1

I like to figure out what my kids are thinking (or how they view things) by throwing out an open ended question and seeing what they come up with.  I like to call these questions my little "experiments," and they usually end up being quite enlightening and usually hilarious.  The car is my favorite place to conduct an "experiment", but I have been known to do it whenever the mood hits me.  


So tonight seemed the perfect night as we headed out to the PTO Open House at Reeves' school.  Skylar, Lucy's buddy, was even with us, so I got her perspective, too.  Here was the question for tonight....

"Hey y'all!  What does it mean to be married?"

Lucy:  "It means that you change your name."
Me:  "Really?  Is that what you think?"
Lucy:  "Yeah....so Mommy, what was your name last year?  I mean, what was your name before you married Daddy?" to Lucy, last year was a really long time ago!
Me:  "Well, my last name used to be Rutland?"
Lucy:  "RUTLAND!?  You mean like Charcey and Papa are "The Rutlands?"  Was that when you lived at their house?"
Me:  "Yes Lucy"
Lucy:  "No, what was your NAME?  I mean, what was your REAL name before you were married."
Me:  "Well, Lucy, it was Megan Elizabeth Rutland."  at this point, I am figuring out that she thinks that I had a COMPLETELY different name....first name included!

I'm thinking that we need to have a conversation about what the real meaning of marriage is.....like that it's more than just changing your name.

More "experiments" to come!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

You know you live a glamorous life when....


you spend your evening holding your nose because your 6 year old thinks it is hilarious to "poot" repeatedly while you are helping him with his reading homework.  He then interrupts the "reading" time to demonstrate his fabulous "armpit pooting" skills.


Aren't you jealous of my fabulous life?!



And HERE we are with the Lorikeets!


The picture is a bit blurry, but check out our smiles....it was pretty fun!  Wish we could have caught a shot when we both had them perching on our heads at the same time!  

Monday, October 20, 2008

Isn't she an adorable little faker!!!?


I think so!  Lucy pulled the wool over my eyes with the ultimate fake out today.  She said she had a tummy ache, and then she said she had a sore throat, and then she ate me out of house and home.  Guess she had her "mental health day" of the season, and we had a talk about what was "sick" and what was "not really sick, but just tired and want to stay home with Mommy".  It's a hard lesson to learn, but we ended up having a nice day just hanging out.  Tomorrow, I don't think I will be such a push-over!

Even though I didn't get any real "me time" today, it ended up being a great day. We were lazy this morning, got some laundry done, colored and played some games.  Greer took a few more steps, and Lucy was a great help at keeping her out of trouble.  I am very excited that Reeves and Lucy have both learned how to carry her from place to place without hurting her....it is a very helpful skill!  

We picked Skylar up from school, and headed over to the mall for some easy entertainment.  Greer had her first Carousel ride, and she was absolutely fascinated.  It was so wonderful!  The other girls were squealing with delight, too!  Dippin' Dots and Starbucks also gave us a little fuel for the rest of the afternoon (don't worry, I stuck with coffee with splenda and a splash of half and half...safely on my diet!).

While we were browsing around the Disney store (where I found myself saying "If you girls can't stop with the "I wants" then we are out. of. here.!"), Chris called to tell me that my Certification Exam results had arrived.  While the girls were checking out the princess cash register, I found out that I PASSED my certification exam.  I am now officially a "Registered Nurse Clinician".  I now get to add the letter "C" to the end of my "RN" credentials.  Even though I have been an L&D and Maternal/Infant Nurse for over 11 years, it was a really hard exam.  I am proud to know that I am officially a "really smart nurse"!!!  Yay for me!!!

The girls crashed early, and Chris and Reeves are battling in what will probably be their last flag football game of the season (and I'm feeling a bit sad that I am not there to cheer them on).  Chris is holding out hope that they will win this game (even though they beat us in the regular season 55-0).  Here's to his optimistic spirit and enthusiasm....may he always be so hopeful!!!  Go TITANS!!!


Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not me!, Monday


It's that time again!  I find that this little bloggy fun is a great way for me to preserve some of those random happenings in my life (for better or worse!).  It is going to be great fun to look back on these some day!

Check out MckMama's blog for more "Not me!" moments from other "perfect" moms like me!  They are hilarious!

If I haven't mentioned it before, I am a perfect mom!  I do NOT tolerate whining, tantrums, or tattling...EVER, and I did NOT give-in to any of these things at any time in the past week.  Nope, not me!  I use age and situation appropriate discipline every. single. time.!

I did NOT support my husband's decision to lie to my son after his last flag football game.  It would never be appropriate to tell a 6 year old that his team won a game even though they lost fair and square (just like they lost every single other game this season *sniffle*)

I did NOT jump up and down and congratulate him when he excitedly yelled to me "WE WON MOMMY!!!"  That would totally be in support of lying, and I would NEVER do that (even though it put the biggest smiles you can imagine on a bunch of sweaty little boys)


I did NOT give Reeves and Lucy a basket full of mismatched socks and offer to pay them a nickel for every pair they made.  That would be lazy of me.....I should have done the matching myself.  I also did NOT convince myself that it was an educational exercise for them and therefore to their benefit!  

I did NOT feed my 9 month old, Greer, apple pie and ice cream.  She's much too young for that and it would NOT have been good for her.  And after that, I did NOT laugh hysterically at her sugar high....she was not a maniac child for at LEAST 2 hours (and she did NOT end up staying awake till 8:30 when her bedtime is usually around 7). 

She did NOT take her first "sugar fueled" steps that night.  She is WAY to young to be walking, and that would mean that my little baby is getting to be a big girl....nope, she is NOT going to ever grow up if I have anything to do with it! 

 Nope, I did NOT also eat apple pie and ice cream because that would definitely NOT be on the diet that I started this week.  I have much more self control than that!!! 

Saturday night, I did NOT put Greer into the spare outfit that was in the diaper bag after her bath at my mother-in-law's house (because I forgot to pack pajamas), let her sleep in said clothes, take her to church in said clothes, and put her BACK to bed in said clothes last night....it's NOT a long story!!!

And finally....after a late night out, I did NOT feed Greer at 5 this morning.   She did not wake up WAY too early and I did NOT want to get a few more hours of sleep (it DID work like a charm though, and we both slept in till 8:30!) 

What did you NOT do this week!?


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Fun Fall Fieldtrips!

Try saying that 5 times fast!!!

Both Reeves and Lucy had some fun outings this month with their classmates.  Lucky for me, I got to tag along!  We were blessed with lovely weather for both days, and I got the benefit of sharing some fun time with two very dear girlfriends!


First came Reeves' fieldtrip to the Zoo.  It was a gorgeous day, and we practically had the Zoo all to ourselves (well, all 175 of us or so!).  My dear friend Amy E and I spent the day with our sweet boys and had so much fun chasing them around the Zoo.  We were responsible for these four boys you see below, and they kept us on our toes.  


I wish I had the picture of me with what felt like a million Lorikeets perching on my body.  It was quite frightening cool, and I have to get the picture scanned into my computer so I can share it.  I'll put that on my neverending "to do" list!


Here's a pic of the whole silly gang!  Isn't their teacher (Mrs. Anderson) absolutely adorable!  She is expecting a baby girl in December!  Have I mentioned that I LOVE her!?


And, as for Lucy, betcha can't guess where her class went?!  

Yep....off to the pumpkin patch we went!  This was so much fun for me for SOOOO many reasons!  First of all, it was Lucy's first fieldtrip and first school bus ride.  She was b.e.s.i.d.e. herself with excitement.....she was so beside herself that she barely slept the night before.  

This is the ONLY picture I got of her smiling.  This girl was so tired on the day of the fieldtrip from her "anticipatory excitement" that she really had a hard time enjoying it.  Basically, she was in a foul mood the whole day.  I think she is going to take after my sister Rachel on this one.  My mom tells us that Rach used to get sooooo worked up about an "event" that when the time finally came, she was too exhausted/overwhelmed to enjoy it!  Must be a "middle child" thing!!!  Even still, we had a great time!

I was also blessed to enjoy this time with my friend Jennifer (wife of my other dear friend, Alan).  Because he still can't really be left alone, she is pretty much with him all the time.  But for this day, she was able to find some friends to stay with Alan for the day so that she could steal away to be with Skylar and the rest of us.  We both enjoyed a day of "getting away" and just being with our girls.  It was so wonderful to spend that kind of time together!!!


With all the animals we touched....I was grateful that both places had adequate "handwashing" facilities (have I mentioned that I'm a bit of a clean freak?)!!

Friday, October 17, 2008

To keep us accountable

Chris and I started back on Weight Watchers this week (we've done it before, and it worked really well).  I'm posting about it because, I feel like if I talk about it here, it will make it more real for both of us!  We are still holding on to some baby weight, and frankly, we are sick of it! Chris even uttered a phrase that made me know he was s.e.r.i.o.u.s.!


"Tomorrow, I'm going on a diet.  I'm talkin' chicken, fruit, vegetables...."

"Huh?!!!" did he say vegetables?!!!

I couldn't help laughing out loud!  My husband doesn't eat green things.  Period.  My kids eat WAY better than he does, and I had all but given up.  I'm holding him to it though.  If you know him personally, I want you to hold him to it to.  It's quite the dinner time battle around here (getting Chris to eat his vegetables I mean).  The kids cheer him on in a way that just makes me laugh...

"Just ONE bite Daddy.  Look, I did it.  You can do it Daddy!". 

 How sad is that?!

I've just in the past week hit my pre-pregnancy weight, but I will admit that I was a bit over my ideal weight when we found out that Greer was on the way.  I am also not trying to lose weight to look better (well, not totally).  Really, I could care less.  I feel pretty good right now, and I have a lot going on, but....

Basically, it's all about the jeans.

I have a closet FULL of jeans that I love, and if I could lose about 10 pounds, they would fit me again.  If you haven't noticed, times are tight, and I have NO interest in purchasing a completely new wardrobe.  I gotta lose this weight.  

Now, I need all of you to keep us accountable!  Stay tuned for updates (and PLEASE, if you don't see any in the next week or 2.... remind me!!!)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

The latest on "G Money"


Whew, it's a little late y'all, but I feel the need to post something that doesn't *totally* focus on PWS.  Sorry for the serial "topic of interest" posting, but I am becoming one of those mothers (if you know what I mean).  I have a dad who is a pediatrician, and my own pediatrician is one of his colleagues from residency, and they both think I'm a little nutty.  I maintain that I am my child's most valuable and critical advocate and that is why I am passionate about the birthmark issues, but I digress....

Yes, that nickname has stuck!

Greer had her 9 month check up today, and it went swimingly!  I give all the glory to God for the fact that she is way ahead of the curve.  I don't say that in a boastful, annoying, braggy mom way, I mean to say that it is a blessing from God.  

Greer doesn't give me the chance to worry that she isn't going to hit a milestone.  She has hit every one of those little milestones before it even crossed my mind to worry that she hadn't.  I think that is completely of God.  I have a lot on my plate, and worrying about milestones has never been a big deal to me (with the other 2).  I am totally cool with the fact that kids develop at their own pace, in their own time.  However, I am aware that Greer is at risk for a syndrome that can cause developmental delays (because of her PWS) and so, I'm a little more aware of those markers.  

Have I mentioned how wonderful my God is?  

So for today, here are the stats and pertinent facts (from her 9 month check up):  

EEG  Normal (Praise be to God!)
Weight  22 pounds 6 ounces (yeah, she's a chubb-o)
Height 31 inches (that is only 7 inches shorter than her 4 YEAR OLD sister!)
Other stuff  saying "mama" "dada" "nigh, nigh" "mah, mah" and other incomprehensible babblings, waving bye bye, "kissing", bear crawling (her preferred mode of movement), standing (completely independently in the middle of the room...with GREAT balance), taking a few steps when you hold her hand, signing "milk" and "finished", sleeping through the night
Favorite foods  bananas, spinach and cream cheese, "Annie's" mac and cheese, tofu, green beans, broccoli, yogurt, cookies!, raisins, chicken, grits, oatmeal, peaches, cottage cheese

I could just Eat. Her. Up!


Mr. Graham has redeemed himself!

I am proud to say that our persistence in working to give the authors of this article a bit of an education on Port Wine Stains (and other vascular birthmarks) ended up making a big impression on Mr. Graham.  I'm pretty impressed that he would own up to his mistake in such a big way.  Check out this new article he has put up on his blog.



Thank you, Mr. Graham.

P.S.  I think I'll move on from this topic.  Thanks for hanging in there with me!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Some things I hadn't even considered

I will admit that I am usually a very forgiving person.  I don't tend to hold grudges, and I try to see the best in most situations.  That said, I also think that I may have been a bit naive on this one.  


 With this article debate that I have mentioned in my previous 2 posts (that involved some false and irresponsible statements about certain medical procedures involving vascular birthmark removal...specifically Port Wine Stain removal), I chose to take the author's apology at face value and that was that.  I wasn't really thinking about the much bigger picture, and the impact that such statements can make on the care a child may (or may not) receive.  This letter to the author was so well written (and surely brought up points that hadn't even crossed my mind).  I'm proud to have an advocate like Corinne Barinaga in my daughter's corner.

This is what Corinne had to say to Mr. Graham (It is a little long, but it is good.  Sorry for that, but PWS birthmark education is one of the primary missions of my blog...who knew a blog could have a mission!?  It won't hurt my feelings if you have NO interest in reading it!):

Hello, 

I know you have received many complaints about the phrase used in reference to treatment of PWS as "ridiculous."  I read your reply to one person and appreciate your statement of correcting the intention.  However, this area is much more complex than to categorize cases by appearance alone.  There are some points I would like to bring up that might help you understand why you may see the backlash.  

For the past 5 plus years I have helped thousands of families find adequate help and support from their primary care physicians and insurance companies.  After my son was born with an extensive hemangioma (benign vascular tumor) that covered the entire right side of his face, ear, neck, scalp, back of his neck and eye I felt compelled to help those that followed me.  My son was at risk medically for heart failure, brain abnormalities, eye malformations, etc.  Initially his primary care physician gave me the typical..."It will go away in one year".  Thankfully we followed our instincts and found a specialist that knew the risks of hemangiomas.  Because of prompt intervention followed by multiple laser treatments, my son has no medical concerns and the hemangioma is for the most part gone.  Had he not had intervention he would have faced major reconstructive surgery with large scars or significant disfigurement if left alone, not to mention the medical risks.  I saw a grave misunderstanding by the general medical community, general public and insurance companies in regards to the field of vascular "birthmarks" (aka vascular tumors and malformations or anomalies), so my mission is to provide support, direct people to appropriate physicians and provide information and educational tools.  Very few people know the drastic side effects and medical concerns.  We've had babies die while waiting for approval to see a specialist.  It is a lot more than a birthmark we are dealing with.  While I appreciate that you agreed there should have been a distinguishing statement between medically necessary treatments of "birthmarks" vs. cosmetic treatment, it isn't as easy as being able to look at a lesion and say "this is not serious" or "this one is serious".  Only a trained specialist (with tools such as MRI, biopsy, experience, etc.) can make this call after evaluating the patient.  There are syndromes and health concerns that relate to these vascular malformations/tumors that aren't often visible initially.  The risk is that when information is out there that birthmarks are "no big deal, only cosmetic" people don't receive needed evaluation to determine if their case requires intervention or if intervention would improve the final results.  

There is an enormous spectrum of cases and types of vascular tumors and malformations.  One of the largest problems we face is misdiagnosis.  Misdiagnosis is serious as it leads to improper treatment and expectations for the patient.  Another major issue we find is the misinformation and attitudes communicated to patients about birthmarks from the medical community, insurance companies and even in the media.  I have seen cases that may not appear serious, but ended up requiring emergency intervention.  The spectrum includes many cases with underlying medical issues not caught in time, all the way down to the very minor inconspicuous spot.  The problem is when the attitude out there is that this is a cosmetic issue...people don't seek proper information SPECIFIC to their case.  For example, a tiny red dot on an infant's belly, then two weeks later another one appears somewhere else and so on.  The parent and often many primary care physicians dismiss it as benign and it will go away over time.  However, there are serious life threatening conditions that can be associated with even the smallest inconspicuous birthmark.  When we see statements made in the media that are not accurate or support benign neglect, it undermines the progress we've made in the field.  People need to know that all vascular lesions need to be evaluated.  The majority of cases don't require further examination, but we can't put a blanket statement other there that this is cosmetic.  You are putting people at risk by misleading the patient, parent, sometimes even primary care physicians and insurance companies to believe birthmarks are not medical concerns.  You can't make the call on medical necessity until after a patient is evaluated by a specialist.  PWS or Capillary Malformations as referred to in the article have major underlying medical concerns.  I am sure you've recently been informed of these risks as a result of this statement.  

I also take issue with the word cosmetic.  The comment I've heard frequently, "Cosmetic  surgery is for nose jobs, breast enhancements, etc.  where treating a vascular lesion is reconstructive surgery, not cosmetic."  You are dealing with something that is abnormal and doesn't belong.  It wasn't very many years ago that a cleft lip/palate was considered cosmetic surgery.  It is accepted now as reconstructive to fix a birth defect.  

Thank you for your time.

If you would like more information about vascular birthmarks, I would be happy to point you to resources.  

Regards,
Corinne Barinaga

VBF Administrative Director
VB Support Group Manager

Thank you, Mr. Graham

I wanted to give a little update on one of the things I mentioned in my last post.  I posted a link to an article that infuriated those of us in the "birthmark world".  Well, one of the members of my "birthmark community" wrote to the author of the article concerning her view on his stance  (that Port Wine Stain removal is "ridiculous and unnecessary").  I must say, his response was very encouraging (I do wish he would formally retract/address it, but I doubt that will happen).  Here's what he had to say.  

Thank you for taking the time to write.  I cannot speak for my co-author, Mr. Ciamarra (whom I expect would share my sentiments), but having re-read the offending sentence I agree that it looks very mean-spirited and I do very much regret phrasing it that way.  I did not mean to confuse a cosmetic procedure with a medically necessary procedure.  I will certainly be more careful and considerate next time.  

John R. Graham
Director, Health Care Studies
Pacific Research Institute

Apology accepted.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Full

As laid back and calm as yesterday was, today turned out to be the complete opposite.  It was a day full of emotion and in the end, I am just exhausted.  Today was hectic, not so good, pitiful, educational, WONDERFUL (hence my earlier twitter post), yummy, infuriating, prayerful, scary, easy, lonely, productive, disgusting, and well, exhausting.


Let me break it down a little bit more...

Hectic.  We had a not so restful night here in our house.  The kids were up and down, Lucy only wanted Daddy (more on that later) and well, it made for a C.R.A.Z.Y. morning.  I didn't get the coffee going quick enough, and we were all a little nuts trying to get out the door.  I do so much better when I can have a shower without any pressure or interruptions!

Not so good.  Our hectic morning led to a late arrival for the CPR recertification class (which I could probably teach with my eyes closed).  I was about 7 minutes late because of morning craziness (and terrible traffic) when the lady at the door said.  "You'll have to come back on another day, the class has already started."  YOU. HAVE. GOT. TO. BE. KIDDING. ME!  Not happening.  I got 3 kids up and out the door and even took a shower.  I am staying.

Pitiful.  The begging and pleading I did to win my spot back.  Needless to say, it worked.  Who can resist a sleep deprived mother of 3?!

Educational.  After all that, I actually learned a few new things.  Who knew?!

WONDERFUL.  Right after class, I got some great news.  Our new insurance has approved laser treatments for Greer's Port Wine Stain.  And, the new insurance will pay for the surgeries 100%.  Praise be to God.  To make things even better...they moved her treatment day up.  Our next Zap day will be on November 4th....I don't think anything else important is happening on that day anyway ;)

Yummy.  If you know the south at all, you know that we have some great food.  A staple in the diet of any good ole Southern Gal is chicken salad.  Down here, you will find all sorts of varieties of the old favorite, and all of them have something special.  I headed to one of my favorite haunts and picked up some to share with my dear friend Amy.  She sat with G while I took my class.  That's another great thing about the south.  If you feed a friend, they will do anything for you!

Infuriating.  After Amy left, I caught up on some emails, and I read this article (shared by one of my "Birthmark Buddies").  Needless to say, it ruffled my feathers a bit.  

Prayerful.  I took the time today to pray for my small group, my friend Jennifer and her husband Alan, and a few other things.  I also prayed for my dear Mom after I found out that she is going to have some Oral Surgery tomorrow.  Please pray for complete relief for her...it has really been awful.  I love you, mom!

Scary.  Lucy confessed that she had a dream last night where "Daddy got shoot".  "What did you say, Lu?" Lucy, "Daddy got shooted, and I was there, but you called me and got me."  Me, "What happened to Daddy, Lucy?"  Lucy, "He got Dead."  and she said it with quite the "duh" tone.  I'm a little disturbed by this.  Any advice appreciated. 

Easy.  We ate out for dinner (tacos, salsa, margaritas, delicious)....

Lonely.  I miss my sisters.  We have been playing phone tag a bit, and I miss 'em.  Call me girls...I want to know that you are OK!

Productive.  After Greer went to bed, Chris and I got to WORK.  We even got the big kids in on the game.  I am so excited to have a few things under control that have been driving me crazy for weeks. I'm feeling much more "together" here tonight!

Disgusting.   We gave Nana a bath tonight for the first time in *almost* 3 weeks.  'Nuff said!

Exhausted.  Yep, I am!


Monday, October 13, 2008

How Sweet it Is!

It was one of those days that I just savor with all my being.  I just have to tell you about it.


It was nothing too extraordinary, really.  Basically, I spent the day at home with my baby girl (and sadly, she has a little cold).  We were lazy, and we just spent some good quality time together.  It couldn't have been sweeter!

I really love what I do (professionally speaking), and if I haven't mentioned it before, I feel like being a nurse is one of the things God has called me to do.  I work with many nurses who aren't really called to do it, and they are basically miserable.  Not me.  In my work as a nurse, I am fulfilling one of the many calls God has placed upon my life.  In doing that, I am filled.  In fact, my cup runneth over!  Even though it is a calling, it doesn't mean it's not freakin' exhausting at times.  Oh, my friend, it IS!  I worked hard this weekend, and all I wanted to do today was rest.  Rest with my babies!  

I know it may sound a bit crazy to some of you, but working makes my time with my kids all the more sweeter.  I truly feel like a SAHM most of the time.  I mean, technically, I am a SAHM.  I only work one day during the week (and "Daddy Days" every other weekend), and the kids barely know I'm gone.  All that to say, the time I am with them is purely wonderful.  I think that my time away makes me appreciate it even more.  I don't know how those of you that SAH all the time do it.  I really admire you.  It is the hardest job there is!!!  I know that I am a better mom when I have some time to do something that is a passion for me, and being a nurse is definitely one of my passions.  

But, it's all about balance, and today I soaked in some baby love.  After Greer woke up from her morning nap, I sat and held her in the rocking chair for what seemed like an eternity.  I let her rub my face, poke at my eye, stick her fingers in my mouth.  I kissed her lips and stroked her head and smelled her breath.  Her sweet smell is intoxicating.  I cooed with her, and sang with her, and listened to her sweet angel voice.  I love her more than I can describe, and I feel like she is an angel sent to me from my wonderful Father.  I know she is.  All of my babies are.  

We stayed in PJ's most of the day, and then we spent a fun afternoon with the rest of our brood.  Reeves and Lucy filled our afternoon with fun and laughter, and we had a yummy dinner (and I even manned the grill ALL BY MYSELF while the boys were across the street for Flag Football practice).  My life is full of wonderful blessings, and days like today are treasures in my heart.  

Sunday, October 12, 2008

"Not Me!" Monday


It's one of my most favorite bloggy times of the week....and it is so much fun! "Not Me!" Monday is sponsored by one of my favorite bloggers, MckMama. It's a great way to get all those little things off your chest that you totally did NOT do this week. I love reading the others, too. It makes me feel better about some of the stupid funny things that happen in my little life. I'm all about being real, y'all! So, here goes....

I did NOT choke on my diet coke yesterday when I read my husband's current status on Facebook. It was so NOT what I had been thinking myself, but couldn't quite put into words:
"Chris is tired of barf. All my kids have done this week is barf. I am so tired of barf that I could barf." Well said, well said!

I did NOT repeat almost every. single. one. of my "Not Me's" from last week. That would mean that I don't learn from my own mistakes...isn't that what a responsible mommy/wife/human being should do?!

I did NOT embarass myself beyond measure while shopping alone in Target one rainy day. Nope, I did NOT have on my Croc ballet flats (that tend to stick to the floor when they are wet) causing my usually not so graceful self to trip about 46 times while making my way around the store.

When it happened for the 47th time, I did NOT say "D@mmit, I hate these stupid shoes!" out loud, only to be overheard by a sweet old lady. Nope, I said that in my head....NOT out loud! I did NOT then trip over myself 3 more times trying to walk away gracefully! Have I ever mentioned what a klutz I am?

I have to tell you, I could put about 55 more things down here, but you have better things to do than read about what a freak I am! I can't believe how many "Not ME!" moments I seem to have each week. How about you?

Friday, October 10, 2008

I tried!


For those of you who think I have it all together (and now that I am pouring my life out in this blog there are fewer and fewer of you who think that anymore!), this post will make you feel a little better about the crazy life we mothers really lead.

While Lucy and I enjoyed a day at the farm with her class, Chris went to be the "mystery reader" for Reeves' 1st grade class.  The kids live for Fridays (who doesn't) because that is when they get a surprise visit from someone special.  The mystery reader chooses a couple of books to share, and then the kids get to ask questions and such.  Reeves has been wondering when one of us would finally show up to do it, and he was beside himself with excitement when he and his classmates returned from lunch to find his daddy in the special red chair reserved for the mystery reader.  I mean, it is like being Rock Star for the day

When we were at the library for storytime this week, I picked up a book for Chris to share.  It looked cool enough (it was about a snake who chews bubblegum).  Since Reeves is a big bubblegum (and snake) fan, I thought he would enjoy it.....needless to say, it didn't receive the proper screening (I will admit that I did not read through the entire book).  Let's just say that the children were appropriately horrified by the book.  The plot included a rattlesnake who bites through a boy's pants to get to his gum.  I told Chris that if he had any sense he should have stopped reading it, but he figured I knew what I was doing by sending it.  I think that I shouldn't bear the entire responsibility for this one.  What do you think?  I mean, I have plenty of things on my plate as it is, right?  Lesson learned, I guess.

Thank goodness it was NOT the only book he brought to read.  I am praying that "The Stinky Cheese Man" made a bigger impression than the scary snake story (although come to think of it, "The Stinky Cheese Man" carries it's own set of questionable content....)

Oh well, I'll try again tomorrow!!!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

What the HECK is wrong with ME!???


I have just been completely and TOTALLY humbled (I'll get to why in a minute).  


Reeves has a poster project due tomorrow on jaguars.  We have known about the project for almost a week, but because of the craziness of the past few days, well, we didn't get to it till tonight.  On top of it all, I have been gone all day long.  Thursdays are typically hard days anyway because, frankly, the kids are DONE.  By Thursday, they are so exhausted from a week of school and it is hard to get them to focus on anything!

I don't handle chaos well.  When the house is messy (specifically the kitchen and the clutter of all the "stuff" of childhood), I don't behave concentrate well.  I usually take time before Reeves gets home (while the girls are resting/napping) to "gather" myself.  I make sure all the dishes are done, the laundry is under control, the clutter of the morning is put away, etc.  I try to have a snack or some tea and just ready myself for the evening.  I like to have dinner started (or at least decided upon), and get ready to spend some quality time with all of them (specifically Reeves) in the afternoon.  That is the ideal scenario.  

I flew in this afternoon (after a day at the salon in my hometown while my mother entertained the girls followed by a nice visit with my mom....that was a really nice part of the day), grabbed Reeves from my friend Amy's house, and hurried home to get going on the project (and dinner and laundry and dishes and other homework...you get my drift).  I knew that we couldn't wait till Greer was asleep because that would be too late.  Well, it was a bit chaotic, and well, I kind of went a little crazy.  I was being short with the kids (and Chris) and just in general acting like a lunatic.  After a reality check by my dear, sweet husband, I cooled my jets, and things ended up going much better.  

Reeves is really proud of the way the poster turned out, and he can't wait to show it off tomorrow.  I told him how sorry I was, and he told me he was sorry for fighting with Lucy.  How sweet is that.  The truth is, he is as much of a perfectionist as I am.  We both wanted it to be great and we both went a little nuts.  I learned a few lessons and pray that I will do better next time.  

Oh, and for the humbling part....

I follow the blog and caring bridge of a little girl named McKaylee Borklund.  The Borklunds live in my area, and we have mutual friends.  Jessica (McKaylee's mom) doesn't post on her blog very often (I suppose that when you have a baby fighting a massive brain tumor at St Jude's Hospital, you wouldn't have much time to blog either), but when she does....it is simply UNBELIEVABLE!!!  I beg you to please go and read her post from tonight, and if you have time, go back and read all of her posts (there aren't too many so it shouldn't take long).  They are some of the most amazing words and meditations I have ever read, and I pray that a miracle happens in their lives.  Please keep them in your prayers, and if you have time, continue to follow their story, as I am.  Tonight she reminded me to hold on to every moment I have with my children.    

After reading her post, boy did my little fit over the chaos of my house and "to do" list seem petty and ridiculous.  I pray that God will help me to have even an OUNCE of the faithfulness that sweet Jessica has.  This post was just what I needed tonight...praise be to God for her raw honesty and strength!  
  
I believe in a Miracle for McKaylee!!!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

The Power of Song

Tonight was another great night with my small group girls!  We look forward to our time together, and it is always good to be around a strong circle of faithful friends.  I hope I am doing it justice!  It has been a really long time since I have truly led a Bible study.  Frankly, I feel like I am not really doing a great job, but they all seem to really be getting a lot out of it (or maybe they are just telling me that!).  Thank goodness for a great guide book and videos!!!  It is "Stepping Up" by Beth Moore, and for all of us, it is very timely and unbelievably relevant. 


Tonight, the video was basically about the power of songs in our life (specifically our spiritual life).  I can define just about every spiritual experience I have had with a song or compilation of songs (and about every NOT so spiritual one, too).  Music has always been a passion for me.  I miss the time in my life when music was literally part of my daily routine, and pray that one day I can get back to my roots in the real art of music (fyi I used to be rather talented on the viola, piano, and flute...who knew!?).

I suppose I have a decent voice, but I would NEVER, EVER attempt to sing in public (I only really let loose in church when I am alone in the "cry room" with my baby!).  But when I am alone, in my car, well....Betty bar the door!!!  

I let GO, ya'll!  I worship so deeply, so unbelieveably, that it is almost too hard to describe. Sometimes I don't even remember how I got to my destination (ok, I realize that that is a scary thought).  I simply get completely caught up in worship and prayer and praise!!!  This time alone in my car with my music is HOLY to me (and I don't care WHO is looking at me like I am a crazy person.  At least I drive a mini van with tinted windows and for all they know I am talking to my kids!).  

I shared with my girls about a specific worship experience I had with music in my car one time.  I was really struggling with some things (specifically, I was struggling with convincing my commitment fearing wonderful, future husband to fall in love with me), and I found the first Nichole Nordeman album just before a drive home to visit my parents (who live about an hour away).  That drive literally changed my spiritual life forever.  Frankly, I don't know how to describe the experience except that through her music, her words, I began to see my Father in a different way.  I wish I could share that with her one day....it really shaped who I have become in my faith.  It was amazing!

All this to say, I pray for all of you to have some life changing, amazingly spiritual, monumental moments by praising God in song....you never know how it may impact your relationship with Him.  You just have to start listening.... 

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Greer is growing so very fast!



I have been trying to figure out how to upload a video on this crazy blogger thing for what seems like hours tonight, and I haven't had much luck.  If anyone has any hints, they would be greatly appreciated (I also want to know how to strike through a word....I can't figure that one out either).  


I went ahead and joined You Tube, and I can't figure out how to embed a video on a post from there either, so I'm just going to give you a link so you can see how mobile Sweet Baby G has gotten.  Click here to view the video I shot tonight after she woke up from a good long nap.

The EEG went well...she was her sweet little self.  The first picture was just a cute one I got of her while we waited to go back to the testing area, and the other one is with the sweet lady who performed the test.  

We won't have any results for a few days, but as soon as I know something I will let you know.  I really have a peace about it, though, and know that God is totally in control of all of this.  He has already answered so many prayers, and I know that no matter what the test shows, He will be there to give me the love and support that I need.  

Greer is crawling like a champ!  I mentioned in an earlier post that Reeves was a "military crawler", Lucy was a "hands and knees" girl.  Greer has turned out to be a  "hands and feet" with the occasional "hands and knees" kind of girl.  She is what I think of as the ultimate 3rd child.  She is totally doing what it takes to survive!!!  She wants to crawl in a dress and on the concrete, so the hands and feet thing works the best (in those situations).  It is so very funny to watch!  If she doesn't like the way the ground feels on her knees, up on to her feet she goes! Her other new (and unique to my offspring) trick is her ability to stand at not even 9 months of age.  The girl is gonna be walking in NO time!  Not sure I am ready for that!!!  She will have her 9 month check up in a couple of weeks, and I will be sure to post all her pertinent stats then....

Thanks to all my friends and family for your calls, emails, and prayers.  I love you!!!

Have I mentioned that I love my husband?!




Yesterday reminded me how much I love my husband (sometimes we all need a little reminder!).  Reeves was still not 100%, and he didn't really feel up for school yet.  I had to work, and there was really no way around it.  Chris stepped up to the plate in a big way...but he's always been there when I need him.  If it weren't for his wonderful dedication as a dad (and husband), I don't think I would enjoy working so much.  Our kids really don't even think of me as a working mom, I don't think.  I mean, they just know that I love what I do and that I help mommies have babies....that is just COOL to them (they also may know a little bit more about the anatomy of childbirth than your average kid, so don't be surprised if your kids learn a little too much when they are over for a playdate!)....but I digress

We have a great arrangement for the days I work (which only ends up being 4 week days a month).  Chris gets everyone dressed and to school (Lucy and Reeves go at 8 and Greer has Mother's Day Out from 9-1 three mornings a week).  At 1, he picks up the girls (at their respective schools) and brings them home to meet our babysitter (whom we LOVE, LOVE, LOVE).  He goes back to work downstairs, and then takes off a little early.  They only end up being with the sitter for a few hours.  I also work every other weekend, and those are what the kids call "daddy days".  They have an awesome time on those days and Chris manages to make it to every birthday party and sporting event there is.  He even makes it to church every Sunday, and thankfully, our church is really casual.  I don't worry anymore about how they are dressed or what their hair looks like....I let that go a long time ago.  I have some pretty funny stories about what they manage to talk him in to (in the clothing department), but seriously, I could care less.  They have a BLAST with him. (I also found out from my pastor, Julie, that there are a couple of mom friends of mine who make sure they have their clothes on right and that their hair is straight and their face is clean....but don't tell Chris!)

So yesterday, Chris let Reeves lay around and hang out with him all day, and he did really well. They had lunch and worked from home (Reeves worked on his "projects"), and Reeves got his reserves back.  Alan and Jennifer had a doctors appointment downtown yesterday (please continue to be in prayer for them....it was a really tough day!), and Chris brought Skylar home from school with Lucy to play.  After the babysitter left, Chris fed all the kids, bathed Greer, and then headed to flag football practice (he coaches Reeves' team)....my precious Mother in Law (Honey) came over to hang with baby G.  After practice, he rushed home, bathed the girls, got Reeves in the shower, and then drove Skylar home (Lucy ended up spending the night with Skylar, but that is a post all in it's own that I KNOW will be quite entertaining....stay tuned).  He then came home and got the house all straight for me to come home to (I don't get home till around 8:45 and yesterday was C.R.A.Z.Y.).  How precious is HE?!

Anyway, I thank God for such a wonderful partner in this crazy life....I love him so very much!!!


Sunday, October 5, 2008

"Not me!" Monday


It's that time again! I love, love, love this little blog carnival (sponsored by one of my favorite bloggers, MckMama). It is so cathartic for me, and I'm all about being real with y'all! All week long I find myself thinking...I did NOT just do that!!! So, here goes....


I did NOT put "Egg Beaters" (instead of half and half) in my coffee one morning this week. I am NOT at ALL sleep deprived and a little bit off....nope, not ME!

I did NOT have so much laundry stacked up in the laundry room that it took me almost 2 hours to put it all away on Tuesday. Nope, we have not been digging through all the laundry baskets for clean underwear for almost 2 weeks.

Because there were NO clean clothes ANYWHERE but the laundry room, I did NOT run through the house completely NAKED every time I needed something to wear this week....nope, not me.

I did NOT ask my Lucy to help me after Greer threw up all over me last night (I was desperate, ya'll!! You should have seen me). I did not make her lay down a towel for me in the bathroom (while Reeves was moaning with his own stomach ache in the other room and Chris was on a medicine run) and then watch her gag as she saw all the vomit everywhere. A good mother would NEVER ask that of her 4 year old.

I did NOT throw away all of my clothes (and Greer's clothes and a towel or 2) because I simply could NOT deal with washing spinach vomit out of them....I was way too tired and grossed out! That would be completely wasteful and frivolous...not to mention lazy!

I did not let Reeves sleep on the dog's bed (just because he wanted to) last night when he was so sick with the virus. That would be totally gross. Nope, I would NEVER do that!!!

So there are just a few of the things I did NOT do this week....I'd love to hear what you did NOT do!



We're so much better today!

We Reeves made it through the night with no more sick episodes.  Reeves actually slept on Nana's bed (our dog, not his grandmother!).   I slept with Lucy in case she decided to join in the fun, but so far so good.  I actually decided that Greer's incident was just the result of massive overeating....that girl can P.U.T. it A.W.A.Y.!  She woke up happy and ready to chow down and is now back down for her morning nap.  


We'll take it easy for the rest of the day.  I won't expose my church family to this awful bug and maybe nobody else will take the fall.  Reeves loves his pirate costume and has been making us all "walk the plank" all morning.  Right now he and Lucy are drawing and cutting and pasting at the kitchen table.  Chris promised him that they would try to make it to another game before the season is over.  We may have to have a prayer meeting the night before that trip (oh, and some annointing with oil and laying on of hands)!

I have to pass along the best advice I got out of this whole blessed event.  I mentioned that this is our first real serious stomach bug, and even though I am a nurse, I wasn't sure how to ease back into drinking/eating.  This came from 2 sources (my dad and my friend Amy in Nashville):  

After they throw up, don't let them eat or drink anything for 1 hour.  After 1 hour, give 1 teaspoon of tea or gatorade (we did 7 up and it worked well, too).  If they keep that down for 30 minutes offer another teaspoon 30 minutes later.  It they keep that down move it to 1 teaspoon every 15 minutes.  Once they keep that down, move to 1 tablespoon every 15 minutes.  If at any time they get sick again, go back to nothing for 1 hour and start over again.  It is a little tedious but it works to condition the tummy to take on fluids again and also they do not gulp down too much liquid.  I used a small medicine cup (the one with the measurements written on it) to let him take the sips.  

Thanks for the advice guys....it really worked!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Not as pretty as it sounded this morning!

Wow, did our day do a 180 degree turn since I wrote that post this morning!  I just reread it, and I can't help but laugh.  I mean, what else can I do but laugh.  I think I mentioned just yesterday that God has a sense of humor (not that I'm saying he is laughing at me, I just think he likes to keep us humble)....well, today I've been humbled a little!


The morning continued to be lots of fun.  The boys played pretty well, despite another loss (which was no great surprise....we haven't actually won any of the games).  It is all about fun and learning for them (and the coaches) and we are all very proud of our little guys.....

Chris and Reeves took off for Tuscaloosa right after the game.  Lucy insisted that we go to Cracker Barrel to have lunch (which turned out to be a decent idea since I found Reeves a halloween costume while we were there).  Chris called a couple of times to tell me how excited Reeves was and that they were OK.

Around 2:00, Chris called to tell me that Reeves had gotten a little carsick on the way to the game....but he was feeling better.  Little did I know, he was NOT OK!  Chris called back right at kickoff to say that Reeves had thrown up again and that he wanted to come home.  He sounded so very sad....and, what I mean is, he sounded so sad for Reeves.  It broke my heart!

Lucy and I headed out for a birthday party (which was great fun by the way!), and left mom home with a sleeping baby G.  I thought that Chris and Reeves would get home and that he would be better.  I am VERY prone to carsickness, and so is Reeves.  I just thought this was a bad case of carsickness...nothing more.

Man, was I wrong.  Currently, Reeves has yet to keep even ice chips down.  He is in horrible pain with his stomach and the phenergan hasn't really kicked in yet.  Chris went to lay down with him and they are watching a little Power Rangers Jungle Fury....I'm praying he falls asleep soon. 

When they got home from the game, my mom said that Reeves was absolutely miserable.  It broke her heart when he said "But Charcey, I only got to see the stadium..."

Why did this have to happen TODAY!?

I know this is going to be hard to believe, but this is the FIRST stomach virus that has EVER happened in our house.  Seriously!  And, it had to happen TODAY!?  My sweet baby boy wanted to sit in that stadium and cheer for Julio....

The greatest blessing in all of this is that I have a dad who is a pediatrician.  It is very helpful (and maybe a little too convenient sometimes) and I am soooo very grateful for it!  My Daddy is wonderful about helping out and he has a soft spot for Reeves (being the only boy in this family of millions of girls!).  He called in some medicine and Chris took off to get it.  

In the meantime, I was dealing with a sick boy, a whiny Lucy, and a tired Greer.  While I was trying to get Greer down, Reeves found his way to her room.  He was sick again, and Lucy was there for moral support.  I sent them across the hall to hang out for a minute, and just minutes later....

Greer threw up E.V.E.R.Y.W.H.E.R.E.!

And, for a few minutes....I didn't move.

I composed myself, called for reinforcements (Lucy was the only option), and headed to the bathroom.  Picture this: 

Greer and I covered in sick.  Reeves moaning in the other room.  Lucy gagging.

It WAS NOT PRETTY!!!

I bathed Greer, put her to bed, cleaned up myself, put Lucy to bed, waited for Chris while holding Reeves, gave Reeves some medicine, tucked him in bed, tucked Chris in the same bed, and well.....

Now, I'm waiting....

What surprise will God have in store for me tonight?!  I'm praying for peace and sleep.  We'll just have to wait and see!

Breathe

I can not even begin to explain how thankful I am for this beautiful morning.  Because I work every other weekend (I used to work every weekend....thank heavens that is not the case any more), I absolutely savor every minute of my weekend off time with my family.  You don't realize how special and different that time is until you almost never get to enjoy it.  The air I breathe on Saturday and Sunday mornings when I am not at work is just different....it is almost impossible to describe.


We all woke up happy and refreshed (God surprised me with a GREAT night of rest!), ate a yummy breakfast in our PJs, played a little Wii, turned on some awesome praise music and laughed together.  Greer is napping and everyone else has already headed off to get our day going.  Reeves has a football game this morning at 11.  We are hoping for a win, but know that it really doesn't matter.  The boys have so much fun.  After the game, Chris and Reeves are headed to Tuscaloosa to watch Alabama play Kentucky....I've never seen a little boy (or his Daddy) more excited.  My mom is coming to spend the day with me and my girls, and Lucy's friend Caden has invited her to his birthday party.

This is what my Saturday is made of.  Nothing too extravagant, but to me it is perfect.  I hope you have your own perfect family day, too!  

Take a deep breath, and Enjoy this awesome day!!


Friday, October 3, 2008

Last night it was the salsa

If I wasn't already convinced that God has a sense of humor, the events of last night might have surprised me. But I know that he does, and well, it didn't surprise me too much.

In our house, a good night's sleep is hard to come by. There is about as much activity going on in the house in the night as there is in the day. I will admit that it took me a really long time to get used to it. I am pleased to say that I am actually very skilled at sleeping, and I am praying that those healthy sleep habits return easily when my children have all left the nest....or maybe a little sooner if I'm lucky.

In the meantime, I have become skilled at surviving my days on very little sleep. I was never one of those lucky ones whose baby slept through the night after 2 weeks....nope. Greer is the best, to date, and as evidenced by the events of last night, it's not something she has totally mastered. When she gives me at least 2 weeks of solid sleeping through the night I may be convinced. As for Reeves and Lucy, well, you just never know what type of night you're going to get. I will say this though, after a major intervention (it took some serious patience) I am proud to say that we have a great bedtime routine going. We just tuck 'em in and down the stairs we go....usually without a fight!

So anyway, I just thought I would give you an example of a typical night.....there is always a little twist added in for some good fun!

Last night it was the salsa!

6:04 pm Took kiddos to the park with Angela for a little playtime. Chris at home, alone (ahh)!
7:11 pm Get home, Chris takes Greer to give her a bath
7:13 pm Settle Lucy and Reeves in with chocolate mocha cake that Angela sent home with us
7:20 pm Go out to put up the bikes and stuff that is all over the lawn
7:21 pm Realize that I left the stroller at the park
7:24 pm Let Chris know I have to drive BACK to the park to get the stroller
7:31 pm Talk to my sister Erin on the drive to and from the park while enjoying the peace and quiet of twilight
7:40 pm Back home again, Chris has just gotten Greer down, Lucy has fallen asleep on the couch in her clothes and shoes
7:52 pm Change Lucy into her pajamas and move her to bed (she doesn't even wake up), Chris tucks Reeves in without a fight
8:01 pm DVR going, pack backpacks, wrap a babyshower gift, pick up toys and clothes, consider that the chocolate cake may come back to bite me, fold a load of laundry
8:17 pm Settle down to watch the Debate
8:39 pm Chris goes to sleep/watch a movie in our room
9:55 pm Realize that I have to make salsa for the babyshower at work tomorrow 10:10 pm Taste salsa....OMG the FIRE !!!!
10:15 pm Flushing out my eyes, brushing my teeth, BURNING LIKE I'M ON FIRE!!!!, washing my swollen face, tears streaming down my face, fingers burning....
10:40 pm Finally calming down, can't sleep yet, too exhausted to get up and change the channel
10:55 pm Can't take it anymore, am convinced nightmares to come, get up and turn off "Silence of the Lambs" (I mean how stupid am I....I hate scary movies!)
11:07 pm The last time I remember looking at the clock
2:04 am I hear Lily (our miracle cat) crying at the door, realize I forgot to let her in. Nana follows me to the door
2:07 am Turn off all of the lights I left on all over the house during my "FACE ON FIRE" frenzy, Nana following me around
2:17 am Last time I remember looking at the clock (this time)
3:03 am Greer crying
3:15 am Greer Still Crying
3:35 am Finish feeding Greer (which I told myself she COULDN't possibly need!), Nana at the foot of the rocking chair
4:01 am Back to sleep again, Nana back to sleep again
5:04 am Phone rings, "Megan, this is Jennifer, would you like to be on call?" hmm "No, I'll be there"
5:25 am Reeves comes and crawls in our bed, he wants his "my my" (aka, the most loved blanket in history), I make Chris go get it (and I am able to tell him it's precise location)
5:28 am Reeves wants juice, I send Reeves to the couch with Chris (who is up already)
6:00 am Alarm goes off
6:09 am Snooze goes off


Wonder what surprise God has in store for tonight?