Saturday, January 31, 2009

The Winter Storm . . .

For those affected by the winter storm that started Tuesday, I am thinking of you. these are some pictures I found on the web regarding the storm. The picture below I believe to be in Arkansas not too far from where my mom lives:

Now this one is pretty scary!

I have been very surprised by the lack of coverage over it. it's all about Blago on the news. Frankly, I've had enough of that man to last me decades.

I would like to hear more about the storm, what plans are being made for all those poor people in all those states. I've been googling and googling, and it is hard to glean the type of information I am looking for.

I am very much personally affected by this storm. My mother lives in Arkansas. She is one of over a million people without heat or electricity. She is staying with a friend/neighbor. Her yard is littered with wood debris from all the trees she had on her property, big, huge trees, now lay scattered around her property. I've talked to her on Wednesday, She sounded like she was coping well. I heard about how she was doing from an aunt on Thursday and knew she would call me on Friday. She has to go out to her neighbors car, and they start up the car to charge their cell phones so they can take and receive calls. i guess i should be grateful I am able to know she is ok. But seriously, Arkansas and Kentucky are disaster areas declared by Obama - why isn't it on the news more. i do hear tidbits here and there, but not much, not enough to make me feel informed. I remember watching all the news after hurricane Katrina. I remember all the news after the Tsunami. this might not be quite as big, but it is pretty big.

My mom is in a kind of rural area. So many trees are down and giant icicles falling off trees that it is very dangerous to just be out walking. There is no way to get anywhere by car. She would just slide down the huge hill her house is on. and the stories of people who get out to get supplies only to find there are no supplies to be had. to get to a gas station and it not have any gas at the station. Or if it has gas, having a 10.oo limit of gas (how far can that take you in rural country areas!). I have read stories about shortages of water.

this makes me very, very nervous. the stress is really so much for my mom to deal with. It was just a few days ago, the 1 month anniversary of my dad's death. Now my mom is dealing with this on top of that.

I am grateful that my mom is with a friend/neighbor. They have heat from the fireplace, and when I last spoke with her they had water. A man did go and get her insulin for her diabetes. Still this is taking such a toll on her, I can hear it in her voice. Her house doesn't appear to be damaged by the breaking trees (hopefully this is true and will remain true as she is just about to put it up for sale).

And, my mom is one of the lucky ones.. . . She has a warm place, with a bed to sleep in, a friend for company and her dogs with her. She has her medicine. They have food and water.

I pray for her and all the rest. Please let it not take till mid Feb for power to be restored for all the people in Kentucky, Arkansas, Indiana, Ohio, Missouri (and one I am forgetting)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

winter pictures

I'm not feeling my bloggin' mojo (I'm feelin like a nap since Trevor is sleeping and I am battling a cold- plus, i have to mentally prepare myself for the collection of fecal matter again for the next 72 hours)

So instead, maybe I should just post some random pictures!
Ryan now down another 2 teeth.
And notice, he has fifith disease as evidenced by the "slapped cheek" rash

Part of a rose boquet that I got in memory of my dad

My backyard:

Great icicle making weather last week when it got into the balmy low 30's!

Potty training has begun:

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pinewood Derby time for my Weblos Cub Scout!

It was a busy weekend here! Saterday was Pinewood Derby - the racing of the pinewood cars by the Cub Scouts!

Stephen did good. He placed 1st in the first 3 heats. But they do rank according to time and first according to den. Stephen ended up with a respectable 28th finsih (out of 50).

Considering the time constraints, the car came out nice!

Stephen and his car

Stephen getting ready to push the start button for the 4th run

Above : This was the last race, and this one was the one Stephen got 3rd place in - can you tell by the fuzzy blurs in the pictures!

Stephen after getting his 2nd place trophy (2nd place for his den)

A group picture (I don't see many Weeblos in there - they are in the tan shirts)

Friday, January 23, 2009

It's Potty Time! "One upon a potty, potty"

It's time to "potty".
Yesterday Trevor patted his diaper and said "potty". Off to the potty we go. I take off his dipaer (before I realized he had some business in there!) and I cleaned him up a bit and sat him on the potty. After a minute, I asked if he was done andhe said yes (he hadn't done anything yet). I took him off and continued to clean him up and as I was finishing wiping, he whizzed on the floor a bit and said potty. So I sit him on the potty again and cleaned it up, but he was all done.
I'm proud that he initiated going potty and he knows the connection to sitting on the potty. Woo hoo for Trevor!!

Not bad for his first potty experience, right? He again this morning said Potty and headed toward the bathroom, trying to take off his pajamas on the way. Now i need to go downstairs and find the little potty seat. And I need to break out the "Once upon a potty, potty" tape! Maybe we will play with his baby boy, "baby alive" doll (it is anatomically correct and pees!).

My little baby is not so much a baby anymore! Of course now that I am easing into potty training, the thought of the Fecal Fat collection runs through my mind. We have to re-do the collection of Bm's for 3 days since the lab would not except the "deposits" because they were not in there own containers (ridiculous says my doctor!).

Now I can't get that darn potty song out of my head!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Terrible Two's Teusday - Trevor and the kitty litter and the carbon monoxide detector

Terrible Twos Teusday

While the "terrible twos" are not always so terrible; they are alwasy interesting. I know some toddlers get a bad rap with the verbage of terrible twos, but mine is again going through some "terrible two" edness.

Just a few days ago my little terrible two year old saw his opportunity to live up to the terrible twos definition.

Friends had come to the door looking for Stephen to come out and play. After he talked to them at the door, he decided to go out and play and ran upstairs to change. Ryan shut the door, BUT DID NOT LOCK IT. Trevor being Trevor noticed this. He went to the other door and got his boots and put them on. Then went back to the front door and out he went. Its about 10 below zero and he is outside in his boots. We realized he opened the door and went out within seconds of him getting outside, but none of us had any shoes on so we called to him to get back in and reminded him how cold it was outside. So guess what happens next. He backs further away and smiles at us. Then mean mommy me tells him to GET INSIDE NOW in my angriest voice and even with that he still stood there coontemplating whether he would obey or not.

right now I think he may be opeing up candy on the island. He whizzes around on the kitchen chairs and anything on the countertops, stove, or island is fair game to him as its in his reach. Excuse me a moment while I try to curb the massive sugar intake . . . . .

Ok, sugar consumption crisis taken care of . . . . . (and just so you know, I had the candy out as a bribe to get him to take his medicine. How low I've stooped as a mom!)

I do like the things toddlers say at this age. They are very interesting conversationalists!

I will never forget being in Factory Card outlet when Ryan was about this age. He was REALLY, REALLY into Thomas and all the Thomas trains! We were in line waiting to check out. There was quite a line in front of and in back of, which made what he said (or should I say shouted - or so it seemed to me) all the more embarrassing. Now I don't mean to be vulger, crass or offensive, but he clearly said PUSSY! And then he said it a couple of more times. Now I knew right away he meant "Percy", but that is not how he pronounced it. (Maybe people who come up with characters for kids TV cartoons should reflect on this). So I, a little more loudly than normal, said "Oh yes, I see you are looking at PERCY" and then ever so slowly looked around to see if anyone was still staring!

another one of those embarrrasing times was when we were in Meijer passing the "intimate apparal" section. Ryan said very loudly (his normal voice is very loud!) "Look mom - booby holders!"

Now I am going through that stage with Trevor. He doesn't have a ton of words yet, but I can tell already I am going to have many embarrasing moments ahead if I should ever go out in public with him!

We were trying to get him to say YES. He can say yah, but doesnt' pronounce the S, so we've been doing lots of S sounds and keep saying YES! Can you guess what he turned the yah into? SHET (sounding like SH@T with an I!)

I forgot about Sunday's Terrible Two moment. I went to take a shower. The kids were off school and so i had waited to take my shower as we lounged around in our PJ's. i went to shower and told Stephen to keep an eye on Trevor. So, of course you know he didn't. After I got out of the shower and was dressing I could hear the distinctive sound of the kitty litter being scooped. So I knew once again that Trevor had scooped and tossed lots of kitty litter (hopefully not the kitty turds) all around the hallway. Stephen was downstairs so engrossed in some cartoon or something that a burgler could have broken in and never been seen or heard.

And, of course we had a Terrible Twos moment yesteday as well. Again I went for a shower (I got to stop doing that!) and Trevor knows this is his chance to wreak havoc on the house. I come out of the shower and hear the carbon monoxide detector going off. It was plugged in and working. Treovr had sprayed hair spray (tons of hair spray) in the hallway causing it to go off. I don't know why, but Febreeze or other cleaners sprayed (even non aerosol) make the detector go off. Again after a few minutes my other two finally come up the stairs to see what all the noise is about.

Today he also decided to "wash the baggie of scrambled eggs I had out on the counter (was to be my breakfast but thats what I get for trying to start a load of laundry and leaving food out - I'm so good at telling the boys don't leave anything out that you don't wnat trevor to touch, but apparantly I forget sometimes too. ) And then he decided to wash the blueberries in a container onthe counter. We are almost out of Palmolive thanks to my little dishwasher (and food washer).

Wonder what he will do today for entertainment (or embarrasment) value. We do have his Early Intervention yearly eval here today - maybe he will be napping then!

Now i must go and save the kitty litter. I heard Trevor walk up the stairs and he just loves using the kitty pooper scooper next to the kitty box. Barney isn't keeping him tuned in so much these days, sigh!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today was a mixed bag

I survived 5 days of being home with the kids during the winter with 3 days being too cold to play outside! Please spring get here soon!! We had 2 playdates this week which was really nice to keep the boys out of each others hair. Mostly though we spent the time just staying in and haning out. (which is what tends to get the boys all rambunctious and wild!) Below are a few pics from a playdate at a friends house (thank you Kathy for letting us eat your food and mess up your house!)

Ryan and Aden

Stephen and Maia playing a computer game

Trevor and Cole - what buds they are!

What to do when its 30 below? Play Gameboy in your warm n fuzzy robe says Ryan!
Stephen on the other hand prefers Playstation or WII (again notice the nice warm n fuzzy robe)
then me and my little man just snuggle on the couch with our heating blanket!

Today at least was not as cold as it had been, but it was a bit of an irritating day. I got a call that the vitamin D supplement Trevor's endocrinologist ordered is not covered by insurance and it is almost 200.00!! The insurance will only cover pill form. A 2 year old can't swallow this huge pill - get real!

I also got a call today that all of Trevors Bm's that I collected for 3 whole days was not accepted at the lab to perform the Fecal Fat Quantifiaction. apparantly I am supposed to have their sterile containers to send it in (They are in Wisconsin - my lab here and my doctor never mentioned this. Now that really just nauseates me to imagine goign through that again!

I learned this week that I did not need to have Trevor's test for CF on Monday. I learned on Wednesday that Trevor can't possibly have it since I was tested when I was pregnant with him and I did not have it.

Sometimes it really just feels like I am spinning my wheels and the whole medical community is laughing their butts off at me!

Today I had a developmental therapist at my house. i had gottent he impression that even though the speech therapist had said we might want to have him have speech 2 times a week that he was still doing well. I didn't get that impression from the developmental therapist. Apparantly I was saying he could say words, but they weren't the actual words - they were aproximations, so they don't count for total words (I thought they did). So his speech development seems to be more lacking than I thought. On the bright side - with his OT and the speech, he has a better chance to get into Prairie with an IEP and I won't have to pay that (thank goodness becuase I will need that to pay for everything my insurance is not covering!)

Seriously though, there were some nice moments of the day. I was very proud of Trevor today. He may not have many recognizable words, but he showed the therapist just how smart he is. He really is very bright. I don't know why he is not progressing with the speech (coudl it be the colds and ear infections affecting his hearing - yep, quite possibly!), but he definitely is a smart little guy (ok maybe he isn't coutning into the teens like some other toddlers I've heard, but he is starting to count a bit.

Another highlight of the day was a package that was delivere dto me. In it were fresh flowers. Beautiful flowers in condolances of my dad's passing. It was such a nice feeling to know someone was thinkin gof me and remember ing my dad.

I also got another picture of my dad. I got an email from a recentlty aquainted family member and she had a picture of my dad as a five year old. It will be cherished.

And, I finally finished the book for book club. I suffered through "Great Expectations". not my favorite, but I'm glad its done!

So I guess I can look at today as having a glass half full or half empty, maybe i'll go with half full! Now onto tomorrow - (Tomorrow is Evaluation Day for Trevor and Early Intervention.)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Another test for Trevor

Another day, another procedure for Trevor . .

After last week's Fecal Fat Quantification, just about anything is preferrable to help us get some answers about Trevor and his lack of weight gain. I don't have any answers from the Fecal Fat quantification, but hope to hear something later this week.

So, today we were at Edward Hospital for Trevor's CF sweat test (cystic fibrosis). It went better than I anticipated. I did have to wait 45 mins for them to call him back, but then they hooked him up to a small little device that induced heat and then put this round "thingy" on his arm to collect sweat and we went of to JambaJava for lunch (just out the outpatient procedure doors) with his sweat collector on and then back to check and see if he sweated enough after 1/2 an hour. I've heard stories of people doing this several times (waiting a couple of hours) in trying to collect enough sweat.

I'm happy to say, it was "no sweat" or should I say, it was enough sweat! When we came back after lunch, his little sweat collector was removed and it was deemed to have enough sweat!

We left home for the procedure at 10:00 and are already back before 1:00. (And this time I was even able to go straight to my car - my car always seems to park itself somewhere else from where I remember leaving it).

My big appt of the day is over, wheww. I am happy to have this off my to do list (its been on it for a year - it didn't seem much of a priority as it was a very slim possibility, but now they really are looking to get things ruled out). I should have the results as early as tomorrow.

Now to get ready for tomorrow. We will see Florence our nutritionist. I am actually looking forward to this because I think Trevor has been eating well lately, so I'm hoping for a nice weight gain! I am usually very anxious and worried when we have a weight check, but not this week. IT has been a month since our last weight check as we had to cancel our last appt due to going to Arkansas.

Next week will be Trevor's Early Intervention yearly eval. After that hopefully things will settle down a bit and we will be back to our normal therapy appts and dr appts without all the extra meetings for EI (Early Intervention) and procedures.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Read at your own risk - I'm on poop patrol

My blog has been filled with sadness, grief and ramblings of a mad woman for the past month. I am trying to think of something uplifting to blog about, but I got nothing”. Instead, maybe some more ramblings from a woman losing it. (and be prepared, this is gonna be messy!)

So, today is day 2 in our prep for the fecal fat quantification. “Fecal what what”?? You ask? Right, well it is FECAL FAT QUANTIFICATION. After our latest trip to our Peds GI, he is having us collect poop for 3 days. Not just a sample, but I am to collect all of the fecal matter. Now this might not seem like such a terrible job if you are a mom or a nurse. But then again, maybe you don’t have the type of “pooper boy” that I do. Trevor has never had solid stools. They have always been lose and runny since I can remember. They just vary in degrees but usually are like pudding – unless I let him have regular yogurt, then it is runnier and ickier (I know great technical terms I am using).

So, first day I did what the Dr. told me and I put the diaper on backwards so the more plastic part of the diaper was on the instead, Thus the poop would not soak in. After day 1 we had wet through and me and Trevor both smelled like urine as the pee totally ran out. Even after I did the one diaper inside out then put an additional diaper right ways over it, it did not stop from the pee seeping through and getting all over. So last night I decided to try something else. I took my Saran wrap and I cut a piece to fit the inside of the diaper and taped it in there. It had to be just right so it would cover the poop area, but not cover the pee area. It worked very well, but Trevor is a Sensory kid, so of course the plastic in his diaper made him uncomfortable and he kept telling me he had a boo boo in his butt. So we are a little over our 48 hours into the 72 hour span. I have collected 4 samples so far. I have to say they are small deposits, so not sure how the test will work – It seems a bit less than he usually “produces”. Yesterday I almost lost my cookies trying to scrape the pudding out of the backwards diaper. It does seem to come off the Saran wrap better, but the stools were also not as runny today, so that helped too.
Tomorrow I get to take the samples out of my fridge and bring them to a lab and get more blood work. At this point I am a sheep and just doing what they tell me. Not sure I quite know what exactly they are testing for, but they are looking into things which is better than not knowing what else to do which is how I went home from the Endocrinologist last month and it seemed that was what was going to happen at the last appt with the GI doc. I believe they are checking to make sure Trevor doesn’t have any absorption issues to explain his malnourishment. I know they will check his immuglobin and some other things and I guess that may tell us how his immune system is working.

So tonight after I finish blogging, I will be taking 2nd dear son for a CT scan – I believe to check for an infection in the brain (again I am a sheep and was in such a hurry to get out of the dr’s office and on the road to Arkansas I wasn’t totally following what the next step was for him).
Tomorrow will be another fun day of collecting Trevors “little presents” and then off to the school for some kareokee. The kids have their Winter parties tomorrow as they were cancelled due to snow days the day before witner break. So I get to leave my poop patrol for a couple of hours and go watch the kids dance and goof around.

With all the diaper du du collecting, and dr appts, who had time to stop and grieve for my dad. I do find myself thinking of him often and when I need a good cry, I come to my blog and listen to the music that reminds me of him and see his pictures.
Wish me luck in my last day of poop patrol. It does smell a bit foul in here, time to go check for a deposit. (aren’t you glad I am not inserting pictures!!)

I was trying real hard to come up with great euphanisms for those "little brown beauties", but I am fresh out.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

.....what mattered most of all was the dash between those years

This poem was read at my Dad's service. It's a wonderful way to remind us to live our lives fully.

The Dashcopyright 1996 Linda Ellis

"I read of a man who stood to speak at the funeral of a friend.He referred to the dates on her tombstonefrom the beginning...to the end.He noted that first came the date of her birth and spoke of the following date with tears,but he said what mattered most of all was the dash between those years. For that dash represents all the time that she spent alive on earth...and now only those who loved her know what that little line is worth.

For it matters not, how much we own;the cars....the house...the cash. What matters is how we live and love and how we spend our dash.
So think about this long and hard...are there things you'd like to change? For you never know how much time is left that can still be rearranged.

If we could just slow down enough to consider what's true and real,and always try to understand the way other people feel.

And be less quick to anger,and show appreciation more and love the people in our lives like we've never loved before.

If we treat each other with respect,and more often wear a smile...remembering that this special dash might only last a little while.

So, when your eulogy is being readwith your life's actions to rehash...would you be proud of the things they say about how you spend your dash?"

Monday, January 5, 2009

My dad was a great man and is so greatly missed

My dad passed away suddenly December 28th. It’s been a great shock and such a profound loss for my mom.

I got a call Dec 28th about 7:45 from my mom. My mom’s world had changed forever a few hours prior to this. Mike gave me the phone and I said hello how are you – she responded with “not good” as she was crying in earnest. I couldn’t imagine what could have happened to make her so upset, I was so unprepared for her next words “Dad is dead”. I really could not understand and I really did think I must not be hearing her correctly. She was crying and sounded so heartbroken that I realized she had just said what I thought I heard.

My mom had been on the phone in at her kitchen table talking to her brother. My dad was at the island in the kitchen having a smoke and watching tv. Out of the corner of her eye, she sees my dad collapse. She rushes to him, calling his name. Calls 911 and her neighbor. Her neighbor and herself try to do CPR, but he is already gone. He is taken to the hospital where he is pronounced dead. My mom is back home just 2 hours later calling about my dad.

I didn’t stay on the phone with her long as we were both just listening to each other cry and there were no words, but lots of questions – but she was not at that moment able to answer them all as she had more calls to make.

I sat on the couch for several minutes just numb trying to figure out what to do. We did end up taking the boys to Arkansas as I did not want to wait till the next evening to leave (my brothers were leaving then). My thought was to get to her as soon as possible.

My parents had been in Arkansas for over 8 years now. Since my aunt Nancy passed away 5 years before, they didn’t see my Uncle Howard and my cousin Marjorie as much as they had used to. Basically my parents had each other their dogs, and some neighbors. They did so much together and are in more remote area, so its such a profound loss for my mom to lose her husband. As much as I loved my dad and am very much grieving and am having a hard time with his death, I know it is nothing compared to how my mom is doing. They’d been together since 1980 having met through friends from the phone company. It’s the little everyday things he did for her. It’s the big things he did occasionally for her. Its everything. She told me she had never been in the house alone without him and can’t imagine sleeping knowing he isn’t there. She had come up to Illinois to visit without dad, but she had never been at home without him.

My dad was so healthy. He was not on any medicine. He was hardly ever sick a day in his life. He did get one of those life screening testing things done about 4 years ago. During that they did discover an anneruism in his belly. His doctor said they would monitor it. My dad doesn’t go to Doctors much and I doubt he kept checking that. His cause of death is listed as a massive heart attack, but we believe he had an anneerurism. He did not have the usual chest pains or arm tingling or shortness of breath. The attack was very sudden and my mom thinks he may have been gone by the time he hit the floor.

We got down Monday evening after driving all day Monday. My brothers and my aunt Carol arrived Tuesday morning having driven all night (after Todd worked all day Monday). We were able to have a private viewing of my dad Wed to say our goodbyes privately and we planned a small service for Friday. He had been a volunteer fire fighter and they had neighbor friends, so my mom decided to have a service for him in Arkansas. He was creamated.

The service was very nice. The fireman did a last call on the radio for my dad. It was so nice to see so many people at the service. My mom and him had only been down there 8 years, but the funeral home had many people there. On one side several fire fighters and EMT people sat. On the other side several neighbors and us family members sat.

The Fire chief presided over the service. He read a wonderful poem about “the dash” – representing the dash between our birth date and our death date. My parents liked the song Through the years and that was played as well. It was a short service, but so meaningful and such a wonderful way to remember the great life and a great man. There was an opportunity for people to share stories about my dad. Some neighbors and a firefighter shared their experiences of my dad. I stood up as well. I wanted him to be remembered for being a gentle person. A kind person. He was gentle, quiet, very easy going and had a wonderful sense of humor. He was always making us laugh. He came into my life when I was about 10. I never had any resentment towards him. I liked him right away and was happy to see my mom happy. They married in 1981. While I have had a somewhat rocky relationship at times with my mom, I never felt him being mad or angry with me. I can’t ever remember being yelled at by him or having him angry with me. He was very easy to get along with. When I was 12, he adopted me and my younger brother Brad (Todd was living with our biological father at the time).

We left Saturday, the day after the service.(My brothers had to leave Thursday evening). There is still much for my mom to do now. She had already pretty much decided back in October that she would be moving back to Illinois within the next 2 years. She has 5 grandkids now – the latest one just born in December (Todd and Donna had a little boy Sean on Dec 3rd) and one born this summer. So now she feels the need to be with family.

My dad was only 68. My mom just turned 60 in December. Too soon to deal with such tragedy. When there is no long illness (not even a short one) it is just so hard to take it all in. His only surviving sibling Lil is 93 or 94 and in Illinois.

I wished I had talked to him more over the past years. He was not much of a talker on the phone. I hadn’t seen him since last year August when we went down to vacation with my parents. He hadn’t been to Illinois since my brother Brad’s wedding July 2006.

My mom let us kids take a keepsake to remember my dad by. It was very odd to be in my parent’s home and see my dad’s things around the house – his fireman’s windbreaker on the back of a chair, his glasses on the kitchen island, his watch on the kitchen table, the t-shirts we bought for him as a birthday/Christmas present under the tree, the cordless mouse we had gotten him sat on the kitchen table and the cordless screwdriver we had gotten him was on the little wooden chair in the kitchen. His presence was everywhere. Yet he was not there.

I believe it’s often true that you never really realize how much you love someone till they are gone. That is how I feel right now. So many times I could have said I love you instead of my usual “how are you?”. So many times I could have said “you are a great dad and I am proud to be your daughter” instead of my usual “what have you been up to?”

I have had several people pass away in the past couple of months and my new Year’s resolution was to try to stay in better touch with people to stay reconnected to people. It now seems I should have not waited till New Years for me to start working on my New Year’s resolution. I had talked and emailed my dad more than usual as he was helping me with a project for my mom’s 60th birthday. For that I am glad.

Books I have read

  • Friday Night knitting Club
  • The tale of Edgar Sawtelle
  • Island of Lost Girls
  • The Prizewinner of Defiance Ohio
  • Nineteen Minutes
  • Kite Runner
  • Angry Housewives Eating Bon Bons