Fall 2013

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Thursday, April 26, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I should have at least started this post this morning. There were two things that I wanted to make sure I included on my list. Now that it's the end of the day, do you think I can remember them? Sigh... Oh, well. There are always things to be thankful for!
  • One of the neat things about my new job assignment is that I cover the health care center at the convent in town. So, it is for retired nuns who are no longer able to live independently. One day a week, I get to visit the convent. The grounds are beautiful and the building is also just a serene place. It is a pleasure to be able to spend a little time there and feel the peace that comes over me.
  • As Mark mentioned the other day, the kids have a "new" trampoline, thanks to our dear friends Tasha, Jeanne, and Ken. They love it and what a great way to burn off some extra energy!
  • Maia finally has a break from doctor's appointments. She had a follow up with neurosurgery last week. Although her incisions aren't healing as well as the doctor would like, they don't need to see her back for a couple of months. Aside from a dentist appointment next week, she doesn't have to see a doctor until mid-June! She's pretty much rebounded and I'm so thankful for God's healing of our sweet girl. Now, if He could do something about the temper tantrums we've seen lately - I'd be really happy - lol. ;-)
  • I'm thankful that God can see the bigger picture when I can't. There are times when I feel a lot little overwhelmed with some of the issues we are dealing with related to the kids. But, nothing is a surprise to my heavenly Father and He is in control - not me. He is big enough to handle anything that comes our way. 
  • I'm thankful that tomorrow is Friday! Looking forward to a little get-a-way with my sweet hubby on Saturday night. And thankful to Nana and Papa who are watching the kids for us.
What's on your list today??

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New toys for the kids

We have a new swing set for the kids. We found it on Craigs list and picked it up on Sunday. It took about 15 minutes to put it together.
The next item is a trampoline. Melanies good friends have a 16 year old girl who let us have it.
I put it in the back of my pickup (it stuck out about 4 feet on each side and about 6 feet out the back).
It was a slow 5 mile ride home.
I'm sure Melanie will write more on it later.


Sunday, April 22, 2012

Love notes and waiting kids

Children who are waiting for their forever families have been heavy on my heart lately. To think about precious kiddos who fall asleep at night without being tucked in by parents who love them, who don't have anyone to kiss the "owies," oh my... it brings me to tears. Honestly, sometimes it's easier for me to not think about it because it hurts less that way. But, I do think about it - wondering about certain kids who have captured a place in my heart. The kids that you chose to bless with the Valentine's Love Notes are some of those treasures.

So, just thought I would let you know that Laurel - the sweet girl who is about to age out of the system is now listed on the "My Family Found Me" page of Reece's Rainbow.  I am so thankful for the family that is giving Laurel hope and a future - something every child deserves. And thanks to those of you who chose to bless her and pray for her!

Sadly, she is the only one of the children that I am aware of that has found her forever family. The other kiddos still wait. Please pray that God will unite these angels with their families soon!!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

My new best friend

We've been acquaintances for a while now,
but something that happened to cause a deeper relationship to grow.

It was one of those things that you hope you don't have to experience.

However, it is pretty much inevitable if you are a parent.

Being awakened in the middle of the night, wishing/praying that it's just a bad dream!

And moments like that cause you to reach out for help...

Thankfully, it was there when I needed it and now an even stronger attachment has been developed.

Of course, it might be a little bit one sided.

So for my dear friends, don't worry too much.

No, you aren't being pushed aside.

There's room enough for all of you in my life!

But, I would like to introduce you to my new best friend...

Poor Maia came into our room around 2am, she'd thrown up all over her bed and herself. She was miserable. After about 45 minutes, thought things were improving. Then, she threw up on me. Finally got her settled and back to sleep in our bedroom around 3:30am. 
Had a temp of 103.7 F when she woke up.
Thankfully, it came down with ibuprofen and has stayed below 100 F since then.
The washing machine has been busy and I'm thinking I should buy stock in the company that makes disinfectant spray - my new best friend - lol!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Several things come to mind immediately today...

  • First, I'm thankful that God has blessed my life with such wonderful friends. It's been a long time since I've been able to give my friendships the time that they deserve and that's really difficult for me. This week, I've been able to hang out with some of my dear friends and it has been such a gift to me.
    • On Monday evening, I had dinner with my friend Starla. She and my friends MaryAnn and Ann help me to feel that I'm not alone in this motherhood thing. Listening to them talk about their families reassures me that I am not the only mom who struggles to balance work, kids, relationships, and just life in general. I always end time with them laughing.
    • On Tuesday, Maia and I had lunch with Del (she is god-mother to both the kids). We celebrated Del's birthday which was fun. Getting together with her is always good for my spiritual health and I am thankful for the faith that we share.
    • On Wednesday, Mark - the kids - and I had lunch with my friend Kari. Our friendship has spanned almost 35 years which is amazing in itself. It's so good to share memories and make new ones. 
  • I decided to take a vacation day yesterday. The kids were both off school and I wanted to do something as a family. We went to Como Zoo for a short visit before lunch with Kari. Although we didn't get to see all the animals, the kids had fun. We'll go back again when we have more time. It was nice to just be together! Here are a few pics.
Psst... don't believe them if they tell you that monkey is real.

Here's the real deal - isn't he adorable??

Maia is all ready to move in with the polar bears.

Matthew's deep conversation with the seals (they were the favorite of both kids)

Sea horses - they were "pretty cooah (cool)" - according to Matthew

But, climbing the gorilla was even better!

Back home, blowing bubbles (thanks Auntie Kari), and picking flowers

What are you thankful for today? I can't wait to hear!!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The moment he's been waiting for

Matthew has been so eager for his first tooth to come out. It's been quite wiggly, but just wasn't "there" yet. I'm not quite sure I would recommend this as a method for getting rid of teeth, but it was quite effective - lol! Matthew came running from the living room to the bathroom to show me something. He tripped at the bathroom door and hit the edge of it with his mouth. I heard a little "ping" and sure enough, the tooth was gone. What did Matthew get in return? Poor kiddo got a swollen, bloody lip (you can see it a little bit on the top). And later... a visit from the tooth fairy. What's he going to do with his money? He wants to go drive a race car (one of those little rides at the mall).

Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday night pizza party

On Friday nights, we have family night at home. I either pick up pizza on my way home from work or cook frozen pizza. The kids choose a movie and get things set up for dinner. We eat in the living room. While we're eating pizza and watching the movie, I bake cookies for dessert. Both kiddos look forward to the night (they are usually starting the countdown until Friday on Tuesday or Wednesday) and it's a nice way to end the week. I've been meaning to snap a few pics of our evening and finally got around to it tonight.

Even Oliver was enjoying a little relaxation!

Matthew tries to save some chocolate for later - lol!

Maia's not to be outdone so she tries to get cookie all over her face, too!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Thankful Thursday

Can't let the day end without taking a few minutes to reflect on the blessings in my life and what I am thankful for today.
  • I am coming to the end of my second week at the new nursing home. Last week had a few challenging moments. But, this week has went well and I am thankful for the relatively smooth transition.
  • The patients I care for.  God has reminded me that it doesn't matter where I do my job - what does matter is how I care for the people I serve. I am getting to know a few of my patients and enjoying them immensely. There is no doubt in my mind that He is the source of my new perspective and I thank Him for working in my heart.
  • Thankful that I was at work this morning when a certain, adorable, little girl pooped all over our carpeted bedroom floor.
  • A sweet boy who said for the first time tonight (without prompting), "A wub ooo so much, mom!" Doesn't get much better than that!

What tops your list today?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

"Sharing" and a few Easter pics

"Remember Maia.... Mom said, it's important to share with others!"

"Ok, how about some butterscotch pudding?"

Matthew and Papa 

Maia showing off her "loot" to Nana

Matthew and cousin Marge checking out an Easter present

Grandmama reading Maia her new Easter book

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Thursday

I can't let Thursday go by without stopping for a few minutes to thank God for His blessings in my life.
  • Mark says (and I have to agree) to share that we are thankful that we have two precious kiddos in our house this Easter!
  • I'm thankful that Thursday is almost over which means only one more day until the weekend - can you tell I'm ready for it?
  • Ever so thankful for the Heavenly Father's love this Easter. When I truly stop to consider the gift of His son and the resurrection, I am moved to tears. Jesus endured a horrific death on the cross so that I might have eternal life. Unbelievable. He knew what was to come when He washed the disciples' feet at the last supper. And even in the midst of suffering beyond anything I can imagine, Jesus surrendered to His Father's will. So that someone as unworthy as me could be redeemed. I'm thankful that this gift is based on grace, not on anything I might do. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Matthew's big news and Maia's appointments

When Matthew came upstairs this morning, he was quite upset. I asked him what was wrong and he opened his mouth. He has a loose tooth and was very concerned about it. I clapped my hands, yelled "yay" and explained how this tooth will come out, then he will grow a "big" tooth. It's just one step in getting older. Well, that was the right answer. Made the kiddo's day, he was walking around proud as can be that he is going to lose a tooth - lol!!

We had a busy day with appointments for Maia. MRI of her head this morning. As I often am, I was amazed at my sweet girl's resiliency and acceptance of such things. This was the first time I have been able to go with Maia for an MRI. Before, it's always been Mark. Anyway, other than a less than 5 second little whimper as they were putting in her ear plugs and the padding on the side of her head, Maia did not cry or get upset at all. I was able to be with her and hold her hand. We talked and she stayed calm in spite of the noise and being in the tube with a big plastic "cage" on her head. It brought me to tears thinking about all she has experienced in her short life. 

Maia was seen for her six week post-op follow up appointment. I was able to see the results of her MRI and the comparison before and after surgery. The fluid that had exanded her ventricles before was gone which was great. Unfortunately, the drainage of the shunt sometimes exerts a negative pressure inside the skull. This has caused some "pulling in of her brain (the nurse practitioner's words)" and bleeding between the brain and the lining of the brain. At this point, there is nothing to do other than keep a close eye on Maia and recheck the MRI in two months. If things are not better, a programmable valve will be added to her shunt which will control the drainage pressure of the shunt.  She's still running a low grade temperature and her old shunt site doesn't look good, so she is going to have another week of antibiotics. We'll see the NP again in two weeks.

Our last appointment of the day was to see the developmental pediatrician. She had evaluated Maia in December and found her to be functioning at the 24-30 month level in most areas. Today, Dr. S did a limited reevaluation and found Maia to be at around the 30-40 month level, plus answering some questions at a four year old level. Dr. S was so impressed with the progress Maia has made! The fact that she has progressed six or more months developmentally in a period of four months is wonderful! Dr. S said she didn't need to see Maia again for another year!! WOOHOO! I give so much credit to the wonderful teachers at Maia's ECSE program, as well as my sweet hubby for his efforts to help Maia learn. According to Dr. S, she will likely recommend some formal neuropsych testing when Maia is getting ready for kindergarten to get a more accurate evaluation of IQ, etc. But for now, we're definitely on the right track! That was wonderful news to hear!! It is so much fun to see how Maia has blossomed over the past six months - she's so darn cute!!

So, that's the scoop for today! Have a good one!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Monday, Monday

I'd hoped to blog over the weekend, but just didn't get to it. Seems like we've been running constantly lately. Well, Mark hasn't been running. Poor guy, he's barely walking and sometimes, not even that. He really did a number on his back last week. Note to any guys out there who might be reading this... lifting up a riding lawn mower to take the blades off without any help is probably not a smart thing to do! ;-)

Anyway, the kids and I spent Saturday at my parents' house. Maia and I were part of the annual tradition of baking Bunny Buns for Easter (mom and I have been doing this for almost 40 years!). We also decorated Easter cookies and mom's friend Gail made some adorable bunny cake pops. Matthew got to hang out with Grandpa Jerry all day which made him very happy. He watered the cows and got to drive the lawn tractor. Couldn't ask for anything better than that!

Yesterday, I braved church with the kids by myself since they were singing during the service. Mark was not impressed with my fabulous less than adequate camcorder skills - lol! The kids behaved well given the length of the service. After lunch, they had a quick nap and I attempted to do a little organizing in my closet. Then, we headed to town to move some of my "office" to my new work location. Ended the day having dinner with friends which was nice.

So today, I started work at my "new" nursing home. I was up most of the night, stressing a little lot about the change. Over all, it went pretty well. As I wandered the halls trying to get my bearings, I felt my attitude change. These patients have an environment that is not nearly as nice as my old work location. And I think that stinks. Really, every elderly person deserves to live in a place free from odors with attractive surroundings, a place that is bright and pleasant. And I felt like God was telling me that I had the ability to impact my patients's lives in a positive way. I don't have any control over where they live or what the staff are like at this place, but I do have the ability to show them that someone cares, to have compassion, empathy, and respect for them. Maybe I will be able to make a difference in their lives. This perspective changed my approach to every encounter I had. I pray that God will remind me of this each and every day.

My sweet boy (yes, Matthew) melted my heart tonight. I was putting my hair up in a clip and he told me that I was beautiful. Later, we had finished saying prayers and were talking about Matthew's birthday. He can't wait to have a birthday cake and people singing "Happy Birthday" to him. Anyway, I had asked if Matthew had a birthday cake at the detsky dom. He told me "no" and I asked if he'd had a birthday cake with his "other (birth)" mom. Matthew told me that I was his mom and that he was glad I was his mom. He said that he was sad with his other mom (which did break my heart) but that he was happy he was home and that we had come to the detsky dom to get him. Brought tears to my eyes. Yep, those are the moments that make the not-so-pleasant ones worthwhile.