Saturday, November 6, 2010

52 days...and counting...

52 days ago, my life changed.

That was the day that I turned 29 years old. Now, that has nothing to do with the change...it just coincidentally happens to be the same day that my life turned upside down.

I woke up that morning, around 2 am, with a migraine. It wasn't too unusual for me, as I've battled them off and on, for about 13 years. I've visited doctors over the years, had MRIs done over the years and tried medications over the years, never finding anything that worked or a reason for why they happened. The only time I ever really got a good reprieve from them, was when I was pregnant, which was a good thing, since the list of medications I could take during that time was very short.

But, I digress...

Like I said, it wasn't unusual. I get them every so often. I've even had times in my life when I've dealt with daily headaches. They were an annoyance, but I dealt with them. No big deal.

What makes this time so different, is that it is now 52 days later and I've had approximately 12 migraines since...4 of them within the last 10 days. Even when I haven't had a migraine, I've had a headache every single day, that has never fallen below the description of "moderately severe".

Imagine that for a moment. From the moment I wake up in the morning, to the moment that I go to bed, I have a throbbing headache. I can have other fun side-effects with it, like the inability to sit up, open my eyes, see out of one of my eyes for a few hours and have days of nausea. It's a constant pain that I cannot get rid of.

I dealt with it for the first 3 weeks and then sought out the help of my neurologist. He did some blood work that showed that my vitamin D levels were low (for some reason people who have daily headaches also end up having low vitamin D levels, so they routinely check for this) and so I have to take 50,000 mg of vitamin D, once a week for the next 8 weeks. They also scheduled a MRI and after a week of thinking that I possibly had multiple sclerosis, a repeat MRI and enough Valium to drug a bear...I'm in the clear.

He also started me on a daily dose of 25 mg of Topomax. That was bumped up to 50 mg a day, 10 days later and 75 mg a day, 12 days after that. I'm currently sitting at that dosage and we're trying to determine if these meds will actually work (they have to be in my system for 4-8 weeks and build up, before we even know if this is the drug for me) or if these meds are what are exacerbating my migraines. We're wondering if this med is what is causing me to have so many, back to back, lately.

On top of the headaches and migraines, come the wonderful side-effects of the Topomax. When starting this drug and every time we up the dose, I deal with a few weeks of slow thinking. This has made school a lot of fun. Thank goodness I am in the classes I am in, and this didn't happen last semester, where I was trying to memorize thousands of medical terms. The drug also causes unexplained appetite suppression. The nausea from the migraines already means that I haven't kept down a full meal in almost 2 weeks, so I'm counting the weight loss as a bonus. Topomax can also cause a tingling in my hands, feet and lips. This morning was the worst, most likely because we just recently upped the dosage. My right hand and arm were numb to just above my elbow (it's the pins and needles feeling like when your foot falls asleep) and my right foot, just to my ankle, for about 2 hours. Right now, the bottom right corner of my lip is numb, like I've had a little shot of Novocaine. BUT...I still have a killer headache. Go figure.

Josh has had to miss work left and right, to be home with the kids. If I have a migraine, I can't care for them like I need to. If I take any of the pain medication that my neurologist has prescribed, it makes me loopy and very tired, so again, I can't be the mom I want to be. Most of his bosses have been understanding, but it only takes one jerk to make a few comments, to stress me out. My work is suffering, but thankfully my work is amazingly understanding. My school work is constantly being done last minute, but I'm somehow pulling it off. Regardless, I'm struggling. We're all struggling.

So, if you thought I'd been kidnapped or abducted by aliens or given up on my blog...no. I'm still here. I'm just usually laying down, in a dark room, trying not to cry...because even that...hurts too much.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday, Carter


Today marks two years from Carter's due date. I still think about him often and wonder how different our family would be, if he would have been born.

If there is one thing I've learned, it's that the "what ifs" and the "coulda, woulda shouldas" will do nothing more than make you miserable.

I got into a conversation regarding abortion, with a friend, the other day. I have my own views on that matter, of which I will not get into, in this post. However, when this person told me, referring to someone else's new pregnancy, "It's not a baby, yet.", I burst into tears.

I calmly replied with, "I lost my pregnancy at just under 9 weeks...he was still my baby."

The conversation quickly ended, because I don't think they had a response to that.

Carter will always be my baby. I never got to hold him, or touch him or talk to him. I never got to hear his first cry, his first laugh, or to see him smile. But, he will always be mine.

One time, we'll all be together. Until then, I take comfort in the fact that he is in the arms of his Angel Grandma. I know that she is watching him. Holding him. Loving him...until I can take over.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Happy Birthday, Old Man

Happy 30th Birthday to the most amazing man I know!

Honey, I love you so much. I wish so much that your mom could be here for such a special birthday. She would be so proud of the man that you are. You're a wonderful husband, the best father to our five fantastic kids and such an incredible person.

I'm so lucky to have you in my life and I look forward to growing old with you. Here's to the next 30 years, old man. ;)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Why Do Women Do That?

Sometimes, as an adult woman, I find myself saying things to/about myself that are deplorable. We've all been there. C'mon...you know what I'm talking about. You underestimate yourself. You devalue yourself. You put yourself down.

Why.
Do.
Women.
Do.
That?

I read a piece once (and many blog posts) that discussed this very subject. In it, the author discussed how we should never say things to/about ourselves that we wouldn't say to our daughters. Or our sisters. Or our friends. If we treat these people with such respect and kindness, why do we fail to do that for ourselves?

Imagine with me, for a moment, that you are a little girl. Look at your daughter (or sister, or granddaughter, or friend's daughter) and imagine that this little girl is you. What would you tell her? What would you tell her about life? About love? About self esteem? About her looks? What would you say to her, if she questioned her worth?

Would you tell her that she is fat? That she isn't worthy of love or friendship? That she'll never be good enough? Smart enough? Thin enough? Worthy of your time, attention or love? Would you look down on her for mistakes she'd made? Would you never, ever forgive? Would you belittle her? Would you point out ever flaw and criticize her every attempt?

Of course you wouldn't.

So why do women do that to themselves?

Why is it, that no matter how smart or funny or pretty or special or kind or caring, other people say that we are...we can't believe them? Why can't we see what they see? Why can't we admit that we are damn amazing? That we ARE worth it. That we ARE special. That perfection is a myth that will never be obtained?

Why do we let others tear us down? Why let them have that power over us? Would we tear our daughters down, or idly sit by and watch someone else tear them down?

No, we wouldn't. We would stand up for them.

So why don't women do that for themselves? Why don't we stand up for ourselves and not allow others to make us feel unworthy or inferior?

We may be adults...but we used to be little girls. Someone's daughter. Someone's sister. Someone's friend. Perhaps it's time that we learn to stand up for that little girl, in us all. The little girl in us, still asking if she's good enough.

Someone has to stand up for her. If you don't...who will?

Monday, September 27, 2010

Family Reunion

This weekend we had our first family reunion with Mom's side of the family, since she passed away. We haven't seen most of them since her funeral, 16 months ago.

It was great reconnecting with them and it was in such a beautiful area, I couldn't help but whip out my camera for yet MORE pics of my brood. I'm thinking that I might keep these cute little devils.

Here is just a "few" of my favorites.


Little Man Lukey


Ryleigh Roo

Avers

I always knew they acted like monkeys...putting them in a tree is perfect!

Peanut

My Twins of Terror. These two have always been close.

Blowing a dandelion.

Such cuties!

Silly kids. I love this one.
They were such good sports about all the pictures. :)


I love these monkeys.

Bailey Boo

Friday, September 24, 2010

How To Go Crazy...In 10 Easy Steps

This morning has been utter hell. Stick with me...

1. Tried to purchase Microsoft Office for Josh's new computer. Charge wouldn't go through.

2. Called Microsoft and they tried. "Uhhh...we don't know why it's not working..." Well, thanks for nothing.

3. Called the bank. "It looks like fraud! We stopped it!" Well...it isn't. Fix it, please.

4. It's fixed! Put charge through.

5. Bank calls again, "We see fraud!" No you don't. I just fixed this with someone else. *sigh*

6. Wait for email with download link. Finally get it...it says the charge didn't go through.

7. Call bank. "Nope...went through okay." Eff me. Seriously? Ugh.

8.  Call Microsoft. "Well we show one cancelled and one pending." Yeah, well you know what? Cancel it all. ALL OF IT. Leeann is DONE. (And while I was on the phone with them, I checked out Walmart and it's $20 cheaper. Boo-yeah!)

9. This all took a better part of 2 hours. During that time my 3 youngest took all the couch cushions off the couch, spread a bag of popcorn all over my first floor, dumped crayons all over the floor, tore up a notebook all over the floor, shut off my modem in my office, dumped another bag of popcorn all over my office floor, pulled all the blankets out of the blanket closet and destroyed the boy's room.

10. My lunch burned while I was discovering their fun.

I need a padded room.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

If I Can Answer Yes...

Sometimes...life gets the better of me.

I get dragged into the middle of things I don't want to be dragged into. I let things get to me, that I shouldn't. I get bogged down, emotionally, by things that I shouldn't have to worry about. I get overwhelmed, by things that drain me, for no reason. I worry too much about what other people think.

When really...all that matters at the end of the day...is, did I do my best by these people?


If I can answer yes...then I've done my job. Everything else will just have to resolve itself.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Picture Perfect

 Getting the perfect photo...with five wiggly subjects...always proves to be a challenge. Someone is usually crying, looking away, or giving some crazy, goofy smile. But, when you get a photo that you're happy with...even if it isn't perfect...it makes it worth the trouble.

Today, we just needed to get out of the house. It had been one of those weekends and we needed a break. The sun was shining and the wind was blowing, but we dealt with it, the best we could.

I may not have gotten one of those photos that screams perfection...but I captured the perfection of five of the most fabulous people on the planet.
 
My Fabulous Five

I love Presley's face. I wish the sun wouldn't have been such of a challenge.

This little piggy...

Avery teaching Peanut how to write...

Chasing Daddy's shadow

My little man

I love these munchkins.

After hearing "Smile! Smile! Say Cheese!", they were happy to hear me say, "Gimme a funny face!"

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm Proud of You

You're amazing. You don't believe it often enough...but, you are. The amount of things you can accomplish on a daily basis is incredible. I often don't understand how you juggle it all.

Things aren't always easy and I know you have your melt-downs. There are times when things seem to go all wrong and you are too hard on yourself. You think it's all your fault. Why do you do that? If you don't take credit for everything going right in life...why take all the blame with things get messed up? Learn to let go. No one expects perfection from you.

I'm proud of you. I'm proud of who you are...and who you are becoming. I'm proud of the way you raise your children and the values you are instilling in them. I'm proud of the things you do for other people and how you try to show that you care. I'm proud of the life you are creating for your family and the plans you have for the future. I'm proud of how hard you work at everything you do.

I'm proud of you... Leeann. Even when things are hard and life is crazy and nothing seems to be going your way...remember all that you have to be proud of.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Not Older...I'm Wiser

It seems appropriate that my 900th post on this blog, be in celebration of my 29th birthday.

 I'm still a "spring chicken", as my Pepe likes to say, but I've learned a lot, during this *gasp!* almost 3 decades.

We all take our our roads to happiness. We find our own way to success and fulfillment. I can't copy someone else's path and expect the same outcome as them. Here are just a "few" things I've learned, making my own way in this world, during this last year.

* Letting go of things is healthy, but do it on your own terms and timeline. * Broken hearts will heal, but there will always be a scar. * I'm a lot stronger, physically and mentally, than I think I am. * Procrastination can be a good strategy. * Friendship can be found in unexpected places. * Discipline is not the same for every child. * Trust. Your. Instincts. * Learning to love yourself is a life long process. * The pain of losing someone never really goes away. * Laughter really is the best medicine. * Set your goals high. You never know who is watching you soar. * Trust others. * Ask for help when you need it. * Sometimes you have to let people go, even though you can't imagine living without them. * Making time for yourself is important. * Making time for your marriage is important, too. * Smiling makes you prettier. * People will talk. Let them. * There's nothing better for your psyche than a really good hug. * Praise gets your point across faster than ridicule. * Some people will always disappoint you. Love them anyway. * Tickling can be more effective than yelling. * Try new things. * Giving 100% in all areas of your life, isn't always necessary. Discover your priorities. No one will die because there are dirty dishes in the sink. * Take the time to play. * Don't let other people change you, unless you really want to change. * Open communication is so important. * Patience and perseverance are necessary to get you where you want to go.

Happy birthday, to myself. I'm not where I want to be yet...but I'm getting closer every day.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Because That's The Kind Of Day I'm Having

I just sent my kindergartner to her 2nd day of school, covered in mustard, (from lunch) and in her sister's shoes (because she can't find hers).

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

And she was late.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

My kitchen floor is covered in dog food, lettuce and cheese.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

I made blueberry muffins for breakfast and when I put mine down to referee a fight...the dog ate mine.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

There is a ham sandwich at the bottom of my stairs.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

It's 11:46 and Presley is already down for her second nap.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

I haven't done yesterday's or today's dishes.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

My hair is in a dripping wet ponytail and I have no make up on...and I have a doctor's appointment in two hours.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

If Josh tells me he is going golfing, one more time this season, I will probably file for divorce.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

I haven't even looked at my work for the day, and as such, I will be up till the wee hours of the night doing it.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

All I've eaten today is a snack size Mint 3 Musketeers.

Because that's the kind of day I'm having.

I'm going to take a 20 minute nap, put a smile on my face, clean up my house, start dinner, shave my legs, go to the doctor, finish my work, print out my school papers and make chocolate pudding for dessert.

Because that's the kind of Mom, I am.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

English 2010

Tonight was my first English 2010 class.

I love to write. (Obviously...you are reading my blog right now...)

But I had no idea what I was in for.

I'm not going to be writing so much, as arguing. Yup...arguing. Now, while my husband would immediately give me an A+ and walk away, I don't think that I'm going to get out that easy.

Right away, the professor made me think. He went around the class and had us all tell what we are passionate about and what we are currently reading. I have kids in my class who are artists, who are into historical art, who are well versed on autism or immigration.

How do I say, "I'm passionate about my kids getting their homework done, keeping up on the laundry and the last book I read was "Brainy Baby Animals", with my 21 month old."...? I. Felt. So. Stupid.

I think I know who I am and what interests me...till I get called out on it.

Then I realize that I am a wife and mother. That is who I am. I won't be ashamed of it. I won't apologize for it.

But...who else am I? Who am I as an individual? Who am I, as an adult woman? What makes me tick? What infuriates me? What am I passionate about, that doesn't involve someone else? What do I do, that is just for me and not the benefit of another person?

I'm excited to explore these questions in this class. My professor isn't content with "simple" answers. He wants us to learn to delve deeper and ask more and more questions. I'm looking forward to discovering the answers that I come up with...answers to the questions that I don't even know yet.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Everything I Never Knew I Wanted

A refrigerator covered in drawings and school papers.
Rain. It means my children will giggle. And dance in it.
A quiet night at home, snuggled up with a movie.
Waking up to one (or two, or three...) kids curled up in bed with me.
Making huts under the kitchen table.
Reading stories and taking the time to point out all the colors. Over and over and over.
Finger-painting with chocolate pudding.
Singing the Itsy Bitsy Spider. And The Wheels On The Bus. Over and over and over.
Planting new flowers in the flower bed with the kids.
A kid(s) hanging on my pant leg.
Someone sneaking out of bed at night, just to come give me an extra hug.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

How In The World?





How in the world has it almost been three years since I was bald? I can't believe it! I know time flies...but, it's crazy to realize that it's been that long ago.

I still love telling the story of that night. I love telling them how many people loved Mom so much, that they would do this for her. I love telling them how the girls that did it, held their heads high and were never embarrassed. I love telling stories about Mom.

I have never once regretted shaving my head with her. Not even when I realized how absolutely COLD it made me. ;) However, I won't lie...I'm happy that I'm no longer stared at, or pointed at.

I love when my children recognize a woman wearing a head scarf, when we're out. I love having the chance to say, "That woman is a fighter. She is amazing, just like Grandma." I love when they hear me telling my children this...and give me an appreciative smile.

Three years later...I wish Mom was here to see my new haircut and color... and tell me how cute it is. <3 

Friday, August 20, 2010

MY Fairy Tale

Once upon a time...girl met boy. She was unsure of her place in this world...and he was painfully shy.

One day, the boy got up the nerve to ask out the girl and they went on The. Worst. Date. Ever. The girl swore she would never go on a date with the boy again...but, then he asked her out...again. The girl felt bad and couldn't bring herself to say no, so off they went. To a haunted house, no less.

Since then, the boy and girl have been through a lot.

They fell in love...against all odds...and nine years ago, today...they married.

Since then, they've dealt with moving many times over, difficult pregnancies and babies that wouldn't sleep. They've dealt with the death of loved ones, lonely nights and poor choices. They've dealt with working too many hours, tears over painful fights and surgeries gone wrong. They've dealt with an angel that never made it to earth and an angel that miraculously stayed. They've dealt with cars breaking down, the house being flooded and mess making toddlers. They've dealt with watching a child's life be saved over and over, while they stood there...helplessly crying and praying. They've dealt with people trying to push them apart and people saying that they'll never make it. They've dealt with hospitalized kids, a billion dirty diapers and broken bones. They've dealt with jobs being lost and jobs changing. They've dealt with pets dying, rainy days that ruined plans and more month than money. They've dealt with each other's crappy moods, attitudes from their kids and car accidents. They've dealt with only having each other to lean on... and times when they seemed miles apart.

They've dealt with it all. Together.

Since then, they've cherished sticky kisses, the smell of newborn babies and watching their mothers hold their children. They've cherished stolen kisses, dancing to music no one else can hear and holding hands. They've cherished five perfectly wonderful children and one waiting for them, in Heaven. They've cherished making it on their own, proving how strong they were and drawings hanging on the refrigerator. They've cherished every "I love you", every "I miss you" and every "I forgive you". They've cherished Sunday mornings with the entire family snuggled in one bed and pizza/root beer floats/movie evenings. They've cherished their children's first steps, their first days of school and the first time they said, "I wuv eww". They've cherished buying their first home...and their second...and their third. They've cherished their date nights, no matter how few and far between and playing for endless hours at the park, with the kids. They've cherished all that they are, all that they have and all that they will become.

They've cherished it all. Together.

For nine years, they have dealt with life...and cherished it. They've been shown how short life can be and how quickly it can be taken away.

This girl, loves that boy.

Happy Anniversary, Josh. I am nothing, without you.

Hey...I love you. ;)

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

If It's Worth Doing...

...anything and everything will go wrong, making it as difficult as possible...it's worth doing right.

Getting fall semester set up, has proved to be the world's biggest challenge. I know that it's because it is my last semester before I graduate. It's like something is trying to prevent all this hard work from paying off.

My university requires you to take a computer class as part of your generals. If you feel that the class is unnecessary, you can take six different exams, to test out of it. Since I am constantly running on empty time, I put off taking those tests until this summer.

I've now taken them and passed 5 of the 6. (You have to score a minimum of 70%, my lowest has been 81.2% and my highest is 100%...can I get a *high five*?) For some reason, they just have not corrected the 6th test.

The problem is, I have to have this test corrected and passed and posted...in order to enroll in my English 2010 class. These stupid tests are a pre-req for the class and I had no idea that this was the case, until I tried to register.

Now...the additional problem is that the department that governs these tests, is CLOSED the next two weeks, until classes resume. See my dilemma?

As if that wasn't bad enough, I am trying to get into an online English class, so that I don't have to worry about someone watching the kids while I'm in class. These classes fill up super fast, so I have no time to waste, getting registered. This English class is a requirement for my diploma, so I absolutely have to take this class, this semester.

Oh, it'll work out. I have no fear of that. It's just the process of getting to that point is slooooow and BuMpY.

However, that's okay. I just keep telling myself that all the struggles I've had and all the hurdles I've come across and all the tears I've cried because I'm exhausted and all the nights I barely slept...will make receiving my diploma that much sweeter.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

But, I Can

I can't have a perfect day, every day. But, I can pick myself up, dust myself off, and move on.

I can't give 110% to every area of my life, all the time. But, I can give it my best.

I can't be the "World's Perfect Mother". But, I can be my children's perfect mother.

I can't always have a smile on my face. But, I can realize that crying doesn't make me weak...it makes me human.

I can't do it all alone. But, I can slowly figure out...that I don't have to.

I can't rely on everyone. But, I can appreciate the people that I can rely on.

I can't always have a spotless house and dinner on the table by 5. But, I can forgive myself and realize that my children and husband don't care.

Every time I think, "I can't...", I need to tell myself, "...but, I can...".

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Presley's Eighth Letter To Grandma

Dear Grandma,

It's been a while since I've written. I've been so busy learning new things, that the time has gotten away from me. You would be shocked with all of the things I can say now. I'm very polite and almost always say "please" and "thank-you". I can also tell Mommy and Daddy what I want, most of the time. They are very proud of me.

The other kids miss you a lot, Grandma. Mommy caught Avery crying the other night, saying "I miss Grandma!". It broke her heart, cause there was nothing she could do or say, to make it better.

The other kids missed your annual birthday outings with them, this year. They loved going out to lunch and then shopping with you. I told them that they were lucky that they even got to go once. I missed you at my first birthday. :(

Mommy has had a hard couple weeks, since her surgery. She remembers how you would always bring her favorite dinner to her, when she was sick. Great Grandma was so nice and brought her a lemon meringue pie. It made Mommy remember how you made her one every year, on her birthday.

Mommy and Daddy talk about all the things you are missing out on and how much they miss you, a lot. They know that you would be so proud of my sisters and brother and how much you would love me. I look a lot like Daddy, when he was little...though to be honest, I think I'm cuter. ;)

I love you, Grandma. Thank you for the many rainbows you have sent lately. We all run to the window and press our faces up against it, to see them. I know that you can hear us all yelling, "Hi, Grandma and Jared!". Thank you for the reminder that you are always there...watching over us.

Love,
Peanut

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Life Is Good

Despite a set back yesterday, life is good. Apparently it's not a good idea to hop out of bed after more than a week and get a pedicure, go to dinner with a friend and drive over an hour and a half. Whoops. Back to bed, for me.

But, overall...life is good.

I have some amazing people in my life, who have shown me such support through this nightmare. Thank you for the dinners and the visits.

I have a husband who has more than stepped up to the plate and totally taken the reigns at home. He has been amazing and hasn't complained, once.

I have five beautiful kids, who make me laugh. Every. Single. Day. They are so bright and so caring. I am one lucky Mommy.

I have my schedule set up for fall and despite taking four classes, to finish up my degree, it will be one of my easier semesters (I hope!). At the end of it all, I will finally have something to show for all the work and sacrificing. It's not the end of the climb, but it's a beautiful plateau.

I worked out some personal issues and finally feel at peace with things. Nothing feels better than that.

Both Josh's job and mine, have been so wonderful with us. We are both happy with where we are career wise (for now) and that is an amazing feeling. I feel secure, financially, something we haven't felt since Josh's layoff, last October.

My new philosophy on life: "Get rid of the negative people in your life - surround yourself with positive people who believe in you and inspire you."

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I'm Back!!

Surgery was...well...it's over.

You ready? This is gonna get kinda long. And detailed. Don't proceed, if you can't handle it.

I woke up from surgery a little over three hours after they took me back. I must have looked silly, because I immediately started groping my stomach, trying to see if I could feel any incisions, or if they were able to go with the original plan of no outside incisions. Whew! I couldn't feel anything.

But, as I realized that my surgery took an hour longer than it should have and I saw the stressed face of my doctor approaching me...I knew something was up. I have never seen my doctor look stressed. Not when my water broke at 29 weeks with Ryleigh, not when he was delivering Presley at 33 weeks. Never.

He proceeded to tell me that I had massive scar tissue and it created a challenging surgery. My uterus had grown to my c-section scar (causing it to tip at a strange angle, which caused the complications during the ablation attempt) and my bladder. He said that it was incredibly complicated removing my uterus, basically having to "peel" it from all the scarring and other organs. To add to it, I was bleeding quite a bit.

I laid there, processing it all and waking up a bit more. About 30 minutes later, he came back and I asked him to tell me everything again, now that I was more awake. He repeated everything he told me before, including that he told Josh that this was the most complicated hysterectomy that he has ever done and that there is a 50/50 chance that I will be returning to the OR for internal bleeding.

They injected morphine into my spinal canal, so I wasn't in any pain. That first day, I was able to visit with Josh and laugh with my nurse as she emptied the bag connected to my catheter. My urine contained so much blood that it looked like I was peeing cranberry juice!

By the middle of the next day, the morphine had worn off and I was in pain. I was taking Percocets orally and an anti inflammatory intravenously. When that wasn't enough, my doctor ordered Morphine. My nurse was concerned with the dosage (12 mg) and we decided that injecting 6 mg, waiting thirty minutes and then injecting the other 6 mg, was the best course of action. I also had a healthy dose of Fenergan on board, with each dose, to combat the guaranteed nausea. I had two really great nurses, while I was there.

After evaluating me that day, my doctor decided that I needed to be watched one more day, in the hospital. I asked him if the pain that I was feeling was normal and he stated that for a typical hysterectomy, no. However, with the trauma that I had endured, he fully expected me to me in severe pain and have my recovery take longer than expected.

That night, my friend Nikki stayed at the hospital with me, so that Josh could get all the kids home, from other friend's houses. It's such a blessing that she was there, because my night was about to get crazy.

The nurse I had that night was incompetent and arrogant. She barely talked to me when she was in the room and seemed very irritated by anything I needed. Now, anyone who knows me, knows that I hate to ask for things in hospitals. I will wait, in pain, for hours, until the nurse comes to check on me, rather than ring the bell and bother them. So, it wasn't that I was constantly asking for things. I'm not sure why she was acting so aggravated.

When I asked her for my morphine and explained how we had been administering it all day, she didn't want to give it to me. I was in near tears, as I told her how much pain I was in. She finally agreed to give me the medication (the medication that my doctor prescribed me) and injected the first 6 mg. When I say injected, I mean injected. She shot it into my IV so fast, that it burned the hell out of my arm. To add to it, she didn't have the Fenergan already hanging. She promptly left the room, as I sat there rubbing my burned arm, and the nausea quickly set in. Then, I proceeded to vomit, for the next 5 minutes.

Nikki summoned her to the room and advised her that I needed Fenergan, immediately. She was incredibly irritated and advised us that she would have to call down to the pharmacy for some and we'd have to wait while they mixed it. Then...she left the room again.

She returned about 10 minutes later and told us that it was going to take too long for the pharmacy to mix it, so she proceeded to inject the other 6 mg of morphine (burning my arm, yet again) and then some Zofran. Then...she left the room again.

Now, this part I don't remember, but Nikki told me about it later. Apparently my monitors went nuts. The nurse never returned. My heart rate dropped into the 40's and my oxygen sats dropped to the low 60's. The nurse never returned. Nikki slapped the oxygen on me and spent the next 20 minutes shaking me awake. The nurse never returned.

My doctor returned in the morning and I told him about the nurse that tried to kill me. He was still concerned with my pain and nausea and told me that we'd watch me through the day. A couple hours later, the charge nurse decided that I was well enough to go home and I was left calling Josh, telling him to come pick me up.

It's now been 8 days since my surgery and I am still exhausted. (I actually had to type this over 3 days. All I want to do is sleep.) I am still in quite a bit of pain and as of this morning...out of pain medication. I have been waiting since yesterday for my doctor's nurse to return my phone calls.

Seriously, what is it with nurses not wanting to do their jobs? I cannot wait to finish school and become a nurse. If a person doesn't want to deal with the public, the sick public, then why go into this field?

Being sick is hard enough. Having to deal with incompetent people, who don't care, just makes it so much worse. I hate to ask for help. I hate even more when I ask...and I'm made to feel like an annoyance that can be dealt with later.

**Update** Doc just called. Woo hoo! More medication waiting for me at the pharmacy! :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

If Someone Would Have Told Me...

If someone would have told me, that one day, Josh and I would get married, I would have rolled my eyes and laughed.

If someone would have told me, that one day I would be the mother of five kids, I would have called them crazy.

If someone would have told me, the night that I went into labor with Bailey, that exactly nine years from that day, I would be having a hysterectomy, I wouldn't have believed them.

Nine years ago today, I was in labor with my first baby. I was scared and I didn't know what to expect. Much like the feelings that I'm having today.

I know that my family is complete and we hadn't planned on any more children anyway...but, to know that it is 100% final, is an overwhelming feeling. To know that the organ that held my growing babies is going to be gone, is kind of emotional. To know that a piece of me, a piece that was very important, is going to be removed, is strange.

From the time that I was much younger, I always said that I wanted all my children before I turned 30 years old. I don't know why that was my cut-off...it just always was. Now, I'm beginning to realize that there was a reason why I had that feeling. If I would have waited, it's possible that I wouldn't have had a chance to have these beautiful children, that I have.

I can't believe how quickly your life can change. To look back on all of the amazing, scary, sad, embarrassing, heart breaking, wonderful, angering, personal, special, crazy things that have happened in the last decade, is sobering. Life changes. It doesn't wait for you to be ready...it just does. I'm so thankful that everything has worked out the way that it has and today doesn't have to be harder than it is.

Well, we're off to the hospital. See y'all in a couple days. I'm going to try to convince my doc, one more time, that I deserve to have a tummy tuck, thrown in. ;)

Friday, July 16, 2010

No, Seriously...I'm Busy

I have found the perfect job, for my children. They are all going to be Kirby salesmen. They have all of the qualities...they like to ring doorbells, they can be annoying at times and they don't take "no", for an answer.

Kirby Guy: *holding large box* "Can I come in and push this around for a minute?"

Me: *wishing he were just some random guy asking to clean my house and not trying to sell me something* "Not today."

Kirby Guy: "It will only take a minute."

Me: *so many funny jokes running through my head right now, but realizing that he's probably barely over 18, I keep them to myself* "Sorry, not today."

Kirby Guy: "Would another day be better?"

Me: *thinking, sure...the next day I have where I've had a chance to shower, my house is clean, my work is caught up and my kids aren't screaming on the front porch, running between my legs and crying in my arms...I'll give you a call* "Umm, yeah, another day."

Kirby Guy: "So, tomorrow?"

Me: *high five for persistence!* "No, not tomorrow, I'm busy."

Kirby Guy: "How about Monday?"

Me: *really considering shocking him, by replying that I'm busy on Monday, having my personal parts cut open...decide against it* "No, I really have a lot going on."

Kirby Guy: "So maybe in a couple months?"

Me: "Sure, maybe then."

Kirby Guy: "You really don't like Kirby, do you?"

Me: *I'd like it more if you weren't annoying the crap out of me right now. I'd like it more if I could just buy it in a store without the hassle. I'd like it more if you weren't on my porch right now.* "I actually really like Kirby, but as you can see *my kids have now begun to circle me and scream* I'm quite busy."

Kirby Guy: "But, the paperwork only takes a few minutes."

Me: "Nope. Again, I have a lot going on and don't have time." *begins shutting door*

Kirby Guy: *walks away...pretty sure I hear him mumble, "B***h"*

Me: *fights the urge to yell, "You should try being married to me!"*

A Mini-Vacation

I have a friend, Christy, who lives out of state. Every year, her family comes to Utah to participate in the Hot Air Balloon Festival. She was so kind as to invite us this year, to hang out with her family and get to see things up close. Sadly, the wind didn't allow the pilots to lift off, while we were there, but we did get to see these balloons up close!

We traveled to Provo and stayed the night in the same hotel, so that the kids could enjoy an evening of swimming and relaxing, before we woke them up at 5:00 am, to get ready. Christy has two adorable kids and all the children got along really well. It was a lot of fun and we plan to make it a part of our 4th of July traditions!


Christy and I
Avery, Ryleigh and Bailey waiting in the trailer.
Christy, Ella, Presley and I (poor Peanut was tired!)
Christy and Ella
It was so nice to get away from the house for a night and have some family time. Christy's family was amazing and we can't wait to see them next year. Perhaps next time we'll even get to see the balloons take off! :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Chocolate Covered Strawberries

We had an over abundance of strawberries in our fridge. (At one point, we had 6 lbs!) So, what better to do with them, than to add a little chocolate? :)

The kids had fun dipping them, but not nearly as much fun as they had eating them!






The simple pleasures of summer time! :)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

My Heart Is Full

"True friendship
isn't about being there when it's convenient;
it's about being there when it's not.”

I have some amazing people in my life. I'm so thankful for them. I'm thankful that they understand how very, very hard it is for me to ask for help. I'm thankful that they offer help, willingly and with love. I'm thankful that I have people that I can depend on, for anything.

Thank you, from the very bottom of my heart. I am approaching next week, with a little bit more calmness, because of you. I am forever indebted to you.

"It takes a village to raise a child", and I'm so thankful for my "village".

Summer Days

Summer time means lots of popsicles, lots of sunscreen and lots of time outside. We got a pool that the kids could splash around in and they are out there almost every day. There is a lot of "Mom, look at this!" and "Mom, watch me hold my breath!".


My silly girl, playing with the hose.


Splash! Splash!
My crazy little monkeys.

Summer time makes me crazy. We constantly seem to be on the move and busy. But...I love it. I can't believe that it is half over and we will eventually have to return to normal life. The thought of it, stresses me out.

So, for now, I'm just going to enjoy the warmth, the giggles, the fun and the time. The time for watching my kids play and learn and grow. The time for making memories. The time...that is passing too quickly.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Yes, I'm Already Saving For His Therapy

He's a boy...with four sisters. It was inevitable that eventually they would dress him up, like a girl.

I was working and all of a sudden I look up and my son is walking toward me, in a skirt. He stops in front of me and in a very girly, high-pitched voice, he says, "Hi, I'm Serena!"

His sisters burst into a fit of giggles behind him. I couldn't help, but join them.

Forgive me, Luke. One day, you are going to hate me for posting these. But, until then...thanks for the laughs.




Monday, July 12, 2010

Mom And Dad Have Left The Building

One of the weekends in June, Josh and I were able to get away for two whole nights. Crazy, isn't it? We have never, (since becoming parents eight years, 11 months and 21 days ago), gone away, by ourselves, for two consecutive nights.

We didn't go far...just an hour and a half away, but we didn't care. One thing that we love to do, is visit decorated model homes, or do the Parade of Homes. We haven't done the Parade of Homes, in years, because bringing kids through other people's million dollar houses just doesn't seem like a good idea. ;)

This was an AMAZING home that we saw. I can't even describe the crazy things that were in this home. It was gigantic and impressive...but it didn't feel like a home. It felt like an art exhibit.

However...art exhibit, or not, this pool was in the basement of the home. Oh. My. Goodness. I would LOVE to have something like this. Wowza.

We also saw homes that were more in more of a price range that we hope to be in one day. So, I took pictures of some of the features that I absolutely loved, so that I could remember what I would like to incorporate into the dream home that we'll build when I'm done with school.
This pictures shows one of the home's walk in pantry. One of the architects that was there cracked up at my reaction, because as soon as I saw it, I exclaimed, "Oh. Wow. Me and my label maker could have so much fun in here!" Look at all the space!
I loved this decorating idea. The shelf on top of the wainscoting, paired with the hooks, is such a cute idea!
What a perfect master shower! Huge, a bench and with water on both sides! No one gets cold! ;)
This is in one of the home's mud room. I love the idea of having a "locker" for their coats, book bags, shoes, ect. The only thing I would change, is that in another home, they had something similar, but for the handle on each locker, they had a knob with the first initial of each family member. I thought that was such a cute idea!
I, again, made a decorator in the home laugh, when I saw this laundry room and exclaimed, "This was definitely designed by a woman!" I love the counter space, the storage space and the spots built-in to hold the laundry baskets. One day, I will own a home with a laundry room worthy of my enormous family. The only thing I would change is removing the cabinets above the washer and dryer and stacking a second set on them. :)
I'm not a huge fan of white cabinets (fingerprints!), but I adored this kitchen. It is smaller than I would ever like to have, but since it was in a condo, it made perfect sense. I loved the lighting fixtures, the two level counter top island and the tiny tiles on the back splash.
Most importantly, we had time just be us. We weren't Mommy and Daddy. We were a husband and wife, enjoying every moment we had. It was so wonderful to have time together, without any other distractions. We realized that we need to do this more often.

I love you, Josh. Thank you, for a great few days. It was wonderful falling in love, all over again.