Saturday, October 18, 2008


The Friendly Forest was so much fun. Spencer and Slade both seemed a bit apprehensive when they had to approach all the characters, but they got over it pretty quickly; the candy was key! At the end of the trail, cider and donuts were waiting and then a hayride and a hay bale maze, and a picture station. By the time we got there, though, the kids were a bit "pictured out", but we did our best.

The picture below is from Spencer's Taekwon Do testing last night. He was testing for the 6th gup, and if that means nothing to you, it's going from his high yellow belt to his green belt. Basically, that means he still has high green, blue, high blue, red, high red, and then black, finally. We won't get to black for a couple of years! Testing was a LONG time, and the little kids were so good. By the time we got home it was nearly 10, and we left the house at 5:30. Spencer was so nervous, but his favorite part of testing is always the board breaking, which is hard to do, but he broke three boards! Good for you, Spencer!

To finish it all up, here is a picture of Scarlet with Lolly, my baby doll when I was a baby. There is a rattle inside of her, so she loves the sound. No, I wouldn't give her a stuffed doll that was 30+ years old without making sure it was clean! It's actually machine washable and dryable, so we washed it on hot and dried it on hot! She loves it!


Hello All! First off....if you think about it, say a prayer for my sister-in-law, Angela, who is running the Detroit Free Press Marathon tomorrow. Pray she will be safe, remain healthy and strong, and be proud of her accomplishment! Go get 'em, Ang! Also, Happy 5th Anniversary to my sister, Allison, and her husband, Jeff. Congratulations and we love you!

Today we have had a busy, busy day. We all slept in...thank you, Lord. Spencer is cleaning his room as we speak and using the dusbuster without being asked. Slade and Scarlet are napping, I have laundry going, and Stefan went to work to get in some overtime. Normally, I would be not thrilled about that, but can you believe in this economy that my husband is not only working full-time, they need him for overtime! Thanks again, Lord!

This is all after we divided and conquered this morning when Stefan took Slade with him to get an oil filter in order to change the oil in the Bravada. Stefan teaches the boys the names of tools when he does things like this, and Slade did a great job today. I took Scarlet with me (who was in the most adorable outfit until she had this disgusting blowout thanks to the antibiotic) to Spencer's basketball class. Spencer did so wonderfully during the game, and he was able to run up and down the court with the ball several times. I took video of it, and tonight my goal is to load a short clip of that on here. This evening, in about 3 hours, we are taking the kids to the Friendly Forest and then going out to eat with my parents. It's a good thing we are attending this pre-Halloween event because Slade has 4 costumes this year, and between today, Halloween, and school, he can at least wear three of them. He has a choice between Thomas the Tank Engine (tonight's selection from a garage sale this summer, $1 and still like new!), Buzz Lightyear (which used to be Spencer's), Woody from Toy Story (that I bought for super cheap last year at a resale shop), and Sully from Monster's Inc. (used to be Spencer's). He is so excited; I just hope that he doesn't think he gets four choices every year. It just so happens they all fit him this year! I will post wonderful pictures tonight, I'm sure. Spencer is a Clone Trooper from Star Wars: The Clone Wars, and Scarlet is going to be a giraffe or a teddy bear; can't decide, but I want to save the real costume, Minnie Mouse, for Halloween.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


We went back to the specialist today. Dr. Savi said there is still a slight wheeze, her ear infection isn't any better, but he was pleased. We also asked the doctor to change her antibiotic because the current one that she has been on since Saturday is not working. I am sure it's a great drug; however, my girl is very picky with her tastebuds, and it doesn't matter what I do, she spits that medicine out right back at me as fast as I can get it in her little mouth. We have tried all manner of tricks: putting it in her food, putting it in her bottle, giving it to her straight, trying to give it to her while eating and then shoving her bottle back in her mouth (same with the pacifier). So, I can't do that for 10 days because it means she is eating and drinking less, still not getting the full dose to help her ears, and generally hates it. Seriously, you can smell the crap across the kitchen when the bottle is opened! The pharmacy tech. suggested that special flavoring be added to make it taste like grape. The normal smell of it was unpleasant, and my kids have been on a lot of antibiotics, and I can't recall ever having this kind of trouble with the medicine. Note to self: don't go for the flavoring! Tonight she took it out of a spoon and didn't spit it back at me, so progress.

My girl is still on four albuterol treatments per day and two pulmicort treatments in addition to that. We have been doing this treatment schedule for more than two weeks now. She will be on pulmicort, which is an inhaled steroid, for the rest of the winter, and today, the doctor increased the dosage from 2.5mg to 5 mg. I find this a little scary, but I am trusting God. Spencer had the same dosage, too, and he is fine. There are nasty side effects from steroids, but pulmicort is not a systemic steroid; it goes directly to the lungs, and while it can have some bad effects over time, a year of pulmicort is just about equal to a short course of an oral steroid like Orapred (prednisone). This is all for at least another week, and then we can skip albuterol and only do one pulmicort, if she sounds good and is healthy. The second she starts coughing, wheezing, having a runny nose for any reason, we have to start the hardcore treatments again, with no waiting. I hope that tomorrow she can get her flu shot. We also went over the results of her chest x-ray from two weeks ago, the day after she left the hospital. There were some questionable spots in the lower lobe of the right lung. He didn't exactly call it pneumonia, but he did say that the antibiotic and inhaled steroid would address that issue over the next week. Over the years, I have learned to ask doctors and nurses specific questions. After the medical professional goes through the details of a particular issue or illness, I find it really useful to ask him or her about their gut feeling. I say, "So, what's your gut feeling about this? You just told me yadda, yadda, yadda, and I understand all that, but what does your gut tell you about the outcome of this ________________ (fill in the blank with whatever the problem is)?" Generally, I get a much clearer and honest answer from the doctor or nurse, and you have to MAKE them talk to you about the illness, not just listen to their expertise and get a report; you have to ask smart questions that don't waste time and that are straightforward.

Throughout all of this, she is her happy self; I adore her.

That's it in a nutshell. I am really exhausted of hearing the breath squeak out of her everyday. After awhile, it grates on the nerves like nothing I have ever experienced. It creates a stressful kind of worry that just escalates with each breath, and it makes my head want to explode or implode, I don't know which is better or worse! Please continue to pray for her.

Also, Slade experienced his first allergy shot today. He did alright. Of course, he didn't want it really, but when I promised him a sucker, a sticker, and a trip to the dollar store, he at least lessened the screaming. Picture this: I was holding Slade because he didn't want to sit in the chair, so we were standing. I was holding him against the front of me, locked in my arms so he couldn't move, except I couldn't get his legs so he was kicking the crap out of my shins. Because he had to be still, the receptionist came from the front to hold his arm, but that kid is a brute, and she ended up standing to the side of me and wrapping both her arms around Slade and me, in a kind of professional bear hug. It worked. Let's hope next week won't be quite as "touching".

Saturday, October 11, 2008

The result of three kids who love to play

If I posted a picture of my living room right now, you might think that we have experienced a tornado.

Three posts in one afternoon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I thought this was so appropriate! It's from one of my favorite websites, Mom4Life. If my family is reading this, I want one of the new Mom4Life t-shirts they are selling on that website. Good Christmas idea! :-)

A Reminder

Happy Autumn!

Today I got a massage. I have been getting regular full-body massages at my chiropractor for over a year now. By regular, I mean I do everything in my human power to go once a week (Yay for MESSA!). My massage therapist is named Rose, and she works in the office a few days a week. Well, today I really needed my massage. I am coming off of a very stressful few weeks, worrying about Scarlet's health, and the economy is falling to pieces, and just life is feeling not so free and easy at the moment! When Slade was born, he was so sweet! (Do you remember those cheeks!?) With all that sweetness, he was a hefty little dude and because he was so sick, I carried him on my hip for a long time. That, compounded with the fact that he took his own sweet time in walking (14 months), I held him forever, and in doing so, damaged my right shoulder. I don't know all the muscle names off the top of my head, but it hurts like h-e-double hockey sticks, and when I am under a lot of stress or tired, it flares up. Sometimes my dad and his pseudo-chiropractic ways help a lot, and sometimes nothing helps except getting rid of the stress and chilling out, a lot of ice, and ibuprofen. And my massage. Today, Rose helped more than that, though. I try to keep the whole "my kids are a sickly crew, well not really sick, but they have airways that react too strongly to a list of whatever" conversation to a minimum. It always takes a long time, people ask stupid questions, and then I get irritated and mad about the whole thing over and over, so I just say we are doing "okay" most of the time. Today, the minute she put her hands on me, she said, "What's wrong? Why are you so stressed? Your shoulder is awful!" So I told her the short version of Scarlet and the boys. I have been beating myself up a lot in the last two weeks. For working, for having "faulty" children, for not being able to prevent my kids from having to deal with this crud, for not being perfect. Yes, I know, nobody's perfect! I don't want to go all super-spiritual on blogpot or anything, but I do believe that we are not here randomly living out our days on Earth. I believe I have a multi-fold purpose, not yet fully realized, and I think everything happens for a reason. I don't have a clue why I have to be the one to know so much about RAD through my kids, but I will find out one day, that's for sure.

Back to the story. Rose, who is the mom of one of my former students (5 kids, actually), runs a farm with her husband and is a wonderful person, was appropriaty sympathetic, like most people. She always makes me feel so good about being there, and I appreciate that about her. And then she said something so simple: "You know what the problem is, you're experienced in it, and you know that things will get better. It's a blessing, actually, isn't it?"

Yes, I guess it is.

26 moments of bliss

Ah, got ya! Did you think I was going to list something sweet and sappy about my family? Well, I could, I guess, but no. What I am referring to are letters. Yep, the good old alphabet that I am sure many of you recite often as you teach your kids the alphabet song. Seems simple, doesn't it? It is, really, but if you get to thinking about those letters, they take on a complexity as intricate as you can begin to imagine. I was listening to NPR this morning, yes, I listen to NPR, and I love it, but anyway, there was a segment on in which the NPR staff was naming their favorite letters, and I have never actually thought about it! Have you? When I began to try to figure mine out, and why, which is actually the most important part of your favorite letter because it says so much about who you are and your personality, I found that I was trying to figure out the most versatile letter; the one that can be used the most often. And then I got frustrated because I am so completely practical that I irritate myself. Yes, my practicality serves me well in many, many situations, but it's so boring sometimes. I am challenging myself to not be so safe all the time. For example, I might choose a dish that I totally think is boring at a restaurant because I want to make sure I am getting my money's worth. I know I will like it, but on the other side of the menu, something else might look so tantalizing, but what if I don't enjoy it? Then I would be mad at myself. I need to lighten up. I am sure that while reading this my husband is holding his chest before he falls on the floor in total amazement.

I like B, but I don't know that it would be my "favorite". I love words and letters so much, it's hard to choose a favorite, but maybe I just think that because choosing just one is so impractical! You need all the letters to get something accomplished.