Sunday, April 30, 2006

Quiet weekend

Most of the kids were gone for most of the weekend. It was so different here! Carrie and Liz spent the night over at church. Olivia, Eileen and Jake went over at 8:30 am until 9pm. They've joined the choir and it was their first practice. There were about 80 kids from the northeast US and Canada there. They had a great time and were exhausted. They still ran out the door at 8:30 again today so they could get back there. Today only went to noon so that everyone had time to drive back home. Some kids are showing the strain of going so hard and are crying about and over everything.

It's been beautiful here weatherwise. I hardly got out though. I plan to get out when I'm done with perennial garden is pitiful...the weeds are winning! Yesterday Tom and Drew were gone most of the day too. They were at a friends house so he could work on Drew's car. It wasn't quite what they thought it was and as normal, took longer to fix then they'd planned. Tom called in the afternoon and told me one of his brothers was coming out. No biggie, he knows what it's like here and they just hang outside during the day, having a fire at night. What Tom didn't tell me (and it's unclear if he really knew enough TO tell me) is that BIL was bringng FRIENDS! Female ones with a child at that...they were going to HAVE to come into the house and use the bathroom at the very least! It totally threw me for a loop and sent me into a tailspin. My house was messy, some kids were redoing their rooms and we had furniture and bags of stuff all over. I had planned on doing laundry in the evening and hadn't sorted it couldn't walk down the hall! With the kids leaving so early that morning, we never did the Saturday morning cleaning. I didn't even have enough toilet paper for both bathrooms!!!

Then I was riddled with guilt over putting a damper on Tom having company. Add in I felt antisocial as I ran around here trying to get things done while they all hung outside, wondering where I was. It wasn't pretty for a while. I finally got things and myself pulled together enough to relax. I made a pasta salad to go with the food they'd brought to grill, bundled up Danielle (sun was setting and it was cooling down fast) and webwent out to the fire and relaxed for a while. Afterwards I thought....we should do this more often! LOL I really do love entertaining and having company. It's just that I wasn't in the mindframe to be in that situation and it took me awhile to adjust.

Having this nice weekend has made me wish for summer vacation! The school sent home a paper listing important dates until the end of the exciting! Although we still have 7.5wks left to go. lol I really wish we could start filling up the pool. I need to work on the filter a bit (just yearly maintenance) before we can hook it up and start putting the water in. Maybe that'll be on my todo list for tomorrow.

Oh...some have asked when Tom will find out how he did on his test. It'll be 6-8wks. He thinks he scored in the mid to high 90s. :o)

Friday, April 28, 2006

A little ditty I forgot to mention

When we were at the clinic on Tues for Carrie's bloodwork a nurse asked... Do you all help mommy? Immediately after there was dead silence! LOL Eventually I did hear a tiny peep of yes from one of the younger kids. At the same time Michelle could be heard muttering no. Normally I'd have answered for them with a....sometimes. This time I wanted to see how they'd answer. Gotta give them credit...they're honest.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Watching the needle

I couldn't help it. I kept finding myself watching the gas needle going down and down all afternoon yesterday...and cringing. But it had to be done. I tried to not think about it when I put another $50 in the tank on the way home ($142 and 9 out of 14 days to go in this payperiod...every 2wks)

I was a bit miffed when I found out the reason they needed Carrie to come back in. It wasn't that they forgot a test, it wasn't that her results were off and they needed to recheck them. It was because the courier for the hospital forgot Carrie's vial on his last pickup....and only Carrie's. I felt so bad for her since it was a hard and therefore painful stick. As usual though, she was a trooper.

I picked up everyone at school, the only one missing was Pat who we replaced with Michelle's boyfriend C. The nurses at the clinic went gaagaa over everyone. I heard how I looked too young to be the mom and blended right in with them :oD Flattery WILL get you far. I was also classified as a saint. The nurse that made the saint comment is #4 of 8 kids and has 4 of her own. She loves being from a big family! The kids were complimented on how well behaved they were. One of the nurses got a kick out of Drew's aloof answer..."yeah she's ok I guess" when she said something about Danielle being adorable. She then pointed out to everyone that HE was the one holding and lovin on her. lol

We met Tom at my parents' house after he was done at work. I was pleasantly surprised to find one of my cousins there also. He is visiting from Florida for the week and was stopping in on all his aunts and uncles. It was nice seeing him, too bad it was only for a few minutes.

We crammed back into the van and headed up to visit MIL. It was a nice visit and she seems happy and relaxed where she is. She's also ecstatic since they mentioned her going home next Tues! They are surprised how strong she is. There was mention of if she gets more strength back in her legs they may balloon them to try to increase her circulation. So good news! I didn't get to visit as long as I wanted to. It was just before dinner and they kids didn't have a lot to do. So when dinner set up was completed, we left.

We headed back to my parents to figure out what to do for dinner. My mom had figured to make a few pounds of spaghetti and salad. We'd just had goulash and I wasn't too thrilled to be doing pasta again. Tom got Kentucky Fried Chicken in his head so KFC it was. We hadn't had KFC in a while and it was enjoyed by all. I could tell Tom was antsy to get home and study some more. My dad tried to ease his mind telling him...if you don't know it now, studying won't help you. I think it wasn't what he wanted to hear. It's true....he knows this stuff backwards and forwards!!!!! I have to give him credit though. He did try to break away from it when I knew he really wanted to be inside his book. He did leave a bit earlier then us and was in his truck studying when we pulled into the driveway.

I'm SO glad today is the test!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (actually in the middle of it right now)
It will be nice to have him back. I'm a bit afraid he'll still be preoccupied with it until he gets the results back...then he'll be trying to figure out what he missed and studying up on it.

Today is Drew's birthday! He turns 22! (I was getting ready to go to the hospital right about this time...had almost 12hrs left to go lol) I'm not entirely sure what we're going to do for him. I think he may want to go out to lunch (although it's getting a bit late for that). I might make cupcakes, Asian beef (or beef and broccoli stirfry), and lo mein. I have a pkg of fortune cookies hidden in the cupboard. :o) I ordered him a new (and cheap) cellphone that should be delivered today. I'm not sure if that's his b-day present or not. He's also drooling over a new basketball to use at the rec center. What i really want/wish I could do is pay for a rec center membership for him. As of today he isn't covered under our family plan. He's the one that uses it the most...taking his siblings with him. It's too much $$ for a birthday present and with him not having a lotta cash on's not high on his priority list right now. (for some reason getting his car fixed trumps the rec center lol)

OH and Tom found out that the union LOST the contract vote on Monday. So they're back to working without a contract again. :o( Seems quite a few people couldn't accept our copays going up. I want to clobber them...they have GREAT insurance! Copays are $10 now, would've gone up to $12 for kids, $15 for year going up a few more dollars again. Yeah it would've meant a big difference for our family but it's still WAY better then a lot of people are paying. We'd also be getting 2006 wages (meaning a raise) instead of 2004 (or is it 2003?)! I think now they'll be forced into mediation and we'll HAVE to accept whatever the mediator thinks is best. That gives the county the upperhand. My guess is that it'll be worse then the deal they were offered on Monday. I was SO looking forward to the check he'd get for his retroactive pay. :o(

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Wee morning ramblings....

If you do laundry during the day...there's no need to stay up until 3am so you can switch loads.

8mo babies are not dumb enough to believe that everything you put in your mouth is a cheerio. You WILL have to share.

Your arms are NOT long nor strong enough to safely hold an 8mo baby and a hot cup of coffee at the same time. (no one was harmed! just a frustrated mom with a caffeine headache...then a screaming baby who wanted to come UP and have coffee too)

When nearly fainting over the fact you just pumped $72 worth of gas into your tank. You might want to also remember the $20 your oldest kid put in there that same morning. Vow to never drive anywhere again. Then get a call that you have to drive all the way into the city so they can take 2 more vials of blood out of Carrie. They didn't get enough when you had her in there on Friday. Try to think of a way to get out of it (no chance) Then try to think of other errands you can cram into the trip and draw a blank. Maybe we'll have to socialize while we're in there.

Just a note...If you're driving your mother to her dialysis appointment...TELL SOMEONE YOU'RE LEAVING!!! I got a call from the nursing home MIL is staying at for rehabilitation. Her wheelchair was outside her door but they had NO clue where MIL was.

Nurse...Do you know where she is? husband and BIL were suppose to pick her up and take her to dialysis. She was due there an hour and 15mins ago.
Nurse...I'll call dialysis and then call you back.

As I hang up the phone I make the backhanded comment....I'm NOT driving down there and bailing them out. Val hears it and starts roaring...Dad stole his MOM!!!! LOL She then assured me that she'd set me free if I was placed in a nursing home. I told her she'd probably be the first one to put me in there to begin with! ;o)

Nurse calls me an hour later, they did indeed find her at dialysis. I had already talked to Tom and knew MIL was where she was suppose to be. Everyone was nice and no arrests were made.

When you hear the dryer buzzer, do a little dance, run down the stairs, grumble about how many light colored clothes fit into a front loader while folding them, throw whites into the dryer, walk back up the stairs muttering...if ANYONE claims they don't have anything to wear....I'll murdalize 'em! (yes, I watched WAY too many cartoons as a kid! lol)

Hit the publish post button without proofreading, apologize for the gazillion grammar errors and then GO TO BED!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Thank you

I've had many people inquire on how Michelle is doing. I appreciate everyone's concern for her. :o) The antibiotics seem to be working and she's feeling MUCH better. I'm just hoping it continues. For some reason her course of antibiotics is only for 8 days, so should end on Tues. I'm worried that it won't be entirely gone and will resurface after the antibiotics are finished. I keep thinking I shouldn't be writing this this morning. That she'll get out of bed and it'll be bad again, just to make a liar out of me. lol

Yesterday was the final appt for the 2nd leg of the TODAY study Carrie's in. We handed in her food log (we kept it for 4wks instead of 2 because of canceling her last appt), got some more supplies and Carrie got bloodwork done. I came home with a boatload of consent forms to go over for the 3rd and final leg. After Carrie's bloodwork comes back and says she's still ok to continue in the study we'll find out whether we're doing a medicine only leg (2 options) or the med and PAL leg. A PAL is a coach to help modify activity and eating habits. We met the PAL we'd get IF we're drawn (it's random) into that leg. She seemed really nice. We'd have to meet with her once a week for about 6mos. The good part is....she comes to US! :oD I was laughing at myself when considering that fact because of what ran through my mind when I heard that. Hmmmm...the house will look nice more often if that happens. ;o) Nothing like motivation to get the work done. lol We found out there are some pretty nice incentives for Carrie to participate and be successful in her tasks. I was wishing I could get in on that deal myself! ;o)

Today is rainy and grey out. Luckily I didn't plan any outside activities today. I'd like to stay home and get the laundry room in order. Instead, I'm taking most of the kids shopping. Joy of joys! The kids have money and it's burning a hole in their pockets. Especially Eileen and Olivia. Eileen's spent her's a million ways already...sandals, no clothes, no pool lounge, no...

I have 3 kids who need cleats and shin guards, that's always a fun way to spend money. cha-ching! I've been looking online for deals but it's so hard to buy like that when you have NO idea what sizes to get. Maybe we'll just size shop today and I'll order online later.

It's quiet here this morning. Carrie, Eileen and Olivia spent the night over at church. The young girls had a sleepover, Carrie went to help Olivia. It's weird how I see Olivia as one of the most outgoing younger girls. When it comes down to it...she's really very shy. Until Carrie decided to go she wasn't going to go unless her and Eileen could share a bed. Eileen of course wanted to be in with her friends and didn't want to commit to Olivia. My guess is once they were there Olivia ditched Carrie. lol At least Carrie has her friends there to hang out with if she did.

Only 4 more days to go!!! Tom's huge test for work is Wednesday (Drew's birthday) and I'm counting the days until it's done and over with. It seems everything is on hold until this test is over. Even Tom admits he's ignoring everything to get ready for this test. His brother was talking to him on the phone last night about something they need to do. Tom told him after Wed he can do it. I yelled into the phone...Ya gotta get in line like everyone else! To the back of the line buddy! ;o) (Just so no one thinks I was being rude...I wasn't eavesdropping...I was part of the conversation but not on the phone)

Last I heard Tom's mom was getting transferred to the nursing home yesterday afternoon. I didn't talk to Tom last night (he was studying and I went to bed before he came in) so not sure if it really happened or not. Unfortunately the place that has an opening is one of the furthest from us she could be in without leaving the metropolitan area. (it's in a FAR east suburb...we live a good deal west of the city) It's over a full hour drive for any of us to go visit her. :o( They fought tooth and nail to try and get her into a place closer to everyone but it didn't work out. Praying that she'll only be in there a SHORT time. I think she's afraid she'll never leave. But she's a fighter...otherwise she wouldn't still be here after all she's been through the last 25yrs. I think I might have decided to quit dialysis already if I were her. But then again the will to survive is pretty strong in most maybe I wouldn't have. Let's hope I never have to find out.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Things are looking up

Michelle is feeling much better. The new antibiotics seem to be working with draining her sores. She hasn't had significant drainage from them since yesterday afternoon. She can even walk around without her bandages on. :oD We've talked to the dr and it looks like the cultures agree with us, we're on the right track. So tomorrow we'll run into the city and get her prescription filled. Hopefully by next week she'll be done with this forever! Michelle has asked me to take her around so she can fill out applications tomorrow. I agreed since we have to run out and get her prescription filled. We have to do as much as we can while we're out since gas prices hit $3.099/gal here as of last night!!! I know my Canadian and European friends are saying...what are ya whining for!?!!? But I'm going to do it just this once....YIKES!

The week is flying by! Tom's mom is suppose to be transfered to the nursing home today. Although no one has heard she has for sure. The weather is turning nice again. I'm not sure if he's coming home tonight or not. I keep saying I'm going to go out but haven't gotten out too much yet. My front flower garden is looking pretty sad. I bought 2 new hoses for the pool filter! It looks like it survived the winter well. The goal right now is to start filling it so we can get the filter up and running. Clean it and keep the solar cover on it so come May we can use it if there are some unseasonably warm days!!! My fingers are crossed that we'll be able to get a WHOLE season out of it this year. Oh yeah, still have to build the deck to pool ladder. At least this year I'll be able to get myself out of the pool...unlike last year! LOL

I'm driving myself crazy. I keep looking around and thinking of all these projects/improvements I'd like to make around here. I'm in my...this place would be much better if I had shelves, drawers, and counters/workspace mood. I'm in my...I want to get some sewing done mood. I'm in my...this place needs a coat of paint, mood. And we can't forget my...we need to plant some more plants/trees/bushes around here, mood. Notice what's missing? The...I need to get some major cleaning around here done mood! All these moods and yet here I sit. Needless to say, I don't get a stinkin thing done!

I want the old me back. The one that liked to get up and MOVE and get things accomplished in a heartbeat. The one that could start at one end of a room and have the entire place spic and span in a matter of an hour. The one that was hardly home and toted all the kids everywhere by herself. The one that would sew matching outfits for each of the girls (although I don't think my girls would appreciate meeting that one now lol) The one that worked like a man alongside her dh and bils while building the house.

I often wonder what it was that changed me. Was it having TOK? Getting older? Getting this flickering box I'm on? Hitting major depression after Carrie's transplant? Oh well...the only I can do about it is CHANGE it! Stop making excuses, get up and get moving. Stop thinking of it and DO IT!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

My face hurts!!!

I can't stop smiling. I got a phone call this morning telling me that one of my nieces became engaged last night!!!! It came as a total surprise to me because our church encourages courtship/engagements. Which means no previous dating to clue "outsiders" into the status of a relationship. Her finance is a great guy and will/does fit in with our family just perfect!

It's been the topic of conversation all day both at home and at school. I guess the high schoolers were sitting around the lunch table talking about where they'd live after getting married. (they'll stay in this area) One of her sisters said he could live with them but then he'd have to deal with a ton of girls. Someone said she could move into his cabin (a one room place). One of the 10th grade boys said...That place is tiny! Where will she sleep? Up in a tree? ROFL!!! No one informed him of the error in his thinking.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Poor Michelle

I called for a dr appt for her as soon as all the school kids were out the door. She packed a "just incase" hospital bag and we were out the door at 10am. Just before leaving the largest sore started was gross. She didn't register a fever at the dr and I wasn't sure if she'd had one this weekend or not.

The dr decided since her body was doing what it was suppose to be doing (fighting bacteria, making pus and draining) so we'd just encourage them. He stopped one antibiotic and started a third (but she's still only taking 2 at one time). He lanced and drained them in the office. I felt like a terrible mother sitting there and watching Michelle crying and shaking in pain while he squeezed the junk out of the sores. It took quite a while to do it. Michelle was so upset, it took at least 10mins before she could compose herself enough to walk out of the examining room.

He did cultures on what he expressed from her sores, the results should be back by Wed. He gave us enough samples of the new antibiotics to last until Thurs. He should be calling with the lab results by then. If not, then I'm to call before filling her script. He wants the results to make sure he's using the right meds to fight this. If she's not improved by Thurs we'll be rethinking admitting her again.
Michelle is SO sick of this. She wants to do whatever it takes to get rid of these germs and make sure they never come back! Even if it's spending some time in the hospital. Today I was wondering if she thought...just admit me. Don't touch me, just admit me! lol For all I know she may still be thinking it. It is pretty tedious and gross to be dealing with draining lesions like she has. I felt like I bought everything in the first aid aisle...except the hydrogen peroxide that I specifically went in there for!

It doesn't look like Tom's mom will be moving to a nursing home yet. Her heart enzymes are still high (normal after an episode like she had on Wed) and her feet aren't looking so great. She has NO circulation in them due to diabetes complications. They don't want to move her until they can improve their condition. I'm just hoping she doesn't have to lose anything because of it.

The dr seemed very pleased with the angioplasty done on Thurs. He hasn't said that about too many of them he's done on her. (some dr's won't touch her because she's so fragile heartwise) So that's encouraging! FIL was admitted this morning for his next round of chemo. I'm hoping MIL got an opportunity to be wheeled up to see him. :o) Tom is up there now. He is so stressed...I can't wait until his test is over on the 26th. He's said a few times.....I wish the test was sooner. He knows all he needs to know, he's just stressing himself out more by trying to study more. If he could just do the test he'd be fine.

We're back into the daily grind here. UGH! Yes, I hate sending my kids out the door in the morning. Most people can't understand that stance, afterall it has to be a LOT quieter here with them gone. I admit it is but the fact is...I'm LAZY! Plain and simple. I don't want to do the work in the evening of making sure they eat at a decent time, get into bed at a decent time, do homework before they go to bed. I don't want to do the work in the morning of waking them up...some more then once, convincing them they WANT to go to school, insisting they go to school, getting their clothes out and sometimes shoving noodle limbs in them, and finally racing the clock to get out the door no matter how early or eagerly they got ready. Our clock is sneaky like minute it says they have 10 minutes to get out the door...the next minute it's saying they should've been out the door 3 minutes ago! They actually do pretty well and rarely leave the bus driver waiting, or miss it all together.

Saturday, April 15, 2006

The end of spring break

This last week was spring break and what a difference it was from Mid-Winter break with Island Week. This vacation I didn't plan a stinkin thing! Even with a sick baby it was very relaxing!!! My only was too short!!! lol

I shouldn't say it was relaxing for everyone though. Tom's still studying for a test for work on the 26th. His mom was readmitted for chest pains on Wednesday during dialysis, so he's been running back and forth most nights. She seems to be doing well but she'll be admitted to a nursing home on Sunday for rehabilitation. Tom's dad is being readmitted on Monday for his next round of chemo. They've said he will likely be inpatient for 4 or 5 wks. Due to his immune system being compromised from the last chemo treatment he can't go up to the hospital to visit MIL. :o(

Michelle has another major skin her armpit again. She's been fighting it in that area on and off since February (what I thought were chicken pox after Island week). Now she has two HUGE red infected welts like she had on her back and knee in January. She was in the dr's for it a week ago Fri and again this last Tues. She's on double antibiotics and it's getting worse, not improving.

I called the dr today afterhours and he said he'd admit her to the hospital for IV antibiotics if she wanted. She doesn't want to be in the hospital for Easter so decided to tough it out. I agreed since she doesn't have a high fever (might have a slight low grade one). She's suppose to be hot packing it to try and draw the infection out. I'm still checking it everytime she allows me to. If I think she's deteriorating we'll be taking an Easter day trip to the hospital. Otherwise we'll be seen in his office on Monday morning. Unless it starts to improve, I'm expecting he'll admit her then. One problem is that I can't stay with her overnight because of Danielle. I know she's old enough to stay alone...she just would be more comfortable/less scared with someone there. If you can't baby them at times like that...when can you? ;o)

Tomorrow we're going to my aunt's for Easter dinner. She's taken over hosting it since my grandmother passed away. We've never gone there before. She told me dad she REALLY wants us to come out. She hasn't seen the kids in a long time and hasn't seen Danielle since she was 2wks old. I've always declined and gone to church. I feel funny bringing 13 people to a meal, especially one where there's limited seating/standing space. My dad says she's really excited that we're coming :o)

While doing dishes today I thought...I should probably start preparing my answers to all the questions tomorrow....

No, I am NOT trying to catch up to my grandmother (she had 13 kids)
I can't answer that, but I've learned to never say never (whether we're going to have anymore)
We've almost got it figured out...just a few more experiments should do it. (don't you know what causes that)
YES! And do you know our area has 34 stations that feature adult content!?! (don't you have a tv)
Thank you, yes she is beautiful. :oD

I consider myself fairly blessed in that I don't hear too many negative comments from family. We're a pretty sarcastic family though and the smart aleck ones are usually flying nonstop.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Second Class Citizen

That's what I'm classified as in Danielle's eyes. She's in LOVE with Michelle! If she hears Michelle talk or gets one peek of her moving...she cries. It's not just a cry, it's a throw your hands down and lock your elbows while your whole body shakes dramatically cry. Why? Because Michelle isn't coming over and getting her or paying attention to her. It's cute but I tend to feel sorry for Michelle at times. Afterall, Michelle didn't decide to have a baby (well, neither did just happened...but you know what I mean!). If Michelle has Danielle and I try to take her, she clings to Michelle and whines this fake cry with her nose crinkled up for effect. Unless she's hungry, then she's all for going back to mommy.

Thinking about it now I realize she does the same thing to Tom. Although she'll come back to me a lot quicker and easier then she will from Michelle. It's neat that she's so gaagaa over her dad. It's the first time that one of the babies jumped out of my arms or cried for Dad. Tom is loving it.

She is one of my more social babies. She loves it when the kids take her around the house and do things with her. At least with them she tends to get sick of it after a while and shows a preference toward me. She's also one of the biggest actress we've had, and she knows it! Her famous moves so far...

* The nice whomever pat. When she hugs someone she says awwwwww and pats their back or arm.

* The gimme grunt. Less dramatic version of her trying to get Michelle to pick her up. Hands down, elbows locks said with a huge HUHHH.

* FEED ME! While sitting in her exersaucer or on someone's lap at a table. She slaps the table. If that's not a clear enough message you have to add in a snort, still not clear enough...add in a whine too.

* The UHOH look. When someone says uhoh, oh no, or oops...or whenever she thinks she needs to look cute, she makes an elongated oval with her mouth, drawing it down as far as she can. Like a Little Rascals character.

* I know I'm cute. When she's trying to be really cute, beyond cuteness she smiles a huge smile, and tips her head back...can come with or without a crinkled up nose for effect. The tiny bottom teeth coming in make it even cuter.

* Tooter. If she passes gas and someone says something about it or looks at her she partially stinks her tongue out and makes a pftttt sound while laughing.

* Stinky pants. Tell her she's stinky and she'll respond with kkkkkkkkk. Then again, she may be just trying to call the kitty. lol

* Poor pathetic me. When needing to call attention to herself she whines. If she realizes someone is looking at her...she adds in either a look down her nose, crinkles her nose or both.

* How DARE you! This is the look of indignation she gets after she realized the tissue won in the nose wiping war.

* Oh pretty/cool/nice/exciting! This is most easily seen while being held facing away from someone. Hands and feet flail a mile a minute, the more exciting the faster they go. Verbal reactions vary between nothing, snort, squeal or belly laugh.

* I'm gonna get really I am. Place her on the floor and watch the fun. She gets her knees under her, almost immediately falls back down to her belly. Then she proceeds to push herself backwards. After a few attempts she screams for someone to get her to whatever she was aiming for in the first place.

I'd share all this drama/cuteness with you but it seems our camera's memory card seems to be missing. HOW can a memory card disappear like that...I have no clue! As soon as I get the blasted thing back...I'll share...I promise.