Monday, July 31, 2006

No visitors

No one came over for a cookout Sunday. They all were frazzled and had too much to do. I'm going to see if anyone is interested in going up to Southwick Beach later in the week. Tom's family used to camp up there all the time when they were little and used to own a camp near there when they were older. It's one of their favorite places to go in the world.

Everyone has clothes to wear for the next 2 days. At least I hope they do and I didn't overlook something. I ended up going to Walmart and buying some clothes for people....including me. I probably could've found something to wear but it was a good excuse to pamper myself. Besides I really needed a new bra! Tom only has work clothes. He'd stopped at the thrift store on Friday and bought an outfit. I bought him 2 pairs of dresspants and a new tie. He may end up not using some of what I bought and returning it. At least he has it available.

I bought and arranged some flowers for the funeral home. It's simple with big yellow roses, smaller peach roses, white carnations, baby's breath and some greenery. It didn't take too long (or at least didn't seem to) I have it in the fridge right now and am worried that it won't last until Tuesday afternoon.

I'm worried about how we're going to keep the kids happy for 6 hrs. We have to leave here by 2 to get to the funeral home by 3. The wake starts at 4 and lasts until 7. I figure by the time we get out of there it'll be 8 at least. It just hit me that it's through dinner time. So not only do they need to be occupied, they need something to eat/snack on that won't be messy. I feel like Winnie the Pooh, sitting on his log, tapping his head, saying....think, think, think. It's not working for me either.

Well this has sat here open for a while. Lots of stuff to do and get ready, so I'll close.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

The next day

Although I can't say how well he slept, Tom did get some sleep last night. He seems to be doing well. The kids keep asking me questions and luckily I feel like I have the answers for them so far.

We spent most of the day cleaning the house. We wanted to have Tom's sibs and their families over for a cookout and bonfire tonight. Unfortunately Mother Nature had other plans and sent torrential downpours again. We're going to try to have them over on Sunday.

I got hit hard today while making dinner. The phone rang and not thinking clearly thought...Oh that's probably Grandma...while I started to turn away from the stove and head toward the ringing phone. I immediately remembered it couldn't be and stopped in my tracks. :o( I'm sure there will be a lot of moments like that in the near future.

The rain did eventually stop but everything is still wet and soggy. I've been going between the house and the backyard visitng with Tom. Checking on the kids, visiting with Tom, making dinner, visiting with Tom. The mosquitos seem to love me even with bug spray on, so now I'm staying in the house for the rest of the night. The nextdoor neighbor came over and has replaced me outside. lol

Tomorrow I need to figure out what the kids will be wearing, how dressed they need to be (whether Luke and Jake need a tie). I'm pretty sure that at least Pat will need dress clothes, especially since he will be a pallbearer. I think Tom has his outfits figured out. Monday morning I'll be going to the grocery store's floral department and buying flowers to make an arrangement from our family. I have a container already, just need to figure out exact color schemes and placement. I just hope my idea works.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Posting day

Today is my day to post at the Larger Families Blog. I was going to skip out of it this week with everything going on. I was hit with a case of insomnia last night and wrote one anyways. By the end I was fighting sleep and think I might've gotten a little loopy.

After #6 they just crawl out

Sad day

Tom's mom passed away this morning. His older and youngest brother were spending the night with her and called about 5:15am. It's hard to imagine life without her. D and I were saying it probably won't hit us until we reach for the phone to call her one morning. MIL had gotten into the habit of telling me..."I didn't have anything better to do so called decided to call you". On Wednesday morning I turned it around on her. "I didn't have anything better to do so decided to come visit you".

The kids are doing well with the news. I'm sure it'll hit them harder as things head toward her funeral on Tuesday. Drew, Allison, Pat, Jess and my nephew Joey were at the hospital until after 2am this morning. They said that she told them to...finish school, get converted, get married and have lots of kids. :o)

Tom's in the city getting things taken care of and visiting with his dad, I think. I don't really want to call and bug him too much. I wish I could be with him. Unfortunately he took the van so I don't have a vehicle to use.

Welcome home and rest in peace Grandma G.

Spending time

We've been up at the hospital spending as much time with MIL as we possibly can. She's a very blessed woman who's lived a full life. Her room is always full of people, conversation and laughter.

We brought most of the kids up on Monday to visit. They had a good time talking with her. I took the kids home while Tom stayed to visit. Tuesday night Tom, Pat, Val and I went in to visit. D's dh came in with his guitar. During the evening there were a few songs was beautiful to listen to.

I ended up spending the night at my parents' house. My dad drove Danielle and I up to the hospital at 6:30am Wednesday so that I could relieve my BIL. It wasn't long before there D came in with breakfast sandwiches for everyone. :o) MIL was starting to get a bit sleepy but we still had a chance to talk quite a bit.

By Wednesday 45 out of 46 grandchildren had visited MIL. The only one who didn't make it was the one who couldn't. He's just started a new teaching job down south and it was the first week of school for him. I know he gets homesick and not being here has to be really hard on him. I wish we could get him up here for a few hours at least. Tom's uncle came up from VA. It's been nice visitng with him. She's also been visited by almost all our church friends. There's usually at least 5 people in her room at any given time.

We found out they just dedicated the area MIL was in to pallative/hospice care a few weeks ago. D and I were joking that we're breaking them in pretty well. Actually the staff there has been great! They haven't said anything to us about crowd size or noise level (we're really respectful although I'm sure some outbursts of laughter have been loud).

Tom and one of his brothers spent the night Wednesday night. Thursday, Val and I had a dentist appt at 1. I brought Carrie and Janna along to take care of Danielle while I was in the chair. I wasn't sure about bringing Carrie up since MIL is getting more and more tired. She's alert to everything that's going on and being said. Her reactions are slow and she's conserving her energy so moves very little.

We bought a bunch of food at Wendy's and Taco Bell and got up to the hospital about 3:30. Tom was TIRED! He had made a bed out of 3 chairs which wasn't too comfy. I wanted to stay but was encouraged to go home and spend some time with the kids. I didn't really want to leave...neither did Carrie. She's a lot like me in that sense. But we did.

It's a good thing I did go home. I didn't realize just how tired Tom was until we were driving home. He was in NO condition to drive. (which he would've had to do if I'd stayed) Then we lost power again tonight for a couple hours! So either Tom would've had to get up and deal with it. Or Liz would've had to deal with babysitting 5 kids and a pitch black house. It was hard though knowing everyone was up there, visiting and we're missing out. I know Tom felt the same way but was too tired.

Tom and I'll be heading back up tomorrow morning. I'm not positive what time we'll be out of here by. Tom's trying to decide if he should pick up and cash his paycheck on the way in.

Danielle has been so good in all this. I don't think I could've done this with any other baby. She's so calm and good natured that she hasn't had a problem with not being let loose on the floor.

Update on Tiffany... Her family has decided to keep things private. They had a memorial for only immediate family today. My thoughts and prayers go out to them. I haven't had a chance to talk to my sister since Monday so not sure how everyone is doing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

And then the phone rings again

I didn't answer it because I wasn't home. We were on our way up to the hospital to visit my MIL. Valerie took a message, got so excited she had to call Drew and leave him a voice message.

The call was from a woman who had my DIAPER BAG. My fully intact, never touched diaper bag. I called her as soon as I we got home and we made arrangements to meet in the next town over for the exchange. I HAVE MY BAG!!! My faith in humanity is restored!!!!!

She thought she mistakenly picked it up when she picked up her sister's bags. She didn't realize I'd left it where she found it. She was apologizing to me!!! I was thanking her over and over again. I told her I'm glad she picked it up because if she hadn't, someone else would've and I probably wouldn't have seen it again.

I wanted to give her something to thank her for returning it. But how do you do that when you have no way to access money? Michelle remembered Liz brought home chocolate from Norway. Oh yeah, did I tell everyone that Liz is home now!!! (that's why we were at the train station) So we grabbed a huge bar and brought it with us. When I got out of the car and met her she didn't want to accept the chocolate. I think she did just so I'd be quiet lol.

I can't say it enough....


Monday, July 24, 2006

And the news just keeps on coming....

It's only 11am and I'm ready for this day to end! While writing my post about Tiffany's passing the phone rang again. I swear I'm going to smash that thing into a zillion pieces! It was D letting me know that my MIL has finally made the decision to stop her dialysis treatments. She told her dr last week that it was nearing the end. He admitted her to the hosital so they could see if they could help her with some problems she was having...that maybe it wasn't necessary to make that final decision. She decided last night that there was to be no more. She's suppose to be put into Hospice care today. Her dr told her that she could survive 1 - 3 wks without dialysis. Her last dialysis session was Friday.

I don't blame her for making the decision and I totally support her in it. She's one of the toughest ladies I know. She's fought through a LOT of medical stuff that would've made other's give up a long time ago (breast, skin, and colon cancer, bypass surgery and too many heart attacks to count, and dialysis for over 8yrs. The doctors gave her a diagnosis of 6mos to live....3yrs ago.

As is normal a part of me wants to be selfish and say FIGHT!...Fight some more! BUT I won't. I know she's fought as much as she possibly could. She's at perfect peace with her decision. Her spirit during all this have been amazing. Tom of course is having a bit harder time being unselfish with this. I don't blame him, no one wants to lose a parent.

I'm not sure how my FIL will fare during all of this. He's battling his own medical demons with the AML and a chemo depressed immune system. I actually find myself praying more for him during this whole thing then anyone else.

I'm holidng my breath not wanting the phone to ring again. At this moment my dad is seeing a pulmonary surgeon. He hasn't felt right since his 2nd bypass surgery last June. The drs kept telling him it was normal, the 2nd time is harder on the body. He's mad because he feels worse then before he went in for his surgery. He didn't want to do the surgery in the first place because he didn't feel sick. We "talked" him into doing it now before his body got weak from the problems the bypass could fix NOW.

He's had a touch of pleurisy on his right lung and now it's gone into the left and center of it. They also mentioned a nodule on his left lung. I know he's thinking of his brother who died 10yrs ago from lung cancer. HOw can he not.

I don't think I can handle one more piece of bad news. I don't want to answer the phone anymore today. I just want to go find a cave and hibernate for a while.


The phone rang before I could hit publish. My dad made out ok! They don't think the nodule is a tumor but a pocket of thick fluid. They'll make an appointment to drain some fluid off and examine it. If the nodule shrinks it's definitely fluid and not a tumor. If the fluid thickened he may need to be admitted and have the fluid suctioned off. So now we hurry up and wait, but it sounds a lot better then what everyone was imagining.

In the grand scheme of things

The first thoughts in my mind this morning was about my diaper bag being taken. It hit me that I'm lucky I had a van to make a key for! If the person wanted to they could've seen the insurance card, taken the key, and drowe away that white '92 ford clubwagon van. Where woulda that left me? No vehicle that holds my family, still paying for the stupid beast. I mentioned it to Pat and he said...they were too stupid to figure something out like that lol.

THEN the phone rang. It was my sister talking through tears. She needed to tell me something. My heart dropped into my stomach. Something was wrong with my dad. No, she was letting me know something before I saw it on the news or in the paper. Her niece Tiffany was killed in a boating accident. A stupid drunk driving boating accident caused by a guy who's been arrested 2 times for DWI in the last 16mos. (so one article says) Tiffany was 20yo and the only child of her husband's older sister.

My poor sister had to go into work this morning. Someone's on vacation and there isn't anyone to take her place. I hope her boss sends her home. I'm sure she won't be very productive as upset as she is. She hasn't spoken to her sister-in-law MJ (Tiffany's mom) yet. She asked me...Kim, what do you say to someone after something like this? I don't know what to even say to her. I told her...There isn't anything you can say. You just have to be there for her.

Tiffany was between my Patrick and Michelle agewise. I haven't seen her at family functions in a few years so I still see her as a teenager instead of the young woman I'm sure she had become. I do know she was strong willed and outgoing. I don't know how MJ and G will get through the loss of their daughter. I wish I could make it go away or make it easier on them but I know I can't. All I can do is give them a hug when I see them and tell them I'm how sorry I am. It seems inadequate and hollow but it's heartfelt.

Walking around this morning I keep thinking...It could very easily have been one of my kids in that boat. Not that they hang out with the same crowd. More the fact that they are amongst friends who are of drinking age. How hard it is to avoid being drawn into a situation that could lead to something like this. How hard it is to make the right decision when faced with a big group of friends having fun, in a not so smart way. How easy it is to let your brain become impaired so it can't make the right decision. How easily 20 something years ago Tiffany could've easily been ME!

It brings back the time shortly after Carrie had her bone marrow transplant. (might've already told this story, if I apologies) I was talking to D and had said..."It hit me last night. Carrie might not be here 5 years from now". D said..."Kim, anyone of your kids might not be here 5yrs from now".

If Pat hadn't walked out the door 15mins before my sister called, I might've tried to stop him and my nephew from walking out the door and getting in the car. It's silly, I know. You can't live your life based on "what ifs". Thinking about them once in a while though can certainly make you appreciate the "what ares".

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Open Letter

Dear Mr or Ms ASSHOLE!

I really abhor (that means hate BTW) swearing but today it seems it's all I can think of, especially when I think of you. I would like to thank you for taking the time to pick up my diaper bag at the transportation center today. Although I really wish you'd also taken the time to bring it up to the information desk instead of taking it home.

Yes, in the chaos of switching my dd's 2 left shoes for a pair of flip flops that she could actually wear. In the midst of the chaos of 2 mega families with excited kids joining into one group. (2 adults and 16 kids) I forgot to pick up my diaper bag that I'd placed on the sidewalk. I admit, I was an idiot and might even have deserved to lose my wallet.

I don't care about the wallet, you could've had whatever you wanted in it for all I cared. I can only hope that you needed my $8 more then I did. I'd have to be really down on my luck to take something that I know wasn't mine for $8. As for the Walmart card in there (the balance is $15 btw)...I wish you could know that the card was literally earned with blood, sweat and 11yo's! It was her prize from the TODAY study clinic for pricking her finger and testing her blood so many times a day, for taking her medicine twice a day...every day, working hard at keeping her logbook up to date and following her dr's orders carefully, even if it meant going without something fun once in a while. Don't worry about her though, I'll make sure she gets her $15 back. I can only be thankful that I didn't add her $50 she also earned onto it like I was going to last week.

As for all the pretty plastic cards in that purse and the shiny cell phone you're clasping in your hot little hands. Have fun trying to use them. They are DEAD! You probably hadn't even gotten home before they were rendered useless. My husband and older boys made sure of that!

If you can't figure out what's inside that black cloth case, let me clue you in. It's a glucose meter. It's what helps keep my 11yo dd healthy! Luckily we have another one she can use. Unfortunately you walked away with a week's worth of her numbers she hadn't logged yet. I'm not sure how that'll effect whether she'll earn another Walmart gift card at her next appointment in August. I hope not. I ask that you please don't throw it away or break it. Find someone who's diabetic and can use it...give it to them. At least let SOMETHING good come out of this mess.

So's you know. Because of you....

...I lost a bit of faith in humanity today. I feel like a fool for the small glimpse of hope I had that someone picked up my bag and turned it into the lost and found.

...I became the suspicious person I despise. No one was safe from my scrutiny. It's a horrible way to look at people. I feel as dirty as you SHOULD!

...My kids missed getting to visit their very sick grandma who is in the hospital. Instead they stood roasting in the parking lot, feeling helpless as they watched their mom fall apart on the phone to their dad. Luckily their other grandfather lives near by and could taxi them out of the parking lot and to his house while mom figured out how to fix the mess YOU made.

...My dad had to take 2 trips to the train station and then stood in the hot parking lot with his little girl. He almost passed out. If something had happened to him.....

...I realized that being a parent NEVER ends, no matter how grown up the kids are.

...A locksmith had to leave his family picnic today and earn $135. Luckily my dad owns a handy dandy ATM card, since I'm a nobody now with not a drop of ID to my name. I'm now the owner of an expensive shiny new van key. Lucky me!

...I'm going to have tons of unplanned fun tomorrow. Lots of people want to see and speak with me now that I'm reduced to almost nothing. I couldn't prove who I am to anyone if I wanted to. So how does this work now? I go to the DMV to get my license so I have a photo ID? Oh wait I need cash for that. Then I guess I'll have to go to the bank for some cash first. Oh wait, I need ID to withdraw it...that is IF I could withdraw it since my accounts are now CLOSED. It's enough to turn a grown woman into a puddle of babbling goo.

...My kids are totally confused. WHY would someone take a bunch of baby clothes? WHY would someone take our new dvd? What's so great about a beat up old messenger bag full of diapers and wipes?

...My kids are scared that the bad person will come to their house (since you know our address) and do something to them or take their things. After all if disposable diapers can lead you to steal, surely their gameboy colors would be worth the effort too.

...I'm joining them in a bit of that paranoia. Will you come out here in the cover of darkness and droning window fans to steal my van. Afterall, you have my insurance card so know what make and model the key fits into. You have my address so you know where it's kept. Why would you want an ugly old boat like that anyways? Isn't there some nice sporty Kia closer to home you could nab instead?

And best of all

...I was reminded how many people I can truly rely on. It was great to be offered so much help from so many of my family and friends.

Friday, July 21, 2006

It didn't take her long

We have a running joke that our babies aren't official family members until they can fend for themselves. Meaning they find the cereal cupboard and try helping themselves. Well, Danielle is now official! Wednesday I was on the phone and followed Danielle as she crawled into the kitchen. She crawled right up to the paritially open cereal cupboard, threw open the door, grabbed a box of cereal and proceeded to start stuffing her face. What a good baby! We won't have to worry about her starving anymore. ;o) Welcome to the family!

The heat has dropped about 10 degrees and the humidity is a lot lower, making it much more bearable. That is until we find ourselves without fans for 3-5hrs. The last 2 nights we've lost power for hours each time. While the first night it was easy to get the floor in order (no obstacles to trip over in the dark) Last night was a bit more difficult. We had just come home from grocery shopping and had put the cold things away. My kitchen and livingroom floor had bags of non perishable groceries all over them. I was also in the middle of cooking dinner (old school pilot light stove comes to the rescue again!) Luckily it was still dusk and the kids made quick work of getting them out of the way.

It's funny, both times when the power came back on an audible AWWWWW could be heard coming from the kids. The first night Eileen was going around turning all the lights off on everyone. The kids really enjoy the "forced" closeness it makes. I think it's why camping is so fun for them. There aren't all the distractions of modern day living to get in the way.

As quaint as it is, I'm hoping we aren't going back to our old service. About 10yrs ago the local manufacturing plants threatened to move out of the area if the grid wasn't upgraded. We live on the end of the line and we'd lose power everytime the wind blew. They promptly upgraded and we got use to reliable power service. It seems like since the ice storm of 2003 (we were one of the last ones to get power back, from April 4th - 10th) our power doesn't last through mild storms anymore.

Things have been hectic here, especially for Tom. His mom is back in the hospital and his dad's counts didn't like his last round of chemo very much. His dad has had to deal with one day admissions for transfusions a few times this week. He doesn't want visitors because he's so susceptible to things (I don't blame him). Tom used to stop by to refill his coffee cup everyday and that's had to come to a stop. To top it off my dad's been referred to a pulmonary surgeon, his appt is on Monday. His catscan looked off, I know he's thinking of his older brother who died 10yrs ago of lung cancer. :o(

I keep thinking what MORE can happen to us. Then I retract it, thinking...I don't want to find out!!! Especially with Carrie needing me to make her eye and dermatologist appointment. She needs to have her cataracts checked and has a few bumps on her body that I'm pretty sure aren't good. We've been watching them for 3-4 yrs now. They seem to be getting bigger, redder and are bothering her more. Especially the one in the middle of her back where her bra strap rubs. I'm almost afraid to make the appts, which is really stupid thinking! Like anything will disappear or get better by ignoring it. If that was the case my house would be perfectly clean!!!!

At one time I had links to blogs of kids dealing with cancer/bone marrow transplants in my sidebar. For one reason or another I decided it was too much for me and I dropped them. Yesterday I found Amy's blog. She's a young mom to a baby who's almost 8mo and was diagnosed with AML on July 2nd. I know my FIL is going through a lot of the same things. I also can remember feeling and dealing with much of it with Carrie. I'm sure she'd appreciate some positive thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

I'm not ready for this!!!!

Sunday we were in the pool while the big boys played basketball with their cousin. Danielle wanted to watch them play so I put her on the walkway that goes around the pool (about 18inches wide) and stood behind her. She stood up hanging onto the pool fence with her face between the slats. We laughed, saying she looked like she was in jail. Then Pat yelled, SHE'S DOING IT! SHE'S DOING IT! There was Danielle with her knees slightly bent, elbows glued to her sides, her hands stuck out into the air...with nothing in them! She wasn't holding onto the bars! Everyone started cheering and clapping. Of course Danielle had to join in so she carefully sat down and started clapping along with everyone else. I knew then that I was in trouble.

In less then one week my sweet, content, barely moving baby has changed into a sweet, content, FAST, climbing, practice standing baby! Yesterday she was found in the bathroom just as she was putting her hand in the toilet for the first time. Today I was talking with the big girls when Michelle realized Danielle wasn't to be seen. They walked down the hall calling her name. She laughingly poked her head out of the little girls UPSTAIRS bedroom door. While blogging earlier today I turned around to find my BABY sitting on an end table with her chubby little legs wrapped the lamp, huge grin on her face, laughing away. She's also climbing on the bottom shelf of the bookcase and then trying to climb onto the top of the books so she can reach the next shelf. (lots of room between bottom 2 shelves, missing s shelf)

She's getting more teeth (think she's on her 6th now) and using them. Poor Eileen got a good welt on her ribcage after dinner tonight. How do you explain to someone who's not too sure what teeth are for, that they hurt people!? Eileen screamed and started crying when it happened, which frightened Danielle, causing her to cry too. But in sympathy, I don't think so. I don't remember ever having a baby that bothered me while nursing so much. Not only does she bite, she kneads and pinches too! I've seriously considered weaning her, but I don't want give it up yet.

This house is NOT ready for a wandering curious baby. Especially one who travels quietly. I'll need to buy a new gate for the end of the hallway/bottom of the stairs. I have to keep reminding the kids to keep the bathroom and basement doors closed. They seemed surprised today when I insisted Danielle be taken off the dishwasher door. They didn't seem to see a problem with it. This is gonna be loads of fun!

Happy Birthday Bean....

Eileen's birth story

Oops, excuse me...EILEEN! Yes, she's stated she's getting too old to be called Bean now. At least in public. I'm really trying to remember it when we're out but it's hard! She's been Bean practically since the day she was born. It bothers her the most when I use the name. Maybe because I'm the one that speaks to her more when we're in public. Maybe it's because I tend to be a bit louder then her dad. Who knows. LOL

Anyways, Miss Eileen has turned 8yo on Sunday. She requested pizza and wings from the local pizza place. Then she hesitated and asked how much they'd cost. Bless her heart. We assured her she didn't have to worry about that. That if we couldn't or didn't want to do it, she wouldn't be getting them. When Tom got home and told me how much they were, I almost fainted. I guess they raised their prices and we didn't know it. At least everyone enjoyed it.

Tom picked up 2 of D's girls, K and M for the night. Poor things, it's HOT in here. Not that their house would be any better, neither one of us has central A/C. I made it so their room is one of the cooler rooms in the house though, except our's. When I made Tom give up our window screen for the girls, he went downstairs for what I thought was a different screen. He came back with the A/C unit my FIL bought us last year that saved my summer pregnancy. I haven't really felt the need to have it until today. It's such a short time, it wasn't worth the work. Besides, who's going to use it during the day? It's in my bedroom. When I was pg it was fine for me to go in and laydown. I HAD to do it. Now...nah! It just makes it harder to cope when in the rest of the house.

We spent a lot of time in the pool and Michelle is fried. She missed some areas on her back with the sunscreen and...ouch! Monday was a repeat with higher temps and humidity. It made it hard to deal with Danielle since we were both constantly sweaty and sticky. Luckily we had tons of popsicles to wet our whistles. I haven't blogged lately because I was too hot and foggy to think. Luckily today's a lot better in the humidity department. A few degrees cooler too, what a difference!

I'm not sure if it's the heat or if the TODAY study changed Carrie's meds and forgot to tell me (it's a blind study, take 2 capsules no matter what you're taking). I guess I should call the clinic. I'm not complaining since it's not anything bad that's happening. She's finally seeing numbers under 100 before dinner. It's just that it's happening consistantly and I'd like to know if there was a reason (heat or meds). If it is meds, it would've been nice to be given a heads up so we could be ready for it. The first time it happened Carrie was 77 and on her way down is my guess, from the way she was acting. She suddenly complained of not feeling good and feeling like she was going to throw up. I told her to go drink that glass of milk she was heading for before testing, even if she didn't feel like she could have it. It did the trick. :o)

I took K and M home yesterday and dropped off Carrie and Eileen. It's quite different here without them. Eileen's gotten into a really bad habit of whining and crying over EVERYTHING! It's driving us all insane. I haven't talked to D yet today and am curious if she did it there. Poor Olivia is quite lost without her sisters though. She's been asking for me to go to D's and get them since she got up at 8am.
This week is Carrie and Luke's turn for food. Carrie is a lot more gungho about doing the work then Luke is, but she's not here. They haven't made their menu yet, although Luke's already asked if dinner tonight could be burgers and fries . Sounds fine by me since everything for it is in the freezer already. I'll have them make up a menu tonight and we'll probably go shopping first thing tomorrow morning.

As usual this summer I have kids to taxi to and from my house. Where is that revolving front door I ordered?

Friday, July 14, 2006

New ditty to read

Over at the Larger Families blog it's my day to post. Just so you know we've revamped the posting schedule (will work on the drop down menu on my sidebar later in the week). We're only adding one entry a day so each blogger gets their own day, every two weeks. I'm still posting on Fridays but only every other week.

Don't worry I'll let you know here when I post. I wouldn't want all my rabid fans to miss one word of my blathering. lol This 2wks we're talking about What kids need. I managed to throw up a small ditty about it before I head out to the dentist in 30mins. (WHY did I make such an early dentist appointment!?!?!)

But mom! I neeeeeed it!

Ummm Mr or Ms Spam

Whomever you should be. STOP IT!!!! You are driving me crazy. You with your..."I love it!" comments with 3 tiny blue > that are links. CUT IT OUT!!!

Yes, I have "A great site!". Not that you'd know because you aren't actually READING it! Otherwise I'd doubt you'd have said "This was great!" in response to me mentioning my dh coming home early from work with the flu.

If you don't stop. I'm going to track you down and stomp tiny blue >>>>>>'s all over your backside! The whole time shouting...This is GREAT! I love it!!

Thursday, July 13, 2006

A scary day

It started off fine. It was raining and everyone had slept in. I talked to my sil D because we'd planned on getting together for the day. We decided to still follow the gameplan even though we'd be stuck inside. As I was getting read to leave the phone's Tom calling from his parents' house. Seems they'd just took his dad away in an ambulance. He was discharged from the hospital yesterday after getting a round of chemo. He fell to the ground this morning and was having a seizure. Tom was going up to the hospital with his mom and 2 brothers. I called D and asked if she wanted me to babysit so she could run up there. We decided to wait for a call to find out exactly what was wrong. I got to D's about 12:30. I'd planned on getting there earlier but I had to run Michelle and Val someplace first. It continued to rain.

We had a great time just sitting around talking while the kids played. I got to hold baby C who is now 2mos. She's ADORABLE! We oohh'ed and aah'ed over how the rain was still falling. Tom called about 3:30 to let us know that his dad was being treated and discharged. The though is that he was dehydrated. So they hooked him up to an IV and he was home by 6pm. Then noticed that D's above ground pool was overflowing! It continued to rain. I left about 5'ish and headed for J's house to pick up Michelle, Val and C.

OH MY GOD! I lived through the scariest car ride of my life..and I was the one behind the wheel!!!! I was almost in tears by the time I got to J's house. The roads were flooding and had "rivers" flowing across it. While going through an extra large patch I thought...Oh great! I'm going to end up on the news with my van stalled in the middle of a flooded street and ALL these kids on the roof waiting for a rescue. Then I'll be the person everyone yells through their tv...YOU IDIOT! What were you thinking, trying to cross that raging river!?!?! But I made it ok. :o)

When we got to J's house in the village I discovered my brakes weren't really working. Ontop of that Tom called and told me that they're saying no one should be on the roads in our area. Oh yeah, and almost all the roads are closed. I asked him what I was suppose to do with all these kids in the van and on the road? I HAVE to get home (which is entirely on the other side of the worse flooding) Finally I talked to someone and they suggested a roundabout way that might not be so flooded. Whatever you do though don't go down BB's REALLY bad (was closed off in the village). I told him.....I KNOW!!! I just came down it and was scared senseless! might consider having someone close off the other end of the road too!

I talked to Tom and D quite a few times while I was driving. I know...that's illegal but there was NO shoulder to pull off onto even if I tried to follow the law. So I drove SLOWLY and talked on my cell. There were a few spots where the roads were flooded but nothing like BB road. It was SO nice to pull into the driveway!!!

I walked the property and went into the basement. Ditch which had mud in it yesterday (no water) now had a raging creek through it. Carrie, Jake, Eileen, Olivia, Danielle and I walked it to see how flooded the ponds would be, we never got far enough back to do that. The kids were getting freaked out by the waters velocity.

I then checked the basement, we have some flooding but I'm sure others are worse. I don't think anything too important was damaged (we don't store anything like that down there). We'll have to do some work on getting things out of there though. I called Tom updated him a few times. When I told him about the basement he let me know that I was on my own. He had to stay at work. As of 12:45am he was still working with no sense of wouldn't be home tonight. Poor guy is going to be exhausted!

We switched on the news and saw that the main road that's closed has a huge hunk missing out of it. I've hard it's also damaged some houses, one of which looks to be our friend's house. (I mentioned their dd P last month when posting about Liz's birthday celebration) Still trying to confirm this though.

I talked to Tom at 12:50am. He was still swamped with no hope of it to let up. He was driving down a road in 2ft of water, trying to figure out how to get to someone's front door to leave a note that they'd assessed his sewers. Pat pulled into the driveway at 1:30am. He told me he drove down BB road about an hour after I did and there was NO water on it at all. YEAH OK! At 1:45am I found out that summer school is canceled for J. So now I can stop trying to figure out which route I'd take to get her to the high school. It also means I can sleep in now! :o)

In the afternoon Carrie has a check up for the TODAY study. It's the first one since she's started the last run of the study. It shouldn't take too long, it's just a pain to drive into the city for it.

YIKES! I just got the daylights scared out of me! I sit next to the front door which opened on it's own. Not really, it was Tom coming home. He said he decided since the water wasn't rising and it's not suppose to rain, things were ok until 7am start time. So he came home. He's exhausted and already gone to bed. Guess I'll go join him

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Happy Birthday Tom!!!

Yep today my "old man" gets a bit older. (really don't care for that nickname but it fits today lol) I'd planned on getting the house totally cleaned for his present. He hates the clutter and mess! Unfortunately I'm missing all my big kids, I got hit big time with allergies last night (eyes could/can barely stay open due to all the itching and tearing up) and I woke up this morning with my left shoulder in a knot. I can barely look around much less haul and lift stuff. So the cleaning has gone a LOT slower then I'd anticipated. Poor Tom. Truth is I didn't get anything for my birthday either. We've talked about going away for a night or so. It'll be for both birthdays and our anniversary...actually probably Christmas too lol.

This week was Michelle's week to do the food. It's amazing the difference between her and Val's menu. Val went for the meals that she likes (which isn't a lot) but also ones that require the least amount of work. Michelle went for things she wanted or that we hadn't had in a while. For Tom's birthday we're having Shrimp cocktail, london broil, salt potatoes and a tossed salad. If I ever get around to it he'll have cake with his ice cream too. (actually Olivia and I made the cake since starting this post)

Saturday we went to a Christmas/4th of July party. (last year was Halloween/4th of July) It was thrown by a guy Tom works with and his wife (they are childless...not by choice). I only knew a handful of people there so we tended to stick together as a family unit. Someone felt sorry for Jake since he was the only boy we brought with us. They did the classic mouth dropping to the floor routine when I told them that 3 of my boys and another girl were missing. lol I was then told I looked great for having that many kids. Which always leaves me wondering if I should thank them for the compliment or be offended....would I look terrible if I'd only had 2 kids?

Danielle was the ice breaker and cutie of the party as usual. Many people commented on how amazingly content she was all day/night. (and beautiful but that's a given lol) When a girl who was pg mentioned how easy a 10mo was to take to parties, the girl's mom was ROFL! She then informed the daughter that Danielle was NOT a normal 10mo and to think again.

One guy made a comment about how we could leave Danielle playing some where and check on her occassionally and she would still be there, playing contently. HUH? Check...occassionally? Granted she was on the ground crawling and playing but she was doing it at my feet, under my watchful eye at all times.....ALL TIMES!

Amazingly I didn't hear any common snide comments. I was asked if Danielle was my last baby by the above mentioned pg girl. When I said I didn't know she go girl...have 3 or 4 more. I just smiled, said we'll see and walked away, not knowing whether she meant the sarcasm I read in her voice or not.

We stayed until after the fireworks show (there were TONS of them!) Most of the kids were out cold before we got too far from the party. :o)

Friday, July 07, 2006

Ok...guess it's time for my diabetes rant

I'm on a mailing list that's SUPPOSE to be for people with all types of diabetes. Since most children have T1 (Type 1...Juvenile/Insulin Dependent/Autoimmune caused ) and it's the hardest to control, the list mail is mostly from parents of T1 kids.

One of their main topics to be offended by is when T1 diabetes isn't differentiated from T2's (adult onset,usually oral med and/or diet and exercised controlled/ only sometimes insulin dependant). The main reason...T2s got and continue to be plagued with the disease because they are obese, lazy and ignorant. (and yes, those words are flung around when referring to T2s on a regular basis) I keep getting the feeling that they think since there is the POSSIBILITY to reverse this disease it's...

a) the person who's afflicted with T2's fault for not doing what they need to do to get rid of it...after all they just need to take a pill, eat better and exercise more!
b) not as serious in the day to day setting so doesn't deserve the same attention. (T2s don't die because they skipped their meds for a day)

So their educate those that lump the two together..defaming their kids who didn't ask for this, who's parents had no say in whether they got it or not, who didn't do this to themselves, do all they can to control this stupid disease, etc.

I know I probably should just leave the list but it's a great source of info for those dealing with diabetes (yes, for BOTH types). It's not a topic that comes up ALL The time but can be frequent. Besides, the list description says it's for ALL types of diabetes. Also it's extremely hard to find support for T2 in kids...since it's not common.

In the heat of the moment this morning I wrote an email to someone on the list. As usual I saved it until I calmed down a bit. I decided it was time for the diabetes rant I've had brewing and mentioned a few times here. So in MY quest to not start a flamewar on the list and still be able to get things off my chest....I'm posting my saved email here!

To the lady and listmates who talk about their T1 kids enduring stupid statements from the public about how their kids' diabetes is from poor eating and lifestyle choices, I say...

Not ALL T2's are obese, inactive or have lousy eating habits!!! Actually I know very few that fit this description. In my daughter's case, she had the unfortunate combination of having TERRIBLE genes (T2 is rampant on both sides of my husband and my families) and having to go through a bone marrow transplant that wrecked havoc on her body when she was 2.5yo.

I don't know a single person with T2 diabetes that "asked" for or wanted this stupid disease. Yes, because T2 isn't so imminent people are ignorant and think they can forget about it. It's called denial. Yes, unfortunately they have the opportunity to ignore it and not risk dying today. That's why they're paying for it later with blindness, dialysis, and heart problems later in life. But to say they asked for the diabetes or caused it....NO WAY!

If we hadn't been so lucky to have been playing with my meter during my last pregnancy. Carrie could have and probably would have gone on for quite a while undiagnosed. Even with her having tons of routine bloodwork every 6-12mos, it was missed. I was told it was a fluke BG reading, she probably had a virus, it was probably the snack she ate before her test. It took me waving blood glucose logs and notes under the doctors' noses to finally diagnose her.

My daughter doesn't just eat better, go outside more and take a pill and be done with it. She's done everything they've asked of her and more...yet we're still seeing numbers off the chart.

High blood sugar is high blood sugar no matter HOW the kids came about getting this stupid disease. It does the same damage to their body whether they still produce insulin or not. It's a horrible and unpredictable beast I wish none of us had to meet!

Larger Family Day

My newest post is up at The month of July we're talking about money. This week's topic is...frugal living and using resources well.

I talk about how a larger family is...Efficiency at its best

BTW, I made a drop down menu in my sidebar over there ----->
It has links to all my posts at the LF blog. Now you can get to me in a click. ;o)

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Hopefully at this moment

Liz's plane is lifting off the ground...with Liz in it!!! Today is the start of the much awaited trip to Norway. No trip would be complete without a touch of stress and it came bright and early in the form of a phone call at 6am.

L called to let us know that the airlines rearranged the commuter flight to Newark. All the bad weather along the coast has made tons of delays. The airlines were concerned the late afternoon (4:52pm) commuter flight would be delayed and our group would miss their connecting flight. The airlines explained that Wednesday's 4:55pm flight didn't arrive in time. (they were suppose to have a 2hr layover!)

What the airlines did was divide the kids into 2 catching a morning flight at 10:05. The other catching the midday flight at 12:55. So our 2pm arrival time was switched to 11:30 (VERY thankful she didn't get assigned to the 9am group!) Luckily Liz was totally packed and ready. It was just a matter of getting everyone out the door a bit earlier. (BTW...when we got to the airport at 11:30, the 10:05 was still listed as delayed. UGH!)

A few extra bits of excitement....

*** At 7am I was asked to go wake the family down the street who's 4 kids needed to be at the airport by 9. (we live 45 - 60mins from the airport) No one was answering the they were awoken to me banging their door down. Amazingly they were driving past my house 25mins later!!

*** Liz went into panic mode before leaving. She was sure her backpack with wheels was too big for a carry-on. We ended up switching it to a huge tote Carrie got from the TODAY study (was a better option anyways)

*** Liz got very nervous as we got closer to the airport. She mumbled something about not being able to handle her luggage, should've left the carry-on home, should've stayed home herself. LOL She even looked a bunch of clouds and announced...I think it's too cloudy to fly today. (she's very aware that simple clouds wouldn't affect a flight) I tried to assure her that this was the hardest part of the trip and once she'd done gone through check-in and security once she'd be a pro and it'd be easy.

In our group...

*** 2 kids had their dad drive away from the airport curb without handing them their passports. Luckily the dad has a cell phone, allowing us to call him back before he got too far. (My Pat wasn't so lucky with his wallet when he went a few years ago...luckily his passport was in his carry-on because it was too big for his wallet. He had to borrow money though.)

*** Another family with 5 kids going had a few misc situations occur that caused delays. They pulled up to the curb about 20mins before they were due to board.

We watched the kids go through security...

*** P had to be wanded and patted down due to setting off the metal detector (she has a prosthesis...not sure if she mentioned it to the screener)

*** Liz was the "lucky" one who they picked to pull her bag. I think I saw a bead of sweat appear on her brow as the TSA guy pawed through her things. I'm not sure if they ended up confiscating something or not. (too far away to see clearly)

I'm wondering if the earlier group had any mishaps or excitement before take-off. Here Liz is just barely over the ocean and I already can't wait until she gets home so I can hear all about it. LOL

Bon Voyage Liz! Have fun!!!

Edited to add...checked airline's site. First round of kids arrived in Newark 30mins after scheduled arrival. Liz's flight....2.5hrs late!!! Flight they were originally booked on...10mins behind schedule. Poor Liz!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I just need a moment

TOOPID Rain! I feel like I live in the rain forest. It's either raining, sprinkling or the sun's out making it so muggy it's hard to breathe. It ruined a whole tree full of cherries!!! Last week I took note of how great the crop was this year (cold got it last year...barely a one on the tree). Problem was they weren't quite ripe so I gave them a few more days. Then it rained and rained and rained some more. By the time we got out there to pick the tree clean...they were a moldy, rotten mess. Waaaaaaaaaaaa! I was so excited! I had plans for those things. I haven't bought any cherries at the store because they're so expensive ($4/lb, on sale for $2 last week). Tom told me the cardinals were enjoying themselves to MY cherries yesterday. TOOPID birds!

TOOPID grain moths! Everytime I open the cupboard they fly into my face. It's disgusting! Guess I need to clean out the cupboards really soon. There's gotta be a forgotten box/canister of something in there that they're multiplying in. I feel so wasteful when I go through this. I hate throwing away food.

TOOPID allergies! This morning is the worst. My eyes, nose and scalp itch really bad. Well the scalp BETTER be allergies, otherwise I have a nasty case of lice! It's not even 8am and I already have a tissue pile next to my keyboard. My eyes are slits and I feel and look like I haven't slept in days. Guess I need to break out the claratin.

*deep cleansing breath* K, done. Now onto the good stuff.

Tom's been enjoying his time off although I haven't seen him too much. He's been out doing what he loves doing, working in the garden/yard. (a little rain doesn't bother him) I still enjoy having him home. It makes me happy to see him relax. Times like this make me look forward to when he retires. Last night I mentioned to him how sad it was he had to go back to work in the morning. He informed me that he didn't HAVE to, although he could. He'd put in for Wed off separately incase he decided he didn't want to go back to work yet. He's still sleeping in bed...guess he didn't want to go back yet. LOL

Liz leaves for Norway tomorrow! I'm a little less stressed about it. She's managed to pack almost everything but a few odd things. It's hard to let her pack herself. I'm so afraid she's going to forget something. I guess as long as she has her passport and the clothes on her back, she'll manage. LOL We've been so blessed to have the couple in our lives that's allowed these kids to travel like they have. Thank you V and L!!!!! I couldn't imagine bringing 28 young adults (14yo and up) to an amusement park for a day much less on a 17 day trip across the world to Norway! But they're doing it. They're going to have a BALL!

For some reason getting ready for a trip equates getting ALL the laundry done to me. So Liz's preparations have helped me do just that. Michelle and I have hoed out the basement of any old clothes down there. I won't mention how many bags of wet, moldy and plain old disgusting clothes we hauled out of's too embarassing. Today I'll be cleaning up my laundry room floor and rewashing things that have fallen out of clean laundry baskets. It's something that's been weighing me down lately and it's nice to have it almost done. :oD

I broke out my sewing machine yesterday. One of the things Liz needed was a duna cover. I bought a twin sheet set and a coordinating flat sheet then stitched the two flat sheets together on 3 sides. The kids all enjoyed watching me sew. Eileen is now begging me to teach her to sew. Problem is she wants to learn to sew by hand...ummm.....mommy tries to avoid that honey. lol I have some fabric she can make some pillows with.

I have to admit, it's nice to look over and see the machine ready to be used, without a ton of stuff stored ontop of it. I'm going to try to get some fabric washed after I finish the laundry, then I can sew up some skirts, jumpers, lounge pants and/or camisoles.

I'm ending here. I HAVE to break out the claratin NOW before I do some damage to myself. Hope today is a good one for everyone.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Misc Tidbits

Saturday was a productive day although you can't tell by walking in my door.

Sunday was BUSY! Baptism, shopping for Liz's trip to Norway, a 4th of July picnic at my uncle's, and a side trip to my parents' house on the way home to pick up a bigger suitcase for Liz.

While hitting a dollar store I saw they had a HUGE display of fresh cut carnations. I wanted to buy a bouquet of each color, I settled for 2...deep pink and white. They're pretty sitting next to my computer and smell nice. I LOVE flowers!

It was hard for the other kids to shop for only Liz. They're all old enough to understand the reason behind it. Taming the green eyed monster over it is a bit more difficult. There were a few times when I really had problems tolerating their case of the gimmies.

I'm glad we were gone Sunday evening. A summer thunderstorm knocked out our power and it didn't come back on for over 5hrs.

I'm cameraless at the moment. We've lost a piece of metal that the batteries make contact with (on the battery door). I'm hoping it's gone under the couch or loveseat and we'll find it later this week.

At my uncle's picnic my aunt (who had 7 kids herself) joked....Hmmmm...Danielle is almost one. Isn't it about time for another? My dad was standing there and wasn't amused. Told her to bite her tongue!

I realized...there's nothing like sparklers to make you feel like you're 10 again.

Also at my uncle's picnic. One of my uncle's crazy friends (whom I've known since I was little but haven't seen in quite a while) threw me one of his classic pick up routines. He acted like he mistook me for Annette who is GORGEOUS! Running into him again brought up the fact that I really do look like her and she really is gorgeous. Rolling my eyes I had to wonder if he realized I was K's baby girl.

I told my dad what I thought had happened and he confirmed that I had read it right. Later in the evening as my sister was giving my dad a kiss good-bye, crazy friend asked if that was his daughter and how many he had. My dad told him..Yes she is, I have 2. The other one is the one you thought was ANNETTE! LOL

My mom didn't go to my uncle's. When I told her the story she replied with...That musta made your day. I sarcastically said yeah, if it'd happened 20yrs ago maybe! Thinking on it now, it did tickle me just a bit. :o)

She's driving me crazy!

My grandmother has been living at my mom's house for a few weeks. While I'm there she likes to make comments. She's always felt free to make comments. While working with her as a teen it need some makeup on. Get in there and put some color in your face. As my family started to grow it need to stop having kids. No one in this day and age needs to have a lot of kids. Then my parents told her to back off and she did. But she's driving me crazy with her "admiration". It's not quite admiration but it's the best description I could think of and on the surface it looks to be. Things like...

Good God! You're too busy! You're never home! Don't you ever sit down?
Don't you ever stay home? Why do you always have to be going and going?
I feel sorry for you. You have too much to do.
You really need to slow down Kim. You're too busy
You poor thing. You need to relax! You do too much.
and on and on...

Thing is, I try to explain to her I can't be too busy if I can find hours to sit in front of the computer most days. The condition of my house shows I'm not busy enough. She says I like to always be going and I just think I'm not busy enough. Yeah right! I'm one of the laziest people I know....just ask Tom's family. ROFL!