Monday, November 26, 2012

VNS is in...

Update on Tuba. The surgery went great! We were just waking up Friday morning, enjoying a hot cup of tea/coffee when the phone rang. The hospital wanted us to come in as soon as possible.They had a schedule change. Fine with us...especially since Tuba couldn't eat before the surgery. The earlier the better.
The photo was taken while we waited for the surgery to start. I got out some bubbles to entertain Tuba. Yes, I get a Mother of The Year Award. You know how I hate bubbles. I even opened them and blew a few bubbles before I got completely sicked out! Ack!! I quick handed them off to Tuba and went to wash my hands. Besides, Tuba is way better at it than me.
He has such a grand time. Cam and I sat watching him and getting teary. Then Cam made the comment that Tuba is truly a gift from God. Indeed he is! I got all blubbery after that. It was a fun time.
And the best news.....NO, NO, NO seizures since the VNS battery replacement!! Woot! Thank you everyone for your prayers. Thank you God.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012


Thank you everyone for your faithful prayers for our sweet Tuba. Each and every comment, phone call and text to me was so helpful. Thank you for your love and kindness.

Things are going well! We saw the neurosurgeon today and he agreed that Tuba needs the battery changed right away. Yeah!! I didn't have to beg, cry, or freak out. Bonus. Believe me this morning I was wondering which of these strategies would make the biggest impact. Thankfully none of them were needed.

Surgery will be this Friday at noon. This is great for so many reasons. 1. It's very soon, 2. Cam is already off work so won't miss any more days, 3. We will have lots of left overs and can come home to food already made, 4. Tuba won't miss any school and will have a long weekend to recover. So Thankful!

There's so much to give thanks for. Cam's dad came over to our house the other night and gave us a HUGE check to pay our medical debt. Whoa! At first Cam tried protesting and then Keith argued back. This all made me so nervous I fled to the kitchen and shoveled snicker doodle cookies into my mouth. We are so thankful and humbled by this generous gift.

On the drive home from the Children's hospital today I was thanking God and spending some time praying for others.

I'm thankful for my kids. The fact that three of them have needed surgery this year is reason to be thankful too. They were relatively easy day surgeries. We have insurance. We have access to good medical care. We live within 30 miles of a top class pediatric hospital. The mom I met today who was crabby. Her child is very sick and they are from another state living at Ronald McDonald House. I'm thankful that we have a car. We get to drive on beautiful freeways (anyone who has ever traveled in the third world know the beauty of this), We have Grandma Sue living 3 blocks away and always willing to watch kids, My husband, so thankful for him. He is working extra long day today and then is willing to go pick up Tuba's prescriptions tonight on his way home so that I could come home and make pies. I'm thankfully at home now in cozy flannel pj and enjoying life.

I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you again to my family and friends for your loyal support and prayers. Have a blessed Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012


I've had a great time lately perusing second hand stores. I know lots of people have shopped there for years but I've just caught on. I've always loved yard sales and now I realize the Goodwill and other such shops are just big yard sales...indoors.

I keep a little mental list of things I'm in the market for....picture frames/mats, large serving bowls, scrap books, books, plant pots, extra set of measuring spoons....and on and on.

I picked up some great frames that had nice matting with them. For cheap! Each frame was $1.30!! You can't buy a piece of glass for that price.

I had some lovely drawings that Cam's dad Keith made. Keith is an artist. Well, I've had two of the pieces framed on my bedroom wall and then had another two pieces that needed frames. I decided I'd like to hang them all together above our bed.

I gathered my tools and got to work using my bed as my work bench. Kali the dog was my assistant. Doesn't she look helpful? I took the second-hand frames apart and carefully removed the old photo. Next I placed the new piece onto the mat and put frame back together.
I laid out all four prints onto butcher paper and marked them out in pencil. I carefully measured the space between each print. I also marked where the nails should go. You can't see it so well in the photo but it's there. I then used my level and tape measure to place the butcher paper onto the wall. I poked nails through the paper to mark the wall under it. Then I put nails and hangers up.
I really like the finished product. My new gallery cost me a whopping $2.60. You can click on the photo to take a closer look at each print. They look so nice together. Kali looks very proud of our work.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012


Today I cleaned the tray out from the toaster...and cleaned all the crumbs out from underneath it too. Then I moved everything off the counter and cleaned it sparkly. Then the backslash too. This is what I do when I'm stressed. It calms my nerves to clean and straighten. Now, each time I walk into my kitchen I feel a little ahhhhhh. That little ahhhhh soothes my nerves.

Back in 2008 THIS happened.'s happened again. That's the reason for my stress. And more.

You see this year has been a very expensive year for us. Mr. P has this ongoing allergy issue causing his eyes to be flaming red and weepy (I'll have to write more on this later). He has seen numerous Doctors....allergist X 2, ENT X 2, pediatric ophthalmologist, and had his tonsils out. That has left us with over $1,000 in medical bills. Sis just had her hernia repair. $800 and counting. Now Tuba needs surgery to replace the battery in his VNS. $$$

That's only part of the stress. The REAL stress for me is a deep worry. I'm afraid we will lose the good control Tuba has had over those nasty seizures. There have been years when Tuba had 100's of seizures a day. That's not a mis-type. Yep 100 + a day....for months on end. Catastrophic.

In 2008 when his battery up and died (which it's not supposed to do) he went from being mostly seizure free to having 10-15 a day. didn't get better for over six months. That's where my fear comes from.

Last week Tuba's teacher mentioned that she has been seeing more seizures. Hmmm...we had noticed more too. Instead of 1 or 2 small ones we had seen double that and they were stronger. I called up the neurologist and took him in yesterday. As soon as they checked his VNS my heart began to beat wildly. An error message saying that the battery isn't working at full capacity. Not again!!! Yes, again. So, they have no idea how much longer the battery will function...if it's working right at all.

I've done this before and I know that it will take get the surgery scheduled to change the battery. This makes me panic. I begged for the soonest available appointment. Next Wed. we see the neurosurgeon. Then they will schedule the actual surgery. Panic is setting in again.

Please, please, please God don't let Tuba get worse. Pray for my sweet boy. Pray for me and my panicking self. Pray for Cam too. He feels all the stress of this, the worry for his boy, the bills stacking up, the days he's missed work to be with kids having surgery, AND his panicking wife.

I'm better today than I was yesterday. Yesterday I cried. I asked my friends and family for support and prayer. Then Cam built me a fire and I sat in front of it with him. My calming rock. Today I cleaned crumbs and counters, glued a broken dresser drawer, scrubbed spots off the floor, did the bills, about 5 loads of laundry, and made soup and bread sticks for dinner. I do feel better. When I'm cleaning I pray and it calms me.

Tonight we will enjoy our soup and each other. I'll cross one more day off the calendar. One day closer to getting the new battery.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Halloween Happenings

I'm a bit late posting the Halloween pics. But, in my defense life it busy. AND our computer is hanging by a thread, dying, in other words it STINKS!! It takes hours to accomplish something simple like bill pay at my online back OR uploading photos to Blogger. Ugh!! So irritating! We need to buy a new computer.....but alas no money right now for one. Boo!

Speaking of saving money. My kids were happily pouring over a catalog full of Halloween costumes early in October. Of course they all found several that they had have. Mr. P found one for $60.00! It was THE ONE. Had to have it.

Cam and I broke the news to our little shoppers. There would be no new Halloween costumes this year. Nope. No money for it. Instead we offered Mr. P and Busy Guy $10 each and a free ride to Goodwill. Tuba and Baby George chose one of the many costumes we already own. Sis wanted to be a butterfly and all we needed were some wings.

I took the two boys second hand shopping one Saturday. The bummer of this plan was that ALL of the thrift stores we went to sell brand new costumes too! Expensive alluring distracting costumes. Although my heart was feeling a smidge bad I directed them to the rows of used items...aka...much cheaper items.

Mr. P grumped at first but then he spotted something he really liked! He found some shorts that had been painted with splotches of hand prints in red paint and then had plastic cockroaches glued to them. He LOVED them. They were his size! Next he found some hairy werewolf gloves and a topped it off with a pair of glow in the dark vampire teeth. He called himself a Zombie Werewolf. Very clever! He came in at $9.63.

Busy Guy did not enjoy the second hand shopping day and came home empty handed. He decided he would wear the pirate costume we already own. He then quickly bargained with me to use his $10 on a sword and gun as accessories for the pirate. We found some the day before Halloween on sale. He came in at $3.10.

I found wings for Sis on sale for 75% off. They cost me $3.24. She wore them with a tutu and tights that she owned already. I painted her face...and her fingernails. I bet you didn't know that butterflies have painted nails!

I bought some face paint too. I had some already but needed more black and then bought some ghoulish color for Mr. P's costume. I also bought some brown fabric paint. I didn't like Mr. P's shorts looking like blood. I didn't think they were school appropriate so we covered it up to look like dirt. Still acceptable to Mr. P. I spent about $8.00 total on paints but I have lots left for next year too.

Grand total = $23.97 for 5 costumes! Not bad at tall. Especially considering that is less than just one costume from that beloved catalog.
 We stayed home this year and did Trick or Treating in our neighborhood. A new tradition for us. It was very fun. The rain stopped and it was warm out. The best part to me was getting to see inside people's homes! I loved it. I saw some really beautiful homes.

A fun, fun, night! Now, can you all come over here and help us eat all of the candy?? Please!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Just Use It - Toys

The day was looooooong, the kids were wild, I was tired, did I say the day was long? Suddenly, I had an idea. I decided to get out my Barbie dolls for Sis to play with. I sent the big boys off to have some screen time (AKA sanity saver for mom).
I have a bunch of my dolls and old toys in a Hope Chest. I took out these dolls and some clothes for Sis to play with. Baby George was also interested in playing. The kids were so excited with a "new" toy.
It was really fun to look at all it! It made me smile. Sis thought the dolls were gorgeous! Well, they are very a 70's disco kind of way.
I neatly french braided this doll's hair before putting her away in the chest. Isn't she lovely? Gold pants suit with a cape. Ohhhhhh.
I wondered if I should let the kids play with them. Would they ruin them or lose them? In the end I decided....Just Use It!
I did however keep all of the small combs, shoes, and accessories in the Hope Chest for when Sis is bigger. It says volumes about the kind of girl I was that I have ALL of the accessories that go with each doll. They are all neatly packed into little Barbie suitcases. :)
It's now been a couple of months since I took the dolls out. The clothes have all been taken off and scattered around Sis's room. They have all had lots of baths and hair washes in the tub. And...only one earring is missing. I'm trying not to feel stressed about it....trying.
Here's my two cents on Barbie:
I grew up playing with Barbie. I loved it. I have so many great memories. I recognize that Barbie's proportions are not real-life. But, neither are any of the Super Heroes. I do not think that my daughter's self worth and body image will be damaged by playing with Barbie. Sis has lots of interests and plays with lots of other toys. And yes, she has a brown skinned Barbie too. I do think that how I perceive my body and others in our about, complain about, appreciate...etc.) is what will impact my daughter...and sons' body image.
Just my two cents.


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