Wednesday, May 28, 2008


Tonight we saw STOMP. It was actually the second time we've seen it and it didn't disappoint although a lot of the plot sequences/backdrop were the same. The cast was different, there was a different energy, and overall it felt different. To compare, we saw Blue Man Group in Chicago a few years back and although that was a terrific show, STOMP blows them out of the water. So what do they do? No, they don't just walk around and bang on trash cans, the unspoken humor (they don't talk at all) that resonates throughout the whole 2hr performance had me laughing out loud more than I would seeing a purposefully funny movie. It was great to get a break from the duty of garage sale stuff for the good of fund-raising.

Speaking of which; it is going great! I am blessed to have a great supportive family so willing to help out. Here I am, signing up for this, and when I need help (more like getting bailed out) they all run to the rescue. That's what family is all about. And it's all for the good of the kids and school, so why not? I have volunteers coming tomorrow to help me price. Aside from all the clothes (that's Mom S's job to do), I would say we're already a good 1/4 through the pricing. I think with me and the volunteers, most of it will be done tomorrow. I'd like to relax on Friday until 4 when the next shift of madness sets in, which is moving all the organized/priced items to the church and prepping the tables for Saturday. That should be a long show, too. God willing, that will go smoothly and there will be no rain on Saturday. I will be there at 6am setting stuff up with my wonderful hubby (who has never hesitated in helping when I need it ... I'm blessed!) and exactly 12hrs later we'll be closing the sale, loading all the rest of the stuff (I refrain from using JUNK ... oh wait, I just did. I feel better now) into the truck donated by St Vincent DePauls, and we haul it off for them to sort through. Ahhh, what a wonderful feeling 6:30pm on Saturday will feel like.

In another twist of events, we have been discussing how small our house is. So on a whim my bro in law, who is a contractor came over to discuss how/if we could add a bonus room onto our garage without jacking up our structure, etc. He basically said there WAS a way, but yes; it would jack up our structure, cost way too much money, and we'd have to move out for a month. So, his other options were: to trade our house with his 6 acres of land, then we'd have to build or live in something cheap until we could build big. b) rent our house and buy a bigger one c) rent our house and build a bigger one or d) do nothing. I'm inclined to do nothing right now, but Nate likes the idea of obtaining the 6 acres right now. We'll see ...

I am heading to the doctor on Friday morning to also get a good look at my poor tootsies. I'm sure the verdict will be weight loss (as I sit here at midnight eating Oreos ... hey, Miss Monthly's here), but I'd like to see if they're full-blown arthritic now ... vs plantar fasciitis ... vs ??? So we'll see. Apparently my BP is running high lately since the pre-eclampsia/Griffin issue so we'll talk about that. Do you think I have any stressors in life now? I should be relaxing and rejoicing in having my healthy babies ... but to take on this massive sale. Well. I asked for it.

The Oreos are going away. And so am I, only because I can't sit here without Oreos so that leaves me with no other option. Night.

Friday, May 23, 2008

OHSU visit

We just got back from Griffin’s OHSU adventure. Wednesday he had his MRI. That was an ordeal. We were to arrive an hour early so that they could put lidocaine cream on his IV sites so when they started it, he wouldn’t feel it. Well, the receptionist came out and put the cream on the tops of his feet and one hand. I thought this perhaps was a bit fishy, but what did I know? After waiting the required hour, we went back and the RN right away said that he had no visible veins in the feet. She tried his hand, which he screamed bloody murder on. She called the anesthesiologist who came and tried the outside of his foot (no cream was put there) and while Fin continued to turn purple with screaming so hard, she too couldn’t get it. They informed us that they now needed to put him under with the “gas mask” as I call it. They gave me a pacifier with some sugar water and I rocked him while he fell asleep until they were ready. When they said we couldn’t go back with him, I informed them that I would be going back with him and I would talk to whatever supervisor I needed to because I would kindly tell him/her what I thought of their inadequate use of the lidocaine cream. Needless to say, I went back with him and held him while they put the mask on him. He never woke up and drifted right off to gassy sleep.

We saw Dr Koch and when he walked in he said, “The good news is that there is a lot of good news!” He was really encouraged because of the fact that Fin’s EEG done on May 9th was completely normal now – the low seizure threshold found in February had resolved. The MRI showed no surprising results and Dr Koch put it in analogy form like this: When Fin got sick, it was like he had fallen and really skinned up his knee. The MRI done right after his illness showed swelling, acute trauma, and inflammation. On the MRI done on Wednesday, none of that was present and instead just the scars remain. Dr Koch anticipates he might forever have those scars, but developmentally, those scars have not affected anything. The area of the brain where the scars are present is a rapidly growing part of the brain and hopefully the scars will diminish as the new tissue forms. Dr Koch was more impressed with the findings with the EEG because although the MRI is a nice picture-taking tool for diagnostics, it doesn’t necessarily reflect functioning. The EEG showed 1hr of pure normal brain function.

He’ll see Dr Koch one more time in 6mo, closer to his 1yr birthday to check his development one more time. If everything goes as he anticipates (which is developmentally appropriate), then he’ll discharge him from OHSU care.

Closing on the best note ever: we have been given the OK to start tapering Fin off of the Phenobarbital. It will be a slow 6wk taper, but eventually he will be Phenobarbital-free. As he left the room, he said, “He’s now thrown into the ‘Normal Kid' Bucket’”. Ahh, finally.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

so smart!

Can you believe you didn't think of restoring old Geo Metros and selling them on eBay? I know when I read this, I thought, "How genius!!" With gas $4/gallon, the words "Geo Metro" are like water to a dehydrated man!

Tomorrow is Portland/OHSU. Will report then.

Monday, May 19, 2008

lots of stuff

Ok. So, what’s up with having SNOW and ICE exactly 1 month ago, and here we all sit now sweating our teeth out with 90-100F weather!? It’s beyond me, but I guess it keeps us on our toes. So far I think the only plant I’ve lost due to this crazy weather is my trumpet vine. Otherwise my yard is now looking fabulous. I’ll post more pictures of my yard later, as I want you to see my wisteria. It’s getting prettier every year!

On Friday Fin (aka: pumpkin seed) had his 4mo well baby check and it went great. He rolled over from back to front right in front of the doctor and her comment was, “My, he’s a little advanced!” He is right on target developmentally, size appropriate, and in general looking really good. I had her look at his little breast lump and she said it was just delayed breast tissue. It’s more times found in girls than boys, but boys can still get it; and it’s usually found shortly after birth, but since he was so sick it could have been delayed in perking up. Nevertheless she is not overly worried and will just watch and see what it looks like at his 6mo appt. So, stats:
Weight: 15lb 1oz
Height: 25”

Nate and I are gearing up to take him to his follow-up appointments at OHSU and the pediatric neurologist. I don’t know if you remember or not, but Fin (despite what the ped neuro said he thought) had a slightly abnormal EEG and so the decision was made to keep him on a small/low dose of phenobarb that he was probably outweighing already. Since then we have not changed his dosing and we still have seen no seizure activity or trembling. We had another EEG last Friday to see if the abnormality is gone.

We leave Wednesday early morning to have Fin’s sedation at 10:00, then he’ll have an MRI at 11:00. We’re staying overnight downtown and will see Dr Koch to have him looked at again since he’s developed so much further, and then we’ll discuss the results of the EEG test we did just last Friday, as well as the MRI that we will have just done the morning before. I’m very anxious to get this done and pray pray pray it all looks good.

One garage sale find we got while doing our normal hunt was this tractor. It had a broken pedal and Nate was destined to fix it. So we brought it home and before we knew it, Maysen was on it in his professional farming boots, he had his "trailer" with "cows" all hooked up and ready to go. Unfortunately the pedal could not be fixed, but Mase doesn't care. A farmer never leaves a fallen tractor.

On a lighter note, today was our nieces 2nd birthday party today. That was loads of fun. It was very warm, but perfect weather for the kids to play in the sprinkler and get out water balloons. I hope she enjoys the girlie back pack we got her …another thing to tote things around in – what else could be more perfect?

On yet another note, I’ve finally made an appt with my doctor to discuss what I have self diagnosed as plantar fasciitis. Ever since our marathon yard working day, I can barely handle standing for long periods of time, getting out of bed, or rising from a chair without excruciating pain through both my feet. It first started in my heel but now has effected all of my feet. Then I’m on them all day and I can barely handle to sit down, because they’ll throb while I’m sitting and then I don’t even want to imagine getting up. I tore a tendon about 2yrs ago and in that xray they found pre-arthritic changes in my feet, so I am wondering if that has changed any. I guess we’ll see. I haven’t wanted to say much about it because who wants to say “Oh yea … my feet hurt, rub them” (that’s where Nate rolls his eyes at me), or I gimp around like some 89yr old woman who is in full blown arthritis. It’s just sad. So, hopefully I don’t just get a “You’re fat, lose weight”. Ok. Thanks. Until then, how do you get the shards of glass out of my feet when I stand up to walk? Thanks.

Hope you had a good weekend. If you don’t hear much from me this week, we’ll be trying to handle garage sale stuff (monster take on) and then we’ll be in Portland. Have a Happy Memorial (Three Day) weekend!!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


Mase: Mommy, why's the tractor in the dirt and not vrrooming?
Me: Probably because they are done with it.
Mase: Nope. Maybe it just wasn't necessary.

Where do they get this stuff??

Tomorrow is a big day. In the morning I am taking Griffin to his 4mo well-baby check. I'm anxious to hear what the pediatrician says about a small marble-sized lump under his right breast. Sometimes babies are born with stuff like that because of the mothers' hormones that circulate in their blood, too. However I never noticed it until my step mom pointed it out on their visit 2 weeks ago. It doesn't seem to bother him, it's mobile, there's no change in the look of his nipple, it's just .... there. I'm sure it's nothing to worry about, I just want to hear it from the doctor. He'll also get another 5 shots (BOO HOO), and I'm anxious to hear how much he weighs and how long he is. They grow so fast.

Then I'm working triage the rest of the day. Because it's going to be 90F, my friend from work and I are heading out for margaritas and mexican food on the outside patio of Chapalas. Simply devine. Although being chased by a 3 year-old with a garden hose is very comparable. That's what happened today. Something about the cackle of a toddler as he awkwardly man-handles the garden hose on full blast (like a miniature fire hose) is simply devine as well.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008


So, I am now moving on from my "Pitty Party" I had in my last post to say that I really wish that all you mommies out there had a great and fabulous day yesterday. Mine started with me and the Hubbidy-Hax yakking our heads off until 2am. I got to sleep in the next morning until 9:30 where Nate and Maysen were making me French Toast. Maysen came running up to the door and says "I love you TOOOOOOOOO (aka: Sooooooooo) much!" I even got to open my first mother's day present from school. It was a picture of him holding flowers in a flower pot. So cute!

We hung out and at around 2 we dumped the kids off on Aunt Bonnie (Happy Mother's Day, huh!) and we went searching for new bedding (and had dinner of course). I've been wanting new bedding ever since Maysen used Markers all over the bedspread, and then one day I let him cut out paper up there, and he cut holes in my comforter. Anyway ... a rule was set in place: No more crafts on our bed. Only CLEAN children who are calm can be on our bed. Well, Nate and shopped around at every place until we found this. Nate picked it out - I picked out the accent pillows/throw. He eventually found the wall hangings which ties in the blue from the pillows/throw in with the frosted glass which encases Japanese fern leaves. Very nice. Ironically our bathroom already pretty much matches this, so boy don't I feel good!

So ... you'd think that would be the best bed ever ... snuggle into, cozy up to. Well, tonight I close my eyes and drift away to a dream where I am dating this rather cute guy who looked like Nate but I "Knew" it was just a normal guy. This dream eventually turned into he was chasing me through a dark parking garage, his footsteps getting closer, and I'd turn down corridors filled with women crying holding syringes, and anger, and dark. I realized I was in a dream and I was trying to wake up, which is usually me screaming loudly in my dream. Then I finally said at one point "Lord, get me out of this dream because I feel like the devil is here". And BAM, I was awake. I know it was just my eyes adjusting to my surroundings, but it seemed as though fog was rolling away from me and my bed. It was so creepy. So here I am .... trying to recoup from that. Yippee! So yea ... the picture above is my new bedroom! Sorry - camera phone pic,but you get the idea.

I was pondering on the idea that maybe I had that dream because Nate leaves soon to go to Denver, CO for work. I wanted to go with him next time he went but this came up too fast. He's going to Seattle for a few days in June, so maybe I'll get to go there. Nothing better than Colorado this time of year, though. I'm jealous. I've looked at the weather report for here. Can you believe 90F by the end of the week. Amazingly crazy.

Bailey (our basset hound) had surgery on her paw late last week. She had a pretty significant cyst right at the crease. It was getting larger, so we decided to have it taken off and her nails cut back a great deal while she was under. She's did rather well. They wanted to send it off to cytology to see if it's cancer, but I don't see there being any different treatment options for us and why spend $100 to find it out. So, if God's ready for her to go, she'll go. Her wound is challenging. She's been on prednisone so long for her Addison's Disease that her skin is paper thin, so suturing it up was difficult. 80% has pulled out of the sutures and leaves a gaping hole. We keep it clean and she seems fine, so we'll let granulation tissue form and she'll have a wickedly big scar ... but oh well! :-) That'll be a good fight story she can tell all the other dogs in the neighborhood :)

I'm going to brave going back to bed now. If you don't hear from me again, it's because I was a victim of the Nightmare on Elm street (Do you remember those movies!? Geesh...)

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Onward Ho ...

I’m emotionally stuck between being extremely happy and proud of my dad and Jo, to selfishly feeling deprived of something that most people find as their main source of pride, comfort, and “home”.

About 5 years ago, my dad and stepmother sold our childhood home and bought a 5th wheel. It had always been a dream of my fathers’ to cut his roots to anything that might be holding him back and travel all over the United States, being somewhat semi-retired. They achieved their goal and have seen most of the United States, either traveling through or working for a moment in time there. They manage RV parks/resorts for a year or two at a time and then move on. My happiest times were when they worked in Lincoln City, only a 3hr drive from where we live.

But that job, too, never lasted and they were off back across the US – thousands of miles away. It was always bitter sweet to see them drive away knowing it would likely be a year before seeing them again. You see, my parents divorced when I was 17 and I literally lost half my whole family with the divorce. It was messy, to say the least. All I basically have now is my dad and my sister, who by the grace of God lives only 2hrs from me in Portland.

For the last year or so, my dad and Jo have been working in California. Although it’s a whole state away, it was still only a 7hr drive from us and the trip could be made if there was a long 3-day weekend. Throughout the year we’ve made a couple of trips down to see them, and them coming multiple times up to Oregon to see us. We’ve had some great times within the last year – seeing San Fransisco together, visiting Alcatraz, Griffin’s birth and illness, Frisbee tosses to Hombre, and extensive talks while on the boat sailing on the Delta.

With Maysen now 3, his recollection of who people are and experiences he’s had with them are really sticking in his mind. He repeats certain phrases my dad has said, relates boats to “Prapa has a boat”, cooking with grandma Jo, the birds “Pacho and Chacho”, riding the “tractor” which is nothing more than a golf cart, and other fun times they’ve shared.

Dad called and told me last week that they have accepted another job – in Kentucky. Normally I would be congratulating them with the same bitter sweetness I have in the past – but this one was different. I have found as my kids get older, I realize the greater importance of family. And I know we’re all biased when it comes to our family, but I truly believe that my father is one of the greatest people on this earth. I feel fortunate that Maysen has such a strong bond to that man. I am saddened with the realization that Griffin might not be as fortunate. I am lucky that Jo is a great grandmother to my kids and that she has her own unique bond with not only us, but my kids.

The harsh reality of seeing them more than a few days a year is a hard one to take. My dad is no spring chicken and I worry about him falling ill and me not being there. I worry that as the days, weeks, years pass that the memories of Prapa and Grandma will become hazy in Maysen's little head.. I worry that the first time Griffin is able to know who Dad and Jo are, he’ll cower behind my leg – scared of these people that love him so much.

So I sit here feeling guilty that I am thinking only of me and my kids happiness. I am thrilled that they are able to continue to live their dream. But one thing I realize is that the older we all get, the more important being close to my family is to me. Not saying that family is not important to my dad and Jo, I just hope that some day being close to us is more important than seeing the country.