Friday, May 27, 2011

The Homeschool Mother's Journey...v1

I'm becoming slightly addicted to the blogging world of link-ups and memes (pronounced like dreams).  I love that they give me a place to start when it comes to writing.  Although, I'm pretty good at spitting out enough words (notice I didn't say good words) to fill a blog space, I'm horrible when it comes to thinking of fresh ideas. 

I came across The Homeschool Mother's Journey meme on one of the 5 billion homeschool blogs I follow.  And since "real" school has officially ended, I've decided to start calling myself a homeschooling mommy.  It's my school and I can call myself what I want to!  :)   In my defense, we have been doing some schoolwork, so I am technically teaching!

If you want to join in on this meme, head over to The Homeschool Chick for The Homeschool Mother's Journey.  She's provided some fun questions to answer each week!

In my life this week…
We're trying to settle into a summer groove.  This week has been a bad example of how weeks to come will go.  Tuesday was truly the only uneventful day we had.  The rest of the week we had some friends come over to play, I was finally able to take Bright Eyes to have his speech evaluated (he passed!), and then we had family in town for an evening.  I'm truly hoping that next week is more of a "normal" week, and we'll be able to get on schedule.

In our homeschool this week…
We're focusing this summer on math and reading...especially on reading.  If you know me even a little, you know that I'm ridiculous when it comes to planning.  The summer schedule is a pretty crazy example of that.  It's color coded and time stamped!  I'm insane, I know!  But so far, so good!  The boys alternated between working with me on their bookwork and doing their lessons on the computer.  And our sweet Sunshine was very sweet to us and slept until 9 each morning allowing us lots of time to finish things!

Places we’re going and people we’re seeing…
This question stinks!!  Today, I should be lounging poolside with my best friend enjoying her husband's famous mojitos.  But, I'm too chicken to be too far from the hospital in case Bright Eyes has a relapse, so here I sit...on my couch!  I guess it turned out okay, because Sunshine has come down with some sort of illness and keeps spiking a fever.  That would have been zero fun at the beach.  We did have some special visitors yesterday and today...Gramma, Bop-Bop, and Aunt C!

My favorite thing this week was…
Ultreya!  Without question....have YOU thought about going on a Cursillo weekend?????

What’s working/not working for us…
I'm absolutely loving Saxon math.  The meeting is wonderful!  I was surprised to find that Zep really didn't understand the whole month/year/date thing.  The rest of the lesson is incredibly easy, so I'm really glad we're beginning it early.  Hopefully, by the time we start learning new material it'll be just about time to kick-off the new school year.

A photo, video, link, or quote to share…
Poor Bop-Bop thought he was going out to enjoy some quiet time with his newspaper and coffee!!  Two little boys thought it would be fun to follow suit! 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Small Successes v1

FaithButtonIn the past, Faith and Family Live has hosted a link-up each Thursday called Small Successes.  Recently, Sherry, over at Chocolate For Your Brain, has taken on the hosting roll!  I've been stalking several bloggers who regularly take part in this link-up, and have loved the concept and loved reading the things they've shared. 

In the busy world of mommy hood, rarely do we take time to pat ourselves on the back for things that we have been able to accomplish.  These especially include...the little things.  I don't know about you girls, but sometimes the only success I feel in a day is that I've managed to wipe the kitchen counters clean, about 50 times!

I, too often, spend all my time hashing over the things I screwed up each day...and believe me, there's a whole lot of hashing to do on that subject!!  But, I really think it's more important to reflect back on our week and see what good we were able to do.  This can include extra time spent with the kids, fitting an extra decade of the rosary into the day, finishing a great book, or just finally getting to bed at a reasonable hour.  This is what Small Successes is all about.  Simply three things you've succeeded at!

So, excuse me now while I toot my own horn a bit!  :)
  •  Last year the boys and I decided to do a wildflower garden just outside our back porch.  We threw down some seeds, covered the area with dirt, and watered it when the thought crossed our minds.  The window beyond the kitchen table soon became my favorite place to sit.  I was able to admire our garden from there.  Every day dozens of butterflies would visit our garden as well as several hummingbirds.  I promised the boys that we'd plant another garden this year.  This week we finally did!  I loaded up the kids and made the trip to Home Depot.  Hopefully, in a couple weeks we'll have an assortment of beautiful flowers growing once again!
  • About five years ago, my neighbor introduced me to the concept of once a month cooking.  It intrigued me but never enough for me to try it.  I think with our first year of homeschooling creeping up on us, I'm desperate to make things as simple as possible around here.  So, I borrowed my neighbors book and went to work creating my first once a month cooking shopping list.  I finished purchasing everything today.  This weekend will be a marathon of cooking as I attempt to cook and freeze 27 meals!  I'm praying this works well.  Do you know how wonderful it would be to not have to cook a meal every single evening????
  • And lastly, I managed to make it through Zep's graduation ceremony without a COMPLETE breakdown.  There was definitely a breakdown, it just wasn't completely horrible!  I can't believe he's big enough to be in 1st grade now.  Plus I had the added emotion of saying goodbye to teachers (especially the pre-K ones) and knowing that this would be the last time I would share these sort of memories with my best friends.

If you'd like to toot your horn a bit too, join the link-up over at Chocolate For Your Brain!!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

A Wednesday Morning Blessing...

I've had a rough couple of days.  My emotions are all over the place.  Thankfully, I was able to call a good friend to just sit with me on Monday.  And then yesterday, I totally lost my cool and went on a rampage.  Thankfully, again, I was able to attend our monthly Ultreya last evening.  The peace that all my wonderful Cursillo sisters and brothers provide me is unmeasurable! 

I wish I could put my feelings into words.  I'm overwhelmed.  I look at my son, and from the surface, he looks fine.  But I know that inside that beautiful little boy is a heart that is damaged.  I'm constantly searching every inch of his body for rashes or signs that the disease has returned.  The poor kid!  I'm sure if I ask to look at his bottom or stick out his tongue one more time he's going to start screaming at me.  Thankfully, we'll be able to see his cardiologist next week to see if the condition of his left coronary artery has changed any.  We're praying that all has returned to normal.  If so, I think we can move on with our lives with just the precaution of a heart healthy diet and a watchful eye of arthritic pain.  It's obviously not the life you want for any of your children, but we'll take whatever we can get.

God gave me a special blessing this morning when I turned on the radio.  I needed to hear this today.  I needed to be reminded that it's okay to be sad and upset.

When listening to the song it also reminded me of a fellow mommy friend of mine who is also going through some tough stuff with her own son who was recently diagnosed with Type I diabetes.  So, YankeeBelle, this is for you too!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Chronicles of a soon-to-be homeschooling mom...v3

Tomorrow Zep will take his walk down the aisle of the church and "officially" graduate from Kindergarten.  I've been anxiously awaiting this day for the last several months.  The day when I'm no longer rushing to school in the morning, rushing home in the evening, and trying somewhere in there to connect with my kids.  And now the day is upon me...and I'm scared &*"#*$&#!!! 

I've watched the Facebooks posts: 

What am I going to do with my kids home ALL summer!
I can't believe my preschooler will be gone all week next year!
We're so excited for the break during the summer!

I'm not much of a status Facebooker; I much prefer to stalk other's status' instead.  If I were to type up a status today it would read something like...

Starting tomorrow what in the world am I going to do with my children until they go to college??  They're really going to be with me EVERY SINGLE DAY??!!!  Will I ever get a break again??

Scared = Me!!  I've heard that the first year is the hardest.  Sticking through that year will be the determining factor on how well this will work for me.  I'm getting rid of all the uniforms, and I've already spent an arm and a leg at IKEA, so we have no choice but to make homeschooling work.  Plus, all those wonderful ladies at the convention pretty much made me feel guilty to ever want to part with my children again!!!  Not to mention the books I've read in support of homeschooling.  I feel like the apostles after first seeing Jesus resurrected..suddenly my eyes were opened!  I know that this is for the long haul.  We previously thought we'd think about high school when we got there.  But even now, I kinda think they'll stay home then as well.  Heck, if we've made it that far...why not continue!!

Besides being scared, I'm excited!!  I can't wait to watch my children learn.  Zep has gotten into this reading kick lately.  All he wants to do is sit in my lap and read to me.  And not to brag or anything (okay, maybe I'm bragging a little), but he's pretty dang good!  It makes my heart sing to hear him read.  I'm excited to become a part of the wonderful Catholic homeschooling group in our area.  I've already met some incredibly faithful women.  I can't wait to learn from them and feed off their Jesus vibes!

So, tomorrow...I'll probably cry.  A lot of the friends I've made at our school will become distant memories.  With four weekend Masses, we're very likely to miss one another.  The dreams that I once had for my children have changed.  Their friends will change, as will mine.  Although scared and excited, I'm ready.  I'm ready for the new adventure..the one that waits beyond the Kindergarten graduation!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Intro to Weightloss Wednesday

A blogger "friend" of mine has decided to start up a weight loss "support group" through the blogging world.  Since, I'm already a huge fan of her blog and read it daily, I thought, "what the heck!"  I've been struggling with my weight since college.  I clearly remember being determined to be below 130 for my wedding day.  I'm pretty sure I didn't make that.  Oh, how I'd give now to be anywhere near the 130s.

After three babies and complete laziness, it's time to get my rear in gear.  About 3 years ago, I had managed to get to a very, very low 117.  My methods were completely unorthodox and should have landed me in a clinic.  I have no desire to be that low again, but anything in the 120s would be fab!! 

Before our Kawasaki's showdown, I had managed to take off about 10 pounds, but then put it all back on (plus some) with crummy hospital food and all the wonderful goodies left by friends. 

Today was a new start.  I made it up in time to get 30 minutes on the elliptical in, and I've yet to eat any of the sugary goodness piled in my the house!!   We'll see how it goes!  If you'd like to play along, visit my friend over at A Mother's Heritage to link up!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

We're getting in the limo...

I was just reminded that, unless you can read my Facebook page, you probably have no idea that WE'RE HOME!!!!  The rest of the next 5 weeks will be about healing our little boy.  He'll need to gain his strength back and take an aspirin regimen to reduce the swollen artery in his heart.  Hubby and I both feel great about where Bright Eyes health is at this moment.

So, for now folks, we're moving on....

I've put together a weekly schedule for our summer, and we're going to start homeschooling officially tomorrow!  Yes, we will be one of those crazy families that continues to school though out the summer break.  Don't judge me yet though!!!  We'll JUST be doing some basic phonics and math work. hour a day! 

We're ready to put this last couple weeks behind us, rejoice in all of God's graces, and move on to the wonderful life that is ahead of us!

As we walked out of the hospital today, a beautiful little girl was being pushed out in wheelchair.  She had lost all of her hair, so I'm sure she had been suffering from cancer.  Awaiting her in the driveway was a white stretch limousine.  From the people talking, I gathered that she was finally in remission and this was her congratulatory drive home.  That limo was the beginning of her new life, without illness.

The Heart of the Home limo takes off tonight!!!  Thanks again to EVERYONE for EVERYTHING!  I would send out thank you cards, but I'm sure I would forget someone.  Please know that hubby and I have been so incredibly humbled by all the love we have received.  We can only pray that we have the opportunity to pass it on to the next person/persons in need!  Love you all!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Just another day at the hospital...

I'm starting to really figure out my new "home away from home."  I've got most of the rules down, and can find all the necessary places in the hospital.  This really is the greatest hospital.  They have so many activities for the kids, and (overall) the staff is pretty incredible!

But...regardless of how wonderful it is...I WANT TO GO HOME!!!  And it looks like that may happen tomorrow at some point.  The doctors came in at lunch and verified that all of his symptoms were either gone or almost gone.  His ECHO from yesterday showed no additional damage to his heart (Praise God!).  The only symptom that really seems to be hanging around is his inability to walk around very much.  His little legs just hurt.  So, he's been riding in a wagon through the halls.  We visited the game room, where I finally kicked his booty in air hockey, and we stopped by the activity room and painted a few pictures.  We even had a lunch date in the cafeteria.

As long as things remain the same, we'll be released tomorrow.  And then we'll pray that the symptoms don't return again at home.  If they do, the doctors said something about doing yada, yada, yada or maybe blah, blah, blah.  Yeah, I think I just didn't hear all the "ifs."  I'll worry about the "ifs" IF the need arises!

Bright Eyes wants to send a shout-out to all his homies in PreK!  He hopes that the Mass and celebration were fun today, and he misses everyone very much!! 

Monday, May 16, 2011

How things looks today...

I have very little to update. I think my brain has become mush regardless, so it's probably a good thing that I don't have to push it very much for information.

A team of people came in this morning to see B.E.  There was an attendee, some residents, and some grad students.  (Please all you medical people, if I'm using the wrong terms, forgive me!)  Hubby said it was like a scene from Grey's Anatomy.  The attending doctor asked one of the residents to go over the case.  The resident read through the facts and verified them with hubby.  I was really disappointed that we weren't able to have our original doctor, but my disappointment didn't last long.  Hubby said our new doctor looks just like Sandra Oh.  And everyone knows that Dr. Cristina Yang is one of the best heart doctors around.  I mean, seriously people, she almost single-handedly saved Callie a couple weeks ago.  We couldn't be in better hands!!! 

Ok, back to reality! :)  The IVIG finished at about 1pm.  B.E.'s eyes and lips are looking better.  His rash really hasn't changed much.  He managed to VERY slowly walk to the bathroom, so at least he's bearing weight on his feet now.  They performed an ECHO on him again, and we're still awaiting the results.  This is probably a good thing, as I'm sure they'd have responded quickly if there was a problem.  So, once again we're on a 24 hour hold to see how his symptoms react to the infusion.  The doctor doesn't usually make her rounds until the evening, so I'm assuming it'll be at least until then before we're able to leave.  As much as I'm ready to be out of here again, I want to make sure that we've got this thing kicked and we won't have to come back.

Until tomorrow...

Unless, of course, I feel the need to unleash my feelings of the evening!  ;)

Bright Eyes' Prayer Warriors

Our little boy has gained quite the group of prayer warriors.  We have family praying, friends praying, family of friends praying, and even strangers praying.  I truly believe that without it things would be so different now.  Both hubby's and my spirits have stayed quite high today, and I truly attribute that to all of you that have given of your time to lift up our child.

How beautiful is this list....(thanks especially to Heather for setting this up!)

9:30:  Heather
10:00:  Kathleen
10:30: Stacey, Susan, Brooke, Cathy, Beth
11:00:  Susan's mom, Patty
11:30:  Terry, Suzannne
12:00:  Carol, Patty
12:30:  Stacie, Stacey
1:00:  Sheila, Jamie, Joanne, Stacey's mom
1:30:  Brian
2:00:  Kathleen, Teresa
2:30:  Janie, Traci
3:00:  Michelle, Cathy's mom, Peg, Polly, Lynette
3:30:  Denise, Polly, Jackie
4:00:  Chesney, Jacqueline, Doug, Melanie, Amanda
4:30:  Betty
5:00:  Jill's mom
5:30:  Yvonne, Jonni, Whitney, Sarah, Stacey, Cathy's sister, Cathy's niece, Tina, Erin
6:00:  Regina
6:30:  Beth, Erin, Mary Gay
7:00:  Amy, Rinn
7:30:  Rinn, Angela
8:00:  Kristina, Kate
8:30:  Jenny, Kristina, Annie, Jean
9:00:  Jill, Kristina, Ginger, Linda, Sheila, Melanie
9:30:  Marie, Lori

10:00 pm:  Christie
10:00 p.m-4:00 a.m:  Erika (in between patients and during breaks)
3:30 a.m.:  Heidi (while nursing babes)

4:30 am: Annie
Sometime late tonight:  Renee, Carrie

We were also told that a friend, who's uncle is a priest, said Mass for Bright Eyes today.  So very special!  Mac and Nana couldn't stand it anymore, so Mac is headed our direction.  They love their little man!

On a completely different note...I have one more small request.  I know, I could I possibly ask for more!!??!!  But this one isn't for me...I've had a very special little girl in my life for several years.  She's not my daughter, but I love her like one of my own.  She holds a big ol' piece of my heart.  Yesterday she had a slight spill and prayers are needed for her adorable little head!  So while you're praying for our Bright Eyes please pray for "my girl" as well!  Thanks so much!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

The post where I whine...and rant...

It's 10:15pm.  On a normal Sunday evening, my husband and I would be in bed, turning out the lights for the night.  We would have just checked in on all of the children to give them their nightly blessing.  All would be right within our four walls.  But tonight, there are only three people at home, because our Bright Eyes was once again admitted to the hospital. 

Yesterday, B.E. started showing signs of the rash that he never had during his entire time at the hospital.  By the end of the day he said it hurt too much to walk.  Today he woke up relatively fine.  His eyes looked almost completely white again, his lips just a tad on the red side.  Hubby and I played a silly scavenger hunt game with both Zep and Bright Eyes.  We noticed that B.E. was limping a bit, but I was warned ahead of time that he might suffer some arthritis-type symptoms for several more weeks.  At about 4pm, he started refusing to walk again and complained of horrible pain in his feet.  His eyes and lips had both reddened.  We took him to soak in a warm bath and things suddenly turned horrible.  The rash on his body intensified and he was writhing in pain.  He was screaming and crying.  All I could do was hold his hand.  I tried so hard, but I couldn't keep myself from crying uncontrollably.  I know I scared Zep, and for that I feel horrible. 

The on-call Infectious Disease doctor suggested we bring him back to the hospital.  We waited a whole 5 minutes before they called us back and went to work on him.  When the nurse came in with a "newbie" nurse, she asked him if he'd ever seen Kawasaki Disease before; he hadn't.  She went on to explain to him that he was looking at a classic case.  Yes, reassuring to know that we've got a definite diagnosis, but not good because I don't want him to have this disease anymore and all she has to do is look at him to see it.  And here we thought things were getting better.

They've already had to stick him twice for blood and an IV line.  I HATE this...and I HATE saying that word, but I really HATE it!  The entire time we were carrying him to the car the only thing he kept saying was that he didn't want any more shots.  All I want to do is hold him and make him feel better.  My little boy should be going to his last day of school tomorrow with his friends, and instead he'll be in a hospital room receiving another blood transfusion.  It's just not fair.  I know I'm supposed to be strong.  I know I should be thankful that it's not something worse, but I'M NOT!  I'm sorry if that's selfish, but this sucks!

So, once again, I beg you for your prayers.  Lord, please let this next IVIG treatment be his last!  Lord, please let us have our little boy back!!  I don't care if he colors on the walls, sticks gum in his hair, or rides on the garage door...I just want him back!!  And Lord, please help me to trust in You!  I know that this is in Your hands.  Help me to let go and let You!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Home Again, Home Again...

I'm sorry I didn't post something earlier.  Blogger has been on the fritz for the past day or so.  I'll do my best to update everyone with as much information as my little memory box can hold...

Within hours of Bright Eyes' IVIG treatment, he began to improve.  It really was absolutely amazing!  I can not even begin to sing enough praises about our doctor.  She was able to diagnose him quickly even though he wasn't showing all of the typical signs of Kawasaki Disease (KD).  It was one of those moments when she heard hoof beats and thought zebras, not horses.  If the diagnosis had gone unsolved for even only a few days more we could have been facing permanent heart damage. 

On Thursday, Bright Eyes woke up noticeably different.  The swelling in his neck was almost completely gone.  His energy level was up, as was his appetite.  The little stinker ate an entire donut that Gramma brought him.  His liquid IV infiltrated during the night, so his poor little hand looked like a balloon, but he didn't even complain much about that.  During the day we took two outings.  Some wonderful employees from the IT department at Southern Company were letting the kids "Build a Bear" on one of the upper floors.  Bright Eyes enjoyed coloring a t-shirt for "Robo Bear."  They took some cute pictures of him and let us keep the copies.  We also ventured over to the Children's Harbor where B.E. beat me in air hockey! 

Walking around the hospital was a very humbling experience for me.  There is nothing more uplifting and inspiring than seeing a 3-year-old suffering from cancer dancing through the halls with a huge smile across his face.  Or watching a 10-year-old who'd recently undergone brain surgery smile proudly at a camera after being glamorized with make-up and a tiara.  We can learn so much from children.  Their bravery and courage is amazing.  And they have such incredible trust towards their doctors and parents.  It's easy to see why God calls us to be as children.  I sure wish my bravery, courage, and trust were even mildly close to those of the children I saw at the hospital this week.

Today WE'RE HOME!  Hubby just drove Gramma home.  I'm exhausted.  Bright Eyes hasn't sat down for more than 5 minutes.  Zep's fever is down.  Sunshine is practically running around the house (oh yeah, in the midst of the last several weeks, she started walking).  Life is practically back to normal!!

We made the decision today to keep the boys home from school for the remainder of the year (a whole 5 days!).  We just can't take the chance of either of the kids picking up a sickness that may mix with the high doses of aspirin Bright Eyes has been on, because there's the VERY slim chance he could end up getting Reye's Syndrome.  I think after one of your children comes down with a rare Japanese disease, you tend to become a little more afraid of even the VERY slim chances. 

Again, we can't thank everyone enough.  We've received prayers, kid sitting, meals, home cleanings, a lawn mowing, gifts and cards galore for Bright Eyes, and encouraging words on a daily basis.  If we don't get around to thanking you personally, please know it's not because we're not appreciative.  We feel incredibly blessed to be surrounded by so many wonderful people.  We love you all!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Diagnosis: Kawasaki Disease

We had another rough night last night. Bright Eyes was running a high fever for most of the night and was very irritable.  The nurses were in and out of the room for the first several hours, and then he stayed very restless the remainder of the night.

The doctor came in this morning and explained everything we were to expect today.  She has been so wonderful with us; we're very thankful for her.  As she was leaving, the cardiologist came in to do an echocardiogram.  Kawasaki Disease is known to be one of the leading causes of heart disease in young children.  One of the sure signs of the disease is inflammation of the coronary arteries.  During the ECHO the cardiologist did find that Bright Eyes had inflammation is his left coronary artery.  From this and the rest of the symptoms that he has, both the cardiologist and our infectious disease doctor have determined that Bright Eyes does indeed have Kawasaki Disease. 

They just began the IVIG treatment and are slowly increasing the rate that he receives it.  At the moment he seems comfortable and is watching TV.  The doctors have all assured us that he will more than likely have no long lasting problems from this.  The IVIG will be given for 10 hours along with a very high dose of aspirin.  If all goes well, we should have a completely different little boy tomorrow morning.  They'll keep us for an additional 24 hours to be sure the fever does not return.  If it does, we'll probably be looking at another dose of the IVIG.

Our parish priest came by this morning and anointed Bright Eyes and brought hubby and I communion.  This definitely brought some peace to all of us. 

Zep stayed the night at another friend's home last evening.  She called and let me know that he had a tough night.  This morning his teacher emailed me and said she also noticed he wasn't acting himself.  She let me call him on her cell phone and I could tell he was crying.  He's complaining that his stomach hurts; I'm not sure if he's just nervous about what's happening or if he's not feeling well.  My mom went and checked him out and he's on the way to the hospital to visit now.  Please keep him in your prayers.  We forget how aware our little ones are. 

UPDATE...Zep and my mom showed up, and guess what???? He's running a fever of 101.5!  I may indeed lose my mind!!!  So, we're trying to figure out how to deal with that.

If all goes well...the next post should be a happy one!!!!  Dear Jesus, please let the next post be a happy one!!!

 The IVIG...hopefully our miracle drug!!!

Bright Eyes' horrible attempt at smiling with his new friend, "Paws"

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Important Update...PLEASE PRAY!!!!!

The doctor came in and spent a good amount of time speaking with me.  Apparently she IS an infectious disease doctor (oops!).  She's ordered a whole bunch of additional tests.  We just returned from an ultrasound, and they'll be coming in to do more blood work shortly.  SHHH...don't tell Bright Eyes...he's going to freak out. 
They just finished the blood work, and, yep, he freaked out! 
At the ultrasound, he needed to use the restroom.  I placed him on the floor to walk and he nearly fell over.  His legs are completely giving out on him.  He's barely able to stand at the potty without his knees and ankles buckling on him.  When we got back from getting the ultrasound there were infectious disease papers all over the door.  Apparently they'll be running another test on him tomorrow, and if it comes back positive it's extremely contagious.  So, in preparation for a positive test, we're being quarantined.  I guess it's like being treated as guilty before proven innocent.

All the tests should arrive back by tomorrow afternoon.  At that point, if everything is negative, the doctor will probably determine that he has what is called atypical Kawasaki's disease.  I'm not going into all the specifics of the disease, just google it or click here .  The treatment will be a 10 hour IVIG, which is an infusion of blood antibodies, as well as high doses of aspirin.  I'm not really ready to talk about the lasting effects of the disease, please just go to the link for that information.

We need pray warriors more than ever right now...please pray that whatever is wrong with our baby that it is something simple, treatable, and without long-term complications.

Day Three...

Hubby talked me into taking last night off, so I feel much more rested today.  I've managed to avoid walking into all stationary objects.  My mother came into town this afternoon, which means hubby and I can be at the hospital with Bright Eyes together for a few hours.  I hadn't seen Zep since Sunday, so I checked him out of school to have a special lunch with me. 

As for Bright Eyes, we've had no improvement.  I think overall things have stayed the same or gotten slightly worse.  The red area has increased some and his face looks slightly more swollen all around.  During the night his fever rose to 103 and pretty much stayed around that point until this morning.  Hubby said that he was much more active during the early part of today.  He ate two strawberries and almost a full carton of milk.  Hubby and B.E. even sat up and colored a bit. 

Since then, he's taken another turn downward.  His fever is back up to 101; he's complaining of pain again.  His eyes are bloodshot, and he says that his legs hurt.  The doctor came in this morning and decided to stop the current IV antibiotic and switch him to a different one.  I'm hoping they'll get that started very soon (as I as typing this, they started it).  Momma bear may come out tonight when she makes her rounds again.  I'd really like him to see a doctor in the infectious disease department.  Everyone keeps telling me they see things like this all the time, which makes it all sound okay.  But if they see this all the time why are they having such a difficult time treating it???? 

In short, we'll be here for at least another couple days.  Mentally, I'm still doing okay.  I'm drained, but my spirits are okay.  I truly don't think that we're dealing with anything life threatening or life altering.  My main concern is that our sweet boy is in pain.  As any mommy knows, seeing your child hurt is worse than any physical pain you yourself could endure.

Thank you to ALL the people that have helped out during this time.  Someone snuck in B.E.'s name for Our Lady of Sorrows' (this is not even our parish) prayer intentions this past Sunday evening, there are so many prayers going up for our baby, our friends have helped by watching Sunshine and keeping Zep overnight, others have made meals and brought meals to the hospital, B.E.'s and Zep's class made get well cards for him, a friend snuck in behind me at McDonald's today and bought my meal, and my mommy gave up her week to be at our side.  We have such an amazing community of people who love us! 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Our vacation at Children's Hospital...

Well, here we are half-way through our second full day at the hospital.  Last night was rough, Bright Eyes woke up about every thirty minutes needing something, to go potty, a drink, or just a reassuring kiss.  It's 11:00am now and he's just decided to conk out after 8 hours of Disney Junior watching.  Can I tell you how thankful I am that they start showing kids' shows so early in the morning!!!! 

Breakfast came and he only managed a couple bites of a muffin.  I snuck downstairs to get him some ice cream, and he only ate a spoonful of that.  This is an improvement from yesterday though, baby steps.  The doctor came in at about 8am and said he was looking good.  She feels that the whole situation really isn't anything to be concerned about.  Apparently the large golf ball in his neck, that is now moving into his face, probably won't reduce in size any while we're at the hospital.  She said it could take weeks for it to go away.  As the fever continues to stay down, so will the least that's what she says.  I pointed out to her that since we've been here, the area continues to get more and more red.  This was the one area that concerned her.  We'll have to stay until the redness goes away.  They've discontinued his IV fluids.  I'm tying my best to get him to drink as much as possible, which isn't much.  They're hoping in the next day or so to discontinue the IV antibiotics.  The kicker is that he has to be able to take the oral form of the antibiotic, which apparently tastes horrible.  If he's not able to take it, then we're stuck here for 10 days or so.  I'm praying he'll be a trooper about this.  But if you've kept up with my blog and stories about my 2nd born child, stubbornness is one of his most perfected attributes. 

So...that's the update in a nutshell.  I'm a walking zombie.  I literally ran into a dispenser of spoons in the cafeteria this morning.  Mentally, I'm really okay.  I've found myself not being overly worried about what's going on.  I'm just really, really, really tired.  Hubby has offered to switch with me for the evening, but there isn't an army that could drag me away from being with my baby boy right now.  I much rather be sleep deprived taking care of him, then to be home fully rested worrying about him.

Side note...thank you for all the phone calls, emails, and FB messages!  They mean the world to me!  I apologize for not answering my phone or messages.  Forgive me for not being much in the mood to talk to anyone right now. 

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Still telling could be worse

A couple days ago, I was sorting through my LITTLE problems while tying to focus on how hard life is for many of those around me right now.  After the last two days events, I'm once again feeling called to examine my hardships and not take the "woe is me" approach. 

We’re in the hospital.  We got here about 11pm last night and they admitted Bright Eyes at 6am this morning.  They ran a CT-scan and found that he has a bunch of infected lymph nodes on the right side of his neck.  He’s currently hooked up to an IV to receive antibiotics.  Hopefully this will bring down the swelling.  About two hours ago his fever spiked to 103 again, so that means we’ll at least be here until tomorrow morning.  The lump has not reduced any in size and seems to be turning a bit red.  I’m not really sure what happens if the antibiotics don’t work, just trying to take it one step at a time. 

I’m going to try to stay off the phone while up here.  Bight Eyes is very lethargic, and I don’t want to wake him up.  Please call hubby for any updates.  And, it goes without saying, we’d sure love your prayers!!

My “God Wink” during this event was when we arrived to the emergency room.  It was just Bright Eyes and I.  As soon as I sat down I noticed a teenage girl sitting close to us who had multiple stab wounds on her chest and arms.  She had brought in her entire family (20 plus) people with her and they were all discussing the events.  I was desperately trying to shield B.E's eyes from that when from the other direction walked out a teenage boy being led outside in shackles and handcuffs.  It was very surreal.  I couldn’t help but pray for both of the teenagers, how sad this world is for them.  But…I was terrified, and wanted OUT of the waiting room.  Within the hour we were called back to triage and they did B.E.'s initial assessment.  He tested very low for his oxygen and had a rapid heartbeat.  This bumped us up to immediate status, so we were whisked right to a private room to await the doctor.  Five minutes later they tested his heart rate and oxygen again…they were perfect!  God was on my side in that triage room…he knew I needed us to feel safe!

I'll try to update the blog occasionally as things change.  It looks as if we could be here for several days. 

St. Gerard, who, like the Savior, loved children so tenderly
and by your prayers freed many from disease and even death,
listen to us who are pleading for our sick child.
We thank God for the great gift of our son
and ask him to restore our child to health if such be his holy will.
This favor, we beg of you through your love for all children and mothers.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Putting things into perspective...

These last couple weeks have been a blur.  Our Catholic schools were out last week due to a teacher's conference, so we had a camping trip scheduled with some good friends.  The day before we were to leave, I checked the weather, and we quickly made the decision to postpone the trip to later in the week. 

On Wednesday evening, I sat paralyzed in front of the TV.  I would get up occasionally and pace or yell out from fear.  My phone was glued to one hand and my rosary in the other.  The scariest sight I've ever seen was playing on our TV.  I'm a huge fan of Discovery Channel's Storm Chasers, but this was nothing in comparison.  The images I was watching were live, and the area and buildings being destroyed were all ones that I was familiar with.  Not to mention, that my sister-in-law and her entire family were in one of the buildings I could see just beyond the tornado that was racing across the screen.  We spent the better part of the next couple hours in the closet under the stairs as Mark Prater and James Spann gave warnings of tornadoes headed directly our way.  One of the scariest moments for me was walking outside and literally seeing debris falling from the sky, debris that had traveled all the way from God knows where.  By the grace of God, the area we live in was untouched by the storm.  The only damage we saw was a small tree and some shingles down.

After a million phone calls Thursday morning, we finally got in touch with my sister-in-law who was fine.  Our friends (the ones we were supposed to go camping with), hubby, and I made the quick decision to head down to Tuscaloosa to help family who had a tree on their roof.  I dropped hubby off to work and traveled 10 miles (over an hour drive) to get to my SIL's home.  For the next two days, hubby helped in any way he could, and my SIL and I drove around dropping off donations.  The destruction in this city is unimaginable.  You can stand in front of an empty space and not even realize that a house was ever there.  The spirit of our wonderful state is being made abundantly clear through all of the clean up efforts.  I've never seen so many people volunteering their time and money to help strangers.  It's a beautiful thing to witness!

And then this week happened...and by the way I'm dealing with it, you'd think that I, myself, just lost everything in a horrific storm.  Sunday, Bright Eyes took a dive off a fence and hurt his arm.  On Tuesday and then Wednesday I spent several hours at doctor's offices to discover that he'd fractured it.  Also on Tuesday, a different doctor appointment for Sunshine revealed that she's going to have to undergo a probing of her left and right eye tear ducts in order to unclog them.  Hopefully, they'll only have to do it once...but it may be something we end up repeating several more times throughout her life. 

So, I've been whining like a big baby.  My house is a wreck, I can't keep up, I'm feeling disconnected, and basically I just want to curl up in my bed and nap for the remainder of the week.  Last night, I recruited my hubby into my own personal intervention.  I had him write out an entire three day schedule for us thinking this would kick my bottom into gear.  And then this morning, Bright Eyes wakes up with a stinkin' fever!!!  If it wasn't for the broken arm, I'd dismiss it and let it run it's course, but nope, back to the doctor I go.

Do you see how pathetic I am????  Big ol' whiny me has three wonderful children, an amazing husband with a job, loads of family and friends who made it through devastating tornadoes unharmed, a home to keep cool in, and a working vehicle to travel to all these doctor appointments in.

Today I'm making a choice!  I'm choosing to rejoice in my "tragedies" of the week.  Because when I look at pictures like the one below, I know that I am truly blessed and that there are thousands of people in the south who would give anything for my LITTLE problems.

May 6th, 2011