Thursday, March 22, 2012

Current status 3/22/12 late night

I was working on writing a longer post to fill in all the gaps and details, but realized my mood was crap and the post was very derogatory So I'll abandon that for now and just give current.
This morning Josie had a bone marrow aspirate that confirmed the diagnosis of leukemia. Most likely ALL, which is the more common, "better" one to have. Waiting confirmation from mayo clinic tomorrow. We were supposed to have her port put in this afternoon, but the surgery suite became unavailable. Now we have to wait until Saturday morning- she will get the port, spinal tap, and intra-thecal (spinal) chemo. They will also start the other forms of chemo. We'll be here until Wednesday at least.
Today was really hard - seemed like way too many people causing agitation of one sort or another. Very hard from the standpoint of watching Josie be agitated, and then from my abackground in large animals where we don't touch something that's not broken. I can get it from the standpoint of needing baselines, but do we really need every 4 hrs vital checks in the middle of the night when they've all been normal and she's on nothing? It's the mother bear instinct I guess. And lack of zzz's.
Tomorrow currently has nothing planned. I was voting for taking her home for a while. The other side of the coin is that she's kind of getting used to things here and if we take her out and bring her back it might be more stressful. Not sure.
Please pray for good sleep, peace of mind, and strength for Saturday as that will be a big day I have a feeling.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The End of My Ole Cigar

In my mind, I've composed this post a half dozen different times, but never wrote it. I think because I felt whatever I wrote would be hugely inadequate. How do you sum up in a blog post some of the most amazing 96 years? How could I sum up the impact on my life that my grandma had? I realize tonight just how much I want her legacy to live on in my family and future generations because we all need a "hero" to look to - not the movie star or pro athlete kind, but the real kind who takes life by the horns and lives it...well.

Growing up, my grandma was my best friend. I think I was at her house more than my own. She was the perfect blend of fun, teaching, mischievousness, and godliness all wrapped in one. She made the most amazing pancakes, the best way to describe is "fried in bacon grease." But she didn't just make them for me, she'd always make a few extra for me to go share with one of the neighbors' dogs as she knew my love for animals. She was a bit of a schemer - we went behind my parent's backs to get my brother and I kittens. We baked hundreds of loaves of bread, pies, and other sweet treats together and she always knew to leave me a bit of raw dough. We fished and cleaned fish. We gardened. We played countless games of SkipBo and Uno. We had many slumber parties where she would read me from one of her classics - Old Bones, Little Women, or My Naughty Little Sister - in her English accent. And then, the Royals. Watching Kate and Wills really brought me back to her living room and watching Di and Charles. She had several large picture books of the wedding that I poured over. She loved Lady Di - I think that's probably the only thing she held on to from the "Mother Land" besides the accent.

I could seriously go on, and on, and on about the memories of my grandmother, and someday I hope to at least for my childrens' and future grandchildrens' sake. But I would be completely remiss if I didn't touch on the most important aspect of my grandma's life - her faith.

Most people of faith, present company included, keep it mostly personal and try to live as God instructs, but under the radar. Not grandma...she was the consumate live out loud preacher from dusk til dawn. It permeated every part of her life and everyone knew it. She was a professional hugger and lover, which is why so many were drawn to her. People want to be loved and she was so genuine. Not just easy-to-love people - she specialized in the unlovable! I remember a girl about my age at church who had some "issues" shall we say. She came from a broken home, was probably abused to some degree, had hearing aids, and was just socially very akward. I tried to avoid her like the plague, but not grandma. She showered her with hugs, little treats, and positive attention. She would invite her to tea and sandwhiches and try to instill some social graces on her - just because she was so loving doesn't mean she held back, oh no, she's the first to correct. Grandma would invite me to these teas as well, I think to try to teach me through osmosis. I wish I could say I absorbed it all, but only in the last several years have I really understood the beauty of this side of her. There are countless other examples similar to that girl - humbling really. She did it all to mirror God's amazing love to us - we are all socially unacceptable when compared to his standards.

I've missed my grandma so much these last few years as she's been with us, but not. Now that she's really not, it's that much more raw. But also that much more joyous! All she ever wanted was to be with Jesus! I know she's dancing a jig to the End of My Ole Cigar in her new, young, perfect body!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mini Marathon...

I hate you.
I thought it was a great motivator to lose some baby weight (by the way, why does it get harder and harder to lose after each kiddo?), get fit again, do something with Steve, and catch up with some college buddies. Thankfully, hopefully, the last goal will be met, but as for the other three...not so much.
I've been running, not super regularly since I have 2 jobs and 4 kids, since Christmas. Haven't lost a pound. I guess I am getting fitter - I can run 6-7 miles, which I've never done before. Jeans really aren't fitting that much better, though. Love handles still there.
Due to numerous children, very rarely do Steve and I enjoy our new activity together - twice to be exact. Also, it's really not an enjoyable date. Take last Sunday. We were supposed to run 8 miles - barf. So it's the first, and only, nice day we've had since last August - it's 85F and pretty muggy. We have major landscape projects going during the day which are exhausting in themselves, so we put off our run til it gets cooler in the evening. Good plan, except then the wind picks up to like a stiff 30mph. So we head off on the run - into the wind. That is such an non-motivating thing. I keep trying to get visuals of rising up on wings of eagles and running and not growing weary. I'm praying with every step for God to help me go a few more. I feel much more like a turkey than an eagle flying. And we're both very weary. We ran a whopping 2.5 miles into the wind. We looked at each other and said, "this is dumb!" The 2.5 with the wind back to the car was much easier, but I think we were both deflated at the fact we were 3 miles short of our goal and DEAD!
So I should be on the treadmill right now. Kids are actually in bed, Steve's out of town. I could come up with a lot of good excuses. Time to go put the tennies on and plod off some miles. Only 2 more weeks til the race. Then I may not ever run again...until some other "friend" guilts me into it.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

She's 6 Months...

Josie Louisa stormed onto the scene Labor Day weekend of 2010 - a week or so early. At times it seems like forever since then and I can hardly imagine not having her in our family. Other times, it feels like only moments since she was so tiny and helpless.

At 6 months, Josie weighs 18 1/2 lbs, is 26 1/2 inches, and doing well. She sits on her own, is moving towards crawling, and holding her own bottle (this is more of a survival tactic, you never know which sibling might be in charge of holding your bottle. If it's the oldest or the youngest, you might as well fend for yourself. If it's Rylee, you've got a good chance at getting some food). She has one tooth and another will be in shortly. I am advising her to learn how to use them early - self defense against troublesome brother. For the most part she is a laid-back little lady which they say is common for 4th children, but she will definately let you know if her bottle is late or something isn't up to desired specification. She is a professional cheerleader already. I always swore my kids will not be cheerleaders, so this will only continue until she's old enough to participate herself. She has been to so many soccer, gymnastics, and basketball games already and seems to pretty much enjoy them all. Basketball is her favorite. From the minute we went to Gabby's first game, she was hooked - the lights, the balls, the sounds of dribbling, screaming parents, whistles, etc., what more could a baby ask for (her brother to sit still so she can watch in peace might be one thing)!

Josie is adored by her siblings. Gabby adores from a distance...she's not fond of spit, pooh, or smells. She does like to hold her occasionally, especially when another sister is already holding Josie. Rylee adores from 2" away...maximum. She will be a great mother...she fears nothing, not intimidated by crying, and is already learning about multitasking with children. I can give her the baby in the morning and she will change, dress and feed her very efficiently. Sometimes this is a bit frustrating as I frequently have to remind her who Josie's mother is. C.J. adores from the side, on top, under, to the left and right. For the most part he is very sweet with Jo, but like many 3 yr olds, can be a bit overbearing. She tolerates it, though, and enjoys his antics. He likes to stay close to "his Jos" because she usually has a pacifier he can steal (had weaned him of this until she came around).

So here are a couple recent picture of our favorite babe!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Wow, a Whole Year, Really?

So I knew it had been a long time when I couldn't even remember the web address to get to my page, but wow, it's actually been over a year since I last posted. Don't think that's because I didn't want to, I really enjoy the creative writing aspect of blogging and keeping up with everyone beyond the 1 sentence wall updates on fb. I honestly could not (and still probably can't) squeeze anything more into my life. It has been way more crazy than I care to elaborate on. So I'll give a past 12 month quickie update and then try to carry on as if I'd never quit.
(Aside: is this cheating? I gave up fb for Lent, and now I'm back to blogging:))
January 2010: Steve has shoulder surgery (old baseball injury), cousin Anja comes to live with us
February 2010: A big blur of morning/all day sickness, did enjoy coaching Gabby's youth b-ball team
March 2010: We were still trying to sell the house, so decided one last big push - start re-doing asthetics like paint, tile, carpet, fixtures, trim, etc.
April 2010: Continued fixer-upper
May 2010: African adventure - it was so amazing! We are planning our next trip ASAP, we're hooked. Anyone want to join?
June 2010: School went til June 18! It felt like half the summer was over:(
July 2010: Enjoyed the lake to the fullest. My kiddos are really turning into water rats which is great by me.
August 2010: Decided in July not to sell the house, instead put on an addition. Was to be a new room for the girls, until I thought, "Wait, who's paying for this? I want the new room!" Construction and dust.
September 7, 2010: Josie Louisa arrived a little early (I'm all in favor of that), but via C-section (not at all in favor). Spent September recovering from some complications.
October 2010: Savored the rest of the girls' soccer games and staying home with the 2 young-uns, and a week trip to Marco Island.
November 2010: Had to start back to work a little earlier than I wished due to boss' travel schedule. Enjoyed a great Thanksgiving with family.
December 2010: Still can't figure out a new normal...will one ever exist? Everything seems like full-time chaos. Decided to head off to Florida for some QT for Christmas...good decision.
January 2011: It's cold. I can't seem to balance these 4 different schedules. Co-worker decides to quit as of February.
February 2011: I'm back to running the vet practice pretty much solo. Not happy about it because before I only had 2 kids running around, now it's way too crazy for this nonsense! Trying to figure out what the best recourse is. Girls busy with b-ball and gymnastics. CJ and Josie are the greatest fans!
March 2011: Feel like maybe a new normal is within reach. Business stuff is slowly working into me becoming a partner and actually being compensated for all the extra crap I deal with. Now looking forward to trying to find a new associate vet. Once that's accomplished, I'm hoping to really slow down my actual field work - we'll see how that pans out.
Kids are great. They are pretty agreeable for the most part - they have to be! For instance the other day I took all 4 of them with me on an emergency call because I had no sitter and Steve wasn't home yet. I bribed them, yes. Gabby took care of Josie in the truck, while Rylee kept an eye on CJ and played with the calves, in the manure, and all around got messy - that's how those 2 roll. One of the workers thought the kids should have a kitten, so we took that home since everyone was so good. We stopped to get gas on the way home. Then the truck wouldn't start. I cried, Josie was crying, CJ was crying, Gabby was whining, Rylee was complaining, and the kitten was wiggling and being a kitten in a box. There were 2 angels that soon pulled up next to us in a truck that said Diversified Recovery - Steve's truck and guys!!! They rigged the starter so I could at least get home and off we went! God is good, all the time!
I'll try to be better about this, even post some pictures. For now, CJ is awake and wants attention:)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Am I Really That Old

Conversation that occurred regarding Olympics:

Friend 1 (40+ yrs): When is Yoko Ohno gonna skate again?
Friend 2 (21yrs): HaHa, that's a funny name, he skates in 10 minutes.
Friend 1 continues to refer to Apolo Ohno as Yoko Ohno just for kicks.
Me, later to Friend 2: You know who Yoko Ohno is right?
Friend 2: (Dumb stare)
Me: She's a real person - it was John Lennon's wife. You do know who John Lennon is, right?
Friend 2: He was a singer right?

Whoa, I didn't think I was that much older, but apparently there's either a huge generation gap between the early 20's and 30's or I am just friends with less intellegent people!! I felt really old!

Here's a few OLD photos to wet your appetite. Couldn't find my other camera this morning so you get Christmas!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Nurse Rachelle

Sorry there have been so few posts and even fewer pictures. I will try to fix that in February. Besides chasing the 3 around, coaching b-ball, and working, Steve had shoulder surgery mid-January. So I've been challenged to be a good nurse. I can recognize that I was definately not intended to go into human medicine because my level of sympathy is so low it's terrible. I try to act empathetic, but it's pretty much faking. With animals, they can't complain, so I don't have to worry about acting sympathetic - it works great. Steve is healing up, finally. Hopefully in a couple months he'll be back to throwing, shooting, and whatever else.