Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gemini

As if life is not crazy enough for me/us right now...
The beginning of October, Gemini (our 9 year old chocolate lab), had surgery to remove some "fatty deposits".  She had 6 tumors removed, the biggest one ended up being cancer.  The littles don't know yet because an unknown timeline is difficult for 5 and 2 year olds to understand, let alone Aden's propensity to worry too much.  They would not give an estimate of how much more time she has but mentioned that it will be good if she lasts a year.  She healed fine from the surgery and things seemed to be going well until last Monday.

She stopped eating and barely drinking (evidently just enough to keep hydrated). I thought she was upset about me putting a gate up between living and dining room and not allowing her access to table scraps that the kids might drop and holding out for people food. Then on Friday she started throwing up. I took her to the vet on Saturday morning. She had lost 8lbs. since surgery.  Initially the vet said it is either gastro-something or a mass in her stomach preventing the digestion of food. He did a fecal and said the bacteria is there but not as active as it should be for the gastro-something. To do x-ray ($95) to look for the mass would be inconclusive because they don’t always see them on x-ray. If they *didn’t see a mass, we could do an ultrasound ($400) to determine. If there is a mass, surgery would be the treatment ($?). With the cancer already in her body (they couldn’t remove all of it) and suspected other tumors under muscle, surgery for a mass in her stomach would just be one more surgery. I couldn’t/can’t afford all that in the first place and it would just be to find out that I can’t help her anyway (which we already know). So, I elected to do treatment for the gastro-something and see if that helps. They prescribed antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and anti-nausea medicine.

She has thrown up every day since (with nothing on her stomach, it’s yellow bile) and is still not eating (today is day 5). So I took her back to the vet this morning. Based on the fact that Gemini is alert and seems to be normal but is still not eating and barely drinking, he suspects a mass even more. We are going to continue with the antibiotics to see if anything changes over the next 6 days but if she doesn’t start eating, there is not much more we can do for her. I am having to make a decision that I don’t want to make but I think we will have to put her down before Thanksgiving so she doesn’t have to suffer through starving to death.  If she is not eating by Monday, i am calling to make an appointment for Tuesday.  I really hate this.  Any energy/prayers/whatever are appreciated.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Life Changes

Hello Friends. I have some news that needs to be shared.  Many people already know in some form or another but i am finally feeling like sharing formally on my blog...though i am not sure who follows anymore.


My friend, Ren Allen and I have experienced similar happenings in our lives and she “went public” in August. Her sentiments mirror mine so I asked if I could use some of her wording (shown in quotes). My news is that Chet and I are divorcing. 
“That's what "is" in my life at the moment. In many ways, this is just the evolution of our relationship. A new phase in which we will co-parent from separate households and learn how to work together as friends that are not a couple any longer.

People get upset when they hear this news...natural reaction I suppose. But as hard as this transition is, I feel the "rightness" of moving towards having my own place. Riding the waves of sadness, of guilt (mainly for how this could affect my beautiful children who deserve nothing but the best in this life), of looking forward rather than back, of the lovely openness of facing the unknown.

I want to see us both thrive and support each other. That shouldn't change just because people can't be together. Our children will come first, our commitment to nurturing them is the top priority for both of us. I can hear the naysayers now...that in order to do that we must stay together. I disagree.”

On Oct 15th, I moved to Norman and have since been in process of preparing my rental home for a home child care center (I have named it "Abundant Wonder").  My ultimate goal in doing so is to be able to support myself and kids while still being at home with them and homeschooling.  I hope to be licensed by November 15th.  All three kids seem to be adjusting fairly well and I credit that to how sincerely respectful Chet and i have been with each other and the kids.


What I don't need right now:

• A million questions about how/why etc... Generally speaking, I am a fairly private person (unless i know you well...then i am an open book). I also have my kids around most of the time. I don’t think it’s fair to them to hear me talk about this over and over, no matter how respectful the process has been.
• "Unwarranted sympathy or pity....I'm ok. Truly and honestly. Yes, I will get sad at times and maybe even be weepy. I don't need mushy sympathy, I have been on my own before and actually LIKE it.”

What I do need right now:

• Friends for the kids and I to hang out with, talk with, and understand when we just can’t. Maybe being willing to occasionally let the kids come play while I run errands, prepare for opening my home daycare, etc.

• Patience with me while I work towards a smooth transition for all of us. This has meant and probably will mean that I get behind on things I am normally on top of. It also means I am not being as good a friend as I generally like to be (which plays into the guilty feelings as well).



“Much love to all my amazing friends and family!! I know I will need you more than ever and your support means the world to me.”

Sunday, May 23, 2010

JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes - Team Dino Might

Hello!

Chester and I are writing you on behalf of Aden.

Many of you know that Aden was 4 years old when diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on Oct. 13, 2009. He will be insulin-dependent for the rest of his life…unless a cure is found. In his 8 months since, he has already endured over 1,200 blood sugar pricks and 800 insulin injections. Now that he’s on an insulin pump the injections have been reduced but pricks have increased which keeps the total ‘pokes’ at around 2000.

In addition to his blood testing and insulin shots (now insertion changes); everything he consumes must be weighed and measured; and his blood sugar levels even need to be checked while he sleeps and plays. Aden is always a trooper and rarely complains. He is full of smiles, laughs, and five-year-old mischief, amidst his daily diabetes routine. Aden continually amazes us and is a blessing to have in our lives as a daily reminder of passion, humility, and the importance of dinosaurs.

As you can imagine, it's easy for people with type 1 diabetes to feel that their future is uncertain. But thanks to research funded by organizations such as JDRF, people with diabetes have a new sense of hope. Scientists have made enormous progress, and a cure for type 1 diabetes is more possible now than ever! Aden often says “I wish diabetes didn’t exist!” It’s a painful statement to hear looking at his frustrated little face. We hold out hope a positive answer will be available in his lifetime.

Please understand we are not trying to have a pity session. We truly believe that out of every difficulty comes something good. As parents, it’s our instinct from the moment our kids are born to protect them from any harm. We must do everything in our power to help find a cure for him. It’s our mission to avoid the heart and kidney disease, blindness, amputation, and early death that is a reality for many people with juvenile diabetes.

The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is the #1 non-profit funder of diabetes research worldwide, using $.85 of each $1 for research. One of JDRF’s largest fundraising events is the “Walk to Cure Diabetes.” This is our first year to participate since Aden was recently diagnosed. We have formed a team named “Dino Might” and have already raised money towards this cause. This year’s walk will be held on Saturday, June 5th OSU-OKC!

If you are interested, there are a few ways you can help us make a difference for Aden:
• You can join our Family Team, known as “Dino Might,” which consists of family and friends who collect pledges and walk with us. To join our team, go to: http://walk.jdrf.org/walker.cfm?id=87687657
• Send your donation and contact others in your circle of family and friends to donate as well. Just go to our team website: http://walk.jdrf.org/support.cfm?id=87687657 .
• Forward this letter to anyone you feel might be able to help in one of these 3 ways!

Thank you for helping team Dino Might reach our goal of raising at least $500 this year and we would be honored to see you at the Walk on June 5th!

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The End

The experiment with electronics is over - for the most part. It brought the expected results and more. We are all getting to bed at more regular hours, allowing us to get better sleep. The littles are still waking to get in bed with us though. Emma usually wakes about 1 and Aden about 5 though sometimes they switch. We are planning to start taking turns getting them back to sleep in their own beds in hopes of them eventually just staying there all night.

We actually have a semblance of a routine now. Never had anything looking like one before and none of it was forced. We generally shoot for reading time to be no later than 9pm...not demanding, just guiding. If we can be reading by 9, they are both asleep around 9:30 (though sometimes it extends to 10)...I would like to start aiming for 8:30 read time for this reason. Then waking between 7 and 8 seems to be the norm. From there we have breakfast earlier than before and Emma has been playing through what was her morning nap. Lunch is way earlier than before (around 11am) then a guided rest/quiet time. We actually have a regular snack time now...before we would eat lunch so late Aden would snack a bit before dinner but nothing regular. Dinner is earlier too.

I anticipate more trips to the library. With this new routine we have been reading a lot more. I mean we read quite a bit before but the kids are asking to read even more. Aden is showing an interest in how things are spelled and "what's that word" so we might be doing some reading and/or writing stuff soon (when he is ready). He is also showing more interest in doing craftyish/artsy things so i am working to organize and accumulate supplies. Emma loves to color and do what Aden is doing so i have been putting her in her seat (helps keep her entertained and out of Aden's way).

So we reintroduced TV last week - 30-min each child. Aden was so focused on "its my tv time" that i nearly went mad. I am not against TV at all but would like to keep our electronic usage down more than it was before. So, we are keeping TV/electronics off until after breakfast. Turning them off for meal times and rest time, then again after dinner. So essentially the TV is on between breakfast and lunch then after rest time to dinner. I don't know how many hours that is nor do i care. I think it will work well for our family. I will be doing the same with the computer/my phone usage for the most part.

Lights are still going to be kept at a minimum to help keep our routine. Lights only on when NEEDED to do certain task in certain room then after dinner, only the kitchen sink light will be on. I have even noticed a difference in just having the 'reading light' on in Aden's room before bed - harder to get them to sleep...need to lower the wattage i guess.

We are focusing more on keeping the routine instead of focusing on obligations outside the house. There are times we will need to be out and about but i am going to keep that to a minimum for a while. Weekends will be some of the exception. We plan to go drumming on Friday nights, do a family movie or family game on Sat. night and Sunday we plan to have some kind of fun family outing (of course flexibility is key).

So, i think the experiment was a success. We seem to all be the better for it all and are glad its over cuz we don't do real well with "rules" around here...lol

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Chchchchanges

The past few days have been a mostly pleasant blur of getting things done and doing family things.

We have spent several days with a new "rest time" after lunch. Not a specific time because lunch is always flexible whenever the kids get hungry. So far Aden has slept every day and Emma has slept all but one. It has been a huge adjustment for us because mornings used to be our time of lazing around and/or getting tasks accomplished at home and afternoons were for outings. With the after lunch rest time, we tend to not be ready to leave the house until about 2:30ish or so. And I still think mornings would be hard to get out of the house. I think that we will spend more time at home for a while...with a few exceptions, of course.

Our experiment is morphing starting today. We decided prepping dinner and juggling the littles was too difficult a task to sustain for longer than the week we did. So we now "allow" the kitchen light on whilst making dinner. After 7pm, the only light on is the one above the sink...to help cut down on candle usage and have a low-lit room (no dimmers in the living room so this is our option). Due to Aden's fear of the dark, we also are turning on the bathroom light when that room is in use.

I have asked that the kids each pick 1 - 3o min show they want to watch. Not during meals or after dinner. I know Emma wants Sesame Street so we will watch 1/2 of it alternating 1st and last each day for a few days. Aden chose Dinosaur King. Seth hasn't said but i figure it will be Two and a half Men. So we will go with these changes for a while to see how things flow.

We visited Nature's Treasures today. It has been probably 8-10 years since i was there last...my how time flies. Anyway, we went for 2 reasons. The first was to get some smoky quartz to help buffer the negative energy of the electronics when we have them on and the second was to get "something" to help Aden's fears from that damn movie. I asked the woman working what might be best and since we were talking about stones anyway, she looked up this: Rhodochrosite - She suggested putting between mattress and box springs and i got some for him to put in his pocket (1 for pocket and a few extras) he also wanted to get a dream catcher so we did and it is above his bed now. The stone in his pocket has actually been AMAZING. Before dinner, i picked him up and there was this "Aden-ness" about him that i hadn't felt since watching the movie. I said, "You know, that's one magical stone you have in your pocket?!" He said, "How do you know?" And i said, "Cuz, your energy has changed. I have my Aden back." He grinned and said, "Yep, you do!"

Tomorrow my friends are coming to do a house cleansing/blessing. I am very much looking forward to it and we spent some time today decluttering the few spaces in the house that still needed it. We didn't get to the laundry room or the garage but the main parts of the house are clutter-free which feels really great!

Oh and with our tax refund we paid off our only remaining credit card (and put them away) and ordered a new, much needed, bed for us. We need to find bedding because we are upgrading to a king but other than that and a few items we have been needing, the remainder of the refund is sitting in an emergency savings account which we have a solid plan to build upon. Man does THAT feel great too!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Interesting day

Yesterday was filled with activity. We went to the library with FYI which was mostly good -meeting new faces and friends, good people, good books, respectful computer sharing - all the great stuff that comes with FYI. There were some not so great moments for me (and others) though. Emma's massive tantrum due to lack of nap (towards the beginning of our time there) and the librarians controlled tantrum about us being there without calling first (towards the end of our time there).

I am going to have to turn into flaky mom until Emma is a bit older, i think. I am going to have to stay home if Emma doesn't take her morning nap (which so far seems to be her best nap of the day). So unless it is something that absolutely requires my participation, Emma's naps will be a factor in us attending or not.

The rest of our day was spent driving which always puts the kids to sleep. Aden slept for a short while and Emma got a really good nap in. I worried that both of them would be hard to get to sleep but it was actually a lot like the night before. We did get them to bed later than planned but that was mostly because we needed milk for Emma's bedtime bottle and i made dinner a bit later. Aden did get in bed with us about 1:30 but he slept soundly.

Seth is actually doing pretty well with this whole thing. Of course he doesn't like it but he generally doesn't like anything we do (even if i think he will). He is doing a lot of reading (HP series for the millionth time). I would like to see him doing his homework or finding other creative/constructive ways to spend his time...we shall see.

Some things we are talking about doing once our experiment is over:
  • Only having lights on at certain times (like to make and eat dinner and after that having just a small light on).
  • Only having tv on for certain pre-determined shows. This will take some planning but i really think it will be better than having it on all the time and the kids wont be limited as much as if we said "only an hour a day"
  • Only having computer on at specified times (during Emma's naps for Aden to explore, and me fitting in 1 hour a day plus my UBAM training/calling needs)
  • Using brown quartz to buffer the negative energies of the electronics when we do have them on/plugged in.

My friends are coming over on Monday to do the house cleansing/blessing. This weekend we plan to eliminate the last bits of clutter in the house and hope to pack up some things in the garage that are taking up space/stagnant energy.

We were going to go to the Science Museum Oklahoma today but i need to stay home. Tomorrow is Aden's endo appointment then Chet is off on Friday and we will go to SMO then as well as go visit Chet's grandma and take Chet's dad out for birthday dinner. Busy rest of week so i need this break today.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Up with the chickens

It seems i have much catching up to do...I haven't blogged since the 13th. I would love to recap the last couple of days but honestly, i don't remember things well enough to reiterate. I do know that the night before last and last night went well in getting the kids to sleep and they slept well. Valentine's night, Aden woke and got in bed with us but was not wiggly at all. In fact, i don't remember even looking at the time when he got in bed. Last night, Emma woke and got in bed with us (about 3:30ish).

I have been giving Aden (and myself) Rescue Remedy in our water during the day. He still is having issues with Coraline and he says the Rescue Remedy is helping him not be so worried. Chet is a huge help at night, when Aden has the most issue with it. He is good at talking Aden down from his freak-out and describing how/why the movie isn't real.

Yesterday morning, I woke Aden at about 8:45 and he said, in a surprised voice, "Wow, Mommy, did you sleep good?" To which i replied, "Pretty good, actually. Did you?" And he said, "Well, yes, i did! It has been a long time since i slept that good." I am pretty impressed that he stayed in his own bed all night last night and am curious to see how he slept.

Yesterday was harder on us as far as no computer and tv goes. I checked email before i got Aden up and there was business related items that needed attention so i was tempted to check on it all day. I did boot up the computer a few times to check on things but then turned it right back off. I also talked on the phone yesterday more then the first 2 days and admittedly texted more than i should have. I think this made Aden miss TV more. Seth has told friends about his mom's crazy idea and one felt so sorry for him, he offered for Seth to come stay for a few weeks! lol.

Chet and i have been taking time to hang out and reconnect after the kids go to sleep. Before, that time was filled with doing dishes and other things. Now its dark and washing dishes by candle light isn't very effective so i do them the next day. Speaking of which - Aden helped me unload and load the dishwasher yesterday - totally unprompted! He wanted to help with the hand wash but leaning over the sink like that was killing my back.

Today, there is no real business i need to attend to so i will be focusing more on the kids and see how that goes. We have a park day planned today (though it might turn into a library day) and then driving to Edmond to get adjustments and some apples (i admit i am addicted to Honeycrisp).

Okay, so in all the experiment seems to be going well. Emma woke at 6:15 this morning, we moved from bed to couch and snuggled on the couch until the sun was shining through the window (and Daddy was through getting ready). Today, we woke with the chickens...