Thursday, October 30, 2008

YAY, Tricare!!!

I've been trying to get our PCM to put in referrals for the other three to be tested for Chiari. They all show symptoms, and Dr. Ellenbogen felt like it would be wise to get them checked. All three have severe headaches, in the front and back of their heads. Josh and Emily see spots with their headaches. We know Josh does because the other night, when he was suffering from one of them, he tripped and said, "It's so hard to see with all the blinking lights." Emily and Josh both also suffer from leg pains nearly every day, often waking with them, not just suffering from them after an active day. Emily now also suffers from a tingling, needly feeling on her back/shoulders, and hand/wrist pain. Her pain is very similar to what I feel with my fibro, and she may very well end up having fibro, but if it's Chiari, we need to know NOW, before she ends up with permanent damage of paralysis.

I got a call, late yesterday afternoon, from our PCM's nurse, saying she was getting ready to put in the referrals. She put in a referral for a head/neck MRI for each child, as well as a spine MRI for each. Cysts of cerebrospinal fluid are common in Chiari patients, as is tethered cord syndrome. It is so common, they like to check the spine in all Chiari patients to rule out those things. All three head/neck MRIs are approved, and the spinal MRIs are all still being reviewed. I am so relieved!! I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders now that they will finally get these tests!!

Of course I hope the MRIs don't show any issues, but if they do, I want them taken care of while we are stationed here. Dr. Ellenbogen is one of the top doctors in the country for this condition, and we truly feel that God paved the way for us to be stationed here right before Brooke got so sick and was diagnosed. It's almost time for sea duty again, and while we are trying to be stationed here for that, there is no guarantee. So I've been a bit anxious about getting this done in a timely manner.

I know several people have been waiting and praying with us, for these MRIs, so I'll keep you updated on the progress.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I'll be one gallbladder lighter as of Thursday, Nov 6. The doctor is going to have me stay the night in the hospital, even though it will be laproscopic, because she and I both agreed I will probably get more rest, and therefore better healing, if I have that first night without the children. They are wonderful and make me laugh, give me lots of hugs and kisses, etc., but that laughing and hugs/kisses can also be pretty exhausting and... well... painful, when you've just had surgery.

How much weight do you think you lose with a gallbladder removal???

On another note, please remember Riley on Tuesday, Nov 4. He is a 4 year old Chiari patient who is having surgery with the awesome Dr. Ellenbogen. It's a difficult procedure on those children, although ultimately so very helpful, and it is a difficult time for the parents.

It will be the year anniversary of Brooke's surgery on Nov 6, so those feelings are still quite fresh in our minds. I was hoping to be able to be there with Riley's parents, to help get them whatever they need, help them deal with those emotions, etc., but I don't think I'm going to be able to do that with my pre-op stuff. Please pray for some kind soul to help smooth the way for them and make that wait a little less stressful, in whatever ways they need. Please also pray for the doctors.

I have such a burden in my heart for these other Chiari families. So many people read about Chiari and think it's no big deal. They don't realize all the things that go wrong regularly, all the complications that often go along with the condition, or the fact that these children face a risk of paralysis or permanent damage if treatment is held off too long, or they do something as simple as riding a roller coaster, for instance. Many loving, wonderful people that we know, did not realize how serious the condition is until Brooke was granted a Make a Wish, and that family had a house built by Extreme Makeover. Unfortunately, this means these families often don't have the support and understanding that they really need during this difficult time. Even though most of the people who know us didn't not realize how serious the situation was, we were very blessed to have lots of support from friends and family. God is so good!

Now I have to go back to bed. This gallbladder stuff is making me so exhausted! I was worried I'd be up during the night if I didn't make myself get up for a few hours this evening, though. Goodnight!!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

A contest!!

A fellow submarine wife is running a contest on her blog: Lovely Yellow Ribbons She's giving away a personalized "family crest" that she and the winner will design together. What a neat prize! You can keep it for yourself, have it designed for one of your children, or give it away as a wedding gift, perhaps! Becca does lovely work, and I sure hope I win... ;) ... but if one of you reading this wins, please share a picture of your crest when it's finished!

If you enter her contest, I'd sure appreciate it if you'd also mention in the comments that you read about it here, so I can get an extra entry. Good luck to all!

DUH moments...

So, I was getting ready to snooze last night. I opened my contact case and panicked when I realized it was empty. The thoughts that quickly ran through my head included:
"Could one of the boys gotten into my contact stuff?"
"Could I have dropped the contact on the floor instead of into the case?"
"Do I have any extras?"
"You idiot, you opened the case to put your contact into it! The contact is still on your eye!!!"


Fess up... you know you've done similar silly stuff! Share with me!

Friday, October 24, 2008


"Yes, Drew, you can sleep in Mommy and Daddy's bed tonight. Here are the rules: no toys, no playing, go to sleep... oh, and you use your own pillow so Mommy doesn't get kicked off the bed."
"Daddy only has one rule, Drew, do NOT put your feet in my pants!"

Apparently nothing is sacred for a three year old with cold feet.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Are you fresh and clean???

Probably not according to Andrew.

"Mommy, Daddy's feet are s'gusting!"
"Yeah, Baby, feet tend to smell gross."
"But not MY feet, 'cause I'm FRESH AND CLEAN!"
He then smells my feet. GAG
"Mommy, your feet are s'gusting!"
"Sorry, Drew."
"Emily is s'gusting, Brookie is s'gusting, Joshie is s'gusting, but *I* am FRESH AND CLEAN!"

We have the strangest conversations at bedtime.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

My sonogram...

The doctor found a "quite large" gallstone. I'm sure surgery is in my future. I see my PCM Thursday. I'm in a lot of pain this evening, after the pushed around on my belly with that sonogram wand. I imagine all that prodding irritated my gallbladder even more.

I also take Drew back to the doctor Thursday, for his finger. It's still swollen and the hand is all bruised up. The boy won't leave the tape on his fingers, though, and it keeps getting sat on, or bent backward, etc. I'm hoping the doctor will just put a cast on his hand so his hand will have time to heal properly. I'll have to figure out how to get the doctor to think it's his idea, though, or it'll never happen.


"I need some milk, Mom."
"Drew, it's time to go sleepy, lay down and close your eyes now."
"But milk helps with hiccups!"
"Well, it's a good thing you don't have hiccups, then."
"HIIIIICK.... ow... HIIIIICK... ow... my hiccups hurt, mom, I need milk!"

How can I argue when I'm laughing so hard??

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sonogram tomorrow...

Nope, not for a baby. My doc thinks I may need to have my gall bladder out. So, tomorrow is the sonogram to see how it is working (or not) and then we'll decide if surgery is the right choice. Please pray with me that they will figure out what is wrong and fix it. I don't want to experience the horrible pain that took us to the ER last week, EVER again.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The boy wants to color his hair!!!

The girls wanted to color their hair. No big deal, except they wanted highlights in it. I can color their hair, no problem!! We did the main color and it looked GREAT! I tried to convince them both that the highlights were a bad idea, but no, they wouldn't listen. They have this misplaced trust in me. They don't trust me to get anything else right, but they trusted me to put highlights in their hair!!

If you see my girls and think, "WOW, that hair is just... yeah...", just know that I was not happy about doing it. LOL At least they are happy.

Anyway, as I was brushing the bleaching stuff on Brooke's hair, Drew was sitting there watching us. Suddenly, with an awe-struck tone in his voice, he says, "I sure wish MY hair was red and pink!"

Friday, October 17, 2008

Modern Make-Believe...

Boy, the way children play these days is so different than how we did. My boys "type" on computer keyboards that are no longer useful, with a pretend monitor in front of them. They walk around with an old cell phone, pretending to call their friends and grandparents. They even have a microwave on their play kitchens!!

Today, Josh had an empty cup that he would place against the wall. With the other hand, he'd push a pretend button on the wall and make a "SHOOOOOOOOSH" sound. Think you know what he was pretending??? Possibly, if you know how much I love me some Pumpkin Spice Chai Latte!! He was pretending to be a barista at Starbucks!!!

I really should look into those old fashioned toy links my crunchy friends keep sharing with me. ;)

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Learning to read

Some of you already know that we homeschool. Well, this year brings a new kindergarten student for me to teach. It's been a while since I taught one of my children to read and this boy is learning completely differently than the girls did.

Have I mentioned that raising boys is COMPLETELY different from raising girls?? Yeah?? Well, it is certainly worth repeating.

Josh is having a ball learning to read. Unfortunately, he now thinks he has to sound out words even as he speaks them!

"Muh-muh-muh-muh-Mom, can I have some luh-luh-luh-luh-lunch now?"

I'm not sure how this will help his reading, but I'm too busy trying not to wet my pants, laughing at my weird life, to worry about that.

Please enlighten me

Somebody PLEASE tell me how to get a three-year-old to leave his broken finger buddy-taped to the one next to it??

"Gooooshies, Mom! It HURTS!" is all I get when I tell him he needs to keep it taped so it can heal.

Then, after you let me know how to keep that blasted tape on his fingers, be sure and tell me how to keep from laughing when he says such cute things and then rolls those little eyes! It's awfully hard to get him to take me seriously when I'm laughing at how adorable he is!

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Brain Language

After we finished at the ER last night... well, it was actually the Acute Care Clinic, but I digress... and had learned that Andrew managed to break his index finger and sprain his thumb when he fell at the park, our little angel started making these really weird noises in the back of the van. He would say a few words and then make a sound similar to the way Donald Duck speaks. I finally asked him what he was doing. He answered, "I'm TRYING to talk to my brain mom! GOOOOOOSH!!! It won't let me do the smoochy poochy dance anymore, so I'm trying to talk to it so it will!"

I never knew there was a completely different language to allow you to speak to your brain!

My inspiration for the title...

Is my precious Andrew. This boy comes up with the funniest things and you just have to wonder what it's like to live in his world. Yesterday, in the midst of getting ready to make our 5 billionth ER visit for this boy who has no fear, he decided it was the perfect time to discuss babies and their mothers. The boys had one of their sisters read the Usbourne book, about where babies come from, to them a few days ago. The story has apparently been circulating in this little brain and he has put his own 3-year-old spin on it! He was sharing this new version and I'll spare you most of the details, but I thought his ideas of nursing were just so cute. He actually thinks that the baby gets milk from one breast and food from the other! Ladies, do I hear a big ole collective OUCH??? ROFL

My goal with this new blog...

Being a mom of teen girls and young boys offers numerous opportunities for laughter, wonder, and frustration. I am so very blessed to have these amazing people in my life and I hope this blog will not only give our friends and family a glimpse into the silliness and joy, but will also provide me with a way to count my blessings (and probably some frustrations).

You know that precious old Hymn that says, "Count your blessings name them one by one. Count your blessings, see what God has done." Well, I often forget to do that, and find I've slipped into a routine of just getting through each day intact instead of getting through each day happy and fulfilled as a wife, mom, and child of God.

I hope you find some things to laugh with us about in the coming months/posts, and I invite you to share your own stories, thoughts, and prayers.