Thursday, May 10, 2012

Not Too Often I Like a Pic...

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It's not too often I am willing to go in front of the camera. I hate my picture being taken. Maybe if I wasn't so damned overweight I wouldn't protest too much. Tonight I was all made up. It was a special banquet for work so that meant make up and a semi-cute outfit. The pictures not perfect, but it's one of the best ones I've seen recently. So...since I rarely share what I look like, I figured I better take advantage of it. Take it all in people, it may be years before you see me again :0)


Tuesday, May 8, 2012

My Baby is Growing Up

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:0(

Monday, April 30, 2012

Not Much Excitement

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Nothing much going on here except the everyday chaos of life with three kids.

We are getting into the home stretch with the last few weeks of school and all the activities that brings. The kids as usual have a million birthday parties each weekend and then throw in some playdates here and there...well it makes for a non-stop weekend.

The twins start swimming lessons this weekend. I am hoping they will enjoy them and get more comfortable in the water. My hopes is to be able to continue the lessons until they are confident swimmers. I need to start M in lessons too when he reaches the age that I don't have to go in with him.

I am doing fairly well. Still tired all the time, which sucks, but it's starting to become my new norm. I won another Nursing recognition (maybe I already mentioned that) which was nice. I am a little bummed out because my boss of twelve years, someone who I deeply respect and love to work under is leaving for bigger and better things. She deserves the new position more than I can express, but I am totally mourning her loss and the potential implications for my job depending on the person who takes her place.

I am encouraged by my budgeting so far this year. I haven't used my credit card this year at all. I am paying everything I need to, including unexpected medical bills and extra things like swimming lessons and summer camps. I have even been able to squirrel away some money for my car insurance payment that will be due in July. I am slowly paying off my existing debt, but I am encouraged with the progress I have made so far.

My weight...well that's another story. I need to get working on that next. Maybe in a few years I can be my goal weight and out of debt...wow...what would that be like?

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Great Florida Vacation

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This year while the kids were on Spring Break I decided we would go to Florida for the week. I have family there, and before M's birth we went at least once a year to visit. Since M's birth...none. I guess the thought of traveling with three kids was a little overwhelming. I am happy to report however, that the trip was really nice. The 10.5 hour drive there and back wasn't nearly as painful as I was afraid it would be, and overall the kids behaved pretty well. I actually can't wait until we can do it again!!

I stayed with my Aunt which was great and a wonderful way to save money - in fact the most expensive part of the whole trip was the gas. My Aunt's daughter is 21 so she liked having little kids around the house again. She is also pretty laid back so I didn't need to run behind the kids every minute watching what they were doing. The biggest bonus...she has a pool and hot tub...so the kids were VERY happy!
We kept things mostly low key but we we did go to some great places. The Children's Museum, Chuck E Cheese and some great meals out were nice cheap getaways. We went to the beach...because how can you go to Florida and not hit the beach!? I'm glad we went, for the experience, but in the end I think we decided that our family is not cut out for Beach life. The twins LOVED playing in the surf (this was a huge step for K who never went near a body of water before) and M loved playing in the sand. It became apparent however, that my kids do not enjoy the feeling of sand being lodged in all their little body parts. S had a little melt down as we were leaving which resulted in me stripping him naked and showering him down. Good thing the boys isn't bashful.
Another cool visit was a small community aquarium. There the kids were able to touch different ocean critters including sting rays. The kids were even given a chance to feed them, but chickened out at the last moment.
 
Overall it was a great trip. Lots of great time with family. Not a lot of money spent and a wonderful experience for the kids. S, who didn't have much confidence in the water at the beginning of the week, was nearly a fish by the end of the week. K loved the different activities and visiting with her extended family and M loved it all :0)
As a special bonus, we were able to meet up with other families who used the same sperm bank we did. Our bank has an online forum, so these are people I have been 'chatting' with for 5+ years. We were able to meet one family one night and me and the mom talked for 3 hours while the kids played. Another day we actually attended a group meet up where there were 5 families there. It was so neat to see the people I had seen grow up in pictures the past few years. 

In the end, I had such a good time and I loved seeing everyone again. We are definitely trying to plan another trip...maybe even later this year. I hope the kids can look back on these trips with the same fondness I do when I think about my childhood :0)

Where Did the Time Go....

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How is it that I get so behind with updating this blog!? A lot has happened in the last few weeks...let me catch you up.

First, the iPhone. I was able to get another one. My sister, who I have mentioned before as being very pretty with guys bowing down to her feet, tweeting looking for a Verizon phone. Well...someone gave her a BRAND NEW in box Droid Razr. Then, I guess some of her good luck rubbed off on me and I was able to find someone who wanted to trade their iPhone for a droid...so in the end, it worked out :)

Second, I had a follow up with my Neuro Doc which was overall uneventful. Neurologically I am fine. No causes for concern. Lab work was good too. I am constantly tired, so he wants me to have a sleep study, which I have still yet to schedule and finally I had to step on a scale for the first time in a long time. I don't have much of a comment for that except to say that something needs to change soon...real soon.

Third, M has started OT. I am still a little miffed that he qualified and was ticked off a little further when the therapist said one of my goals needed to be getting him to sleep in his own bed. Not that this isn't a great goal, but what business of it is hers where my child sleeps?

And lastly, we took a great little vacation to visit family in Florida. For that...I will write a separate post :)

Thursday, March 29, 2012

The Close to Perfect Zoo Trip

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On Monday, my friend L and I took our kids to the zoo. Despite one hiccup (read post below) the trip was really nice. The weather was perfect, the kids were pretty well behaved and most the animals were out.

M really liked the visit. He has been a few times before but I think this was the first time he really knew what was going on. He loved seeing all the animals, and chasing after the big kids. It was a great trip and great company!

We will be headed back in a few weeks to see a new Dinosaur exhibit they will have this summer. S can't wait ;).

I'll Start With the Bitching

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On Monday me and a friend took the kids to the zoo (which will be my next post) and everything went really nice. The kids got along pretty well, the weather was wonderful, and the animals were out.

We were finishing up our visit when we stopped to get a drink. I pulled out my phone to check the time, got two cokes and then headed for the tram. We rode the tram back to the entrance where we were going to check out one more exhibit. We got to the exhibit and I again reached for my phone to check the time...only...it was gone. :( :( :( In a matter of 15 minutes my phone disappeared.

I filed all the reports and have called them everyday hoping for a miracle, but none was to be found. I can't believe I lost my phone. My virtually new iPhone4 with a ton a pictures, apps, data, videos and all my contact info. Of course, it also wasn't insured, so now I'm screwed. I can't even get the darn thing replaced.

I was able, thanks to my sister J, to get another phone, but it's not an iphone. I can no longer call and text with the twins and their ipods. I don't have all my cool apps. I can text limitless with my other iphone friends. I know it sounds stupid, but this has really set an additional funk on my already depressed mood.

Lesson learned. Make sure I keep better tabs on my phone and make sure I find some way to back up all my info.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Oh Holy Hell

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They qualified him. I can't friggin believe it. He qualified for OT services.

Through out my life I have been around children. My mom ran a daycare from her home. I never had a job at a physical location as a teen; I always babysat. According to this, more than half the children I cared for, or observed had some sort of problem.

Early intervention has lost a lot of respect from me today. We live in a culture that wants to label everything. Everyone needs to live within a very small margin of 'normal' and if you don't, then there must be a problem.

Since this is the same agency that provides M with his speech services, I feel I have no choice but to accept OT services. If I don't I will also be labelled, I'm sure. I will tolerate the therapy for a few months and then cut it out. As it is...I don't even know what I'm looking for to know whether or not is is helping.

Absolutely ridiculous!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

OT Evaluation

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A few months ago, M's social worker came by to observe his speech therapy session. He was pretty typical during this session with his behavior. Sometimes, he is hard to keep interested in a specific activity; he doesn't like to remain sitting for the entire thirty minutes; and if he is asked, or pushed to do something he doesn't want, he will often break down into a mini-tantrum.

I feel most these behaviors to be pretty consistent with two year olds. He does act out a little more than the twins. He is hard headed and stubborn. And he is very physical - loves to climb, jump, throw etc. Again, fairly typical for a two year old boy. Well, his social worker didn't think so.

She immediately started to throw around words like 'sensory seeking' and intervention. I will be honest, as she was talking she really got my defenses up because she was talking like my kid had a sensory disorder after watching him for thirty minutes. Really, in the end, it pissed me off. She immediately wanted to schedule an evaluation for him. While I really wanted to tell her to shove it, I didn't want to be 'that parent' who is in denial over what could potentially be wrong with her child. I begrudgingly agreed.

The OT evaluation was this week. In the end, the therapist said that she would need to 'score' it to know for sure where M fell and if he qualified for services, but that overall she felt he had typical two year old behavior with some sensory seeking behavior. Do you want to know what his sensory seeking behavior was??
  • Playdoh. He liked to play with it. Apparently it is weird for two year olds to want to play with it. My impromptu FB poll would say otherwise.
  • Co-sleeping. M still co-sleeps and won't sleep in his own bed.
  • Being Cuddly. I told the therapist he was my cuddly baby who liked to be held and snuggled on.
  • Lining Up Cars. I told her that he liked to line up his cars and race them. Now I know there can be problems with kids who like to line up objects or otherwise categorize things, but M does this with one thing, and not that often. I told her this, but it was still note-worthy.

Now, while I completely understand that there are children in the world with Sensory Processing Disorders (SPD) I do not believe my child to be one of them. If we have gotten to the point where children who display the above behaviors are labelled as sensory seeking, then it's no wonder to me that diagnosis' such as SPD and autism are going through the roof. It is almost getting to the point that the 'typical' kids are in the minority.

I promise. I am not one of those moms who can't see the issues their child has. I am the one who recognized and fought for services for all three of my children for speech therapy. I asked for S to have an OT evaluation last year for concerns with fine motor. I constantly watch my children and believe completely in early intervention and the utilization of resources available to you. I just have a huge problem with labels and diagnosis being thrown around easily and nonsensically. To me, this gives a huge disservice to those who truly have these problems. If after scoring M, it shows he qualifies for services...god help me.

And for the record...his behaviors are no different than all the other children his age that we play with, and any of the adults that are constants in his life are shocked at the notion that he has anything sensory related.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Another Dentist Appointment...Another Follow Up Appointment for Cavities

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Today all three kids had their 6 month dental appointment. In this area, my children are quite consistent.

K - Teeth, as always look fine. She still has yet to have a single cavity. Her teeth are nice and straight. Her 6yr molars have mostly come in. In three months we will return to the dentist to have sealants placed in all permanent molars. Hopefully, since these are permanent teeth, insurance will pay for it this time.

S - Sigh...As always, he has cavities. S has NEVER had a visit which doesn't end up with new found cavities. This time we found two more. We go back in 2 weeks to have those ones fixed. His 6yr molars have not yet poked through. I am curious to see how his adult teeth come in since all his baby teeth have had nothing but problems.

M - his exams are still not extremely comprehensive. But he did get a fluoride treatment with oral exam. His two front teeth are 'directionally challenged' another possible side effect from that darn pacifier. I really need to get that stink'in thing away from him. It seems to be causing too many problems. My goal is to have it completely gone by three!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Need to Share Something Nice

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Last week after my fighting with my insurance company over M's emergency room visit I was quite emotional and rundown. At work the next day, some coworkers noticed it and asked me if something was wrong during our morning meeting. I took the opportunity to share my struggle because they needed to know that there was this clause in our insurance coverage. I warned my co-workers that if they used the ED they were subject to the copay doubling.

Well later in the day I was back eating lunch and found an envelop in my work bag addressed to 'Max's Mommy'. In it was $150 cash to cover the additional copay. It was all computer typed and there was no way to figure out who left it. I confronted a few people who I thought might have been responsible and they are adamantly denied it, and I believed them. So there is some sweet person that I work with who gave me this special gift. It really did lift my spirits.

Today I found out that my appeal was granted so they will remove my additional co-pay. In addition to the long letter, my boss fought for me. She is really sweet and protective that way. Anyway she called today and said it would be removed. Now I am trying to figure out what to do with the $150 my work angel left me. I need to do something meaningful with it since it was given in the spirit to help me. S really wants to attend a week long Dinosaur camp in June which costs $155 so I may use it for that.

There are some nice people out there :0)

Well that Hurt...

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Another post about crappy friends and feeling like s#it.

On the way to my twin club meeting tonight I ran into Panera to get some dinner. As I walked in I found my three friends having dinner together before the meeting.

I used to really enjoy this club. I got a lot of friendship and support from it but now it seems to cause more hurt and feelings of seclusion. Maybe I need to reevaluate my membership.

I am starting to wonder what hurts more. The feeling of loneliness from not having any good, close friends, or being constantly hurt by the people I think are good friends.

Sigh...

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Few More Pictures...

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Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Trying Hard to be Better

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I am trying to re-organize my life. I feel like I spend so much time wasting time and nothing of meaning gets accomplished.

When the twins were little we did weekly play dates. Went to special places on the weekend. Enrolled in about 2 years of gymnastics. We traveled to Canada twice and Florida three times. We were routined and it didn't seem overwhelming to get everything done. I don't feel that way.

I used to say it was the addition of the third child that changed the dynamics. But thats crap. Right now the kids are in school all day and I still do nothing. I am tired all the time. I spend too much catching up on things. I need to change some things.

1.) I am looking into getting the kids - all three of them - into some sort of activity. Swimming, gymnastics, whatever. Get them out of the house doing something. The only limitation here is money, but I will try hard to make something work.

2.) I have started a weekly play date here at the house. I need M to be able to play and relate to kids his age. I did this all the time with the twins and I have been so slack this time. Our first event today went well. I will have it here at the house for a few weeks and then once the weather gets better, we will meet at the park.

3.) I need to sleep better. Go to bed earlier and try not to nap my life away. There are mornings when after we drop the kids at school we come back home and go back to bed. M and I can sleep until 11 or 12p. It's ridiculous. But I guess since we both go to bed at like 1am...it makes more sense. M and I both need to get a better sleep schedule.

4.) I NEED TO LOSE WEIGHT. I'm sure a lot of my fatigue and crappy sleep come from being so overweight. I need to somehow get control of this. I have to figure out a way. Not just for sleep but my health overall. I NEED TO REGAIN CONTROL!!!

5.) Routine. I need to get into some routine. Wake at this time...Get XYZ done....Do this...just something that makes me follow more of a schedule instead of doing things when I feel like it, or get the energy. Doing things this way means a lot of stuff is never gotten to.

6.) I may need to look into another form of work. The 12h shifts are killing me. I spend the weekend physically recovering from them. I know losing weight might help with this, but I really do think with my MS that 12h is too hard on my body. (as a reference I was only working 8h shifts before M was born).

7.) Continue to work of money. I am doing okay here. It's hard when things like insurance companies continue to screw me, but I am trying.

In one month I will try to revisit these topics and see how I've done. Hopefully I will have made progress on at least half of them.

Making Friends

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In the past I have made several posts about my frustrations with friends...or the lack thereof. I am trying to live outside my comfort zone and I have been trying to cultivate the potential relationships I have.

I am making some progress with one friend, L. I met her at the school stop where we pick up our kids in the afternoon. She lives a mile or so away and her son is in the same class as the twins. S likes hanging around him (he was the boy we went to the dinosaur exhibit with) and at one time K was going to marry him; although now I think the relationship is just platonic ;0) As luck would have it, she also has a son a few months younger than M.

Initially we just spoke at the stop, but as the kids relationship has grown, we have spent time together as the kids play after school and on weekends. Her personality jives with mine - the same dark, sarcastic humor and we seem to have similar ideas/beliefs/etc.

Sadly, as I mentioned in the previous post, her father dies very suddenly last Monday. This is a huge loss to her as her family lived in the same home as her parents. He was a huge presence in their life. She is doing pretty well and I have tried to be there for her. I have helped with her son, T, a few times and checked in on her every day or so.

I hope this friendship continues to grow. It would be great since our kids are all the same age and we live so close to eachother. It might also make me a little happier in life :0)

Insurance Rant #45982710

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I received the medical bill for M's emergency room visit in January. It was quite a bit more than I thought it should be. Per my insurance, I pay a $150 co-pay for an emergency room visit, and an initial co-insurance of $400 per person. When I read through the bill, my co-pay was listed as $300.

I called my employer and was told that my insurance had made the determination that my emergency room visit was non-emergent and therefor I was being charged an additional $150.

Um....Say the Fuck what?

Children die every year from MRSA sepsis and my child was now on day three of fevers, spreading wounds and an abscess that was threatening circulation to his right leg. This was on a Sunday night, after office hours and after urgent care hours. How is this not emergent? Should I have waited until he was non-responsive, lethargic with other vital sign changes before bringing him in? The doctor was concerned that M might need to be admitted to the hospital. This wasn't urgent?

So needless to say I am launching an appeal and complaint. (1) It should not be up to the insurance company to look at a billing code and decide whether or not the care was warranted and (2) if my child's physician tells me to take my child to the emergency room I should not have to question whether or not my insurance will concur with his direction.

I'm not sure I will win this one, but I will fight tooth and nail for it. The thing that ABSOLUTELY SUCKS is I work for the hospital system that's screwing me and, if I refuse to pay, they just take it from my paycheck.

This just might be a catalyst that makes me look into pulling the kids from my insurance and having them cared for by the tax payers. As horrible as that is, I see no choice. I am trying to do the right thing and yet I am drowning in medical bills. This plain sucks!

***I have no idea why this post is formatted weird. I have tried to fix it with no luck***

Some Candid Shots

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I was going through the computer looking for some recent pictures and to my dismay I have SUCKED at taking pics. I have no decent picture of M since Christmas!! So while the kids were playing today I took some pics :) Enjoy!

Monday, March 5, 2012

6 Year Stats

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The twins had their 6 year check up today. They are both healthy and doing well. No identified problems and hopefully no reasons to go back for another year.

S:
50 pounds (73rd %) and 48.5" (93rd%)

K:
40 pounds (21st%) and 45.5" (55th%)

Both still skinny - thank goodness!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

So Much Going On

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Sorry I have been absent. I have had so much to say, but then when I sit to write it, I get overwhelmed and just give up. The last week alone has been very trying. I will give a quick run down.

1. Sunday night while finishing up what seems like my millionth load of laundry, the washer stops working. Not a great feeling. I have actually had a sense of doom about the house for a little while now because after my 12 month marathon of monthly house repairs, it had been rather quiet. Luckily someone came out and found that it was just a simple switch. Repair and all only cost $60. Score one for me.

2. Another Sunday night defeat. Max laid down to take a nap about 5p on the couch. All was well. When he woke around 8p he was covered, once again with MRSA sores. I just wanted to cry. We are all still on special soaps and I did everything I could. First thing Monday morning he was seen by his doc. I expressed how frustrated I was and the doctor really didn't have any further advice for me other than this can be typical, and I was doing everything right. He is now on 2 weeks of high dose antibiotics followed by 4 weeks of low dose. He is also on the nasal treatment and will continue with surgical soap. Since we caught it early there wasn't a lot of drama with fevers or draining this time...so that was great!

3. A few weeks ago, a close acquaintance had premature triplets. 2 boys and a girl were born at 29 weeks but doing rather well. Monday morning I found out that the girl had developed a sudden infection and died Sunday night. News like this always sends me into a depression. I felt like sh!t all day. Boys are doing well and I hope they continue on that path.

4. Monday night while talking to someone who I am starting to develop a good friendship with - will probably post about that at a later time - she mentioned that her dad was being taken to the hospital for shortness of breath. Her dad is somewhat of a celebrity around here and he was speaking at an event. We stopped talking at about 9:40p so that she could meet her dad. At 10:30p I signed onto FB only to see on my news feed people posting about his death. I was in SHOCK. This man was an amazing guy. The twins also knew him well because they are best friends with his grandson, and he volunteered in their classroom several days a week. I saw him the morning he died walking his grandson in.

The news has been in the media all week. I was able to attend the visitation which I was grateful for and then even able to watch the funeral service streaming online. The more I learned about him the sadder I felt. Not only did this community lose a great man, but I felt guilt for not getting to know him better while he was here. Its been a tough week with the emotions but also talking to the twins who have had lots of questions.

So today is Sunday...one week exactly from when the chaos started. I'm hoping for a quiet week. I will try to post more as I have some plans for change in place. I am just hoping I succed in them.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Happy Birthday!!!.....Part 3...or maybe even 4

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Today was two special days. I celebrated my 30 something birthday and we had the twins birthday party!

The day started with my parents coming over with lunch and cake. We casually ate at home and really just hung out for a few hours - honestly a perfect way to spend the afternoon. In the evening it was time to celebrate S and K's 6th birthday with all our friends! I rented out a local roller rink and ordered pizza for dinner. About 30 kids were invited and about 28 were supposed to come.
Well, mother nature decided to be a pain in the ass. All winter we have had mild and above average temperatures. Yesterday, infact, it was warm enough to go out in short sleeves and play outside without feeling even a little cold. Today, it was 30 some degrees and by 5pm (the start of the party) heavy sleet was coming down. Unfortunately, some kids didn't come because of this. We still had a good showing, but it was very frustrating that the one day I had something really important plan...winter decides to show up :0/

Anyway, the party was very nice. One friend made some really cute birthday shirts and another one made an amazing cake. The kids all seemed to have fun and they got some cute gifts.

And I'll include and picture of our 'storm'. And just because Mother Nature needed to screw with me a little more...it was 60 degrees today and all the snow is gone. Grrrrrrr

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Birthday!!

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Today my first babies turn six. I am in disbelief. I am in denial.

When they woke up each got hugs and kisses. I told them both Happy Birthday to my BIG kids and K responded with "I am the same size I was yesterday" They went off to school very excited that they could share their day with their friends. I went back to the school at 12:30p to help celebrate a little with pudding cups and drinks.
When they got home, two more presents had been left at the door from a special friend. S got a Kinex Dinosaur and K got a cotton candy maker. She has been asking for one for over a year (I couldn't find one last year for her birthday). We had just enough time to open these, and some clothes from mom - I know...boring! - before heading to dinner. They chose their favorite place to eat and after dinner we spurlged and went to Cold Stone for dessert.
It was a good day. Not too much activity, but a nice time spent together doing special family things.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Par-tay Number One

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My parents came over today to celebrate the twins birthday. They just arrived home yesterday from Mexico - if your keeping track they were there 3 weeks!

The kids were not only excited to celebrate their birthday, but they had missed their grandma and pop-pop very much and couldn't wait to see them. Me...I was most excited about giving them their dog back ;0)
S received more Lego sets and some clothes. I have spent a lot of time impressing upon him the importance of keeping up with the Lego. They are not cheap and I have made it clear to S that he needs to start caring for his toys. I am hoping he 'listened' and I will see a change in him. I really think Lego is perfect for him, but I will not be wasting money on it.
K received some clothes and some My Little Pony stuff. The best gift?? A little girls bra. You should have seen the smile on her face when she opened the gift. At first, she saw Dora the Explorer on it and tossed it to the side. When my mom explained what it was, she was smitten. She has worn it all day, and has said she wants to wear it every day. Not sure what I'm going to do with that girl.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Let the Festivities Begin!

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This weekend kicked off the week of Birthday/Valentines Celebrations. While I will make sure the twins don't expect this every year, it does seem like so far their birthday events seem to span more than just their special day. :0)

On Friday their school had a Valentine's Dance. It was held as a Fundraiser but was a cute idea. Parents had to stay and the dance was divided into two times. Earlier time for the younger students and a little later for the older ones. K was BEYOND excited to go to the dance. I'm not sure what she thought would happen but she was beside herself all week. Unfortunately that day the twins good friend misbehaved and couldn't come with us, but that only seemed to dampen the mood for a moment.

At first the twins were very quiet and shy, sticking mostly to the side walls of the gymnasium. Once a few other students from their classroom showed up, they really go into the fun. There wasn't so much dancing, but alot of running, spinning and conga lines. They really did have a good time and it was so cute to watch them.
This morning on the front porch was S and K's birthday gifts from our Texas family. K received a lip gloss kit and S received a Dinosaur Lego Set. It was a great thing to wake up to since the sick hit me hard and all I did today was sit in the chair. Wonderful timing for sure!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Such a Sweet Boy

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I know I've said it before, but my S is such a sweet little man. He is caring and nurturing. He always wants everyone around him to be happy and if anyone is ever hurt or crying, he immediately tends to them. I have been told by many of his teachers what a kind and caring heart he has. This heart is shown to me every day with his interaction with M. He has fully embraced his role as a big brother and genuinely loves his time with M.

This past weekend, we were watching a movie. While watching a scene that was sad (a boy was loosing his beloved pet dog) I looked over at S and there were tears streaming down his face. It's funny because as soon as I saw that, I started to cry. He saw me and then burst into a full cry saying he was so sad for that little boy.

Now, of course, I don't ever want to see my kids crying, but it was so sweet to see him emotionally connect to this story. A true sign of empathy. In a time when so many people don't seem to have any care or concern for people around them, I am relieved to see that my young man has that sensitivity for others.

I can definitely see him growing into an amazing little boy.

Just Momma and the Boys

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If I haven't shared it here, S is obsessed with Dinosaurs. And, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that anything S is obsessed with, M likes too. Recently a Dinosaur exhibit came to the area and I knew it was something S would LOVE.

I told S that I was going to take just him to see the Dinosaurs and that it was going to be a special 'Mom & S' event, but being the awesome big brother that he is, he wanted to bring M. As a bonus, his good friend T from school was also going, so we met up with them and enjoyed the event together. This is the same friend who has a little brother who is the same age as M, so it works out nicely when we get together.
At the end of the day, on the way home in the car, S said "Mom, this was the best day ever"

And, while it was difficult to convince her, K stayed home with my sister J, and was able to get her hair and makeup done. She was actually fine not going until she found out that T was going. T has been her on-again, off-again boyfriend and she wasn't as keen staying home when he was going. Ultimately though, she stayed home and I think had a good time.

Random Update

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M is on the mend. We are now done all our antibiotics and M is feeling better. His skin is all clear - except for the scars left behind. Please hope with me that this infection stays away. We do not want it back.

In just a few days the twins will be six!? WHAT!? Yep...six. I don't know how it happened, but it did. It's been a great six years. My only hope is the next six don't pass nearly as fast.

Work is going well. Same old, same old. Scentsy is coming along too. Just closed a Basket Party and I have a Home Party scheduled for February. I am trying to make some positive changes to my Scentsy 'business' that will hopefully bring in more customers, or at least increase orders. I would love to be able to put new carpet in another room and any extra cash would be great.

Tax refund money is here and I am doing my best to pay off some things, get some much needed things, and stock up on things that I can. Hopefully I'll make some good decisions.

So...how about this boring, lame a$$ post. Just thought I would check in to let you know I'm still here :0)

Monday, January 30, 2012

A Rocky Weekend

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So...where did I leave off...

Friday night into Saturday morning, M continued to run a fever, but knowing it take about 24h for antibiotics to work, I didn't worry much. Saturday morning he woke up in such a better mood. He was playing, his mood was good and although the sores still bothered him, it didn't keep him from playing. I had a conference to go to on Saturday afternoon and I waffled a bit on whether or not to go (it was in a city about 1.5h from home). I did end up going leaving the kids with my sister and everything seemed to be okay.

Sunday morning M woke up, still acting like he felt fine, but his sores were still as bad as they had been. They weren't worse, but usually for M, once he starts on antibiotics, his sores get better within 24h. Since they weren't worse, and he was still fever free, I just continued to watch him through out the day.

By dinner time Sunday, the sore on his leg started to become worrisome. It was bigger, and redder. I tried to express it, but nothing would come out. The entire leg, from the knee down, was hard and swollen. I started to worry about circulation and it was evident that it was bugging M more than it had been. When I changed his diaper a bit later, I noticed two new spots. It was pretty clear at that point that the antibiotics were not working. By 8p I was more worried about the leg, and ended up taking him to the ER.

At the hospital the doctor quickly looked at it and knew it needed to be expressed. I told him I couldn't make it drain. At that time, this big, male doctor, took his fingers and squeezed the every living $#!# out of this sore. Of course he got it to drain. He also drain two other sites all while M was writhing in pain. I hated to see M go through that but I knew in the end he would feel better. We were then started on new meds and headed home. We actually made excellent time being back home by 11p.

This morning the pediatrician called to check on M. I told him of our ER adventure and he was happy we went as he had received the culture report from Friday. It showed that the drug M was on, was useless against the germs he had. The meds that the ER had prescribed were the correct meds and we should see some progress soon. This is concerning because when M had his first outbreak in October, the first antibiotic was enough to treat him. This means that since his first outbreak, this germ has already mutated to a more virulent form. If M continues to suffer with these outbreaks, the likelihood is that the germs will get stronger and stronger and become more and more difficult to treat. Very scary.

Tonight M is doing better. Almost 24h into his new meds and he looks and feels better. Almost all the small sores are fading and while the big ones haven't changed much, they aren't as red and definitely haven't grown.

And, while I am happy my son has access to good health care and that he is getting better, I am again reminded how horrible the state of this health care system is. In the last four days I have paid the following:
  • $20 Co-Pay
  • $206 in medications
  • $150 Emergency Room Co-Pay
  • And I expect additional bills of $400 as M's insurance does not start until I pay $400 out of pocket - not including my co-pays.

So, WITH insurance, and infection that has afflicted my son has cost me $776. Again WITH insurance. How sad is it that I will have to make choices on what will and will not get paid because I had to get health care for my son. Thank goodness I have a refund coming soon. I just cannot accept a society where a mother has to struggle to have minimal, basic care provided for her child. You would think that having insurance would protect me from this hardship...but no. And, as a side note, I still have over $3000 in health care bills from K's surgery in November.

Friday, January 27, 2012

I HATE GERMS

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You know who this little guy is. He is a 'Super Bug'...his name is MRSA. This guy has taken over my house. We have had periodic visits from him in the past. Both K and S have had episodes where they have formed small skin abscessed that require lancing at the docs office and a round of meds. These have been few and far between though. M on the other hand, hasn't been so lucky.

It started in October. He developed an abscess in his diaper area around his hip. I tried to manage it at home without luck. He ended up at the doc's office with a draining and antibiotics. It cleared up nicely but a few weeks later, in November we had a recurrence. This time instead of just one abscess, he developed multiple 'pimples' all over his diaper area. Probably 15 - 20 if these little boils. One of these boils, actually located behind his knee abscessed requiring another doc visit and another round of antibiotics.

We had been doing real well until this past Monday. Monday morning he was fine. Monday at noon he was fine. Monday at 4pm he was covered. I took off his diaper only to find about 20 new little boils all red and pus filled. I have no idea how they all developed that quickly. I tried to manage it at home at first. I still had the topical ointment from the last time, and I am a nurse with some basic understanding of how to heal these suckers. I actually did quite well until Thursday morning. By then most of the little ones had started to dry up, but inevitably, he developed an abscess to his buttocks. Thursday night I was able to drain it at home, but by Friday morning (4am) he spiked a fever to about 102 and became miserable. At that time another abscess was found around his ankle.

So this morning another doc visit and another round of antibiotics. Unfortunately these abscesses are a little deeper than the others and we need to reassess them tomorrow. If by noon, the swelling and redness hasn't lessened, or he continues with fevers, we will be off to the hospital for a surgical draining. I am confident this won't be the case. After a nice warm bath his buttocks drained again and I got a lot out. I am waiting for him to calm down, and I will try to drain the ankle one. His fevers have been down and no new spots have appeared. I am keeping my fingers crossed on this one.

I am trying really hard to clear this house of our little visitor. I purchased surgical soap which we will all use the next week or so. I also asked the doctor to prescribe all of us nasal swabs that contain an antibiotic. You see this little guy likes to hang out in the noses of its carriers. I am certain there are a few of us in this house that have been hosting this guy in our noses. Hopefully between M's medicine, surgical baths and nasal therapy we will clear this crap from our house.

**Posting pictures now**
This is about one third of one of M's cheeks. These have all opened and are actually getting better. Can you image how much pain you'd be in if your bottom was covered with these, in addition to one large on that was below your muscle layer? This is why M has been lying on his stomach for the last 24 hours.
This is the one above his ankle. Due to this one, M can't wear pants or socks or even walk all that comfortably.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Well That Stinks!

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I just completed and submitted my tax return for last year. The last two years I have received roughly the same refund, so I made a rough plan of my debt payoffs with this amount in mind. Unfortunately, when all was done, I was looking at over $1000 less!

It seems as though in the last year I made a bit more money. This was a surprise to me as I didn't notice any extra money in my monthly budget, but it had to have been there. My exemptions and deductions were the same, but this little bump in income, took me to the next tax bracket - I guess - which resulted in the decreased refund.

BOOOOO

Okay, I will get over my self pity and move on. I am getting money back and that's more than a lot can say. Now onto paying off some debt and making a budget plan for the year that allows me to keep paying of debt!!

And It's Done as Quickly as it Started

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Yep, J and Jo are no longer. I have to admit, I'm a little sad. J has really matured and made some good decisions since being with Jo. I, of course am worried that she will revert to the person she once was, but right now, I am trying to hold out hope that the change is a permanent one.

What happened you ask...who knows. While I liked the relationship, I really didn't know Jo all that well. I only met him once and everything else I knew was from what J shared. A few times I had a little red flag go up in my mind, but I thought is was more from my prejudices, than an actual issue. You see, Jo was extremely religious. And not that that in itself is bad, but it seemed like all interactions, conversations and decisions had to revolve around religion. It seemed at times like an obsession.

There were also inconsistancies. Jo would say 'this' was important only after doing something in direct conflict to it. He was often 'preachy' and critical of others who did not follow a similar path. Now again, none of these behaviors were 'bad' or problematic, just things that made me think.

The last week Jo was at a revival. Each night he called J to share his renewed faith and lessons he learned each day. He was very excited and energetic with his message. As the week went on my sister said he acted more and more 'weird'. Today's call came with the message that he needed to life his life for God. There was no longer room for anyone else. He was giving of his entire self to life his life as he thought God saw fit. J said he was so odd that she is actually worried that he might even leave football. From what she was saying it sounded like he had been
'brainwashed'

I know that statement is probably offensive to some, and while I don't want to offend people, that is truly what I think. Him and J had a good thing, but his thinking seems obsessive, manic, disorganized. I tend to think that in a few days/weeks he will come back to J and claim to have made a mistake. I don't know. Maybe not. J is upset, but she actually seems more concerned for him than angry. She was falling for him, so if he did come back, I'm not sure if she would risk this again, or walk away for good.

And, you might ask, what is my mother's thoughts on all this. Well she left for Mexico for three weeks this past weekend. She doesn't know. That's probably a good thing. Honestly, based on her erratic behavior, I have no idea what her reaction will be.

So...it's a shame it had to end. Keep your fingers crossed for me that J has really grown and learned the good lessons he did instill in her. He held her to a much higher standard that other boyfriends have and I think her self-esteem did benefit from it. I hope she matured enough to see this growth for herself and hold onto it.

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