Friday, February 26, 2010

Perspective

Today, my thoughts and prayers remain with Layla Grace and her family. You can read about this precious 2yr-old here. You can also follow her progress on Twitter (LaylaGrace). She is truly in her "last days" and her story truly puts my own troubles into perspective. Today I am thankful for my family, our health (it could be so much worse), our home, and all the other blessings that we continually take for granted.

May God Bless Baby Layla and may He comfort her until she leaves her earthly body and is healed completely.

Please join me in praying for this family!!!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Cha-ching!

NO, I didn't hit Vegas and win a million bucks- in fact, quite the opposite!

Nope, today I'm home- not really by choice, but because my suburban is in the shop..... for the next 2-3 days.

You see, when you have a vehicle that is going on 7 years old, you begin to need some pretty extensive- not to mention EXPENSIVE - repairs!

To the tune of $4000!!!!!!

Oh yeah!

Zack keeps reminding me that we no longer have a car payment, so this is nothing in comparison to the $800/month we used to shell out- uh, yeah, right.

It's still A LOT!!

When we bought our car, we went with the loaded one- leather interior, heated seats, DVD player, etc. What they didn't tell us at the time was that, not only do you pay more for all those fabulous options up front, but you also pay for them when the warranty runs out and all those things begin to break! Our heated seats, well, they don't heat. In fact, the driver's seat doesn't even MOVE!!! And those are the kind of repairs that require completely replacing the computer panels!

And we need new tires, new breaks, etc, etc, etc.... CHA-CHING!!!!

Our next new car will be a basic model....

NO BELLS, NO WHISTLES!!!!!

And, not to complain, but we were hit with some more rather expensive news yesterday....

I now get to to in for "weekly bios" for the rest of my pregnancy! Uh, yay?

I'm still not exactly sure what "weekly bios" are, but it sounds as though I will be having sonograms and non-stress tests every week until I deliver- about 1hr-long appointments. They will be checking on baby Caleb extensively at each appointment, and this is in addition to my regular OB visits, which are currently every other week, and my monthly sonograms for growth checks.

I guess they didn't REALLY like what they saw at my sonogram a couple of days ago.

So, yesterday, I got a call from my doctor telling me that she had consulted with a sonogram specialist, and they agreed that my placenta is thicker than normal, the fluid surrounding the baby is at the "high-end" of normal, and the baby is measuring big "all of a sudden."

Boy, if you need a little excitement in your life, have a baby!

I'm now considered "high-risk."

CHA-CHING!!!!

Want some more?

I know, I know, you wanted to read only goodness and light on my blog today, right?!

Well, sorry to say, that doesn't seem to be in the cards for us these days, so we'll have to go with the ugly truth....!

Yeah, so, yesterday, in the mail, we got a lovely letter. A letter telling us that the fence that we have bordering our backyard- the one that Zack built himself and we paid about $1200 to put up- is in violation of city codes.

HUH?!

Not only did we not get the proper permit to build it (we did pay $500 for a post inspection that we THOUGHT covered the permit!) (a permit costs an additional $50!), but we also did not build the fence to code.

Translation: the PRETTY side of the fence has to be facing outward- away from our yard!!!

What does this mean for us? Well, according to the letter, we have until April 1st to obtain our permit and fix the fence.

Fixing the fence will require COMPLETELY taking it apart and re-building it. There's just no other way to turn the boards around. That will cost us one whole weekend of work.

Our other option is to spend another $1000 and nail all new boards to the outside of the fence- you know, to make it pretty too (still requiring a weekend of work!).

CHA-CHING!!!!

(I'd like to take this time to thank whoever it was that anonymously complained about our fence- thanks so very much! You couldn't have picked a better time to add to our stress!)

And finally- yes, the end IS in sight- we will now be making a trip to the Mayo Clinic sometime in the late spring or early summer, and probably with the whole Gang! It's close enough to drive, but we will still have hotel and food costs, not to mention the cost of all the doctor's fees and tests.

(We had not planned to take a vacation this summer- in order to be frugal in these tough economic times and save a little money you know.)

CHA-CHING!!!!!!

And on a funny note: I recently added "Adsense" to my blog- per Zack's request- thinking I might actually benefit a little from having these annoying ads taking up my sidebar space and driving me up the wall. After over a month of flashing ads, I am happy to say I have earned some money......

18 cents to be exact!!!!!

Wow, that ought to help with some of our medical costs ;-)

So, I think I'll be getting rid of my "Adsense" in the near future- it's just not "adding" the right "cents!!!!"

(Unlike Mckmama's blog! I saw on her latest t.v. interview that they are making enough off of their blogs to support their family- no green-eyed monster here!!!!!)

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My new job!

Apparently, I have a new job.... one I didn't even know I wanted! Well, I don't REALLY want it anyway! But, nonetheless, it's my current occupation. It doesn't pay well....I mean, it doesn't pay at all.... but I hope the benefits will be something far greater than any monetary reward.

You see, my new job title is Allie's Advocate.....

Kinda catchy, dontcha think?!

Yeah, I like it!

And though I'd really rather NOT have to take on this particular job, it's a choice that I didn't even have to make.

Nope, it was laid out for me long ago....

17 years ago to be exact!!

The day I gave birth to my beautiful, first-born baby girl!
Yeah, she's pretty cute, and definitely worth all the chaos, frustration, upheaval, uncertainty.... you get the idea!

So, my current task at hand is to gather ALL of her medical records from ALL of her doctors, not to mention test results, imaging, ultrasounds, labwork, etc....!

This will involve contacting 8 different doctors and making sure that they send me all the information that they have so that I can then send it here....





That's the Rochester, MN skyline- clearly not a current picture.... there's no snow!!!

Anyway, that's where we will be headed because that's where the Mayo Clinic is located. It's the ONLY Mayo Clinic that accepts patients under 18, so it's our only choice. Currently, they have no appointments until June of this year, but we have to get all of Allie's info together and get it to them before they will even begin to schedule appointments for her.

That's MY job ;-)

I started today.... and it's a process! Go on-line, print off the records release, fill it out, fax it in, wait to get it back, etc, etc, etc.... and do this over, and over, and over......

But it's nothing I'm not used to! Having 7 kids has prepared me well for lots of paperwork!!

It WILL be interesting to see what the future holds....

I'm trying to think of it as an adventure ;-)

And anything I can do to put a smile on this child's face....



Is definitely worth it!!!

Please pray for her as she is struggling with her 2nd migraine in a week (that makes 6 in the last month) and is home from school yet again!

Also, I'm thinking about having a "Pray for Allie" blog button made- is that too much, do you think? Would anyone post it? I mean, she's certainly not as bad off as soooo many kiddos out there, but she could sure use some extra prayers right now.....! What do you think?!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

New discoveries...

This past weekend, the Gang decided to try out our local rec center.....
We went swimming on Sunday....
And the kids had a blast!

Zack even took some time off from his latest "project" (demolishing our lanai!) to come with us!
And it was a good thing, cuz I certainly had no desire to put on a swimsuit ;-)

It was a great activity since our kids are really "outdoor" kids, and the terrible weather we've been having has made them a bit stir crazy!!
They hadn't been swimming since the summer, so it was really fun to watch the two little ones get familiar with the whole idea again!
And on Saturday, while Zack was busy with his crowbar, I took the kids to "open gym" at the rec center.....

Josh really enjoyed it and is quite the gymnast- he took gymnastics twice a week until about 3yrs ago....
Sophie helped entertain the little ones....





Needless to say, I'm sooooo ready for warm weather ;-)

Monday, February 22, 2010

Joy

Allie's middle name is "JOY"....
But lately, there's been little "JOY" in her life....
And these fun moments.....
Are all too few....
So we made a decision.....
And hope to help.....
Our beautiful girl....
Get back her life.....
We just requested.....
an appointment....
for her....
at the Mayo Clinic.....
in Florida......
in hopes that.....
we can see a whole lot more.....
of these moments......
in the VERY NEAR FUTURE!!!
Please pray for us as we begin our journey.....
to save our "JOY."

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Don't tell me....

I don't want to know....

Nope, I don't want to hear all your stories....
about how noisy....
and smelly....
and annoying....
they are.....
So, don't leave me any comments with horror stories about them....
Because it's too late..... you see....
We already got one and these little boys are beyond excited!!!

Our new HAMSTER is named Bandit!!!

Friday, February 19, 2010

Friday Follies

Woke up to rain this morning and thought well, at LEAST it's not snow!! Yep, I jinxed it, because 2 hours later we had......

SNOW!

BUMMER!!

And yesterday had been so nice- about 50 degrees and sunny- ahhhhhh!

But today, well, today it's falling out of the sky in big fat flakes, covering our almost-snow-free ground faster than I can believe!

ANYWAY.... look who has no more cast.....

She's thrilled to be able to wear jeans again too! They pulled the pins out yesterday, so she's now in a walking boot for the next 6 weeks- still better than a cast and crutches ;-)

And more medical advances......

MY stitches come out today- yay!! My carpal tunnel surgery is almost a distant memory now!! Still a little pain when I do certain things, but it's healing quickly! And I love that I will never have to experience my hand going completely numb anymore!

But today is not Allie's day. Nope. She's back in bed with a migraine that she can't shake and has had since Wednesday. Missing her second day of school in a row. No meds are working for it. She spent last night vomitting and unable to sleep due to unexplained, severe back pain. I gave her a percocet for the pain. She's sleeping now. I have yet another call into the OBG doctor for her. Hoping to hear back in a couple of hours. I'm concerned because there is no reason for this pain, and it's in a very specific spot as opposed to radiating across her whole lower back (her normal menstrual back pain). I can only pray it's not the endometriosis back already.

This week is "spirit week" at our high school, and Allie had a good time dressing up the first couple of days (before her medical stuff knocked her back down again)! Here she is for "NERD DAY".....


Ah, yeah, that's really attractive.....
She knew I would post this too- that's what's REALLY scary!!
It's so hard to see her up one day and down the next- life is so unfair. A beautiful child with so much life inside of her- I hate to see it sucked out of her.

On a brighter note- we have a budding artist amongst us! Sophie has some skills man ;-) Check this out....


For Christmas, "Santa" brought her some new drawing supplies and a great new drawing table! She's been experimenting with charcoal pencils (that's what she used in this picture) and watercolors- with pretty great results ;-)
We're sooooo proud! And it looks as though Josh may be following along in her footsteps- he's getting really great with his art as well!!

And finally today..... this......


Who says they don't make cute boy clothes?! This one was at Babies R Us, and it was a great deal at only 8 bucks!!! Look at the cute little back.....
Aaaawwww! I got it in 3-6mos, so it should fit our little guy nicely on those HOT July days!!!

Have a great Friday everyone ;-)

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