Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Kelly The Sickly Preggo

Yup. That would be me. I considered doing an audio post so I didn't have to type stuff out, but none of you would've recognized me. And I would've squeaked half the time. Or grunted. Or coughed. Or hacked. One of the four.

But sympathy would've abounded.

Hmmmmm.......maybe that audio thing isn't such a bad idea....


I can't tell you why this happens to me, but it always does. I am rarely sick as a general rule. Until I'm pregnant. Then I'm ALWAYS sick.

Don't ask me why.

Congestion, running--NO POURING--nose, hacking cough (which makes me feel like vomiting), sneezing, and jaw bones that feel as though I've been punched from letting my mouth hang open constantly. You know, so I can BREATHE.

Any of you doctor types that read this should let me know what the deal is. Well, not that it matters anyways....

I'm not doing this again.

In about 4 months, Kelly The Sickly Preggo will have officially "left the building."

It's days like these that make me excited for the next phase of my life.

You know, the phase where I stop looking bloated and I can take NyQuil whenever I want.

Ahhhh...let it be, let it be.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Happy Birthday to You, Happy Birthday to Me

It's been an interesting past month (or so) with Michaela. The Felbamate is really helping, and we are amazed that she's done this well for this long. Chief seems to be too. Like, every time we have to discuss something, he mentions how well she's doing. Everybody is just relieved.

No less me, of course.

Yet, for some odd reason, she still has her "down times". We won't change a THING, and she will fall into a slump, a stupor. Drooling comes back, slurred speech, irratic gait, problems eating. It's very strange since this only used to happen when something was tweaked or a dose was forgotten or the drug was wearing off.

But, give her about a week, and the slump passes, and she comes back to life. The drooling subsides, she'll talk up a storm, and walking or eating isn't a problem anymore. Michaela NEVER recovered without the meds being changed in the past.

But now that's changed, and it's all very strange.

But hey, we're not complaining.


However, this past month, the slump lasted longer. The "week" went by, and still no sign of recovery. Two weeks even. I had gotten used to it, but when I thought about how long this was lasting, I was a bit perplexed. Again, we weren't doing anything different, really. Nothing to keep her from bouncing back.

Then three weeks went by. No change.

When things like this happen, you can't help but be a little sad, a bit mournful. Is the honeymoon over? We almost made 6 good months! Is this the end of Felbamate? Why isn't it helping her?

Questions. There's always questions.

Well, at least if you're me.

But I don't expect a whole lot of them to get answered anymore. I'm just rolling with the punches, taking things as they come. Not getting all riled up or upset.

Just accepting the par for the course, I guess.


Today, I awoke to get Michaela up for school. I had passed by the cracked door of her room before I woke her, on my way to do something else. I noticed she was slumped over from the sitting position, her head buried in the blankets.

I know what you're thinking. And no, I wasn't alarmed. She does that all the time.

But she was obviously "out", and I dreaded having to wake her up. She will look and act extrememly lethargic, almost drugged, and getting her dressed is like a wrestling match.

So I went in there a few minutes later, a lo and behold, she was sitting up. Bright eyed, smiling, and talking.

Talking? This early? That clearly?

That hadn't happened for almost a month....

It didn't stop. She talked about a puzzle that was on the toy box, got herself out of bed, raised her arms for a clean shirt.

There wasn't any drooling.

She held her head up so I could brush her hair. She held a conversation. She crossed her legs and looked at a book while she waited for the bus.

It seems as though the slump is over.

Today is her 9th birthday.

Happy Birthday to you, Boo.

A happy birthday for all of us.


6 Months

This Morning...


Happy Birthday Michaela, you are my Sunshine

Monday, August 21, 2006

Don't Sell Yourself Short

I go through THIS scenario a lot:

So if you've ever felt like Eve's friend.....

Don't sell yourself short! YOU would do what you had to do for your child too!

Just like me.

But I WILL say this: if I didn't have God to turn to, I wouldn't have the composure, the joy, and the peace that I have ALL THE TIME. People say that I handle my situation in life well, but I dare say that if I didn't have my Faith, I would be a miserable, cantakerous person during those "hard times". And perhaps, no one would blame me. Yet, because I'm NOT like that, don't think that I'm extraordinary.

I have God. Period.

What do YOU have? How would YOU handle MY situation?

Saturday, August 19, 2006

What They Don't Know COULD Help Them

Today, is Saturday (just in case you hadn't figured it out yet).

Which, to my children, means: DAY OFF.

From school, that is.

But little did they know....


The boys have been singing the praises of Day Off ever since yesterday afternoon. "Hey Caleb! We don't have to do school tomorrow!" Hey, I'm right there with them. I don't mind when the weekend comes either. Not that I don't have anything to do, but not doing school just leaves me open to do something else.

So anyway. This has been the boys' first full week of school, and they were anxious for their break. They lolled around, looked at books in bed, didn't get dressed first thing. And as they were leisurely eating their breakfast, they decided to talk about something:

The octopus.

Don't ask me how they got on that subject. I wasn't really paying attention. Yet, my ears perked up when someone made a particular comment:

"Well, an octopus can't eat a shark, though (as if that child was an expert or something)."

And believe it or not, I knew that that little caveat was NOT correct. An octopus CAN eat a shark. I had actually seen something online recently to that affect. So I piped up:

"Uh guys? I've seen an octopus eat a shark before."

To which they tried to justify such a notion in their mind. A big shark Mama? Not a big shark! It must've been a really big octopus then, Mom!

So I showed them.

It was only a quick Google search. I mean, how many articles/sites talk about "Octopus eats Shark?" And there it was, the video I had seen one day recently.

Instant science class.


Watching that clip ended up sparking a furor of aquatic learning. TONS of questions were asked. And as much as I could answer a good amount of them, I didn't have ALL the answers.

So the trusty "Children's Encyclopedias" came out. There's a whole book dedicated to underwater life. With a chapter on sharks. And a chapter on the octopus.

We learned that sharks vary in size from 6 inches to 60 feet.

That octopi squirt ink and have big heads.

We also went on to learn about flying fish, that only some frogs live in the water, that crawfish will sometimes lose a claw in a fight.

I think Noah ended up reading through the entire book, with Caleb sitting right next to him for most all of it.


I don't think I could've recreated that scenario if I tried.

I mean, my kids LEARNED a ton about underwater life. Completely because they wanted to!

On their DAY OFF!!

(Shhhhhh! Don't remind them!)

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Monday, Monday, So Good to Me

Slacker. That would be ME.

Anyways, things have been pretty eventful around here, to say the least. I've been busy doing something everyday this week, and I would've been doing something today, if I weren't sick. Of which, I am.

Hacking cough with a slice of nausea, and a side order of gastrointestinal difficulties. Tums for desert, garnished with Halls Vapo-Action Plus.

Home-made recipe, no doubt.


Let's see, let's see. News.....


OH! Ok, I went to get Michaela on disability on Monday. As opposed to last month, we were well within their income limit. Alright!

Turned out to be a 3 hour project. Thankfully, I was almost completely prepared, and I guess they're not used to that. The woman said the the appointments are generally a lot shorter than 3 hours. But since I had my ducks in a row (in typical ME fashion), she didn't have to send me home witha list of a ton of info to come back with. I only needed 2 things, both of which I could fax to her. Piece o'cake.

Looks like Michaela will get her disability check this time. Which will pay for the van that we needed to get for her. Don't be fooled, just because I like Toyotas and it's a gorgeous midnight blue, doesn't mean we wanted to buy that van. We honestly didn't have a lot of other options.

See, we were originally looking at 12 passenger vans. We had intended on having 6 kids when our old van gave up the ghost (but eventually changed our minds-que sa ra, sa ra!), so we knew we needed a van that could hold 8 people. Suburbans can do this, but they have compromised trunk space because of it, and we had a wheelchair to stick back there. So, ixnay on the uburbanstay.

Which led us to the 12-mahonsious passenger vans. We could take out the back seat and have plenty of room for the wheelchair. Not to mention a stroller, groceries and luggage for various family trips. So, in that way, the van was a "go". We even found one we were seriously considering.

Until we went to test drive it.

There was no way. Those large, heavy-duty vans are waaaaaaaayyyy off the ground. Not only was it going to be back-breaking work trying to get the wheelchair in and out of the back (3 feet off the ground), but there was NO WAY Michaela could get into that van. Even on a good day. Nevermind on the days when we have to all but carry her in.

Which left us with little to no options in the 8-passenger vehicle department.

Remember, we figured we would have 6 kids then.

Good thing we didn't plan on stopping back then, eh?


So, the Toyota van was one of our last options. Besides a mini bus. And yes, I DID look into that.

But, uh, NO.

And overall, the van is AWESOME. Not just because Toyota makes a great van, but because it's really been a great vehicle for Michaela. We had running boards put on the thing, and it's incredibly low to the ground now. So, whether she steps in herself, or we have to place her in, it's not a lot of work.

Not to mention the amazingly large rear storage compartment. They built it into the floor of the van (where a spare tire could've gone), and it's so deep, that the wheelchair can go back there, and I can't even tell it's there from my rearveiw mirror. And I STILL have room for my groceries! WooHoo!

There are other perks too, but I won't continue to bore you with them.

Needless to say, we got a great van.

With a not-so-great sticker price.

At least, for our budget.


But it's been do-able, and overall worth it. Yet, I would be lying if I said I'm not enthusiastic about not having to pay for the thing anymore.

That's what a disability check is for: to provide for the person in ways that are not medical in nature. Like, say, if they need a ramp put in (and you don't have a nice community service program to do it for you). Or you need to expand your bathroom to make it handicapped accessible. That's what the check is for. It's a nice program, really. There are plenty of non-medical type expenses that come up for a disabled person.

Like the time I flew Michaela to NH to see Dr. Holmes. Blue Cross sure wasn't going to pay for that. Yet, it was a big expense.

And we're not generally made of money. Not even because my kids think so.

Imagine that!


Well, that was Monday. And if I wanted to make this post incredibly long, I would go into what we did on Tuesday and Wednesday too, but I don't want to type anymore.

And you don't wanna read anymore.

So, I'll save that for another time.



ps: I should've put some links in this post, but I didn't feel like it. Cuz I'm SICK. And a SLACKER. And the tip jar is empty! ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006


At 9 o'clock this morning I got the phone call from the State:

Michaela's hearing was dismissed in our favor!

The State considers her disabled and she qualifies for services!



No more phone calls, no more late nights over mounds of paperwork, no more testing. I couldn't be more relieved. It has been a very long and tiresome 10 months!

It would've helped if more people would've done their jobs or had been willing to go the extra mile. But, except for a few "good Samaritans" along the way, it was like pulling teeth to get her on this benefit.

It's because of this that I have saved every ounce of beneficial State documentation I got. Every phone number, every contact, every URL that I found that helped. In case someone else has to go through this. Someone who DESERVES to not go through that rigamarole.

I'M gonna be the Good Samaritan next time.

Because parents of sick children just. don't. need. the. hassle.


Thank the Lord!

It's OVER!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Man's Best Friend

And you KNOW there's just nothing like a best friend that won't argue with you (or say you're fat).....

Who can resist those "puppy dog eyes?"

Or that cute little whine?

You won't be "sick as a dog" with this little guy!

And I dare say you'd be in "dog heaven!"


So they're up for grabs now. We ended up with 8 all told. We'll keep one, so that leaves 7.

7 puppies I have to get rid of! Ack!

Not to mention Cassie. We're gonna be moving her on. She needs something we just can't give her. Don't ask me what that is. We just can't seem to get her used to us. Not like Cooper. Not at all.

So, we're going to keep one puppy, and surprisingly, it's NOT the pup I had originally picked out. The one I thought I wanted is still the biggest pup we have (affectionately named "Big Ben"), and he's very cute. However, his tail curls up like an Eskimo dog, and I really don't like that trait.

I know what you're thinking, "You're passing up a dog because of it's tail??"

Actually, I kinda am.

He also has a temperment that I don't want. Now don't get me wrong, it's not a bad temperment, but compared to the pup we ARE going to get, it's different, and we prefer the other dog. See, Big Ben like to be "his own man", and the other pup likes to cuddle.

We like cuddlers.
The one we're going to get doesn't have a name yet, if you ask me. Now, Noah gave him a name, but that one's for the dogs. No, I'm serious. It's bad. For starters, it's not the kind of name you give to a male dog. I won't even tell you what it is, but let's just say, there was a popular girl's toy back in the 80's with the same name.

Yeah. It's THAT bad.

Chris just calls him "spot head" because of the mark on his forehead. I'm sorry, we're not calling our family pet Spot Head---or any other variation. This isn't the World of Dick and Jane.

I really don't think anyone else in this house is qualified enough to name anything. Chris doesn't even really name the kids. I'm serious. If he likes a name, it's usually because I've mentioned it. The one name he DID think of, Libbigail, he made up as a joke! Perfectly good name, and he was joking!

I am the only qualified namer in this family, for sure.

But I don't have one yet. It'll come when it comes. After all the other pups are gone, and I get to see his true colors (instead of brief glimpses in the puppy pile), then we'll find a good name for our new family member.

I'm so glad this little adventure is almost over.

Did you know that 50 pounds of dog food feeds 10 dogs for only like, a week??


Dontcha wanna pick out a puppy? ;)

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Reality Bites (Into My Time)

School is upon us.

Michaela goes back in 9 days.

Caleb will be starting school this year for the first time.

I'm frantically trying to get together all my homeschool curriculum without breaking the bank.


Worked long hours to get the Medicaid evidence together.

The paperwork's been at the Capitol for almost a week now.

I DO NOT want to have the hearing in September.

That's less than 2 months away.

And 2 months worth of paychecks.


Chris wants to consider a career change.

It means he'll have to go to school part time if he does it.

I've been deemed the official "look into everything person."


We also want to get a better feel for our house situation.

We will soon have too many kids to live in it comfortably.

Should we expand? Should we sell? Should we just squish?

Again, I've been deemed the official "look into everything person."


I'm 18 weeks pregnant.

I'm tired, nauseated, and having a hard time getting motivated.


Hence the Blogging/Life conflict.

Any questions?