Saturday, October 31, 2009

spider webs

Woke up this morning and noticed fuzzy spots all over our back yard. I went out to see what they were and found that they were tiny palm size spider webs. First, that's just weird on Halloween, and second - how can I get rid of the critters that are making them? I'm not really a spider fan (was bit by a black widow years ago - eek)...... Here's just one of several, I'd say around 100, tiny little webs.
This one is not in focus very well...I'm really trying to practice using manual zoom on my camera lens, and all manual settings.... I'll have to go try harder!! Spider webs are hard to capture!

Friday, October 30, 2009

more from the pumpkin patch....

~click images to make larger~
Not exactly sure what big E was doing here... looks surprised that little J has another punkin!
Daddy's helping little J pick out a good one...
Little J has his eye on the prize punkin!

Thursday, October 29, 2009


"There is no season when such pleasant and sunny spots may be lighted on, and produce so pleasant an effect on the feelings, as now in October."
- Nathaniel Hawthorne

Friday, October 23, 2009

I'll blame the pills....

I wrote this about 2 weeks ago and just never posted it...
I'm on a good bit of meds, I'm sure I'll write some crazy post about that later..... so, my soapbox is brought on today by Klonipin mixed with some tears and thoughts about happier times, and filled with hopes and dreams for my future and for the future of our family and our kids... It's a long post - so if you stopped by for my usual quick photo and some short words - sorry, not today. Today - it's more like a mini rant and one that makes very little sense at that...

so what if it's not perfection

How important is your overall family closeness these days? My personal opinion...just like the old saying, everything starts and ends with family. Is it important that your family be so close that you know every good or bad deed that a member of your family has done? Not to me, maybe it used to be - but recently I've went from jaded about conflicts, and angry about deaths, to humbled about holding on tight to what's left... all in a whirlwind of major changes. Losses from deaths in my family, and grieving other losses, and suddenly - whamo - I've realized I'm not superhuman and I need my family - my peeps! The hubs and I talk alot about this and that, and it's important to us that our family whether near or far, be a part of shaping and molding our kids - because that's where are kids 'come from'! (that's a major run on sentence) My pipe dream = letting my kids know their roots - every single one of them. Somewhere I once heard it takes a village to raise a child.... I'm thinkin that village included family peeps. We haven't really tapped into the total wealth of that village - and I realize now more then ever, how very large our family is. I have family through marriage, and stepbrothers and sisters and nieces and nephews for days, and I hope to get to know them much better in the coming months since the holidays are around the corner!

Funded.... my reality Check
Speaking of family, I want to thank those in our family who have been there for me recently. I've never been in such a chaotic state of mind as I have been over the past month. I've had nuclear dye, iodine, barium shakes which literally blow arse btw, radiation from xrays and various other hospital cocktails provided to me in order to seek out what's going with my innards. So far the consensus is that I have a poorly functioning gall bladder (but not poorly enough for them to take it out??blows) and a couple of cysts. One on my liver, and one on my ovary. I also scored relatively high on a test, 1/640 on my ANA Titer rate, and pretty darn high on my SMA test too.... however, it seems that YAY - I'm a-symptomatic so I go back in a few months to see the Rheumy doc. Still more tests to come, and more about deciding what to do about it all.
My my reality check was that I was very discouraged and then my family and friends lifted me up and reminded me how, and where to find peace. I am reminded that there are no guarantee's in this life and that we should seek out the good in every day and not waste an ounce of it. I'm thankful to have been humbled, yet again, and realize now more then ever that this life, my life, is so precious of a gift.
accepting that somethings just "are"....
...isn't as easily done as it is said. However, in order to be happy in this life I am learning to accept that change is just something you get back after cashing in your "reality check". And what I do with that "change" is up to me. Me??? I plan to put it in my memory bank and spend it wisely...
I'm sure you've read or heard the serenity prayer and it should be my life's motto - but recently I stumbled upon a modified version that seems to just fit where I am right now in my life, because in this life if you want a change, that change has to start within you, right? Just for the record - I realize I am a nutjob lately.... I'm embracing the inner chaos.

"God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it's me."

~Author unknown

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordfull Wednesday - Just for this morning...

A friend recently sent me the below writing, and it made for a wonderful wordful Wednesday. Something that has stuck with me, and I'm so grateful that someone put this into words so well!

*Just for this morning, I am going to step over the laundry, and pick you up and take you to the park to play.
*Just for this morning, I will leave the dishes in the sink, and let you teach me how to put that puzzle of yours together.
*Just for this afternoon, I will unplug the telephone and keep the computer off, and sit with you in the backyard and blow bubbles.

*Just for this afternoon, I will not yell once, not even a tiny grumble when you scream and whine for the ice cream truck and I will buy you one if he comes by.

*Just for this afternoon, I won't worry about what you are going to be when you grow up, or second guess every decision I have made where you are concerned.

*From now own, when I let you help me bake cookies, and I won't stand over you trying to fix them.

*Just for this afternoon, I will take us to McDonald's and buy us both a Happy Meal so you can have both toys.

*Just for this evening, I will hold you in my arms and tell you a story about how you were born and how much I love you.

*I will let you splash in the tub and not get angry.

*Just for this evening, I will let you stay up late while we sit on the porch and count all the stars.
*Just for this evening, I will snuggle beside you for hours, and miss my favorite TV shows.

*From now own, when I run my finger through your hair as you pray, I will simply be grateful that God has given me the greatest gift ever given.

*I will think about the mothers And fathers who are searching for their missing children, the mothers and fathers who are visiting their children's graves instead of their bedrooms, and mothers and fathers who are in hospital rooms watching their children suffer senselessly, and screaming inside that they can't handle it anymore.

*And everynight, when I kiss you good night I will hold you a little tighter, a little longer. It is then, that I will thank God for you, and ask Him for nothing, except one more day..............

Saturday, October 17, 2009

six sweetest treats

I haven't participated in Small Talk Six lately, and well - I could use some small talk!! This week's topic is 6 of your favorite sweet treats in the whole world! I think I'm a pretty simpleminded girl when it comes to sweet treats - so I decided to put mine in photos :-)

  1. White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake - I could plant my face in it.... but that wouldn't be ladylike, now would it???
  2. Caramello........ well - I sneak one of these sweet treats for myself when I make it to the grocery store alone, which isn't often - but still. Yum.
  3. Krispy Kreme doughnuts, I prefer the lemon filled. And warm, yes please.
  4. Lemon meringue Pie - Edwards is good from the grocery store, but my grandma could make the best!
  5. Chocolate Turtles - My hubs gets me these for EVERY holiday or celebration. LOVE THEM.
  6. Last but not least - Starbucks Mocha Latte. MMMM.... now - if I could just get a Starbucks Mocha w/ a Krispy Kreme doughnut in the same place - that would be amazing!!

Sunday, October 11, 2009

birthday weekend

Big E enjoyed his birthday celebration. We celebrated on his birthday at home (the 8th) and Grandma B brought goodies... red velvet cake + homemade fudge and gifts. Then, this weekend we had more family and friends over, and had a blast. Hotdogs, cake, chips, and a pinata!
Lots of fun!!

Friday, October 9, 2009

...but if the dead could talk.

Deep post title? Maybe I'm turning my blog into an "all about me" trend lately, but let's face it - it is my blog, so I'm journaling my life. I've already printed all of my blog(s) through and love that my kids will have a journey and journal to read someday... maybe they won't think I'm a loon for writing from the heart.... Soon I promise I'll get back to posting fluffy happy fun photos of my kiddo's and such... but for now - I need to vent.
Driving down the road crying....
I admit it, and am ok with it. I was crying as I was driving. My 3yo was rocking out to Imagination Movers in the back seat with the speakers set to the rear and fairly loud. Me, wearing my obnoxiously large sunglasses with tears streaming down my face. Why? Because I feel broken, (see several other posts about how being sick sucks) and worn down. I was crying... my eyes out. Silent mommy sobs, do you know the type? The type when your little one says "mommy can you get my drink cup for me" you can suddenly switch from sobbing mommy to "sure thing baby" in a flip of a switch... that was me - 2 days ago.
Then my phone rang....
My 17 year old nephew called me, to say hi, and he realized I was crying. I tried to hide it from him, but he's smart - that kid. He pulled the "I'm not a kid, I know somethings wrong, so talk to me". I told him, "I'm scared" and we talked about the medical tests, etc., and he said "what are you scared of?" I got quiet. I said, "I'm thinking selfishly, and I'm too ashamed to tell you what I'm scared of...." he said "Aunt S~ Just tell me, I'm here to listen".... so I did. I told him I was scared of something being terribly wrong and me leaving my kids behind.... very much like with his father's death. Sudden.

Then I got learned a lesson or two....

...from a boy, or young man rather, who is wise WAY beyond his years (and I don't even think he knows it). He said "when daddy had his first reaction the year before he died and was put on a ventilator and literally died then - but they saved him, he knew leaving the hospital that his life would forever be about what if it happens again... but it didn't stop him from living each day to the fullest, and enjoying the moment. Aunt S~, if you are spending your time worrying about "what if" then you're wasting what time you are given to enjoy right NOW." I sobbed. Then he said more... my nephew is strong in his faith and reminded me that sometimes in life, things happen to us to prepare us or thicken our skin for bigger, harder times. And maybe, this is a test of my faith.

All I could do was smile and cry...

I couldn't say much back to that, and he had to get off the phone right quick. But you know, today 3 times today that young man has remembered me - and called me, text messaged me, and called again - all to see how I AM DOING. What a man he has become, and how proud am I to be called his Aunt. Between having gone through his parents divorcing when he was younger, and growing up with BOTH of his parents raising him to stick to family values even through that divorce, they agreed that what was important was to make sure that he was raised to live his life with values... You have NO CLUE how much he made me think.... I do feel like total crap, and went back to the doctor today with more abnormal labwork (will post later) but here's a young man, who's daddy is gone forever, who's a teenager, probably has some girl chasing him around, and has better things to do then to call his crazy arse Aunt who's freaking out.... but he did - and that's because he has a great set of family values and he has morals that are inflexible. I'm thankful to have him in my life, what I've wanted more then anything these past few weeks is to talk to my brother (and believe me I've done that outloud) but obviously I can't hear him talk back - what I've found is that he speaks to me even though he's not here. His value system, and ethics are forever embedded in those kids. I'm not too ashamed to say that my 17 year old nephew schooled me on 'having some hope and living for today'. Thanks N - you rock.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Happy 11th Birthday Big E

He'd be embarassed if I wrote alot of "mush" here.... so I'll just say - Happy Birthday big E... we're just amazed at how fast these years keep flying by!!! You're growing TOO FAST!!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

when fluff isn't enuf

I've been posting fluff here and there and recently decided to let go and post about a problem that's really bugging me. A medical mystery, I'm walking around in my body wondering - what is wrong? Physically wrong. So - thanks to many encouraging emails, tweets and comments from my bloggieland gang - I'm posting about what is REALLY going on.... So, I'm sorry in advance for the buzz kill.

Today - I went to the Rheumatologist, he's a terrific doctor. My mom met me there, thank heavens - I really needed her. He pr6vided me with alot of information, but no real "leads" as to this mystery of what's going on inside of me. He did make me feel less of a freak for the panic attacks, reminding me that the brain can really really have a "mind of it's own" when it comes to emotions, triggers, and such. He assured me that he understood my panic, and that I had a valid reason for feeling it - even though I DONT WANT THE DANG PANIC!! I can't control it.

His take on my ANA Titer rate being 1:640 speckled.... well, it was that same pattern in 2004, then in 2005 when I was pregnant, I went back to "normal" which was 1:80 - he explained thats often the case during pregnancy. My pregnancy was 'high risk' because I carry the "lupus factor" but I had ZERO symptoms during the pregnancy.... after the pregnancy, in 2006 - back to 1:640. And here we are again with those same numbers. I'm "a-symptomatic", I have obvious raynauds disease and we've known that for 5 years (my original reason for going to him)... my feet turn solid blue just in a regular air conditioned room. My fingers turn white and blue and hurt terribly in a grocery store in the freezer/dairy area - this has been 'normal' for me for about 8 years now...this doesn't hinder my daily activities, and is really more of a nuisance than anything... and has nothing at all to do with my current symptoms!! But for future reference, I'm walking around with the Lupus "factor".... it's just good to know that he doesn't feel like that's what it is - THIS time. THANKFULLY.

SO - long story short, next thing to do, he took 6 very large tubes of blood (which may explain why I feel like total crap right now) in order to do further autoimmune testing... and then get a Hida Scan next Tuesday at 10am to see if my gall bladder is the cause. Pain in my upper right abdomen, under ribs, radiates from there to my back, up to my shoulders, and today - it decided it would radiate to my left side. I hate this - call me a whiner, because I'm being one.... I'm for once in my life as weak as I can be. Mentally I'm drained, weak and not at all ashamed to admit it. I'm losing my mind, or at least I feel like I am.

So today, just as I thought I was about to lose my mind, I opened a bag my mom gave me as I was leaving... and inside was a sweet card and this Willow Tree figurine "Hope lifts us up".

"Hope lifts us up"

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Happy Anniversary to us - YAY!

Our song.

Big J and I are celebrating 7 years today....our story includes many ups and downs, and hanging by many moments - together. Thanks so much big J - for hanging in there with me....

I hope for many more years together! (you may need counseling - HA)

Saturday, October 3, 2009

worried, scared, and trying to keep it together

This post has been a struggle. Do I want to write it or not? Anyway - here it is...

I'm not sure what's going one with me. I'm SCARED. I've been having chronic pain that is in my upper right side, near the lower rib cage area, that radiates to my back, and center abdomen as well as near my right kidney area and upper right shoulder blade. I have no nausea or vomiting (classic gallbladder symptoms) and 2 weeks ago a ultrasound at the hospital ruled out gall stones. I'm paranoid. The doctor started treating me for an ulcer, which has relieved SOME of the symptoms in the center abdomen, and has also given me a medication for anxiety attacks. Because I'm having them, full on anxiety attacks. While I'm writing this - my mind is in a million places, and alot of those thoughts are bad ones - like - what if's and then I get into a panic....

I'm scared to death, did I mention that? My doctor ran several lab tests, and everything came back "normal" except my ANA Titer rate which was the one test that I randomly requested. It came back 1:640 speckled. This is a test that is used as a diagnostic tool in autoimmune diseases, but isn't limited to autoimmune. I have an appointment with a rheumatologist on Wednesday. The test results could mean alot of things, and the Internet is my enemy - because "alot of things" turn out to be pretty bad things when I look them up. My symptoms are internal. I'm freaking out - the pain isn't getting any better, it's a constant problem - every day, all day. I am taking Tylenol every 4 hours to dull the pain, as per the doctors orders - because she feels like it may possibly be 'referred pain' if it is gall bladder disease. So I'm giving Elvis a run for his money with the amount of meds I'm taking, both OTC and prescribed...
I'm supposed to hear back about an appointment for Hida Scan next week. I was told by the doctor that you can have a diseased gallbladder and have no stones... But what explains the titer rate?? I'm trying my best to have faith and keep a positive attitude - but that kindof gets hard somedays....

making the most of today...

So, instead of sitting around and feeling like crap - I wanted to go go go today! We started our day off with a visit to a nearby park where the boys hung out on three different playground areas, watched some people play tennis and little J made friends with a very outgoing little boy named Nate. Big E hung out under the trees where acorns were falling everywhere, he loves hunting for acorns...

Little J's hair was hilarious each time he came down the slide.... full of static and energy - just like him!

After the park, we grabbed lunch and then little J took a long nap. Big E and I headed out to get some fall clothes for both boys, and have daddy's car washed - it was no longer a white Honda - I'd call the color "filth" ...
After naptime, we decided to take a drive up to the airport overlook - the weather couldn't have been more perfect today and we just couldn't sit home and be indoors while this gorgeous day was going on outside...
On our way home we noticed the moon - it was gigantic and full and gorgeous. My nighttime photography skills blow arse for the most part, so this is the best out of many pictures I took with the zoom lens. Gotta practice more on that one... someday.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Day Out with Thomas - 2009

This is our 3rd time going to see Thomas the Tank Engine at the NC Transportation Museum in Spencer, NC. We took big E when he was little, and we went last year with both boys, so this is the 2nd time for little J! He had a blast!! Some of the photos he looks SO serious....
Here's a few from our trip. We had beautiful weather, and spent the entire morning there.

wacky week wrap-up

There's been alot of fluff postin lately... so here's my cliff notes version of the week at our house:

  • Big J threw his back out... makes him sound old. Funny thing is he doesn't even know what he did for it to happen. Just stepped a certain way then off to the doctor he went because he could barely move.

  • Big E found himself suspended from school for one day, and out of our good graces. I'm not posting all about my kids being perfect angels on here - so there, my kid made SAD choices and as a result, suspended. The deed was dirty, and he's been in serious denial about it. I'm not going to disrespect his privacy totally - so the deed will not be blogged. However, instead of letting him have his suspension day at home - we chose to have him go to an alternative school where part of the day was spent with a life skills/anger management course that was/is intended to discourage this type of deed. We hope it helped. It was an experience for sure! Live and learn, right?

  • I went to the doc for a follow up visit, found out more about my "abnormal labwork" and got referred to a rheumatologist because my ANA titer rate was 1:640 and should be 1:40 or less. I'll post more about that too... later. This isn't all brand new to me, but the reality of it is settling in because my problems are internal right now. They've scheduled a hyda scan to determine if I have a diseased gall bladder, ultrasound shows no stones, but thats only one test they do, and after that they'll know what direction to go in - I hope.

  • Little J has been chilling out at home alot, homeschool has been really play and learn all week this week and last week - and I've not been camera savvy to take photos, and I've had no real lesson plans this past week because of all these doctors appointments. Next week I hope to be back on track. We have been using Lego's in all sorts of ways to teach and play. Sorting, shapes, counting, building, creating etc. We have created a Lego lovin kid for sure!!

  • We went to the pet store with little J one day this week and bought a Crowntail Betta fish that looks just like THIS ONE. I have named him poopface.... well, because that fish poops alot - AND because I have a sick and immature sense of humor I suppose. Not sure what he'll name that fish. At the petstore we had fun looking and learning names of all of the different kinds of fish, and other pets they had! Snakes, lizards, hamsters, cats, etc.

  • The highlight of the week for little J was the Day out with Thomas. I'll post all about that in a separate entry...

  • One of my neice's is having a birthday Sunday, as is our 7 year wedding anniversary - and next week big E turns ELEVEN and on that same day that he turns ELEVEN, my step-mom turns another year older (ladies never tell - right)!! Then the hubs has a birthday ON Halloween! Lots of celebrations in October...