Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Would somebody PLEASE turn down my GRIEF!?!?!?

Its almost that day again.  And today I can't concentrate. I have my textbook in front of me and I've looked at the same page for almost 30 minutes.
Tomorrow will be Zachary's birthday but February 5th is when the whole spiral started.  Waking up and laying on the couch willing movement from my womb.  Having to wake up Thomas and not completely freak out.  Sitting in the ER waiting for a Ultrasound.  Before the tech even put the warm goo on my belly I knew in my heart that my baby was not alive.  Within 2 minutes of her putting the wand to my stomach I knew the answer.  She quietly put away her weapon of truth and walked out of the room.  Yup, that was the end of one chapter and the beginning of another.
Chapter 1, Giving Birth
Chapter 2, Memorial Service
Chapter 3, I can't be Left Alone
Chapter 4, Time for Change
Chapter 5, Here is your sign
Chapter 6, Autopsy Results
Chapter 6,Ummmmm....yup another Baby on the way
Chapter 7, Keep Holding Your Breath you've still got 7 months to get through
Chapter 8, Yeah! Bed rest  (still holding my breath)
Chapter 9, Here you go Mom, I picked a Baby Sister
Chapter10, I can't do this you are everywhere
Chapter 11, Yes you can do this, I'll help
Chapter, Chapter, Chapter, Chapter........Chapter 41, hold your breath,   Chapter 71, I picked a Baby Brother, Chapter, Chapter, Chapter, Chapter 350, Oops, Not so much Chapter 527, Hey Mom, I picked another Baby Sister, Chapter, Chapter,Chapter.....................more chapters then I can count
15 years, thousands of chapters, 15 years on this river.  This last year has been such a roller coaster, and the last month I have been spinning on a tilt-a whirl and praying to find the strength to keep spinning.  My mind has turned mushy the last 2 days.  Is it the homework, or is it the grief, threatening to swallow me?  The tears don't come, is this good or bad?  My fuse is short, but its not lit. I don't think HELL has 15 minute parking anymore, but should I check?  (Well maybe I was there a little longer, like a few days, at least it was WARM!!!!!! )
Why is this consuming me this year? It's so loud, is there a waterfall up ahead?  Is it the new stress adding to it?  OR, do I just need a break from it all.  Not like give me a room at St.Peter, but a break?  But how do I take that break? How do I say no? How do I find my smooth ride?  I need to try to steer this boat back to some soft babbling brook, not this class Please Let Me Off This Ride rapids.  But how am I going to do that?  How can I quiet that waterfall up ahead? Or, do I need to go over the falls, am I reaching a point in my grief where I've been lingering to long?  Do I need to take the plunge and get to some different waters, another river, a lake, a stream, a brook......
Tomorrow morning, weather willing I will be up lighting a candle or 2 and maybe even send up a lantern.  Maybe an answer will find me.  Maybe Zach will send me a little sign.  But for today, I will continue with my mushy brain, the loud waterfall and see where tomorrow leads me.

Monday, January 13, 2014

Christmas letter meet 2014

                            New Year Greetings to y’all!

December came and went and the cards are still sitting on the buffet waiting for a letter! So in the effort to get things done, here we go….

2013 was not a stellar year in so many ways….

January brought a Breast Cancer diagnosis for my Mom (Carol) who shares our home.  Within days of her diagnosis she had a double mastectomy and started down a path that included 18 weeks of heavy dose chemo followed by 33 sessions of radiation.  We mastered walking on egg shells as Grandma was very sick.  Thankfully we made it through!!! In February she goes back to the oncologist for a 6 month checkup, so far so good.  She is also retired now so that has been a HUGE adjustment for all of us having her home 24/7.  We are very thankful for all the prayers and positive energy that was sent our way.

March brought Annika to Children’s Hospital for a few days as she had a Ureteral Reimplantation to correct her kidney reflux.  After 4+ years of daily antibiotics, it was decided it needed to be fixed surgically.  A lot of research, prayer and doctor input went into this decision.  Grandpa Dennis (Thomas’ dad) came and helped keep me company during surgery and helped keep an eye on Grandma and manage the big kids. It gave me some time to learn more about his Navy days which was very interesting.  After about 2 weeks our little rock star was back to bouncing around and we haven’t looked back.  No more daily meds J

April brought us back to Children’s Hospital, but this time for Linnea.  She had a very nasty fall in our bathroom that resulted in a seizure (our bathroom is VERY small and she hit the door, wall and floor at the same time) after multiple tests, visits with a neurologist, cardiologist and a neurosurgeon it was determined it was hopefully a onetime incident.  She will continue to be monitored for the next few years by the neurologist and with MRIs.  She has also suffered from recurring sinus infections and ear infections and now migraines are being added to the mix. 

June brought Thomas to the Gastroentoloigist for problematic acid reflux.  It was found he had quite a few ulcers.  He probably got a few more with me being his chauffeur home from his appointments after some happy juice was administered to check on things J thankfully after treating things with medicine he is ulcer free, a big relief and surprise considering the stress of the last year.

July, August, September, October, and November were major medical free except for routine doctor appointments and rechecks.  December brought Annika back to the surgical ward for another surgery.  She had her highly infected tonsils removed along with her adenoids and sinus surgery at the same time.  A week before surgery she had her first ear infection in 5 years.  We are hoping it was a fluke and we won’t need tubes at some point soon.

The year may have had its share of lows but we also had some big milestones and fun. 

Linnea officially became a teenager on January 25.  She is becoming quite a young woman.  She is into her music which focuses on hard rock, heavy metal, and a large emphasis on 80’s rock.  Who would have thought our cassettes would get a second life with our kid! She went to church camp in June and a week later took her first solo plane ride to Atlanta to spend time with Grandpa. She has been really great with the frequent doctoring and has managed to maintain her sense of humor (definitely my kidJ) she started playing drums in September and is quickly picking up her musical chops. She is blazing her own trail and of course testing the waters with mom and dad.

Ulrik has remained ever so great.  He has been gifted with some great friends who have let him escape from home and crash with them for a few days here and there.  He took Grandmas diagnosis pretty hard.  I’m so thankful for his wonderful teacher and his friends who helped him through.  He continues to be our “Danger Dude” jumping from great heights (scaring his Mom), blasting his enemies (GI Joe) and inventing new tricks.  He takes acoustic guitar lessons 1 night a week and often serenades our morning routine with his practicing.  He played “We wish you a Merry Christmas” at the holiday program in December, I was so proud of his efforts and as his Mom his perfect performance J He continues to be our tender heart and is slowly beginning to blaze his path in the world.

Annika…our little Annika. She has been a rock star with all the doctor appointments for herself and being brought along for Linnea and Grandma Appointments.  She has continued with preschool this year and will definitely be kindergarten ready come September.  She is looking forward to riding the big bus.  She is our budding artist.  She loves to paint the most, but crayons and markers are close behind.  She is always making things to give to others, so generousJ She likes to help with almost anything, dishes, vacuuming, laundry, but put an art project in front of her and she loses all sense of time. She likes to push the buttons of her siblings, Piper and Mom, but she can be a sweetheart more often than not.

Thomas went to Alaska in July to visit his brother Bracy and family.  It was a much needed break from storm season which started off early and with a lot of extra hours.  Also a welcome break from the craziness of the last 6 months.  He continues at Xcel Energy marking 14 years this past June.  He is planning a family camping trip this summer which could be very interesting, as the most we have done was some camping with the kids last summer, in the front and back yardsJ He continues to entertain the boys in the evenings, right now they are all building models. It will be fun to see how they each turn out.

As for me, the head honcho of this party, I thankfully was blessed with remaining sane through every curveball that was tossed our way last year. My mantra is tattooed on my left arm as a daily reminder: JUST BREATHE.   I continue to watch my sisters kids Matthew(9) and Piper(3 ½). My sister is divorcing and became a department manager at Menards at the same time; this has brought on a lot of extra time with the kids at our house.  It has made for some louder days and evenings with the 5 kids cooped up in the house, but we have a good routine now and everyone has gotten into the groove. We also have my nieces Donna(16) and Natalie(14) over quite a bit as everyone wants to spend time with Grandma, and each other.  I’m thankful the 7 hooligans get along (most days) so we can enjoy time together.  I have been the main, cheerleader, chaffier, doctor, nurse, cook, accountant, court jester, etc. for 14 years now.  On January 2, I started college.  I’m taking online courses which are nice because I can still manage the house and kids, but it has been a new challenge to my time management skillsJ  if everything goes right I should be done with school and looking for a job when Piper starts kindergarten. I’m going for an Associates degree as a Medical Administrative Assistant, with a goal of becoming a Care Coordinator at a hospital or clinic. 

We were able to find one weekend to make a family vacation happen.  Thomas cousin was married in September in Iowa, giving us a reason to get a hotel room for a few days and just relax.   It was so great to see family that we haven’t in a while as time escapes you sometimes as your family grows! We have blessed with some wonderful friends and family who have brought a meal, let us invade their space for a day(for a mental health breakJ) taken kids for a night or 2 to give them a break from the egg shells that seemed to replace the floors  for the last year.  The kids have been awesome through everything this last year.  We have found a way to practice our mantra “find one thing to be thankful for everyday”

We hope last year was good for you and everyone had a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  While the last year brought challenges, in the end it is LIFE, you live it, you embrace it and deal with the curveballs you get thrown. 

Many Blessings for a wonderful year!
Libby, Thomas, Linnea, Ulrik, Annika and our little guardian Zachary J

Having a place to go - is a home.  Having someone to love - is a family.  Having both - is a blessing.  ~Donna Hedges

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I have abandoned projects.....but never my children
I have neglected things......this blog, my housework, my self.
I am hurt.......I'm struggling.......I'm surviving.

I am here in my room trying to finish a neglected project.  Why have I neglected this one for a multitude of reasons.  It is clothes my kids have outgrown.  Clothes I wanted to save or feel compelled to save.  When Linnea was a baby I saved EVERYTHING!!  We hoped for more children. She was the first little girl on Thomas' side of the family. We were all over the moon to have a healthy little baby in our arms. Ms. Monte (Thomas' mom) was happy to hit the clearance racks for cute pink, colorful outfits, especially after 5 grandsons! We had the largest Rubbermaid we could find, we nicknamed  them " the coffins."  They were full of clothes, memories....I saved it all...but why! Because I thought I needed to or I wouldn't have the memory to go with it.  I was generous and allowed a few special people to go through the coffins and take a few things knowing they would be well used and were appreciated.  But I was very selective in the items I let go of.  When we found out we were going to be blessed with Ulrik I went down stairs to sort through the clothes.  I knew there were a few non gender specific items, and so what if he wore a onesie with a few flowers on it, I was recycling.  My heart fell into my stomach when I opened the first coffin.  I guess there was a reason we called it a coffin. When the basement had gotten wet there was a crack in the bottom of the coffin that we didn't know about.  I opened a box of molded mush...mush...that's what the first 12 months of clothes, memories had been turned into.  I opened a second coffin and it too had gone mushy only on the bottom half.  When I was done removing the coffins all my Mom had rescued was reduced to a sandwich size Ziploc with a little piece of this and a little piece of that.  Wow!!! I learned 2 very important lessons...
1.Bigger isn't always better
2. You cant physically save everything.

So now I'm here with this project, this seemingly overwhelming task that I've been putting off for weeks, months honestly years.  I'm choking as I look at the things I've saved, my Mom is laughing at some items.  Ulriks Wolverine shirt that talked, honestly the coolest shirt for a kid who didn't talk.  It is so faded and the magic "talk "button sounds a bit demented. But it was his favorite!!!!  Ive saved dresses both Linnea and Annika wore.  Thankfully anything over 18 months with the exception of 1 or 2 items was saved! But I learned to pick and choose.  Ive saved a blanket a ratty old receiving blanket.  I bought it for Zachary and finally let the other kids use it.  T-shirts from a trip we took... there is a memory there.  Will the memory fade if I don't save it, maybe,or will the item bring back the memory and  be a story to tell my grandchildren one day, I can hope.  I can hope to see granddaughters wearing the dresses and sweaters my Mom made for their Moms.  The girls wore a sweater that was mine!

So did the loss of those clothes...the mush really take away all the memories, did it make the first year of Linneas life less important, less meaningful, less real, less hurtful, less mushy.....?  No it didn't.  It sucked having to drag those coffins out to the curb.  I cried when I had to do it...being hormonally imbalanced at the time didn't help!  But I still had Linnea, I had pictures, i just didn't have anything physical to share with her. Would she really care that I didn't have the outfit she wore in her first portrait, would this drive her straight to the psych ward in St.Peter.  No she wouldn't care, now if it was today and the house burned down she would probably go crazy over loosing her platform boots and tripp pants!  But in the end they are just things. Those coffins were full of just things, the clothes Ive handed down, sold, dropped at the thrift store they are just things.  Not the memories, not the important stuff, not the story, not my children. They can not be replaced...this i know for a fact.  Do I need to spend money on Space Bags and paper to put these things away?  Yes, but why? Because I want to, I need to. I cant let go of everything, but then again it can still be lost........

BUT I CAN TRY!!! TRY TO HOLD ON, TRY TO SAVOR A MEMORY, TRY TO REMIND MYSELF, MY KIDS. Try to remember when things are going all wobbly and i just want to crawl in bed and wait for the crap to go away to get to a better day, try to savor a  memory. Of a day when something was good, everyone was happy, not looking at everything that was wrong.  I can try to just remember without needing something physical to show me the memory.

I'm going to hope that all my work and tears with this project don't get ruined.  No storm comes through and rips them away. No mouse finds his way into what is supposed to be a indestructible bag.  I'm putting some hope in those bags.  I hope it doesn't get sucked into the vacuum.  That thing really doesn't need the hope, I need it.  I need something to grab onto.

Hope is a tough sell these days.  Trying to find it sometimes feels like looking for the last chocolate bar hidden somewhere in the back of the cabinet (only to discover a little chocolate thief took it).  But it is around, you cant give up on it.  Or can i?  I wont give up on hope, I've given up on other things, but not this one.  I go to bed hoping the dish fairy came (hasn't happened but hey I'm HOPING)! I hope my hubs is happy i completed a long awaited, taking up space in the family room project.  I hope the kids like dinner, I hope Linnea only has one cavity, I hope I can read a book today, I hope I can make it another day on this river and not fall into the water....... I hope, I hope, I hope.....I'm not giving up on it.

So I'm going to hope:
I don't ABANDON my children when they need me the most.
I don't NEGLECT everything around me and let it fall in disrepair.
I don't HURT so much everyday, not let it consume me, take me to the dark recesses.

I'm going to hope I didn't bore anyone who reads this too much!
Please don't give up on hope, don't put it out to the curb in a box of mush, don't bury it in the ground with something you had hoped for,  keep it in you.  Keep it with you.

Friday, May 10, 2013

14 days and counting...............

14 days and counting.........

I have been neglecting many things as of the last few months. Of course computer time is one of them.  It didn't help when the "blue screen of death"  appeared and we had to completely replace the hard drive.  Not the end of the world except for Windows 8. Not liking it yet.

I have spent the last few months trying to keep my head above water. My Mom and her cancer treatment.  The trips to chemo and other doctoring.  The keeping her spirits up (attempting), trying to find the right thing that will make her feel better, trying many times unsuccessfully.  It was brought to my attention that i'm not the one dealing with my mortality.  Yes very true and I've tried to take this into account.  But even with this, trying to keep someone flushing the pity pot is hard work.  Its also tiring walking on eggshells. Thank you has been said many times, by Mom for taking care of her and by my siblings for taking the brunt of it.  We are past the halfway mark for chemo, so that means only another 63 days til chemo is done.  We will just keep waiting for the next chapter to see what else this year will hold.

In the midst of dealing with Mom, Annika had her bladder surgery.  I ran the house with the help of my father-in-law from a hospital room.  Surgery went fine, we were both anxious to go home the next day.  I was more anxious when I found out the  nurse couldn't read and gave Anni the medicine she should have only had if she was in a lot of pain.  This would account for what happened over the next few days after.  Annika came home tired and partially snowed from meds. She perked up the next day, then downhill we went.  Annika was plugged up tight.  With the help of some wonderful little medicine things turned around within hours.  Within 36 hours she was back to our little demon. The countdown with her is done, we did the surgery, it worked we should be good to go (I hope)

In trying to keep my head up, I was thrown back into the deep end with Linnea.  She decided to become one with the bathroom floor.  I watched the whole thing.  Our bathroom is small, so falling from the toilet means you will either hit the wall, door, floor, or tub.  Linnea chose the first 3.  We went to the ER.  We had MRIs and a CT scan.  Blood work, EKGs.  Then a EEG, sleep deprived EEG.  Telling a teenager to stay awake is not a easy task.  We have seen a neurologist, a neurosurgeon, and a cardiologist.  All to be told that something doesn't quite seem right, but lets wait another 6 weeks to check things over again and make a decision then.  But in the meantime your child can't ride her bike, climb a mountain, run with her friends, be left alone. Oh and lets put her on this medication that will probably make her feel like shes in a fog, afraid to walk up stairs, or for that matter be afraid to leave the house.  Oh yes this is so much better. So more days to count down for the next chapter.

The one who doesn't cause any ripples, my Ulrik.  He decided splashing was more his style and puked all over my feet.  He is having a hard time with Grandma being sick.  So he sees the social worker at school 1 day a week.  We are letting him wear his "chemo cap" to support grandma one day a week to school.   This seems to help, but then again he still looks hurt.   I try so hard to make sure he doesn't feel left out with the girls getting so much extra attention.  I'm not sure I'm succeeding, there it is again a mothers guilt. I try to take him by myself to his guitar lesson, that's our 45 minutes together with no one else. We usually sneak a treat along the way, but he can never keep it a secret.  I guess he won't be a senator.

And then my husband..... he decides to have a ulcer. Oh make that 2. At least it explains his constant complaining about his "heartburn".  I really should buy stock in Alka-Seltzer and Tums. Medication, and more testing to come. Yup another next chapter in the year.

Now this weekend is Mothers Day.  A time to celebrate Mom. ME,ME,ME! I don't like Mothers day, I haven't liked it in 14 years.  My first Mothers day was spent without a new baby in my arms.  People around me trying to forget or avoid what had just happened. My husband, wonderful Mr.T, got me a ring (well 2, but) it wasn't expensive, it isn't anything overly special. But it hasn't left my finger in 14 years.  Even when my old crappy wedding ring broke I always had on my "MOM" ring. When I got my new ring made I debated about welding my new ring to the old "MOM" ring. In the end I'm glad I did. Its still always there, its a symbol that no matter whether we had more children or not I will always be a Mom and someone was making sure I wouldn't forget it. My children know that its just another day.  It just gives them a excuse to maybe be a little nicer to each other, indulge me if I want to go to the cemetery for pictures, or leave me alone if the tears start rolling. But just because I don't like it doesn't mean I can completely forget the fact that I am a Mom or  all the wonderful women I have in my lives that are Moms. I will say Happy Mothers day to you, but please don't expect flowers, cards, or candy from me. I have my children all of them to be thankful for, but I don't need a special holiday to remind me or them of how important we are in each others lives. Without Zachary, Linnea, Ulrik, Baby Bailey and Annika I wouldn't have the title of MOM, I'm perfectly content with getting a quick hug or cuddle everyday to make me feel special. There's still many more chapters in that book to be written.

And then there is the 14 days......... 14 days till school is out.  14 days till I have to remember to feed all the kids, remember sunscreen, keep Danger Dude in the plastic bubble.  I see a broken something in the future this summer, why not, not  like the year has been all stellar.  Remembering to sit down each day and work on reading and writing. But yet its also a time to stay up late, stay in bed longer, camp out in the yard, explore.  Can I make sure that there is some fun in summer this year? I'm not sure yet, I'm not sure about the summer chapter.  I don't think 14 days to prepare for 3 months is enough. 

This is the song that is playing in my head right now, at least the most appropriate to post.  I am TITANIUM, I will not fall.

Enjoy your weekend.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Final countdown....

Its been a few weeks since I've really had time to do much for me.  Well Piper is content, and everyone else is at school so time for me.  Annika had strep throat for almost 2 weeks and we didn't know it.  She had no other symptoms, mostly based on the fact that her daily antibiotics to prevent UTIs were suppressing things.  The naughty bugs have left the building, thank you and hallelujah!!!  We had the IRIS pancake breakfast.  I think it was a great success. While there it was announced that IRIS is getting a house.  No more office front, I'm so excited to go see it when its ready.  I like many other IRIS families were heartbroken when the original office flooded last year.  Thankfully the angels have been patiently waiting to welcome everyone home.  Linnea and Matthew won at BINGO.  Linnea won twice and being gracious gave her second winnings to Ulrik who had worked his kester of all morning.  Everyone went home happy and full of pancakes and bake sale items! For Annika this translated into 5 cupcakes over the course of 5 hours.  The kids did a great job helping out.  I quit therapy on my foot.  I have the knowledge to work on it on my own.  It was just one more appointment to try to keep track of. I determined we ate out waaaaaaaayyyyyy to much in the last month plus.  I counted Domino's receipts and determined we had eaten over 50 pizzas from there.  I think it's time to lock that website on the computer. 
Now onto the countdown......
Today is Monday.  Two more days till Wednesday.
Wednesday is a big day. 
Wednesday is the day Mom goes back to the oncologist. Wednesday is the day we find out if the cancer is gone or if there is more.  We find out what treatment may be necessary, or if any is needed.  Big day. 
For me there's something equally important.  My husband turns 40. Oh my 40!
When I think about all he has done and overcome to get to 40, it makes me look at all I've done to get to 35.
A, of course I was born (duh).
B, I survived childhood.  I didn't have a bike helmet (would have come in handy when I ran into the parked car), I rode on a 3 wheeler, I flipped over the 3 wheeler. I came out a stronger person due to the bullying(teasing in my day).  I learned empathy dealing with my Dad being sick and in a wheelchair, on crutches, in a hospital bed.  I learned how to cook, thankfully I improved on this accomplishment.  Painfully evident on my waistline and hips.  I learned how to be a friend.  I do fail at being a good friend some days as I get to wrapped up in my life to remember to check in with others. I learned to accept ME, march to the beat of your own drummer, hard lesson, but important. C, I graduated high school.  I managed to do it after failing Algebra for 4 years.  I didn't have to dissect anything (thank you lord), I never got sent to the principals office and I had a rocking station wagon.  I took my ability to play an instrument and used it to go to Germany and Austria my senior year.  I was able to experience my heritage.  Granted it was under the watchful eyes of chaperone's, but I saw a world so full of history that is really where my story began. 
D, I became a wife,I met Thomas.  Who knew all those nights he pulled doubles would have gotten him a king size bed and 4 kids.
E, I've been to hell.  Made it back with the stretch marks to prove it.  The trip to get back has put me in such a completely different place then I would have ever imagined i would be.  I ride the river of grief everyday, a consolation price for my initial trip.
F, I became a Mom.  In school my best friend Ruby would joke I was going to have a dozen kids and treat them like donuts.  Well I would have loved to keep going but Mother Nature, my heart and God told me to stop I really don't think I could handle a new baby and a new teenager at the same time!  I just wish someone had shut off the biological clock when they shut off my fallopian tubes. 
G, Ive learned so much, I've met some amazing people, Ive watched my butt expand, Ive had pain, I've felt pain, I've grown from pain.  Ive given life, I've watched it be taken away.  Ive cried tears of sadness, tears of joy and tears for no reason at all, other then the commercial made me do it.  There is so much we have done, will do, and are doing right now, that is simply amazing.  Simply awesome, and simply terrifying.  Has my life to today been a horror, a comedy, a drama, or an action filled story? (I watched some of the Oscars last night,sorry) Do our lives play out like a combination of all these? I really think they do, but the good guys don't always finish first.  Sometimes they come in dead last but they did it.  The money doesn't always just flow.(sucks but hey very rarely do the bank robbers NOT get caught) , the cars aren't always pretty and fast ( hey have you seen the granny van) and everybody feels real anguish, pain, and heartbreak.  But everyone feels real joy, real excitement( even if it is just a package from Amazon).  Ive been trying so hard to practice what I preach and that is find one thing to be thankful for everyday.  Easy, thank you for another day...... wrong dig deeper my friends.  Friday I was thankful for the voice from the backseat, belting out "Stars" Saturday I was thankful for getting a cup of hot chocolate with Linnea and listening to her without having anyone else to interrupt her.  Sunday I was thankful I finished reading a book to Ulrik, I didn't enjoy the book, but it was the time I spent with him and only him reading it.  Today, of course I'm thankful for breathing, easy peasy.  Ive already been thankful many times today.  I said "thank you" to Thomas for going to work today. I said "thank you" there were still frozen waffles for breakfast. I said "thank you" the kids all went to school.  But I haven't yet had the one special thing to come across yet, the day is still young it will come.
Last on the countdown, Friday.  i get to spend some quality time with one of my favorite partners in crime, my little sister Catie.  Our quality time will be spent in a tattoo parlor, in opposite chairs getting fresh ink. I'm so excited.
Our song of the week is "Stars" by Grace and the Nocturnals.  Hearing it from the mouth of a 4 year old is music to my ears.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

14 years and i'm still standing......

Happy 14th Heavenly Birthday to my first born, my born still, my special angel, son Zachary.

Missing Piece

by: Libby Schmit

I never held you in my arms,

but I carried you within me for 263 days.

I only have things to remind me of you,

but you have the piece of my heart you took the day you went away.

My life is forever changed,

my heart will never be whole.

You will always have the missing piece,

deep within your soul.


Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Juggling can be painful.............

Wow, how many balls can you keep juggling at once?  I personally can not juggle real balls, not a prayer!  With my vertical imbalance I'm lucky I can stay standing some days.  But apparently I'm quite adept at "juggling."  My skills will be seriously put to the test in the next weeks.
         2 weeks ago my Mom went in for her physical, she had mentioned a change in a old scar on her breast but just left it alone for the holidays. The mammogram was clear, but the doctor opted for additionally testing.  A ultrasound saw something, so then onto a biopsy.  The biopsy revealed it was cancerous.  Then started a whirlwind of appointments and testing.  A MRI confirmed there was a mass, over 6cm.  Ok, next step deciding on a single or double mastectomy.  Mom said "I have no attachment to these things, take them away." Ok, double it is.  So then came more waiting and finally surgery yesterday.  Well all said and done, there was cancer in both breasts.  The left one had just not been detected on any of the imaging.  THANK YOU ANGELS for helping push things in the right direction.  Now we head into recovery mode.  As Mom was laying in the hospital bed last night in and out of it, we knew she was going to be fine when she was still able to crack a one liner and flip me off.  Hoping today she will be more awake and coherent and able to get up and move a bit.  We will not know till the 6th of February if she will need chemo or not, but we will throw that ball into the air to juggle if necessary.  Its going to be a interesting few weeks as Mom enjoys sitting still, but isn't all about being the patient.  She will just have to accept this and enjoy it.  Shes earned it. 
             Juggling the tween, in 2 more days Linnea will officially be a teenager.  Officially she will be there, technically I think we have been there since September when school started.  She has her moments when I see glimpses of my little flower, giggly, sweet, silly, and just a plain goofball.  Then there's the days of her tough girl attitude, loud music and growing up.  She loves her 80's hard rock, her dark clothes, and hiding in her room.  Such a adjustment.....
           Juggling the preschooler............. Attitude Annika, so opinionated.  She knows what she wants and she is not afraid to tell you.  She has nothing wrong with calling you names to get it.  She is becoming very familiar with a kitchen wall!  I don't know if it is added stress at home or if something has changed with her kidney reflux.  We have had almost 1 or 2 accidents a day and this has not been a problem since she was potty trained.  I changed her appointment to sooner to meet with the doctor about surgery.  So throw another ball in the air, because its looking sooner then later.
            Juggling the boy, there 's not much to juggle here.  Other then his energy and want for yet another Skylander, Ulrik is such a easy keeper.  He is helpful, quiet, understanding.  He looks so forward to every moment he gets to play the Wii.  To run to the store with just me, to share a secret treat between us. He really enjoys when we get to sit and read before bed.  I feel badly when it doesn't work out to give him this quiet time together.  But yet he just keeps rolling along with it all.  Oh I hope HIS teenage years stay this easy!
         Juggling the husband............ We have been dealing with Thomas and his acid reflux for awhile.  It has gotten to be plain annoying!! He decided the other day to "screw it" if the medicine isn't working then fine I'm not going to take it.  So today it off to the "gag me with a spoon" doctor to see if things have changed. I looking at the possibility of a third surgery for the year?? I have a feeling definitely more doctoring. UGH!
I'm trying to keep sane, while juggling. I painted half the kitchen yesterday while waiting to hear how Mom was.  I think I might just have to go get the paint to finish the other half tomorrow.  Ive got the bathroom to paint still, but Ive been stalling on that one, so I can change things a bit.  New cabinet and light take a little extra time and money.  Annika and Ulrik especially love to craft with me.  I found a salad spinner for under 5 bucks at IKEA.  They have been patiently waiting to try to make some spin art crafts of sort.  I'm looking forward to it also.  We just made our donation for the upcoming IRIS fundraiser.  Ulrik and Annika had a blast helping to pick out fleece and stuff our "Hooters"  I hope everyone enjoys them. 
Juggling, I have Moms recovery and subsequent care.
Juggling, Linnea becoming a teenager
Juggling, Annika and her kidneys
Juggling, Time for Ulrik
Juggling, Thomas and the acid
Juggling, every ones schedules
Juggling, Zacharys 14th heavenly birthday
Juggling, Juggling, Juggling.

You have to accept whatever comes and the only important thing is that you meet it with courage and with the best that you have to give.
Eleanor Roosevelt

A couch full of Hooters

Our Pinterest snow balls