Thursday, February 28, 2008

That's a coincidence!



So tonight the kids had a special family night at their school. A guy came and did magic tricks and told dumb funny jokes and sang off key songs and stuff like that. The kids really enjoyed it!

On the way out to the car a truck was driving toward us and Kassidy said, "Oh he has his headlights on, that's a coincidence!" I was thinking, "What is she talking about?!" And then she said, "Of course I have no idea what coincidence means so I really don't even know what I'm saying." I just rolled with laughter. I swear she has my blonde roots under there somewhere!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Update on Kennedy - A new adventure

Hello all,

What a long day! We finally got home at 7:00 tonight. School was canceled due to snow... it actually snowed pretty hard here for awhile! So my mom kept Kass and Kam and my friend Nina went with me to Vanderbilt.

Kennedy went back for the MRI at noon and was done around 2:00. They said it all went as planned, which is always a good thing. She was pretty groggy for awhile after she woke up, but she was out longer than she is used to with her spinal taps and bone marrow biopsies, so I guess that is to be expected!

While I was waiting to see the neurosurgeon, the doctor from PA called and talked to me more about what he saw. He was really glad she got the MRI done. I have a copy of it to send to him.

I think we finally saw Dr. Pearson around 4:30. He is great, he was very thorough and explained things well. Basically, with most AAI cases the problem is between the C1 and C2 vertebrae... Kennedy does have a problem there, but the BIGGER problem, where the 13mm gap is, is between her skull and her C1.

The great news is that NO damage has been done to her spine yet. This was caught early (with no thanks to Mr. Orthopedic Surgeon Man). It does however, require surgery in the next couple weeks. Using titanium plates they will be fusing her skull to her C1 and her C1 to her C2.

The surgery will be 4-6 hours long and she will be in the hospital anywhere from 2-4 days. Afterwards she will either be in a neck brace or a halo for 3 months. We're PRAYING it will just be a neck brace, but Dr. Pearson said there's really no way to tell until he sees how the surgery goes.

After the 3 months in the halo or brace, she will have one month of limited restriction... after that she can do as she likes though she will never have full range of motion in her neck again.

Because the surgery is fairly straightforward he doesn't see a real need for Frank to come home from Afghanistan for this. It won't be the first of Kennedy's surgeries that he's missed, but God willing it will be the LAST!!

Both Dr. Pearson and Dr. Betz from PA agree with this diagnosis so we are going to have the surgery done at Vanderbilt. We have the utmost faith in Dr. Pearson and know she will be in good hands.

We will most definitely need to reschedule Kennedy's Make-A-Wish trip, but we will still be able to do Disney World. We're thinking maybe for Christmas. We're kind of bummed, but we're thankful that we still get to go at all!

Anyway, I think that's it... if you have any questions, please ask and I'll answer. I've had a lot of information thrown at me so I may have missed something.

Thank you for praying for Kennedy! I will update with her surgery date as soon as I know it.

Until next time,
Renee

I am thankful for my mom who kept Kass and Kam, and thankful for Nina who went with me and thankful for getting the SAME rockin' parking spot that I got last week! haha

Still at Vandy...

Hi all 
We are still at Vandy. The MRI went well and we are waiting now to see Dr. Pearson. I did talk to the surgeon from PA today and found out some more info so be ready when we get home. I am on my iPod so I will close, I just didnt want anyone to worry. 

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Update on the medical crud

For those of you who are anti-carepage, here is an update from this thread. Please pray!!




OK so here we go again... all of you Kennedy Prayer Warriors out there, we need you!

While I have YET to actually talk to a surgeon, we're making headway. The doctor in PA said that the gap between the vertebrae in Kennedy's neck is huge. Normal range would be around 4.5mm and Kennedy's is 13mm. NOT good. Like I said, I haven't gotten a chance to talk to him yet, I was really hoping he would call me tonight so I could ask questions...

In the meantime I called back Dr. Summar from the Down syndrome clinic and she got in touch with Dr. Pearson, the neurosurgeon at Vanderbilt, and he finally looked at Kennedy's CT and I immediately got a call from his scheduler. We have to be at Vandy tomorrow at 11am for a sedated MRI at noon and then we will go immediately to Dr. Pearson's office to talk to him about surgery.

I still don't know much at this point... I promise that for every one of your questions, I have 10 more! haha As long as they don't cancel school due to snow tomorrow, my mom will be coming with me to help with Keeghan and be my second set of ears. If they do cancel school then my mom will stay with Kass and Kam, and a friend will go with me to Vandy.

So tomorrow night I'll probably flood you all with information... probably more than you ever wanted to know about spines and vertebrae! haha

Kennedy has sailed through 17 surgeries, lots of different diagnoses, and beat cancer in her 3 1/2 years of life... she's not going to let spine surgery get her down! One more scar = one more badge of courage. She's the strongest kid I've ever met!

Pray for... I don't know right now... just pray. God knows what needs to be done and He's already shown His hand in all this. I'm a bundle of nerves tonight but I look forward to getting some answers tomorrow... oh and if anyone wants to help me make signs for that orthopedic surgeon we saw in the ER last week, I plan on bombarding him with them! HA!

Hallelujah Chorus Nuns

Just something to make you smile!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Deployment 2008 - Day 60!!

Two months down! WOOOHOOOO!!! As crazy as the last few weeks have been I still feel like time is flying by. How could it not? Between the puking, the ear infections, the endless doctor appointments and new, crazy diagnosis's for Kennedy, I barely have time to eat let alone be bored! Throw in the normal every day stuff like taking Kennedy to therapy, checking backpacks, supervising homework, doing laundry and dishes, and running the vacuum over the cheerios spilled all over the floor (again) and yes, the days are bound to speed by. I look forward to the time we can go one whole week with no doctor appointments... it's happened before, it can happen again! I am sure when it does happen I will still find ways to stay busy... for example I could blog more! haha I need to get new pictures up here badly! One day! All that to say, we're hanging in there. Thank God my mom is close by! I don't know what I'd do without her help!

Frank is doing OK in Afghanistan... I'm pretty sure the days aren't flying by as fast for him though! haha He has gotten a few boxes from people and appreciates all the cards, pictures from kids, and junk food! He promises to write letters back to all of you.

Anyway, that's about it for tonight, I promise to get more interesting stuff up tomorrow... provided I'm not at the doctor's office! Thanks for keeping Frank in your prayers while he's gone!

No news is...

no news! 

I was so hoping we would hear from a doctor SOMEWHERE today. If I don't hear from the doctor in PA by noon tomorrow I'll give them a call. They should have gotten the Fedex with Kennedy's scans on Friday morning. Hopefully we'll get a call soon! 

Please pray for a little girl named Chloe who has Down syndrome and was diagnosed with Leukemia today. I know all too well the crazy range of emotions they are going through right now. I will let you know if they set up a page. 

The kids are all doing well, Keeghan's ears are still infected so they switched his antibiotic today. Four more days until his ENT appointment! Hopefully the end of the infections is coming soon! 

OK time to get my rugrats to bed, I added a few new pictures to the photo gallery today. I really need to get more on there sometime! Thanks to all the new visitors who have signed our message board! We hope you'll continue to follow Kennedy's journey! 

I am thankful for my cuddly kids. They rock.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Another Quick Update...

Hey everyone, 

Well we decided not to go to GA this weekend, the risks kind of outweighed the benefits with Kennedy so we stuck close to home. We still had a nice relaxing weekend though. Kassidy has a sore throat and cough, so it's probably best we stayed here! My mom did come stay with the kids for awhile last night and I met my friend Nina for dessert, so that was fun! 

I am really hoping to hear from a doctor tomorrow... my phone actually rang at 7:30 last night and it was a Vanderbilt number but it was one of the doctors from the Oncology clinic asking for a favor... which was strange all in itself! haha 

Kennedy is doing just fine and we're trying not to freak out every time she falls or whatever... telling a 3 year old she can't roll around on the floor doesn't work very well! LOL 

Frank is doing well in Afghanistan, he said it was starting to warm up there a little so hopefully it will continue! 

There are lots of new things on my blog so if you haven't checked in there in awhile, please do! 

Anyway, not too much to report, I just wanted to let you all know we didn't go to GA and we haven't heard anything from the docs yet. Please continue to pray that Kennedy won't need surgery! 

I am thankful for a quiet weekend and thankful that Keeghan's ENT appointment is almost here!

Saturday, February 23, 2008

D is for Down syndrome

This should really be a Blast from the Past... it needs to be updated badly! One day I'll get to that! Anyway, I was watching it again tonight being sentimental and thought I would share... for those of you who have never seen it and those who want to watch it again. You may just find kiddos you know in there!



Friday, February 22, 2008

Blast from the Past - WHY?

Every Friday I do a "Blast from the Past" post with a story or something that I've written B.B. (Before Blogging). It will help you all get to know us a little better and maybe even give you a laugh or two! :)

I wrote this when Kassidy was 20 months old... she's now 8... I still haven't figured it out! haha


Kassidy in July 2001

WHY??

By: Renee Garcia
July 20, 2001

Today my daughter learned a new word
I knew she'd say it some day but this is absurd!
She says it in response to whatever I say,
Do you think after time it will just go away??

I tell her to clean up her toys and then,
I just hear this word again and again.
I tell her it's time for bed, and then sigh,
For I know what is coming next: "Mommy, WHY?"

"WHY?" is her question to all my commands,
How do I make her just understand???
No matter what I say, no matter how hard I try,
To all my requests her response is just: "WHY?"

Where did she learn this inquisitive word?
Who was saying it where she overheard?
What do I say when I can't ease her mind?
The answer to "WHY?" is not so easy to find!

I want her to learn and I want her to grow,
But is this word really important to know??
They say it's a phase, "It will pass by",
In the meantime, do you have a good answer for "WHY?"


For more Blasts from the Past, Click here

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Quick update...

Good evening! 

I can almost guarentee this will be a 1 part update. :o) Thanks to everyone who laughed at me for my comment last night about being a woman of few words... I think my husband and mom were probably laughing right along with you! Speaking of my mom, she's home! YAY!! Of course now nothing will happen, right?! Haha 

I ended up not taking Kameron to the doctor today. He woke up and said his hips felt just fine. He was back to walking normal and everything so I figured, why bother?! The whole thing is really strange though and I'm praying this pain doesn't come back for him! 

As far as Kennedy goes, I've been in contact several times with the doctor from the Ds clinic today. She was going to try to catch Dr. Pearson (the neurosurgeon) today and talk to him, but last I heard he had been in surgery all day so I don't know if that ever happened. I'm sure she'll call tomorrow. In the meantime she faxed me a medical release and I faxed it back so they sent Kennedy's xrays and CT to Dr. Betz (the spine doctor at Shriner's in Philadelphia) for him to go over and see if he can help, advise, or whatever. I look forward to hearing from him. 

The only big shock today was that the orthopedic surgeon we saw in the ER (who has earned 100 signs from me today) INSISTED that they would not operate because there was no impingement on Kennedy's spine. When Dr. Summar (the Ds clinic doctor) read the neuro-radiologists report though it said that there IS impingement on her spine. SOOO I'm thinking if we had gotten a different doctor Tuesday night, we would have never left Vandy. 

BUT as my very wise friend Marylee said to me today, maybe God had it happen that way so Kennedy gets into the BEST hands for this issue, especially if she does end up needing surgery. Now who those hands belong to, I am not sure yet, but ultimately we know she is in God's hands and He's taking care of her even if it seems frustrating to us right now. I try to remember to stay focused on the big picture. 

I would like to say too, as frustrating as the last few days have been with this ER doctor and the woman during the CT scan, overall I have the utmost faith in Vanderbilt Children's Hospital. There are so many AMAZING doctors, nurses, care partners and staff there who really do care and have literally saved Kennedy's life in the past. We have been blessed to meet many wonderful people at Vandy through our journey with Kennedy. Unfortunately no place is perfect and we just happened to encounter two examples of that in one day! It happens! I just didn't want anyone to be scared of taking their child to Vandy, you will get fabulous care there 99% of the time... I just wouldn't recommend the orthopedic surgeon we saw! haha 

Anyway, I feel encouraged today that things are happening to figure out what is going on with Kennedy and what needs to be done. I'm still praying she will not need surgery, but if it turns out to be necessary we will handle it. Obviously God wants Kennedy to have an AWESOME testimony when she gets older! 

We're supposed to leave for Georgia tomorrow for the weekend, but I'm going to wait to get the OK from a doctor to do so... it scares me to stray too far from home. 

I'll update again tomorrow most likely. 

I am thankful for all the doctors looking out for my girl and that I made the update in one page and have 540 characters left!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

One Big Update...

Well, so much to say... so little room. This will probably be another 2 parter... maybe not. Sometimes I can be a woman of few words. Those of you who know me well are laughing right now. LOL 

SO The day started with a call from Melissa at our Down syndrome clinic who thankfully checks Kennedy's page and is trying to pull some strings to get her in with the head neurosurgeon. The guy we saw last night was an orthapedic surgeon who INSISTED that THEY are the ones to take care of this. I've since found out otherwise. (I'm trying not to hand out any more signs... I would need a committee to help me make them all.) 

Not long after Kennedy's ped called to check on the events of yesterday. I told her she really should start following this page! haha Anyway, I filled her in and she was just shocked... and she said that when the HEAD neuro-radiologist calls her and HE is concerned and doesn't want to let a child go home because he's not sure if she's stable enough to do so, guess what? It's serious! (REALLY refraining from giving that sign right now.) ANYWAY, I gave her the name of the doctor that I got from Melissa and she said she would try to contact him too. In the meantime I told her I would see her at 11:30 since I had already made an appointment with her for Keeghan. Three guesses what's wrong with him! 

Then I take Kennedy to school and fill them in and when I go to leave she starts crying and clutching to me! She hasn't cried EVER when I've left her. I think yesterday really got to her. She was talking in her sleep last night just saying, "Noooo mommmmmmyyyyyy". Stupid CT. Anyway her teacher said she stopped after 10 minutes or so and did great the rest of the day. 

SO I got a call this afternoon from the ped and she said that the soonest the neurosurgeon (whom I have heard WONDERFUL things about from a few people now) can get her in is March 19th. He only has one clinic day a week so he's pretty backed up. SOOO until then we are on hold. She said we need to watch Kennedy close... and we can't let her do anything that would put any kind of strain on her neck. This also may change our Make-A-Wish trip because until she is cleared by the Neurosurgeon saying she doesn't have to have surgery there is NO way she can go on ANY of those rides. I won't even begin to explain how sad this makes me. I'm trying not to think about it. *sigh* 

We also have a friend who's uncle (brother's neighbor's cousin twice removed haha) is the top spine doctor in the country. He is up in PA but is willing to go over Kennedy's CT and if need be he'll fly us up there for free for a consult and even do her surgery IF she needs it (which we're all praying she WON'T). SO I'm waiting to hear from him to see what we need to do to get him her stuff. Even if he just consults with this doctor at Vandy or reassures me that she's going to be ok for the next month until we can see him it would be GREAT! 

SOOOO we're waiting. I hate waiting. I hate not knowing more than knowing... you know? 

So tonight after dinner, we were all sitting in the living room watching TV when Kameron doubled over in pain and started screaming and crying that his hips hurt. I tried to comfort him and nothing would help. After about 15 minutes I called the doctor. He said to give him some motrin and if it didn't get better to take him to the ER. (Cuz I haven't been in one of THOSE in so long!) 

I gave him some motrin and he fell asleep on the couch 20 minutes later. This all started around 7:45. Around 10:00 he woke up crying and got worse and worse... he was holding his left hip just crying. I was on the phone with my friend Mary Lee (Ryan's mom who kept Keeghan for me yesterday) so she got to listen to him scream... sorry about that! 

I called my mom (who is still in Florida) and she told me to go get my neighbor (different one than the one who kept Kass and Kam last night!) to sit with the girls while I took Kam to the ER. I took Keeghan with me because he was awake and wasn't too sure about my neighbor. SO Kam could barely walk and just cried and cried but said it hurt him more if I carried him. We finally made it to the ER and it was PACKED. There were people there who had been waiting since 4pm... and we got there around 10:30. 

Then he stopped crying. So I sat there and thought, "OK now what?!" He was pretty unresponsive, he just stared straight ahead and I would ask him questions and he would give me an answer that had nothing to do with my questions... but I think he just wasn't fully awake. Anyway, we came back home. There was no point sitting there all night when he wasn't screaming anymore. 

SOOOOO tomorrow I will take him to the doctor. We were there Monday, Vandy Tuesday, back to the doctor here today (Keeghan DOES have another ear infection by the way), and now we're going back tomorrow... for hip pain. Why can't my kids just get a common cold? One day we are going to laugh about this and say, "Remember the week Renee went crazy?!" and then someone else can say, "Which time?!" haha 

SO pray for Kennedy, pray for Kameron... we're on the countdown to Keeghan's ENT appointment NEXT Friday! So pray they can get him in quickly for tubes. Pray for Kassidy too... she's fine but I don't want her to be left out! Pray for Frank because he feels very helpless being so far away for all this. My mom's coming home tomorrow WOOOHOOO. I'll update again when I know anything... of course. 

I am thankful for... our pediatrician and everyone else out there who's trying to help us find the very BEST for Kennedy. I am thankful for neighbors and I am thankful for friends who call and keep me sane!

Such a cool story!

A friend of mine passed this on to me... I thought it was too good not to share! Tissue warning!

Click here, you'll be glad you did!

The neck brace

Sorry guys, I should have explained and made my Wordless Wednesday not so wordless! LOL This is the neck brace they put Kennedy in last night, but she doesn't have to wear it now... depending on which doctor you ask, of course! Still they sent it home with us just in case... but until further notice she doesn't have to wear it. Thank God! I will update later with the events of today!

Wordless Wednesday - Something you never want to see on your child

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

More medical crud for Kennedy

I posted this on Kennedy's carepage, but I know you all don't read there so I'm posting it here for you too!

Today we went to the hem/onc clinic at Vanderbilt to have Kennedy's counts checked. We go once a month now that she's in remission and done with chemo. Her counts were great! Praise God! While we were there we went and got her AAI x-rays done. Let me give you a little background. (For those of you not in the Ds community.) Kids with Down syndrome sometimes have something called atlantoaxial instability or AAI. You can read about it here. Every child with Down syndrome is advised to get c-spine xray done around the age of 3. Because Kennedy was going through chemo at age 3 we put it off.

When Kennedy was having her hearing test done about a month ago, we noticed (since we were sitting in a completely quiet room) that her neck clicks when she turns it. They asked if she's had her AAI X-rays done yet and I said no. SO the next time I was at the pediatrician's office I asked her to order them. She wrote me a script and said to do them next time I was at Vanderbilt... which was today to check her counts.

SO they did the x-ray today and asked me to wait for the results. Pretty soon her ped called me on one of the phones and said there was an abnormality and they needed to do a CT scan. She said not to worry, it may not be serious.

The CT scan experience was HORRIBLE. They strapped Kennedy to a board, strapped her head down, confined her arms and then she STILL had to hold still while this loud machine whirled over her. She was SO scared. She just kept crying, "Mommy, Mommy!!" She cried so hard she broke out in petachiae all over. Then this person (I don't know if she's a nurse or what) came in and said, "I don't understand why she's crying and moving!" I said, "MAYBE because you have her confined, she can't move, she's THREE and she's scared out of her wits!" And she said, "Well she only has to hold still for 10 seconds and we'll be done." (Here's your sign.) So then she said she was going to have to "manhandle her" to keep her still. It was horrible. Ugh She STILL wouldn't hold still. I finally told her to stop and she said that we would have to come back tomorrow and they would have to sedate her and then she'll have all the side effects of sedation. I mentioned she's been through SEVENTEEN surgeries, countless bone marrow biopsies and spinal taps and a whole LOT of chemo, I think she can handle a little sedation! (Here's your sign.) So she rolled her eyes and left. I got Kennedy up and she just sobbed and clutched to me and finally fell asleep. Then a very nice nurse came in and I said "LOOK! She's sedated!" So we were able to do the CT scan after all.

While all this was going on, Ryan Carrigan's family was down in the CT area so Ryan could get an MRI and they so graciously kept Keeghan for me! I don't know what I would have done without them.

So then I get another phone call from the pediatrician and she tells me that the CT came back very abnormal and her C1 vertibrae is at a 45 degree angle and pressing on her C2 vertibrae. She said she was sending us over to ER so we could see a neurosurgeon tonight and decide if we need surgery tonight or not. I asked why we couldn't just come back tomorrow since this is obviously something she's had for awhile. She said, "Because NOW we know and she could break her neck at any time." She also got her set up for an MRI.

So we headed over to ER while the Carrigan's kept Keeghan and even offered to take him home with them! And we waited for the neurosurgeon. The ER resident asked what was going on and I told him what I had been told and he said that "IF that is true we will have to consult neurosurgery." IF it's true? Like I could make this stuff up! SO he went and looked at her CT and came back and said "Yep you were right!" (He needs a sign too.) They put her in a neck brace to stabilize her. She was SO not happy about that! THEN they asked her if she hurt anywhere and she pointed to the neck brace. (Here's your sign.)

Finally the surgeon came in and basically blew us off and told us she was fine. I told him about her neck clicking and that we heard it in a completely quiet room and he asked how long it's been going on. I repeated that we only heard it last month BECAUSE we were in a completely quiet room. "So how long do you think this has been going on?" (Here's your sign) THEN he said, "Well if she feels any numbness in her neck, you'll have to call us right away." I looked at him like, "Seriously?!" OK "Kennedy, is your neck numb?" (Have another sign.) ANYWAY I was pretty frustrated that everyone's been freaking out all day and then this guy just blows it off. But we have the MRI next week and then we are following up with neurosurgery and most likely getting a second (and third) opinion.

So that's where things stand right now... we're waiting for the MRI... In the meantime I asked this doctor if her activities needed to be limited and he said no... then the next doctor told me not to let her wrestle around with her siblings, try to do a summersault, or anything involving her neck. I mentioned that the other doctor just told me no restrictions and he said he couldn't understand why he would say that! He asked if I wanted to talk to the other doctor again and I said NO! There's no point. What a frustrating day!!

Kassidy and Kameron spent some time with my next door neighbor and then Kameron's teacher picked them up. They both had lots of fun over there!! Kennedy is passed out in bed and Keeghan is enjoying crawling around right now... poor kid didn't get to crawl at ALL today, but man he was good! That was definitely a God thing!!

OK I'm exhausted and I'm going to bed. I'll update again tomorrow! THANK YOU all for praying!!!

Please pray for Kennedy!

Hi everyone 
I am updating from my iPod touch so please forgive any errors. Kennedy needs your prayers. We came to vandy today to get counts done. Her counts were great but we also did her aai xrays today and they came back abnormal so they did a ct scan which came back worse. We are now sitting in the er waiting for neurosurgery to come decide if they need to operate tonight.basically her c1 vertibrae is at a 45 degree angle pressing down on her c2 vertibrae. Its pretty serious. Keeghan is with another vandy family who just happened to be here and kass and kam are with my neighbor. My mom is in Florida. I will fill you in as I can. Please be praying.

Monday, February 18, 2008

A "Sincess!"

Old Navy is having an AMAZING sale right now... seriously, you need to check it out before it ends! Don't bother going to the one in my town, I already wiped it out. My friend Nina called and told me about it and asked if I wanted to meet her there... uhhh YEAH! So after spending $100 buying a few things, I went home to force the kids to try on all their new clothes show the kids their new outfits.

I bought Kennedy a cute little dress for Spring. When I tried it on her she twirled around and said, "Ohhhh SO pretty!" Then she threw a fit politely asked me to stop when I tried to take it off of her. I coaxed her into her jammies and then it was bedtime. WOOOHOOOO Awwwww.

The next morning, Kennedy was standing in the living room unzipping her jammies. I asked her what she was doing and she proudly held up her new dress and said, "I a Sincess!" (Princess) I told her to keep her jammies on, it was too cold for the dress. Again she demanded repeated, "I a Sincess!"

Seeing as she used GREAT OT skills to get her zipper down and jammies off and I'm a sucker and usually always give in, I let her wear her "Sincess dress" and bumped up the heat so she wouldn't be cold.

Here is Kennedy in her dress... she spent all day twirling and dancing and patting her dress saying "Soooo pretty!" Fortunately she forgot about it this morning... something tells me that her school would have called CPS on me not been very happy with her in a Spring dress on a 30 degree day.


Sunday, February 17, 2008

This kid melts me


Is there something on my face?


Do you smell that?!


It wasn't me... hehehe


Ohhh those eyes!

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Much Better!

Kameron is feeling MUCH better this morning. He slept from around 5:00 last evening until 8:00 this morning. He said his neck is still a little sore but his ear and head feel MUCH better! 

Thank you all so much for your messages of support and prayers for Kam! One of you posted about meningitis and that is something that had crossed our minds as well. There's such a fine line between worrying too much and not worrying enough! I try not to drive our doctor crazy! haha 

I am going later today to get my hair done and enjoy a little kid free pampering! :o) The kids will be having fun with Grandma. Thanks again for all your prayers! 

I am thankful Kameron is feeling better!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Blast from the Past - I almost slept in

Every Friday I do a "Blast from the Past" post with a story or something that I've written B.B. (Before Blogging). It will help you all get to know us a little better and maybe even give you a laugh or two! :)

I Almost Slept In
November 21, 2004

I SO did NOT want to go to church today. Frank didn't get home from work until 5am and I knew he'd be dead to the world. Kennedy had a restless night and we were both exhausted. Kassidy woke me up about 30 minutes before church started and reminded me we had to get ready. I told her we weren't going and rolled over to go back to sleep. My bed was warm, Kennedy was snuggled next to me, snoring softly, and I could have stayed there all day.

Then suddenly, I was wide-awake. I felt the overwhelming urge that I needed to go to church. I figured it was because of Kennedy's surgery tomorrow. I knew I could use the extra boost of prayer before our long day. So, I jumped out of bed, threw some clothes on, dressed all three kids, got mine and Kassidy's hair done and we were out the door 20 minutes later.

We sat down in the back of the church just minutes before the service started. I settled the kids in as a deacon stepped up to make the morning announcements. "Welcome to church... blah blah blah... approve the budget... blah blah blah... Thanksgiving feast... blah blah blah... Baby born on the 16th with Down syndrome..." What? My ears perked. What? A friend of a woman in our church had a baby boy. He has Down syndrome. It all suddenly clicked. I wasn't in church for ME; I was in church for HER. If I had slept in like I so badly wanted to, I wouldn't have known.

I immediately started praying for this woman. I don't know her. I don't know how old she is or if she has other children. I don't know if she's married or single. I just know we now have a bond that is so rare, yet so special.

I prayed for her faith. She is beginning one of the biggest trials of her life. She will have to decide for herself whether she is going to blame God or embrace Him closer than ever before. I prayed for her heart. I am sure it's shattered into a million pieces right now. I prayed that she would be able to accept her son and love him for the wonderful baby he is. I am sure, with time, she will. I prayed for her family and friends, that they would be accepting and loving, that they would think before they speak. The best intentions can sometimes cause the worst pain. I prayed for her baby. The deacon mentioned he has heart problems. I prayed for him to stay strong and fight. I prayed that he would know how much he is loved.

I want so badly to reach out to her, to let her know she is not alone. I want to go help her with all the things that she will need to do in the next few weeks. Mostly I want to give her a hug and let her know that God is here and it's ok to cry. It's ok to be mad. It's ok to mourn.

My eyes filled with tears as I looked over at Kennedy. She instantly gave me a big smile. How blessed I am that she has come into my life. What a precious gift God has given me. As hard as the last 6 months have been, they have also been so wonderful. I know that this mother will feel the same way about her son. I left my contact information with someone to pass along to her. She is probably not ready to talk, but when she is, at least she will know she has someone here who knows how she feels. In the meantime I will continue to pray.

I don't know what our sermon was about today. I'm not sure what songs were sung or what the rest of the announcements were. I was there to hear about this baby. I was there to pray. I was right where God wanted me, and I'm so glad that I didn't sleep in.


***Update on this post... I did get to meet this mother and her wonderful family! Hayden is a beautiful little boy and I am so proud to call them my friends!***

For more Blasts from the Past, Click here

So much for plans!

So, I should always know better than to make plans! LOL 
I didn't get to go to my meeting in Nashville today... around 11:00 last night Kameron woke up sobbing. I had just gotten into a deep sleep and it took me a minute to register which kid was crying. I went in to his room and he said his ear hurt really, really bad. He used to get ear infections A LOT when he was a toddler, but he had tubes put in back in 2005 and that stopped the infections. His tubes were taken out last year when he had his T&A surgery and he has only had one ear infection since then, which was about a month ago I think. 

ANYWAY, I gave him some motrin and he crawled into bed with me. He tossed and turned all night long, but when he woke up this morning he said his ear felt GREAT! Whew! OK let's get ready for school!! I went to comb his hair and he had TONS of puss and blood pouring out his ear from a ruptured ear drum. That's why his ear felt better! I called to say I wouldn't be at my meeting and made an appointment with the pediatrician. She gave him antibiotics and ear drops and we went on our way. I kept him home from school since his ear was still oozing a lot. (Gross, I know!) He was otherwise ok. 

While we were in the car waiting for Kassidy, he said his head hurt. I told him when we got home I would give him some tylenol. A few minutes later he said, "Mommy, my head and my neck really, really hurts and I'm starving!" He had just eaten so I knew he couldn't be too hungry... again I told him I would give him something when we got home. I looked back and he was kind of slumped over and very pale. I asked him if he was ok and he said, "No... I'm definitely not ok." SO I rushed to pick Kennedy up from school and called the doctor on the way. The nurse asked if he had a fever, which he did, and said that the fever was probably making his head hurt and to give him tylenol. 

As soon as we got home I gave him medicine and he collapsed on the couch. He asked me for something to eat but fell asleep before I could get him anything. He's sound asleep now, but it makes me nervous. I've never seen him like that before. He's my kid who so RARELY gets sick, but when he does, he seems to get REALLY sick. I'm waiting now to see how he is when he wakes up. Pray his headache is gone! 

While we were in the office today I had the doctor look at Keeghan's ears to be sure the rocephin got rid of his infection... one ear was clear, but the other one is red still *sigh*. So it looks like I will be back in there next week sometime with him. We agreed not to do any more shots... it worries me having all that medicine pumped into his body. She's going to look for another oral antibiotic to try... with all that he's been on though we're running out. She also suggested calling the ENT and getting him on a cancellation list where they will call us if anyone cancels. Otherwise we have to get him through until February 29th. 

Kennedy had another GREAT day at school today! Her teacher loves her already, I can tell! :o) 

Please pray for Kam, I'll update again later. 

Thursday, February 14, 2008

It makes me smell like daddy!

So Kameron needs a hair cut.. REALLY badly! LOL This morning I was trying to make his hair cooperate and it just wasn't working. I found some of Frank's hair gel under our sink so I decided to try that. It worked pretty well! As I was putting it on Kam's hair he said, "I like this hair gel! It makes me smell like daddy!" Guess we'll be using hair gel more often now!

HAPPY VALENTINE'S DAY!!!!


Happy Valentine's Day!

We had a very nice day today. Keeghan's present to mommy was sleeping IN!! He slept till 8:45 which is amazing for him! It was nice to be able to get Kass and Kam ready for school without wondering what kind of trouble Keeghan is getting into! haha

Kennedy, Keeghan and I went to Kass and Kam's school today to help out with their class parties. We got there a little early so we were able to have lunch with Kameron. That was a lot of fun! Both parties went great and the kids had lots of fun making ice cream sundaes and handing out their goodie bags to their friends. I took lots of pictures, but I need to weed through them later. We went to dinner tonight with my mom and had a nice time. Frank and I will have to celebrate in May! LOL 

Keeghan has been in a MUCH better mood since this last round of rocephin. Hopefully those darn ears will stay clear for awhile! Kennedy goes back to school tomorrow (we got snowed out yesterday so she didn't get to go) and I have an all day meeting in Nashville. Should be fun! haha

Please be praying for Kennedy's clinic appointment on Tuesday and her AAI xrays to follow... pray for good counts and normal xrays! 

I guess that's it for tonight! 

Until next time,
Renee

I am thankful for my kids... they are the best Valentines EVER!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Thank you for voting!!!

So back in December, I entered Kennedy in a photo contest on the Disney Family website and I asked you all to vote in this thread. I want to say a HUGE thank you to everyone who voted! Here are the contest winners... See anyone you know?!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Kennedy's first day of school!

Kennedy started school today!! I took her into her classroom and she jumped right in! It was almost time for her morning snack so she washed her hands and then sat at the table with the other kids and sang some songs. I stuck around for a bit and took some pictures and then I told her I was going to leave so she gave me a big hug and kiss and said "BYE BYE!!!"

I called around 11:30 to check on her and her teacher said she was doing great! When I got there to pick her up her teacher said she had a fabulous day! She followed directions, played well with the other kids, ate all her lunch and even used her spoon and drank from an open cup!! YAY!!! The only time she got upset was at nap time but her teacher rubbed her back and she ended up going to sleep. She was very happy to see me when I picked her up and asked if we were going to get french fries! LOL I am so excited to see how much she learns from this class. I definitely think being around all the typical kids will be good for her! Here are a few pictures from today.




(For you RSS readers, there's a slideshow here.)

Doctors Doctors Doctors!

So after Keeghan spent HOURS screaming today I got him into the doctor and he has yet another double ear infection. His ped said they both look horrible! He's now on his 3rd round of rochepin shots (3 shots in 3 days) and has been on 4 rounds of oral antibiotics before that. Dumb ears. His ENT appointment is February 29th. It can't come soon enough.

While I was at the doctor with him my mom called and said Kassidy had a toothache so she looked back there and it looks like she has an abcessed tooth. SO the ped said to go ahead and bring her in and sure enough, it's abcessed. So she's on antibiotics and we have an appointment with the dentist in the morning.

At least no one can say life is boring! LOL

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Shameless Plug

So did you guys know I have an e-store?! Yep yep! It started out with Down syndrome awareness products and then I added a small Autism section when people accused me of leaving Kameron out LOL, then this past year I added a bunch of cancer awareness stuff. If you would like, check it out!! There's some neat stuff there... if I do say so myself! ;)


Friday, February 8, 2008

Blast from the Past - ABC Poem

Every Friday I do a "Blast from the Past" post with a story or something that I've written B.B. (Before Blogging). It will help you all get to know us a little better and maybe even give you a laugh or two! :)

I can't really remember WHY I wrote this poem... but it's one of my favorites!

ABCs
By: Renee Garcia
October 18, 2003

As long as I'm alive
Believe this if you will,
Christ will be my guide
Death won't keep me still
Even though I fall,
Fail, I just might
God will be my all
Heaven is my plight!
I know that Jesus takes me
Just as I am today
King of all above me
Loves me anyway
Many times I seek Him
Not knowing what He'll say
Omnipotent I find Him
Praise Him every day
Quit my doubts and worry
Rest my faith in Him
Slow and not to hurry
Time I spend with Him
Understanding all
Victory is His game
Waiting for His call
Xalting His great name
Yes I am a Christian
Zion is my home

The alphabet holds within
My life's cornerstone


For more Blasts from the Past, click here

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Some answers about Kennedy and school

I've received lots of questions about my comment in this thread about Kennedy not qualifying for the school system, so instead of answering a bunch of emails I figured I would just put it here.

So this story starts in March 2004 when my son Kameron was diagnosed with PDD-NOS. (I swear, this story is really about Kennedy, bear with me!.) Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) is on the Autism spectrum. Kameron was diagnosed shortly after he turned two (after 6 months of battling with dumb doctors). Frank and I were actually relieved when he was diagnosed because it meant Kam was FINALLY elegible to receive services like speech therapy! (He wasn't speaking AT ALL at this point; he was constantly, obsessively lining everything up; he was obsessed with anything that was in a circle shape: He used to carry pool rings around with him EVERYWHERE.) We were submerged into the world of Early Intervention, therapies and IFSPs. It was overwhelming but we knew Kam was getting the help he so badly needed.

Two months later, Kennedy was born and we learned she had Down syndrome. Our world literally crashed around us. We were completely shocked and devastated as we were handed information from the 1970s and told we could still put her up for adoption. (That's another story for another day.) The only good thing was I knew exactly who to call and where to get her help. Kam's EI coordinator took great care of us and got Kennedy all set up with services right away.

Six months later, Kameron turned 3 and he transitioned into the school system. We did his first IEP and he started a Special Needs pre-school the day after his birthday. He had an amazing teacher and totally thrived in this environment. He learned how to read before he was 4 and was talking more and more every day. His teacher and I became friends and she totally fell in love with Kennedy. We were both so excited for the day that Kennedy turned 3 and could go to her class!

Fast forward to March 2007. It was time for Kennedy's transition meeting. I went in thinking this would just be a formality. I was going to get information about getting her into the system, which I pretty much already knew, and get ready for her first IEP. I had been taking Kennedy into the classroom where she would be going to get her used to the class and the teacher and they were brushing up on their sign language and we were all SO excited! Then... let me choose my words carefully... then it didn't work out as planned. We went in with Kennedy's latest evals and we were told based on her scores that Kennedy would not qualify for the Special Needs preschool.

My conversation with the director of Special Ed went something like this:

ME: WHAT?!?! She has a 70% delay in gross motor and delays across the board in everything but social, hearing and vision.

HER: Yes, but you don't need to walk to go to school... all her other areas (social, speech, fine motor, cognitive, self help, hearing and vision) are all under a 25% delay which disqualifies her.

ME: But she has DOWN SYNDROME!!!!

HER: So what? Has she taken an IQ test because I bet she would pass.

ME: GRRRR So what am I supposed to do with her next year? She's losing all her EI services!

HER: Put her in a typical preschool.

ME: OK she'll be 3... if I put her in a typical 3 year old class she would be run over! She's the size of a 1 year old and definitely cannot hold a candle in ANY area to a 3 year old!

HER: so put her in a 2 year old class.

(At this point, I'm pretty sure she saw the smoke coming out of my ears.)

HER: Can I ask you something? What do you plan for Kennedy when she goes to Kindergarten?

ME: I want her fully included in a regular Kindergarten class, of course.

HER: Then WHY do you want her in a special needs preschool? That is NOT her LRE (Least Restrictive Environment)! She is fully capable of being with typical peers and will probably gain more from them than being in the special ed class.

ME: But can you tell me a typical preschool teacher is going to have the time or knowledge to help her? To give her the attention she needs? She'll be one of twelve and one teacher can only go so far... in the special ed preschool there will be a teacher AND 2 aides not to mention an IEP that says EXACTLY what she needs to work on. Beyond that, the teacher there knows her and loves her and can't wait to have her in class. I DO think this is her LRE.

HER: Well I can tell you right now she's not going to qualify. We WILL provide her services, she'll get PT and ST once a week for one hour but you'll have to bring her to our center, not a school.

*sigh* I left in tears, her EI who was there with me left kind of in a fog and that was that.

After a LOT of prayer and extensive conversations with Frank, my mom, the teacher of the special needs class, her EI, her therapists, and other moms with kids with Ds, we decided that maybe Kennedy would be better off in a typical preschool. She went to a program at one that was associated with EI before she turned 3 that has a mix of special needs and typical kids. They agreed to let her go into the 2 year old class so we were getting all of that put into place when she was diagnosed with Leukemia and school was obviously put on the back burner.

SO now we're finally starting the process again, and I've been told if I REALLY wanted to fight it we could find loop holes to get her into the Special Needs preschool. A lot has happened though, she would have a different teacher and it would be at a different school and right now I truly believe she will be better off in the other school with typical kids to be role models. She really is doing so, so well and I'm excited to see what she will learn in school... we actually go tomorrow to fill out all the paperwork and she starts on MONDAY!!!

SO what started out as a stressful, miserable situation has turned out for the best. One of these days I'm really going to remember that the Lord has His hands in all things and He's working things out for the best for Kennedy and all of us. Sometimes it's so hard to see the big plan when I'm in the midst of a small storm.

So that's my lovely transition story. If you're reading this and you have a child with Down syndrome who is getting ready to transition into the school system, please know it's NOT this hard everywhere. Now if you live in MY county... save yourself the trouble and move now. Kidding. Sort of. :o)

The devastation of tornados


Kyson Stowell with his grandma at Vandy


While rescue workers were cleaning up the mess from the tornado in a field, they came across 11 month old Kyson Stowell who was still alive... his mother Kerri, just 24 years old, died in that same field. They were thrown over 100 feet from their home. This story just gets me... seeing sweet little Kyson in his Vanderbilt jammies and thinking of how scared he must have been... and how much he's going to miss his mommy, just breaks my heart.

Pray for the Stowell family and the families of the other 56 people who died from these tornados this week. Pray for those who lost everything. I can't even imagine.

Read the whole story here

There's a video of him here

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

More Awards!!



I rec'd this award from Stephanie at A is for Aiden. Thanks Stephanie!







I rec'd this award from my BFF Christina over at Kwisteena's Kwaziness Thanks C!




I was going to pass these on, but I think almost everyone already has them, so if you don't have them yet and want them, they're yours! :)

Wordless Wednesday - Must Get The Hat OFF!

We're all ok!

What a long, crazy night! We are all exhausted from no sleep but otherwise we are fine. There was a lot of destruction from tornados all over AR, TN and KY last night... lots of lives lost. Pray for those families who lost so much. Off to play catch up in email land and blog land... more later.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Crazy week... what else is new?

SO now that we're all feeling better, we are back to business as usual! The kids didn't have school today because it's voting day... and you know, all those kids out there need to be out of school so they can vote! (Duh) Kassidy and Kameron stayed up way too late last night and are still in their jammies now after lounging around all day.

I, on the other hand, got up early to get ready for Keeghan's 9 month well baby check. Going to the doctor for a WELL visit... what a concept! He's doing great! He's meeting all his milestones ahead of schedule and weighs 18 lbs 5 oz and is 26 1/2 inches long. He's in the 25th percentile for his weight and the 10th for his height. We're a short family... he doesn't have much hope on getting out of that 10th percentile... ever. Sorry Keeghan.

My mom came over to my house to stay with the other kids, so after Keeghan's appointment I took Kassidy and Kameron and went to vote. Apparently I never signed my voter registration card. This baffled the people at the voting center. "You didn't sign your card!" one lady said... then she turned to the lady next to her and whispered loudly, "She didn't sign her card!" The second lady shook her head, put her hand over her heart and clucked her tongue as if I'd just committed a cardinal sin. I then called them all drama queens and went home. I then casually mentioned that I've voted several times with that card without a problem. You would think I had just told them the world was ending tomorrow. The shock! The HORROR! UGH! So after conferring with several other volunteers, where they all stood around gaping at my condemned card, they decided that I must sign that card, right then and there, where all could witness it. SO I signed the card, smirked at them and said, "So who's to say I'm really this person?" *sigh* Me and my big mouth. They then kicked me out of the polling place and forbid me to ever return. Fortunately all I had to do was show them my Military ID with a matching signature and picture and they let me vote. I'm pretty sure they're all still sitting around talking about the mystery of that unsigned card even now.

After not voting for Hillary voting... for a man... I went home and cooked a nutritious lunch with one of each of the 5 food groups went to McDonald's and grabbed lunch for the kids, and then got Kennedy ready for speech therapy. When I got home, the pest control people came to inspect for termites. They do this once a year to make sure our house isn't being eaten alive. The guy came to the door and said, "I need to get into your basement." I told him he'd have to come through the house since the outside door to the basement is blocked. He walked in and said, (I kid you not) "Where's the basement?" On the 3rd floor. *sigh* Anyway, turns out we have termites. Lovely. Oh well, better than roaches! LOL

Tomorrow, after the bug lady comes to keep the ants, spiders and other critters away from my house, I have to go get Kennedy's IEP written. She's not getting services from the school system because she didn't qualify because they're crazy but in order for her to continue with her private speech therapist she needs an IEP for insurance purposes. So I'll be writing an IEP with a team who has never met her and who will not be working with her. Should be very productive. Then I'm going to have lunch with a friend and then go pick Kassidy up from school to take her to get her sealants on her teeth. They are going to give her laughing gas so I hope they let me go back and video tape her so I can use it for blackmail later show her how silly she is later.

We're supposed to be getting bad storms tonight with possible tornados so the kids are sleeping in the basement in their sleeping bags so I don't have to wake them all up and move them in the middle of the night. They are very excited about this sleep over and I'm sure it will be so easy to coax them to actually GO to sleep tonight. I'll have to send apology notes to their teachers for sending them sleep deprived kids. Pray we don't get blown away tonight... I have too much to do tomorrow!

Deployment 2008; Day 40

WOW the last 10 days have flown by! Probably because we were all puking through most of it! LOL I kept counting the days today thinking, "Is it REALLY time for another update?" But it is... 40 days down! WOOOHOOO

Frank is still doing well in Afghanistan and we're holding our own here, thank God my mom is here to help! Kennedy really misses daddy and every time a guy comes in our house she says, "HI Daddy!" And then she realizes it's not him and gets all shy. LOL It's cute and sad at the same time. Kass and Kam are handling it well but they are counting down the days until his R&R... speaking of which:


MySpace Countdown


Well, short update this time, but not much more to say... maybe I'll start updating every 20 days instead of every 10... hmmm.

The Archive Meme

I've been tagged by Shannon over at Gabi's World to do the Archive Meme. This shouldn't be too hard since I haven't been blogging all that long!

Here are the rules -
Go back through your archives and post the links to your five favorite blog posts that you’ve written. But there is a catch:

Link 1 must be about family.
Link 2 must be about friends.
Link 3 must be about yourself.
Link 4 must be about something you love.
Link 5 can be anything you choose.

Post your five links and then tag five other people. At least TWO of the people you tag must be newer acquaintances so that you get to know each other better.

(Readers - don’t forget to read the archive posts and leave comments.)

Link 1 - Family: The Garcia Family Year in Review - all about our 2007.

Link 2 - Friends: My friend Mimi and her beautiful family

Link 3 - Myself: This one was hard... I guess it would be my very first post.

Link 4 - Something I love: This one was easiest - Kennedy's Dance

Link 5 - Anything: Oh gosh... so many to choose from! I guess it would be Kameron... this kid can go from driving me crazy to making me crack up with laughter to melting my heart all in the same day. Check my kid out here.

OK 5 people I now tag:

Sam over at Got Three????
Mindy over at Isn't this fun!?
Leah over at Garden of Eagan
Beth over at It's Our Wonderful Life
and Dawn over at I've Been Thinking...

Monday, February 4, 2008

Kennedy gets a Daddy Doll

A few weeks ago I ordered Kennedy a Daddy Doll. I learned about it from Michelle who got one for her daughter Kayla. This thing is SO cool! I highly recommend one for any child who's parent is deployed or gone for extended periods of time. Kennedy loves it! Kassidy and Kameron want one too now! LOL

Here is Kennedy opening her doll... ignore the crying baby, Kam talking in the background and my annoying voice... I should have waited until the other kids were in bed! HA!

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Well... dare I say it?

I think Kameron has avoided this flu bug all together. I'm amazed... though I don't know why I should be. This is the kid who NEVER got strep when Kassidy got it over and over and over last winter (ten times total). Kennedy got it (even with no tonsils); I got it (and was pregnant with Keeghan which made strep even MORE fun); and even Frank, who NEVER gets sick, got it a couple times... but not Kameron. He just smiled and went on about his days while the rest of us lived on antibiotics. Then the kids pediatrician had a thought... hmmm... WHY isn't Kameron getting sick? SO she tested him. He was a strep carrier! HE was the one getting us all sick! SO every time Kassidy got strep, Kameron had to be tested too and when they both came back positive they both had to go on antibiotics.

Try explaining to a 5 year old why he has to take medicine when he's not sick. Yeah. It went over well. Try getting a 7 year old to stop tormenting her little brother with the phrase, "You make me sick!" Well... she was right! It was a fun few months until they got their tonsils out. Now, no more strep, not once. (Knock on wood.)

So here we sit almost a year later and everyone has this nasty flu bug. It started with Kennedy last Sunday and ended with my mom today... it went through all of us, except Kameron. I have asked him several times each day, "Are you SURE you feel ok?!" Because really, he's surrounded by GERMS! Pukey, fevery, dizzy, poopy, GERMS! And he just gets this little smirk on his face and says, "Yep! I'm fine!" and runs off to eat for the 10th time that morning while the rest of us have lost 5 pounds (not that I'm complaining) and are weak and puney. It just seems very odd, doesn't it? Either he truly does have the immune system of Superman... or.... he's a flu carrier and it's all his fault! HA! I don't think I'll share that thought with Kassidy.

I really hope he doesn't get it... I'm ready for this bug to be out of my house... it just boggles my mind!

The Book Meme

Patty over at Our Life as an Air Force Family tagged me for the book meme. The directions are to find the nearest book, turn to page 123, start at the fifth sentence and type out the next three sentences.

Since the book that I am currently reading is in my car, I just grabbed one off the book shelf. It's A Good Yarn by Debbie Macomber. GREAT book. Anyway here are the sentences.

"This year was destined to be the longest of all their lives. The only problem with living in Seattle was that Courtney still hadn't met anyone her age. After that one disaster, when she'd run into all those sleek-bodied girls from the swim team, she'd avoided the pool on Mondays and Wednesdays - which was when the team practiced."

I now tag: Kim at Charlie's Up To, Oh Mommy at Classy Chaos and Kristen over at Faulkner Family. Have fun ladies!

Yet another MEME - 7 random things

I was tagged by Christine over at Smiles and Trials to post 7 things about myself. That should be easy! LOL

The rules are to link the person who sent this to you and leave a comment on their blog so their readers can visit yours. ~Post the rules on your blog~Share 7 strange/weird facts about yourself~Tag 7 random people at the end of your post, linking their blog~Let each person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Here are my 7 strange/weird things:

1. It drives me crazy to see kids with dirty faces and/or clothes out in public.

2. I HATE flying bugs. I will run screaming if one gets near me.

3. The sound of windshield wipers on a dry window makes me cringe.

4. I love sour candy... even more than chocolate.

5. I love to smell the top of my kids' heads right after their bath.

6. It drives me crazy when I see someone write "their" when they really mean "they're".

7. I was kicked out of ballet when I was 3... the instructor told my mom I should pursue intrests that don't require too much coordination.

OK 7 people... I now tag:

2 Pirates and a Princess
Banana Migraine
A Day in the Life of the Fowlers
Burgh Baby
A is for Aiden
Chanelle and Tristan
All 4 My Gals

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Groundhog's Day!

The bug is still making its rounds... Kassidy seems mostly better today and I feel fine today. Kennedy is getting a cold now I think... she's all congested and has a low grade fever. Around 3am my mom started not feeling well, so I guess it's her turn! (Why does it always seem to hit at 3am?! Weird!) 

Kameron is the only one who has not gotten sick yet. I swear that kid has the immune system of superman! He had a VERY hard time cooperating at school and at home last night so I thought maybe he wasn't feeling well... turns out he's just being naughty! (GRRR) 

Frank is doing well in Afghanistan. We just hit the one month mark since he left... 14 months to go. He has been getting cards from lots of people and says he appreciates them all! Now if his mean ole wife can ever manage to mail out the box he's been asking for the last 2 weeks he'll be REALLY happy! Sorry babe! 

Anyway, I'm off to lysol my house. Again. Keep praying that my mom feels better soon and this bug LEAVES our household for good! 

I am thankful that the end of this virus is in sight...

Friday, February 1, 2008

Blast from the Past - My Crazy Life

Every Friday I do a "Blast from the Past" post with a story or something that I've written B.B. (Before Blogging). It will help you all get to know us a little better and maybe even give you a laugh or two! :)

October 10, 2005

Life can be so crazy sometimes! As I sit here trying to unwind from another long day... one child passed out on the living room floor and two more dreaming away in their beds, I can't help but revel in just a few minutes of quiet time for mom.

For now our lives consist of therapy. Four days a week of OT, PT, EI, PDI, Center Based, Home based, and oh yes, next month we throw in ST... for so few letters, acronyms can be so... tiring! There are medications to be given and doctors to see; then there's the question of will the doctors treat her? Will they listen to me, or brush me off? Will I leave happy or angry, or crying? And will the tears be from frustration, or sadness at a new diagnosis, a new problem, a new surgery? How serious is this? What are the risks? The side effects? What if we wait too long? Could she die? OK I'll try not to worry... I'll try not to...

We see a lot of "gists"... CardioloGIST, UroloGIST, GastroenteroloGIST, OtolaryngoloGIST, OphthamoloGIST and countless others. We also have a lot of "justs"... It's JUST a virus, JUST an infection, let's JUST watch it for a while... it's JUST not that important. She's my baby, nothing in the world could be more important.

Then I get home... there are meals to prepare (sadly, I let McDonald's do that job for me often), and stories to read and hugs to give, games to play and toys to fix, backpacks to pack, fights to break up and the occasional time out to enforce. There are clothes to wash and dishes to do and cleaning that sometimes seems to take the back burner. There's soccer practice and soccer games, field trips to go to and a teacher I promised to help. There are packages to mail and bills to pay, support groups to plan and phone calls to make, emails to answer and still, the occasional time out to enforce. This all has to be worked in around the doctors... they don't want to fit into our lives, we have to fit into theirs. Somewhere in the middle I find time to sit, to pray, to reflect and ask God to forgive me for not always putting Him first.

Then the phone rings. I snatch it up ready to answer and quickly move on my way... it's from Iraq. Oh yes, I remember you, my husband... YOU need me too, right? I can talk for a second while I get hair washed and teeth brushed and... You're tired? Yes, yes, me too, but it's not midnight here, I have the whole day ahead of me. The kids are still fine, the doctors are still jerks, and you'll never believe what the baby did today! I miss you too, and so do the kids... You have to go? Already? OK... we love you too...

Time for school... do they have clean clothes? Yes... as long as it's warm out. Where are their shoes, their backpacks, her hair things? It all has to match, you know. Did I sign her slip? No... I'll have to find it later... darn, no cash for lunch, I'll have to write a check. Breakfast? Didn't you just eat? OK grab some cereal and let's go. Oh! Her medicine, can't forget that. It's trash day and the barrel is not at the curb... I guess one more week won't hurt, will it?

Just when I think I can't take anymore and I just want to lie down and cry, I get a pudgy hand wrapped around my neck for a hug (and I usually get licked in the process). Or I get a small voice that says "I missed you, Mommy!" after a long day with the doctors, or an even sweeter "I love you" at bedtime. Or I'll get that phone call or e-mail just to say "I'm thinking about you, I love you, and you're a great mommy!" and I think about the awesome family I've been blessed with. That's when I remember this is not about ME.

This is about my daughter, my oh so dramatic princess who thinks that 25 days is WAY too long to wait for her birthday. This is about my son, my handsome, feisty 3 year old who is ALL boy and has a twinkle in his eye that lets you know he's doing something I'm not gonna like. This is about my baby; my sweet, precious angel whom life seems to revolve around for now, one smile from her can light up the heavens. This is about my husband, who's off fighting in a war to keep all our families safe. This is about my God, who is always watching, always there to keep things together, and always there to give me a push when I need it. Will life always be this hectic? Maybe... but as long as I keep getting the hugs, the slobbery kisses, the sleepy "I love yous" and the phone calls, I wouldn't change a thing.


For more Blasts from the Past, click here

The Love and Hate MEME again... Kennedy style

OK Kennedy was tagged by Peanut to do the Love and Hate MEME. SO here are a bunch of Kennedy's likes and dislikes:

Things Kennedy Loves:
Balls
Books
French Fries
Mommy and daddy and grandma
Kassidy, Kameron & Keeghan
Attention... lots and lots of attention
Giving everyone a goodnight kiss and saying "mornin!" (which means "see you in the morning!")
Saying WHY?!
Asking for a tissue, using it once and then handing it back to you
Her nurses and doctors and friends at Vandy
oh yes and lest I forget,
Groovy Girls

That about covers it! LOL

Things Kennedy does not like:
CANCER
Chemo
Being sick
Having diarrhea... several times a day... since October.
Yogurt
When Keeghan tries to pull her earrings out
When she asks for water and you don't have it magically appear in .2 seconds
When Kass and Kam are at school and Keeghan is napping... life is boring!

Kennedy now tags: Jonathan, Kayla, Elliot and Emma Sage

And another one bites the dust...

Kassidy is down with the stomach flu today. *sigh* On top of that, Kennedy woke up with bad diarrhea (which if you follow her carepage you know is not totally random for her), BUT she also has a 101 temp and is feeling horrible. SO both my girls are crashed on our couches right now and Kameron is going stir crazy with no one to play with! He'll be leaving for school soon.

Keeghan seems to be feeling MUCH better today. My mom tried to feed him baby food last night though and he threw it back up. So far all he can keep down is breastmilk. Maybe we'll try food again today... we'll see.

I am feeling pretty much better, just wiped out. Anyway, pray my girls feel better soon!