Wednesday, April 30, 2008

It's Confirmed. . .

Th has strep. I took him to McDonald's for a milkshake while we waited for his prescription to be filled. He's miserable, and I can tell. I feel so badly for him! I hope the antibiotic kicks in quickly! Luckily for me, I picked up the boys' favorite movie: Mr. Rogers Goes to the Circus. He is resting quietly on the couch, watching this movie for the upteenth time!

Sick of School?

My headaches have gotten better, especially since Monday. I think it was a combination of stress and lack of sleep. I had to teach a science lesson on Monday, and I was reviewed and critiqued by my peers and my instructor. I had an awesome lesson planned, including going outside, except it rained. But not only rained, we had a tornado! So, I had to quickly make some adjustments to the lesson and pray that it would have the same effect.

I have not received my feedback forms from my instructor or my peers, nor have I received my grades. There are 2 grades, one for the lesson itself and one for the presentation of the lesson. I am nervous about both!

I also have finals beginning tomorrow. I have one tomorrow, two on Friday, and one on Monday. I have attempted to study but also have sick kids, and Th has been home from school the past 2 days. He is going to the doctor later this morning because he is complaining his throat hurts. I hope it's not strep, but a friend of mine who was at the birthday party last Saturday called me Monday night and said another child at the party tested positive for strep that day. So, it's better to be safe than sorry, especially because my sis and Kaylee are coming tomorrow, and my mom, dad, and brother are coming on Friday to visit through the weekend. My sis is staying until the 18th, so the kids are looking forward to that. We have some fun events planned, and hopefully the weather will cooperate. We may be going on a hot-air balloon ride this weekend if it's nice, and I can't wait!

Well, I have to get back to studying. I can't wait until next Monday when this semester is behind me. I have learned a ton of information from the classes I am taking, but they've been very time-consuming because of having to write and teach so many lesson plans. But, I guess that's what being a teacher is all about! :)

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Pain, Pain, Go Away!

I have had a headache for about a day and a half. I am going to begin journaling them so the next time I see my doctor, I can hopefully provide some helpful information in diagnosing and treating them.

It started about 1:30pm yesterday, and I had about 20 minutes before I had to start getting the kids ready for a birthday party, so I laid down in bed. I got up at 2pm with the boys, and by then my head was a full-fledged headache. I got the kids ready and we left for the party.

By 4pm, I could hardly stand to keep my eyes open because my head hurt so badly. But, the party wasn't over for another hour so I didn't have much of a choice. I drank a can of Coke thinking the caffeine would help, and munched on some veggies to keep from getting nauseous. By the time we left at 5pm, my headache consumed all of my thoughts. I had to drive 35 minutes across town to meet TJ since neither he nor the kids ate (the kids were too busy having fun at the party to care about eating, and TJ was coming home from his mom's). I also needed to go to Wal-Mart to pick up a few things for my science lesson on Monday.

We ate, although I didn't have much of an appetite, and thankfully TJ offered to take the boys to Wal-Mart so I could just drive back home with T.G. I did, and as soon as I got home at 7pm, I put her in the bath with me so I could rest my eyes. My head was still pounding, and Tylenol did not help. TJ came home with the boys and we got everyone ready for bed. I laid on the couch watching an old WWII movie (cheesy, I know, but I love to watch old war movies) and TJ did some stuff. We went to bed, but I couldn't sleep. I was so exhausted, but my head was hurting so badly I had difficulty getting my thoughts off my head and onto sleep. Finally I dozed off about midnight, but then awoke shortly thereafter by Ta. I dozed off again, and woke about 2am. I took more Tylenol and tried to get back to sleep. No luck. I got my pillow and laid on the couch (my bedroom was really hot for some reason!) thinking the cool air would help. It didn't. I succumbed to crying because of the pain and of course at that hour of the morning, negative thoughts filled my head. I considered waking TJ to tell him I was going to Urgent Care, but I didn't and about 3:30am I fell back to sleep. I slept on and off until about 7am when the boys woke me up.

My headache woke up with me.

I have been taking Tylenol every 4 hours but it's not helping. TJ was concerned earlier this afternoon but I assured him I am fine. I don't have slurred speech, numbness in my extremities, vision problems or anything like that. I just have a headache behind my left eye that radiates down into my teeth and jaw, and around to the back of my head. Hopefully I'll sleep better tonight and when I wake in the morning, the pain will be gone.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

In the words of Mimi. . .

Cancer stinks!

I haven't posted in a few days because, well, I just haven't felt like posting. Through blogging, I have found some really amazing people that I want to share about. My heartstrings have been pulled all week because a 13 year old boy, Cody, passed away due to cancer. Most of the blogs I follow are actually CarePages (CP), which are created to allow friends and family follow updates on people who have medical illnesses. All except one of the CPs I follow are kids with cancer; the one that is not is actually a family who just delivered a baby girl, Molly, with CDH. Molly only lived on this earth 19 minutes.

Some would say I am torturing myself by reading these stories and becoming so emotionally involved. BUT, it is an opportunity for me to pray for them, and also realize how truly blessed I am that my children are healthy. Plus, all of the families are an inspiration and wonderful example of strength and faith in the Lord, especially during times of trial. And the Lord knows I need all the examples I can get! :)

So, without further adieu, here are the blogs and CPs if you'd like to visit (which I encourage):

Dawn: Because I Said So- I've been following her blog since July of last year. She is just plain funny and I can so relate to many of her posts. Through her, I was introduced to:

Mimi, Julian's mom (Julian passed away in January from brain cancer at the age of 4). Her CP is JuliansWorld and her blog is Take My Life. . .Already Yours. Through her, I was introduced to:

Haley, a teen girl in her freshman year of college battling cancer. She amazes me with her wit, her charm, and her extraordinary strength and outlook on life. Haley's CP is HaleyWorld. Please visit her!

Also through Mimi, I found Renee Garcia's blog and CP. Now, I feel a strong connection to Renee and we have emailed back and forth a few times. She is from California and actually spent time at the base where TJ and I were stationed. She and her family now live in Tennessee. Her husband is in the Army (currently deployed for 1 year) and her and I are the same age. Like me, they have 4 children and they all begin with the letter 'T'. Just kidding! They all begin with the letter 'K'. Her 3 year old, Kennedy, was born with Down Syndrome and has Leukemia, along with a host of other health issues. Renee is a true blessing and encouragement, and ends each post with what or who she is thankful for. I plan to start doing that as it is a reminder of God's goodness to us all. Go visit Renee's blog, Life With My Special Ks and Kennedy's CP.

I found Cody through Renee and Mimi both, and only recently started following his page. As I mentioned above, he passed away earlier in the week. His funeral is today.

So you see, I sort of feel like my menial complaints are nothing compared to what each of the above families are living. I will take a flooded playroom, broken glasses for the umpteenth time, fighting among siblings, and dinnertime craziness over worrying about how much longer my child will be with me on this earth and experiencing chemo treatments, feeding tubes, and everything else that goes with caring for a child with cancer. All of the families (and so many more, too many more!) need our prayers and support and encouragement. Please stop by and let them know you are thinking of and praying for them. Try to imagine what they face each day. Most of the children are too young to fully understand what is happening to them, and they know medical terms that I myself have never heard of. These parents and families face stress that can't compare to any that we have ever known, and friends and words of encouragement, along with a strong faith in God, are what get them through these difficult days.

I am thankful for the many wonderful people I have "met" through blogging who help me to appreciate my family more.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Spring Fun

This is my favorite time of year! My town has a 10-day celebration of spring each year, and there are daily activities for people of all ages. The event begins with a parade through the streets of downtown, and we walked in the parade with the MOMS Club for the second year in a row last night. The kids had so much fun! There were some really funny moments involving issues with other moms/kids, but all-in-all everyone survived the approximately 1.5 mile walk down the parade route and made memories to last a lifetime. I look forward to enjoying some other events over the weekend and next week.

The beginning of spring also means the semester is coming to an end. I had my last day of teaching my student with autism (Adam) yesterday. It was sort of bitter-sweet. I am glad to see the close of the school year, but I had so much fun working with Adam and learned so much about myself as a teacher. It makes me excited about this final year beginning in the fall; I will be putting into practice all that I have been taught, and it will definitely be a challenge. I have a few more loose ends to finish up for my classes, and I have to teach a science lesson on the 28th, but I am looking forward to it. Then finals begin and I am looking forward to getting those over with!

I had a doctor's appointment yesterday and scheduled my ultrasound for next month. I am still not sure if we'll find out what we're having; I have a month to decide. I just found out that a friend of mine in the MOMS Club who is pregnant (due in early September) is having another girl- that's exciting for her as she will have 4 girls! Our families spend time together outside of the Club, so it's fun being pregnant at the same time because our kids will grow up together.

Th has his first baseball game tomorrow. He is excited, but even more excited for when my parents and sister come in a couple of weeks so they can watch him play. I guess along with the nice weather comes a busier time in our lives, but it's a good busy where we are able to be outside enjoying the weather and each other's company. Isn't that what life is all about?

I wrote the above while I had a few minutes before class started this morning. When I got home, the mail had already been delivered. Guess what arrived today? A letter from the Montessori school detailing a Kindergarten Transition Night that is planned at the school next week! We haven't received an acceptance letter yet so I called the school to find out if this meant Th was accepted, and the secretary said she was told to mail the letters out to all incoming kindergarten students! Yeah!! What a blessing!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

It's been. . .

One of those days.

I lead a bible study with friends of mine from the MOMS Club. Now, I don’t believe in coincidence (I believe everything happens for a reason) but every time I have bible study, my kids seem to act worse on these particular days. I don’t really know why- maybe it’s because people are coming over and they think they can get away with more, or if it’s Satan trying to discourage me from holding it, or what. But, whatever the reason, today has been no exception.

I woke up early so I could straighten up a bit. I had planned to do it last night before bed but I was too tired. Also, I had to mop my kitchen floor because I spilt a full cup of milk last night at supper (yes, it was me who spilt it!). We obviously cleaned up the liquid but the sticky mess needed to be mopped up. I figured I’d wait until morning after letting the dogs outside. So, I did my chores before showering and got myself ready. Then I dressed and fed T.G. and got everyone loaded up in the van. We had some errands to run before taking Th. to preschool.

The morning started off okay with the exception of a few fits from one of my children (who will remain anonymous) for various reasons, but I felt good because of all I had accomplished in a few short hours. I got home and shortly thereafter my friends begin to arrive. One has a boy T.G.’s age, and another has 3 boys ages 5 ½, 4, and 2 ½ (the youngest 2 were with her). One of my children simply would not go play. S/he refused, and only wanted to stare at me and get into things. I had to go talk to her/him in the bathroom twice before s/he finally agreed to go upstairs and play with the other kids. All seemed okay; I heard laughing and kids playing, and I continued with the bible study. Until. . .

I saw water start dripping from the seal on our glass front door. I grabbed a towel and tried to determine what was going on, figuring the seal must be loose and the water was coming in from the rain we had yesterday. No big deal. I continued with the bible study. Except the water kept coming, even after 5 minutes or so. My friend walked over to the door with me to look, and she asked me questions about my pipes and the locations of the bathrooms. No, the bathroom is on the other side of the house. I doubt the pipes go across the floor. It must be from the porch roof or something. I don’t know; I’ll have TJ look at it tonight. She suggested we walk upstairs just to be sure.

Good idea, but boy, I wish I’d done it sooner! My caring, compassionate child was trying to make sure the hermit crab had enough water to drink. The others that were upstairs thought it would be funny to keep pouring the water in the tank, so much so that an area approximately 6ft by 4ft was soaked!

My friend, who’s children were also involved, just so happened to have a carpet cleaner in her van that she used at her parent’s house over the weekend. Remember I said I don’t believe in coincidences? The Lord knew this was going to happen today so He allowed her to be prepared. What a blessing! I still had to make the dreaded phone call to TJ to inform of what had occurred, and I had to rescue the drowning hermit crab, which TJ wasn’t too happy about (without thinking, I poured the water down the drain in the bathroom sink- and rocks and pieces of sponge went down it- oops!) So he had to come home and vacuum the carpet and repair the drain.

I did not punish my child as s/he honestly did not see the error of her/his ways. This child was merely trying to replenish the crab’s water, and her/his good idea just turned bad in the company of others (I’m not blaming them, either. It was a group effort!) All were wrong for not getting an adult and allowing the water-massacre to continue, but I’m over it and I think TJ is too. Of course, the carpet is still sopping wet and we’ll have to continue to vacuum it, but it made for a good story and an even better lesson: when expecting company, put the crab away!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Pictures I promised. . .

Here are some pictures from our lives the past few months.

Ta hitting the pinata at his birthday party

Th singing in the church's Pee-Wee Club

T.G. being cute

Ta riding on his birthday digger

Visiting our local nursing home

Th, Kaylee, T.G. on Easter

Ta and his preschool friends

Ta painting at a children's art place

T.G. at the art place

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I registered for the fall semester today. I will be taking 6 classes and student-teaching 2 mornings per week. The following spring, I will student-teach full-time. I am still in shock that I am finally at this point in my school career. It seems as if I have been going to school forever, and I really have. Of course I was in school as a child, and even after I graduated high school and entered into the Air Force, I still continued to take classes whenever I had the opportunity. It took me 7 years to complete an Associates Degree, and when I graduate next May, it will have taken me an additional 5 years to complete my Bachelor's. Still, it will be worth the countless hours spent typing away at this computer, writing papers, preparing presentations, planning lessons, and soon, grading papers. I can't wait to put into practice next fall all that I have learned. I will actually be in a classroom with students with special needs, developing relationships with them, fully responsible for their learning success. This is what I have been working towards for the last 11 years.

Last week, my dream was almost put on hold for a year. I received an email from my advisor. She wanted to meet with me because she just found out I was pregnant. She didn't think I would able to complete the semester since I am due in the middle of it. My immediate reaction was panic- the university has the classes arranged at a certain time. If I don't take them this fall, I have to wait until next fall, postponing my plans for an entire year. I immediately phoned TJ to read him the email. He got angry, but he also reassured me that even if I wasn't able to take classes, life wouldn't be so bad. "Oh really," I asked him. "What would I do for a whole year?" His answer: just be a mom and relax! He knows I don't know how to just "be a mom" as I have been going to school since before having kids. The thought sounds wonderful, and I can't wait to do that, but I have been working so hard and for so long that I just want to finish school.

So this morning was my meeting with my advisor and the director of the field placements. I had to plead my case (I'm not a first-time mom; I've had other children while taking classes at XXX university; I've only missed 1 day for maternity leave; I'm a strong student; I can plan ahead to complete assignments on-time; as long as the professor is flexible and willing to work with me, I can do this!) I had to leave the room as they deliberated, and the jury came back with an "okay, but you have to keep us updated as far as health issues and if something comes up, you may have to postpone until next year. Plus, you need to notify your instructors before the beginning of the semester so they are aware of the situation and can make the necessary arrangements." I am fine with that, but at the same time, I don't want any special treatment.

Thankfully one of my professors from this semester will be my supervisor in the school and I'll have 2 of the 6 classes with her next fall. I just love her! She reminds me of one of TJ's stepsisters as far as looks goes, and at the beginning of the semester, I would just stare at her- they could be twins! Not only that, but she is originally from Long Island like they are, so they have a similar accent. When I told her what happened last week, she was appalled and wanted to come to the meeting with me today. I told her I would wait to see what happened before I had her get truly involved, and so as it is, it all worked out.

TJ is fighting mad about the whole situation. He doesn't believe the school personnel have any business doing what they did, but it all worked out so I am just going to drop it. I am upset, too, but only because of the way things were handled. TJ wants to go to HR and report them for discrimination. I just prayed about it over the last week and the Lord answered my prayer. I only have 3 weeks left in this semester, and then 8 weeks to enjoy the summer before hitting the books again. As in all things, "let God be God." It will all work out for the best, even if it's not exactly how I planned it.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

All's Well

We secured childcare for Th and T.G. Sunday night. Nothing like waiting 'til the last minute! It was to the point we were either going to the hospital as a family or either TJ or myself was going to stay home. Thankfully we found someone willing to come over at 5:30AM to be with the others.

Ta made it through surgery fine. He was very scared and cried a couple of times while waiting, but thankfully he fell asleep for a bit and when he woke, he was given Versed to calm his nerves so he wouldn't cry when the nurse took him from us. It definitely helped to lessen his fears and worked as it was supposed to. The procedure itself lasted about 20 minutes, allowing TJ and I an oppportunity to use the potty and get some coffee before going back to meet with the doctor. Ta had fluid in both ears (as suspected) and in his right ear, the fluid was really thick mucus (but not infected). In the left ear, it was thinner and clearer. The doctor believes his right ear was in the process of becoming infected, but regardless he suctioned out the fluid when he inserted the tubes. Ta still seems to be having some trouble with his hearing, but hopefully as he recovers, his hearing will return to normal. He goes back for another hearing test on May 6.

Our weekend at the Wilds was great. The kids enjoyed it so much even though it rained most of the day Saturday. However, the rain didn't stop us and we had fun just being a family. The challenge of the entire weekend was handling cranky kids from lack of sleep. There is so much to do there that we are up early and stay up late each day. Plus, being away from home made it more difficult to get a "good" night's sleep. The next family camp is Labor Day, but that is too close to my due date, so we won't be back until next spring. TJ picked up a registration form already so I suppose he wants to go back! :)

It was awesome to spend time with TJ's grandparents, as well. We haven't seen them in about a year, and the kids enjoyed being with them and they enjoyed being with the kids. The preaching was wonderful and I pray I am able to apply what I've learned. I will post pictures later (I know I've said that before, but I really will try!) I have some school work to finish up and all 3 kids are home today because of spring break.

Friday, April 4, 2008

A "Wild" Weekend

We are headed to the Wilds this afternoon. My kids are so excited they can hardly stand it. I am excited for them, similar to how I feel at Christmas. I just hope they aren't disappointed.

Poor Ta is worried about his surgery on Monday. We talked a lot last night before bed about it. He is dreading it, and I hate that I can't calm his fears. I'm not really sure what he's afraid of, but I do know I am scared, too. I explained to him that he would have some medicine so he'd go to sleep, and while he was sleeping, the doctor would look in his ears and put in new tubes to help him hear better. When he woke up, we'd be there with him and the nurse would bring him juice and a snack. He liked the juice and snack part, but that was it. He asked if he could go to sleep on my lap, and I felt my heart crush a bit as I answered no. Of course then fear and doubt set in, and my mind wondered to all the horrible thoughts of what if he didn't wake up, what if this is our last weekend together, what if . . . I am getting teary-eyed as I type just thinking those awful things.

I had a bad day with my kids yesterday. I lost my patience self-control several times, and I regret it so much. I just need to focus on Phil. 4:8, so that will be my goal for the weekend. There is so much going on right now in my life (Ta's surgery, childcare for the other 2 on Monday, a situation at school) that is out of my hands, and I am having difficulty letting God be God. I'm trying, but it's so hard. . . doubt, fear, worry, anger all fill my mind. Uggh! "Be still, and know that I am God." (Psalm 46:10)

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I should be. . .

  • studying.
    - I have a test tomorrow in one of my classes, and other than making flash cards to help me remember the material, I haven't studied.
  • writing social studies lesson plans.
    -I am writing a unit lesson plan on candy. I have to develop and write up 8 lessons to include in the unit. I chose 5th grade, so I have to meet U.S. history standards (my favorite subject!) and have spent countless hours scouring WWII exhibits at the Smithsonian's online exhibit, watching file footage of Pearl Harbor, listening to Presidential radio addresses, and researching WWII newspapers, advertisements, and other government documents. My problem? I find the material fascinating and want to include too much in the lesson. I am having difficulty deciding what to use and what to ditch (as I think it's all important).
  • researching past candy advertisements.
    -one of my lessons is on advertisements. I want to compare ads of today to those 50 and 100 years ago. Then the kids will invent their own candy and create an ad to market their product.
  • writing science lesson plans.
    -I have to write a lesson to teach for my final exam in the class. I already know what I want to do, I just have to put it on paper.
  • preparing dinner for tomorrow.
    -We go to church on Wednesday nights and I hate feeling rushed. I like to prepare easy meals or have complicated meals ready-to-go into the oven.

Instead, I am writing here and thinking about how tired I am. I need to get myself motivated to action. . .

Okay, now I'm ready to work! Have a great night!