Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Still there

So, all the ITs, the tangerine size, the golfball size, and the hey, I have no match on the other side size are all the same size as 3 months ago. Since they aren't going away, but are staying the same size, Dr. Erika with a "k" is 99% sure we're ok, but still wants to look again in 3 more months. Will do, I say, and then if the one with no match is still there, it will become a dimple in my flesh (as if I don't have enough of those already).

Meanwhile, I've started a new venture, am getting ready for a super exciting family vacation, and am seriously enjoying the girls new school and all the activities/playdates/Parents Night Out (whut, whut??!!) and living life to the fullest!

Thanks to all for continued prayer and we'll know more just in time for Santa-I am making a request for no lumps of any kind to be left in my stocking, I have enough:)

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Boob Update

Thank you for all the continued prayers concerning the lump I have affectionately labeled IT. I don't know if I even posted about the last checkup, 3 months ago, where IT had spawned little IT's more fibrous in nature than the original IT. So, tomorrow is the 3 month checkup to hopefully make a decision as to how to handle all these IT's. If you say that fast, it sounds like zits...I digress. I don't have an appointment time, they are going to randomly call me when she's in between slicing other people open, I hope she uses a good disinfectant soap.

My tummy's a bit in knots, so I hope that's like stage fright and means all will be peachy king.

Will post results after I'm home from the rub down rendezvous...

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Microwave Oven Light

I'm crabby for no ostensible reason this evening, except for the stress of a new school year starting and one of our mortgage payments not getting processed due to the greed of another exec at TB&W. But that's life. Today a friend of mine facebooked how much she missed her dad as today would have been another birthday for him. That's real life, important life.

My crabbiness rarely stays inside me very well. Usually little mini crabs creep out even though as I see a leg poking out and try to crush it, it somehow hurries to the point of no turning back and shapow, its out there ready for hot butter sauce, a plastic bib with a picture of a lobster on it, and a wet chin.
So after I picked shell shrapnel off my favorite chin and cleaned him up with the wetnap, I walked into the dark kitchen to put a cup into the dishwasher. I couldn't see and to avoid yet another bruising, since I always seem to run into the stove handle, I Helen Kellered my way to the microwave oven light. I thought it had one, wasn't sure, thought I was going to defrost whatever the large children had splattered in there today, when bam-there was light. And then a memory. A memory so clear that I was taken somewhere so far away in space and time and yet nowhere.
Several memories actually. Of that little kitchen light. My Grandma Nina (pronounced like nine) would always leave that welcome light on above her sink in case we had to brave the stairwell for a midnight porcelain rendezvous. My Grandma Cade would also leave some kind of "go towards the light" shine, but I think hers was to catch the pre-dawn snackers. There was a family my brother, sister, and I stayed with in Oklahoma while our parents went on a retreat. The dad was the pastor of the Church of Christ in town and I remember they had a kum-buy-ya guide "So ya'll can git a drink if ya git thirsty".
How does that happen? How does one touch of a button transport you to light bulb heaven?
Will my legacy have touches, smells, and sensations that brings them to say "Hi Grandma, I miss you."?
Not if these mini crabs keep escaping. Maybe I'll nuke em in the micrawave and we'll have patata salad and biskits with em tamaraw.

That's important life. Legacies that bring warm fuzzies. And to Grandma Chapman, this is Susie. Thank you for leaving me your quick to laugh, bald, toothless, garage saling on a three wheeled bike, bacon frying legacy. My times with you and your kitchen light were priceless. I miss you.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Holy Hunch

Today we made it to bible study a little more on time, but still the last one there. I love how each bible study group has a different vibe to it. Some laugh more, some cry more, some define the term "pregnant pause", some resist being personal, others have "tmi" coming out their gills. This "come when you can" group on forgiveness is in the middle. Definitely more serious than some, but thanks to the leader, kept struggling along to embrace the concept of mercy today. So, when asked the question how do you know when to start to trust someone or reconcile with them and what if that can never happen, the lady 2 chairs down from me blurts out "You gotta use your Holy Hunch!". Ok. Hold the phone. Did she just say Holy Hunch? I knew what she meant...instinct, heeby geebies, toxic people that can't be trusted until proven otherwise-trust me, I could write the book on what that could look like, now I have a chapter title. Instead of nodding my head and ignoring this fantabulous slogan I almost blew spit at the lady across from me. I was going to lose it. I looked at everyone else in the group for some kind of laughing confirmation, I was completely denied of that satisfaction. Holy Hunch. I crossed my legs. I smilingly wrote H-squared in my book. I contemplated my adulthood at the moment. I thought of funerals. Nothing worked. I kept thinking of Crunch-n-Munch. Eat some Crunch-n-Munch while you ponder your Holy Hunch. That would be my jingle for the awkwardness of composing myself in this group of learning to forgive hot mamas. Do they even make Crunch-n-Munch anymore? I'll have to check at my 80th trip to Wal-Mart. I am struggling with the harmony though, suggestions welcome...

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Come When You Can

I signed up for the "come when you can" summer bible study on forgiveness. I missed the first one due to summer camp schedules and showed up 30 minutes late to today's. I almost didn't go...almost, then C says mom, let's go check it out. That was brave considering the last time she went to a "come when you can", she ended up hiding under a table crying, and eating an undetermined amount of cheese slices to coax her out....good times.

So, we show up, all 4 of us and I didn't want to go in. My hair is icky, I smell from switching to non anti-perspirant deodorant, and I've been with kids non stop for 12 days and counting. Not a good time to be late and have all 24 eyes glance at me politely as they move their chairs to the side to make way for the late one.

The leader asked someone to read the scripture, got me a book, and a slew of pencils for some kind of unknown marking system to show the importance of who was talking when. It was confusing, the conversation was not.

The author was talking about how Joseph, after 22 years, had forgiven his brothers for selling him into slavery. I've never been sold into anything, except maybe Amway, and my mom used to say she would sell me for a barrel of monkeys and shoot the monkeys, and I remember my dad couldn't wait for me to go to college/sell me into college so my room could be turned into an office. I showed him, I went to college and one-upped him, I got married. Had he not moved and divorced my mom, I guess he would have had his office.

I don't know, this whole idea of forgiveness is tough. Just when I think I have forgiven the people that have hurt me, something will happen to bring up all those unwanted and confusing feelings. Joseph wept. He wept so loud they called it wailing and said the people in the city could hear him. I know that cry.

What I don't know is how to begin to trust those that I have forgiven. Joseph ended up not only trusting, but taking care of his brothers and their families. How did that happen? He focused on the Healer. The One that mends unmendable fences. What I love and yet find so frustrating at the same time, is that it took 22 years. It was a process, both a figurative and literal journey.

A polite chick with great hair and a nice tan brought up the fact that forgiveness does not always equal reconciliation. That's where I'm stuck. I want the reconciliation and if you could be so kind as to give it to me yesterday, that would be great. I want the good times. The forgiveness is on me, that's my part. In our little family, when someone offends the other we apologize and the injured party says I forgive you. When decades of dysfunction and hidden agendas and lies and hurt feelings come to play, the bases are loaded but it seems everyone that comes to bat strikes out. I am tired of striking out. I want to call a tie, shake hands, and have a beverage. I'm sure Joseph wanted that as well, but God had more in store for him. So instead of reconciliation, I am going to focus on restoration. A restoration of my soul focusing on the Healing one that doesn't want me to only "come when I can", but wants me to come all the time, first and always.

Susan wept.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bye-Bye 2nd & 3rd grade!!!




This post is a bit behind, but since the sun is finally shining and summer is getting upon us I want to make sure we have recollections of the last school year!
This was our family's first experience in a brand new charter school, Providence Hall in Herriman, Ut (the girls told me to be sure to put the state so we remembered where we live:).
With the charter school experience came uniforms and the IB curriculum. This year was a pivotal year for both, but C especially, who flourished under the direction of Miss Collett! R experienced an attachment to Miss Bevans and a profound sadness at the end of the year that only a Little Mermaid summer acting camp could counter!
The following are some highlights....
Favorite school project: Tree Art & Plays
Favorite subjects:
C-Writing, Math, Art
R-Math
Least favorite activity/subject: Centers because they're boring...
Favorite pals:
C-Megan & Mary
R-Laura & Abby
New things they tried:
C-Hip-Hop!
R-Ears Pierced!
Things they liked to eat this year:
C-bananas & pizza
R-Smarties
Favorite activity:
C-Ice Cream Party
R-Playdates
One thing they both are looking forward to this summer-Camp Wilson!!!
8 more weeks and we'll be experiencing the joys of 3rd & 4th grades!








Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Dinner Unserved & Already Ruined

Since I have backed off a lot of activity, and when I say activity-I mean work....I have had more time at home to be more overwhelmed by never ending laundry and to try to actually cook dinner-HA! Am I the only one that preps for a meal knowing full well that the one preparing (me) is the only one that will enjoy the tasty morsels that have taken 3 trips to the grocery store (one of them located in Nevada) to prepare for? I know my Big Game will most likely have to make a Carl's Jr run and/or sport an emergency nacho after nodding over how its not the worst thing he's eaten. Why then am I still preparing it? I am pmsing for one and feeling orinery. Yet I am at odds with how much energy I'm putting into it when I am pretty sure I know the end result. So, if anyone wants rice noodles, water chestnuts, brocoli, carrot shreds with sesame steak sauteed and served with a side of scrumptious Oriental salad let me know I'll save you some-I'm sure there will be PLENTY of leftovers (insert pix of horns holding up my halo here):)

Monday, May 18, 2009

Faith & Stats

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a surgeon. I met Erika with a K that's a surgeon today and she is the only surgeon I have ever met that has made me have a little nag of regret in not moving forward with that little dream of mine. I watched her eyes light up as I rotated the baby on my chest from one breast to the other as she examined "the mass". Yes, you did read that right, the baby had to go with me. I had 4 finely laid out, make any football coach proud, game plans of who was to help me and because Erika with a K is a surgeon, her schedule got all out of whack and she gave me a 30 minute window earlier than expected to race down a construction ridden freeway, throw the baby in the stroller, and wheel us in to her room only for her to be greeted by screams from a 13 month old frightened baby girl. E's only experience with doctors is apparently highly associated with the pain of needles and the only thing that would calm her was me holding her against my chest in the always lovely, open in the front, paper gown. Good times.

Now to the news. Thank God, the prolactin levels are normal!!! That means pituitary gland issue is not the cause of breast leakage. When asked what causes it, she said it just happens and may happen my whole life. Well, ok then onto "the mass". It's still there, but it has shrunk half a centimeter in length and width. According to Erika with a K, cancer doesn't usually shrink. She looked at me smiling and said your stats look good. I said how good, what are my options, and what can I do to help my body not to rebel against me? She said if I had come in for a breast exam today that she probably would not have found it and/or have been concerned with it since it matches the fibro cystic tissue in my other breast. She said, however, it is still there, but shrinking is good and although the only way to know for sure that it isn't cancerous is to take it out and have the pathologist examine it, that I am looking at .5% of it being cancerous!!! That is crazy good news!! Now to the options, they are the same as before. Breast MRI, yank it out, or wait. We are deciding to wait for one more month and have her look at the same day of the next cycle, if its bigger, we get it out for sure, if it isn't we evaluate then just in time for summer fun:)
As far as what I can do...for the pain, drop caffeine-ouch-that may have to have a cost analysis ran on it, I'm not sure. As for the fibrous tissue, its here to stay, weight loss may affect it a little, but until menopause its gonna be a lumpy ride. Again, good times.

For some reason as I heard her talk stats and percentages, all I could think was yes-- I am so grateful and part of me is looking to her for that guarantee that all will be ok. That's where stats step off and faith comes in. My guarantee is not in her or tests or machines, its in Him and I know that, but knowing and really knowing and feeling it don't always happen together. I like Erika with a K that felt me up with a screaming baby on my chest and looked at me when I apologized and said "This is Life". I think we're a great patient/surgeon...faith/stats team and yes, this is life and I don't want to miss a beat as I buckle up for the next fun ride--dermatologist vs. suspicious mole...good times!

Thank you for continued prayer as we watch "the mass" and I hope to report next month that the only mass to be found is down the street at St. Mary's!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Tiny Dancer

video

#1 did awesome at her competition today and she was so excited she did the somersault on the hard gym floor correctly that she couldn't wait to put the prize winning T-shirt on! I am so proud of her for sticking with this hip hop thing that 3 months ago, a week after I bought the competition costume, she begged with pleading eyes and alligator tears, to quit. How far she's come...she's still quitting, but there's definitely something said for sticking it out.

As we waited for her group to perform, we were watching #3 watch the other performers and I had to share our tiny dancer's performance on the stroller!

How did I get so lucky to have such an awesome family...sigh...

Thursday, May 14, 2009

The Note

Today I wrote a note on pretty stationery with my initial on it and sealed it with a pretty sticker. A normal thing to say thank you, to say hey-I've been thinking about you, to say I love you. A not so normal thing to drop off to a surgeon who isn't returning calls to say hey chica, I'd like to know if my blood levels are normal prior to the next appt to make sure we aren't wasting any time and thanks for the rub down! Definitely not normal, but less than 3 hours Erika with a K's name showed up on my caller id and her friendly receptionist who God Bless Her pretended that we hadn't talked everyday for the past 2 weeks in my pestering to get that pertinent info, called to say oh the dr had a great idea, she actually looked at the old blood work that didn't measure prolactin levels and wow, wouldn't it be nice to know what those are prior to your next appt, which happens to be Monday? Oh my, what an idea!!
So, all sarcasm aside, I get to go get poked again to get that prolactin level and my "special visitor" arrived today so I will be seeing the surgeon Monday afternoon to have her re-assess "the mass" and see if it's smaller, same or bigger. Let the good times roll! Thanks for continued prayer:)!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Half My Life

I have officially been with my Big Game for half my life. We met in Math Anal our Junior year of high school and we didn't have our first date until prom of our Senior year (go Bulldogs) where we joined Ang and Aaron for a double date at Bobby McGee's, the dance, Ramona Bowl for some chatting and game playing, and Denny's for a Grand Slam. We had our first kiss propped up on his moms Honda Accord and destiny took over.
Seventeen years....his dimples, his wavy hair, his brains, and the way he looked in a suit were the things that got me right from the start. That following Monday he gave me his letterman jacket to wear which I proudly sported in the 90 degree heat for the last month of school leading to graduation. When you are 17 how do you know what or who you will love? I just knew. I knew he would never hurt me, at least not on purpose. I knew he could fix anything. I knew he was a hard worker and very smart. Most of all, I knew he loved me, even when I couldn't or wouldn't love myself.
Half your life with the same person is a HUGE deal, especially in a world of divorce, in a time of both of us being so young. We've always seemed to have had a shield of protection around us. We've grown up together, have the same memories, and even when it seems things aren't fantastic, one of us will usually make the other laugh....17 years and still laughing...half my lifetime and yet so much more to look forward to...
Loving you always BG...
Flame

MDM (Mother's Day Memories)




Has anyone seen my slinky? stated by the 9 year old...





I don't wanna wear my tennis shoes to golf!!! also stated by the 9 year old...





Can I have another piece of chocolate? 7 year old dreaming aloud....





Blah, blah, per, blah, blah, poo! 1 year old asking for a diaper...dare we say genius?





At least I didn't have to fold laundry!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Mary and the Mass

The mammo got moved up to yesterday afternoon. After volunteering at school, a trip to Target, and lunch with a friend, I ended up going alone and reading several delightful articles in the magazine Allure. The squishing itself was not alluring, but meeting the intake nurse, Mary, was an experience I won't soon forget. She basically balked at any concern I had and at the end of her exam told me to stand up, place my arms at my side, lift my left arm to touch my right elbow, and said feel that? I said yes, that's my elbow..to which she replied, that's a lump. She may as well had called me an idiot and kicked me to the curb and I so wanted to pull out the line from that Office movie and say, "Sounds like somebody's gotta case of the Mondays..." But it was Tuesday and she didn't look like she watched anything without Matlock in it.

So, after recovering from that, the radiologist told me everything looked normal-no pre-cancerous calcium deposits to be seen-Praise God!!
When I spoke to the surgeon's assistant today, she said THE MASS (she really did emphasize it like that, it was quite disturbing, like something Quentin Tarrantino would have a character say...I digress) could not be seen on imaging. That is what we expected and even though it can't be seen doesn't mean it's not there, so we will be scheduling another consult in a couple weeks to see how to proceed.

I can't tell you how many emails, phone calls, texts, hyeroglyphics (sp?) of encouragement I have received since I put the 911 out there. Thank you to each and every one of you for showing you care and for praying. There are so many people worse off than me and its humbling to be loved so openly. I asked a friend today, what would happen if we rallied in prayer for each other like this all of the time, even when no crisis is hiding in the wings? Her response was that would be totally awesome! I agree and hope that we can practice that together.

Be well and thanks for continuing in prayer:)!!

Happy Familyversary!

One year ago today we officially became a family of 5!!! James and I met E for the first time in a tiny hotel room in Texas and man, this year has crawled and flown by all at the same time! So, today in honor of 4 becoming 5, E decided to take 3 steps towards me without holding on to anything and before I could grab any sort of camera, she sat down! Soon enough she'll be racing around on those cute chubs of hers!

To the ones I hold the tightest...J, C, R & E, I love you more than words can say and have embraced this past year with all its ups, downs, and round abouts! To my girls especially, thank you for giving your dad and I such joy and causing us to grow so much within ourselves and for keeping us on our toes and knees all at the same time! You three are sisters for life and we never want you to forget that.

Happy Familyversary-the Nelson fam rocks!

Monday, May 4, 2009

Today I met Erika

I know a lot of Erika's. I went to high school with one, college with one, and worked my first post-college job with one. Today I met another one and she's a mom and happens to be a breast surgeon. How does one become a breast surgeon with a name like Erika spelled with a k? I don't know, but man am I glad it was her small framed blue eyed confidence that greeted me in my paper thin, hey I gotta boob lump, and why is everything in the waiting room referring to cancer or masectomy's state this afternoon.
After doing an exam and asking a bunch of questions, this is what Erika said...

First, there's a lump. It's measuring 2.5 X 1.5 cm and she sent me home with a handy dandy diagram of its placement.
Second, she's 98-99% sure that lump SHOULD be cancer free. It is not grainy. It is not like a hard pea or bee shape. It seemed to move around and go away when pushed on.
Third, she doesn't want to take any chances with that 1 to 2%, so she offered several scenarios.

I can wait 3 months and see if it changes sizes. I can come back at a different time in my cycle in a couple weeks and see if it changes sizes. I can have a breast MRI which usually causes mass panic and chaos in patients like me due to the false positives it creates which cause more rollercoaster biopsy's to take place. She can not take a biopsy of this current lump due to its peek-a-boo instinct and it would be a "blind biopsy". I can have her surgically remove it or leave it in and watch it.

This is the action plan we're going with...I'm going to get the previously scheduled mammo to see if it shows anything, but usually fibro cystic tissue looks like bone on ultrasounds and mammos, which is why they didn't see anything in the already done ultrasound. Then why am I getting the test obviously created by a man that likes to squish things? Because she is looking for calcium deposits that could be a sign of pre-cancerous cells.
If mammo shows nothing, I go on day 5 of next cycle for another exam. We evaluate findings and if has not shrunk or gone away, she will be taking it out.

In addition, she is checking the last round of blood work that my general dr did to see if he did a prolactin test. Apparently, all this leakage I've had for the last 6 years post breast feeding days that I have announced hilariously that I could feed a 3rd world country on one side is not ok. I have talked each year with my obgyn about it and never had them concerned...this is why I am embracing this Erika. So, there's a possibility that I could have a USUALLY benign tumor on my pituitary gland (btw-thats located in the brain) that could be causing this wow, my shirt was dry until I bent over, effect. I am hoping it also causes a big ass, thick thighs, and a loud mouth!

It seems I am learning a couple huge life lessons. First, I am not to be taking anything for granted and the passion that I feel to meet God on my closet floor while in crisis needs to be something I do daily. Second, my measure of what is good and bad is no longer as black and white as it was last Monday. Its all different shades of grey now. Hey, you have a lump and cysts. Now your cysts are good, still have a lump. Think the lump could be nothing, but cancer isn't predictable, here's your choices. Oh, by the way, may have a tumor in your brain, no need to panic since its usually benign. See what I mean? Good, bad, ugly, and the only constant is Him.

I will post more on this after mammo results come in. As always, thanks for continued love, support, and prayers!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Snap, Crackle, Pop

The Rice Krispy theory has paid off!!! The pap came back normal...cysts be gone, apparently they were they to ward off evil-who knows? Praise GOD!!! I plan on taking a deep breathe and possibly getting a mani/pedi because we all know nothing says hey the cysts are good and I have a lump that's getting checked out better than nail polish!

Have a great weekend and thanks for continued prayers!

Pre-Mammo Cancellation

The surgeon's office just called to say they had a cancellation, but I can't get my mammo done prior to the appt. Something told me to go, take the appt, have her evaluate the ultrasound and what she feels. So, Monday, 12:45pm mst-consult with breast surgeon..

Thanks for praying! I'll post what I find out-do your exams ladies!!!

Dates

First, I want to thank all of you that have become available to walk with me through this! In the midst of all of our busy lives and swine flue outbreaks it never ceases to amaze me that when the chips are down for another, someone steps in to fill the gap. My gap is overflowing with the love I am feeling from each and every one of you...thank you!

So, the drs office called this am and they scheduled the diagnostic mammo for Thursday, May 7th at 10am MST. I want them to see nothing except a big giant boob. I am rebuking anything else and I am asking that you do the same!

After that lovely torture, I am persistently pestering the breast surgeon to move up my appt from the current time of May 27th at 10am MST. 26 days from today-Happy Freaking May Day??!! I think not, hence the pestering...

Nothing back on the pap, again, those little cysts need to be Rice Krispies that snap, crackle, pop their way back to wherever they came from!

I am putting the stinkin' time zones for the dates because I want to be specific in prayer and although He knows the outcome, He knows the tornado of emotions I'm in now, He also wants us to come to Him and know that He is God. I'm here, please join me and wake me when this ride is over:)

Love yourself today-be well!

S

Lumps and Bumps

I am a huge advocate of going to the yearly female appt...up until now, when they don't go smoothly. As I was sticking my cold toes into the oven mitts the obgyn hilariously keeps over the stirrups, I felt this weird calm. Even my blood pressure was normal, which NEVER happens at the drs office. It was as if I wasn't even there...maybe I wasn't. When a dr looks at you and says, "Can you feel that?" I can't describe what goes through your mind. I of course said no and then she led me to it. I have lumps and bumps all the time. I am a classic fibrous tissue boob chick and never know when to panic...until now. So, off to St. Mark's for the ultrasound and nothing is to be found, which I thought was a good thing, but apparently we aren't out of it yet. So, as I journey through a mammogram and a breast surgeon consult I ask you to pray with me. Pray that I am not paralyzed by fear. Pray that I have complete healing (both mental and physical). Pray that I remember I serve an awesome God who loves me.
If you are local and see me, I might need a hug. I'm vulnerable, I'm out there and not really loving it (Seinfeld fans insert laughter here). And if you haven't been to your "yearly"...please go. I love you sisters and we need to take care of ourselves, for each other and our families!

Will post more when I know something...this part is the part when I usually ask to get off the roller coaster, but if I have to stay on, thanks for holding my hand and riding with me as I scream through it...pray, pray, pray...!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Random Pix
















I attacked James' cell phone this afternoon and here's some pulitzer prize winning pix courtesy of the fine folks of Blackberry and Verizon:) Enjoy the red eye...:)





Friday, April 24, 2009

Martha, there's a storm a brewin'

Today it was 80 degrees and as I watched our empty box of Corona Light get pushed by gale force winds down our street (and was appalled and devilishly grinning at what our ever ultra conservative neighbors might think), I hear my handsome hubby shout out "Martha, there's a storm a brewin'!". I'm not Martha, but this is a generational phrase that started on the plains of Oklahoma when our little family of 5 made up the entire population and as I watched the tumbleweeds blow by and heard the cows mooing, my dad's booming voice would yell to anyone listening, "Martha, there's a storm a brewin'".

So as I type at 4am during another night of restless sleep, I know that this is more than a metaphor. I feel change on the horizon. I am walking through changes with the girls as they are developing and growing. I looked at #2 today and her once too long pants are now highwaters and I can't believe how much she looks like her dad. I had the first of many "talks" with #1 last weekend, talk about a storm a brewin'. Thank goodness for the American Girl books that act as a guideline when I begin to stammer.

We survived our month of IEP's. Two, 3 hour sessions and I did not come out unscathed. I am jaded to the system and don't understand the agenda of schools and the laws in place to service these kids. I can't change the world, but I can empower my children and that is one thing I am holding on to. I hope she will know I fought for her when they said no and that paid off to the point that we are where we are today. Mediocre is not an option and I definitely think that when they say Free and Appropriate Public Education, they should substitute Appropriate with Mediocre. I looked at the principal and told him several times that I am raising EXCEPTIONAL children and am looking for partnership in doing so. I am not saying I am the Hitler of homework or some fascist ruler at home. I am saying that I want my kids to know their inner power and strength and recognize that it comes from God and that He has planted dreams within them that are waiting to emerge and it is my job to protect those spirits, protect those dreams, until one day they emerge from their cocoon to become the beautiful, exceptionally colored butterfly's that they're intended to be. Part of protecting them is knowing when to fight and knowing when to concede, especially in the world of IEP's and working within a flawed system. So, I conceded and as I type this, I hope and pray I did the right thing.

As for the other storms, yikes! I told James that I needed a no peek blog, one that I could really let out the demons in, but some things should not be seen in print and I am working on leaving several storms on my closet floor in the form of prayers and tears (yes Cassie I did go in my dirty closet:)). So for now, with the temperature dipping yet again and another storm on its way, I cling to the truth of Matthew 6:33 and look forward to the rainbows on the other side.

Yours truly,

Martha

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Easter B-Day!

The easter bunny came hopping along with eggs a many and little extras for the E chica! Since we all know how camera challenged I am, I have a link to E's first birthday photo shoot with Zoie! Have I mentioned how much we adore Zoie?
http://zoiebellephotography.com/proofs/0904-enelson/

I did manage to Elmo it up and she HATED the cake...I mean HATED, so she had cantaloupe!! That is one thing we aren't re-introducing for a while (the cake that is)!

I actually had to remind myself several times that it was her birthday as we didn't meet until 3 short weeks later and I did think about celebrating a family day and maybe we still will. I'm not gonna lie, my emotions ran high, but it was such a busy weekend I had very little time to just sit in the fact of who she is and where the year has gone. I did say several prayers for her birthmom that day that she have no regrets and be comforted. I feel for her a sadness that knocks me to the core and washes over me in unexpected moments like when E puts her head on my shoulder and I say I love you and she looks at me and knows I mean it. I still wonder why I am so lucky, but then the teething cries startle me back to the reality of raising little ones. So very blessed....

Here's some highlights of what she's got happenin'....
*Stands alone
*Mastered the stairs..both up and down (granted there's only 2, but she's got em!)
*Walks holding on to things or people
*LOVES Gymboree music class and dances to anything with a beat...with her whole body
*5 teeth...we both worked hard for those!
*Still hates the nursery
*might have a Chik Fil A addiction
*wants everything her sisters have
*STRONGLY DISLIKES her car seat
*Is officially the smallest baby I've held...19 pounds at her 1 year..compare that to kid#1 at 32 pounds...my back is grateful!
*Says mama, dada, gumball (dogs name), dog, duck, baby
*LOVES to turn pages in a book, especially if they have ducks in them!!
*Signs more, all done, kiss, thank you, and of course eat!
*Is seriously a joy to all of us, makes me laugh when she follows me around the house growling like a bear (thanks Rory for teaching her that one!).

This year is a year of walking this 3rd kid thing. She's no longer a baby, she looks toddlerish now. The temper tantrums are starting, the demands are getting greater, and she is no longer a guest here...she's one of the girls which is proven each time she pulls their hair and they yelp and she laughs hysterically! One of the girls....so very blessed...happy first E!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

2 months-REALLY?

So, ok, its been 2 months since my last extremely indulgent post and it has been a whirlwind!! Seriously, 2 months??

We saw Celine Dion in concert (thanks to a comp from some volunteer work I did:))! We weren't too excited, but then once we got there, man can she rock! Good times...

I think heading off to Vegas in February put me in my head as my yearly trip allowed me to party like an "I have 3 kids at home" rockstar and come home to enjoy yet more snow...

March brought a visit from great friends for a ski trip and it was awesome to see the older girls on skis again and we are looking forward to that continuing next year, but are more looking forward to it melting:)

Kiddo #1 had her first Hip Hop competition that was more fun than expected and she looked the part to a tee! E danced through the whole thing in her stroller and since she is walking with help now, she likes to boogy down like the rest of us!

April fools day came with pranks galore! My shampoo got stolen from my shower and kid #1 put Vixie the snail (who we can NOT believe is still alive) on kid #2's toy for her to find with screaming delight! We were off and running and I even got one over on James, it was a little naughty, but worth the stomach muscle cramps from laughing!

My good friend had a baby girl, that I knew I should of placed bets on the sex and because we had a 2 week solid round of stomach flu, I missed the whole thing and am hoping to see her E soon:)

That brings me to these past couple weeks....aaarrrggghhh!!! They can be summed up in IEP's suck, I can't believe the baby's turning one, and why are my jeans getting tighter?!?!

So, with no Elmo cake or wrapping paper purchased, no plans for Easter dinner on the horizon, phone calls to previous professionals that have worked with autism and us before, shedding dogs, Sangria Sundays (thanks girls), and 8am photo shoots with Zoie it was no wonder that I was drooling on my pillow before 10am this morning...yes, I did go back to bed! AND I am seriously wondering how I ever left the house with 2 infants. Between the 2 naps, 40 minute mealtimes with 4 teeth, and poopy diapers everytime its time to leave it makes the bucking squeal of the car seat a welcomed reprieve...good times:)

Hopefully I'll be able to post some E birthday pix and we'll be able to play one of two games depending on if I can make it to the store, count the number of Elmo's or where's Elmo??

Happy Spring!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Roses are red...


As I pulled into the driveway after MOPS this afternoon, I noticed a car in front of our mailbox. I wasn't expecting anyone and I assumed it was somebody trying to sell something. I hesitantly walked out front, E in tow, and this jolly fellow asked if I was Susan. Why, yes indeed, that's me...now what are you going to sell me and how did you know my name? Well, ma'am (there's that stinkin' ma'am again) I have some flowers for you. For meeeee...?? I said that in my most southernly drawl. Yes, for me. Oh the joys of flower delivery!! So, I have to brag since it is so rare and here's a picture of my Valentine flare!!
The flowers with the key to my honey's heart draped around the vase were enough, but I have to share what he wrote on the card (for posterity, of course).
Uhhh, hummm (thats me clearing my throat...)
If raindrops fell upon my head,
If lightning flashed and thunder said,
This is your hour, what would you do?
I'd close my eyes, and think of you...
Minute after minute,
'til my hour was through....
OK SERIOUSLY!!! I know its so very Valentine Day cliche, but so very, very sweet and I know thunder doesn't talk, but man if it did...
If you know Big Game, you know this is completely out of character and SO TOTALLY APPRECIATED!!!
I'd close my eyes and think of you...SERIOUSLY!!

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Old Jew

Our bs leader asked us the question, "What would you give up for God?". We are doing Beth Moore's study of Esther and all week I've been asking myself that question. As I open the container of Trader Joe's Dark Covered Chocolate Espresso beans-could I give those up? My favorite bottle of wine? My home? My car? Job? Heat? My favorite Uggs? Blogging?
The kids...ALL of them? James, the one who has wiped me before I was even in the nursing home (tmi-I know)?
I know that Mordecai put a lot on the line not bowing down to Haman. Lets face it though, the relevancy of an old Jewish guy doesn't really play out in our Land Rover suburban world...or does it?
Last May I gave up wheat and dairy...I'm not gonna lie...it sucks. I didn't do it for God though. Last year James and I chose to give of ourselves in opening our hearts and home to a new baby (no pat on the back required, just mentioning as an example)....that we felt like we did do for God. The thing of it is, when you're giving up something for God, in my experience, it hasn't felt like a sacrifice...until that thing starts crawling, pulling laptops onto the floor, taking steps from a soft couch into a hard coffee table, paying double for babysitters...you get the drift...NOW its beginning to feel like sacrifice. I don't know, as Mordecai paced the gates to check on Esther and her well being as she waited to see the king, maybe that wasn't such a sacrifice since he seemed to already be there. But when Haman told him to bow down and he refused, wasn't he putting his reputation, his job...his life on the line?

If everyone I knew and all I had burnt to the ground, would I still praise Him?

Good question...hope I never have to answer it, but will practice doing just that in the little things (like the hair loss and the broken scale-it MUST be broken...:)!

I may have to make a t-shirt that says Going Bald for Jesus..it may catch on and now we've come full circle, bringing us back to the old Jew...he had to have been bald...

What would you give up? (besides this blog...:)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Dedication Pix

The verse we chose...
Proud big sisters!

Proud mama & E!


All of us on stage listening intently while E flirts with the audience:)



Saturday, February 7, 2009

Dedicated and it Feels so Good....

Anyone born in the 70's should remember their parents listening to that song, "Reunited and it Feels so Good....", or am I the only one? Anyway, as I think about Esther's baby dedication tonight, that's what I started humming. Dedicated and it Feels so Good...it DOES feel good! It was a great time to set apart and have scripture read over her and our little family (along with other families) and to know that our church is aware that we exist and need to be stood alongside in raising these girls in God's will, even if that means we're here in Utah. That's what hit me as I avoided looking into the camera so my big red head wouldn't shine on the big screen...even if and ESPECIALLY if we are living in Utah, I need to feel like I'm not alone here. That was something else that hit me (it was supposed to be all about Esther tonight, but things kept hitting me like a ton of bricks) that my focus needs to shift off of the fact that we don't blend into the culture here and onto the ONE that brought us here. All along, I thought E was our ticket out of here, that something would happen to allow us to live where it was warm and we would be more easily accepted. I know we did come here to get her, but I also can feel in my gut that she's just the beginning. God has really been working on my heart since landing here and I know I buck and ignore, continuing along with my own agenda in hopes that I can convince Him that my way would be best.
What a joke...and tonight I am grateful for that insight.

So now as I look back on the "special"ness of the evening, I'm in knots with emotion. I am not mourning, but for lack of a better word, maybe missing, those that weren't here to share the moment with us. I'm contemplative over feeling like we put ourselves out there and I hope it evolves into people really, truly loving and praying alongside us as we attempt to raise these girls in an authentic environment....screwing up, practicing grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. I'm grateful for the people that went out of their way to join us, as for me, especially, it was a unique moment, a confirmation of my dream of adoption truly coming to fruition. And finally, my heart is heavy with thoughts of E's birthmom and the fact that tonight is one more thing she missed. Sometimes its hard for my heart and mind to reconcile that my gain (E's presence in all of our lives) may be another's loss. May God give us both the peace and strength to walk our journeys....
dedicated and it feels so good...:)

Friday, February 6, 2009

To Do's Before Death

So, the 7 year old came home with a list of things she wanted to do before she died. ARE you kidding me?? This is the same class that did epitaphs as a fun Halloween project under the umbrella of craft...am I seeing a pattern here?
Anyway, as I read it, I could not only relate, but holy cow, she's spot on with what she's good at and what we have said she should consider as she gets older. So, I thought I'd share and since I've been promised that my blogs will be printed every Christmas, its a posterity thing and I'll have a hard copy of it to remind her of it when she wants to quit school at 14 and become a gypsy....something that is currently on my things I wished I would have done list....jk...sort of....

Here goes:
1. Go to Montana (because that's where Hannah lives...but of course)
2. Grow out some hair
3. Go to college (her teacher wrote by it Great Goal!...ya think??)
4. Sing on stage (ummm....no comment)
5. Get a job (this is one when she is 25 living at home that I will definitely be pulling out)
6. Be a Cheerleader
7. Be a vet
8. Ride a horse
9. Go to Sea World
10. Go see my cousins
11. Go see Miley Cyrus
12. Go to Disneyland
13. Dance
14. Be a Teacher (her teacher wrote The Best Job Ever!)
15. Cell Phone (??)
16. Meet Zach Effron and Vanessa
17. Meet horses (I see a trend...)
18. Be in a movie (you go girl, who doesn't??)
19. Be a fashion designer (her teacher wrote You Would Be Great at That and anyone who has seen her on a day that she dresses herself not in school uniform would know that she definitely has her OWN style:))
20. Be a soccer player

In closing, what I find interesting is that she HAS done a lot of these things already. What I hope for her is that she NEVER stops doing them all:) Love you #2!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

A Case of the Mondays...

Anyone ever see Office Space? As I was drowsily falling asleep to it last night, I remember thinking "That's why I HATED working in an office!" Those opening few scenes where the main character dude did his cover sheet to the report wrong and EVERYONE had to not only correct him, but make sure that he read the memo, and even when he said he did read the memo, they asked him again, and told him to be sure he did it right the next time. WHY on earth do people make sure to tell you when you've screwed up and not just once, multiple times? Does it make them feel better about themselves...that they've read the memo and followed its easily forgettable instructions?
So, this morning it happens to be Monday. I don't dislike Mondays, but when my phone rang and it was my work asking me to explain something I'd done (even though they knew exactly what it was), I frowned at my spouse as he cheerily says, "Somebody's got a Case of the Mondays...!" I may have flipped him off in my head, don't tell anyone.

AND that is why having HBO in HD may not be best for marital bliss, although Big Love is quite entertaining, doesn't do anything for the marriage except make my him grateful he has only 1 wife AND that is why we haven't cancelled the prior stated channel.

A case of the Mondays...hopefully a case of the Tuesdays is sarcasm and mean-spirited free!

Friday, January 23, 2009

E's first Haircut



*Before Haircut...note the big, soft, fluffy curls of envy...
*AFTER HAIRCUT* Even she knows her hair will never be the same:( Poor E...it will come back we promise:)














Sunday, January 18, 2009

How I scared the crap out of my mom today...love, E

Ummm, yeah. Nervous breakdown be darned as I found myself frantically mis-dialing the pediatrician this morning...twice. Seemed like a good idea at family breakfast to share some gluten free pancakes and a quarter size piece of egg white...it really did seem like a good idea. Yeah-no. As I sat watching her scratch at herself, buck in haste on a whim, cry, writhe in pain, and are her cheeks red?? I panicked. I panicked like a kid at Six Flags who just got to the front of the line for the rollercoaster....not good!
BUT, just like that kid, I got on that rollercoaster. I called the dr. On a Sunday. I paced the room while my husband rocked her. I felt the butterflies of the upside down part as she screamed at me and I noticed she scratched her chest in trying to get whatever was bothering her, out. I waited for all of the phones to start ringing...FINALLY! What happened? He sounded like I woke him...do they all sound like that at 11am on a Sunday...is that for effect or did I really wake him? I explained what happened. He says it sounds like an egg allergy....ummm yeah, is this ride almost over? Do you have Benadryl? Yeeeaaahhh, for MEEE. We are a little new at this infant thing again....Do we need to go to the ER I asked shakily?? Nope, he said and I hear the voice announcing to stay in your seat until the ride has come to a full and complete stop...will do. Oh, you want me to do what Dr. Raspy Voice?? Try the egg whites again in a few days, but with Benadryl on hand? Ummm, ok, as the friend grabs your hand and says, again, again, lets ride it AGAIN!! I never did like that friend...but looks like we're riding again. And that my friends is how I scared the crap out of my mom today....

Love,
E

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

30-60-90

Breathe in...breathe out. I have been driving for 20 years. WOW-I really am that old. I got my learners permit at 14 in Valley Center, KS where they allowed you to drive to and from work and to and from school. It was a farming community so that seemed logical...my family didn't farm. So, my tender 14 year old brain ended up driving everywhere and anywhere my parents needed me to and that included a treacherous cross country trip through the then under construction Rocky Mountains in the middle of the night in the pouring rain. That, as you can imagine, lead to heavy breathing, panicked crying, and a map slapped against my head with a loud man's voice saying, "Susie-pull it together!" I did. The sting of the map across my forehead helped.
In my 20 years of behind-the-wheel map trauma experience, I have a definite weakness for the maintenance of vehicles. I don't know how to change a tire, I hate getting gas, the thought of any repair over $50 makes me cry and/or vomit....all cars should come with a personal maintenance expert that tells you automatically what needs to be done when and oh yeah, its paid for. I know it seems so far fetched...enter our purchase of a used Infiniti. They nailed it, all inclusive...bear claws and fresh brewed coffee while you wait....warnings that show up on the GPS screen informing you with a big green wrench that your oil needs to be changed....all inclusive warranty packages. It's fantastic!!! Until you get to the dealer....
Welcome ma'am, what can we help you with this morning? the man with the tag bearing his name sweetly asked. I am here for my 10am oil change appointment, I said in my informally irritated that I was the one taking it in for the said oil change voice while my head was screaming, you know why I'm here, my husband scheduled the oil change and you are looking at my file...why are you asking me this?
Ma'am (btw...small digression...when does someone become a ma'am?) would you mind following me to my office and having a seat? (baboom, baboom...that is the sound of my heart pounding out of my chest in eager anticipation of why he wants me to be seated....) Am I visiting the hospital, did my sweet appointment setting husband not pay the car payments and the dealer is repoing it???
Ummm, ma'am in researching your cars history we noticed that you did not service your vehicle at the maintenance required 30,000 miles. We would hate for you to negate your warranty and would like to offer you a loaner car for the day so that we can get you all set.
How much is getting "all set" going to cost me? We were just here for our 45,000 mile service and no one mentioned the skipping of the 30,000 mile. I exhaled out slowly....$800???? I am here for an oil change, I am doing what the warning box told me...I am a woman in a man's world...here for an oil change. I am here for an oil change, I am here for an oil change. I suddenly became Rain Man, repeating the reason I was there...many times.
Realizing he was dealing with Rain Man, he began to explain...You see ma'am, your vehicle needs to be serviced every 30,000 miles. You skipped the 30,000 mile service. Your vehicle needs this at 30,000...60,000 and 90,000 miles he smirked at me as I was nodding my head and frantically calling my husband. Will you please talk to him? I pleaded.
They chatted. They hung up. Ma'am you are late and we need to schedule your 30,000 mile service...you are at 52,000 miles so this will count for your 60,000 mile service. What, how does that make any sense? What happened to the required 30,000 mile service? Ma'am you need it at 30,000, 60,000, and 90,000 miles-THATS WHEN I INTERRUPTED...oh help me and forgive me....I looked at him and said loudly in THE most southernly accented, eyelash batting tone...I AM FAMILAR WITH INCREMENTS OF 30!!
Insert man with name tag jaw dropping here.

I re-dialed my husband. They chatted. They hung up. Car done in an hour.
I wonder if an I'm sorry card should be sent and interestingly enough the brakes are making a noise...note to self, husband required to take car down to dealer....

I'm a very good driver...I'm a very good driver...