Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Have an umbrella handy..

I have been hunting through old posts, (there are 852 of them!) thinking I could just repost something I had already written. But none of them said quite the same thing as I wanted to say. It was good to read back over some, emotional to read back over others. I just put in search blog for things like "choices", "respect", etc. to see what was there.
I had a discussion recently about the choices I made with Kierra when we were going through some rough times with her. At one point we had to make the choice to have her move out. Yes, "had to". She was 18, in her senior year of high school. We had several discussions with her about house rules & her behavior. She chose to continue to break those rules & disrespect us. I had 2 other younger teenagers watching & learning from her and had to decide to give in & let them all run rampant, or give her the final choice to shape up or ship out. She chose the choice which resulted in her having to move out. It was the hardest thing I had ever done. It broke my heart. I was asked if I regretted that or felt guilty. I wish it hadn't been necessary. But I honestly believe we would have lost her sooner if that hadn't happened. She was on a destructive path & there was nothing else we could do that would have stopped her. It took her years to get herself to a responsible point in her life. But I was proud of her choices as she got older. Not all of them , but most of them. I am proud of her choices with the twins. Both having them & wanting to make a better life for them.
That wasn't the only time we had to make a difficult choice with Kierra as a parent. I believe those choices also made a big difference with Brianne & Chad as they got older. All choices have a domino effect, both good & bad ones. Parenting is one of the most difficult things you will ever do. It doesn't always allow us to be their friends. It sometimes breaks our hearts to do what is best for them.
The rewards aren't always what we expected or wanted them to be. Most days it can be the hardest thing we have ever done. But some days it feeds our soul, it brings light to a heart that is heavy with darkness. Some days it gives us a reason to get out of bed, (yes, some days it makes us not want to get out of bed either!)But it gives us a reason to breathe our next breath.
No one ever said it would be easy. No one ever gave us a hand book on how to raise the perfect child & be the perfect parent. So we take it one day at a time, one breath at a time, one step at a time. The important thing is..keep breathing, keep walking forward, keep going, there is light at the end of that tunnel, there is light in that life you created. Even if it looks dark today, there is light in there somewhere, and at some point it will shine. Just have an umbrella handy for the rainy days when it feels like it is pouring down all around you!

Monday, April 27, 2009

New surgery date.

May 11th at 2:20 pm. I got a med list straight from the hospital & have stopped the meds they want stopped. I have new presurgical appts. with all my docs.(although that doesn't seem to do much good since I did that last week & they forgot to take me off those meds!!) So I will get things ready again and we'll see how it all goes between now & then!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

surgery cancelled for 2 weeks

It has been a crazy week with field trips, school projects & getting ready for my surgery. Then Friday afternoon I found out my surgery has to be cancelled & rescheduled for 2 weeks form now. I have meds that I should have stopped taking 2 weeks prior to surgery, but no one told me. So now I have to reschedule the whole thing. They will let me know tomorrow when the new surgery date is. I am glad the anesthesiologist caught it, he actually refused to do the surgery until I had been off the meds for 2 weeks. I understand why, just am major mad that neither my specialist or my primary Dr.s caught it & have wasted my time. I will update ya'll as I know what is going on. Just more chaos to add to the mix! Same stuff different day.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Game Basket for Hunter's Class

This is one of two baskets I have been working on for the boy's school. I am room Mom for each class & no one else offered. I did get a Mom from Tristan's class who is helping me with his. We will finish that one up tomorrow. It is a much bigger "basket"! I am glad it is just about done! I can't imagine how crazy it will be next year with all 3 kids attending the same school!!

The Karate Kids 4.20.09

The Karate Kids 4.20.09
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Alexa has decided to do Karate instead of dance. I figured she would. She earned her white belt by the end of her first class! The boys better watch out, she may get her black belt before they do!

Baskets, a break, & crazy coincidence..

Hunter & Tristan's school is having a BBQ/Basket Auction. Actually they changed it to a Basket Raffle. There are baskets filled with everything from Coffee to gardening stuff (they fill up a wheelbarrow!). Tristan's class is doing Camping & Hunter's is Family Game Night. Thankfully another Mom is helping me with Tristan's so I don't have to do everything for both! I have been busy gathering all the stuff and putting the basket together this morning. I ended up using a laundry basket for the games because the storage bin I got is too small. The school receptionist saved us on that one because I only got 2 parents who donated from the class. Pam bought & donated 6 board games, & I picked up a bunch of stuff too. We are using a cooler on wheels for the Camping stuff, it is going to be awesome! We had alot of participation from the parents for that one.
I decided to take a break, eat a popsicle, & put my feet up for a few minutes. I flipped on the TV & guess what was on? That movie Dragonfly that was also on in the wee hours of this morning. The one I just blogged about in my last post. I am not watching it again. It was at the same spot in the movie as when I turned it on last night. Crazy coincidence, huh?


There are many times I don't sleep at night, like now, when all is quiet & my mind & body won't let me rest. I find quiet things to do. Tonight, after I cleaned the kitchen from a major cooking marathon today, I did a couple Sudoku puzzles, got the kid's backpacks ready for tomorrow, filled out some pre-registration forms for the boy's school term in the fall, filled out a field trip form, updated my calendar, & posted some pix to my photo gallery. During all this I occasionally flip through channels on the TV to see what is on. In the wee hours of this morning I found a movie that I have seen many, many times. It seems to be on often in the middle of the night when I can't sleep. It is the movie "Dragonfly" with Kevin Costner. It is about his wife dying in an accident in a foreign country working for the Red Cross. He thinks he is getting messages from her. (there is more to it than that, but this is the condensed version) In the end he travels to where she died and ends up in a remote village cut off from civilization. The natives tell him they knew his wife when she was alive. They couldn't save her body, but they saved her soul. They take him into a hut and there he finds his baby girl who was born premature and somehow survived. One of the main "signs" he kept getting from his wife was a dragonfly. The baby had a birthmark shaped like a dragonfly. It is one of those sad movies with a happy ending.
Of course it reminds me of Kie. She loved Dragonflies. They always remind me of her. I do believe there are "signs" of different sorts if we are open to it & pay attention. Not quite as extreme as in the movie, but I do believe. I like the idea that the baby is her soul. I like to think a part of Kie's soul is in each of her children. There are alot of little, subtle things I like to think are Kie saying hello. They may not be, but it works for me.
I have mentioned before about Mada's song, "I can only Imagine" coming on the radio several times on every station I changed it to on the day Kierra died. I don't hear it often, but when I do, I think of Mada. (I know this will be TMI, but there is a point to it!) The other night I was waiting for Brian to come home. I lit candles, put on something new & silky, turned on the radio to the easy listening station and lay there waiting. Mada's song is a religious song, it does not usually come on the stations I listen to. It came on while I was laying there & I immediately thought.."Mada, just like my kids, you have poor timing to interrupt my mood, & you're too young to know about this anyway!" Then I realized she would have been 21 years old on April 16th. She passed when she was 15. I tend to forget she would have been old enough to know quite a bit, & would have probably taught us a thing or two! She would have probably thought it funny that at my age I was waiting for my husband with all the trappings set up for him. I enjoyed those moments "with" her and the image it gave me of the young woman she would have become. Then I told her it was time for Brian to come home, she needed to go visit someone else!
Was it a "sign"? However you think of it, it was a connection for me to her, and my thoughts & memories of her. It is the same with the things that remind me of Kierra. Not just when I choose to think of her, but whenever I get any type of "sign" or "message" that gets my attention. Like Dragonflies..

alexa with her rose bush 4.18.09

Alexa got to spend the night at Greta's Friday night. Then they went shopping for flowers to plant. Alexa picked this purple rose bush. Those were Kierra's favorite. She had a blast planting flowers with her Nana. Greta even got her Dora gardening gloves and tools. She's not spoiled at all is she?!
I also posted the boy's Spring School pix onthe photo gallery, so as usual, click on this pic to go to the gallery and check them out!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Time keeps on ticking..

Time flies by & I can't keep up! Between the boy's karate classes, a major project for each of the boy's classes, preparing for my surgery on the 28th, & all the day to day stuff..I am running non-stop! Of course, as Savannah says.."that's how I roll"..LOL. I am trying to keep up with the lingo so I am not considered totally archaic when the kids hit the teen years! Which, the way life speeds by, will be any day now!
I keep reminding myself that getting through the next 6-8 weeks will get me healthier than I have been in years. My Dr. says alot of the health issues that have plagued me for years can be tracked back to these tumors and the anemia. It makes sense, I just can't imagine being rid of all the ailments that the Dr.s couldn't seem to resolve for me before. A hysterectomy is major surgery, I get that. But I am not nervous or worried about it. I am relieved to finally have answers and an end in sight. I have had many surgeries, so I guess that takes away some of the fear factor for me. I am not concerned about the surgery itself, I am not looking forward to how badly I react to anesthesia. I have an appt. with the anesthesiologist before the day of sx to see what can be done to alleviate some of my bad reactions. Knowing myself, I have to say I am worried about complying to all the restrictions I will have during the 6-8 week recovery process.
My head accepts that it isn't the actual surgery I will be recovering from, it is the gaping hole in my body where my organs have to resettle & support each other since my uterus won't be there to do the job. My mind knows the importance of that. My mind understands how important it is.
My mind also knows how crazy it will drive me that I can't even push the vaccum cleaner for 6 weeks. Some of you are thinking..Vaccum? how strenuous is that? I thought the same thing. Then my Doc had me tighten & hold in my stomach muscles the entire time while vaccuming. Then release those muscles when done. I never knew how much you use your abdominal muscles to vaccum! The same with lifting & carrying any amount of clothes in a laundry basket. Those are such trivial tasks to me. I have to keep reminding myself that doing this right will directly affect how completely I recover and what my general health will be when all is said & done.
I am supposed to be on limited activity now. I have not been horse back riding or kayaking. I have not been taking walks or running any marathons. That is about as limited as I can get. In a fantasy world I would have someone else to clean house, do laundry, taxi the kids to school, karate, appts., cook, etc. In my world it is usually a one woman show. I have wonderful friends & family who help when they can. I have a husband who works way too much and tries to do what he can when he is home. But the reality of it is.. I am it. And that's okay. I am not complaining. I am trying to convince myself that I can change all that for 6-8 weeks. See..doesn't sound so easy does it? I will do what I have to do to recover the best way possible. I will remove the vaccum cleaner from the house if I have to (and I might!).
That is the part I worry about. Not being in the hospital, not the actual surgery, not the pain. I worry about not being able to do what I've always done, what needs to be done. I worry that I will screw up my recovery and cause complications. The control freak that I am is having a hard time accepting that I will not have control of everything around me, I will have to control myself. As those who love me can attest..I do not do that well!
It will be interesting to see if this changes me long term. If this makes me different somehow. It takes 21 days to create a habit. 21 times of repeating something for it to stick. So what will I change about myself in 42-56 days? Just the idea of it already gives me way too much time to think!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Alexa Easter 4.12.09

Alexa Easter 4.12.09
Originally uploaded by mommanana

Tristan Easter 4.12.09

Tristan Easter 4.12.09
Originally uploaded by mommanana

Hunter Easter 4.12.09

Hunter Easter 4.12.09
Originally uploaded by mommanana

Easter Morning 4.12.09

Easter Morning 4.12.09
Originally uploaded by mommanana

Hoppy Easter!

I finished loading up the kid's baskets and could not sleep. I went through our photo albums and came across some Old Easter Photos I thought you would all enjoy. There are more in the photo gallery, so click on this pic, or the link on the right side bar to get there.
I have filled alot of baskets over the years. We have celebrated all over the country and as far away as England. We have been fortunate to spend some of those Easters with precious friends and family along the way.
I look back at the Easter when this photo was taken and never imagined I would ever celebrate an Easter without her. In a few hours her children will wake up and rush to see what the Easter Bunny brought them. I never imagined I would be the one filling their baskets.
I look at the other photos I posted and can't believe Brianne will open her basket (yes I made her one!) in her own home with her husband of almost 4 years. I can't believe Chad is on the other side of the country & I wonder if he got his basket full of candy I sent him in time for Easter morning. It doesn't matter how old or how grown they get, I always fill their baskets too.
It won't be the same today. Not just because Kie isn't here. Brianne is at her house, I will take the kids to her to go to church. Brian has to work all day and has to leave early this morning. Chad will still be fast asleep being 3 hours behind and on his own now too.
Terry Moore is coming up, she should be here by early afternoon. I am looking forward to her visit. (I even made her a basket too!) We are having dinner at Terri & Dwight's. Bri, Justin, & the kids will meet us there.
It will be a good day, just different.
Now, not then.
Here, not there.
just different.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Having Surgery Soon

I have had health issues for quite some time..nothing real major, just this & that, always something out of whack. Usually it was blamed on my weight. Since Aug. 28th I have lost a little over 45 lbs. The health issues persisted, so they finally started looking into what was going on. I am now having surgery on April 28th. I have female issues, fibroid tumors, which are quite common, along with a bunch of cysts which are common as well. The combination of those, along with a 3rd tumor on the outside of my uterus, caused some major blood loss & anemia. They did biopsies and they all came back clear & okay, so that is a relief. I will be in much better shape after the Hysterectomy on the 28th. There is a long recovery period, but I am looking forward to the end result of being healthier than I have been in a long time.

Karate Boys 4.8.09

Karate Boys 4.8.09
Originally uploaded by mommanana
Hunter used to take Karate classes. When we were in the midst of moving it got set aside. We had prepaid for Hunter to be in the black belt program, which is a longer, more detailed training program. I stopped by with the boys the other day to see what we needed to do to get Hunter back in the program. His instructor said he would reinstate the program, giving us back the credit for the 2 years he has been out. He also offered to add Tristan to the program free of charge because they are offering a 2 for 1 deal right now and would make it part of the reinstatement. We could not have afforded it otherwise, so it is such an awesome thing for him to do that for us. Alot of Hunter's gear still fits him and the things that don't, fit Tristan. We need to get some additional gear for the stuff they can't share, but they have started and love it! Tristan seems to catch on fast, & Hunter is remembering most of it. Hunter had just earned his Camouflage belt when he stopped, so he will start back at that level. Tristan is starting on his white belt, which he should have presented at the next class. Now I have to see about dance or gymnastic classes for Alexa!

Ashley, Jon, and the kids 4.4.09

Our Niece, Ashley, & her boyfriend, Jon came to visit over the weekend. We had such a good time. She goes to college in orlando. They really handled the kids well.. she will make a great teacher!

Sunday, April 05, 2009

Cheeseburger Meat Loaf

*A Paula Deen, Lady & Sons recipe. A real crowd pleaser. I sometimes omit the onion & bell pepper & add some onion powder if I am feeding picky eaters, comes out great either way. I also use "Morton Nature's Seasoning" in place of the House Seasoning listed in the recipe. There is also a sauce to go with it, (recipe below) but it is just as good without it. Serves 6-8.

2 lbs Ground Beef (I use about a lb beef, and a lb pork)
2 tsp House Seasoning (recipe below)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 cup grated Cheddar Cheese
1/4 cup Worcestershire Sauce
1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup crushed Ritz Crackers
1 teaspoon Lawry's seasoned Salt
8-10 slices of bread (I use 8 when I make a square loaf)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Mix all ingredients except bread slices. Shape into loaf. Use baking pan, not a loaf pan. Line pan with bread slices, place meat loaf on top. Bake loaf for 45-60 minutes. (I cook it for the full hour and it is done all the way through.) The bread absorbs any grease and should be discarded after loaf is removed from the oven.

One 10 3/4 oz can Cream of Mushroom Soup
1 soup can measure of milk
1 1/2 cups grated Cheddar Cheese

Heat soup & Milk over medium heat; add cheese. Pour over meat loaf, or pass at the table.

* House Seasoning Recipe (makes quite a bit & is great in anything)
1 cup Salt, 1/4 cup Black Pepper, 1/4 cup Garlic Powder. Mix together well. Store in a shaker container near the stove for convenience.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Turkey & Stuffing Meatloaf

First the original recipe, then I will give you my shortcut version.
This makes a very large meatloaf, or you could divide into 2 loaves and freeze one.
**My sister, Cricket made this and said it would be good with a tarter apple (Granny Smith) and some shredded carrots.. great idea sis!

2 McIntosh or Gala apples, peeled and cut into small dice
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 pounds ground all-white-meat turkey or a mix of dark and white meat
3-4 ribs of celery, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
1 large egg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups chicken stock
2 cups stuffing mix
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

Pre-heat the oven to 400ºF.In a large bowl, add the apples and lemon juice and toss together. Add the turkey, celery, onion, poultry seasoning, egg, salt and freshly ground black pepper.In a medium size bowl, add the stock and the stuffing. Toss around, letting the stuffing soak up the liquid, then add it to the bowl with the turkey. Mix everything together well, then turn it out onto a parchment paper-lined (or wax paper) baking sheet and shape it into a loaf. Coat with EVOO, transfer to the oven and roast until brown and cooked through, about an hour.

4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups apple cider
2 cups chicken stock
Salt and ground black pepper

In a skillet over medium-high heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour, cook 1 minute then whisk in the cider and stock. Let thicken, season with salt and pepper, then serve.

yesterday I was in the mood to make this, but not to run to the store.. so this is the short-cut version I made was really good!


2 lbs ground turkey
1 box stove top stuffing
2 cups chicken stock (heated til it just about boils)
1 large egg
1 handful craisins (Dried Cranberries)

Empty stove top stuffing into a mixing bowl. Add hot chickem stock, mix, then let sit until all liquid is absorbed. (Just a couple minutes) Then add ground turkey, craisins, and 1 large egg. Mix well, clean hands work best. Shape into 1 large loaf or 2 loaves. Cook in 400 degree preheated oven on a paper lined baking sheet (parchment or wax paper). Bake for 1 hour. I served it with roasted turkey gravy.

I also made "loaded mashed potatoes" w/ sour cream, grated cheese, & bacon bits. A major "comfort food" meal.

Born Again American by Keith Carradine

Awesome video..great cause..check it out..words listed below

Just a workin’ man without a job
It got shipped off to China via Washington, D.C.
And I know I’m nothin’ special, there are plenty more like me
Just the sameI thought I knew the rules of the game

I stood up for this country that I love
I came back from the desert to a wife and kids to feed
I’m not sayin’ Uncle Sam should give me what I need
My offer standsI’ll pull my weight you give me half a chance

I went up to a congressman and said to him “you know
Our government is letting people down”
He said he’d need a lot of help to buck the status-quo
I said there was a bunch of us around

I’m a Born Again American, conceived in Liberty
My Bible and the Bill of Rights, my creed’s equality
I’m a Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

My brother’s welding chassis at the plant
He’s earning what our granddad did in 1948
While CEOs count bonuses behind the castle gates
How can they see
When all they care about’s the do re mi

It’s getting where there’s nowhere left to turn
Not since the crash of twenty-nine have things been so unfair
So many of our citizens are living in despair
The time has come
To reaffirm that hope’s not just for some

The promise of America’s surrendering to greed
The rule is just look out for number one
But brace yourself ‘cause some of us have sown a different seed
A harvest of the spirit has begun

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and The Bill Of RightsMy creed’s equality
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream from sea to shining sea

It’s clear my country’s soul is on the line
She’s hungering for something that she lost along the way
The principle the framers called upon us to obey
That in this land
The people’s will must have the upper hand

I felt the calling once before and took a sacred vow
And faithful to that vow
I have remainedI hear the calling once again, my country needs me now
And to her cause I have been re-ordained

I’m a Born Again American conceived in liberty
My Bible and the Bill Of Rights, all people living free
A Born Again American, my country ‘tis of me
And everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining seaAnd everyone who shares the dream
From sea to shining sea