Monday, February 28, 2011

The good news is...

I went to see my dad at the hospital today and they did the angeogram of his heart while we were there. I guess they go In through a vein in your leg with a camera all the way up to the heart to have a look around in there. The good news is... It's NOT his heart!! The doctor said the lining around the heart is fine, the heart itself is fine, and there are no blockages or anything! Amen!
They gave him some meds to control the irregular heartbeat and he's been fine since then.
BUT. But but but.... The fluid is still accumulating in his lungs. And we're really just not sure why. If it's not the heart, and the chemo is working, then why why why is there still all this fluid?
I don't know the answer.
Since it's not heart issue, they are going to send him back to the original hospital tomorrow. We're all just praying now that once he's back with his normal doctors they can figure out what is going on and decide what the next plan of action is.
So that's it for now. We are all SO relieved that he doesn't have to have heart surgery!!
Thank you all for your love and prayers! It means so much to me. I let my dad know that he's got a lot of people praying for him and he was so grateful. Thank you all and than you Lord that it wasn't his heart!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Prayers for my dad...

Most people who read here know that my dad wad diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma back in August. It all started with him feeling fatigued and really out of breath during the most simplest of activities. Shortly after a visit to my house he went to the doctor to find that there was lots and lots of fluid building up in the lining around his lungs. This is when he was diagnosed with the lymphoma. Anyway, he went through some chemo treatments, and then a new round started in December. The doctors could see that the chemo was working...his lymph nodes had shrunk considerably. Yet he was still having massive amounts of this fluid continue to build up, making it very difficult for him to breath.
This last Wednesday he was admitted to the hospital for a procedure that would, in a sense, "close up" the wholes in the lung lining, preventing the fluid to get in there any longer. He was told he would have to stay in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. By Friday though...he did not seem to be getting any better. The chest tube was still pumping out lots of fluid.
I'm still not exactly clear on all the next events (the kids and I have been pretty sick ourselves) but they discovered the problem is actually with his heart. Apparently he has a condition called Constrictive Pericarditis where the lining around the heart thickens causing the heart not to be able to function correctly. Right now his heart is beating 140 beats per minute. Normal is like 60-90 beats per minute. Anyway, he was transferred yesterday to another hospital that is MUCH more equipped to handle these situations and is known for their cardiology department.
I don't really know much more at this point, but it is looking like he will be having open heart surgery sometime this week. I would appreciate any thoughts and prayers for this surgery, for the doctors to have steady hands, and for comfort for him.
The good news is is that he is in pretty good spirits. A little worried, but rightly so. He's in no pain and basically feels fine right now. So that is a good thing!
The kids and I are headed up there tomorrow morning and will probably be gone most of the week, I would imagine.
Thank you again for all your thoughts and prayers! ♥♥♥

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

10 on Tuesday.

1. This picture has nothing to do with anything. I just think it's kinda funny. She always is making funny faces.
2. French braids on little girls is great for keeping hair out of their faces. It's my favorite style for her lately. Plus-less tangles! Which is a huge bonus for me (and her). Combing through tangles is not fun.
3. Online bill pay. Why am I just discovering this?? I mean, I know it's existed for quite some time but I just really started using it like a month ago. You mean all I have to do is click a button and the money just goes there? I don't have to write a check? Or use a stamp? And there's no charge for this service?? Um yeah. I'm totally like a decade behind the times!
4. Only in California can you have a beautifully warm day at the beach one week and then have it snow the next! Seriously, it snowed here Friday night. I was sitting on the couch waiting for Pete to get home and I was playing around with my phone. My weather app said it was 34 degrees. I thought for sure that had to be wrong. I mean, I knew it was cold but I didn't think it was that cold. Then about 20 minutes later Pete comes in and announces it's snowing. And sure enough big old fluffy flakes were falling from the sky. It didn't stick or anything. But still. SNOW. In Oakland.
5. Confession: we love Little House on the Prairie. For some reason a few years ago my mother-in-law bought the entire series on DVD. All 9 seasons + bonus material. I have no idea why. The last time we visited, she gave us all 10 sets of DVDs to bring home. It's certainly not on my list of "must have" dvds! However, we all have enjoyed watching them immensely. Can you get any more wholesome than Ma and Pa and Laura and Mary?? The kids LOVE it. They've actually learned stuff about history from it. And life lessons. I admit to not really caring for this show much when I was a kid. I'm pretty sure it wasn't on our list of must see TV at the time. I do remember watching it in syndication later on in life, but still I could take it or leave it. But watching it with my kids is great. I love that they love it. And I know there is NOTHING like this on TV nowadays.
6. The kids now play "little house" and argue about who should be who. No you be Albert and I'll be Laura! No I wanna be Mary, she's blind! I'm going to be Miss Beetle. No she's married now, so her names is Mrs. Sims. Lets pretend it's the one when they find all the gold! Yep. They do this all day. It's funny, but cute. And it's better than playing say....CSI or The Bachelor, right??
7. I have so much to do today yet I'm sitting here avoiding-as usual! But I have to go to the post office. I hate going to the post office. We can all commiserate on hating the PO, right?
8. The estate wedding we went to on Saturday was beautiful. The house was amazing and had this awesome brick fireplace in the kitchen. Pete and I both decided we want one. And a wrap-around porch. It sucked though, because it was freezing and rained the entire day. I guess that's the risk you take getting married in February.
9. I was secretly so glad I was not asked to take pictures at this wedding (I have for the last few weddings in our church) because I was miserable. I was so cold. And it was so crowded--no one wanted to go outside because of the rain so everyone was huddled inside. And the place just wasn't big enough. Beautiful, but not big enough for 200 people. Anyway, I got stuck in the kid room all day--which wasn't much fun either, but still the better end of the deal I figure!
10. Our baby chicks are growing fast. I'll have to update on them later in the week. It's amazing how big they are now compared to just two weeks ago. We still have 29. I honestly thought a few of them might die. It's typical. But nope. They are all thriving! Oh my goodness we're going to have a lot of eggs.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Words for Wednesday.

I just couldn't go without words today.
Notes from the photo:
* Megan's hair desperately needs to be washed and combed.
* Jake's hair desperately needs to be cut.
* Jake's front tooth looks funny. It's loose, but not loose enough to come out yet. And the new tooth is coming in anyway I guess and pushing this one sideways.
* You can't tell that it's pouring rain/hailing like crazy in this picture at all. But it was.
* This picture was taken approximately 10 minutes before all hell broke loose.
* Words I actually uttered to my 7 year old: You better pray there is no glass in her bed and that she doesn't wake up with bloody cuts tomorrow morning! (awesome parenting moment right there y'all)
* Of course I had to write yesterday how awesome "quiet reading time" is. Because today it all went to hell.
* They both completely disregarded my instructions and took advantage of the fact that I was doing paper work in the office and that surely I wouldn't notice them NOT reading.
* They decided to play in Megan's room instead. And threw a stuffed animal at the ceiling. And broke the glass globe over the light in her room.
* I've tried to tell them time and time again---mom will ALWAYS find out if you did something you weren't supposed to. One way or another-ALWAYS.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

10 on Tuesday.

So totally random.
1. We're almost done with 2nd grade. And it's only February! Crazy to think about it, but we've already moved ahead in math and will finish everything else within the next 2 weeks or so. 3rd grade and Kindergarten, here we come!
2. Word problems suck. They sucked when I was a kid and they still suck now. There's just no real way to make them better. Not that I've found anyway.
3. Valentine's Day was nice. We don't ever really do anything. I'm just not into going out because it's a made up day and then having to deal with everyone else who went out too. Lame. Mother's Day though...well that's different ;-) We didn't share any cards or candy or flowers. There were no school parties. But I did make heart shaped cookies. And Pete and I had a date "in" ala Jude and Micah style ;-) We do this all the time so it wasn't anything new, but it was still special. I ♥ him no matter what day it is.
4. Winter has returned to CA. boooo! I knew it was too good to last, but man I sure miss those nice sunny and warm days.
5. During 'school hours' my kids call me "Miss Mommy". I have no idea why, they just started doing it. Jake started it and now Megan does it too. Maybe it makes him feel more like he's in school? I don't know. It's funny though. I promise, I do not make my children call me that. I'm not Mother Dearest.
6. So a while ago I 'hid' someone on Facebook. I just kinda got tired of her negative posts but I felt maybe it would be offensive to just delete her. But then I discovered yesterday that she deleted me! Whaaaat?? Should I be offended or relieved? Oh the drama.... 8-P
7. I went to see my dad this weekend. The boys were gone so it was just me and Megs. I haven't seen my dad since Thanksgiving because he was feeling bad from the chemo treatments. Also, the chemo makes him very susceptible to infection so kids with colds don't mix with cancer patients too well. Anyway I was so happy that he was actually feeling really good when we were there. But also SO shocked to see he had become so thin from just a few months ago. I think it was the first time I really realized just how sick he is. I was so happy to see him up and moving around and feeling good, but so sad at the same time. It was just like a big dose of reality.
8. I've been enforcing "quiet reading time" every afternoon for the past few weeks. Ahhh it is so nice to have a little down time before Pete gets home and we start dinner etc... Since Megan isn't taking naps anymore I make sure the kids have at least a half hour in their rooms, by themselves to read and relax. We all get a chance to recharge.
9. We're going to a wedding on Saturday. It's at this really fancy estate on a vineyard. I just realized I have nothing to wear to a fancy estate wedding. Nor do my children. EEKS! What are we gonna wear?
10. Speaking of fashion.... I did, in fact, wear heels yesterday for our 'date in'. Wearing heels was part of my things to do in 2011 list. And judging by the reactions of all 3 other family members it was obvious wearing heels is something I never do, but should do more often. Jake blushed with bright red cheeks when he saw me walk out of my room. Megan shouted "oh mommy! those are really pretty, fancy shoes!" And Pete's reaction...well that's between him and me and not the internet. ;-)

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Weekend + chicks.

I almost hate to write this...Knowing that half the country was buried in snow and frigid subzero temps this weekend.
But it was absolutely glorious here. I mean tank tops + flip flops weather. Saturday it was about 75 and Sunday got up to almost 80. Fantastic! I now understand why people love the Bay Area so much. It certainly isn't the summer. But Fall/Winter/Spring just might make up for those foggy, dreary, freezing days in July. Maybe. I'm still on the fence about that one. I mean sweatshirts in July just doesn't compute with my brain. No matter how nice the fall and spring were.
Anyway, Saturday started off pretty normal. I had plans to clean the house in the morning then spend the rest of the day outside doing...something. I was in the middle of mopping the dinning room when I get at text from Pete's sister. Are you going to the beach? it said. No, Pete doesn't want to go, he's working outside, but I want to! I replied back.
The next thing I know, my SIL and 2 nieces show up and we head out for Ocean Beach in San Francisco. I love spontaneous, fun weekends! We got a little bit of a late start, and it was quite crowded over there, but we had a nice little picnic and the kids got to chase the waves for a while.

Jake could spend all day looking for 'treasure'. On our way back to the car he found some sort of animal skull in the sand (gross!) and quickly proclaimed "It must be a monkey skull or something!". You know, because it's totally normal to find a monkey skull on the beach in San Francisco. It's definitely not a monkey skull but maybe a squirrel? The beach is just across from Golden Gate Park so maybe?
Sunday was just as fantastic, but in a different way. We went to church in the morning and I wore a skirt and didn't complain that I was freezing. Awesome. Then we came home, had a nice lunch then....naps in the sunshine! I sat out on the patio and read my book. I don't even know what everyone else was doing. I just know it was quiet. We all just relaxed and read and napped. LOVE days like that! Oh and I guess there was some sort of "big game" on. But we didn't watch it. :)
Yesterday our baby chicks arrived.

Yep, we're doing it again. We are totally crazy. I'm just thankful they AREN'T turkeys. I still have nightmares about stinky, yucky turkeys in my garage. (you can read about that here and here) I just had a great laugh reading through those old posts! So yeah...29 baby chicks arrived yesterday. Twenty. Nine. What in the world were we thinking?? That is a whole lotta chickens ya'll! Got eggs? We got all different types. Our chicken yard will be very colorful. Some red ones and black ones and black and white ones. It'll be fun for the kids. And maybe a money maker too, if we can sell some eggs to the neighbors. This time, thank goodness, they are NOT in my garage. Pete built a cage thingy and it's in the shed on our patio. And this time they actually have a place to go once they are big enough. We have a barn here people! And they will go in the barn just as soon as they are able. And the barn is far enough away from my house that I don't have to smell them.

AND both kids are old enough now that THEY can take care of them and their poopy water and food thingys. So we'll see how this goes. Right now they are so very cute. I said that about the turkeys too, remember? :)

Friday, February 04, 2011

Project Life update...

*I love this project. I mean I just really love it. Right now, at this point in our lives it just works. I don't feel like have the time, or more importantly, the desire to do put more effort into scrapbooking than this project expects.
*There is something so satisfying about putting a photo into a slip in an album, and adding a few words and calling it done. I already have pages to flip through. An entire month. It completely satisfies my instant gratification tendencies perfectly.
*Chrissy, it is a little bit like a never ending Week in the Life project. Except that it isn't. At least for me, this is way easier. It's one photo a day. Not like 100 to sift through and pick which ones to use and where to put them.
*My iPhone has been wonderful in this project! LOVE it. The peacock photo and the sunset photo were both taken with my phone. Not bad, eh?! And I don't even have the nice iPhone. Mine is the old 3G. The pics print out great. I do have a few that are grainy because of low light, but that kind of adds to the coolness, I think. Not every photo is going to be perfect. I'm ok with that.
*I don't think I could do this, or be this enthusiastic about it without my own photo printer. Last week I went and bought the ink for my PictureMate. IT WAS FIFTY BUCKS. Holy crap. I couldn't believe it. I've never paid more than 40 before. But I guess this thing is kinda "old" now, technology speaking so they get to charge more for the oldness?? It sucked paying that much, but in the end it is worth it....At least if I get the 150 prints it says I'm supposed to get out of it.
*Every day I spend about 10 minutes loading a pic to my computer, editing it if necessary and the printing it out and putting it in the slot in the album. I spend maybe another 5 minutes filling out the journaling card. If I feel like it. Well, maybe not every day. But so far it has been at least ever other day.
*The kit comes with these little filler cards to put in the 'extra' journaling spot each week. They're cute, but I've been enjoying filling these spots up with other pics from the week. This week I couldn't pic just one, so I cropped 2 into a 2.75 x 3.75 canvas and printed it out for that slot. Another bonus to having my own printer :)
*Right now I've been good at keeping up with the picture a day. But I know from experience, I tend to get bored about 6 months in. LOL! But that's kind of the great thing about this. It can be a pic a day, or not. It'll work no matter how you do it.

Wednesday, February 02, 2011

George Washington's Breakfast.

Have I mentioned how much I love our history curriculum? I think history might be all of our favorite subject. We use Early American History published by Beautiful Feet Books. The curriculum itself isn't all that great, in my opinion. It is Christian based and while that is not BAD, it's just that in this case it seems to be a little contrived. BUT the books...the books are fantastic. My kids just love them all. They love the stories and are both really learning.

Today we read the book George Washington's Breakfast by Jean Fritz. It was just kind of a fun little book of fun facts about Washington to follow up on our main study of him and the Revolutionary War. The book is about a quizzical little boy named George who wants to know more about George Washington, specifically what he ate for breakfast. If he found out exactly what he ate, his grandmother promised to make it for him.
We find out at the end that George Washington's breakfast consisted of 3 hoecakes and 3 cups of tea every day. Kind of a humble breakfast for the father of our country, right?
Hoecakes are basically little cornmeal pancakes. The name "hoecake" comes from the original way they were prepared. Turns out they were actually fried on an actual garden hoe over a fire.
I decided we needed to make our own hoecakes to try them for ourselves.
I got out the box of Jiffy cornbread mix and followed the recipe directions for corn pancakes/waffles. I'm sure these are a little different than actual hoecakes, but it worked for our purpose.

Oh, and I didn't fry them over the fire on a hoe. The kids thought that would be really gross. I used a cast iron pan instead. :)

The verdict?

One thumb up, one thumb down. But Jake would say anything was "gross" even if he actually liked it. And Megan likes everything. I loved them! But I love corn bread.
Anyway, it was a fun little activity. I love being able to bring our lessons into our real life.