Sunday, December 20, 2009

My Darling Dear...

Just wanted to take a moment to give credit where credit is due, and to ask those that read this to be praying for our family today, Monday, and more specifically for my darling dear husband.

We have known each other for 11 years, were engaged for 2, and have been married for 7. It seems amazing to look back on and realize how long this wonderful man has been a part of my life. I thank God for every day I have with him and I am thankful for every day that I will have to come. His laughter, his antics, his singing, and his smile are some of the things that I love about him.
For those of you who don't know our personal story, let me just say we've been through a lot (my mother says we sound like a soap opera without the adultery) and are about to take one more step in the journey laid out before us.
Just a quick run through:
Tim was born with syndactyly (or webbed fingers), you can read about that more at sycactylypolydactylysupportgroup on yahoo groups. It was regarded as a side effect caused by morning sickness medication my MIL took while pregnant, just as her mother did with her. My MIL was born with the same condition; both of their fingers are deformed and twisted and joined together. But both of them fought through this and learned how to do things that still astound me.

Tim never pitied himself and instead learned to laugh at himself and even love himself, which was one of the greatest things he taught me when we were courting.
We met when I was 15 and newly returned from a two week mission trip to Peru. Long story short there, we fell in love and knew we were "the one" for each other.

Because Tim is 6 years older than I am, and we both did not want to do things the world's way, we decided with the input from my parents and his mom that we would court. We never went anywhere without one of our parents or in a large group of people. The only time we were ever alone was in the car driving to some function or family get together.
Then on my 17th birthday, we went on our first "date" to see Runaway Bride and discover what has become our favorite place to eat on special occassions, Petrucelli's. If you haven't eaten there, you should and make sure you order the cannoli for desert.

A month after my 18th birthday on Friday the 13th with a full moon, Tim asked me to marry him. Of course I accepted and we set our wedding date for the following March.
Then we postponed our wedding and felt we would receive a blessing for doing so at the request of my parents. The day before our original wedding date, Tim lost his job as the company went under.
He found another job with a member of our church and learned his new trade.

We were married in 2002, with my uncle and my father marrying us. It was simply beautiful and exactly what my little girl dreams longed for. I was especially grateful for my uncle being a part of that ceremony and covenant we entered since he has since gone to heaven.
We settled in married life with jobs, college, and my first home. Things were tight but they were good and we enjoyed that honeymoon period. Before we had been married a year, we bought a house and seemed to be moving in the right direction to our goals.

Then the day after our one year anniversary Tim was in a car accident that totaled his work truck and left him bedridden with back pain for two weeks.
Finally we were able to get him back to work and I helped him whenever I had free time from college. Then in October we found out we were expecting our first child which we had planned not to do until four years later. Let's just say birth control isn't too much of an obstacle for God! lol

By the early winter of the next year, we realized the job Tim had wasn't bringing in enough money for us, since it was in the single digits for that year. We were released from the contract Tim was in without having to pay any penalty and we parted ways with his employer on good grounds.

About a week later I was in a rather bad car accident and went into preterm labor at only 28 weeks. I had no broken bones, but I was so beat up I was bedridden for two weeks. During that time Tim had to do everything and it was a blessing he wasn't working.
Then two weeks before M&M was born weighing only 4lbs.9oz., Tim found a job. He stayed there a short while before going on to a heating and air company.

M&M was also born with the same condition as her daddy and grandma, and then we found out all about the condition and how we had a 50% chance of having another child with the same condition and our children could pass it on themselves even if they did not have it. We were astounded and a little horrified our daughter would have to have surgery.

Then the area we lived in became unsafe to us because of two families that caused a lot of trouble in our neighborhood. We planned to sell our house, but when Tim found a gun in our yard we moved out that month.
We sold our house and moved to my MIL's house until my parent's basement could be fixed up since we didn't have enough money to buy another house right away. We also knew M&M would be having surgeries and with my mom having cancer we reckoned it would be better to have each other to lean on during that time of our lives.
We stayed with my MIL for 6 months and I am so thankful for the wonderful and generous MIL I have in her! She is priceless.

Then the day after we had finished completely remodeling her bathroom, Tim had an accident at work and tore his ACL in his left knee.
It took several months for the diagnosis and then that October he had surgery to fix a really bad knee that had three different things wrong with it. Although I can't remember much about it now, sorry!
When we moved to my parents that December Tim was wearing a leg brace that was just about his constant friend.

That following February, M&M had her first surgery. It was hard and trying and something I'm glad we don't have to do again.
Tim was on worker's comp for right at two years, so our daughter didn't really even know anything about her daddy going to work.
Then he was released from that and let go from the place he had worked. We received a settlement on the case and set about planning our future.
It took a long time to find something he could do, since he was impaired with his knee and his hands and not having a college education.

During that time, I went back to work and we made plans for our mothers, who were soon to be retired, to watch our daughter and he return to work as well. M&M had her second surgery that went a bit better than the first one, except for a slight infection she had toward the end.

Then, due to my job being replaced by a computer I had to start looking for work again. We decided to take a break and enjoy our family vacation at the beach. My g'parents, aunts and uncles, cousins, sibling, and niece and nephew, and MIL, and g'mother-IL were all there in one building. A precious time we knew we might not ever have again.
While on this trip we found out we were having JJ and it was quite a surprise to everyone including us. I had a miscarriage exactly a year before, so we had changed our birth control methods to include more than one thing. Yet, here I was pregnant! If that wasn't God then I don't what is.
That messed up all of our plans for me to work fulltime, so we pushed quickly to find Tim a job. It took a long while but he ended up in the electrician's union going through their five year apprenticeship program. (he is now in year 3)

Once again, I went through preterm labor that started at 28 weeks. We were in and out of the hospital so much, the nurses all knew me.
JJ was born five weeks early and when we brought him home he only weighed 4lbs. 1oz.!
When JJ was three weeks old Tim finally began working in the union.
Fast forward through some family members passing away, I think we buried four that year...
Tim was on the jobsite of a courthouse being built and got tangled up in some rebar mesh laying on the ground where it shouldn't have been and he landed on his left knee. The same knee that had been injured before!
We went through him having another time spent at home on worker's comp.

Then that December, our son had surgery to remove extremely swollen adenoids.
Tim did return back to work, and we ended up moving to his childhood home when his mother moved out of it to take care of his ailing gradfather.
In that time, Tim was diagnosed as having type 2 diabetes but was never able to control it or lose any weight that he had put on at the beginning of our marriage.
Then he found out he had arthritus in his hands and that one of the bones was fusing incorrectly to another one, causing him horrible pain. But sadly, there wasn't much that could be done about without extensive surgery.
His knee got better and he returned to work.

During this, he found out he had never been type 2 diabetic and his thyroid was fine.
Then we went through him having to take care of me on a horrible journey of migraines, and numerous discouraging diagnosis about mostly degenerative syndromes. Yet, he took that on just as bravely as he did handling the knowledge of some things that happened to me as a child and young teenager. I couldn't have been more proud of him!
This summer was very hard on him physically as he was working outside in the elements of horrible heat and muddy conditions on the jobsites from all the rain. That kind of construction is very taxing and physically demanding, but he managed to pull through.

He kept mum about his back hurting because of all the stuff I was going through physically as a result of a illness I had as a baby.
Then finally he could stand it no more and went to my doctor seeking answers. The answer she gave him was that he had a bulging disk in his lower back. So she sent him to a neurosurgeon, who said not only did he have a minor bulge in that disk, the bulge was a result of the degeneration of the disk itself giving to the strong pain.
Tomorrow afternoon, he is to undergo his 21st surgical procedure (he had one every summer as a child to correct his fingers) to add the fluids back to the disk and do some other stuff that I don't remember.
We also received notice that Tim had been layed off due to reduction of force in the company he was working for. At least with him being in the union, they find the jobs for him so he doesn't have to worry about that part. But, he has to get better first.
He can undergo three of these blocks if the first one works. If they don't then he will have to have major back surgery that may or may not work.

We have been in this position money wise and physically, but generally not at the same time. God has blessed us in many, many ways and we keep trusting Him to take care of the next things that arise. "I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread." We know that God will take care of us, just as he has for the past eleven years. I think how amazing it will be to look back on all of this and see just how God has turned it around to our good. When God has said, " who will go for me, to the ends of the earth? " we answer, " Send me! ".
We are learning in a way only God could orchestrate how to Live and Laugh and Love. We are glad to pay it forward, and we will see the blessings we get to give because he has blessed us! Because of his mercy, we have our daughter. Because of how gracious he is, we have our son. We have so much more than so many, and I know this moment of time that will pass too. It is just a grain of sand in the overall scheme of things God can see. He is so much bigger than our problems and although he doesn't put us through trials we are thankful for all that we learn as we go through life. I look forward to the moment that we are in Ireland proclaiming his love as we live for him. I am thankful for all the lives we will reach for him, and the amazing love from my king who died for me.
Thank you for reading this and I also want to thank you and everyone else who comes across our path: we may not know who you are, but we know God sees your prayers for us. We also know he will bless you for every prayer or supplication you give. Thank you and Merry Christmas!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Our Trip to Greenville, SC and the Shriners

Some of you know about M&M being born with syndactyly/polydactyly as a third generation carrier of the genetic deformity.For those who don't know what that is, it is commonly referred to webbed fingers (or toes) and extra toes (or fingers, or digits). If you want to read our story, you can go to (I hope that worked!)

Anyway, Shriner's Hospital in Greenville, SC took care of M&M's two surgeries to correct her condition. They completely took care of everything without us paying for anything, from our food, to our hotel, to the medical supplies and medicine we needed. For one surgery we even stayed at the famed McDonald House. They also chauffer us and pay for our food each annual trip for check-ups. They are very generous, giving the kids stuff every stop in the hospital, like X-ray, the cast room, etc. It is very child oriented, having lots of toys for the kids to play with, movies for them to watch, to food in the cafeteria children would like. They also don't let pictures be taken in the hospital to preserve the rights and privacy of the children who could be caught in the background.The best part is, they don't care how minor the case is, or how much money your family makes, they just want to help children have the best in life in the best capacity they can. The hospitals handle most any type of case, but each location specializes in a certain area, like Greenvsille specializes in orthopeadic cases. However, since these annual trips for check-ups are milestones for my little girl, I take pictures when we are in the exam rooms, with no one else in shot range. Guilty, I am! lol

This is M&M drawing on the chalkboard while we waited on the doctor to come. She talked about getting to do this for several days and loves the whole experience, and she was so young when she had her surgeries that she doesn't really remember them. Although, she does know her scars on her fingers and where she had skin grafts on her hips to cover the exposed flesh on her fingers once they were separated. She also knows traits about her fingers and her extra toe, because we decided early on we would be honest and not coddle her about it. If course we are not harsh about it, but we want her to realize she can still live life, that its no one's fault, and anger will get you nowhere but bitter. Her daddy technically could be on disability but he doesn't see himself as handicapped, neither does my MIL. I admire that so much, it makes me want to cry sometimes. In hearing their stories, I don't think I could have coped as well in their shoes. They are both an inspiration to me, honestly.

Okay, sorry about the ooey-gooey moment there. After we were done at the hospital, we were making good time back home, so one of the drivers asked if we had ever been to Mayfield and been through their tour. I said no, that even though we had one back home we had not ever been. So they took us to the one in Georgia.

We thought their Christmas tree was adorable with all the Mayfield products on it.

I thought the topper was quite cute, too!

Then we went through the tour, which my little bit loved. She thought I looked hysterical with the hair net thingy on, especially since all of my hair wouldn't fit in the darn thing. We saw one guy that had the hair net on plus the beard cover on, and I thought M&M was about to fall in the floor laughing! She didn't know she looked just as silly so I took this picture so she could see.

Needless to say that hair net was in the trash very quickly!!!!
Then M&M went for the free chocolate ice cream cone. We are used to going to Brewster's and getting the free kids cone which is a whole lot smaller. This thing had two full scoops on it, so she had plenty of time to come up with funny ways of licking the ice cream.

When we were leaving, I saw this beautiful porch with all these matching rocking chairs, so I just had to take some pictures. Not that I'm biased or anything, but this little girl is too stinkin' cute to not take pictures of her!

I couldn't believe I actually got a picture of her with her "smile dimples"! She only has these little dimples when she smiles her truest smile, which is hard to capture on this busy little five and a half year old. Those blue eyes decided to sparkle, too. Must have been the ice cream!!!!

Sorry for the long post, but there was so much to tell!
Oh, and if you or someone you know has a child that needs medical help with some condition, contact the Shriners'. You won't be sorry you did.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Christmas Presents

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm taking orders for Christmas presents. You can check out some of the stuff Cutsie Tootsie carries at . Prices are negotiable!!!!
We have tutus for little girls, dolls, and even dogs (yes, seriously, dogs). And think how cute your little girl would look in your family's favorite team colors on game day!
We also carry lot of different kinds of hair accessories for mom and daughter, or aunt and niece, whatever the case may be. Some of our products are pins, and perfect to put on scarves, hats, purses, jackets, shoes, shirts, etc.
A new item is custom covered travel diaper wipe containers. Who wants the boring white things, have some fun and get one in the colors you like! Orders available, each container costing only $4.00.
There are so many items to see! Let me know if any of you have questions! And please, become a follower of cutsie tootsie on blogspot! Get the word out this little momma is making it happen like a proverbs 31 woman (or at least trying to run that race!) Love you all!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Check out my newest blog!!!!

Some of you may already know about this, but check out my newest blog! It is called Cutsie Tootsie, a business I created to add a little whimsy to every girl's life.
Check it out at or the shop on .We carry a variety of tutus, and do special orders, too. We also do hairbows, crocheted items for the little girl and fun loving woman, plus soon to come items like scarves, gloves, and cotton knit winter hats.
If you have any questions just leave me a comment and you can also check out our page on facebook.

Or you could come out to Old Baker Farm's Cotton Pickin' Celebration (admission is $10 per person and includes a pumpkin that you pick after a hay ride) tomorrow from 9:30am to 5:30pm in Harpersville, Al. We will be in Vincent, Al on November 21st, details to soon follow. Thanks for reading!!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Want some honey, honey?

So, my grandfather has a pear tree that always gives more than people can even use, including five, five gallon buckets to one great uncle. So this year, I decided to try my hand at something every generation before me has done for quite some time. I would can them, but of course, if you know me, I have to try something different. I researched some ideas (I didn't want to do pear preserves, since my dad makes it, and makes it really really well) and I came across something called Pear Honey. Now, you might know what this is or you might not. I personally fell into the might not category, but I was intrigued. I love honey on biscuits for breakfast (love a slice of tomato on a biscuit, too but thats another story), so I thought why not give this a try.

Here are the pears in all their glory. I'm not certain what type these are, but it doesn't matter too much when doing something like this. I had one Walmart sack full of these little beauties, which roughly translated into 8 cups of cored, chopped pears.
My other ingredients were:
1 cup of pineapple juice
4 cups of sugar (roughly)
pint or quart jars
rings and lids
large pot or canner

Now to get started I had to peel, core and slice up the pears. I tried putting them in boiling water and dunking them into ice water like you would a tomato or a peach to remove the skins, but it didn't work too well for me. So I just sliced them with a regular vegetable peeler.

And of course, since I have a garden, I saved the remains for my compost heap. I cut off all the bad spots and roughly chopped them, placing them in a bowl with lemon juice or vinegar and salt to keep them from browning. It doesn't matter if they brown, but they look a lot prettier if they don't.
Next, I made a syrup of pineapple juice and sugar, heating it on low until the sugar disolved. And like most everything I do, I provided a comical blunder to my attempt at canning. My daughter was talking to me while I was measuring out what was supposed to be one cup of pinapple juice, thinking after I poured it in the pot I would fix myself a glass to drink since I love pinapple juice. Later on, when the pear/syrup ratio wasn't matching up, I realiazed I had no cup of pineapple juice to drink and had instead poured a second cup of pineapple juice into the pot. Being one to make lemonade out of lemons I instead made a double batch of pear honey!
Here is a picture of what the pears looked like in the syrup before they cooked down.

This is a picture of what they looked like after they cooked down.

While the mixture was cooking, I had run the jars and rings I was to use through the dishwasher and they were still hot when the mixture had cooked down. I had another small sauce pot with the lids for the jars, which once I had brought them near a boil, I placed on the warmer eye on my stovetop to keep them warm. Inside another pot I had a spaghetti strainer with enough water to cover the jars heating up. By the time the mixture had cooked down in the first pot, everything else was ready.
I placed my hot jars on top of a towel covered counter, rings next to them ready for use. Next, I used my jar funnel (yes, they are worth the $1.87 @ walmart) to ladle in the pear honey into each jar. I made sure to leave head space in each jar, before placing the lid onto them. I tightened the rings until they were "finger tightened" and then placed the jars into my pot with the spaghetti strainer. I don't have a canner, so I had to improvise. Since I had read to keep some space between the eye, and the jars, I thought the spaghetti strainer to be the best idea.
I also don't have a jar tong, so I took a regular pair of tongs and wrapped those jar opener gripper things around each tong and used rubber bands to keep them on. This worked just fine for my needs.
Here is what the jars looked like before I placed the lids on and put them in the pot.

In the pot, they were covered with an inch of water above the lids, and heated for fifteen minutes. After the timer went off, I placed the hot jars on the towel I had used earlier and wiped off the excess water, leaving them to cool overnight. Almost immediately, the sound of popping filled my living room, the sound of pleasant accomplishment. I now have seven quarts and four pints to give as Christmas presents, costing me a total of about $1 a piece.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Fun Times!

It's been a while since I've posted anything lately. I have lots of pics of the kids but thought I would give some highlights.
In this pic, M&M was chasing her brother and trying to keep him out of her room since she had little toys out in the floor. I managed to grab the camera at just the right time for this hysterical moment.

On a different day we had been having a playdate with friends and after they left and daddy came home, JJ was shirtless after eating a treat. He grabbed his daddy's "cowboy hat" and his horse and then began shouting "Yee-haw!" as he galloped around the house.

Before the shirt came off for the treat, this is what JJ was up to. He just loves pretending to be Daddy!

I've already posted about M&M losing her first tooth, but I took this picture of her before any had come out. We were going to visit my mother so I let her wear makeup and she wanted to know if the eyeshadow turned her eyes blue or green.

This is what she looks like now, with the top left one loose, too. At this rate, she isn't going to have any teeth! At least the bottom one should be in before she looses the top ones...I hope.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Bhurtha anyone?

My niece came over to help me hang a bunch of clothes for upcoming fall/winter consignments. Her and I have the same taste when it comes to food, so I decided to use the opportunity of non-picky eaters at my table and stuff fresh from the garden to fix an Indian dish; this is Indian as in "India".

We enjoyed the meal so much I thought I would share the recipe. Surin is great to go to, but why not try a little something fun at home?!

1 small eggplant, sliced in slivers (I used ghostbuster eggplant, a white variety)
1/4 c. sliced onion
1 tomato, seeded and sliced into slivers
1 small pepper (I didn't use this ingredient)
curry powder
cumin seasoning
ground coriander seasoning
salt and pepper
1 cinnamon stick
cloves (whole or ground)
1 small carrot, julienned
small bunch of green beans or peas
vegetable or olive oil
half a container of plain or vanilla yogurt
1/2-3/4c. water

In a large skillet, heat oil and add nutmeg, cloves, and cinnamon stick. Continue heating on medium setting, until you can place the butt end of a wooden spoon in the oil and the oil bubbles around the handle (this is a tip chefs use). Remove the cinnamon stick and add onion, carrots, and optional hot pepper. Continue cooking until onions are tender. Reduce heat. Next add cumin, coriander, and curry. After you blend in the spices add the yogurt and water (don't add the water first). Then place beans and tomatoes in mixture and cook for about 15 minutes. Add eggplant and salt and pepper. Increase the heat back to medium and continue cooking until eggplant is translucent. The sauce will darken and the vegetables will become mushy, except for the beans. Once the eggplant is translucent, remove pan from heat and let it rest for several minutes before serving, since this will allow sauce to thicken.

Serve over rice. There are other traditional things to serve with this, but we didn't have any of them. We also cooked some beef strips in a separate pan with olive oil, curry powder, salt, and a sprinkling of sugar.

This dish will serve about four people and takes approx. 1 hour from prep to serve.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The Lost Tooth

My little girl has finally lost her first tooth! It has taken almost two weeks for it to come out and happened to fall out on a very emotional day as we were preparing to leave for Tim's grandfather's funeral. M&M was a spot of joy that day showing everyone the hole where her tooth had been. I snapped a picture to show just how proud she was.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Close second to childbirth...

Most of you already know what has been happening to me this past week, but for those of you who don't or happen to find this on some search, I am going to tell my story of an event that is a close second to childbirth.

Ruptured Ovarian Cysts

Even the name sounds horrible!

Before I begin, let me throw out a couple of disclaimers, I am not a physician and if you think that you have symptoms of this then get to the ER or your doctor. Second, I am one of those people that tend to tell everything about myself if I think it could help someone else. There is too much silence about certain issues that so many women deal with!
The symptoms include some of the following,
horrible pain in the right side of the lower abdomen, sometimes spreading to the back, belly button, buttocks, and pelvis.
severe pelvic pressure and/or pain
onset of pain after intercourse or bowel movement
pain before a period or after in the pelvic area
frequent urination and/or inability to empty bladder
signs of anemia
nausea and/or vomitting
if you have mitral valve prolapse, shaking can occur and anemia can be worse
low blood pressure
high blood pressure
heart palpitations

So here is my story:

On Sunday, June 21st, my kids, mother-in-law, husband and myself went to my parents' house to get a few things for my parents since my dad was in the hospital. We fed the dog and gathered up what we needed. By the time we reached the vehicle I was having this stabbing horrible pain in my right side. It came on very suddenly and I thought it was a muscle cramp. I tried not to let it show but my husband in all of his infinite wisdom could tell I was hurting somewhere by my harsh answers to any questions. I had to go back inside for something and when I tried to get it in the back of our vehicle I couldn't lift it because the pain was so, well, painful. Tim came around and put it in the back for me and told me to take some painkillers. I am certain I meekly I obliged.

By the time we reached the hospital to visit my dad and loaded JJ in the stoller I was better. Thought it was a fluke thing. The rest of the day and the next day I was fine.

Fast forward to Tuesday, Tim went to work and I and the kids went about our regular day. Around lunch time, Tim called to say he was headed home because the company he works for had goofed up and not followed protocol so they were being thrown off the jobsite until the right procedures were gone through. When he came home, he and both kids took a nap in their seperate bedrooms. I shouted hurray! and began putting on my gardening clothes to go work out in the yard.

Somewhere in the midst of putting my stuff on, my side started hurting really bad again. I doubled over a few times, since I don't handle pain really well. But, nonetheless, I went outside and tried to convince myself to garden. I made it as far as the kids' swing. It looks just like an adult free standing porch swing on a metal frame with a canopy over it but it is kid size. I somehow lowered myself onto that while trying not to throw up. I had the thought of pushing on to dig a hole to plant my new hostas, but thought better of it. This mental picture came to mind of my husband's uncle or cousin driving their dump truck up the road that runs beside our house and seeing me laid out on the ground unconscious, so I very slowly went back inside.

Immediately, I googled "pain in right abdomen" and came up with appendicitus and kidney stones or gallbladder rupture/stones. All of them said to call the doctor or go the ER. I called my doc's office telling them I had severe pain in my lower right abdomen with nausea and my heart was pounding in my chest. The nurse said, " I don't want to alarm you, Mrs. White, but you need to come in as soon as you can. Don't panic, that will make the pain worse. Just come in as soon as you can and you might end up going to the hospital" Okay, sorry, but alarms started ringing in my head! Panic Panic, who's panicing?

I woke up Tim and told him what was happening. Then I asked him to help me wash off before we left. After he helped me get clean, we woke up the kids, dressed them and headed for the doc's office which is only about three minutes away.

My husband about lost it when I informed the nurse why I was there and she had me write out a check for my last copay, including the amount for the current one before the doctor could see me. Somehow I was calm. The nurse took us to a room and asked questions all the while my two little children sat in shock in chairs staring at me with huge eyes. It felt like a bad movie, but the pain was very real.

The doctor came in and asked me questions. By this time my brain wasn't working too well and I couldn't answer her questions. She asked me what I had to eat for lunch and I remember trying to mentally show her a picture of it from my head, because I couldn't remember what it was called. Very strange.

Anywhoo, they called the paramedics who came and loaded me on the gurney. My children did think that was pretty cool, though. The paramedic then informed my husband that there wasn't much they could do to help me except get me to the hospital because it was abdominal. So he had them load me up in our vehicle for him to take me there himself and forgo the huge bill.

My aunt-in-law, who lives down the street from us, came and got the kids and we took off for the hospital. Of course, there was traffic! It seemed to take forever to get to the hospital, but Tim said I passed out a couple of times and wasn't responsive. We finally reached the ER and Tim had to find a wheelchair for me, while some guy opened the car door and asked me repeatedly if I was okay. Tim said the man thought I was spaced out on drugs! lol I could hear what was going on around me, but I couldn't respond no matter how hard I tried and my thoughts started circling.
Anyway we had to wait for what seemed like hours to finally be called back to a room. My darling husband said one lady was called back before us who was laughing and talking very loudly with some other ladies, even though I was practically comatose and they were supposed to call you back based on severity of cases. My sweet hubby said the lady's only problem was being ugly. He isn't very nice when his loved ones are in pain.

After we were put in a room, the nurse whose name was Tim, lol, checked my vitals, etc. He said the doctor would come and see me, which he did in a few minutes saying they would get a urine sample to rule out kidney stones, a CT scan to check for appendicitus and ovarian cysts, and a blood panel for everything. That was the first mention of the cysts, but I didn't really notice. The nurse then came back and gave me nausea medicine and morphine, which unfortunately caused me to start vomitting. I had it before when my son was delivered by C-section but I didn't have that reaction to it then. After a few trips to the bathroom and the CT scan we went back to the room to await the results. FYI if you ever have to have a CT scan and you have to drink anything for it, don't drink the banana flavor! Ask for the berry or strawberry flavor, it is the only drinkable kind. If you have to have the dye put in your system intravaneously, it will be almost hot as it goes through your system and it will make you feel like you just peed all over yourself!

The doctor came back and said I had two cysts on my right ovary and they appeared to have ruptured which was causing me the pain. Overall, I ended up with three doses of morphine and a female nurse that wanted me to walk out when I was discharged. Another patient found me a wheelchair, thank goodness. With instructions to see my gyn in a few days, we left the hospital at about 8:30pm. We found a 24 hour pharmacy and had my Darvicet and Naproxen prescriptions filled while I drank a Sprite, my first sustenance since lunch. Then we went home for me to crash.

The next several days I was in constant pain, and ended up having to take the Darvicet every two hours to be able to bear it. The second day I felt a little better but the third and fourth were worse by far. The fifth was a little better, but the sixth was full of pain and fatigue. Yesterday,the seventh, began with sharp stabbing pains during the night that lasted until about midafternoon. Since then I have been fine and only taking Tylenol. I also saw my gyn yesterday who did an exam on me, then ordered a vaginal ultrasound, which was not bad at all. After that he informed me that the first cyst was a simple cyst, meaning it had only fluid. The second cyst, the larger one, was a complex cyst, meaning it had stuff like bone and hair in it. Yuck and oh gross! The simple cyst was half the size it had been and the complex cyst was a third the size, a pretty good reduction for only a week's time.

The doctor then told me to keep taking the pain meds as I needed them and expect for the cysts to be gone within another week. If I still have complications I will return for another ultrasound. Also, if I have the symptoms in the future I am to try to go to his office rather than the ER for treatment. Worse case scenario, I might have to have my right ovary removed if the problem persists. No hysterectomy or taking both my ovaries. That was a relief for me to hear! 26 is a little young to go through menopause!

During all of this I have done some research online and found one website that stands out from the rest on the wealth of information. If any of you have questions or want to know the list of symptoms check out

I know this was a long post, but it was something I had no information about until it happened to me and then I found out about many friends and family who had experienced the same thing.

Friday, June 12, 2009

M&M's 1st VBS

Camp Edge VBS 2009!

M&M had never been to VBS nor had she been to a class like this other than preschool at church. I wasn't sure how she would handle it all, but she is such a trooper that she trudged on in, embracing it all.

She even made a new friend whose name she could remember, which for her is a feat in of itself.

Here is M&M with her friends and teachers of her class.

Now I wasn't sure what to expect, but had talked to a few people beforehand who had no reservations about the place, but I used to be involved in VBS as a teenager and it was just cheesey stuff from the dollar store. And, it was just crafts and Bible stories. This place had three different ministries for the kids to give to. One of them was donating peanut butter and jelly for a ministry that makes sandwiches for the homeless and less fortunate. The first day I thought a few people would bring small containers if at all, and then this happened: They didn't have enough room on the table to put all the stuff!

This church seemed genuinely concerned with helping others, starting with our children. I know songs and Bible verses, stories, and sayings were taught to the children and they even sent a cd home of 10 songs they did while in VBS. I appreciated this because my stubborn daughter refused to believe she was singing on of the songs incorrectly. Imagine that!
Next are a few pics of the decorations. I didn't know what to expect here, either. But sadly, I guess I did expect unimaginative things or tacky things, but I was blown away by the thought and effort put into what they did.

I am very happy my daughter was able to go to this and go every day. She was not happy this morning when I reminded her it was over. She is already looking forward to next year. Then she will have several to attend because of going into the first grade.
Here is M&M posing for her picture!

When we arrived at home, we traipsed around the yard a bit and found this. In person it is huge! Probably about the size of a slice of bread, but we noticed its shape so M&M requested I take a pic of it. So, this heart shaped mushroom is for her:

I think it is very fitting shape, since she asked Jesus in her heart this week!

Monday, June 8, 2009

New member in God's Kingdom

My wonderful precious little girl that I love so very dearly accepted Jesus into her heart today!

She went to her very first Vacation Bible School today at the age 5 and one month and one day. On the way home, we were talking about the stories that she heard in VBS and one was about Jesus dying on the cross. She asked a few questions and I answered, praying all the while for wisdom in how to put the message to her simply. She then told me she wanted Jesus to live in her heart and take away all her sins so she could go to heaven. As soon as we got home, I sat down on the couch with her and led her through a simple prayer.

I knew this day was coming very soon, and I believe God was preparing me over the past few months for this moment with my daughter. I thank the Lord I was the one to lead her through this prayer; being a mommy to her is so very special but this is something that is awesome as a Christian and a mommy! My darling, sweet child will forever be a child of God's!

Of course, we have called many family members and I was very quick to FB everyone what had happened. I called my grandfather this evening and told him about it. He had a bad day today and I don't think he could have received any better news. I could hear the tears he choked on and it seemed to be a huge weight off of his shoulders. I thought to myself, if he were to pass away tonight, I know it would be with a smile on his face. If it were the last time I ever spoke to him in this world, it would be the most meaningful conversation we could have had. He remembers so vividly when I gave my life to Jesus at the age of 5, almost exactly this time 21 years ago. He hopes to carry on the legacy of his mother, who prayed everyday for her descendants to be saved until her death in her 90's. Every one of her children, son-in-laws, grandchildren, g'children-in-laws, and almost all of her great grandchildren accepted Christ before her death. What an awesome impact her prayers had! I think those prayers are still working today!

I am so honored to have M as my daughter, so proud to have watched her become a Christian, and so in awe of my God!

Friday, May 29, 2009

A first time for everything....

So, I have a five year old. My five year old is beautiful, a bit stubborn, very dramatic, and is quite a conversationalist. And she just said her first cuss word.

What did I do? Well, let me tell you!

I was in my bedroom finishing up something and she came in my room all dressed since we were about to go somewhere. She drops something on the floor by accident as we started talking and she said the whopper of all whoppers, " G-D ". Now, we are Christians who don't cuss (well, WE don't but occassionally I let the S word slip in a very hushed whisper). Anyway, we definitely don't say G-D, nor could you pay us enough money to.

To say I was astonished might be understating it a bit, more like flabbergasted, gobsmacked, bowled over, etc. but all at the same time. Thank goodness, my godly parenting skills took over while the rest of me was metephorically on the floor.

I heard myself say, " What? "

The next thing was not a repeat of the word like most would probably do, but a burst of tears from my very young five year old. Compassion kicked in, since I knew she didn't know what she had just said. I explained to her that we did not say that word ever, no matter what, because it was really bad and meant something bad.

The wailing wall in Israel hasn't seen as many tears as I did during this exchange, complete with hyperventilating (coming from her, not me). Very calmly, without any yelling or shouting I told her she wasn't in trouble and I was not going to punish her because she didn't know she was wrong until mommy let her know. In the midst of a boo-hoo, I said, " Honey, it isn't wrong to try new words, that is what helps you get smarter. But you obviously thought that word might not be a good one because you started crying before I even said whether it was or not. Next time, if you think a word might be a bad one, ask. You won't get in trouble for asking, because that is the right way to do it. "

I also let her know that if she ever said the word again she would be in deep trouble because now she knew the word was wrong, and if she didn't stop crying I was going to tickle her until she stopped. Of course, like I mentioned she is dramatic, so I ended up having to tickle her for about five minutes. After a little bit she calmed down, and I loved on her and hugged her telling her I loved her very much and she was very special and nothing she ever said was going to change that. But, I wanted her to use only nice words, not bad words that were ugly.

After she left my room, the realization of what actually transpired hit me and I reeled. To some, it might now be a big deal, but when it is your own precious, innocent child and that comes out of their mouth it can surprise you to say the least. As to where she picked up the word, there are two culprits. One is a very recent movie on tv that decided it wasn't being riveting enough so one of the characters decided to add some spice without any warning. Of course we changed the channel, but not before our little girl's little ears heard it. The second is a culprit of considerable years and a cantankerous humorous dispostion who is my husband's elderly grandfather. Whenever we visit, I hear the term at least once, but he has dementia to a degree and wouldn't remember if you asked him not to say it around the kids. Anyway, one was somewhat controllable but the other is highly unlikely to be controlled.

To sum it up, I survived my child's first cuss word a hundred times better than I coudl have ever imagined, but I know it was not me but the grace of God helping me. Otherwise there would have been yelling and shouting involved on my end and a terrified little five year old on her end. Considering all of us parents will have to deal with this one time or another a friend suggested I share my "fun" adventure so that maybe somebody else could learn something from it. I hope you do learn something, even if it is to laugh at my expense! Have a great and peaceful cuss-free night!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

For us who grieve...

Recently I went to a conference where every woman who had experienced the loss of a child, miscarriage or otherwise, was asked to stand and receive prayer. I was at the BJCC and the bottom half of the place was full of only women, but I was still astounded at how many women stood. Two of the six women in front of me stood, and unfortunately I was included in the overall group. Even though my pain is not fresh and my tears are not so common anymore, it is still a loss.

Between my first and second child, I conceived on the day of my 23rd birthday and lost the pregnancy just as I was suspecting I was pregnant, about six weeks in. It was a horrible, painful miscarriage, made worse by the fact I was on vacation and away from my doctor. By the time I made it to the doctor it was too late to do a DNC, but it took me almost 11 weeks to heal physically. It took me months longer to heal emotionally, even though I had never heard the heartbeat or felt my baby move, that was still my baby. I believe life begins at the moment of conception, and all life is precious. I felt that this precious little life had been stolen from me and I never had a chance to get to know this person who had begun growing inside me. It was almost made worse by the fact I had no grave to go to and console myself; there were no momentos of that life, only a huge aching void.

Over time, I came to terms so to speak, with what I and my husband both lost, even though I had no idea how much it pained him, too. Eventually, I bottled all that pain up and put into a song to express my grief. That was my healing moment.

I still think about the child I lost, and wonder what that child would be like. I also thanked the Lord for his peace and lovingkindness, when exactly a year later to the day, I conceived my son. This is especially wonderous considering that all three times I have conceived I have been on birth control!

Anyway, I decided after about five months of silence, I would not hide my miscarriage anymore. So many women out there have experienced what I did and yet have hidden it as some kind of shame and guilt, like they are responsible for what happened.
I grieve, but I know that Psalm 113:9 says:
He settles the barren woman in her home
as a happy mother of children.
Praise the LORD.
I want women out there to know that even in our darkest hour, in our deepest grief God can. He can heal us, He can lift us up, He can deliver us from shame, He can be our strong tower, He can restore our soul, He can give us a hope of seeing our child(ren) again! So therefore, I share my song in the hope that it helps someone out there heal a little more from the grief so many of us share.

Song of My Heart
Nothing will bring you back to me
but you are a part of me always
We never had the chance to meet
Yet you are never far from me
I will carry you in my heart
and hold precious to
what you would have been

Did you ever hear
the song of my heart
beating up against your own
when your song failed
mine wanted to as well
I long to know if heaven rings
with the music of you singing
as it would've here on earth
Oh I hope you had your daddy's smile
and your mamma's blue green eyes

I know you are better off
where you are more so than here
you will never know the pain of life
or carry tears in your eyes
Hurt will never follow after you
and love will be ever by your side
I know you now have only peace
since the angels bore you up
within their wings
and God sang you His lullaby
But I will have missed the most
for never knowing you
Until we meet again

After my husband read these words he told me that he had a dream where a little boy with brown hair and brown eyes hugged him as Tim cried, and told him that he was okay in heaven and that he knew we loved him. My husband also said his name was Noah.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Birthday JJ!

Happy 2nd Birthday JJ!
As you can see from my post yesterday, we have two birthdays very very close together. But we see it as God's sense of humor, since mine and my husband's are also one day apart. Our life together has been filled with those cute little occurances, but none better than our two children.

JJ was born on this day two years ago, at 7:36pm weighing 4lbs 13oz. and 19 in. long. He was five weeks early, had jaundice as well, and when we brought him home from the hospital he weighed 4lbs. and 1 oz. I have never held any other babies as tiny as my two, and it somehow makes them all the more precious to see a life that shouldn't have made it defy all odds and show the world that God is bigger than circumstances.

Now two years later, no one would ever know that JJ was a preemie. He is above average in weight, height, and vocabulary. He is already using the potty, which took a year longer for his sissy, and he amazes me everyday with his antics and humor. This road has been a short two years, filled with a joy only God can give. When I found out I was having a boy, my first thought was "What am I going to do with a boy?". I wanted another girl, especially since I was comfortable with girls, but God had other plans. When JJ came into my life, I was astonished at how head over heels in love with him I became. With his sissy, it was a sweet, gentle kind of love that was peaceful and lovely. With JJ, it was a kind of giddy, first true love feel. It is hard to explain, but I never thought I could love my children in different ways and love them equally. But I do.

My precious little boy, you are the light of my life. You are my joy in the morning, my cuddles in the evening. " I can hear my children laughing down the hall through my bedroom door...I am blessed. ", is so true. There is nothing sweeter than the sound of your and your sissy's laughter. In your sense of humor, you are so like your daddy and I find it adorable. Even the sight of your pouty lips when things don't go your way, make me laugh and want to cry along with you. I can tell you will influence people as you grow older. You have an ability already to sympathize with people and make them feel like they are the most special people in all the world.

I hope as you grow older you use this ability in the way God would have you, and that you serve him all the days of your life. I honestly think you will have something to do with mechanics of some sort, since you have been figuring out how to take things apart since you were 6 months old. But whatever you do, know that I will always be proud of you, and thankful that you came into my life to show me how fun boys really can be.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Happy Birthday M&M

Five years ago today, my little tiny M&M came into this world. She weighed only 4lbs and 9oz at 19 in. long. She was my little miracle, a blessing from God, that made it past the 28 week stage no matter what anyone else thought. Even though we had so many complications during my pregnancy and surprises when she was born (severe jaundice and the knowledge of her having syndactyly/polydactyly), I was overjoyed and awed that God gave her to me of all people.

When she was born my dad took a picture and placed it on the door of our room in the hospital. We had nurses come by in droves just to look at her and one grandmother who knocked on our door to see our beautiful baby because she had never seen a newborn that pretty. I thought I was going to scream for all the people saying how tiny she was for the next month! Or the people asking if she was a babydoll, like grown women put those in carseats and take them to walmart!

What a journey we have had in these brief five years!
Sometimes when I hold her in my arms, I wonder how she was ever so small and where my little baby went. I almost hate to know what the next five years hold, but then again I look forward to what my child is going to grow up to be.
She will always be my beautiful little M&M, with gorgeous blue eyes and a smile to melt your heart. And her love for God and Jesus gets me in that "unph" place in my heart. She prayed for the first time by herself recently and I was so amazed at all she packed into that two minute prayer.

M&M, my darling child. I am so happy to be your mother. I know that you will grow into an awesome woman of God and bring mercy into people's lives because they will see it in you and want to have what you have. You are a source of joy for me; I love to watch you dance and hear you sing. I love your stories and the sound of your laugh. I know one day you will be a mother like me, and I look forward to experiencing that day with you. You are everything I prayed you would be and I know by the grace of God you will continue to be all of your days. May the Lord bless you and keep you and may your light shine forth before men all your days. Thank you for coming down from heaven where Jesus rocked you in your cradle and sang you lullabies because you knew mommy and daddy were lonely for you, our baby girl.

Monday, May 4, 2009

M&M & JJ's Birthday Party

The inevitable has occurred!!! Sniff, Sniff...
Saturday we celebrated M&M and JJ's birthdays with a party. For those of you who don't know, my two blessing are three years and a day apart in age (which is ironic since my hubby and my birthdays are also a day apart), so we celebrate their birthdays at the same time; at least for right now.

The spongebob (or sponbop as JJ says) was JJ's balloon.

M&M had the Tinkerbell balloon which was fitting since Tink is what her room is decorated in.

Because of the storm clouds looming we did an inside craft that is so simple. Just gather stickers, dry erase markers, etc, and balloons letting the kids decorate the balloons. It can also be something the kids can take home with them (and then pop hours later when they get into a balloon fight)

We had an impromptu hula dance from the bigger girls,

Next came presents!

My 14 yr. old niece somehow lit the candles on the scrumptious cupcakes with a match better than her own grandmother has done in years past (family joke).
M&M and JJ blew out their candles (JJ with a little help)

JJ eating his cupcake

M&M eating hers

PeyPey eating hers, yummy!

And of course somebody just had to take a picture of me about to eat one. The cupcakes were delish, to date I have eaten about seven, I think.

My 11 yr. old nephew on the kids' rocking horse while eating his chocolate ice cream. Who says you have to grow up?

My 14 yr. old niece giving me the don't you dare take my picture look; I listened can't you tell.

We started using one of the presents since the weather was a little better. My parents got the kids (and my husband) a bubble machine,which was AWESOME!

M&M popping her quadruple bubble

JJ screaming "BUBBLE" as one came near him.

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