Yes, it is!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Butt-Slapped, By a Stranger!

I have been visiting the local YMCA here in Brandon where my mother-in-law lives.  It's a really nice place but I miss my Y back in Illinois.  Yesterday morning, I went to the Zumba class.  It was fun, although there were just 8 of us.  The instructor was really good and very upbeat.  But it just was not the same as Misti and Susan. 
I went back this evening and the class was full.  And it was a different instructor.  That instructor was very energetic.  And very fast.  There were no slow down, catch your breath routines in that class.  It was good but the style was very different.  I have to admit, though,  that I did pretty good at keeping up with her and I got a very good workout.
One thing I noticed is that this class seemed to be a tight-knit group.  I think that's neat.  But, some of the people are just too downright friendly.  Actually, a little too comfortable for my own comfort.  Since I got to the class a few minutes late, I stayed in the back row.  The lady to my left seemed friendly enough.  Until she slapped me on my butt.  Yes, she slapped me!  Hard! Apparently, I did not give her the right response.
As I said before, the instructor was very energetic and very fast.  There was no break.  I'm used to high energy instructors and I enjoy that.  But tonight was very different.  Now, this lady on my left was apparently not very satisfied with the timing of the routines.  The routines were already on double-time. Actually more like double, double time.  It was fast enough.  So, this lady looks at me at one point and says "the music is too slow, don't you think?"  I paused for just a second thinking that this lady was kidding me.  Then I responded that I thought it was fast enough.  Before I could even get the final consonant sound out, the lady slapped me.  Hard! On my butt!  Ouch!!!  If I wasn't awake before, I most certainly was then.  I was stunned for a moment.  A stranger.  Touching my butt.  Now that is uncouth. 
With the lingering sting to my butt, I resumed Zumba-ing while trying to keep my distance from this very uncouth person.  She, who complained that the music was not fast enough, was not even keeping in rhythm.  Gah.  I just kept my attention focused on the instructor.  At the end of the class, the uncouth lady came up to me with both of her arms out as if she wanted to double-high-five me.  I obliged, reluctantly.  I'm her friend after all.  NOT!  It just creeps me out that some stranger lady would slap me on my butt like that. 
Here it is, four hours later, and I'm still bewildered and bothered by it.  Is it just me or was that just plain weird?

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dora to the Rescue, I Hope

As promised, I am now writing about Jackie's (or should I say my ordeal) with her glasses.  Jackie, being the strong-willed little girl that she is, puts up a fight when it comes to wearing her glasses.  Just like she puts up a fight when it comes to wearing her AFO or her wrist splint.
Jackie's vision is very poor in the left eye.  The doctor prescribed a prescription lens for that eye and a plain lens for the right eye.  We are also supposed to patch the good right eye with eye drops.  This is supposed to force Jackie to use her left eye more and to stop crossing her eyes.  Putting the eye drops in is also a battle.  So, I finally decided that I had to pick my battles with Jackie.  And putting those eye drops in was not going to be one of those battles.  Jackie's preschool teacher from last year was pretty good about encouraging Jackie to wear her glasses in school. 
This school year, I wrote a detailed note about Jackie's vision problems and asked the teacher to make sure Jackie wears her eyeglasses in class and during lunch with a break from them during recess.  I was reassured that the teacher would work with me on that issue.  Unfortunately, I don't believe the teacher was helping out by making sure Jackie wore her glasses in school.  So when Jackie had her 3-month follow-up with the eye doctor a couple of weeks ago, Jackie's vision had actually decreased. We had seen some improvement during the last year when Jackie was going to preschool.  Now we have a marked decrease.  I explained to the doctor the battles that I am having with Jackie and how difficult it is to get Jackie to keep the glasses on.  So, the doctor had a good little chat with Jackie, emphasizing how important it is to wear the glasses lest her vision continue to decrease.  The doctor also gave Jackie the choice of patching.  There is the sticky eye patch that adheres directly around the eye, there is the cloth patch that goes over the good lens, and then there are the eye drops.  The doctor also explained that if Jackie does not follow through with wearing the glasses, then she may have to have an operation.  Jackie chose the eye drops and promised to wear her glasses.
After that visit, we got into the SUV and headed back home.  I had to keep reminding Jackie to put her glasses back on.  After we arrived back home, Jackie and Ben started to play in the living room.  Jackie took her glasses off a couple of times but I gently reminded her of what the doctor said.  Jackie would then put her glasses back on.  Later on, I noticed that Jackie's glasses were not on her face.  Again. I asked Jackie where the glasses were.  She said she didn't know.  I kept asking Jackie and she kept saying she didn't know.  I was not going to give up.  After I kept asking Jackie where the glasses were, she finally came back into the living room holding the mangled glasses in her hand saying that they were laying on the floor and somebody stepped on them.  Ha!  That is Jackie's standard answer whenever I have found the glasses mangled.  But this time, the glasses were not only mangled, but the stem had snapped off.  Arghhhhhh! I cannot tell you how many pairs of glasses we have repaired or replaced.  Jackie was NOT going to win this battle.  She is not going to take control of this situation.  No way.  I do NOT want her to lose vision in that eye.
So, I made it very clear to Jackie that I do not appreciate her lying about the glasses and that she is not going to win.  We were going to go back and pick out new glasses.  Since I had not made it to the base pharmacy to get a refill of the eye drops, the next option was the sticky eye patch. So off to Walmart I went in search of the eye patches.  I did find them at Walmart.  After I got home, I put one on Jackie's good eye.  Of course, she balked and immediately went into drama-queen mode.  Well, within a few minutes, Jackie complained that the patch kept coming off.  Well, of course, it is.  Keep pulling at it and the adhesive will break down.  Of course, Jackie's going to win.  But not for long.  I told her we were going to go shopping for glasses the next day.  I'm pretty sure I heard her groan. 
The next day, as promised, I took Jackie shopping for new glasses.  Of course, she complained all the way to the store.  And of course, I let her know that she was not winning this battle.  She will wear her glasses.  Our first stop was Walmart.  I immediately went to the youth section to look at the frames.  I started looking at the supposedly indestructible flex-steel frames.  Jackie noticed there were some frames with Dora, Diego, and SpongeBob on them.  Hmm, a thought occurred to me that possibly this might be the answer to our current problem with glasses.  So, I took the Dora frames off of the display.  Jackie and I looked at them and tried them on her face. They do look cute and they fit Jackie's face pretty good.  Jackie started to beg for those frames and PROMISED to wear her glasses if she could get the Dora ones.  Okay, good.  I made it very clear to Jackie that I was going to hold her to her promise.  If she doesn't wear these, then I'm taking everything Dora away!.  Jackie LOVES Dora and the loss of her beloved Dora stuff would devastate her. 
The store employee measured Jackie and put in the order for the glasses. 
I am keeping my fingers crossed that this is the answer. Dora to the rescue. 
Da-Da-Da, D-Dora! Please don't let me down. I'm counting on you to help me win the battle. 
Da-Da-Da-D-Dora!  Dang, I can't get it out of my head now.  Well, I owe some of my sanity to Dora.  Maybe.  Hopefully, I'll be able to give a positive report after the glasses arrive.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Veteran's Day

I'm finally getting around to posting this one.  Veteran's Day turned out to be a beautiful day.  My friend, Katrina (a veteran herself), and I took our kids to St. Louis to spend a few hours.  We took the kids to the Science Museum then we went over to Forest Park to let the kids run and play.  I love Forest Park.  It is so beautiful there. 
Here are some pictures:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

May She Rest in Peace Now

I'm a huge fan of Nancy Grace.  I realize many people find her annoying.  I LOVE her passion, especially in regard to crimes against children and our senior population. 
I've been following the story of Zahra Baker these last several weeks.  I couldn't help but get emotionally involved in this story.  There was just something that made me feel a connection to this little girl. This little girl overcame so much adversity in her life.  Unfortunately, she could not win that battle against her stepmother and father.  What a tragic story with a very sad ending.  What a beautiful, precious little girl she was. 
It just does not make sense.  How can god allow this to happen?  To have fought cancer TWICE and experience hearing loss only to lose her life of 10 years to cruelty.  It pains me to know that she died alone, in fear, feeling so unloved. 
Zahra Baker, may you finally rest in peace.  And may justice be served in a huge way. 

Friday, November 12, 2010

Amazon Did the Right Thing

Yes, they removed the e-book guide for pedophiles.  Public outrage works! Unfortunately though,  Amazon still carries at least a couple of titles of that sort.
I read in the news this morning that the law enforcement in Pueblo, CO, where the author lives, is investigating and also providing protection for this author because he has received death threats.  But where is the protection for the victims? 
Here are the links:

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


It's time to boycott Amazon.  This is just despicable:

It looks like it is being offered only as a Kindle edition and not hard print. But still, who in their right mind would even write something like this?  This is especially disrespectful to those of us who have been violated.  I just cannot believe this.  Or maybe I should with the corruption in this world.  So, I am asking my friends and blog readers to take action and boycott Amazon until they take this garbage off of their website.  I believe in free speech, really I do.  But this is just taking it a bit too far.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Calgon! Can You Really Take Me Away?!

I would jump at the chance.  At least for today.  The day started out not being the best and it's only continued.  I picked up Jackie from school early for her doctor appointment.  Before she left the school, I asked her if she needed to potty.  "No" she replied.  In the 10 minutes that it took for us to get to the doctor's appointment, Jackie managed to wet her pants.  Six years old! And she wet her pants.  Ugh!  We got checked in for the appointment and tried to patiently wait for our name to be called.  For once, Ben was pre-occupied with a toy and was being good.  Jackie, on the other hand, was whiny because I wouldn't let her sit on the furniture with her wet pants. 
Finally, our name is called and we were escorted to the exam room.  While we waited, Ben started to try to climb on the exam table, he kept opening cabinets and doors, pulled towels out of the dispenser, hit his sister, threw a book, yelled.  I did my best to keep the boy in control but I finally collapsed in exasperation.  Then Jackie had to go to the potty.  I wonder why she has to go now after wetting her pants.  But to the potty we go.  Once I opened the door to the restroom, Ben noticed a cord and immediately went over to it and pulled it down before I could stop him.  An alarm sounded just as I yelled for Ben to leave the cord alone.  Then suddenly I heard a lot of loud laughter.  Were they laughing at us?  Hmm, I peeked around the open door and sure enough, some of the staff was standing there laughing.  At us.  Ben seized upon that opportunity of me being distracted to go over and pull that dang cord again.  Again, more laughter while I firmly told Ben that he is not to pull that cord.  Agh!
We got back to the exam room where we continued to wait for the doctor.  The kids resumed their fighting, and it was getting physical.  Finally, Dr. D came in and she was immediately greeted to chaos in the room.  I started to talk to Dr. D about a behavioral issue that has been occurring since soon after Jackie had her leg surgery a year ago.  I have consulted with Dr. D about this a few times this year and Dr. D has finally decided a couple of referrals to a couple of different professionals were in order. While Dr. D and I were discussing Jackie's issues, Dr. D was witness to a sample of Ben's behavior throughout today.  Ben threw a book across the room, he pulled more towels out of the dispenser and just was plain rude and disrespectful.  He would not stay seated in the chair even when I held him down.  Even Dr. D got firm with Ben and Ben just tried to stare her down.  He wouldn't even comply with Dr. D.  Ben usually is an angel for others.  Not this time.  It just proved to me that my children were just determined to be animals no matter who was in charge or what was threatened and carried out.  Dr. D was so kind to me and was able to see firsthand the frustration that I have been dealing with during these last few months with both of my kids. 
After we were done consulting, Dr. D entered the referrals into the computer and suggested that I go upstairs to activate them since I was already in the building.  Uh huh, sure.  When my kids are acting this horrendous, I usually don't even bother going out with them.  But, since the kids were already so bad, it couldn't get worse, right?  So, why not go ahead and just get it over with?  We got upstairs, I signed the sign-in sheet, and rang the bell.  Of course, Ben saw that and had to follow suit.  And not just once.  Then he proceeded to go and climb and jump on the waiting room furniture while Jackie looked at me mischievously while threatening to ring the bell.  Again.   Of course, after my threat, she backed off.  Score for me!
We were finally called back to the referral area.  After I got the kids situated in the other chair, Ben immediately got up and took off down the corridor to another cubicle.  I chased him down and brought him back.  The lady working on our referral was so sweet about it, thankfully.  Then the kids started fighting over the little kids' book that was in there.  I got that fight broken up and when I returned my attention to the referral person, Ben got up from the chair and immediately climbed under the lady's desk where he saw an opening where all the wires were coming out of.  He tried to climb through there.  The lady and I grabbed Ben by his legs to pull him back.  Finally, another lady came and quietly asked me if it was okay to take the kids to pick out a lollipop.  Now, usually with the boorish behavior that my children were displaying today, the answer would be a flat out no.  But I was desperate for a quiet moment to take care of what I needed to.  So, the lady took the kids. They came back with 2 lollipops each.  At least, all was quiet.  For the moment.  Finally, we got all three referrals taken care of and we were able to head home.
The kids fought in the car on the way home.  We got home and I had to start getting dinner ready for Tim who has a class tonight. 
Then I need to go pick up all of the Girl Scout cookies for our troop.  And the kids have to go with me because Daddy isn't available to take them from me for awhile. 
Okay, now as I am typing this, my kids are finally quietly sitting in Ben's rocker, with Ben sitting on Jackie's lap, watching Sprout channel. And this is after Ben spent a few minutes in time out locked in his room.  Ahh! I just adore moments like these.  I need more of them before they're all grown up. 
So, today has been exceptionally difficult with the kids.  Here's hoping for a better rest of the week.  And I'm hoping that the professionals that we are getting referrals for will help us with some particular behavior issues with Jackie.  I will write about that at a later date.  It's just something that I'm not ready to share, yet.  Jackie is a strong-willed little girl who has had to face some challenges in her little life.  And that has caused her to act out in ways that are difficult to understand.

I Need to Run Away For a Few Days

Ugh, what a day so far.  And it isn't even halfway over.  The weekend was so chaotic with my gallbladder attack and Jackie's eyeglass problems.  I was so looking forward to the new week, a good new week.  I am definitely not off to a good start. 
I got Jackie up and ready for school and got her off on the bus at 8:00.  After getting back to the house, I got breakfast ready for Ben.  Then I logged onto the computer to read the online newspaper.  Ben slept a little later this morning which I thought was great because he was so very wound up last night.  He was literally bouncing off the walls even past his normal bedtime.  In fact, Ben was so wound up that I was surprised that he didn't come sauntering out of his bedroom after I tucked him into bed.  So, I enjoyed those extra quiet minutes this morning before Ben woke up.  Because as soon as Ben woke up, he just picked up right where he left off last night.  It's going to be a long day with Ben, I just knew it.  While I was reading the online paper, Ben got my exercise ball out of my bedroom and before I realized it, he came running and rolling the ball very quickly into the family room.  Everything happened so quickly that I didn't even get a good look at what really happened. But from what I saw, Ben rolled the ball so quickly into the family room then jumped up on the ball which rolled him sideways where Ben landed hard against the coffee table.  He cried, more than he usually does when he's hurt.  Of course, I was worried right away about a head injury.  Ben kept pointing to the side of his head where he hurt.  I was able to get Ben up and walking right away which is hopefully a good sign.  I just kept observing him and checking his eyes.  I did notice that his behavior turned into near rage.  He started to throw some of his toys around violently.  Then he wanted me to put his pajamas back on him so he could go to bed.  That was very atypical behavior for Ben.  He refuses naps now and he wanted to go back to bed?  No way.  He needed to be observed. 
Soon after that episode, I received a text from Jackie's physical therapist asking if everything was okay.  Oops, I forgot about Jackie's rescheduled appointment at 8:00 am.  Jackie's OT is every other Thursday and the  PT is on the alternatings Thursday at 3:00 but since this Thursday is a holiday, the therapist rescheduled for this morning.  Oh boy.  With all of my kids' needs, it gets a little hectic trying to keep up with any changes. Gah!
So, while continuing to keep a close watch on Ben, I did a little house cleaning, went to the post office, then came back and fed Ben some lunch.  Then I received another text.  From the personal trainer this time. Asking if I was okay and that we were scheduled at 1:00 pm.   I did it again.  I missed another appointment today.  Double gah!   I hate when I do that, which is not too often thankfully. And today it happened twice. 
So now I can't help but wonder what is next.  I have to pick Jackie up early from school again today for an appointment with her pediatrician.  Hopefully, I'm right this time and there really is an appointment to show up for this afternoon.  With my luck today, it's very possible to show up for this appointment only to discover that Jackie is not on the schedule. 
After reading about one of my friend's posts about her week of "mis"adventures, I just hope that I don't end up trying to get into the wrong car today (thanks again for the good laugh Brooke). 
Tonight is the night that I have to pick up the Girl Scout cookies for distribution to Jackie's troop.  At least, I'm pretty sure it's tonight. I've triple and quadruple checked the time and location for pick-up. At the rate today is going, I'm just a little paranoid that I'll show up at the wrong place and at the wrong time.  And end up with the wrong cookies. 
I really do feel like running away for a few days.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Gallbladder Issues?

It started in the middle of the night Thursday/Friday.  I kept waking up and every time I woke up, I had a feeling of nausea.  Then I started to ache.  I initially could not tell if the aching was from working out or if it was from something else.  And I was scheduled to work with the personal trainer later in the day. Finally, the alarm went off letting me know it was time to get Jackie out of bed and ready for school.  It took everything in me to do this.  I was really starting to feel bad and I knew it the pain was not just from sore muscles from working out.  I was starting to feel pain below my sternum combined with more nausea.  The thought of eating even turned me off.  I had no appetite. 
I got Jackie ready for school, fed, and out the door to the bus stop.  As soon as Jackie got on the bus, I waved to her, blew her a kiss, then headed back to the house.  I collapsed back into bed.  I was not doing good.  Then Ben woke up.  So I got him changed and gave him some breakfast.  I texted the personal trainer to let her know that I may not make it to our session.  Then I laid back down where I could hear Ben while he played.  I also took a tyelenol which helped the headache but not the other aches.  The nausea was not letting up, either.  For a fleeting moment, panic struck me at the thought that I could be pregnant.  But, I know I am NOT pregnant.  It just is not happening.  Well, unless a higher power decides to override our preventive measures.  (Abstinence, anyone?) Just kidding. 
Anyway, the pain and discomfort finally let up and I started to feel a little better. However, I still had no appetite.  Jackie had an ophthalmology appointment later in the afternoon.  I called about canceling it but the next available appointment was in another 2 months.  Jackie's vision is being followed every 3 months and since this was already a reschedule on the doctor's part, we were already a couple of months overdue for her appointment.  I started to feel better so I kept the appointment.  I had to pick up Jackie from school early for the appointment.  I was actually feeling good and thought that perhaps I just had a 12-hour virus.  All was well until early evening.
A little while after I got home from Jackie's appointment, I was feeling very tired, probably from the continuous waking up from the previous night.  Tim came home from work a little earlier than normal so I took that opportunity to lay down on the couch where I dozed off for about an hour.  During this time, my sweet Ben also had dozed off on my bed where is daddy was watching TV. 
I woke up to Tim asking me what I wanted to do for dinner.  Dinner?  I had not even given it much thought being that I had no appetite all day.  So he offered to go to Lee's Chicken and bring home dinner.  Good, because I just did not have any energy again.  By the time Tim got home with the dinner, I was starting to feel a little hungry.  I was able to eat 1 piece of the roasted chicken and a biscuit.  Within an hour, I was doubled over in pain.  And it was not letting up. 
By 9:30pm, I decided that I had to get some help for this.  The pain was unbearable and I was feeling even more nauseous.  The kids were already in bed and Tim was working on a paper.  I ended up driving myself to the ER.  I thought I was going to have to pull over a couple of times to call for help but I finally made it to the ER. 
At the ER, as soon as I got checked in and described my symptoms, I was immediately taken back for triage where they drew blood and hooked me up to an EKG.  Then I was immediately put into a room.  I must have been prioritized.  After arriving at the ER and seeing how packed the room was, I thought for certain that I was in for a several hour wait.  A bit after I got into a room, a nurse came in and asked me to provide a urine sample.  Then I was hooked up to an IV and the heart monitor and other equipment.  A doctor came in and talked to me and asked about my symptoms.  Then the nurse came back in with 2 cups of nasty for me to drink.  I was going to have a CT scan.  I started to sip the first cup.  I got about a quarter of it finished before I threw that up.  Ugh, this was going to be a long process.  I was told to drink those 2 cups with in 30 minutes.  I can tell you it didn't happen.  Even with the pain medication and TWO doses of Zofran for nausea, an hour later, I still had barely finished that first cup of nasty with all the heaving I was doing.  It was finally time for the CT scan and when the technician asked if I would be able to drink another cup of nasty before the scan downstairs, I told her what had happened.  Nope, it wasn't happening.  Once downstairs, the CT tech injected a contrast through my IV.  I got done with the CT and was wheeled back to my ER room to wait for the diagnosis.
I was able to doze off a bit before the doctor came back with the CT results.  The doctor informed me that I have a kidney stone but it was a non-issue as it was non-obstructive.  As long as it does not move and stay haydrated, I should be fine.  But, he was fairly certain that my primary problem was a gallbladder issue.  The doctor said that the CT scan is not good for detecting gallbladder problems and to follow up with my doctor on Monday to get an ultrasound scheduled.  I asked why an ultrasound was not done there at the ER and he explained that the hospital does not have on-call ultrasound technicians.  Ugh, I went through that CT for naught.  The same thing happened 4 years ago when a suspected rupture appendix ended up being a ruptured ovarian cyst.  Again, an ultrasound in lieu of the CT scan would have saved time, money, and best of all, saved me from more radiation.  I'm a little peeved about that.  But, since a kidney stone was detected, I guess the CT this time was not in vain.  It's something to be aware of in case problems arise there.
Before I left the ER, the nurse told me what I should avoid and should be safe for me to consume in case I do have gallbladder issues.  
I got home at 3:30am and Tim was kind enough to keep the kids away from me to allow me to sleep in a little bit.  When I finally did get up, I felt a little better, although still with some mild discomfort.  Even though I was starting to feel hungry, I was afraid to eat.  I did have a banana and no pain followed.  So that was a good sign. 
In the afternoon, one of my friends called to see if I felt okay enough for me and Jackie to join her and her kids to play at Chuck E Cheese's.  Sure, since Ben was with his daddy, I took this opportunity to have the special time with Jackie without the bother of her brother.  I ordered Jackie a personal size pizza.  Since I was told to avoid dairy, I didn't even have any of Jackie's pizza.  However, since Jackie does not like the pizza crust, I ate that.  That was probably a mistake as I was feeling a little uncomfortable after a little while.  After we left Chuck E Cheese's, Jackie and I headed over to Walmart to get Jackie fitted for another pair of glasses (that's another story for another post later. Promise!).  After we were done with that, we bought a few groceries and headed back home.  By that time, it was time to feed dinner to my family.  Tim had the rest of the Lee's chicken from the night before.  I wanted some but I knew the consequences if I enjoyed some of it. So I stuck to the green beans and the rice.  I still started to feel uncomfortable an hour later but not nearly as bad as the night before. 
If I do indeed have gallbladder issues, I am determined to avoid surgery.  I know it will mean even more changes to my diet but I do. not. want. surgery.  Learning to avoid offending foods and drinks will be a learning process, for sure, but I'm determined to do what it takes to avoid invasive procedures. 
Looking back, this is something that has been going on for some time.  I just did not realize it.  For the past several years, every few months, I would have this dull ache right above my stomach sort of below my sternum. I would even get this full feeling in my chest.  And it seemed that I would have to burp more than normal.It would last anywhere from a few hours to a day and then disappear.  I just brushed it off as heartburn although it did not feel like typical heartburn.  It's probably a good thing that I was not too terribly bad eater in the way of fatty, greasy, fried foods.  Because I understand that those type of foods are really bad for gallbladder issues. 
So, if I do end up being diagnosed with gallbladder problems, then this will just be another adventure to learn about in the way of diet and health.  I will post with more information after I have consulted with my doctor. 
I feel good today, good enough that I might even go to my Zumba class today.  I missed 2 days of working out and I have to do something to make up for it.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


 I love this story:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Birthday Wishes

 Jackie had a fun day at school on her birthday.  During morning snack time, I brought cupcakes to Jackie's class. That was fun and I think Ben even enjoyed the brief visit to Jackie's classroom.  I had to keep telling him to get out of the students' stuff.
I picked Jackie up from school and after we got home, I went through Jackie's school folder.  Inside the folder was a "birthday book" that the kids in Jackie's class made for Jackie.  Each student drew a picture of what they wished for Jackie and signed their name at the bottom.  The teacher put a paper curtain on top of each drawing.  As I went through and read the book to Jackie, I couldn't help but laugh at some of the wishes from Jackie's fellow students.  They ranged from the very simple to very elaborate and even a little strange.  One wished for a swingset and music.  One wished for a playset.  One wished for a TV to watch.  Hmm, we have a TV.  Actually, we have 3 and none of them are in the kids' rooms.

One kid wished for a beautiful trampoline.  A beautiful trampoline?!  OoohNooo.  Beautiful or not, I would rather not have any trampoline.  Especially after Jackie's accident nearly 3 weeks ago.  But Tim isn't into the idea of getting rid of the trampoline that we do have.

Another kid wished for a ring in a boy.  Now that one had me stumped.  A ring in a boy?  I can't help but wonder if the teacher misunderstood that student.  Perhaps it should be "a ring AND a boy."  Either way, it isn't happening.  The ring isn't happening and the boy isn't happening.  At least, not anytime soon.  Not until Jackie is 30.

I'm just mean like that!

Through the Years in Pictures

Happy Birthday to my Sweet Jacqueline Faith!

Six years ago today, our lives were dramatically changed when we were blessed with the gift of our precious daughter, Jackie.  She is truly a miracle.  I used to say I would never get married and I would never have children.  When I did marry Tim, we married not knowing if we would have children.  We just were not sure about it.  But, alas, we were happy to learn in March of 2004 that we were expecting a baby.  In fact, we were initially expecting twins.  That's right, two babies.  Unfortunately, Jackie's twin died in utero early on.  But I look forward to the day when I can share about that with Jackie.  Right before Jackie's twin died, I had developed a chorionic hemorrhage.  The doctor informed me that 50% of those pregnancies end in fetal death.  I believe this is what led to the demise of Jackie's twin.  But, I felt very fortunate that at least, Jackie continued to develop despite the bleed.  I was monitored very closely until the hemorrhage resolved right at the beginning of the second trimester. 
During my 6th month of pregnancy, the Air Force moved me and and Tim to the St. Louis area, a thousand miles away from home.  I immediately got established with the OB clinic on base.  Despite my previous medical history and my pregnancy history, this clinic seemed to be a little more relaxed regarding my care, although overall, the doctors at that time were all very nice and caring.  Everything seemed to go well with the pregnancy after we got settled here except for the spontaneous nosebleeds.  Those were quite bothersome. 
My due date was originally around November 21.  The last several weeks of the pregnancy, the doctors were monitoring me a little more frequently because Jackie had not turned head down.  She was stubborn and continued to stay in the frank breech position.  A few days before Jackie was born, the doctor did another ultrasound and threw his hands up in the air in exasperation.  He did NOT want to do a c-section but because there was concern about the amniotic fluid being low in addition to Jackie's breech position, the doctor was not going to risk doing a version.  Plus, versions often are not successful and can be very painful.  So, a c-section was scheduled for November 9th. 
I will never forget on Halloween night, I sat in the garage handing out candy to trick or treaters.  We were new to the area and I was excited to see the kids who lived in our neighborhood.  I felt good and did not feel that my body was preparing for labor. 
Sometime after trick or treating was over, Tim and I went to bed.   I remember waking up around 3:30am to make one of many nightly trips to the bathroom.  After I left the bathroom, I fell back into bed to attempt another few hours of sleep.  But as soon as I lay down and got comfortable, I felt the most horrible pain, an indescribable pan.  I rolled back over and sat up on the edge of the bed.  This woke up Tim and he asked if I was okay.  I told him that I had a terrible cramp and I was just going to go sit in the bathroom for a bit.  I don't know why I thought sitting in the bathroom was going to help.  But I headed there anyway and as soon as my feet hit the hard bathroom floor, I felt a gush and saw a large puddle hit the floor.  I was stunned for a moment because I could not figure out if I had just wet my pants or if my water broke.  Since I had just voided a few minutes ago, I thought that I couldn't have peed in my pants.  I finally realized that my amniotic sack had just ruptured and panic-stricken, I ran into our bedroom to tell Tim.  Here I am panicking and Tim was so calm and collected.  It seemed he was taking his time getting ready to go to the hospital.  Ugh.  Finally, we got out the door and headed to the hospital.  By this time, it is after 4:30 am.  I called the parents to let them know that we may be having a baby that day.  We got to the hospital where I was immediately sent to labor and delivery.  The nurse got me into a room where she assessed me and could not definitively determine that my membranes had really ruptured.  I was starting to worry that I was panicking for nothing.  Finally, she called the on-call doctor to do an exam.  Sure enough, that doctor confirmed it.
While we waited for the on-call OB from the base to arrive, a technician came in to do an ultrasound to verify the baby's position.  Jackie was still breech and it was confirmed that I was indeed going to undergo a c-section. 
The procedure went very well and Jackie came out screaming.  And she hasn't stopped since.  I will never forget that moment, though.  I felt such overwhelming love.  But the joy for me was short lived. 
That first year with Jackie was challenging in many ways.  Jackie was very colicky for almost that entire first year.  I was struggling with postpartum issues.  I was not doing good.  Jackie endured several issues, also.  She was jaundiced for several weeks and then diagnosed with failure-to-thrive.  Then Jackie was dropped by a visiting relative and suffered a brain bleed.  When Jackie was a few months old, we noticed that she was not using her left arm or leg.  The doctor ordered an MRI which indicated a PVL (peri-ventricular malacia).  This has resulted in Jackie having mild Cerebral Palsy.  Jackie has endured a lot in her short life but she is such a trooper.  She has had years of physical and occupational therapies.  She had a few years of speech therapy.  And she has had 2 foot surgeries and we're looking at a third one soon.  Yes, as she gets older, she gets a little stubborn about the treatments that are meant to improve her quality of life.  She just wants to be like all the other kids who don't have to wear an AFO or a wrist splint.  She wants to be able to walk, run, climb, jump, etc. just like all the other kids.  And she can do all of those things although some of it is just a tad more difficult for her than for a typically developing child.  But, Jackie is a fighter and she does not let her disability hold her back. 
Jackie is a very smart little girl who is enjoying Kindergarten and doing very well.  She has become quite the social butterfly at school.  That is a stark change from just a year ago when she was too shy to raise her hand to answer questions.
Jackie is also a funny girl.  She is charming, sweet, stubborn, loving, sassy, sensitive, drama queen (which is probably her best attribute).  She loves music, singing, Dora, princess stuff, all things pink,.  And unfortunately, I see evidence that she is also developing the same anxious personality as me. 
Despite all that Jackie has gone through due to her CP, Jackie is just perfect to me and I would not trade her for anything.  Well, maybe sometimes.  But, I do love her so and I hope that as she gets older, Jackie and I will grow closer as mother and daughter.  I want so much to have the relationship that I did not have with my own mother.  I'm determined to make it happen.
Happy Birthday Jackie!  I love you so much, more than words can describe.