Yes, it is!

Monday, November 28, 2011

New Addiction

I am addicted to yet another animal related website:  I'm just a sucker when it comes to reading about animal rescues.  And I'm proud to say that I've never purchased a dog.  All of my pets have been rescues, including my mini-Aussie. 
I love beagles and they are one of my favorite breeds. They are such cute, funny, and friendly critters. I once had a beagle mix named Pickle and I still have fond memories her.  I was heartbroken over her loss.
The video from this new website brought tears to my eyes.  And it warmed my heart to watch those little beagles experience daylight and the feel of grass beneath them for the very first time. Dogs are the most forgiving beings and they provide the most unconditional love.  Humans could learn a few lessons from dogs.
Enjoy the video:

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lucy's CCL

Lucy, aka Dumb Dog,  has a torn CCL.  In humans, that would be the ACL.  I noticed Wednesday evening, after Lucy came from outside, that she was not putting any weight on her hind left leg.  When Tim came home, I told him about it.  Tim figured that Lucy must have hurt her leg while chasing Dugan, my 12-pound mini-Aussie.  Dugan is an incredibly fast runner and Lucy tries her best to keep up with him.  So, we decided to observe for the next couple of days.  Lucy didn't seem to be in pain, even when I squeezed and pulled around that area.  But by Friday, Lucy still was not putting weight on that leg.  I called the veterinarian who was able to see Lucy right away.  The vet felt around Lucy's leg and knee. He compared how it felt to the opposing leg, too.  He asked about Lucy's activities.  Lucy was such a  trooper through it all and didn't even yelp in pain.  Finally, the vet determined that Lucy tore her CCL.  He went on to explain the different treatment options available, all of which are surgical.  There is just one vet in that office who does the suture surgery, which is the least expensive and typically for less involved CCL injuries.  The vet is going to talk to this other vet/surgeon to get his opinion if this treatment would be adequate for Lucy.  Otherwise, Lucy will need to go to a specialist and possibly undergo a more expensive surgery.
Poor Lucy, as healthy as she is, is a bit accident prone.  She suffered a punctured eye injury in March of last year.  After being on 3 different medications and having to wear an E-collar, Lucy's eye was saved, although it has shrunk a bit over this past year.  Needless to say, Lucy looks a little sad.  So now, she is has this scary looking eye and she is hobbling around on 3 legs.  Lucy is a sight to behold now.  On top of that, the neighbors down the street must think this is one unloved dog after they spotted her wearing her "bad dog" t-shirt.  She is, after all, a misfit.  But she's a lovable one.  And she thinks everyone, including fellow canines, is her friend.
After having a spate of out-of-pocket medical expenses in these last 3 months, I've been trying to think of ways to help us fund Lucy's surgery. I'm going to try to take on more substitute teaching jobs now that I've been able to move some of Jackie's therapy appointments.  And I'm going to make and sell holiday baskets.  So, if any of my local friends would like to help me fund my lovable misfit dog's surgery, please consider buying a holiday basket from me.  I also have inventory left over from a jewelry business.  If you're interested in looking at some of that, please let me know. 
Here is a picture of some of the baskets that I made for my kids' teachers last year:

Here is Lucy:

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I'm A Veteran

Yes, according to my daughter, I am a veteran.  And I must agree.  I may not wear a uniform or fight in wars but I am in a battle of some sort nearly every day.  Depression, anxiety, low self-esteem, fighting children, fear, etc.  I am survivor.  I am a veteran of everyday life battles.  And lastly,  I'm a proud wife of a military veteran.  
So, enjoy this sketch that my precious daughter made for me today.  Is it cute and comical or what?  I love that girl so much.  She never ceases to amaze me with her talents.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Love Thy Neighbor...

so the Bible says.  And I used to do just that.  Until recently.  I thought we had great neighbors until recently when I wrote a blog post asking for advice regarding 2 feuding neighbor girls and it was starting to involve my daughter.  Things with one of the neighbors went downhill from there.  Then I wrote a blog post inspired by a comment that my hubby made.  In that post, I talked about J giving a birthday invitation to one of the neighbor girls and that if the girl showed up, then I would do the christian thing and welcome her. Well, apparently, this upset the neighbors.  Again.  Here is the post. 
So, the father of this child came over last Sunday afternoon to confront me about that blog post. I asked why he was even reading it and he stated that he wasn't but that his 13-year old daughter is reading it.  I asked him why the hell his 13-year old daughter was reading my blog.  His response was that my blog is public (which it is) and that his friends are like "oh my god."  Whatever.  I realize my blog is public but if somebody is going to have their 13-year kid police my blog, well, then they have a problem.  It's not my problem.  This is my blog, I will write what I choose to write.  But, I admit that I didn't handle the situation well.  The stress of that and everything else just sent me into a tailspin.  I slammed the door in the father's face and screamed to him to get off of my property.  I then grabbed a few of my things and left the house. 
I'm so thankful for the support from my fellow bloggers, blogging networks, and personal friends. It's because of you that I am not giving up on my blogging.  And blogging has opened up several different exciting opportunities for me.
And, in a way, I am thankful for the neighbors.  Thankfully, my family survived (barely) my absence for a few days this past week but it made my hubby realize that some changes needed to be made.  And he's doing a pretty darn good job, so far.  He realized that he needs to protect and support me, value me, treasure me, make me feel loved.  I am a fiercely independent person but I still needed these affirmations from my husband.  I am feeling more loved than ever right now.  And I am finding it easier to reciprocate.  We have a way to go but I have more hope than ever. And my kids?  They've been great.  And so much more fun.  I love those kids.  I love my family so much.  So, thank you, Neighbor, for helping to orchestrate (albeit indirectly) the events that led up to this positive outcome. 
Speaking of the neighbors, I do miss the friendship that we had at one time.  But I have to admit that I am enjoying less whining from my daughter and I don't miss breaking up the bickering that occurred between our girls.  They probably think that I don't care about any of them at all but that really is not the case.  If it came down to it, I would help out in an emergency.  That's just how I am. 
So, A, if you're reading this, go give your parents the latest update. Okay?

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Thankful Day 5

Today, I am thankful for the excellent medical care that my daughter receives for her mild disability.  Ever since J's diagnosis at age 6 months, J has seen her share of specialists; neurologist, ENT, opthalmologist, orthopedic surgeon, occupational & physical therapists, speech therapist, orthotist, etc.  Most of J's specialists are at St. Louis Children's Hospital, a top children's hospital.  I feel very fortunate that our insurance coverage has approved nearly all of J's care.
I'm thankful for J's physical therapist who has treated J since she was 9 months old.  Julie was (and still is) a huge support for me when J was still a little baby. Being fairly new to this area at the time and having no family near us, I had no support system to help me through the difficulty that I experienced during J's first year.  I am so thankful that Julie came into our lives during that time and not only did she treat J but she also recognized  how desperate I was as a new mom struggling to come to terms with J's diagnosis.  In addition to dealing with J's diagnosis, J was very colicky and I was experiencing post-partum depression. I remember being resistant to Julie's initial attempts to reach out to me but I am so thankful that she did not give up on me.  And I am so thankful for the bond that we have developed over the past 6 years.
I am thankful that we have the medical coverage that allows us to seek excellent care for both of our children.  And I am even more thankful that with the great care (including Early Intervention services soon after diagnosis) that J has received, her disability is considered to be mild.

Friday, November 4, 2011

I Am So Thankful...

...that I don't have to home school. 
Thank you, Lord, for a public education.  Thank you that my daughter has a great teacher who is better equipped than I am to be a teacher to her.  I just do NOT have the patience for pokey-ness, especially during homework time. But, thank you, God, that J is making straight A's so far. 
Now, I think homeschooling is a great thing.  For some people. It is not for everyone.  I think homeschoolers are some of the smartest people I've met.  Before J was born, I often thought that I might consider homeschooling her.  But as J started to show her strong will and her penchant for drama, I had second thoughts about homeschooling.  By the time J reached preschool age, all thoughts of homeschooling went right on out the window.  Thankfully, J is already a very bright kid and doing well in public school.
I'm not going to say that I will never homeschool my children but for now, it is not the right choice for us.  J is doing very well in public school right now.  If it ever gets to a point where it is no longer working out, then we would more than likely consider private school.  I just know that right now, homeschooling is a last resort for us. 
So that is what I am thankful for on this day. A public education; I just can't thank God enough for that. 

Thursday, November 3, 2011

I'm Thankful For My House

Today, I am thankful for my house.  With so many people in our country losing homes to short sales or foreclosures, I am so thankful that we, as a family, are able to afford our house.  My house may not be big, but it is a very nice home.  Sure, it would be nice to have more living space and we could if we got our basement finished.  But, that's not a priority right now.  At least, not financially.  On paper, we could afford a little bigger house but I would rather be able to afford to do things as a family rather than be house poor due to a huge mortgage and higher taxes. We live well within our means. Of course, having 2 special needs children requires that we make every effort to live within our means in order that we can pay for all of their medical expenses. 
I am so thankful that, because of our financial responsibility, my children are able to live in one place long term without the fear of having to move any time soon.  I know that we will eventually need to find a bigger house, especially because we need would like a 3-car garage.  And I'm sure the kids will want bigger bedrooms.  But for now, I am content with our house.  And when the time comes to move up, I hope that we will be able to find a good deal like we got with this house.  We were so fortunate to snatch this house through a short sale (pre-forclosure) deal and the house was not trashed like so many foreclosures that you might hear about. 
 Thank you, God, for my house.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thankful Day 2

Today I am thankful for 2 good feet.  About 2 months ago, I endured a very painful flare-up of plantar fasciitis.  It was extremely painful to walk on my left foot.  This started on a Friday night.  The next day on Saturday, I continued to have extreme pain and ended up not going to the gym to work out.  On Saturday evening, I went over to our rental home to finish changing some blinds.  I had just finished changing the very last one when the step ladder gave way underneath me.  I felt immediate pain in my right foot and I knew right away that I must have fractured it.  Within minutes, my foot was severely swollen.  I slid down the stairs on my butt because it was so painful to walk on either foot.  It was extremely painful drive home but thankfully it was just a couple of blocks. I went to the ER the next day where it was confirmed that I incurred a serious fracture in my right foot.  And not only did I have plantar fasciitis in my left foot, but I also had bone spurs. 
A couple of days later, I was able to get an appointment to see the orthopedic surgeon.  The ER nurse had made it sound like that I made need a cast and possibly even surgery. Thankfully, the surgeon did not see the need for surgery and he also had me continue to use the boot instead of placing a cast.  The first couple of weeks were extremely painful.  And I gained a new perspective on what my daughter probably experienced after her last major foot surgery.
During these last couple of months when I was sidelined from the gym, as depressing as it was, I gained a new appreciation for having 2 feet to walk when they aren't injured.  I really took my feet for granted before.  And also during this time, my left foot which was affected by plantar fasciitis, was able to get much needed rest. Two weeks ago, the doctor released me to return to the gym but no running or anything that required jumping. 
This morning, I went to the doctor for a 4th follow-up visit and an x-ray.  The x-ray showed that the fractured bone had shifted, which is why I have a knotty area where the fracture was.  But thankfully, the doctor was confident that it doesn't require further treatment.  The doctor also released me fully to return to previous activities although it will still be a few weeks before I can comfortably run again.  But that is due to the left foot, not the fractured foot. My left heel has started to flare up again so the doctor gave me a prescription topical anti-inflammatory to try.  If this doesn't help, then the next step is an injection.  I am hoping and praying that the topical medication will work and that I can avoid the injection.
So, today, I am thankful that my feet are in good working order, although not yet 100%.  I am thankful that I did not require surgery.  And I am thankful for the new perspective that I gained during these last couple of months.  And lastly, I am so thankful that my feet are well enough that I even registered to attend a Zumba instructor certification class in another month.  I am so excited about that.
And lastly, I really appreciate having 2 feet and I no longer take them for granted.  I love my feet, as ugly as they are.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Thankful #1

I am so thankful for the gift of my precious daughter who was born 7 years ago today.  I enjoy sharing her birth story which you can read here
Happy Birthday sweet girl Jackie!