header 2 copy />
header 3 copy />
header 4 copy />

And. I. Am. Back.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010
I ran tonight. Finally.

I was really scared before I ran. Nervous. I even started to put it off for one more day, just to make sure I wouldn't hurt. I was really worried I'd start running and feel the exact same pain I had before. The first time my side had hurt with my gallbladder was when I ran. How horrible would it be if it happened each time I ran? I was worried. But, I went ahead and ran. 

It felt great. I ran about 8 minutes before I had to stop to walk (I almost made it a mile). I took a couple of minutes to recover, ran another 5 minutes, walked for a minute, ran 5 more minutes, and then walked for 5 more minutes. It wasn't ideal. I was hoping I'd run without any pain and without needing to walk. One can dream, right? I had some pain in my side, especially at the end. So, instead of pushing through and going the full 3 miles that I had planned, I went about 2 miles. Although I was hoping it would be easier and I'd be able to go for longer, I'm really pleased that I didn't feel like I had to start all over. I was scared that I was going to have to go through the entire Couch to 5K program again. I don't think I could have handled that emotionally at all. :) 

So, I'm BACK! I am looking online now for the next 5K that I want to run in and I'm hoping to find a 10K at the end of October/beginning of November. If you have any suggestions, please send them my way... I'm hoping that my body will cooperate and I can work up to the half marathon that I was planning to run this spring. And, no, Rebecca, don't even think about pressuring me to run the half marathon with you in October. There's no way. :) 

Ballet Baby

Monday, August 30, 2010
And, my girl loves her ballet. As promised, a few pics of her all ready for the first class (last week). Tonight was class number two and she loved it just as much. She is so funny, walking on her tippy toes and twisting her little butt as she goes into class. It's like she turns up the drama immediately when she walks in the building. :) Adorable... 

Fall Ball Game One...

I started writing one blog post and ended up not really wanting to, so I am now writing a totally different one. So, I'm tired. :) That's good news for those of you who get sick of my rambling. :) 

I feel like I'm far behind on my blogging. It happens quickly when you are busy! I haven't written because we have been going full force all weekend and now I have even more things to write about... a good thing, I think. :) 

Our first t-ball game for the fall season was on Sunday. I was really wondering how Jake and Bailey would both do. I was worried about Jake for obvious reasons... he's three... and a young three at that. He is stubborn and moody and you just never know what you are going to get with Jake. He's just Jake. There's no explanation and no way we will ever be able to force him to do anything... so we just have to let him be himself and hope for the best. :) You can imagine my concern when he declared on Saturday evening that he wasn't going to play in his t-ball game because he didn't want to get hot. He also has been known to hold the bat practically limp at the plate and barely swing at the ball, despite the fact that he's actually very capable of hitting the ball and hitting it well. It doesn't seem to matter what we do, he's going to do this on his terms. It's quite funny, except that it's not going to be funny when he gets older and won't change. But, what do you do? I don't know yet... but I'll let you know if and when I figure that out. 

I was also worried about how Bailey would do in the game, because they are putting her in the in-field some. She's never played the in-field in a game situation. I wasn't even sure if she would know what to do with the ball when she got it. 

So, Sunday was interesting, but very good. Brad had to physically restrain Jake in the outfield a few times (but no more than the other parents of three- and four-year olds). Jake complained, don't get me wrong. He acted like he was going to roast out there (and it was really hot). But, he stayed on the field, thanks to his daddy. He also hit the ball really well. He didn't run to first base at all, even with us all yelling for him to, so he got out twice. But, he hit the ball on the first try each time and hit it almost to third base on his second at-bat. We have to make him understand to run... so that's our new goal now that he's actually swinging. :) 

Bailey did great. She made her fair share of mistakes, like throwing the ball to home instead of first base. However, she had never played pitcher before, so I was pretty happy with how she did. She went after the ball when she was supposed to and really seemed to enjoy having a chance to actually get some action. Maybe she just needed to be on a team where she was forced to step up and play. She also got two really nice hits. 

I was really proud of them and so happy that they had fun with it. Bailey really seemed to enjoy it a lot. Jake enjoyed portions of it, but he's still not sure about it all. I think he's coming around though. It's tough for him to be in structured situations, so I'm really happy with how he's doing. And, of course, the reason I was wanting to write about this anyway... pictures. :) 

Month of Waiting = Over

Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I am ready to celebrate. I feel alive. I am not waiting on things right now (at least not entirely). I am just happy. Content. Not waiting... impatiently on much. :)

And, even better, I just ate wonderful asian zing wings and potato wedges for lunch. I actually don't feel hungry for at least the first time in a month. And... I'm not sick. At all. I feel great. 

I'm not perfectly over the surgery. I'm still having some trouble with my side, but the doctor told me today that it is probably just a little inflammation on my diaphragm (for those of you who don't know anatomy - that's the band of muscle that separates your chest from your abdomen). It just hurts when I take a deep breath. But, with some ibuprofen, I'm OK. It should heal quickly. 

The doctor gave me some other great news... I can run again! I didn't expect it to come for a couple more weeks, but he says I'm good to go. I can't lift anything heavy for a while longer, but running is fine. He also told me that my gallbladder pathology revealed that my gallbladder was diseased, which means that once I get over these little humps, I should be fine. It feels so good to hear that! 

And, more good news... Jake's Early Start evaluation was today. Basically, to qualify for the program his score had to be 75 or lower. He scored a 76. They would have let him come into the program two days a week for two hours, but the speech therapist and I talked about it for a long time. He has made so much progress in the last month. It seems like since Bailey has gone to school and he has had some significant one-on-one time with us and his grandparents while I was out sick last week, he has improved so much. So, I kind of expected him to do better at this evaluation than he did at the last one. And, I was right. The therapist gave me a bunch of information and activities to help work with him at home. She recommended that we work with him over the next four weeks at home and see if he improves. She gave us specific things to focus on and if he isn't progressing, we can re-evaluate and put him into the program at any time in the near future. 

This is a great relief to me. I feel like I was right to get him some assistance, but I am also not sitting here worrying that he's going to have to struggle to catch up and be where he needs to be. It's a good place to be... to feel like we caught it early enough to make an easy adjustment, but we aren't having to make a huge lifestyle change for him either. 

So, yes... I'm ready to celebrate. The month of waiting for results and of me being entirely impatient... is OVER. :) I have one more doctor's appointment to go to for a physical. This one will be to re-evaluate everything without my gallbladder and see if I am still showing signs of Sjogren's Syndrome. If I am, then I'll have to go down that road. But, I'm not worrying about it. And, I'm not feeling impatient about it. It's there, in the back of my mind, but I am so prepared for it that I'm just feeling good. If I have that, or something similar, I can deal with it. I can live with it. It just leaves me with a loose end... but not one that is controlling my life like this stupid gallbladder seems to have done. :) 

Finally... I feel like a normal person again. I'm celebrating... :) 

Overscheduled... No way. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

That's what we are going to be in about .5 days. :) 

That's what happens when you have a family full of joiners. People who love everything and want to try or do everything. People who refuse to say no when there is just the slightest chance that they can "make it work." That would be us. The family of joiners. I am now going to change the blog to reflect... This is now "Life with the Joiners." 

I refuse to complain about this whatsoever at all, because I am totally and utterly excited about most of the things we sign up for. I say most because I don't really get excited about Brad getting out of bed at 5:30 a.m. to go play basketball. I don't care that he does it, I just don't get excited about it. Most of the time, I don't even notice, unless (like this morning) he forgets to reset the alarm clock so that I'm up on time. 


It is all beginning. My calendar is jam packed with schedules for school meetings, days off, pay days, Brad's softball schedule, Jake's soccer schedule, Bailey and Jake's fall t-ball schedule, Bailey's ballet schedule, and, of course, my favorite item of all... doctor's appointments. :) Add the UK Football schedule and the slew of birthdays that happen in our family in the fall, as well as a fall wedding we have to travel to... and we'll just plan to see you guys when we retire. :)

Yesterday was our first t-ball practice for Fall Ball. Jake's first t-ball practice ever. I can't even tell you how cute the kids on this team are. They are all young and primarily a team full of kids that haven't played before or much. The youngest is 3 (Jake and another little boy named Jake and another little one, too). The oldest is a girl who is 7 and has never played. Her name is Bailey, too. We have like 14 kids and like 6 names. :) Anyway... I honestly think that our Bailey is one of the most experienced kids on the team and she's never played the in-field. Correction. She's played the in-field. Once. And got hit by the ball because she was busy digging in the dirt. It's going to be a great fall season (insert sarcasm here?)! I actually have to say that I was quite impressed with Bailey. She paid complete attention the entire time and hit the ball remarkably well. She knew to hold the ball up when she got it to stop the forward progress. We just have to get her "trained" to go after the ball instead of just waiting for it to come to her. Progress... baby steps. Jake, on the other hand, was hilarious. When he batted, he acted like he could barely swing the bat (which is just not the case). Then, when he finally did hit the ball (barely), we told him to run. So, he ran and got the ball. :) The coaches actually had to run with him on the bases. After that, he wanted Gatorade and to sit down. He said his head was just too hot. I thought I'd crack up. He's going to do fine. He and the other 3-year olds were so adorable and did very well considering they are just so little. It's going to be a ton of fun.

And, then there was today. Bailey's first ballet class... a class that she will have every Monday for an hour for the next, oh, I don't know, year or so. She LOVED it. I mean totally LOVED it. I have never seen her so mesmerized and attentive. She listened the entire time and had so much fun. She was not bad, either. Not great, but considering that she'd never done it before, I thought she did remarkably well. She had a blast... and I felt a little guilty for holding off on putting her in ballet for so long. I really didn't expect her to love it so much. I was wrong. Sorry, kiddo... when and if you ever read this stuff later in life, know that I didn't hold off on ballet for selfish reasons... I really didn't expect this reaction. :) 

Because of ballet, today was, and I quote, "the very best day of her life." If only I had known that this would be the catalyst for the best day of her life... :) She actually was being so dramatic about it because, well she was a ballerina in a leotard with a bun and ballet slippers, and because she had come home with a sign-up sheet for Girl Scouts. Although I am quite certain that she has absolutely no idea what she will do with Girl Scouts, she was so excited to become a Girl Scout. She was so excited that she told our neighbor, who I think hates our kids and us completely because we don't love listening to their dogs bark and because they don't love listening to our kids squeal. :)  She made sure to tell him that his dog had been in our yard before and that they bark a lot. :) Good going, Bailey. If they didn't hate us, they do now. Brad made a good point though... we don't want to hear your dogs... so now you can avoid coming outside because you don't want to talk to our kids. lol. :) That's a horrible way to be, isn't it? They are probably perfectly good people.

Anyway... now, we are signing up for Girl Scouts. Just add another thing to the calendar, we'll squeeze it in. :) Yep... scheduling conflicts are already happening. Tomorrow is the first Girl Scout info meeting and a t-ball practice and church softball game all at the same time. :) What? You think I can't make this work? Shew... piece of cake. But, I probably should say goodbye for now. Who knows when I'll have time to breathe again, much less blog. Thank God I got my surgery over with LAST week. I couldn't have fit it in otherwise. :) 

I'm only kidding. You know I can't resist getting on here... this blogging stuff is totally addictive. 

And, yes, I know... you all want pictures... I am working on it. Tomorrow? :) I'll try to fit it in.

Growing... More of my favorites...

Saturday, August 21, 2010
I'm feeling better. Still not 100%, but I'm feeling much better. I miss having energy, but I know it won't be long... it's incredible how much better I feel in comparison to Monday. 

Before I go further, I want to say that I hated it that we weren't able to come to Allie's party, Kristyn! I hope she had a great one! We're hoping to get out to church tomorrow, so maybe we'll see you there! 

OK... now on to a new subject (finally!). 

I have always wanted to mark the kids' growth chart on my wall, but it's always been something that I've procrastinated. I don't know why, but it's just one of those things that I haven't taken the time to do. I decided today would be that day. I got out the baby books and the growth chart information on the kids and decided to mark the wall between their two bedrooms. It's incredible to see how they've grown. They thought it was pretty cool to see, too. 

Seeing it... actually, physically, seeing it has made me kind of sad. Not really depressed or anything like that, but sad to see how fast it has gone by. Bailey is almost 4 feet tall. Jake is a little over 3 feet tall (which really isn't that big of a change - we remembered that he was like 32 inches when he was a year old). 

Looking through all the baby book stuff also made it tough. I showed the kids their ultrasound pictures and photos of me pregnant. I felt pangs of guilt about all the things I had written about Bailey in her book and the lacking information that I had written in Jake's. I know I'm missing a ton of stuff that I kept from his birth... it's somewhere in this house. I just was slightly busier when he came around, what with two kids in diapers and all, as well as a high-maintenance job. :) It doesn't make me feel any better though. I know there are things that I've forgotten about when he was a baby that I won't get back. And, that just makes me feel guilty and sad. But, then again... there is this blog. :) At least I'm tracking things here, right? 

Anyway, it was incredible to look at how our lives have grown, evolved, and changed. It was fun to remember all the little cute things the kids did (and the funny things we did trying to figure it all out). And it made me want to do one of those posts about the kids. You know, the one that says... here are a bunch of things I don't want to forget... 

Here goes.

  • Jake loves to sing Twinkle Twinkle Little Star... especially before bedtime... and he always, always holds his hand up in a diamond when that part comes. 
  • Bailey loves milkshake day. On Sunday, Brad always fixes her a milkshake. Jake isn't into ice cream... he loves popsicles though... and he says it in a way that sounds like bicycles. 
  • My kids could eat popcorn every day of their lives... and sometimes they do. 
  • They both want to be cuddled at night. Every night. It will go by way too fast and I'll be wishing they weren't too cool to snuggle up to me. 
  • Bailey loves to pose for photos... she actually was taking pictures with her toy camera the other day and told me to smile. When I just stood there and smiled, she told me to cock my head to the side and smile. :) 
  • Jake is dying to go to preschool. We are going to have to give in... he can't wait to go. I love to see how excited he gets when he's telling me about it. 
  • Jake thinks to make a snoring noise, he must stick both fingers in his nose and blow. Disgusting, but hilarious. 
  • Bailey's teacher sent home a note that says she is a great student. She works very hard and really has fun at school. She has befriended a child who is from the Ukraine and speaks no English. The teacher says that she doesn't think they actually communicate with words, but they sure love to giggle together. I love my daughter's incredible ability to make everyone (and I mean everyone) feel special. She could fail every subject and I swear that this one trait will make her more successful than just about anything else. :)
  • Jake is now standing up when he pees. And, yes, the toilet is now not as clean. But, he's so proud. He wants us to watch him all the time. :) And, he wanted to make sure that his friend Joseph sees him stand up the next time he comes over. 
  • The kids have decided to start using love when they fight. Yes, you read that right. Now, when they make each other mad, they yell at each other, "I don't love you anymore." Both of them do it. It's awful. In contrast, they also tell each other that they love each other quite often.
  • We went to meet my parents at Morehead the other day. I told Bailey that we were going to meet them and she said, "In Hilton Head?" She grinned, knowing that wasn't right. I said, "I wish." She said, "Me, too. Can't we go back?" I love it that she loves the beach just like us. 
  • They are great swimmers. Jake can swim about 25-30 feet without help. He won't go under the water, but he can tread water forever. Bailey can swim about half the length of the pool without assistance... and she is a pro at going off the diving board. She's still figuring out how to dive, but she's getting it.
  • They have been begging for a baby or a dog for months. They will probably be begging for a lot longer on both. :) Their mamaw got them a cat to keep at her house. She let them name it. They  named it Shaggy. Their plan is to get a dog (specifically a Great Dane) and name it Scooby. :) But first they really want a baby brother or sister (depending on which child you ask). They think they can go to the hospital and buy it to bring home. Fat chance, kiddos. 
  • They can't stand it when Brad and I kiss or hug. They have to be a part. And, they love to jump in our bed in the morning and beat Brad up. I love it. :) They know better than bother me early in the morning... they say I'm mean. And they are right. lol


Friday, August 20, 2010
...I'm feeling like a real person again! :) 

Last night, I was feeling guilty about Bailey being at home while Jake was getting spoiled by his grandparents. I had told Bailey that if I was feeling up to it I would take her to see Ramona and Beezus. I was wanting to see it as much as her... the Ramona books were some of my favorites as a kid. So... Brad took his girls out on a date last night. You can imagine how thrilled he was to see this chic flick... I think he actually tried to think of an excuse, but I was giving him a hard time about it before he could even try. He sucked it up and took us. 

I'm so glad that we did. Not only did I love the movie, Bailey had a great time. She thought the movie was great. She can totally relate to Ramona. She's not the little sister or middle child, but she can often be the misunderstood child in our house. She's hyper, full of life, and very stubborn. She's the "color outside the lines" type of child and honestly, me, Brad, and Jake are not. I can be more creative than the boys, but a lifetime worth of habits and my adulthood make me a little more stringent. We love Bailey's fun-loving personality. But, we forget it a lot, too. We get frustrated when we come in and she's doing something her way instead of our way... or if she is talking non-stop about something that we simply don't even understand... etc. It was a good reminder that her spirit is what makes her the incredible little girl she is, even if it's probably the thing that will get her into a ton of trouble as she grows. I'm glad Brad got to see it, too, even if he didn't really love it like we did. :) 

And, best of all... I actually felt good through most of the movie. I was really tired after watching it, but after a good night's sleep, I am feeling pretty good. 

Sleep... sleep... and sleep.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I'm sore. I'm on drugs. And I feel like I'm sleeping what is left of the summer away. :) It's actually really nice outside today. I'd love to be out running or walking or taking the kiddos to the park or doing anything outside. But... I'm about to crash out again. I just took my pain meds and they basically knock me on my butt. So... nap time in about 10 minutes. I just got out of bed about an hour ago. lol. I'm so glad Bailey is in school and Jake's at his grandparents' house. 

That's pretty much all I can post right now. Still not ready to get back into the full swing of things. I'm tired of feeling tired and tired of feeling sore, but it was expected, so I can't really complain. I have the best family and friends in the world. But I already knew that... :)

Back to sleep, I go. I'm hoping to be able to stop taking these pain meds soon and to feel more like a person again. Right now, I wander around the house holding onto my stomach, as if something is going to fall out of it all day. lol. And... to all you moms that had c-sections and then had to take care of your babies immediately after... You amaze me. You have my ultimate respect indefinitely. :) 

Ok... to sleep I go... 

Andrea - 1, Gallbladder - 0... literally 0

Monday, August 16, 2010
I had surgery... that gallbladder is gone! If you don't want to hear all the details, it won't hurt my feelings at all. I hate reading medical info and all that, so don't feel like you have to read the next part. There won't be any talk of needles or blood or scalpels. I don't want to pass out at the computer or need to be fanned to finish typing, and I most certainly can't put my head between my knees and type at the same time, although it would probably be pretty funny to try. Sorry about the run-on, if you are English teachers or editors. I know it's not grammatically correct. :) 

We got to the hospital at 7. I wasn't really nervous. I think I've been building myself up for surgery for about a month, so I was really just happy to be getting this taken care of. It was about 7:30 when they called me back and started getting me ready. I changed into my super sexy hospital gown (hehe), got an IV in place, answered a gazillion questions about my medical history, and had a conversation with the anesthesiologist and nurse about medicine and my typically poor reaction to it. Man, Cilla, you were right... these anesthesiologists are GOOD. I didn't get sick when they knocked me out, at all. More on that in a sec. 

They go and get Brad to come in and see me for a few before they take me back to the operation room. I wanted him to be able to talk to the doctor's on my behalf, so I was glad he was there when the doctor, nurses, and anesthesiologists were there. They put a super sexy hair net on me. I told Brad I loved him, gave him a kiss, and off we went to the operating room. I said a little prayer on the way that I would come out without any problems... just to make sure that, while I knew God's will might be other than what I want, He would know for sure that I was really wanting to go home after the surgery. :) 

The operating room (and entire hospital, really) was cold. The operating room was probably really around 50 degrees. They gave me heated blankets, but it was still chilly. I was reminded of a House episode where Dr. House cranked on the AC on Dr. Wilson so that he could hurry him out of the OR and get it for himself. I wondered if that kind of thing really happened in real life. lol. See what I mean about digressions? 

They asked me a few more questions and told me I'd feel a little burning sensation in my hand. Liars. It felt like they stuck my hand in a burning fire. Then, they placed the oxygen mask on my face and it like suctioned to my face. I didn't like it and I remember thinking, "Damn, I wish I would have told them I didn't like the mask... I should have listened to Cilla about it." Oh well, after about two seconds, long enough to think that and chant to myself, "Just breathe and calm down." 

The next thing I know, some nurse is talking to me and I don't know where I'm at or what I'm doing. Brad is sitting beside of me and he has some huge grin on his face. All I can remember saying was, "Laprascopic?" I guess I was worried that they would have to open me up instead of doing the surgery laprascopically. Brad told me yes and the nurse got me some water and crackers. I was having really bad nausea and I felt completely dehydrated. My throat was killing me and I couldn't find words... I began to feel like poor little Jakey when he can't figure out how to say something. 

I asked Brad about five different times or maybe 500 times what the doctor said. He told me the same thing each time... the doctor said everything went great and I'd be going home soon. I asked the nurse a few dozen times about stitches. I just couldn't remember what all I had asked, even when I had just asked it. Perhaps the funniest thing (that I swear they made up) was that when they moved me to recovery, I must have been kind of awake (I don't remember it at all). They told me they were taking me to recovery to get me ready to go home and I started trying to take off my gown to get dressed. I was going to go home. lol. I must have taken off the hair net. Oh well, at least I didn't do anything really stupid. 

So, a few minutes after I woke up in recovery, they discharged me and told me I could get dressed. I started trying to dress myself, but I was so dizzy that I couldn't even see straight, much less dress myself. Poor Brad had to do it all for me. He thought it was interesting that he's normally trying to get me to undress instead of helping me to get dressed. :) How funny I thought he was. After I was all dressed in my own clothes, Brad went to pull the car around and I plopped myself into a wheelchair. Barely made it to the wheelchair because I had the distinct drunk feeling that I was going to fall completely forward on my face on the hard floor below. Somehow, I made it into the wheelchair and into the car. 

On the way home, we stopped to drop off my prescriptions at Walgreens and Brad had to get some food. He hadn't eaten all morning. He asked me if I wanted anything. I told him I wanted cucumbers and a bunch of salt. I don't really even like cucumbers that much. I like them, but not enough to really sit and eat them with salt. Although, as a child, I used to eat them with my cousin, Leigh Anne, who really loved them. Her mom had had gallbladder surgery, so maybe I was just thinking about her because of that on some subconscious level. 

Brad was going to take me home and then run back out to the store to pick up a couple of things and my prescriptions. He got me home and my little man greeted me at the door. I think I terrified him. I was practically falling over and trying to be completely sober and standing up straight. But, that just wasn't happening. I showed him my boo-boos, which made him wring his little hands. He was still really impressed by them and kept asking me to see them again. I told him I wasn't feeling good and that it was my nap time. I made it to my bed and Brad and Kathy got me some water. 

Now, before I go any further, I just have to say that my mother-in-law rocks. My parents work and wanted to be here today, but I asked them to stay home. For one, I didn't want a full house of people and two, I wanted to make sure that we staggered everyone so that if I did need more help later in the week, they'd be available to help. Kathy, my superhero mother-in-law, was wonderful. She had my bed all ready for me to crawl into. She had bought me a couple of magazines to read. She had fixed me a huge glass of ice water in my favorite water cup (it's a hospital cup with a straw). She took wonderful care of my babies, cooked food for them and for Brad, and then cleaned up the entire kitchen. Brad could have done it all, I'm sure, but I would have been trying to clean up messes all day tomorrow. God blessed me with an amazing family and that extends way beyond my parents, husband, kids, and brothers. My in-laws are just as fabulous as they are.  I just can't say that enough. Thank you so much, Kathy. I really, really appreciate it. 

OK. So I crash out in my bed at around 11 or so. Brad comes to check on me at about 2 and I wake up thinking that I'm still in the hospital. I ask him, "Is it over?" He just cracked up. He told me we were home and all that. I began remembering little things. Then, Jake came in to see me and give me hugs and kisses. He was so gentle and sweet. He made sure not to touch my belly and hugged me with his cheeks instead of his whole body. It was still a great hug. :) 

Kathy went and picked up Bailey and she was surprised about the surgery. I showed her that I was fine and that I had boo boos. She wanted to see the stitches, even though I'm quite sure she would have thrown up if I had. :) Of course, I wasn't about to take off the bandages, at least for two days. 

I ate a bagel, drank a gallon or two of water for my sore throat, made a few calls, and went back to bed. That's basically where I have spent most of the day. I have walked around and eaten some salad and rice. And I'm feeling pretty good. I'm really sore and very bloated feeling from the gas they pump into you for laprascopic surgery, but overall, I'm feeling pretty good. I'm going to go back to bed now... :) 

Again, guys, I can't thank you all enough for your thoughts and prayers and words of encouragement. You all mean the world to me... love you!


Sunday, August 15, 2010
Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I'll be going in to get my gallbladder removed. I have to be there at 7 and will go in for surgery at 8. Brad says his tee time is at 8:15. :) He's totally kidding, I think. I probably won't know the difference though - I hope not! It would totally freak me out if I actually know what's going on at 8:15 tomorrow morning. :) 

Anyway, I am not nervous... I am not nervous... I am not nervous. 

I'm really not nervous. Honestly. Well, I kind of am, but not enough to even write about. I'm just refusing to think about needles, scalpels, and anesthesia. I have issues with these things... all make me want to pass out. Yep... all the blood runs from my face and I feel dizzy and all that. It's a great time. 

But... I'm on the countdown now... countdown to eating good food again. :) It will still be a while before that will actually happen, but not as long. So, here's to surgery! Woo hoo! 

The Catcher in the Rye

Friday, August 13, 2010
I finished my first book on the 100 Books to Read portion of my list (that is quite possibly changing soon). As I mentioned before, when I start looking at this list of books, there are just some that I really can't get motivated to read. I have read some of them... and I might re-read them, just because. But, there are at least 10 books on this list that I am just not that interested in reading... books that I just know I will struggle to finish. 

But, until I can make a decision about this "list" of books, there are plenty of others for me to read.  And, I finished one! WOO HOO! I have done something in the past few weeks to at least somewhat contribute to my list. :) I visited the library and picked up two books about a week ago... I think I mentioned this already, but the two books were The Catcher in the Rye and Gulliver's Travels. I started out with Gulliver's Travels.  I like it. It is not an easy read though. It's not complicated, but I have a hard time getting into something that I have to spend a tremendous amount of time focused on how it's written. It's a bad thing... I am picky about these things. I love to read different literary works. I love different perspectives (this could be a whole other post in and of itself). I love to learn.

But, some days, I want to just read to read. Not for anything other than pure enjoyment and simple understanding. It is sometimes an escape. Most times, it is an escape. Not that I dislike my reality at all. I just love to escape into a good book and feel like I am actually in a whole other world. 

An escape was exactly what I needed last weekend, while I impatiently waited to find out what in the world could possibly be going on with me and my gallbladder. :) Not to mention that the kids were completely satisfied to hang out in their playroom in their jammies for hours and Brad was off golfing... 

Gulliver's Travels just wasn't doing it for me. Brad had started reading The Catcher in the Rye and told me it was pretty good. I picked it up. And finished it on Sunday. 

I really enjoyed it. But you know what? It just ended. If you've read it, you might agree or disagree. But, I felt like the author just got tired of writing at a certain point and just decided, "OK... I think I'm done. Let's just end it here." I understand the symbolism and I don't regret reading it. But, it left me wanting more. Of course, I imagined a hundred different scenarios and back stories and even alternate endings. Yes, I know that sounds crazy, but that's just what I do when I read something that doesn't completely answer everything I want it to. However, I loved how it was written. It kind of reminded me of my blog. There were all of these digressions and side stories and things that weren't really relevant at all, immersed into one overall story. I guess that means that I write like a teenager, since that is what the tone and style was meant to represent. :) 

Oh well... I've always said that age is what you make of it... being young at heart is all that matters. lol. Especially now that I'm moving into the ancient world by nearing my 30th birthday and having gallbladder surgery, etc. That's for you, Jon... since I know you are reading now. :) All those good times at the Alley Cats probably didn't help this old gallbladder any. I blame you for always challenging me and not letting me just be good. (See, just another random digression).

So... one book down... 99 to go. Not sure which 99, but some variation of this list, I'm sure. And, I'm sitting here watching Julie & Julia, the movie that inspired my list. I love it.

So thankful. :)

Thursday, August 12, 2010
I simply cannot express how relieved I am... how much weight has been lifted off of my shoulders. I simply cannot thank God enough. I know there are risks with any surgery, so I am not 100% in the clear here. But, I can't even begin to think about that. I am just so happy that I didn't have to have a discussion about even a possibility of cancer today.

I can deal with so many things... I really can. And, I know that there are possibilities for the future that could include a diagnosis of Sjogren's Syndrome or Rheumatoid Arthritis or nothing at all. Or breast cancer... or something I've never even heard of. But, if it will let me live... in any capacity, I am willing to take it, deal with it, and make the most of it. Just please don't tell me I'm going to die. Even if it is inevitable to happen at some point. :) If I die in a car accident tomorrow... at least I didn't know it would happen. :) 

Remind me to read this if and when I get diagnosed with something that is just life-altering and not life-threatening. I'm sure I'll need my own pep talk from time to time. 

I have to thank you guys all again for your support and prayers, words of encouragement and love. I have to thank my best friend for not letting me know that she was worried, too, and for telling me not to worry, and for making sure that she took time to help me out by watching the kids so that Brad could go with me. I am so blessed to have you, Cilla. 

I have the best mommy and daddy in the world. I think I made their lives living hell last night and I can't express how much I wish I could take it all back. I know they were terrified. I should have never freaked out like I did on them. But, I'm so happy they were there and that they remained strong for me. They made me feel like I was slightly crazy, but at least they did it in a way that really reassured me that it would be OK. Even though, I now know that they were reacting about as crazy as I did. lol. :) 

And, of course, I have to thank my sweet hubby. He was furious with me and Google last night. I think he was nervous too, even if he would never admit it, and I was so glad he was with me at the doctor's office today (even if he did park in the wrong garage). :) He has a way of making me feel calmer without doing anything. Probably because he never freaks out like the rest of us emotional maniacs. And he's always saying stupid stuff that is completely unrelated to anything that makes me laugh and distracts me. I swear he doesn't do it on purpose... I think it just happens. It can be really annoying sometimes, but today, I couldn't have had anything better in my life than him. I love you more than anything, Brad... even if I'm "only OK" to you. ;)

The fun stuff begins on Monday morning. Yippee. Thanks to my awesome mother-in-law, Kathy, I will have my kiddos taken care of without any problems. She is always there, stepping in to help with my kids any time I need her. I could not be more blessed. She'll be here Sunday night and will take Bailey to school on Monday morning. I have decided that it's probably best not to even tell the kids about the surgery. Bailey will freak out. She's already been worried from hearing me talk about it, even when I thought I was not talking about it much in front of her. She even started crying one day, worrying that I wouldn't come home after surgery. I just can't have her worrying the whole time. So, we're going to work on an idea to tell her that Mamaw is coming down to take her to school and see how it all goes from there. Jake will be fine... he won't even wonder where I'm at, as long as his Mamaw is here to see him. :) 

And that's that. I'm done with worrying about it all... or concentrating on it for now. I'm sure that I will probably blog one more time about it before my surgery and probably do a post or two about it afterward, but hopefully this will be the beginning of the end of the Gallbladder Saga. :) Thanks for bearing with me... now I can get back to more important things... oh... like my list or the kids or just blogging random crap that no one probably cares about, except me. lol. :) 

To leave on a really good note, we have Bailey all ready to go with ballet. We bought her leotard, tights and shoes tonight. She tried on the leotard and shoes for us tonight... my camera battery was dead (I left it on all night), but I used my cell. I couldn't choose between the photos... they were just too.... Bailey. :) 

Yay... Gallbladder Surgery Scheduled! WOO HOO! :)

Going to blog more later... but before I do anything else (bathe my kids, etc.), I wanted to make sure I thank all of you for your prayers! 

I have gallbladder surgery on Monday. I am so relieved that it is only gallbladder surgery that I honestly am thrilled. lol. I never thought I'd be this happy to have surgery in my life. The doctor just wanted me to come in and talk about the surgery and make sure that my symptoms were reproduced during the HIDA scan. Basically, the HIDA scan can show that there isn't a problem, but if it makes you have the same symptoms as you do when you eat something, then most likely it is a diseased gallbladder. 

Thank you guys all for putting up with my blogs about this... and for my insanity. I hope that I'll have surgery on Monday and become a normal person again shortly thereafter. :) 

Love you all for sticking with me... and truly loving God right now. 

Speed bumps...

I go back to the doctor today. Apparently, the HIDA scan I had last week came back with some "issues." That's all they'd tell me. They said part of it looked good, but the other part had some "issues that they want to discuss with me." That's pretty much all they'd say. 

So, you know what I did? 

Freaked out... like totally and utterly freaked out. I thought about my mom and when she had breast cancer. We all thought it was nothing. The doctors had us convinced that it wasn't anything. We all just felt like it wouldn't be anything. Then, when I talked to my dad and he told me that the doctors had told Mom she had breast cancer, I thought the world had been kicked off its axis. There was no way that she had cancer. None of us could believe it. But then... after we knew what was going on, it all seemed so clear. The doctors had known, or so it seemed, from the time they did her ultrasound. They had needed confirmation, but they had known. We hashed out and probably over-analyzed every conversation that Mom had had with her doctors. Everything seemed to point to the fact that they knew long before they ever confirmed it. 

Last night... I analyzed my conversation with the surgeon. "If we just have to remove your gallbladder, I will just call you and we can set it all up over the phone. If it's something simple, there's no reason for you to have to wait and get another appointment in the office." That's what he said to me at our last visit. So, why is he having me come back in? Obviously, because it's not just  simple gallbladder surgery. So, what is it? 

Then, I thought about the two conversations I had with the doctor's offices yesterday. The one with the surgeon's assistant, who said, "There are other issues with your HIDA scan that he'd like to talk to you about." When I asked if he said anything else about it, she said, "He just said he wanted you to come in... can you come in tomorrow?" Of course, my translation is: "There is something wrong with your HIDA scan and we need to get you in here tomorrow to get this all taken care of... probably because you have a tumor or cancer and we know you're going to need to see an oncologist." :) 

Ok... so I then decide to call the diagnostic center to see if I can get a copy of the report so that I can figure this out on my own. I know... don't judge me, please. I know I sound crazy. It's OK... I don't mind being crazy most of the time. I call Brad and get his fax number to have it faxed to him. The lady at the diagnostic center says, "Sure, I can send you your results. What's the fax number?" I give it to her. She asks for my name and date of birth. Then, she says, "Have you already seen a doctor? I can't give you these results until you've seen your doctor." Really? Because two seconds before you saw that it was my scan, you were ready to fax them. Great... another reason for me to freak out and think that the results say something bad that they need to make sure I have a person sitting in front of me and discussing it all. 

So, last night, I freaked out. I freaked my parents out... so much that they called my aunt, who is a nurse practitioner to see what she thought. She told them that most likely, the doctor sees something that he's not sure about... probably some kind of blockage (not necessarily a tumor or anything cancerous - that's really rare at a young age and I'd be having some other issues that I'm not having). She said that basically, she is thinking that he's going to discuss what they saw and then recommend that I have a MRI  to see what's going on. 

We have no clue if that's the case. But, even if it was a tumor or something really bad, she said he couldn't possibly know it from looking at the HIDA scan. He'll have to have me do more tests... so... it sounds like the most likely outcome for today... a MRI or some kind of additional tests. 

I feel much better today... I'm NOT freaking out now. :) But, I'm annoyed. I am so annoyed. I am frustrated because I feel like my life is paused until this gets taken care of. Of course, I'm spending time with the kids, getting Bailey settled into school, working with Jake on his speech (at home until we get him squared away into a program), and spending lots of time with my husband, who has actually made it home every day this week before 7... that is quite possibly a miracle. 

But, what I'm not doing is frustrating me. I am not running. I am not focusing on any of the things on my list. I am not sewing like I need to be (Kristyn and Cheryl - you are not forgotten). I am just annoyed. But, this too shall pass... and all will be right in the world again. It's a speed bump. That's all... just a speed bump. 

On a brighter and much more fun note... 

Bailey is now enrolled in ballet! :) She starts on Monday. I have to go to new parent orientation tonight. I hope she loves it... she's been wanting to sign up for about a year and we've put it off, thinking that she'd change her mind. But... she hasn't. I'm pretty excited to see how she does. She'll get to perform in the Nutcracker in December. How adorable will that be? :) 

And, Jake is getting signed up for fall ball t-ball. It will be the most hilariously fun thing ever. It will be nothing short of a miracle if he will stay on the field for more than 5 minutes without one of us having to chase him down. But... he says he wants to do it. Bailey isn't as interested... I think she's tired after all stars lasted so long, so she's going to take a break. Five bucks says that she'll end up signed up to play after she sees that she has to go to practices for Jake. :) 

All will be fine... I'm sure. But, just in case, say a little prayer, OK?! :) 

The big first day...

Wednesday, August 11, 2010
My girl loved school. 

She smiled when I picked her up... just like I hoped she would. She came running to the car with a huge smile and yelling, "Mommy!" No better feeling in the world. 

I asked her how it went. "Great!"

Ok... so tell me more. What all did you do? "I don't know. I can't remember." 

Well, did you make friends? "Yes... I am friends with all of the kids in my class. All of them." 

That's great! What are their names? "I don't know. There's one boy named Fred... you know, like Freddy on Scooby Doo."

Oh yeah? Cool. What about the little girls? Did you make any friends who were girls? "Yes... there were more girls than we thought. They are nice. I don't know their names. One pushed me in the car line. I told on her though." 

Bailey, it's not nice to tell on people, but she shouldn't have pushed you either. Try to handle things by using your words with your friends. "Ok, mom. I bought my milk at lunch all by myself. I'm going to put the change in my piggy bank."

Uh... no. Your change is going to be part of your milk money tomorrow. How was lunch? Did you have fun? Did you have enough to eat? "Oh... yep. That was my favorite part of the day. It was fun." 

So, what about the rest of the day? What did you guys do? Did you work on letters and numbers and stuff? "We had to write the entire alphabet and our numbers. I spelled two words for the teacher, too. Cat and Red. Those are the two that I know already, you know?" 

Yes... that's good. Did she ask you to spell them or did you just offer that information up? She shrugs with a sneaky grin. "She asked me." She lied. I know she did. It's OK though... I'm sure the teacher just laughed at our little miss smarty pants. 

Did you like your teachers? "Yes, but one of my teachers told someone that I farted."

What? Really? I couldn't help but crack up. So, did you fart? "No. I don't know... maybe. No. I didn't." Great... my kid is the kid farting in class. Awesome. :) She's totally Brad's kid. 

Then, she proceeded to tell me about how they won't let her just go to the bathroom any time. lol. I guess that means that she was going to excuse herself to the bathroom and chose not to because it wasn't bathroom time. lol. Wow... I didn't see that one coming on the first day.

That's about as much as we got for the day... there were a few other stories about kids falling asleep in class and one kid crying a lot... and another one not listening. I asked if that was her, but she said no. 

She came home exhausted. She was hateful. All evening. All evening she was so, so hateful. She yelled at me (repeatedly). She was sent to her room (repeatedly). She was in need of sleep. At 8:15, we were in the bed. She fell asleep before 9, which just doesn't happen. 

She is really happy about going back. That's all that matters. :) Hopefully, she'll not fart in class tomorrow. lol. And, yes, I do know how bad she is going to hate me later for writing this post. :) 

Her totally cool lunchbox... 

...And the back pocket that I hand-stitched on (no, I didn't hand-embroider it, people). :)

The cool Old Navy backpack with her name embroidered on it (can you see what I've been playing with?).

My posing little queen... adorably decked out... 

Posing again... but this time with the Lelli Kelly's showing. :)

And a more natural shot... right before we walked into the school. :) This was the last smile I got before dropping her off. :)