I guess this is just a normal download. There are lots of thoughts taking up space and I need to get them down on "paper," (as it were) and out of my head.
This past year has brought so much.... mostly joy, some disappointment, some realization.... and, I guess it is only natural that, at this time of year, one.... I.... would think about the past year. Perhaps make some resolutions.
I have learned a thing or 2 about friends and those who do not fall into that category. It was kind of proof, I guess, of what I have always known.... friendships are for a season. And, some of the seasons have changed for some of my past friendships. It's sad, really. Part of me thought about trying to work things out, but in the end, I don't forget. I'm often a ding-bat. Sometimes I'm crazy and gullible. I am not a fool. How do you face someone and say that you trust them when you feel utterly betrayed? I'm glad God isn't like that..... so glad.
I feel I have grown in my faith. A lot is due to.... or maybe proven by.... the above. I know Christians have been/will be persecuted. I know that Christianity will be reason for brothers to turn against each other. However, I know that I have never wavered.... much to the chagrin of others.
I have connected with some new names and faces on facebook. And many of these ladies are such precious people. I'm SO glad to have gotten to know them. One, is someone I admire so much. (Shout out to Mrs. C.H.) Others are such kindred spirits. (Shout out to S.L.) Some, I have reconnected with. (Shout out to hometown friends: L.S. and C.B.) Still, others are bloggers whom I have gotten to know online and I cannot wait to meet them IRL. (Shout out to L.K.H., L.K.M. and C.C.B.)
I am so proud of my 4 boys. They are lights in my life. They are all saved. They are learning the Word of God. They are active in Junior Bible Quiz. They all, with the exception of my youngest, are involved in music: saxophone, guitar, and piano. They make awesome grades in school. And, they are decent. I point this out because I have some friends whose children do all this, but they are.... well.... they are not decent.
We have 10 teachers.... 12, if you count music teachers, who are absolutely phenomenal. I love each and every one of them!
My husband..... wow..... what can I say about him? I adore him! I have always adored him. But, the other day, something got me to thinking about our relationship and I just sat their smiling. He is SUCH a good father. He is a great man - a wonderful spiritual leader in our home. I am truly blessed to have him. I love you, Honey!
Two of my boys, my youngest 2, asked Jesus into their hears this year. My 3rd, back in June. My youngest, just today. Such a sweet, innocent, faithful step... truly, they have the faith that Jesus talks about and wants us "old fogies" to have.
My almost 103 year old grandmother went to Heaven in May. She lived a long life and left a large family. I can't even begin to tell you how many greats, great-greats and (maybe a few great-great-greats). I can tell you that I have almost 30 first cousins on my mother's side, alone. It was sad to say good-bye, but I know where she is. I know I will see her again.
In October, my 3rd son started his journey on correcting his microtia/atresia. (I'm not going to link anything here, but if you want to know more of our story, you can just do a search, on my blog, and pull some posts.) He is SUCH a big boy.
My youngest boy started school. A lot of sadness from me. I love my boys. I only put them in daycare when I was teaching. And, I didn't teach after he was born. My buddy - *sniff*.
I celebrated (if I can call it that) being off Dr Pepper for a year. Now, when I say "off DP" I don't mean that I don't drink them at all. I mean that I am not addicted to them any more. I don't enjoy them as much. I will enjoy an 8 oz Dublin every now and then, but now, when I drink one, I usually regret it because I feel junked out. :-P
I realize that I am maturing. Ha... doesn't seem very mature to say that. But, there were several things that happened this year that I wanted to .... um.... handle less delicately. I am quicker to apologize and see my own fault... a bit quicker to bite my own tongue. I haven't mastered it completely, but I do think I'm doing better.
All in all, 2010 was a great year. Come to think of it, I haven't ever had a bad year... thank God for that. But, as time goes, the last 12 months have been good ones.
Now it's time to say.....
OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH THE NEW!
I hope you all have a great Christmas and a truly wonderful New Year.
Yes, I know it's over. This is just a recount of the day.... or week.... yeah, the week. Keep in mind, that this is from MY memory. If things were different... well, this is how they were perceived by yours truly.
My hubby and I have spent the last few weeks neck deep in home improvement. I started, a long while ago, stripping wallpaper from the kitchen walls.
We were delayed, in that, due to life. We just got busy. But, my hubby, good man that he is, knew exactly when to start working again, because really, had he started any later, it would not have been finished.
And, though I would love to claim the credit for taking on the kitchen, it was all hubby. He pulled the cabinets, he sanded them, he painted everything and cleaned and replaced the hardware. I only painted a few cabinet doors and then papered the shelves and drawers. The kitchen turned out so pretty..... deep red and navy. I am going to accent with bluebonnets and Texas stars.
Monday, my hubby and dad installed the convection/microwave oven. *swoon*
That afternoon, I had to go get my hair done. Yes... I HAD to. I got it trimmed and highlighted, as normal. But, usually I highlight my blond hair with lighter blond. This time, for fun, we did some blond and some auburn. Totally different for me, but fun.
Tuesday, I got another surprise. A new washer and dryer. Well, that wasn't necessarily the surprise. Hubby told me he was getting them. Home Depot was running a good special and as our old set was.... well, OLD, we decided to take advantage of this. I asked for red, but the special was on certain styles, which, I think, only had white. Well, when it was installed and I came to see, they were red. SO excited.... my hubby is good that way.
Right after the installation, I went out with one of my BFs. She and I went Christmas shopping and spent some time together. She has, this year, gone back to work and we hardly ever see each other. We ate at Chuy's... YUM! Then we hit many stores. Spending money and getting some stuff taken care of. I was gone from 9:15 a.m. until about 6:30. It was a great day and allowed me to "get-away" for a bit.
Wednesday. That is when things kicked into overdrive. We were expecting my SIL, my ILs and my hubby's grandparents "sometime today." I don't do well with "sometime today." And, as I'm sure most of you experience, I don't notice a lot of dirt until I'm about to have company. There were things cleaned that hadn't seen clean since.... well, LAST Thanksgiving. LOL! We. Worked. Our. Butts. Off.
(My older 2 helping out.)
About 2:00, I was finally able to start cooking and baking. And I did that until about 9 that night. Then, we "entertained." I had bought sandwich stuff as that would be the easiest to present and clean up in the midst of all the other stuff I was doing.
The next day, about 10:00 or so, all our company started to show up. We had me, hubby and our 4 kids, my SIL, my ILs, hubby's grandparents and my parents. Does that make 13? That's how many we had.
Here's the thing.... there are 3 strong females in that group. One of them, for the most part, backed off..... She recognized that 1.) it is my event to host and 2.) it could just get ugly trying to swim in the pond that held myself and my mother. LOL! Cooking is a favorite activity for the 2 of us and anyone who gets in the way... well, it leads to collateral damage. It's best to hunker down in the fetal position... cover your head, if possible, and let us do what we are going to do.
The thing that got me.... and keep in mind, nothing was WRONG... it was just there were certain things I wanted done a certain way and it didn't happen. When we are doing a big meal and hosting several, there is a certain role that I want to play and I want my hubby to play.... and.... well, some of that was taken from me. Sometimes, hubby didn't hear me. Sometimes, hubby didn't respond quickly enough. And, sometimes, MIL pushed FIL into the position. :0/ *sigh* What do you do?
"Will you put the turkey back in the oven?" (It was 25# and I didn't want to drop it.)
*(new voice)* "I'll go get [FIL]."
When I called DH to carve the turkey, MIL tried to get FIL to do it.
Now, I know this isn't a big deal to most... and it shouldn't be to me... but that is how I am. In big, traditional meals, the man of the house does certain things and the woman of the house does certain things......
Well, thanks to my new washer and dryer, all my big girl panties were freshly laundered, so I had them on. I just smiled and let it happen.
The one big disappointment (big to me, anyway) was I wanted DH to sit at the head of the table... that is where he sits. Always. ESPECIALLY when hosting a family dinner. Well, MIL and SIL set the table and he was placed on the side, by me. Then, when I said something about it, DH said, "Don't worry about it."
There was no worry.
Kinda sucked, that.
BUT, all that aside, the meal was a tremendous success. All the food was yummy and enjoyed by all.
(This isn't all the food, but it is the only table pic I have.)
Everyone left after dessert, well.... the grandparents took dessert with them..... they had to get back... TODAY! When we reminded them that it would be dark (they *are* old and there are some medical conditions that we need to consider) we were reminded by the grandfather that "The car has lights."
Again, what do you do?
We did get a call that they had made it back safely.... of course, the call came from their daughter in their town as their cell phone was not charged.... good thing they didn't have issues and good thing "the car has lights." :-/
SIL stayed one more night. Yesterday (Friday) we kind of lazed around for a few hours before taking SIL to the airport. Nothing like wrapping up a Thanksgiving weekend with your choice of full-body scan or "pat-down." Actually... I don't think that airport does that..... yet.
We came home and just relaxed. Hubby got packed up for his trip and we watched some TV. It was a nice day.
Now, there is a small lull (our tree is already up.... we only need outdoor decor that will be hung Wednesday or Thursday). During this weekend, I will be checking school uniforms, catching up on laundry, clean up a few areas (trying to keep the momentum from the beginning of the week) and start lists.... always the lists.
This past week was a big week for us. DS #3 got to go trick-or-treating and then return to school on Wednesday.
He was very excited. He has so loved the attention.
We have had no problems to speak of.... very little pain meds.
This past Tuesday, we went to the doctor to have the tubes removed... here are a few pictures.
These two were taken Monday night.
Our doctor removing some of the tape and tubes.
Our son pulling the tape and medicine tube off his belly.
Giving a final glance.
The scar one week after the surgery. There is still tape, but we are letting it gradually wash/rub off. He is still a little sore, but nothing that really needs medication.
His ear, one week later. It was actually looking a bit better, but today in school, he was bent under his table getting something. He bumped his ear on the way up.... I think that explains the bruising on the top. Scared the teacher, I think, as she came out to tell us what happened.
He looks symmetrical.
So, stage 1 is done. We don't have to do anything until the end of January to the beginning of February for stage 2. I will post on that, when it happens.
We still have not heard from insurance on what they will cover. So far, we have *only* paid $500.
I hope this blog is a blessing to someone. To anyone who is going through this, I would love to communicate with you.
Thank you for the prayers and support from the readers.
We had a great build up. The other 3 boys were staying with friends and Mom and Dad were able to focus on #3. He LOVED all the attention from us and from others. He got to eat candy bar pancakes from Cafe Brazil and drink hot chocolate with whipped cream and syrup. He got ice cream and other fun treats through out the day.
We had to stop all that by midnight. We ate a late dinner.... about 9:00. And gave him some chocolate milk about 10. He fell asleep on his own, knowing that if he awoke in the night, he couldn't get anything to eat or drink. He did great!
We had to be at the "hotspital" by 6:45 a.m. We were met by one of our pastors..... I can't tell you how much easier it made things, just knowing that so many were praying for all of us and for the doctors.
Our pastor prayed with us just before we went in the back.
Vitals were taken and clothes were changed. DS #3 grinned most of the time. He was SO excited. At one point, he was offered a choice of two, hand-made blankets with a card attached. Such a comforting gesture from someone I don't even know.
About 7:30 or so, he drank some "goofy juice." It probably took about 20 minutes to kick in, but once it did? LOL! He was so funny. We took 18 minutes of video... just talking to him while he was "under the influence." While he was waiting for the medicine to kick in (he was never fully convinced he could feel it) he got to choose a movie to watch.
His favorite part of the day, by far, was riding on the bed from one room to the other.
At 8:15, they wheeled him to the OR.... and I fought tears. I am SO thankful that I didn't see him put under. I hear it is hard, as a parent, to watch. They said he giggled all the way back.
The surgery lasted about 4-1/2 hours. We got phone call updates several times and could also see a monitor that had his name (in code) along with a symbol to show what phase of surgery he was in.
About 1:00, we were taken to the recovery room where our sweet angel was sleeping. We were truly amazed at how good the ear is already looking. We were expecting all sorts of things.... and thoroughly pleased with what we got.
We were in recovery room for..... gosh.... and hour maybe? There are chunks of time that I experienced, but not quite sure WHAT I experienced. During recovery, he got sick 1 time.... but it was only the "goofy juice" he threw up.
The bed ride to his room was not near as fun as the other 2. He did get sick again, but the same as last time... not a lot... just medicine. The nurses quickly gave him some meds for nausea.
A few times he would wake up. Smile. Talk for a minute. Cry. Fall asleep.
At some point, early evening, he did finally wake up. He was able to eat, and keep down, several crackers and juice.
We were blessed to have so many visitors. His JBQ coach came by during surgery. He brought a card made by his children. My parents came by and brought him a new DS game. His teacher came to see him. She was carrying cards made by all his classmates (those were SO fun to read, by the way), coloring books, toy dinosaurs, markers and crayons. She even brought me some love by way of Dr Pepper, chocolate bars and magazines. I heart this teacher!
We also were visited by our friends, and JBQ coordinators. They gave two new Transformers to DS #3. Mom, Dad and brothers got him a stuffed horse, some coloring books and crayons, a puzzle and a white board. This kid made out like a fat rat!!! He totally enjoyed his role as patient.
The night was restless, mainly because the accommodations were not the best for Mom. Yeah, there was a fold out bed.... much nicer than a short couch or a chair, but still.... between the "mattress," the horrible pillows, and listening for #3 to declare his need to tee-tee in a cup.... well..... I think I only got about 5 hours in 48.
This morning, #3 woke up chipper and ready for home. Right up there with a rolling bed, was the rolling chair. He really wanted to take one home. Once discharged, DH came to pick us up. I slept all the way home. DH took over in caring for the infirm as I snored in a REAL bed.
I have gotten about 3 hours more sleep since last night's stay.
Tonight, DH is taking DS #1 on a hunting trip. (No... he is not abandoning us. We talked about it and really, there is no need for so many to hover, and we HAD promised him this before the surgery was scheduled.) Also, DS #2 will be at a slumber party. So, really, it won't be much of a night with only 2 boys.
DS #3 will not be at school until Wednesday. Technically, he can return to school as early as Monday. However, he has a pain pump and a drainage tube that won't be removed until Tuesday. Tubes, pumps and 1st graders.... a dangerous combo, don't you think?
He is tender in his chest. His ear sometimes itches. The pain pump, along with Motrin, manages the discomfort quite nicely. He is so glad to be with his brothers again.
While proofing this, I realized that maybe you, the reader, don't really know what all happened during the surgery. Once he was put under, they opened up a small section below his rib cage... this is where the cartilage came from. There were 2 pieces, to my understanding, that were taken. Once out, the doctor sat and, using a template (see the previous post) sculpted the new ear.
There was an incision made and the cartilage was slipped under the skin to become his new ear. After 12 weeks, that skin will be split and the cartilage will be lifted away from the head. There will also be a skin graft.
This post will have several pictures. If you have me as a friend on facebook, I will put most of the pictures up.
First, I want to thank everyone for their prayers. They mean so much to us.
This morning, DS #3 went to school as normal. But, shortly after attendance was taken, we picked him up to head to the hospital for pre-op stuff.
On the way, we stopped at Chipotle for lunch. That was great. :)
Then, on to the hospital. First, we went to the doctor, himself. He traced #3's good ear on plastic and cut it out.... the plastic reminded me of Shrinky Dink material. He will use that like a template to form the ear.
After we saw the plastic surgeon, we went to register. We were in the kids' section. It was totally cool. DS #3 had a great time while Daddy took care of the grown-up stuff.
Once registered, we went to have his vitals taken. I loved how the people talked TO my son, instead of over him. They made sure that he didn't have questions and that he knew exactly what was going on.
Finally, we went for some pictures. I'm not sure if this is for media or for the plastic surgeon to refer to (pictures of both ears were taken) or what.
Once we finished, we decided a treat was called for. Downstairs, was a fabulous bakery. DH got a Boston Creme cupcake. I got a strawberry cupcake and DS #3 got a cup of mint chocolate chip ice cream. We brought a giant M&M cookie for later.
We checked into the hotel and rested a bit. We will go eat in awhile. DS #3 can have solid food until midnight and clear liquids until about 5.
Surgery is set to begin at 8:15 a.m.
Thank you for your continued prayers. I will try to be back tomorrow..... by the weekend, for sure.
I'm a full-time mom to 4 wonderful boys ages 16, 14, 12 and 10. My sweet hubby, who happens to be my best friend, is a pilot. We have been married for 24 years, but have known each other since 1st grade. I was a middle school math teacher, but began staying home with the birth of my 4th child. After being home for 8 years, I went back into teaching. I currently teach 4th grade math.