Saturday, February 28, 2009

Before heading back to the hospital...

Here are some of the things I am grateful for this morning:
  • Proper diagnosis for Caleb. It almost didn't happen and that most certainly would have made things far worse. This is definitely an answer to prayer.
  • My wonderful husband who let me come home and sleep for 8 1/2 glorious hours last night!
  • My wonderful mother who, less than three weeks after HER surgery, came to the hospital yesterday to sit through Caleb's procedure and then took Nikki and her class chinchilla home with her to spend the night.
  • Franck and Susan, who relived Caleb's hospitalization at five weeks last night when they came to visit, dinner in tow.
  • Ronnie, who also came to relive Caleb's hospitalization. ;)
  • Mich for walking with me when I got home at 9:30 last night. It felt GOOD to move and be outside!
  • All our wonderful friends and family who are, as one friend put it, sending up a "chorus of prayers" for Caleb. They're working!!
  • My clean bathroom. I know it seems petty, but I feel better. :)
  • That my child will be well in a few weeks, and that we are not one of those families with children so accustomed to IV poles that they use them as scooters. God likes to give me good doses of perspective. I feel very, very blessed.
Happy Saturday!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Caleb Update with Details

I thought I'd add some more details here for those of you who have been kind enough to send love and prayers for Caleb.

Thursday morning we arrived in the ER at 9:00 am. We were seen within 5 minutes, but sent back out because they were busy. 15 minutes later, we went back in and they put us in a bed. They ordered x-rays and labs. The machine that analyzes labs was broken, so we sat there until 3:30 waiting for results, although x-rays came back negative right away. At 4:30, we were discharged and were walking out the door when we were stopped by the nurse. She said the attending orthopedist was alarmed by Caleb's slightly elevated white blood cell count and wanted him admitted for an MRI. Because Caleb had eaten at 5:00 (after starving all day), the MRI needed to wait until this morning. At 7:00, we were finally sent to a room.

This morning, Caleb had an MRI (which involves general anesthesia in children). When we got back to the room after Caleb woke up, the nurse came rushing in to tell us not to feed him-that he would be going into the OR. I called Scott and my mom. The orthopedist finally got out of surgery and told us they would only be aspirating fluid from the bone to find out what type of infection they were dealing with. This happened around 11:30 (also under general anesthesia). Caleb finally got to eat around 2:00 this afternoon.

Right now, we are waiting for the results of this afternoon's procedure, but in the meantime Caleb is on IV antibiotics and will be hospitalized at least until Sunday. Scott is spending the night with him tonight so I can get a good night's sleep. At Children's, they feel it is appropriate to stuff three families into one room with no bathroom (the one for the patients is down the hall, the one for parents is around the corner and WAY down the hall). Between the fussy baby in our room, the kid with the acute appendicitis who arrived at 11:00 pm, and Caleb awakening in pain, little sleep was had last night. Hopefully the boys will fare better tonight (they had the whole room to themselves when I left!).

So that's the whole story. Thanks for your prayers and good wishes. We are so fortunate that the orthopedist recognized what was going on. Otherwise, we would probably have had an abscessed bone to contend with. We have proper diagnosis-now we just need healing. :)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Update from Children's

We arrived in the ER at 9:00 am and finally got a room around 7:00 pm. The orthopedists cannot rule out osteomyelitis, so Caleb has to have an MRI tomorrow, which entails general anesthesia. Hopefully, we can get the test done, read, and be out of here by noon. Or maybe I'm just fooling myself.

On the bright side, Caleb is perky and happy as long as he's not walking.

Thanks for your prayers. Keep 'em coming!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Not good

The pain in Caleb's leg got worse today. He is completely unable to walk and now has pain in both legs. He also has a fever. We debated over whether or not to go to the ER tonight and decided that we would watch for a spiking fever. Barring that, he can go first thing in the morning. I just think he'll do so much better if he's able to get some sleep first.

Please pray for proper diagnosis and healing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


Yesterday when I picked Caleb up from school, his teacher reported that he was complaining about something hurting his foot. Indeed, he was whining pitifully and gimped all the way to the car, crying out every minute or two. Scott got home a few minutes after us and started doing his first aid assessment. When Caleb couldn't flex his foot any further than 45° without crying out, Scott called Goddad, who is a nurse. Goddad said we should wait to take him to the doctor instead of waiting for six hours in the ER. Caleb spent the rest of the evening crawling around to get from place to place, but mostly holding still.

This morning, Caleb was hopping to get from place to place and still couldn't bear any weight on his foot, so Scott stayed home and took him to the doctor. By they time they got to the office (a forty-minute drive from our house), Caleb was gimping fairly well on his foot, and the doctor was unable to find any sign of a break. She said it was probably a sprain and to give it until Friday. Scott took him back to school, where he ran off to join his classmates on the playground. Annoyed, Scott made the twenty-minute trek school to relieve me (I was covering his class).

About ten minutes after Scott relieved me, we got another call from Caleb's school saying he was covered in an itchy body rash. Since I had a class the next period, Scott left as soon as lunch started to pick up Caleb and take him back to the doctor. By the time Scott got there, Caleb was asleep and the rash was gone. Rather than wake Caleb (who has pretty much decided that he's never again going to nap at home), Scott went home and told them to call him if the rash came back. It didn't.

So I am baffled. ???

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Something New

Here's a whole new angsty topic for my blog-we're remodeling our house.

Our loan funded on Friday and since we're now making a new, bigger house payment I want to get moving on this! (Okay, well our new house payment is technically only about $200 more per month, and we're not technically even MAKING a house payment until April, but still...)

Part of the remodel is the kitchen. I can't decide if I want white cabinets or wood. I can't decide if brown granite would even look good with white. Or if stainless appliances would look good with white. But I want dark floors and a dark table, so I don't want dark cabinets because I hate dark rooms. And all of these things are petty and unimportant but I'm spending a lot of money to do this right and I don't want to hate it in two years and I don't want it to look bad and I don't even know why I'm this wound up about it when we don't even have plans or a permit yet...


A good friend already talked me down once today. I hate making big decisions that involve big money. I'm so used to being poor. And I still would be if the housing market hadn't taken off in CA since we bought ours 15 years ago. And we will be again once we've used up all our equity on this remodel.


My good friend, who has lots of experience in this area, told me today that people get divorced over remodels. I'm not really concerned about that so much (if we were going to get divorced, there were certainly bigger issues to do that over!), but a nervous breakdown is probably not outside the realm of possibility.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I began teaching AP Psych last fall with no resources and no training. I got the book a week before the class started. I mooched off an experienced psych teacher at a neighboring school. I begged for a few things from the bio teacher, who wanted them all back right away. We survived, but it wasn't pretty. Now the class has ended and we only have our weekly review sessions to prepare for the test in May. Even though these review sessions are after school and on weekends/holidays, the students are showing up and participating well.

Last week, I found out that our school is a recipient of an AP Incentive grant. In fact, we've had this grant for three years, but it expires in July! The person in charge of this grant until January apparently was keeping it under wraps. He left, and the new grant administrator has been begging the staff to meet with her. Since my class ended in January, she took awhile to find out about me. I met with her on Thursday. Here is a list of things I will be getting because of this grant:
• A field trip to see brains at the Natural History Museum.
• Snacks for all review sessions.
• Study guides (my students had to purchase them this year).
• Summer training to the tune of $700.
• Educational films (okay, movies).
• They'll copy the practice exam for me and pay me to administer it right before the real test.

PLUS, I'll be PAID for all this time I'm spending on review sessions!

If only we had known about this grant all along. And what happened to the rest of the money??

I wonder where one goes to purchase a sheep brain...

I plan to thoroughly enjoy this while it lasts. The state just cut $8 billion from education. Way to make kids a priority, California!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Better every day...

Mom continues to improve. She stayed home alone today, but yesterday she went to church and TO THE MALL! Yes, to the mall! They wanted to buy a recliner that matched their furniture so they went to the mall and walked to Macy's Home Store! Wow. The prayers are DEFINITELY working!!

Caleb is also improving. I had to go pick him up earlier than planned on Friday because he was in a puddle on the floor whimpering after he woke up from nap. If he was relapsing, I had no idea, but then again I didn't spend much time with him last week. Regardless, I took him to the doctor on Saturday and now that he's been on antibiotics for two days, he's feeling MUCH better!

So it seems that everyone is recuperating nicely around here. Thanks be to God!!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The longest week...

On Monday, the kids' godmom and I were talking about how four-day school weeks seem longer than regular ones. Even taking that into account, this has been the longest week ever.

  • Monday: Surgery day. Hospital from 6-2, nap, laundry & cleaning.
  • Tuesday: Work, pick up Nikki & friend at 3 to get ready for dance, drop off at dance at 4, head to hospital, Girl Scout meeting at 7:30, home at 9.
  • Wednesday: Work, meeting until 3, pick up both kids, pack up kids, get gas, drive to hospital (where Godmom took the kids to here house after a brief visit), hang out with Mom at hospital until Dad arrives at 7:00, go to Godmom's for dinner & to get kids, home at 9.
  • Thursday: Work, meeting until 3:30, students until 4:30, drive to Mom's house (yeah!-she's home!), heat up dinner left by a wonderful friend, grocery shopping for Mom & Dad, home at 8:30.
What I'm thankful for tonight: A healthy, cancer-free Mom (even though she's in pain and exhausted); a wonderful, supportive husband who took care of the kids when I couldn't; Dad and all Mom's friends who took care of her when she needed them; Godmom; the fact that tomorrow is Friday, followed by a three-day weekend!

I think I can, I think I can...

Monday, February 9, 2009

Whose child is this?

Nikki has her second middle school dance tomorrow and decided that she MUST have nail polish and shoes to match her outfit. So tonight, when she should have been getting ready for bed, we went to Target and Payless. They didn't have anything satisfactory, but black flats may work after all, and the beauty supply store WAS open. Fortunately, they had about five different choices of lime green polish (???). The saleswoman gave Nikki a piece of scotch tape to see what the colors looked like outside the bottle.

Me: Oh, look! That's a perfect match for your outfit.
Nikki: Yeah, but it doesn't POP!
Me: ?!?!?!?!?

Who taught my kid to talk like that??

Oh, and in case you were worried, they DID have a polish that DOES pop. :P

Good News!

The surgery went well. All of the cancer was contained with the kidney and was removed. There was no other involvement. She lost very little blood and the surgery only lasted 90 minutes. When I left this afternoon, she was hovering somewhere around consciousness, but wasn't in any pain. YEAH!

Now Mom has to heal. THAT'S not going to be pleasant because it was a tough surgery (although it went off without a hitch). Thanks for positive wishes and continued prayers for a speedy recovery!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Big Day

My mom is having surgery tomorrow morning to remove her kidney. We have prayed. Our churches have prayed. We have cleaned her house. We went over for a very brief visit tonight. Everything is ready. She is SO ready to have this done with and begin the process of healing.

I suppose I should be worried. I suppose I should be up all night. But I have such a sense of peace. I KNOW God has this. So I'm not worried. But I'm still praying. :)

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Croup. Crap.

Caleb has croup. Aren't they supposed to outgrow that by four??

Wednesday night we spent about 30 minutes out on the porch swing wrapped in a blanket because he woke up at 1:30 and couldn't breathe. We learned how to deal with croup after an unfortunate ER experience with Nikki when she was two, so we're pretty calm about it, but this was a particularly bad bout of it. After he could breathe again, we took him into bed with us and slept with the window open. The next day, he seemed fine. Thursday and Friday passed without any further symptoms other than some morning coughing.

This morning, however, he woke up and coughed something up into the toilet and didn't want to eat right away. We called my cousin to tell her we would be missing her kids' birthday party (she's also expecting her third next month and probably doesn't want to cough the baby out) and Caleb took a long nap. Nikki and I went up to see my mom and clean her house in preparation for her post-operative visitors (she's just too tired to do it all herself), but left Caleb here so my mom doesn't cough her incision open.

Right now, Caleb is coughing in his bed. He sounds worse. So we may be making a trip to urgent care tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Wear Red Tomorrow!

Tomorrow is Go Red for Women Day! The American Heart Association is trying to raise awareness of heart disease-the #1 killer of women!

Check it out:

So take the quiz, bust out your red shirt, and help beat heart disease! :)

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Caleb Update

Caleb has been at his school for three weeks now and he seems to really like it. Last week, he started riding the bus to his special day class two days a week. He seems particularly excited about that. I found out that a friend from church is actually his bus driver in the mornings, which makes me feel better about it.

I feel like Caleb's life is sort of driving itself at this point because I have had to let so much go. I can't believe that I'm the mom whose four-year-old gets on a bus twice a day. I've never even met some of his teachers. I don't even think I can articulate how I feel about all this, or even if I DO actually have feelings about it. He seems to be happy and navigating everything well. I guess I feel like I SHOULD be more worried, but I'm not. Maybe I finally learned that it's okay not to be in charge?? Nah.

Regardless, his speech improves every day. He's learning. He's growing. He has lots of time to play with the neighbor kids, riding his scooter in the cul-de-sac and jumping on the trampoline until it's too dark to see. Maybe that's all you need when you're four.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Teacher of the Year!

My husband was recognized for all of the wonderful things he does for our students today. He was voted Teacher of the Year for our small school. It was a wonderful moment. Our former principal came back to present the award, and for about ten minutes all was right with our school. Congratulations, Babe! You deserve this!!!

Monday, February 2, 2009

After bath tonight...

Scott: [wrapping Caleb in a towel] You're my Caleb burrito. I'm going to eat you!
Caleb: I not food! I'm a boy!!

Just for Fun

Here is a list of things I did this weekend instead of getting my grades done:
  1. Parented my children (Scott had basketball games Friday night).
  2. Cooked
  3. Cleaned the kitchen
  4. Slept
  5. Laundry
  6. Cleaned the bathrooms (that little line that tells me it's time to clean the toilet had shown up again)
  7. Laundry
  8. Took the Peer Helpers to a beach clean-up/bonfire/midyear evaluation
  9. Slept
  10. Went to church
  11. Laundry
  12. Taught Sunday School (and yes, I still hate it)
  13. Trained a Girl Scout on cookie sales
  14. Laundry
  15. Watched the Super Bowl with my mom (since she's having her kidney removed in a week)
  16. Ate
  17. Laundry
  18. Slept
And now I'm in trouble with the registrar AGAIN. *sigh*