Thursday, January 29, 2009

CanDo and WillDo

The Do Brothers visited our home this week. They are doing home visits from A.'s school helping us talk to the kids about listening and doing things the first time without having to be retold (which is a personal pet peeve of mine, so I'm a big fan of the brothers). There's also a journal involved. We were reading some of the entries, and became aware that some of the dates were from before A. was even born! A. was also excited to see what the Do Brothers did at some of his friend's houses. This was a great exercise!

Also, A. had some inspiration for manipulating from the Do Brothers. He tried to turn the exercise on Dave and I. "Mommy, WillDo is not feeling well, and he told me that he needs to sleep in your bed and watch TV." (He's not allowed in our room/ laundry room/office). "Mommy, CanDo is really hungry, and it is snack time, but he can't eat the healthy stuff because it upsets his tummy. He wants to eat the chocolate chips and pretzels. We don't want to make him repeat himself." A. usually isn't manipulative, so this was new for us. Perhaps the manipulative side of A. will disappear when the Do Brothers head back to school! (one can only hope)

Bowl of Air

First of all, let me preface this by thanking all of you who have been praying for me over the past few months in my quest to figure out what was making me "just not feel well." I've had a lot of people asking me for an update, so I thought I'd go public with it for all the world to see. The Dr. believes that she has it narrowed down to a few things, so here's the punch list:

1) I have stomach ulcers. That- in itself- is the biggie. I'm on new meds combined with a pretty bland diet over the next three months should allow them to heal themsleves. After going off the meds, my symptoms shouldn't return. If they do, its a different type of ulcer which requires a different battery of treatment. We'll jump off that bridge when we come to it. Funny how, since I'm lactose intolerant, I've been eating a lot of citrus and tomato based items. Basically, I was my own worst enemy.

2) I have acid reflux. This condition is not helped by the ulcers, and will improve as the medicine is in my system. It will also continue to improve as I continue to loose weight. I didn't have any burning associated with this- just a constant choking lump in my throat- which is gone now. Thank goodness.

3) These two conditions caused some anxiety- which caused heart palpitations. Apparently incredible amounts of GI pain can mimic a heart attack and produce tons of anxiety. Dr.'s say my heart is fine...just had a LOT of palpitations- not enough to require additional meds. Since being on the new GI meds, they've almost ceased. Good times.

4) Allergies. Essentially, I'm allergic to my house. There's a large amount of mold and mildew in this house since its so old and there's carpeting in the bathroom (really- WHO puts carpeting in the bathroom?!?!). We're also testing a few spots for black mold, but there's still other mold present. The boys and I are all showing signs of allergies- me through not being able to breathe and dizzy spells, A. has hearing problems due to a clogged Eustachian tube and eczema, and C. is showing sinus issues and food intolerances. Basically, the faster we get into the addition, the better. In the meantime, we're researching the best air purifiers, I'm dusting, vacuuming, and changing bed linens twice a week, and we're all on allergy meds.

5) Vitamin D deficiency. The GI issues have caused a malabsorbtion issue with a few foods. That, combined with my affinity to dairy- I now have a Vitamin D deficiency. This is rectified by additional supplements.

There's a few others in there, but these are the biggies. Thank you to everyone who has prayed for me (and the family) and helped guide us in the right direction. Thank you to Dr. Chan who believed that these really were physical symptoms and not just in my head. I really feel like I"m on the road to recovery, hopefully gaining more strength soon, and looking forward to "feeling normal" again. In the meantime, it's time for breakfast and I must pull up to a bowl of air. :)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mother's Day all year round

I would love to have a green thumb! I have a garden out back that we use to grow fresh veggies in the summer, and if we do get anything edible, I'm always amazed. Dave buys me a hanging basket every year for Mother's Day, and its usually a hanging basket of dirt by the 4th of July. I make a effort to keep them alive, but my best efforts have proved useless. Until now...

Last year for Mother's Day, A.'s class had all the moms in for Mother's Day tea. They made cards for us with little tea bags, we had a snack together, and the kids put tulip hats on and sang some songs about their mommies. Probably one of the most heart-warming afternoons I'll remember (especially when he's a sullen teenager). A. did a craft decorating a flower pot during the week, and I had a planted flower at my place setting when I arrived at the school. At first I grumbled...."great, another thing for me to kill...then do I have to save the pot since it's one of his art projects?" Quite the conundrum... So, I brought it home and threw some water on it intermittently...and waited for the plant to meet its demise.

Now, almost 8 months later, the plant is not only living, it's thriving. It's grown to almost 11 1/2 inches tall- starting at around 2 1/2. It continues to bloom- despite the colder temps near the window and lower amount of sunlight. If it doesn't die soon, we'll have to replant it since it has obviously outgrown its original receptacle. Stay tuned to the Mother's Day gift that never ends! We'll be sure to keep you posted.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Family Pictures

Now that Christmas is over, I can post these! These pictures were part of our family's Christmas I had to resist sharing them.
These were taken in October at various locations around our neighborhood. We're thankful that we have two churches close by with good lawn care teams- giving us neatly manicured back drops!

This is probably one of my favorite poses. C. was kind of a wild card with his facial expressions- but his shirt is hiked here as well...

This is the pose we chose for family presents.

Awh, aren't we cute?!?!?
(picture me sticking my finger down my throat) teehee

I love C.'s face here! It made me laugh out loud. A. was giving me a kiss on the cheek- I guess we now know how C. felt about that!

Loving brothers....

This picture is probably my ultimate favorite picture of Dave and the boys. This was taken on the walk back up to our house. I love that its black and white...I love the way they're walking...I love the whole darn thing. :)

These pictures were taken by a friend of ours, Renee Kolzow. She's an awesome photographer, and I am really proud of the business she's built. I'd be happy to pass along her contact information if anyone wants to see her!